A portrait of George from the Camden Coffee Shop

Posted in brought, sought, wrought by juliobesq on April 26, 2014

George of The Camden Coffee Shop by Julian Baker

This is George. George prepares my coffee.

Sometime between 9 and 11am, six days a week, since 1978, George opens up his tiny shop just off Camden High Street.

If you’re early and he finds you on the pavement, waiting for him to arrive, you’ll still have to sit outside for ten minutes. Watching him through the door as he puts on his dust coat, lights up the roaster, filling it with the first batch of beans of the day.

So when you walk in, as George retreats betweens the counter, the shop is already pungent with the smell of roasting coffee.

You can choose from nine types of beans. Nothing else. The most popular one kept behind the counter to save George from reaching over. You can’t buy a coffee to drink, or cups or presses, just coffee, as beans. He will grind them for you. That’s it. Hand roasting daily and grinding on demand. Poured into a rubber stamped brown paper bag. The best coffee on sale in London.

Which deserves a portrait don’t you think?

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Magazine watch – Dog Ear

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on July 23, 2013
Issue 4 of Dog Ear. A magazine. No. A bookmark. no. A magazine...

Issue 4 of Dog Ear. A magazine. No. A bookmark. no. A magazine…

Dog-ear — or Donkey-ear if you’re German — or Pig-ear if you’re South African — is a bookmark that thinks like a magazine, or a magazine that can used as a bookmark. Either way, like the equally wonderful Matchbook Stories, it’s a object that proves the maxims “more than a mouthful goes to waste” and my favourite “a simple idea done well”.

Nine panels, each with a cherry picked short story, poem or illustration to stop you folding the page down. I eat with my elbows on the table. I drink cappuccinos after eleven. I have even poured white wine into a glass that previously held red. But the line is very firmly drawn at creasing the page corner over. Thank you Pete and Joe.

It’s free from stockists listed on the site, or being egalitarian a printable pdf is provided to make your own. The Tattered Page Liberation Front starts here.

For those wondering, Matchbook Stories is the creation of Kyle Petersen who publishes a super short story of not more than 300 characters inside a matchbook cover. I would be a very happy literary arsonist but it’s impossible to get a book unless you live Stateside. No mailbag fires and Fedex wont ship matches.

My story “Foundation” was short listed for Issue one, read it on the site.

If we’re being inclusive I ought to give a shout-out to Stack, a service that posts you a fresh independent magazine once a month. The wonderfulness doesn’t stop there, like a tangerine in a Christmas stocking they are prone to popping a present into the bottom of the envelope. Which is where Dog-ear raised its head. Stack will be solving my present list come December.

I sense a new game… Bookmark, Matchbook, Rack.

Pairing: Yves Klein vs. Alain Robbe-Grillet

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on August 30, 2012

Photo from the making of Yves Klein’s Anthropometry, 1961 | Anicée Alvina photographed during the filming of Glissements progressifs du plaisir by Alain Robbe-Grillet

Yves Kline “Anthropométrie de l’Époque bleue” 1960
Dir. Alain Robbe-Grillet “Glissements progressifs du plaisir (Successive Slidings of Pleasure)” 1974

Sebastien Tellier – Cochon Ville

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on April 23, 2012

As if the four minute intro till the bass drops in La Ritournelle or the video for Look wasn’t enough, now we have Cochon Ville.

Behold. A Dionysian God of disco sex. Bakkheia indeed.

Magazine fetish – Sex and Design, Acne Paper

Posted in brought, sought by juliobesq on March 17, 2012

Acne paper Issue No 13 The Body | Sex + Design: Foreplay

The magazine’s continuing war against my wallet, just ordered…

Acne Paper Issue No13 The Body
I’ll admit it, it was actually hearing editor Thomas Persson’s sexy voice that made me want to buy. Perhaps all magazines should be made to have audio introduction by their creatives. Acne appear to actually be a fashion label, Swedish Acne Studios, unlike Vice and American Apparel which appear to be co-joined in some sort of way, Acne is a direct product of the clothing company but intriguingly isn’t about fashion specifically. There’s a lot of art and photography including a favourite of mine Malerie Marder, with essays interspersed.

There’s a large selection of pages online to browse through just small enough so you can’t read the copy. I only hope the hard copy has that yummy shiny-paper offset-litho-printed smell so Persson and his crew can stimulate all my senses (I’ve yet to lick the page).

