Archive for the ‘Zines’ Category

Photo on 7-29-20 at 1.05 PM.jpg

mangled into text:

lost in trimming
front cover (banner)
the 8-page zine (title)
cover story: sam arr! (word balloon)
the DIY issue (subtitle)
“the back cover of the eight-
page zine, is, all by itself, worth
every penny—if i do say so myself”
—r.~parrotox, hired shill
cash $1 price
centerfold (handmade “handwriting” font)
the medium is the message! (word balloon)

the other side (four “page”s including
a how-to-do-it self-reference diagram)
is way too much trouble for this format.
just, let’s admit here and now.
i’m probably never going to do
another copy-shop run in this life.
here it is now for the god-damn net.


here’s yet another version of this thing
(which, like all its predecessors, is unreadable
in the version posted here; don’t get me started):
four “representations” of the 24-element group
called variously “the binary tetrahedral group”,
“the hurwitz units”, SL_2(F_3), and A-four-hat
(among other things).

new here are the yin-yangs on the g-coset points
of the generators-and-relators version at upper left.
and nothing else. still, it’s an entire course
in group theory summarized on one page and it cost me
quite a bit of effort figuring out what to put where.
maybe some of the bits-into-graphics pages of my book
were as much trouble as this but i doubt it. anyhow,
i’ve long since given up on ever again getting anybody
to read *that* damn thing so i’m stuck with this until
i find a better obsession. read the ten page news.

Photo on 6-22-20 at 3.03 PM

here’s looking, not at euclid, but rather at this
nameless-by-me-i-think mac book. behind me a few
of the many shelves here at the livingston libe.
madeline’s encyclopedia was here before my arrival
(all those years ago). most of the rest was brought
by me or acquired since. the hugely-cool coffee-table
book about public libraries (lavish production;
photos of libes) is next to the top row
of those _britannica_s already mentioned…
under that, typography & dictionaries…
this is way too slow… the “connect four”
game… fast forwarding…

there’s a whole martin gardner *section* for
hecksake including two issues of th’ _notices_;
under his _last_recreations_ is a bunch of stuff
by the great knuth (that made up \TeX—thanks, don!).
the jacket for th’ _annotated_alice_ (the caroll section is
in my sight from here but not in this shot) also
deserves mention. i loved that book even before
i knew who gardner *was*.

other side of my head. “children’s book” about sacagawea
and a few of my many dollar-coins. there’s a map
more or less of course—part of a streets-of-columbus
folded-up-for-gloveboxen thingum in this case
(one of many… want one?).

the enormous _handbook_of_physics_ at lower right
was a cursemas gift from public-school days.
too awkward to be good for much actual *reading*
but nonetheless known by me to have an impressive
survey-of-advanced-math right up front.

okay. enough stalling around.

announcing _the_ten_page_ten_yearly_ (2020).
this i vow.
if it comes out at all
(i) it’ll be ten pages
digest-size front and back
in glorious [and expensive]
full color; 8 pages inside
in glorious cheap B&W
), and
i won’t do it again for ten years.

watch this space.


jung never did this

behold: the six-color i ching.
as i remarked elsewhere, *any* diagram version
of “the sixty-four things”… the 6-bit “strings”
{000000, 000001, 000010, 000011, … 111111}
being one of the best known… can be considered
as a diagram of the sixty-four hexagrams famous
since the dawn of historical time.

i drew the black-&-white 10 years ago and change.
colorized by my hand today, 6/12/20 vlorbik his mark.

Photo on 6-12-20 at 4.45 PM


Photo on 5-26-20 at 5.03 PM
portrait of me (early 70s) in four-color pen by eva. i used this as a cover for a _ten_page_news_. other stuff.

Photo on 5-26-20 at 4.31 PM
upper-left: photo of me at notre dame with sue v & jonathan. then (going across) escher, steranko, me (MEdZ), me again—self-portrait in the eigenmann hall days—;carriage return. QUIET! (can’t you see i’m *reading*?) a digest-size document about digest-size documents. jack kirby signature. steranko again. some thing i got at “the enclave” (bexley coffee shop) from the artist in trade for some old comics. starhead catalogue. back to the left. a bunch of pez dispensers. neno coffee-cup. seth? _the_imp_ (not the only one displayed on this wall). collected kirby collector. book about american comics. book about comics with comics cover-art for a cover. little nemo coffee-mug. zine about a strike in alaska. another big fat book about comics. back again. stacks and stacks. titles visible in some versions include krazy kat, SPX, superman, and… pushing it a little… the kirby biography. micky mouse. end of top shelf. cataloguing is slow and unrewarding.

