special editions

Virtual Ownership?!

I saw a few calls recently for a return to physical ownership of products instead of the virtual ownership of media that we all believe we “own" with a purchase. It’s probably just a matter of time before some corporate overlord decides to block us all from accessing whatever stuff we thought we’d bought. After all, isn’t that the unwritten promise of late-stage Capitalism?

It’s hard to overstate the convenience of streaming, of digital downloads of movies, books, and music. We can carry entire libraries in our pockets. I get that…and I’m not opposed to it.

And yet, fail to update a dying machine or lose your back-up drive — and even without the shareholders voting ‘to hell with the customer base’ — what did our money get us?

What is actually ever ours?

These are just a few of the gorgeous, handmade books I’ve been lucky enough to have out. They often come with extras and freebies — from temporary tattoos and stickers to broadsides to original collage covers and laser-etched flasks. They are all things that, should you own one, won’t just up and disappear in the night.

I talk about it only because I have such admiration for the artists behind such creations — folks kind enough to share their tremendous talents with my humble projects. To me, this remains the most amazing thing about the small press — that together we can do things like this.

Yes, there aren’t massive print runs or enough sales to ever rub two nickels together.

No, this stuff is never covered by the powerful promotional engines behind big publishers, or mention much across bookish social media. That’s too bad…because there are those few people and places out there who still do care about such things.

Anyhow, this was just a way to say — if you are one of the people that support such things — thank you. Keep supporting these publishers and people who try harder to go the extra mile.

I promise I’ll keep trying to make the coolest stuff I can.

Until then, I guess all this will remain our little secret…

Handiwork...

If you have been following along here, you may have recognized a trend — I believe in the power of handmade and artisan editions. I submit work to places that push themselves to do more with their productions, and I support presses that take on projects designed to fill in the gaps that exist in publishing. There are tons of under-served readers whose appetites are wildly different than the prevailing winds from big publishing, and more and more those readers are looking to the smaller, independent presses.

It makes perfect sense: these are the only presses where the stakes are manageable enough to truly take risks. If you follow along here, then you already know the usual suspects: X-Ray Book Co., Tangerine Press, Bottle of Smoke Press…but now East London Press is joining the fight. Ibiza, a limited edition beauty from your friend and mine, Joseph Ridgwell continues in the tradition of travel yarns. Like Cuba, Mexico, the drunken hijinxs are sure to be punctuated by the eternal search for elation, and production-wise looks to share the same sensibility than those fine offerings from Pig Ear Press.

The small press is like small batch distillers, local farmers, and auteur filmmakers in that all have fewer hands in the jar and fewer compromises to navigate. The whole damned enterprise is just more self-contained. Chances can be taken. And gorgeous, handmade touches can not only be part of a release, they can be the reason for a new project.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

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Chinese Gucci COLLAGE COVER Time-lapse #5

For your viewing pleasure: the penultimate collage-making time-lapse.

Pre-Sale pricing ends November 5th, so grab up a special edition now to save.

COLLAGE COVER #2

Another Chinese Gucci Collage From Start To Finish…

Here’s another time-lapsed look at a Chinese Gucci collage as it was made. The pre-sale of the special editions goes wide on 30 September 2018, just a week or so away.

Here’s a couple of scorching-hot new blurbs:

Somewhere between a Harmony Korine film and a Tao Lin novel, Chinese Gucci is a book about desire and greed and being too spoiled to figure out your dreams. It’s a book about being alive in the 21st century and maybe what all our futures will look like—buying and selling and gaming and drinking and drugging. Nights in Mexico. Days on the computer. Forgetting the difference between what’s real and fake. The edges on this novel are sharp enough to cut the reader’s throat. Filled with text messages and prose as clean as the best dirty realists, Chinese Gucci is a novel filled with characters no one wants, characters who do despicable things, characters who most of us are, and we all need to read it.
— Dave Newman, author of The Poem Factory and Two Small Birds
Chinese Gucci, in the embodiment of Akira Nakimura, is a fantastically written desolate portrait of today’s rootless youth navigating this inverted totalitarian, tech-junkied, consumerist piece of steaming shit called America that has smugly sat its fat, racist, rotting lilly white ass on stolen land for over two hundred and forty years.
— John Grochalski, author of The Librarian and Wine Clerk


Hey-oh!

You can also add the book to your shelves at GOODREADS.

Much more to come between now and the end of November. Thanks for hanging in there with me.