Sex + Design: Foreplay

Meant to include this is my last round-up of new titles I desire. I’ve followed Sex+Design’s blog for a while so was intrigued when they announced a physical version. To pluck three disparate contributors from the debut issue “Foreplay” (see what they did there?) you get: JT LeRoy, author of “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things”; Eine, the graffiti artist who has brightened up my neighbourhoods; Fox Harvard the prolific but always fresh nude photographer, I particularly like the way he sees no difference between film and Instagram. How could it not be a win? Still saving since postage to home is as much as the cover price.

Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar available

Posted in sought, thought, wrought by juliobesq on March 8, 2012

Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar in support of Aliaa Magda Elmahdy

Today – 8 March 2012 International Women’s Day – the Nude Photo Revolutionaries Calendar is being launched in homage to Egyptian atheist, student and blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy who posted a nude photo of herself, announcing the post on Twitter under the hashtag, #NudePhotoRevolutionary.

The calendar is the idea of campaigner Maryam Namazie to support Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and join her ‘screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy’.

I shot two exclusive portraits for it, so do your bit and buy a copy. If you like nude photography, life drawing, painting or believe it’s a woman’s right to wear or not wear what she wants, that her body belongs to herself, then at least Tweet, Facebook or blog it.

Full story at with links to buy or download.

Be a Nude Photo Revolutionary.

Magazine lust

Posted in sought by juliobesq on February 25, 2012

Et Alors | Fixation Mag | Tissue Magazine | No Thoughts

It heartens me somewhat that even with the deluge of blogs and online publications the official figures on the sales on paper based magazines are up along with a record number of new titles. Digital printing has brought in a new wave of fanzine, now in colour rather than Xeroxed.

The downside is acquiring enough pocket money to buy them all. Desired on the internet newsstand right now are…

Et Alors
“A flamboyant magazine”. Very high on my want list. Et Alors comes on like a proper newsagent monthly only full of the sort of the content that never makes it into its vanilla counterparts. Their mission statement – fun, fashion, fetish, art, gender, BDSM, literature, gay, culture, glamour and icons. Saving my pennies as I type.

Fixation Mag
“Our food is pushed out of refrigerators to make room for dark canisters”. Focussing on real film, miffed I missed getting Issue 1 ‘Enamored’ before it sold out but still available as a super cheap PDF, featuring the ubiquitous Fox Harvard.

Tissue Magazine
From Uwe Jens Bermeitinger and Hans Bussert, previously of Nude Paper. Nudes interspersed with missives from the cultural front.

No Thoughts
A black and white A6 publication more in keeping with fanzines of old, featuring a couple of expresso hits each from a large cast including Alexander Bergström, Aaron Feaver, David Richardson, Corrado Dalco, Joseph Story and Synchrodogs amongst many many more.

Rong—Wrong reading at The Bokship

Posted in sought, wrought by juliobesq on January 17, 2012

Rong-wrong contents

The inaugural edition of Rong—Wrong which features my short piece on The Pocket is to be presented and possibly read from at the rather splendid bookshop Bokship .

Due to commitments as they say I won’t be personally reading but my voice may be heard muttering in the background via the technological power of mp3.


Rong—Wrong Volume No.1 (presentation and reading)
6–9 pm

X Marks the Bokship
210/Unit 3 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9NQ

Further and repeating information here.


Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on November 9, 2011

Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

Work showing at Paris nofound photofair

Posted in sought, wrought by juliobesq on October 17, 2011

Carpaccio magazine – the new birth issue

My work included in issue six will be featured as part of Carpaccio Magazine & Atem Books Retrospective: 2009-2011 Birds – (Video), being screened as part of the Black Box programme at the nofound photofair.

nofound_photofair, in partnership with the TV channel Souvenirs from Earth, is pleased to announce the launch of the project The Black Box. Located in the heart of the exhibition space of contemporary photography fair nofound_photofair, The Black Box is designed to promote the work of the most active photo curators on the Internet through multimedia projects (slideshows, interactive exhibitions, etc.).

The Black Box is a 10 sqm booth closed in darkness. Fully equipped with sound and HD video, it is flexible according to the proposed projects.

The programme of The Black Box will be displayed in a loop during the entire time of the fair nofound_photofair.
11th to 14th November 2011, Garage Turenne, Paris

“What’s wrong with being on the other side of the camera?”