I’ve stuffed my Shelf with loads of learned Lumber,
Like Kant, and can’t let sleeping dogmas slumber.
“A little Learning is a dangerous Thing”?
Not so! A cat can look upon a King.
If Indy Ana Jones has not the means—
Nor Wit nor Art—to be the Pope of zines,
The best that I can do will have to serve
And others must decide what I deserve.

Mike Gunderloy, in nineteen-eighty-two,
Decided he’d begin a Zine Review.
*And even now, in nineteen-ninety-eight,
*His Factsheet 5 is still around, still great
*(Though, Some would say, collapsing from its Weight).
They usually find something nice to say,
Or don’t condemn things outright, anyway.
Doug Holland‘s Zine World follows no such Rule;
Indeed, they’ve been accused of being cruel.
In my Opinion, Critics shouldn’t shrink
From telling Readers what they really think:
Forgiveness can be less Divine than Vain;
We shouldn’t err by being too Humane.
I’ve often Thought (but never well Expressed)
That this is so. Yet Action is the test.
And, as for That, quite frequently I find
It’s easier to be a Bit too kind.
So even if I think a Zine’s no good,
I’ll seldom say so clearly, as I should.
I haven’t got the Nerve for Zine World‘s Style
(Although, one time, I did call Pop Smear “vile”).
*The Reasons why aren’t very hard to see:
*I’d like to keep on getting Zines for free
*And do as I’d have Others do to me.
Since Everyone knows Everyone (the World of Zines is small),
And Nature‘s major Masterpiece is being there at all,
I must confess, quite frequently I’ve tried
To keep from hurting anybody’s Pride.
Here, in any Case, are some Reviews.
I hope you like ’em. Read The Ten Page News.

If we had time enough, and money,
This life of ours would just look funny.
We’d sit and plan each ample day:
How much to work, and when to play,
And who to talk with, what to see,
And where to spend eternity,
And which immortal works of art
To study till we’d learned by heart.
Then I could take, if i should choose
Ten years to make each Ten Page News.

But on my back a monkey hollers,
And nothing shuts him up, but dollars.
And so, I spend my too-short hours
In serving vast and unseen powers.
A job’s a grave and solemn duty;
Our need for cash outranks mere beauty.

Now, therefore, let us, while we might,
Unleash our zines, however slight.
The main thing is to get it made
So we’ll have something new to trade
And, if we never get it done
Quite right, still we’ll have had some fun.

Blue Car, Blue Car (1998)
I finally got a learner’s permit
at age nineteen in Thousand Oaks,
where I’d been living like a hermit
on coffee, pot, and rum-and-cokes.
Now, back in school, a lack of patience
for classes during my vacations
had kept me out of Driver’s Ed.
But something had to give. I said,
“Of course I’d rather do things my way,
and walk, or thumb, or ride my bike.
But I can’t have things as I’d like.
This California’s one big highway!
It’s best to take things as they are.
I’d better learn to drive a car.”

And so my then-best-friend, Bob Shaffer,
agreed to bring me up to speed.
“I know a car that you could pay for.
I’ll teach you everything you need.”
“But what about repairs?” “Don’t panic!
This car was owned by a mechanic!
It’s in great shape! It runs just fine!
It sounded like that classic line:
“The only owner was some granny
who never drove”, but Bob was right.
I got the car that very night:
a sixty-three, push-button tranny,
Plymouth Valiant, not much rust.
It turned out worthy of my trust.

I made a hundred dollar payment
and owed another; then I’d bought
it. Breaking up the debt this way meant
I could pay with ease–I thought.
But then my boss at Howard Johnson’s–
whose every word was arrant nonsense–
said “Although it pains me, I
have got to let you go. Goodbye.”
(I thought I knew his secret reason:
I’d worked there for about a year,
and paid vacations cost them dear.
It’s always bellboy-shafting season.)
So even though I had enough
to make the payment, it was rough.

And so at last I started learning
how to drive. At least, I tried!
My second night, as I was turning
(way too fast and far too wid,
which should have been a minor error),
I saw a car and froze in terror,
making it a big mistake.
At last, too late, I hit the brake.
I’d caused a little fender-bender.
The other guy, whose car I’d hit
was more than fair, I must admit.
A small amount of legal tender
satisfied him–not too bad!
I called and got it from my dad.

The testing had me really worried
and, in fact, I failed it. Twice.
But then I got a guy who hurried
once around the block. How nice!
To earn the necessary rating
depended less on skill than waiting.
(I might have known from back in school
that grades are like that as a rule.)
I drove my Valiant to Laguna
to show my dad the famous dent.
He thought his money quite well spent;
he only wished I’d done it sooner.
He always hoped I’d leave the stage
of wayward youth and come of age.

