From the Stacks: January 19, 2007

Utne Reader‘s library is abuzz with a steady flow of 1,500
magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines, and other lively
dispatches from the cultural front that are rarely found at big-box
bookstores, newsstands, or even online. So we share the highlights
(and occasional lowlights) of what’s landing in our library each
week in ‘From the Stacks.’ Check in every Friday for the latest
edition.

Forthcoming from indie publisher
Buenaventura Press, Hunter &
Painter
, a comic book by British illustrator Tom Gauld, opens
with the prehistoric title characters discussing their work-related
anxieties over a pint. (Yes, a pint: American readers will quickly
note the charming irony of cavemen expressing themselves in British
vernacular.) These loincloth-clad chums share many stresses with
their 40,000-years-in-the-future descendants. The hunter laments
that he hasn’t caught anything ‘bigger than a hare’ all year; the
painter struggles to imagine a subject for his next cave-side
masterpiece (‘It’s been easy so far: rabbit hunt, deer hunt, ox
hunt, bear hunt.’). Though the book is small, Gauld gives his
illustrations plenty of room to breathe — the story feels like it
ambles on at the same pace as a couple of cavemen in no particular
hurry. Those eager for a preview can visit
Cabanon Press’ online gallery, which showcases
some of the comic as it originally appeared in the
Guardian. —

Danielle Maestretti

Be they witty and artful or
banal and messy, the comics in
Not My
Small Diary
are, at the very least, endearing. Compiling
the work of all types of comic talent from around the country, this
enjoyable zine celebrates its 13th issue with a two-volume set
drawing on the theme ‘Luck of the Draw.’ #13 includes everything
from funny, predictable tales of broken mirrors, black cats, and
casinos, to more intense explorations of luck in love, money, and
death. On their own, only a few of these stories would hold up
well, but grouped in this finely assembled zine, they form a
treasure trove of quirky anecdotes. — Elizabeth
Oliver

The
Small Press Review is a no-nonsense tool
for independent press junkies and writers in search of small
publications. More of a crib sheet than a fancy artistic endeavor,
the bimonthly newsprint magazine gets down to the business of
shedding light on small presses, books, and magazines with short,
lightning-quick reviews. In addition to dishing out the skinny on
everything from the biography of avant-garde ‘polyartist’ Brion
Gysin, to RubberStampMadness magazine, the Small
Press Review
‘s November-December issue highlights recent
magazine and press start-ups by featuring their contact and
submission info. And lest you think you are done with this fine
tool as you close it, gracing the back cover you’ll find a list of
publishers that will supply a free copy of their work, should
intrepid seekers get a hankering for a sample of something new. —
Jenna Fisher

It’s the time of the year that every
High
Times
subscriber must wait for with bated breath: The
annual Cannabis Cup issue. Taking place every year in Amsterdam,
the Cannabis Cup brings together contestants from across the globe
to find out who has grown the best bud. This year’s top prize was
taken home by the grower of ‘Ultra Haze #1.’ Also in this issue,
alongside the usual full-page photo spreads of marijuana plants and
half-naked ‘Ganja Gals Gone Wild,’ is an article by Paul Armentano
of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws that
reminds readers of the $1 billion a year US taxpayers shell out to
keep pot smokers behind bars. — Bennett Gordon

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