Monday, February 29, 2016

Paper Jam 2016

Crowd shot
After the master hyping of Paper Jam by Darryl Ayo on twitter, I decided to drag my dusty carcass to Silent Barn in Bushwick for the small comics/zine fest. I am a big fan of the space with its cheap drinks and big outdoor space and really wanted to see what a comics show there would look like.

The show itself took place in  the performance space in the front of the building. I got there around 3:45, a little more than halfway through the day and the place was crammed with 20-something creators and fans and a smattering of us older types.

Though I mostly picked up comics by folks I'd never met before, the fest turned out to be an exercise in saying hi to the faces of internet faves including Sabin Calvert, Jude Killory, and "comics mom" Kevin Czapiewski. Ley Lines #6 author and buddy Aaron Cockle gave me a little zine featuring some risograph experimentation and we spoke briefly of chili and work.

After several trips around the crowded room, the consumption of a delicious ginger beer, and more hellos, I decided that I had spent enough money and felt low on energy so decided to head out. I was a bit disappointed in my own stamina that day, but sometimes you must bow to your body's boring needs. I missed the bus, managed to walk about a quarter of the way to where I was going before my hip started to kill and the rest doesn't matter.

The verdict? Would return to Paper Jam with walking shoes on.
Book and pamphlet haul
Prints and calendar from Courtney Menard
Walk away moon

Friday, February 12, 2016

lettermo 2, 2016

As usual, I've not managed a piece of mail a day. I tend to work better in bursts. I like to focus, perhaps too intensively, on the person that I am writing to and frankly I just haven't the energy for that sustained attention the past few days.

Today I felt the urge to make some fantasy worlds and there is no better way to get into the zone than with collage. So I brewed up some tea, busted out the new glue sticks and got to flipping through all the sloppy magazines I've hoarded for just this purpose. From the colors it is clear that I am yearning for some sunshine.

today's batch

Thursday, February 04, 2016

just friends

The other day my heart felt heavy but open. I was ready to spend the night contemplating the good things in life. I'd heard many good things about Paul Lisicky's new book, The Narrow Door, and thought I'd go feel big feelings at his reading at Community Bookstore.

The week after my friend Sally died, I started a zine about her. Collages mostly. I put them all together and stared and stared and then the dog knocked them over and then it didn't seem right and then and then and then my dad died and I still dream of her house almost every night.


After shuffling my way down 7th Avenue, I took my place in the small but crowded back room of the bookstore. The space was filling up with Lisicky admirers, many of who greeted the poet with hugs. While a clot of pretty poet boys decimated the wine, the rest of us settled in amid the fishy smell of store cat Tiny's food and the rustling of heavy coats. Writer A.N. Devers opened the evening with a short intro and then Lisicky began reading from The Narrow Door.

"It's weird," I thought as I cried into my companion's coat, "How sometimes a book comes right at the right time." How to reckon with relationships that are incredibly intimate and life-changing but not generally recognized as an important kind of love?  Even during this reading, a celebration of friendship, more audience questions were asked about Lisicky's ex, a famous poet, than about the subject of his book. I remember my frustration with trying to describe my relationship with Sally, everyone trying to name it with descriptors like "second mom" as if being friends was not enough for the grief I feel.

Devers pointed out that there are few books by men about their female friends, which is both true and too much to think about right now.

Lisicky talked a bit about the loss of his "sidekicks"--the people who know you the best and always want the best for you--to divorce and death. What does one loss mean in the midst of many? I lost my friend suddenly while my father was dying absolutely for sure. My friend lived boldly, but within many constraints. She was both incredibly inspiring and a cautionary tale. I wanted to spend years discussing life with her. Despite knowing her since I was eleven, I felt like our friendship was just beginning to take on a new form.

Because of her faith in me, a little piece of my writing is always for Sally.  That's going to have to be enough.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

lettermo 1, 2016

I am starting #lettermo this year with two collaged cards for two great people. 

I think I probably owe you a letter. Feel free to remind me in the comments.