Posted in sought, thought by juliobesq on September 23, 2011

Publicity still for Flashing Bodies action #8. Photography by Pau Ros

There is that running joke said whenever someone introduces themselves with “I’m a nude photographer” but whenever I meet someone who does art nudes I find myself prone to ask “Would you pose nude?”.

(By the way I don’t take art nudes – I take photographs of naked people). Terry Richardson perhaps a little too famously, Helmut Newton yes, that’s about all I can think of. There are of course quite a few women photographers who have appeared nude, the majority of which has migrated from modeling to directing.

“What’s wrong with being on the other side of the camera?” asks Betty Schaefer of Joe Gillis in “Sunset Boulevard”.

It’s occurred to me that you shouldn’t ask others to do what you’re not willing to do oneself. The aforementioned
two ducked the issue slightly by doing a self-portrait: where one is in control of the environment and perhaps more crucially of the choice and production of the released image. To truly go the other side of the camera means being a model for another photographer.

Pau Ros is one half of Completely Naked, a naked performance troupe who recently staged their action #8 in Portugal. Publicity material was needed as part of the run up to the event. It seemed only fair that I should put myself where others tread on my behalf. To be shot naked where I had no jurisdiction over the final image.

To be honest I had posed for them before as a “moral experiment” to put myself on the far side of the lens but didn’t propagate the fact. Which on reflection seems only half the process. The other is a willing public dissemination; releasing the nudity.

The curious can see more from the shoot by repeatedly reloading the event page and the truly adventurous can view the material from the public intervention action #7 I first participated in at the Elephant and Castle. Those familiar with my work may recognise a few faces (or other parts).

Publicity still for Flashing Bodies action #8. Photography by Pau Ros

Gentle Medusa jewellery hero shot

Posted in sought, wrought by juliobesq on July 7, 2011

Gentle Medusa jewellery hero image
London, July 2011

Normally I don’t accept commissions but when offered such a fabulous product as Gentle Medusa’s jewellery how could I say say no? A hero image is a term I first heard in architecture circles and is used for the photograph that shows the building or product in the best light regardless of being the most representative.

Charming Baker at Covent Garden

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on June 29, 2011

(Charming Baker) Love Paves Its Way To Decay, Giclee on Entrada Moab Cotton Rag (106cm X 89cm)

I first saw Charming Baker’s work on the Cgunit online gallery and immediately fell in love with the collision of decorative and figurative in his paintings. Of course his name has nothing to do with it but does add a certain… bonding.

Everything must go - Charming Baker at 16 Mercer Street

Acidolatte featured him this week prompting me to revisit his site. I’m glad they did otherwise I would have missed the announcement via his blog of a new show “Everything must go” starting July 8th in Covert Garden. His star seems to be rising. His quiet self-promotion through social media may be about to spill over into the mainstream; gaining notoriety of his use of shotgun as paintbrush. The paintings stand strong regardless of gimmick, so grab this chance to view his work before it becomes dispersed in galleries and maybe catch his printers producing some prints live.

(Charming Baker) A Mother's Milk Nourishes Heroes As Well As Murderers, 2008

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PressPausePlay by David Dworsky and Victor Köhler

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on June 22, 2011


Looking forward to the release of PressPlayForward. A documentary examining the perceived effects of digital culture and distribution on the creative process, being an artist, publishing and reaching an audience.

The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunites.

But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity?

This changes everything. The industry is dead. There has never been a better time to be an artist – Seth Godin, author

The film clips of Guy Bourdin

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on June 14, 2011

The Films of Guy Bourdin (1960s-1980s)

While we wait for the Guy Bourdin documentary “When the Sky Fell Down” directed by his assistant Sean Brandt to finally surface, a taster can be found at They’ve published a collection of his super 8 clips. Rather than seeming like out takes out from a fashion shoot or behind the runway scenes, the feel is more akin to an early underground film; a clash of Kenneth Anger and Godard’s technicolour Pierrot le fou perhaps. A quality enhanced by being set to the glitch pop of Ensemble.


Sluts for the blind – erotic jewellery

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on June 12, 2011

Silver and gold braille letter tags by Gentle Medusa

Technology, bondage and craftsmanship. Or seaweed and cock-rings. Not strings of words normally found together, or is that bound together. A stream of events following the American Able post led to the discovery of Gentle Medusa’s jewellery. But what of the provocative title?

