Tag Archives: zines

The Typewritten Zine Collection

typewritten-zine-collection-web-02

Before the kid, back when having personal space wasn’t such a luxury, I did a lot of writing on a manual typewriter. Yeah, I know… if I read something as hipster-fied as that, I’d want to throat punch whoever said it too. But I didn’t acquire an Olympia De Luxe for the aesthetics, or to enhance my authenticity vibe. 

No, for me, it was about the challenge. I wanted my prose to be more economical. More precise. Rhythmic. And I wanted to get away from Microsoft Word. 

The way I figured it, manually typing out stories would help get to the core of what I was trying to say. Without all the bullshit asides and redundant phrases. 

Besides the lack of auto-correct, you have to physically hammer out each word, letter by letter, with just your two index fingers.

If this unforgiving process doesn’t make your writing lean and mean, nothing will. 

When you write with a word processor, the only challenge is regurgitating the thoughts in your head onto the computer screen as fast as possible. For anyone who’s good at typing, it’s almost effortless. 

With a manual typewriter, you start to question whether you need so many adjectives. All those adverts begin to seem unnecessary. Observations that don’t serve the narrative get cut. And tangents for the sake of tangential storytelling? Forget about it. 

Typing on a manual can be like scratching words into concrete with a rusty pair of pliers. So why make it harder on yourself?

Once you get going, though, a rhythm develops and that translates to the page. Like playing a musical instrument, the composition becomes a performance. Mistakes and all. 

After finishing a story, I’d usually transcribe it into the computer and edit from there. Then print a copy and retype it on the Olympia. When I started making zines again, I’d cut the sheets of paper size and create my master for the copier on the typewriter. I did a few quarter-sized zines and then realized I could squeeze more words onto half-sized pages. 

A few weeks ago, while rummaging through some boxes of old publications, I stumbled onto a stash of zines. These three issues of Piltdownlad were completely written and designed on my Olympia Manual. After hammering out the text onto parchment paper, I cut-and-pasted the blocks of text together with various images, photocopied the masters to make the zine pages and bound them with my longarm stapler. 

You can check them out in the videos below.

They’re available individually or as a discounted bundle. 

Order all three zines for $12 postpaid here:

The Typewritten Zine Bundle

I'm offering a special deal on this collection of typewritten, personal narrative zines: Get three zines, The Nasty Oh-Dear, The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin and The Murky Realm for $12 postpaid.

$12.00

Or individually here:


The Nasty Oh-Dear

“In 1986, when I was fifteen, I moved from Los Angeles to a small town in Alabama. My father, a sergeant in the Army, was transferring to Fort McClellan outside a place called Anniston. Along for the ride were Joey, my younger brother, and Rick, a friend of the family who was also in the Army. We left LA the day after Christmas. It was the first time Joey and I had ever been out of Southern California. The prospect of a new beginning was like a beacon guiding us across the country. The way the old man talked about it, the South was a land of golden opportunities, where we’d be free to reinvent our lives for the better. Six months later, the old man and Rick were in prison, Joey was in a Christian group home and I was in a mental hospital. For me, things were looking up.”

MORE INFO

The Nasty Oh-Dear – Piltdownlad Zine #4

“The Nasty Oh-Dear” is about moving from East LA to Alabama in the eighties and ending in state custody. Also explores self-publishing and perzines, including a meditation on the first perzine I ever read, the pondering of truth versus fiction and the origins of the name “Piltdownlad.” Typewritten • 4.25″ × 7″ • 40pp. • Free shipping.

$5.00


The Murky Realm

My parents never should have gotten married. But even though my father was gay and my mother was chemically imbalanced, this was the 60s, when single men in their forties did not identify as queer and people with personality disorders were rarely diagnosed, much less treated. And marriage was inexorable. The tragedy, of course, is that, besides ruining their own lives, five children came out of this unhappy coupling. But that’s not the point of this story. That comes later. “The Murky Realm” is about how these two people got together, fell apart, came back together, then fell apart again only to get back together again…

MORE INFO

The Murky Realm – Piltdownlad Zine #7

A biographical sketch of a tragic union with some creative engineering. This is the story of how my parents got together. All my troubles begin here… The text is typewritten on my Olympia Manual. The size of this zine is 5.5 x 7 and the cover is black cardstock with a handwritten title piece glued on. The page count is 44. Shipping is free.

