Published June 8, 2010 by Molly
Holy smokes, Ditto Press is so cool we could plotz. The UK-based independent publisher produces the most beautiful books imaginable using Risograph technology (do we sense a growing sector of Risograph devotees?) and incredible bookbinding techniques. The shop and blog are practically epilepsy-inducing in its variety and desirability, offering books that range on topics including academia, fine art, photography, popular culture, literature and poetry. Zoinks? Zoinks.
Selected highlights include a revisited Edgar Allen Poe story (designed and produced in-house), prints by WLYS favorite Jiro Bevis, a limited edition book by Joseph Clayton Mills, “Herschel’s Telescope”, a 2-color riso printing for Laurence Barber with exposed-sewn single page sections and 9 digitally produced gate-folded inserts…and so much more.
Published May 28, 2010 by Molly
Nieves has done it again. Time Fears is a sixteen-page zine by Matt Lock (whose previous Nieves-produced work, Hey I’m Tryin’, numbers among our personal favorites) with a beautiful and occasionally chilling array of paintings and drawings. Time Fears was published in tandem with an April-May exhibit in Hamburg, Germany, and it deals candidly with the anxieties of our age. “I was drawing a lot of ruins,” Matt comments, “Ruins of a once high level civilization, landscapes of twisted metal, abandoned buildings and scattered garbage.”
As an artist statement of sorts to accompany the zine, Matt also says, “I seem to live in two worlds: the present and the soon-to-be…I hope that you who identify with my time-based worries will bond with these pieces, perhaps finding your own time fears in my drawings and paintings, and I hope those of you less inclined to worry about time will find something here to ponder on and smile about.”
Bravo. Preview the zine here and take a peek at Matt’s website for more.
Published February 22, 2010 by Molly
It’s like some essential law of nature: as long as amazing people exist, there will be amazing magazines to collect and codify their thoughts and projects. Such is A Public Space, the Brooklyn-based magazine of literature and culture founded in 2005 to bring essays and fiction and poetry of all kinds to the reading public. Issue #9 features Nicholson Baker, Ichiro Suzuki, Love Letters, The Third Street Promenade, and a whole bunch of other stuff, all wrapped up in a suavely-designed package of goodness.
Also not to miss: The magazine is hosting an event on February 21st in Santa Monica, CA featuring the great raconteur T.C. Boyle, Carla Gugino, Joel David Moore and miscellaneous performances. Start arranging your carpool!
Published August 28, 2009 by Graham
Miss Haviland: Is there any point that you would like to make, aside from the questions that have been brought up to you before and which you’ve answered again tonight?
Mr. Sendak: I love my work very much, it means everything to me. I would like to see a time when children’s books were not segregated from adult books, a time when people didn’t think of children’s books as a minor art form, a little Peterpanville, a cutsey-darling place where you could Have Fun, Laugh Your Head Off. I know so many adult writers whom I would happily chop into pieces, who say, “Well I think I’ll take a moment and sit down and knock off a kiddy book! It looks like so much fun, it’s obviously easy…” And, of course, they write a lousy book!
It would be so much better if everyone felt that children’s books are for everybody, that we simply write books, that we are a community of writers and artists, that we are all seriously involved in the business of writing. And if everyone felt that writing for children is a serious business, perhaps even more serious than a lot of other forms of writing, and if when such books are reviewed and discussed, they were discussed on this serious level, and that we would be taken seriously as artists.
I would like to do away with the division into age categories of children over here and adults over there, which is confusing to me and I think probably confusing to children. It’s very confusing to many people who don’t even know how to buy a children’s book. I think if I have any particular hope it’s this: that we all should simply be artists and just write books and stop pretending that there is such a thing as being able to sit down and write a book for a child: it is quite impossible. One simply writes books.
– Questions to an Artist Who Is Also an Author: A Conversation between Maurice Sendak and Virginia Haviland (a public interview at the Library of Congress held in 1971)
(Photo of the Cerritos Millenium Library via Victorrjr’s Flickr.)
Published August 7, 2009 by Molly
In 1993 Roddy Doyle wrote one of the best books about childhood ever published and, fittingly, won a Booker Prize, possibly the most prestigious award in English-language literature. The book is Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and it’s written from the perspective of a ten-year-old kid growing up in a suburb of North Dublin in the 1960s. The thing is, it really IS written from the kid’s perspective, replicating the consciousness of a young’n through its language, observations and insights.
If the Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is occasionally hard to follow, it’s also achingly realistic. This probably goes to show that ten-year-olds have more complicated emotional lives and intellects than we commonly give them credit for.
In a review of the book for Entertainment Weekly, Tom De Haven wrote that “Even the best writers seldom capture the temper and shifting textures of childhood with approximate, let alone absolute, fidelity.” Doyle’s novel is awe-inspiring for the simple fact that it accomplishes exactly this.