Alongside silver lockable slave collars she has fashioned beads that can either be slid onto the collar or on a bangle. What sets them apart is the personalisation – either your lover’s fingerprint so they are always touching you, or, rather ingeniously a QR code. If you’re not sure what these are Wikipedia has a good briefing. But whereas they would normally encode a web address or product information, here they hide the message that the wearer is a slut, or deserves a good spanking, or whatever kinky little secret you want on the edge of discovery. Go to a party and anyone who you allow to read the bead with a smartphone will know what lurk’s beneath the skin.

In the same vein there are braille pendants to be hung from a collar or a more vanilla necklace. Each with a braille letter embossed in gold. And yes, the sample spells S-L-U-T. What I find so appealing is that they would be a superb gift for a blind partner. Something erotic, naughty and loving that can be reached up and touched. Safe in the knowledge that very few sighted people read braille. A gift that expresses their sexuality, acknowledges their disability without pity. Wonderful. I’m saving up but I’m not saying what for…


Himanthalia Elongata cock ring, sterling silver QR code beads by Gentle Medusa

Pure Filth – a ‘zine

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on June 1, 2011

PUREFILTH™ issue 2.5 | PUREFILTH™ BlackDream Ink

PUREFILTH is a quarterly publication focusing on the art of photographing girls, and graffiti. We aim to feature new models and photographers that are making quality work that differs from the norm, and stimulates the senses.
We devote our pages for the memories on film (or digital) of the antics of prolific graffiti artists, narrowing our scope to raw street painting, sketches, works in progress, and images that give a sense of how the writer lives and works.
Each issue is dedicated to one model, and one artist, and is produced in a high-quality 8.5×11 format, and enclosed in a custom printed re-sealable bag..
Edition of 50, signed and numbered.
48 pages, black and white, full color cover.
Includes hand-pulled screen-print, #1-#24 come with an additional mystery gift.

I think it’s run by Mr Glass. It features unclothed females. What am I doing posting magazines like this? Exploitation? There’s an interesting quirk of our modern post-feminist times, issue 2.5 features Ms.Michelle by Fox Harvard whom I believe are a couple, likewise issue 1.5 with Quinn Cornchip shot by the afore mentioned Mr Glass, yes, another couple.

Besides, I love people who make things. Saving my pennies. If my voice counts for anything my vote for issue 3.5 goes to the fashion photographer Sorri and his girlfriend.

Oh, and there’s black ink and t-shirts too. All available from

Flashing Bodies Action #7 ‘Quiet Revolution’

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on May 27, 2011

A new action from Flashing Bodies

A new action from the Flashing Bodies collective, below straight from the horse’s mouth, or their web site at least

Heygate Plaza. 4th June 2011 (12 noon)

Heygate State (Elephant & Castle) was one of the biggest social states in Europe. 1,200 working class families were evacuated in 2008, just 3 or 4 residents still remain. The council is planning a urban speculation regeneration to create new houses up-market.

Enough! There’s nothing we can do to stop it; but we still have our voice and we can operate as a pressing group. let’s not make it easy for them!

On saturday 4th June at noon, Completely Naked is making a public call to do a Flashing Bodies action based on human people, human bodies and human emotions set against the massive blocs of flats, concrete, lapidated doors and windows of Heygate State.

Is it a monster? Is it ‘home’? What is a house for people? Life is complex, so are we.

If you want to participate on this event, just come! (or if you need more info, please contact here)

The Future – a new film from Miranda July

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on May 23, 2011

An auspicious start to the week – the announcement of a new film from Miranda July. And being Miranda there’s a little more to it, she wants something from you. Maybe not wants but offers. Like her tasks from “Learning to love you more” the site for “The Future” allows you a chance to beg forgiveness from your own lost soul having forsaken it.

From her Facebook page

My character, Sophie, has a security blanket that’s a yellow shirt named “Shirty”. This shirt is based on my actual, real life security blanket – a much older, paler yellow shirt named, “Nightie”.

