Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Virgogray Press

I received a lot of 4 chapbooks by Virgogray Press out of San Antonio, Texas. They were:

The Terrorist
Michael Aaron Casares

Fresh Lotus Rehab
Marc Olmsted
vg –07

Ghost Roads
Michael Aaron Casares

Vegas Implosions
Chris D’Errico

This is a young Press. I applaud their drive and motivation. They have a lot to learn and I am sure that they have already leapt into that wicked learning curve. One can’t help to.

This Press certainly fills a need, albeit not one that I seek to plunge into regularly. I am glad that Virgogray has brought together these unique voices. They have discovered their niche, and isn’t that all any publisher can seek to do?

I would only comment that the presentation of the chapbooks themselves need a little attention to detail, as it were. The covers are glossy. None of the pages are trimmed. The photos of the authors inside are pixilated as hell. These books smack of being a POD but I don’t know that for a fact. While the covers are colorful, there is a rushed element to them that feels very slap-dash.

But again, the Press is young and will evolve in time (that’s the great hope anyway, I am sure that some people said that of Random House for their first 25 years of operation as well)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chapbooks 32

From Gutenberg to The Cuneo Press
Otto M. Forkert
The Cuneo Press
Chicago, IL

Found this small chapbook in Brooklyn. It’s an interesting directed history of printing, subtitled “A Historical Sketch of the Printing Press”. The author was an instructor at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and wrote glowingly about the Cuneo Press, which published the chapbook.

Several famous illustrations throughout the text. The Cuneo Press was one of the largest commercial printing plants in the country. The company was in business for 70 years, closing when owner and founder John Cuneo died in 1977. As of the publication, however, Cuneo Press was at the top of their game with plants across the United States.

Informative but slanted, good chapbook. 30 pages.

Souffle Spectaculars
Irene Kirshman
Potpourri Press
Greenboro, NC

I haven’t done a cookbook till now. This 47 page chapbook deals with souffl├ęs. It was illustrated by Pamela Marsh. It’s a little “hippy-dippy” but that’s cool.

In the Spirit of Shaker
Exhibition Booklet
John C Campbell Folk School
Brasstown, NC

Very small gallery exhibition booklet. Chapbooks come in all shapes and sizes.

Pamela Forey
Shire Natural History Series
Great Britain

Well made chapbook from England with color photos throughout. 24 pages. Also a few B&W illustrations. Great resource for shroomers.

Book Stalking at Home & Abroad
Jake Zeitlin
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

This handsome chapbook was designed and created for the 25 anniversary of a lecture given at SMU by Mr. Zeitlin on the subject of book finding. Mr. Zeitlin was world renowned for his abilities in the field and had been instrumental in the growth of SMU’s highly regarded library. Well made chapbook, unnumbered pages. Cover illustration by Barbara Whitehead.