We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

Monday was a good mail day -- No, a great mail day. I haven't had one of those in a while, and I really needed it too. I hadn't really recognized how down I've been as of late ... until I felt the upward surging mood-shift.

I received two packages on that day. The first was from Jim Lupio, who'd invited me to show my zines in the Baltimore Book Festival's "Creative Control" exhibit. The over-sized white envelope with the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts logo contained a nice assortment of self-published art books from other exhibition participants. Nice.

The second package was a BIG, 17" x 22" flat mailer with "Do Not Bend" written large across the bottom. Looking at the return address as I pulled the parcel from one of the postal boxes used for over-sized deliveries, I saw the Texas zip code and realized it was somethin' from my buddy Damon. Somethin' afro-licious, no doubt.

Back inside my apartment, I actually opened the package from Baltimore first, knowing that the shipment from Austin would probably keep me busy for a while. I spent about 15 minutes flipping through the five publications made by people in different parts of the world and then eagerly reached for the other delivery.

First out the flat mailer were two beautiful 12" x 18" posters from Damon's recent "Afrodisiac" photo and book exhibition. The first had a rich chocolate background, and the other a white background.


I've really been diggin' the color red for some time now. Near my desk I have my red and gray signed Afro Samurai poster, and I've been looking for other things to complement it. The Ace/Afro of Hearts-style poster with white background, chocolate colored line art and red accents will make a fitting addition to my wall.

Reaching down to the bottom of the mailer, I got my hands on a copy of the Afrodisiac book that was also sent. My immediate impression was that it was a little smaller than I'd anticipated, about 6.5 inches x 6.5 inches. Opening the book, I quickly remembered the adage that big things come in small packages.

It would be no exaggeration to say that the book was in my hands for at least two to three hours after I pulled it from its cardboard shipper. And it's not in anyway text-heavy either. But the images are so numerous and so wonderfully produced that my eyes had to pore over them again and again.

Reading the forward that I wrote for the book on the first go thru, and seeing how it worked with the black and white image on the preceding page gave me a good feeling. In so many ways the image and text balance one another beautifully; Damon said when I first sent him the text that it worked out better than he could have imagined. I see what he meant by that now.

While I could go on and on (and on and on) about the beauty of Afrodisiac, I'm really not going to. A picture paints a thousand words, right? So instead of talking about it, I'll show a few of my favorite spreads from this sweet, 148-page softcover confection of afro-liciousness.

I'm really glad to have had a tiny part in the making of this book, and I look fro'ward to buying copies for my mother, sister, and lady friends. Of course, when the books are ready for purchase, a link will be posted here.


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