I’ve had Nightie my whole life, and if I were to ever forsake my soul, as Sophie does, I know Nightie would come crawling after me. I used to be ashamed of it and hope I would outgrow it, but instead I outgrew my shame. I’ll never forget the first meeting I had with the special fx guys where I had to demonstrate exactly how a security blanket t- shirt would crawl. Using my hands I made it move down the long table we were sitting around. And because this is their job, they all took me very seriously, they nodded and asked important questions like: what is Shirty’s emotional state?

I Ask Of You:

If you were ever to forsake your soul, betray yourself, take the wrong path – what would come crawling after you? This should either be your security blanket/object, or any inanimate object you’ve had for a long time. It must know the true you. Make a 10-15 second video demonstrating the way that it would move. Only your hands and the object should be in the frame. If you want to get tricky you can use invisible wires, or puppetry, but that’s really not necessary. Remember that each object moves in it’s own way, so, like, if it’s your stamp collection, then the stamps might follow each other, like ducklings do.

Along with the video email a caption that states what the object is (and it’s name, if applicable) and how long it’s been in your life.

A t-shirt, named Nightie, which has been in my life for 37 years. This is how it would come after me.

Featured in Devora Ran magazine

Posted in brought, caught, sought, wrought by juliobesq on May 20, 2011

Devora  Ran is “sex culture magazine” publish in Spanish and English. It is excellent. I am an avid fan.

So it is with considerable delight that I can announce the latest issue has a little feature on my work.

You can read it online but I urge you to buy a copy, in fact not just a copy but the back issues as well. I have them. They are beautifully produced and printed, containing interviews and articles as well nudie pics – a feast for the mind and eyes. Probably the sort of journal you’re meant to imagine when some one tells you they only buy Playboy for the writing.

They have a blog too.

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Exhibiting at The Resistance Gallery

Posted in sought by juliobesq on April 29, 2011

“This Is So Wrong is an incredible selection of unseen works by astonishing artists, which other galleries would not allow to be exhibited.

Controversial images and subject matters, taboo conditions and thoughts laid bare.”

I have a print in the exhibition, comes along and say hello.

The Resistance Gallery
Thursday, May 5 · 7:00pm – 11:30pm
265 Poyser St.
Bethnal Green,
London, E2 9RF

“Resistance Gallery” is a unique multi-functional arts, performance & gallery space in the creative heart of Bethnal Green, London E2. We provide Art Exhibition Space, Theatre, Avant-Garde Gatherings, Cabaret Siniestro and Burlesque…

The best thing on the internet right now

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on June 6, 2010

Portraits taken during the MoMA’s exhibit of performance artist “Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present”.
Abramovic sits at a table in silence, and museum guests can sit across from her and stare.

FlashGlamTrash – the book

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on April 22, 2010

Flashglamtrash is a collective who share an unhealthy delight in all things salacious. Part culture, part titillation, frequently funny, practically always not safe for work.

My photography was originally shown as part of their Lo-fi project. Now Magnus Kallas, the ringmaster behind the site is seeking photographers, artists and illustrators to contribute to a FGT book.

My work has again been invited, thank you Magnus. I’m really looking forward to getting my palms on a copy, between the covers will be great company. Bruce LaBruceDido Fontana and Corporate Vampire are already treading the sticky carpet.

Flaunt it. It’s going to be a party. More news as it happens.

Stack, Coppola and Miranda

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on April 9, 2010

Stack offerings Fire & Knives | All-Story

A little walk from distribution, along a magazine, reaching a story.

I recently came across Stack or as they put it //STACK, one of those ideas so fantastically simple you wonder why it was never done before. Each month for a subscription fee Stack send you an example issue from a range of magazines culled from around the world. Vaguely left field independently published titles, the kind unlikely to be found down the corner shop news agents.

From among the  smorgasbord of possibilities being offered a taster of Fire & Knives is a very intriguing prospect. Bite before buy, so to speak. The only thing that may stop me from taking up an immediate subscription is opting for just a course of another magazine they offer.

All-Story is a heavyweight fiction affair from Francis Ford Coppola’s Zeotrope stable. Each issue has a guest designer, such luminaries as Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Marilyn Minter and Laurie Anderson. Add to that fiction from Sam Shepard, Ryu Marakami, Haruki Murakami, Andre Dubus… one word: want.

