Popnihil at Quimby’s

I don’t have a single copy left, but you may order them online from Quimby’s. And I’ll be damned if they don’t say the sweetest things about us….

PopNihil #3 Stop Me If You Think That Youve Heard This One Before

PopNihil #3 Stop Me If You Think That Youve Heard This One Before

by Matthew Moyer and Jason Brown, eds.


“Stories fit for a dinner party in Heaven,” although how all these bad asses are going to make it to heaven together is beyond me. Blazin’ writing anthology with shorties from Robby Frerman, Keith Hayes, Jessica Whittington, Keith Marks, Matthew Moyer, Chris Esposito, Alan Justiss, Sheila Scoville, Duncan B Barlow and Scott Adams. -EF

44p, b&w with color cover, 4.25″x5.5″

Zine Library: Practice Apartment

Practice Apartment

Interesting concept, this. Practice Apartment is either a “greatest hits” or a “Whitman’s Sampler”-esque compilation zine compiling some of the best stories from the now out-of-print zines “Laundry Basket: Tales of Washday Woe,” “10 Items Or Less: A Grocery Shopping Zine,” and “Potluck! A Cooking Compilation.” (Incidentally, all three of these are available separately as well from your Zine Collection here at the library!)

With a new introduction drawing all three threads together under a Home-Ec theme. The end result is a series of short, snappy vignettes and cartoons that capture the absurdity, humor, and even beauty that result from mundane tasks we’d often rather not be doing. The tone shifts from fond reverie to biting satire at the drop of a dryer sheet. On one page you’ll find out how NOT to wash a vintage Agent Orange concert shirt (hint: certainly not in a washer load with a bunch of cloth diapers and bleach) and on the next you’ll find fond reminiscences of gorging on comfort food with grandparents, then you’re off to a tale of a shopper looking for cheese that’s “particularly Christian.” (They went with Saint Andre because it sounded religious.) All this and cartoons by the likes of Shawn Granton and Carrie McNinch? Your weekend to-do list never looked this good.

Originally published at the JPL Zine Library.

Popnihil Zine Release Party: Self-Referential Edition

We actually pulled it off. You shoulda been there. One bar, Two bands, two djs, eight readers, and one nervous breakdown (mine) later, we actually had a nice little party for the “premiere” of popnihil 3. We even sold some zines! Thanks everyone who helped for free, I won’t soon forget this.

Noir photos courtesy of Jason Brown:

Bryan Massey

Scott Adams

Keith Marks

Matthew Moyer

Chris Esposito

Duncan Barlow

Cheyla Scantling

Tom Pennington took some photos of the latter half of the evening and posted them here. FOLIO Weekly interviewed Jason and I before the event, and then proceeded to get a number of the facts wrong. And yet, press is press! Read it here.

Zine Library: Middle School

Middle School
by Monica Gallagher

Does middle school even still exist? It seems like a torment from a bygone age, like the Spanish Inquisition. No one with good sense looks back on middle school fondly, and Monica Gallagher captures the deep existential dread that would result from the most trivial matters so expertly in her brief Middle School minicomic. From the pop culture references on the cover (an MC Hammer CD, an industrial-size bottle of hairspray), I’m guessing that Gallagher and I are around the same age, which makes her tale hit close to home personally, but c’mon, adolescent trauma is universal.

The story is that Gallagher’s middle school, in an innovation that makes my stomach hurt just reading about it, sent sixth graders to an “outdoor education” camp at the beginning of the school year to… I don’t know, break their spirit fully right off the bat? It is there that this comic begins, a tangle of self-doubt, life-or-death decisions, all-consuming infatuations, and an ironclad social hierarchy. It’s hilarious and cringe-inducing in equal doses. The art is assured and captures the essential awkwardness of everyone involved. And whaddya know? Is that an almost happy ending? Can’t be….

Originally published at JPL Zine Library.

A Dinner Party In Heaven

We graciously request their honor of your presence….

To celebrate the release of popnihil n3, we’re thorwing a zine release party at Underbelly on March 21st. Reading their pieces from the new issue will be Scott Adams, Duncan B Barlow, Keith Marks, Jessica Whittington, Matthew Moyer, and Chris Esposito. Kareem Ghori and Cheyla Scantling will also be reading.

Erzulie will DJ for the evening. Popnihil favorite and Infintesmal Records act Beach Party will perform.

More to come!

pop003 – Stop Me If You Think That You’ve Heard This One Before

popnihil presents…. Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before: Stories Fit For A Dinner Party In Heaven.

Six months in the making and a talented group of writers later, the issue is in the can and ready to go. Stories from Scott Adams, Duncan B. Barlow, Chris Esposito, Robbie Frerman, Keith Hayes, Alan Justiss, Keith Marks, Matthew Moyer, Sheila Scoville, Jessica Whittington.

Illustrations from Jason Brown.

