Monday, July 31, 2006


Sunday I felt like a bag of s*it after a particularly excessive 'Thursday-thru-Saturday' which I've no wish to bore anyone with but nevertheless struggled to the Publish & be Dammed self-publishing fair at Arnold Circus in Shoreditch.

P&BD is a annual gathering of independently produced fanzines, journals and various other ideas on paper, with assorted posters, stickers, badges and manifestos and all points inbetween. The fair was held at Rochelle School with stallholders attending from far and wide.

Visited my favourites 'Arty' and 'Garageland' published by Transition Gallery and Karen D'amico's 'Tangent' (I did some pages for the 'Inter-national' issue the other month). Sarah Doyle was there too with her beautiful paper jewellery and drawings and badges.

Needless to say it was fanzine heaven and I discovered a tonnage of new material... xeroxed little books of wisdom I had not previously been aware of. I'd not made it to previous fairs and I gather that this year was the busiest yet in terms of participants. The stallholders set out their wares outside in the play area and in the alleyway, in the school hall and classrooms. The variety was pretty amazing. Stephen Willet's 'Control' looks like a far-right political pamphlet from the '70's, whereas others look like hippie rags. Some follow a long standing narrative like Olivia Plender's comic strip 'The Masterpiece' (Episode 5: 'The Road to Ruin') or the hard-hitting psychogeographic exploration 'Savage Messiah' by Laura Oldfield Ford. Savage Messiah is beautifully produced and a labour of love incorporating hand colouring. Some are highbrow but accessible, some not so. Some are literary like 'Pen Pusher' which I'd not come across before, and some are just great fun and a bit silly and most things only a quid or two.

There is a 'Publish & be Dammed' archive at Canal for the next few weeks, weblink below.