Some of the content is online, like offering kids their first taste in the playground for free. Including a hit from one of my favourites…

The Shared Patio by Miranda July

Foundations being read in Santa Cruz

Posted in sought, wrought by juliobesq on March 24, 2010

© Unknown, found image

As part of the launch party celebrating the release of Matchbook Story Issue No.1, my tiny fiction ‘Foundations’ will be included in the readings. Alas my finances wont cover transAtlantic flights to splutter thirty words, but if you are in the vicinity it should be a rocking do.

Fellow author Richard Ross will be stepping up to the mike and orating my tale alongside his, due I’m told to his impeccable British accent. Rather!

Matchbook Story Issue No. 1 Release Party
Poet & Patriot Irish Pub, downtown Santa Cruz, CA
March 25th, 6pm. Reading to begin at 7.
Readings by Shortlist and Matchbook Story winners
Matchbook Story guests enjoy happy hour prices on beer

Matchbook Story Issue No. 1 will be released in early April, available at:
L.A: Skylight Books, Counterpoint Records & Books, Book Soup, Metropolis Books
In Bay Area: Bookshop Santa Cruz, City Lights Books, Green Apple Books, Diesel

I would give you one of mine, if I had any… international distribution blues.

The Santa Cruz Good Times features an interview with the founder and should you fail to make the party read the shortlisted stories on The Matchbook Story Blog (aloud).

Chocolate letterpress

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on March 12, 2010

I letterpress. I eat chocolate. Love.

The Erotic Book Club

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on January 20, 2010

Every last Thursday of the month The Erotic Book Club meet to discuss and devour the naughty masterpieces of literature. Yes, literature, the above salacious pulp covers are not representative. Donlon Books organise the evening, held at their East End premises. This month they will be savouring Octave Mirbeau’s ‘The Torture Garden’ published by the very fine Bookkake.

The Erotic Book Club
8pm, Thursday 28th January
Donlon Books, Unit 3
210 Cambridge Heath Road
E2 9NQ

Previous titles from their reading list include Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Snuff’, Charlotte Roche’s ‘Wetlands’ and Anais Nin’s ‘Delta of Venus’. I have requested they forewarn us of the coming title so slower readers can finish off in time.

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Matchbook fiction

Posted in caught, sought by juliobesq on January 12, 2010

Gentleman's relief

When I first mentioned using social media feeds like Twitter to publish fiction or poetry the standard practice was to post a link to the latest episode. An obvious solution to the limit of Twitter’s 140 characters or a 160 letters for SMS. (Ever wondered what the Hillebrand number is?)

Since then authors like Will Ashon have attempted to subvert Twitter’s form and create an episodic tale through it, such as his Others try to stay within the character limits to produce a single self-contained story in the same vein as short shorts (my favourite generic term for flash fiction and it’s ilk).

But for me short publishing has been usurped by an idea so simple and brilliant you wonder why no-one has thought of it before, and it doesn’t utilise a digital platform, it uses a warmly familiar media…

Nestling between Twitters letter count and the 100 word limit of a drabble it promises the writer 300 characters in which to forge their tale, to be printed on the inside flap of a match book cover. It’s creator Kyle Petersen plans to strike out with the first edition in March, a man who deserves to become a leading light in the publishing world.

OK, enough of the puns already but it is a fantastic idea, and it’s being self financed by Petersen so he deserves a round of applause and hugs, and I’m not just saying that to win favour in the hope that one of my submissions graces the inaugural book. Please.

He’s blogging the project’s progress at

Where the wild pirates are

Posted in brought, caught, sought by juliobesq on December 7, 2009

Superhero, pirate and robot supplies (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Pirates, time travel and Captain Najork

Towards the end of March this year the trailer for Spike Jonze’s ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ hit our laptop screens. I immediately scrawled a post what with it being a favourite book from my childhood, and since read to my brood, brought my nephews, etc., along with being a fan of Jonze’s work. But I relinquished it to the draughts bin figuring it would be all over the internet already.

With it’s impending release the glossies are again filling with interviews and articles on Jonze, but with no mention of the reason I wanted to write it up. The screenplay is by co-authored with Dave Eggers. And it’s not even that he wrote it. It’s what he has done.

He is a hero, a superhero in fact. And pirate.

I have a pile of his books on my desk that I have brought but never read. So why is he a hero to me? Simple, in 2002 along with Ninive Calegari he founded 826 Valencia – a writing lab to help local students with free one-to-one literacy help. And sell pirate supplies.

