Book Reviews - The Sundaes Issue
CRIME—A SERIES OF EXTRAORDINARY INTERVIEWS EXPOSING THE WORLD OF CRIME—REAL AND IMAGINED
As you’d expect of a book designed by the guys who made those Russian Criminal Tattoo books, this weighty opus looks amazing. Its screen-printed cover, blood-red page edges, and creepy photos all add to the overall feeling of quality. I was a little upset when I realised that a fairly large number of these interviews are with people like Viggo Mortensen and Ben Affleck but they aren’t as bad as you’d think. And anyway, you can skim read them before feasting on the gruesome interviews with Russian murderers talking about pouring boiling water down their husbands’ throats and Kray brothers contemporaries reminiscing about the good old days of nailing squealers to hard wood floors. There are also some great photos of mutilated corpses.
Gary LaChance, Chris Noble and Mike Comeau
We shouted about this on the Vice Blog a little while back after seeing a PDF but, man, holding the real thing in your hands made us want to write about it again. I mean, just look at that photo. Aaaahahahaha. Death Pits was released on Tim Barber’s TV Books imprint after Tim was contacted by Gary LaChance through his Tiny Vices website. LaChance sent a few scans of crayon and pencil renderings of intricate torture chambers that he and his buddies Chris Noble and Mike Comeau had drawn in detention at the age of seven and christened “The Death Pits”.
Barber was immediately hooked and asked LaChance to send him as many of the images as possible. LaChance went one better and sent the original homework binder that the friends had created the Death Pits in with the pages in the same order—numbered Death Pit 1-33—that they’d originally made all those years ago. The book is an exact reproduction of the binder. We are not sure what is more awesome: being able to peer directly into a group of bored but insanely imaginative seven-year-olds’ brains, the sheer amount of ways these young kids came up with torturing people or the intricacy with which the whole thing is rendered and assembled. There are all these complicated sluices everywhere that drain blood and TV cameras that monitor the whole thing; it’s incredible. In fact, it’s hurting my head thinking about how good it is. Just go buy a copy.
THE UNHOLY HAND Vol. 1
I have known Nathan for a long time but when I sat down to write this I realised I have no idea what his surname is. His MySpace name has always been “Nathan Awesome Rape”. I met him when he worked at Anarchy Records on the Mansfield Road in Nottingham. These things should give you some insight into the kind of stuff that The Unholy Hand covers. I think Nathan moved back to his parents’ flat on some grim estate the size of Mordor in Sunderland or something so this ’zine has been a long time coming but boy is it worth the wait. This one has screened woodcuts on heavy-duty card, nice paper, features on Moss, The Shitty Limits and Glyn from Scrambled Design, some great and seriously warped illustrations and even an unpublished interview with J.P. Morrow from 1997 conducted by a young John Gilbert from Red County War Ensemble. Best music ’zine we’ve seen come out of the UK in years.
You might have noticed Paddy’s work sneaking into these pages over the last few months. We discovered the 19-year-old Camberwell student through staff photos guy Jonnie Craig. The fancy ink-on-card presentation may draw you in but once you get up close and personal you are confronted by guys like “Vampire Penishead” and a whole host of puking 20-eyed troll things. If he doesn’t go fully insane first, Paddy could turn out to be an amazing illustrator.
I Googled “obnivorious” and it came back with nothing so I’m guessing Fleury just made it up. It’s a good word though. If he did make it up I’m totally fine with it because as well as running the amazing Editions 57 publishing house with Emanuelle Pidoux and being a founder of Frederic Magazine, Fleury has managed to put out one of my favorite Nieves books in a while. Just check out the weird grim reaper guy on the back if you don’t believe me. As always, it’s limited to 150 copies, so don’t sleep on it.
Jo Robertson & Pierre Cupp
Jo is one of those people who pops up everywhere: on stage making music with whatever free noise dude is in town on any given night, presiding over openings, and showing work in way more galleries then you even knew existed. With that schedule fuck knows where she found the time to squeeze this one out with her buddy Pierre, let alone make a seriously haphazard and busy collage of card, tracing paper, line drawing, typed poetry and found images. It’s kind of what I imagine it’s like hanging out in Jo’s skewed mind.
When I was 15 or so I made a ’zine/comic called Teethface. It was based around the adventures of this skater kid who carried a chainsaw and ran around town killing old grannies with it. There was a recipe for granny stew in the first issue and some stuff about gore movies and skating and hardcore etc. I printed up about 25 copies using the photocopier in the staff room at school by way of getting my art teacher to do it. But when one of the pages got stuck in the photocopier (it was crude drawings of people being mutilated with a chainsaw) the production had to stop. This ’zine is a more sophisticated version of Teethface by virtue of it having the same kind of retarded FTW attitude. You should get it, it’s fun. The end.