$7.00


The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin

“The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin was the brainchild of Brett and Vic. As the outcasts of Saks High, they found great pleasure in being contrary. Since the Christians were always talking about devil worshippers and cults, they decided to start a cult of their own. The stuffed talking bear was the most absurd icon they could think of to worship. They scrawled ‘Teddy Ruxpin Rules’ all over school, on desks, cafeteria tables, their lockers and the bathroom walls. There were slight variations, such as, ‘Teddy Ruxpin Is God,’ ‘All Hail Teddy Ruxpin,’ or ‘Teddy Ruxpin Is My Savior.’ But the message was always the same. They knew it was stupid, but it alleviated the boredom. And it pissed off the Christians. So that made it worthwhile.”

MORE INFO

The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin – Piltdownlad Zine #8.5

“The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin” is the story of losing religion, discovering punk and making true friends after moving from LA to a small town in Alabama. It is a story of teenage rebellion and resisting conformity. 4.25"x5.5" • 40 pages • typewritten text • illustrated • staple-bound • Free shipping.

$4.00


 

Dispatches from Behind the Wheel: The Omnibus

The Complete Zine Series about Driving for Hire in San Francisco

The Behind the Wheel zine was created by longtime zine maker Kelly Dessaint to document his experiences driving for hire in San Francisco. The first two issues chronicle driving for Uber and Lyft, before he goes to taxi school and becomes a bonafide taxi driver. The third issue features the unexpurgated “I Drive SF,” based on his weekly column for the San Francisco Examiner. The fourth issues contains five long-form essays about driving a taxi in San Francisco while living in Oakland, writing for a newspaper, dealing with a complicated marriage, hostile encounters with Uber/Lyft drivers and the prospect of bringing a child into a world that’s completely out of whack. Combined, this collection presents a vivid, voyeuristic tapestry of The City, which is a constant backdrop throughout the stories – essentially the main star – followed closely by the author himself.

paperback original
364 pages
5.5″ x 8.5″
duotone cover
fully illustrated in b&w


BUYING OPTIONS:

PAYPAL DIRECT:

Dispatches from Behind the Wheel: The Omnibus

The complete zine series about driving for hire in San Francisco... This 364 page paperback contains the definitive versions of all four issues of Behind the Wheel, expanded and updated with new illustrations and additional content. Two-tone cover, fully illustrated in black and white. Free shipping via USPS media mail.

$20.00


SQUARE DIRECT:

Buy now

ETSY:

AMAZON:


INSIDE THE BOOK:

The Thin Checkered Line – eBook Version Now Available

BTW4_zine2-30

Piltdownlad #11

Behind the Wheel 4: The Thin Checkered Line

PDF & ePub Digital Download

Includes a PDF of the zine, so you can see the layout and artwork that accompanied the stories, as well as an .epub file to view on your favorite eBook reader. The PDF is a printable version of the print zine. It’s 64 pages long, illustrated. The ePub file does not include any images besides the cover.

Get it here.


“The Thin Checkered Line” is the fourth installment in the Behind the Wheel series – a week in the life of a San Francisco taxi driver living in Oakland, a newly minted father and newspaper columnist who’s always on the prowl for a good ride and an even better story …Over the course of these five narrative essays, I document the gritty details of the 12-hour taxi shift while exploring the rapidly changing landscape of present day San Francisco; .