The empty premises they rented in which to set up the writing centre and publishers office had only zoning for retail as SimCity has taught me to say: it could only be opened as a shop. So they decided to use the front as a front, selling pirate supplies. What takes this from being a good idea to brilliance is their attention to detail, aside from the fact that what their mission could genuinely be described as awesome, it is also a very splendid pirate suppliers, one of David Byrne’s top five in fact.

Which then inspired the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. or 826NYC, where a secret door between the invisibility potions and cloaks leads you into the writing lab. There’s 826michigan or Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair, 826LA or the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, 826CHI or The Boring Store (which doesn’t have anything to do with spies), 826 Seattle or Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co., and 826 Boston better known as The Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute.

I could rattle on about the inspiring work they do and the fantastic stores they front the labs with but Dave Eggers does a much better job of it, here’s his TED talk on the project:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Or watch it at your leisure over at TED –

The attention to detail and humour does not stop with the physical stores and the produce, each has a wonderful web site too.

And not to forget the fantastic work they do head over to and read up on forthcoming events, then onto to find out how you can help your local school. In case that last part didn’t register: if you don’t live close enough to 826 to donate a couple of afternoons every six months, then Eggers has set up Once Upon A School, an organisation seeded with prize money from TED, offering support to people in volunteering at their local schools.

Don’t worry, I feel shallow and complacent after hearing him talk too.

But there is value in goofing off, fooling around and playing too, which is the moral behind “How Tom beat Captain Najork and his hired Sportsmen” by Russell Hoban, another favourite book of mine supposedly intended for children. Whilst Eggers re-imagined the picture book ‘Where the wild things are’ for adults, Hoban who is an award winning author best known for ‘Ridley Walker’ and ‘Angelica’s Grotto’ also writes childrens’ books, much like Roald Dahl, who also used Quentin Blake’s illustration skills.

His invented language skills seen in ‘Ridley Walker’ comes into wonderful play during ‘How Tom…’ where the protagonist has to eat his greasy bloaters and potato sog under the watchful eye of aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong, who wears an iron hat. Highly highly recommended and like Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s ‘The Little Prince’ reminds us that play is as important as any business ethos.Track down a copy via, or Amazon if you must.

Feed your inner child. Just not on cabbage and potato sog.

Peachy the fourth

Posted in brought, sought by juliobesq on November 26, 2009

Wasn’t going to mention it, but I find myself becoming, well not excited, but warmed by thoughts of the return of Peachy tonight…

David Gale’s Peachy Coochy Nites

The projector projects 20 images for precisely 20 seconds each. The Coocheur (or Presenter) speaks for precisely twenty seconds per image. Randomness is discouraged but narrative linearity is not automatically esteemed.

David Gale, having launched a nationwide performance must-have, continues to curate this series of Peachy Coochy events at ArtsAdmin’s stylish yet reassuring Bar. Each event features six Coocheurs, or Presenters, drawn from many walks of life. Each Coocheur will compose a verbal response to 20 images of their choice. Each presentation lasts 6 minutes and 40 seconds. There will be gaps between presentations for drinking and light conversation.

David, something of a Black Belt in these matters, will both compere and present the chippings that may not be reverse engineered towards an originating block.

Peachy Coochy Nites subscribes to the the National Belief System and is therefore committed to the provision of a wide range of contributors such as the wrangler, the wrestler, the trainer, the page, the maid, the surfer, the beachcomber, the collector, she who maintains a corral, he who mends fences, they who do windows.

The next Peachy Coochy Nite will be held, as usual, in the Bar at Toynbee Studios on Thursday November  26th at 7.30 pm. Tickets £5.00. Booking advised but walk up welcome.

More details
A map here:

The Guardian catches some cooch:

Out of pixel

Posted in sought by juliobesq on November 21, 2009

It is common practice for literary journals to request previously published stories are not submitted.

I think I have found a quandary of the digital age: what happens when a story is accepted and published by a very fine litzine (Insolent Rudder in this case) but then the online only publication goes out of pixel (for one can’t say print?).

Unlike a story that had been printed in traditional media, where copies would still be around even when the publisher were not, in the digital realm that story has ceased to exist, it has been unpublished.

Does it then still count as previously published if no-one can point to a copy?

(It is not lost like a fabled masterpiece, for I still have a copy. Although, since I wrote it I know what happens, there’s little point in my reading it.)

What is the etiquette for missing stories?

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