Tag Archives: zines

The Typewritten Zine Collection

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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…

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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:

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ETSY:

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INSIDE THE BOOK:

The Thin Checkered Line – eBook Version Now Available

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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

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“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

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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.)

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

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