Tag: above ground press

Shelf Life: August 2013Brief snippets of opinion and a too-long list. This month’s themes? Sex and writing, apparently.

Overqualified, by Joey Comeau106. Overqualified, by Joey Comeau
(ECW Press, 2009)

A novel told in cover letters, which shouldn’t work, but it does. As always, Comeau’s work is touching and disturbing in almost equal measures.

107. tether, by Jill Stengel
(above/ground press, 2013)

108. Mnemotechnics, by Jessica Smith
(above/ground press, 2013)

109. punchlines 1.0, by Aaron Tucker
(above/ground press, 2013)

Broken Pencil, issue 60Congratulations to above/ground press on their 20th anniversary this month! They’re a small chapbook press based out of Ottawa, and there’s an official celebratory reading and launch being held on Friday, August 23, 2013 at the Mercury Lounge in Ottawa. Check it out if you can.

I have a brief piece in this issue of Broken Pencil which looks at the origins of above/ground press. I talked with its founder, rob mclennan, and a few of the people he’s published, and give an overview of the philosophy behind the press.

There’s a lot of talk in this issue about the role negative reviews play in critical culture. It makes me a little nervous, because one of the books I read for this issue didn’t get a particularly positive review.

I review because I love books, and I enter into every book hoping it’s great. With BP, I’m fortunate in that I get to choose what I review from stacks of books and zines, and I always try to select something I think I’ll like. There are so many books out there, there’s no sense in wasting time reading and reviewing something simply for the sake of it.

Shelf Life: July 2013It’s summer. Traditionally a time for beach reading, fluff reading, right? This is how I’m justifying all the comics and manga to myself, anyway. Judge ye not, etc.

Spike: Asylum87. Spike: Asylum, by Brian Lynch
(IDW Publishing, 2007)

Brian Lynch has a terrible habit of over-explaining things both within the comics themselves, and then going over every obvious plot point and allusion yet again in the back pages of the graphic novel. I don’t know why he does this, and I really wish he’d stop. Somehow he missed the “show, don’t tell” lesson of story showing 101.

Anyway, Spike falls for an obvious deception and makes friends in an asylum claiming to cure supernatural beings. It’s all very silly, and not in the fun way that Shadow Puppets almost manages to pull off.