But that’s another, longer, story
and not the one I came to tell.
I’m sticking to the task before me.
I think you’ll find it’s just as well.
Enough to say that now that twenty
years have passed, I’ve grown up plenty–
but still today, without a doubt,
I need a lot of bailing out.
Returning to my car: it never
once broke down, though there was once
I thought it had but like a dunce
I hadn’t checked the gas tank. Clever!
They’ll never make a fool-proof tool
as long as there’s a perfect fool.

Once I had the driving habit
I gave the car up as a loss.
I had a chance–and chose to grab it–
to move to Vegas with my boss.
It didn’t take a lot of thinking;
we’d sleep till noon, and then start drinking,
and work as little as we could
at cleaning carpets. Life was good.
But I was broke, as was my pattern,
and owed my landlord two months rent.
He got the car and off I went.
From then until I bought my Saturn–
that is, till fifteen years had passed–
that Valiant was my first and last.

At thirty-five, I got a fairly
well-paid job. But I lived far
enough away that I could barely
get around without a car.
I’ve never liked to deal with dealing–
a root canal is more appealing–
and so, I chose the one brand name
that cheated everyone the same
and wouldn’t make me drive a bargain
to drive a new car off their lot:
in short, a Saturn. Still, I got
a song-and-dance and empty jargon
about the warranty. Till Hell
completely freezes over, dealers sell.

I had a girlfriend, Betsy Baxter,
in Bloomington (my old home town).
I e-mailed, phoned (but never faxed) her,
and every weekend, drove around
five hundred miles in any weather
so we could have some fun together.
I married her, she finished school,
and then I learned I’d been a fool
for thinking that our love was thriving.
We hadn’t lived together long
when she decided we’d been wrong.
As long as it was mostly driving
back and forth from state to state
our marriage really worked out great.

Of course my car was bought on credit:
the price tag was eleven grand.
In sixty months, I’d finally get it
free and clear—or so I planned.
My enemies contrived to spoil it;
my whole career went down the toilet
(it might have lasted longer, but
I wouldn’t keep my big mouth shut).
I lived six months on unemployment
and credit cards whose interest rates
would ruin even William Gates.
Then, after all the fun enjoyment—
no job in sight—the bills came due.
So I went bankrupt. Wouldn’t you?

My two divorces, uncontested,
had, legally, been not too bad.
For this, though, common sense suggested
the banks would go for all I had.
My wife, the former Shauna Kearney,
referred me to a good attorney
who looked at my accounts with me
and, taking out a hefty fee,
said, “Well, this car’s worth too much money.
Depreciation’s cut the cost,
but not enough. And so, you’ve lost
because you’ve saved. It’s funny
but that’s the way things sometimes are.
You’ll keep the rest; they’ll get the car.”

every teacher that ever ran off
a worksheet is in some sense
*publishing*. when we create
our *own* materials, we’re

probably this goes a long way
to explain my life-long fascination
with *all* aspects of publishing…
and *particularly* the “low tech”
aspects requiring cheap tools
that are readily available.

my dad was an english prof
and was the author for two
sets of textbooks; these
paid for two very nice houses
and some of my undergraduate
tuition. this looked like
a pretty good racket, i guess.
anyway, i ended up getting
a doctorate in math and
becoming an assistant prof.

so i figured i’d *write* one.
before long, i’d lost hope of
*selling* one, though; textbooks
by individual authors with a
coherent approach had long since
been effectively banned in
large-scale publishing, and
moreover a few giant houses had
a virtual lock on the market.

i’d learned a little about
setting math in type when
i wrote my thesis– “a local-
-global theorem for skew-
-hermitian forms over quat-
ernion algebras”, should you
ask– and had learned a little
more in preparing the chapters
i shopped around when i still
thought an unconnected beginner
could crack this very tough market.

so when the college canned me for hostility
to rituals designed to make faculty
feel powerless about their working
conditions, i started doing zines
after a long hiatus… essentially
because i had all this cool
*typesetting* skill just lying
around unappreciated. also some
songs i’d written long ago and
some gripes to get off my chest
and some verse forms to experiment
with and stuff like that. it was
a blast.

this was at the end of
“the zine boom”. for
at least a year before
doing my *own* zines,
i’d *read* about ’em
in… and this seems
very strange today…
a widely-available
zine review *magazine*
(_factsheet_5_). the
boom ended not long
after _f5_ folded and
a whole lot of people
who might otherwise
have started zines
went online and did
“blogs” (and so on)