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.