As I attempt to explain how the taxi system works, I answer the eternal question: why I drive a taxi, and describe what it’s like driving a taxi in the age of Uber and Lyft …

Along the way, I also speculate on the future of transportation and wonder where the hell we’re going, and whether or not the destination is meter and a half …

Review of Behind the Wheel 3: From Uber/Lyft to Taxi

urban-suburban-girl-zine-review

The Urban Suburban Girl blog reviewed the third issue of Behind the Wheel. Can’t ask for better praise than this:

“A must read, especially for San Francisco residents. It brought back the San Francisco edge in my mind’s eye, the edge that has been disappearing slowly as gentrification has been taking over. It will encourage you to join the resistance.”

Check it out here.

Lots of other good stuff on this blog as well, with a focus on SF and the Bay Area.

Get your copy of Behind the Wheel 3: From Uber/Lyft to Taxi here.


[image via]

NEW ZINE: Behind the Wheel 4: The Thin Checkered Line

BTW4_cover-flat-web

“The Thin Checkered Line” is the fourth installment in the Behind the Wheel series – a week in the life of a San Francisco taxi driver, erstwhile Angeleno living in Oakland, newly minted father and newspaper columnist who’s always on the prowl for a good ride and an even better story …

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Pt. 1 – The Way of the Taxi

Pt. 2 – A Story with Wheels

Pt. 3 – Navigating the Uber Effect

Pt. 4 – The Death of Cab Culture

Pt. 5 – San Francisco Ain’t Never Been What It Used to Be

Over the course of these five narrative essays, I document the rides that were too risqué for The Examinerand chronicle the gritty details of four 12-hour taxi shifts while exploring the rapidly changing landscape of San Francisco during the latest tech boom.

As I attempt to explain how the taxi system works, I answer the eternal question: why I drive a taxi, and describe what it’s like driving a taxi in the age of Uber and Lyft …

Along the way, I also speculate on the future of transportation and wonder where the hell we’re going, and whether or not the destination is going to be meter and a half …

This half-sized, staple-bound zine features a wraparound cover and sixty-four pages of text, illustrated with b&w images of San Francisco street scenes from behind the wheel. Also includes a “taxi driving is not a crime” bumper sticker.”  

taxi-driving-not-crime

The price is $7.00 postpaid in the US. 


ORDER HERE:

Behind the Wheel 4: The Thin Checkered Line

“The Thin Checkered Line” is the fourth installment in the Behind the Wheel series – a week in the life of a San Francisco taxi drive. This half-sized, staple-bound zine features a wraparound cover and sixty-four pages of text, illustrated with b&w images of San Francisco street scenes from behind the wheel. Includes a "taxi driving is not a crime" bumper sticker. The price is $7.00 postpaid in the US.

$7.00


ePub and PDF versions available from the Piltdownlad Etsy store.

A Kindle version is available here.

 

New Mini-Zine: The Way of the Taxi

way-of-the-taxi-promo-web

The Way of the Taxi

A PILTDOWNLAD Mini-Zine

“Cab to the Yard”
b/w “Gridlock Is My Business”

This one-sheet mini-zine is a preview of the next Behind the Wheel zine, subtitled “The Thin Checkered Line.” The two short pieces here describe in gripping detail the start of a taxi shift, from getting off BART and walking through the Mission to the National Yard, then heading out into the maelstrom of afternoon traffic and people during rush hour.

8.5” x 11” – essentially, one sheet of paper, folded in quarters.
b&w illustrations

Get Behind the Wheel here.


ORDER HERE:

 

The Way of the Taxi Mini-Zine

The two short pieces in this mini-zine describe the start of a taxi shift, from getting off BART and walking through the Mission to the National Yard, then heading out into the maelstrom of afternoon traffic and people during rush hour. Measures 8.5” x 11” – essentially, one sheet of paper, folded in quarters. Includes a sticker and a taxi card (selected at random – or you can request specifics when ordering). Postpaid. (Be sure to include mailing address.)

$2.00


way-of-taxi-centerfold


my-other-ride-is-taxicab

Includes the “my other ride is a taxicab” sticker.*

Or choose one of the following:

“What would Herb Caen say?”
“taxi driving is not a crime”
“kill your smartphone”
“gentri•fuck•ation”
“your uber driver hates you”

Get Sticky here.