There Is No End To Where He Is From: Thinking Of Alan Justiss

(Illustration by Jason Brown)

We at Popnihil are devastated by the sudden loss of Jacksonville’s poet laureate Alan Justiss. He was incredibly supportive of this zine (he wanted two copies of the first issue for his files!) from the very beginning, and we were beyond overjoyed when he agreed to contribute a story to the newest issue. Of course when you’re a writer who was as intensely prolific as Alan, it can never be just one story. The day I came over to talk about story ideas with him, Alan pulled out a box filled to the brim with prose pieces, and gave me my pick of at least seven. And then said, “Ah, but now we have to work together on the editing!” Edit Alan Justiss? Christ, my heart couldn’t take the strain. But he was very receptive to every suggestion and modification. Towards the end of his life, he told me that he was shifting over to prose altogether, showing me a piece he had spontaneously banged out on his typewriter the night before. The imagery was gorgeous, and it had this rhythm to it that reminded me of e.e. cummings. Always creating, always writing.

Unlike many writers who are selfish with both their advice and their time, Alan was a willing mentor to many an aspiring scribbler. You’ll find his DNA buried deep within the sentences of so many Jacksonville writers and artists. But it wasn’t just that, he constantly emphasized the importance of practicing your craft regularly and often. When I last saw him on Friday night, after I’d dropped off some groceries and visited for awhile, he shooed me out, telling me that now it was time for me to go home, turn on the computer, and do what I was meant to do…

I’m not trying to come off as a longtime confidante, I only knew the man for one year, but there is a flood of memories from even one year. (What was it that Lou Reed said? My week is your year?) I remember how every time I came up to his apartment and knocked on the door, he’d bellow, “Come in this house!” I remember how even in the hospital, he demanded constant updates on my job interview with the Hall, at one point leaving me a phone message that said, “Who ever heard of a poet getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Guess I’ll have to learn how to sing!” I remember around Christmas talking about how we both liked to put off opening presents until the very end, infuriating everyone. I remember taking him out to breakfast at a Riverside haunt, and the owner treating him like royalty. I remember him gleefully flirting with the ladies; whether it was his eyes lighting up whenever he saw Jessica walk into his living room, chatting up Rose right in front of her boyfriend (sly devil), or calling Bethany “that delightful girl.” I remember him playing me Van Morrison songs on a sweltering Sunday afternoon. I remember us both being astounded at how his strength was seemingly restored coming out of the hospital, and watching him wield his cane like a sword, just like William Burroughs did. I remember him giving me a treasured Bukowski bio to read while on business travel in the summer, and quizzing me about it when I got back. I remember him one day exclaiming, “Y’know, you’d think I was gay, the way I can get all of these guys to do all my errands for me!” I remember him telling me about his first trip across the country as a young man fresh out of the military, seemingly awed still how a square from Jacksonville was suddenly running into famous poets and Manson girls and yippies and y’know. I remember doing weekly beer runs for him when he was churning out nine poems a night last autumn; he’d instruct on the proper way to dispose of the empties so that the staff at his apartment building would be none the wiser. When he asked if I minded lugging a case of beer up seventeen floors, I said that it was the least I could do as a patron of the arts. He always got a chuckle out of that.

His total dedication to his craft is so inspiring in an a time when we’re so distracted by media (social and otherwise) that we can’t even finish a complete thought. We won’t soon see the likes of him again.

Download/Listen: Angel’s Blue Hour
(From the Alan Justiss/Regal Monkey/Elephant See album I Have Only A Few To Read)

Zine Library: The Amish Elf

The Amish Elf
by Chris Kerr

You could be forgiven for taking a look at the cover and title of Chris Kerr’s minicomic and think it be A one-note joke. C’mon an Amish Elf? There’s gotta be a bad standup routine in there somewhere about oversize buggies? And yet, to his eternal credit, artist Kerr takes this limited concept and weaves a touching and bewitching mythos around it.

The plot is oblique and impossible to sum up in a brief manner to anyone’s satisfaction. Let’s just say that it’s a travelogue the likes of which you’d never read in a Disney story or Piers novel. Surreal phantasmagoria contrasts nicely with the more Spartan reality of an Amish village in a very entertaining manner.

No dialogue, bereft of any text, the weight of the storytelling falls on Kerr’s simple pen-and-ink line drawings. His art style is very familiar (I’m thinking of Magnus Carisson’s Robin and Russian dolls for some reason) and very individual at the same time. Whereas the lead characters–the Elf, the Wizard, and the Amish–are drawn in a very naive, cartoonish style, suddenly he’ll throw you for a curve by drawing, say, an alligator or an opossum in stunning photo-realist detail. Yet it’s the cartoons that pack the emotional punch, a page where a squirrel triumphantly teaches the Amish Elf to throw nuts at targets blindfolded is uplifting, and a shot of stoic Amish parents fighting back tears over the supposed death of their son is wrenching.  And that last page? Man…

Read it, give it to your friends to read, and then argue over the plot more than you did with Twin Peaks!

Also posted to the Zine Library blog.