Zines (pronounced zeen, like a magaZINE) are kind of cool. You know, the DIY version of magazines, typically a hodge podge of photocopying and typewriter style text mashed together in to a readable literary piece. The whole concept is believed to have started in the early 30s with a science fiction zine called “The Comet” published by– get this– The Science Correspondence Club. Sounded like an overly official humorous title for a club. We’ll call them SCC for short. Anyway. Those folks over at SCC paved the way for an entire subculture and extension of the DIY ethos in publishing (and beyond). In the 60s there were zines about the influence of drugs on visual communication, rock ‘n roll, literary experimentation and political commentary. In the 70s, punk rock zines became the standard. Today, there’s zines like Stupor (which was featured, if you can remember, for a while at Design 99 when the shop was open) and, well, you guessed it, a whole sleu of them in Detroit. Leopold’s Books at the street level of the Park Shelton is pretty great about stocking various local zines. Today we can talk about the Cass Rag, a zine I discovered while doing some paper trimming at Kinko’s. This month’s issue:
As part of the Fall Fashion Issue, the Linn siblings, who started City Bird, were featured in an interview discussing the Cass Corridor retail scene. The full scanned interview can be had here. But in the meantime, become a fan of Cass Rag on Facebook and look out around town to get your hands on a hot copy. It’s an entertaining read, I must say.
OK, OK, OK. Got an update coming via wireless signal straight from the DIY Street Fair in Ferndale.Â 21st century here, people.Â The days have involvedÂ a lot of folding, shenanigans with Apple’s PhotoBooth, ridiculously tasty craft beer (the WAB’s Porter is still gold in my book– just sayin’), an ungodly amount of well-dressed (mostly excited and adorable) children and a lot of interesting breeds of canines.Â I didn’t realize there were such things as dogs with ridge backs, companies that makee slippers and head dresses for dogs, etc.Â Clearly I am a ways out from owning/caring for such a creature.
ANYWAY (Catch that? Also re-reading Chuck Klosterman’s “Killing Yourself to Live” for the 8th time over here), the point of all this was to say that in my hot hands today is the brand-spanking new DL! catalog.Â You betcha.Â Coming in at a svelt 42 pages in length, this sucker is packing a powerful punch.Â It’s a showcase of DL! wares from tees to medallions to posters— but more than anything, its a visual meet and greet with some of Detroit’s most excited (and exciting) doers.Â Think of the Loveland super-combo Mary Lorene and Jerry “Nerd Alert” Paffendorf.Â Think of Roland Legget and Connie Mangilin.Â Or how about Margarita Barry over at I AM YOUNG DETROIT. Then there’s Jessica Hernandez and all the biz-nass she’s got going with her swampy blues band that’s making tracks and all the talk of Detroit Soup.Â Andy and Emily Linn are featured as well, the brother/sister megateam that started City Bird in Midtown.Â
The catalog substantiates DL!’s claim that there’s no better place in America to be young and hungry than Detroit by showing the young people that are on the ground making it happen. And hey, it serves the purpose of showing off DL! wares, too. It should be well known that Vanessa Miller did the photography and Courtney Burgam championed all the layout. A big high five to both of them. Here’s a look at the cover in space age low resoution via Apple’s Photo Booth’inator, but hey, I’m doing this remotely from the depths of Ferndale festival’dom:
The first pressing of the catalogs are headed to foggy London town and Pareee on Monday to try and see about getting some of the gear in shops over there across the pond.Â In the very near future, however, the catalog will be available via MagCloud.