Also comes with a taxi card.*

(Image selected at random, or choose from one the images below.)

assorted-business-cards-web


* This is a limited time offer, while supplies last.

  • Keep Print Alive!

New Distributor for Behind the Wheel

behind_the_wheel_zines

All three issues of the Behind the Wheel zine (“A Lyft Driver’s Log,” “Notes from an Uber/Lyft” and “From Uber/Lyft to Taxi”) are now available through Antiquated Future, one of the largest zine distributors in the US.

antiquated-future-logo-banner

The First Three Issues of Behind the Wheel

behind_the_wheel_zines

Ladies and gentlemen!

Here’s an offer that can’t beat!

The first three issues of Behind the Wheel together for $15 postpaid!

That’s 3 zines, 5 bucks each, and free shipping.

ORDER HERE

With over 180 illustrated pages of misadventures, discoveries and altercations, you can experience the harrowing and raucous trajectory of a confused yet weary Lyft driver turned disgruntled Uber driver then freewheeling taxi driver working the streets of San Francisco.

btw-3-other-car-taxicab-zine-bike

Plus, stickers!!!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – ORDER NOW – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Need more convincing?

This is what people have written about Behind the Wheel:

behind-the-wheel-three-issuesBehind the Wheel #1 was reviewed favorably in Razorcake Magazine:

Clocking in at fifty-six pages of pure text, Dessaint’s accounts offer a unique perspective to these rideshares that many people forget: the driver’s point of view. I found myself worried that overly drunk riders would vomit in his car; I cringed when a couple used his backseat as their own personal makeout haven; and I clenched my teeth while reading the conversations between tech bros and conservative republicans. I commend Dessaint for his ability to navigate the waters, as these situations all seemed like torture to me. Above all, Dessaint is inarguably enamored with the idea of San Francisco: the art, the culture, the history. Yet, his experiences tell tales more of frustration with what the city has become in recent years, rather than the happiness of being in the city he’s always loved. He and his wife live in nearby Oakland, as they cannot afford to live within San Francisco due to the influx of tech workers raising rent prices. The fact that his dream city is still a bridge away is a source of bitterness for Dessaint. I’ll drive myself around, thank you. –Ashley Ravelo

btw1-dark-difficult-guss-dolanreview of the first two issues by V. Vale: 

If our future looks like San Francisco, what with its impossibly sky-high rents, employment at Google/Twitter et al for the 1%, and the rest of the population grimly hanging on to “real” jobs or trying out the “freelancer economy” working for Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Airbnb and other “disruptive” start-ups… one thing is certain: “real” workers are gonna get royally screwed. It’s almost as if the 20th-century advances of labor unions, more economic justice, widespread health care, are already becoming a dimly-remembered mirage […] We wondered, “If Jack London or George Orwell were alive today, what would they think of the recent headline “Being Ubered: The Unstoppable Rise of the Freelance Economy”? UNSTOPPABLE? Don’t we still have a government with a SPINE?!? Government is our only defense against the rise of the New Economy Wreckers/Law-Breakers of Civilization. We say (again): spending money is a political act. […] Send writer/publisher Kelly Dessaint cash, money order or trade for these 2 brimful-of-“truth” publications.

zine-rack-city-lights-taxi-behind-wheelRazorcake also had some nice things to say about Behind the Wheel #3: 

In this third volume of Behind the Wheel, our author/driver has gone from Uber, to Lyft, to now taxi driver. This series is an inside look at what it’s like to be a Bay Area driver. We meet passengers seeking drugs, sex—and more often than not inebriated—and mistaking the poor taxi driver as a Lyft or Uber. I especially loved the guest stories from “Late Night Larry” because they involved either passengers who puked and had to pay up (a hundred dollar fee!) or wanted to have sex in his car, to which he seemed okay with either? The life of a cab driver doesn’t seem like something I’m brave enough to take on, but I certainly appreciate those who can do it, and the craziness that they encounter every day! –Tricia Ramos

bound_togetherA positive review of Behind the Wheel #3 appeared in Broken Pencil magazine: 

