Posts Tagged ‘Small Presses’

Arne Bellstorf

Published June 4, 2010 by Molly

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Arne Bellstorf may be a wizard of graphic novels and illustration, but he’s no lone wolf. Bellstorf also happens to have a natural instinct for collaboration and community-building, graphically speaking. Among the artist’s many projects are the annual magazine Orang, which he co-edits, and the small collective and independent publishing house Kiki Post, which puts out a variety of neat comics.

He also contributed to the 2wBOX collection with the above mini silk-screened comic, published by B.ü.L.B. comix from Switzerland. Explore the archives and parse continual updates at Bellstorf’s website.

Time Fears

Published May 28, 2010 by Molly

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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.

Famicon Express

Published May 25, 2010 by Molly

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Looking for a one-stop shop for all your zine and small-press book needs? Search no further than Famicon Express, which deserves permanent status on the ole’ bookmarks list.

The shop provides a vast selection of comics, special projects books, travel adventures, ghost stories, prints inspired by Grand Theft Auto imagery, and more, all of which are immaculately designed and many of which feature special crafty bonuses (like hand-pulled silkscreen covers or neat stitching).

We’re suckers for crafty bonuses. Who isn’t!?

MANYMONO

Published April 29, 2010 by Molly

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MANYMONO is a London-based Risograph printing service that produces beautiful prints, books and zines (some of which are for sale at LANDFILL).

What exactly is Risograph printing technology? Well. Risograph Duplicators are machines that look like photocopiers but have a process more simillar to screen-printing. They allow only one color to print on each pass during the machine, and by overprinting various colors an artist can build up compositions as he would by screen printing. Hence the name: MANYMONO= single color runs. Risograph machines are speedy, reliable and heatless. And with the right hands, they produce gorgeous materials like the prints above.

For Further Information

Published April 27, 2010 by Molly

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For Further Information is a small press based in London that produces some rad experimental book projects. For starters, there’s A Glossary With Some Pieces of Verse, a facsimile of an 1867 book dedicated to documenting an extinct Germanic language called Yola, spoken between the 14th and 19th century by English settlers. A useful addition to the scholarly section of your library, no?

There’s also Stills From AC37, a collection of extracts from a video installation by artist Eleanor Duffin. And The Names‚ our personal favorite, is a compilation of 20,000 spammer aliases collected between 2003 and 2008, and listed alphabetically. Pure genius.

Napa Books

Published April 15, 2010 by Molly

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Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Is there anything more exciting than discovering a promising small press of exacting standards and prolific output? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Napa Press has been publishing art books and graphic novels and hosting flipbook competitions since 1997, and it’s still going strong. Managed by artist Jenni Rope and a gallery board, the press is rooted in a gallery and shop in the heart of Helsinki and supplements its bound output with limited posters and prints by Napa artists.

The creativity stemming from Napa is astounding and never-ending. There are egg-painting parties, illustration exhibitions, animation DVDs, documentary photo books and so much more. Check out the web shop here, or hey! Why not take a stroll past the gallery in Google maps to round out your conception of it?

Charlie Duck

Published April 13, 2010 by Molly

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Dust & Shadow is an exquisite art book published by Duke Press and crafted by Charlie Duck. Hand-stitched and digitally printed in a numbered edition of 100, the book features aerial views of chateau, drawings of interiors, still lifes and memento mori. “Initially they appear a celebration of wealth and immortality,” the publisher writes, “Yet there is disquiet to these images; an underlying emptiness which is explored and developed in each drawing.”

So much truth in that. Witness also the artist’s blog, which is chock full of sketchbook scans and gallery news and works in progress. Cheers to you, Mr. Duck!

Anne Schwalbe

Published April 12, 2010 by Molly

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Anne Schwalbe’s photographs are often abstract, always mysterious, and occasionally puzzling. Visit her spare (but well-stocked) website for a tour of recent photographic projects and beautifully-produced art books.

Dan Murphy

Published March 15, 2010 by Molly

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The great thing about zines is that they encourage the dissemination of unusual enthusiasms. Or collections of unusual enthusiasms. Dan Murphy is an Illinois-based enthusiast of horticulture and music and biking who is currently in grad school studying green roof technology (COOL!) and produces a steady stream of zines, our favorite of which is his recent issue of The Juniper.

Issue #12 includes writings on happiness, a recipe, discourses on microbes and emergency preparedness and bike-riding. And more! If you ever wanted to get a closer read on the type of person who knows the difference between Mad-Dog Skullcap and Baikal Skullcap, here’s your chance.

The Art of the Novella: Melville Edition

Published March 8, 2010 by Molly

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“Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers,” begins the jacket copy on each edition of Melville House’s “The Art of the Novella” collection. It’s true: despite the pretty name (say it out loud: “no-vell-a”), novellas are a chronically ignored form of literature. Many of the thirty slim novellas released by Melville House are available for the first time in book form, which is surprising considering that the authors include Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Cervantes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Balzac and Leo Tolstoy.

But then, novellas are sort of like the tweens of the literary world: potentially flighty, awkwardly positioned, easy to underrate. Luckily, the publisher has culled stellar examples of the form and printed them up with minimalist covers available in color schemes that range from “1960s rec room” to rainbow sherbet. Each one is thin enough to fit in a coat pocket but fat enough to provide more than a few hours of reading. The volumes make design objects as satisfying as they do reads, and that’s saying a lot.

Two of the best are written by Herman Melville: Bartleby the Scrivener and Benito Cereno. The former novella, written in 1853, tells the tale of Bartleby (whom The New Yorker referred to as “the proto slacker”), a man who works assisting wealthy men with their business on Wall Street until he decides, one day, that he’d rather not work, or do much of anything. Benito Cereno was written two years later and focuses on the true-life story of a slave rebellion aboard a Spanish merchant ship in the late 18th century. If you’ve been meaning to read Moby-Dick forever—and who among us isn’t?—this pair of novellas would be the perfect appetizer to nibble on while you build up the necessary appetite for that epic. Happy reading!