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I Shot the Moon, Calamari Press, 1 / 39, P.S. AT LEAST WE DIED TRYING

Way back when I did something called a full-press review of Publishing Genius Press. I read all of PGP that I could get my hands on, then reviewed each piece & collected them here.

& now, since I recently shot the moon with Calamari Press, I have decided to do a full-press review of Calamari here at the BigOther. I will be reading the 39 books they sent me & posting a short review of each one as I chew through them.

To start, click through for a review of P.S. AT LEAST WE DIED TRYING TO MAKE YOU IN THE BACKSEAT OF A TAXIDERMIST by Wendy Collin Sorin & Derek White.

I feel like this is an apt text to start because the mixture of text & art in P.S. is a fantastic example of the kind of work Calamari publishes (& Derek White creates for most of their cover art).

Each page of P.S. (from top down) includes an equation of sorts:

‘8 + 13 = Meiosis Versa’

a full color & extremely layered collage art piece mixed with textual fragments:

‘This follows from the fact that: / frijole jelly belly / at constant suct-ions / & devidid & divided until dividend’s cashed & dividing ends’

& concludes with a kind of footnote:

21 The black seed is embedded in the evil sea anemone (as she eats jackfruit on a train along the Tropic of Cancer).’

The text is so fragmented that I lose my place in moments, though I think the narrative does collectively hold & certainly makes for a reader conversation, at least sparking if not altogether lighting a blazing roar.

The art is more fantastic, being layered in its initial state & also doubled in intensity by the see-through natural of the pages, adding a reverse image effect to many of the centerpieces.

P.S. doesn’t dismantle me in the way that I know other Calamari titles do (or will), Peter Markus’ THE SINGING FISH is a great example of that, but P.S. is still a solid book, though perhaps more as brilliant art rather than amazing text. But this is a great intro to White’s artistic & editorial preferences, the way Calamari loves the layered, loves the complex, supports & pushes the alchemy of our literature.

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