Dessaint loves his city of San Fran but he’s seen it with its makeup off. He’s lost count how many times a young girl has gotten into his cab and passed out because she’d been roofied. Part of his vocation is keeping those young women safe. The taxi industry often runs hand in hand with passengers who use intoxicants, sex workers, and people coming back from good (and bad) dates. Watching Dessaint navigate these worlds while keeping his personal code makes for very entertaining reading.

zine-rack-thrillhouse-records-punk-diy-taxiAs with any vocation, Dessaint recognizes that his career does not exist in a vacuum. He comes from a long line of cabbies whom he respects and admires. Every Sunday he goes to the cabbie BBQ in the junkyard by the cab station. He hears and tells stories, gathers advice and shoots the shit. Throughout the zine he splices in stories told by a veteran cabbie, Late Night Larry. They are some of the funniest tales in the zine. Dessaint writes strong narratives and convincing arguments against Uber/Lyft. As a result, I’m now done with Uber and I hope to be lucky enough to ride in Dessaint’s cab one day. (dustan j. hlady)

btw2-zine-lyft-uber-san-franciscoMore praise for Behind the Wheel #1: 

I read this zine in one sitting, but don’t let that fool you; this is a text heavy zine. The zine has over 50 pages of Kelly’s experiences as a Lyft driver. As Kelly tells us stories about the people he meets, you also learn more about him as a person. I like how he handles his shit. He seems like a cool and nice guy. I appreciate like how neat and clean the zine is made, as I can’t stand sloppy zines.

Even more:

needles-and-pens-zines-idrivesf-01In most of Kelly’s other zines he is what is changing; in Behind the Wheel, San Francisco is what is changing. Kelly moves from LA to the Bay area and quickly finds that the SF he knew has disappeared. He begins working for Lyft, a social media ride sharing business. He documents his life as a modern day cab driver and those he shuttles around the city he can’t afford to live in. Tech companies are one of the reasons SF has changed and yet Lyft is one of those companies. Kelly recognizes the inherent conflict and the potential for being part of the problem. This zine very much captures a time and place and shows changes technology and social media have created.

my-other-car-is-a-taxicab-stickerAnd more

I love insider information! Like, anything that starts with “Confessions of…” I’m probably going to read. Behind the Wheel is a taxi-cab confessional of sorts, from the driver’s perspective. Kelly goes behind the pink mustache and shares the highlights and woes of being a Lyft driver. Whether he’s talking about how he learned the streets of San Francisco instead of relying on GPS, or griping about the stench of alcohol and cigarettes some passengers leave wafting through his car, Kelly’s laid-back style is engaging and readable. Best of all, he recounts passengers’ thoughts about the influx of “brogrammers” and other techy people into San Francisco. This makes Behind the Wheel a slice-of-life snapshot at the height of Tech Boom 2.0. Plus, he weaves in stories about his own life, letting us get to know our narrator better. When his soundtrack (like Bad Brains and Iggy Pop) plays in your head, it helps to beat down that dread you feel when he gets pulled over. At 54 pages, this zine is rich in detail and well-worth reading. Let Kelly give you a Lyft!

Alright, I’m done. Just buy the damn zines already!

And if you don’t do the online thing, you can find them at most bookstores around San Francisco and the East Bay. (If you couldn’t already tell from the photos.)

behind-wheel-zines-dog-eared-bookstore

Bookstores that carry Behind the Wheel 3: From Uber/Lyft to Taxi

 

Behind the Wheel 3 is available at these bookstores:

In the Mission:

Dog Eared Books
900 Valencia St.
​San Francisco, CA 94110

Adobe Books
3130 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Alley Cat Books
3036 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Needles and Pens
1173 Valencia St.
​San Francisco, CA 94110

Thrillhouse Records

In North Beach:

City Lights Bookstore
261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133

Soon to be stocked:

Bound Together in the Haight
Dog Eared Books on Castro