For the last 16 years I've been listening to people I meet in bars, and job-sites, but mostly bars. I write their stories of drunkenness, infidelity, disappointment, and sometimes dumb luck then publish them in STUPOR. A different artist designs each issue. Most of the artists I have collaborated with are from Detroit, but recently I've had the good fortune to connect with Matthew Barney, the creator of the Cremaster Cycle. And yes, he is doing the complete layout for my new STUPOR titled WASHED IN DIRT.
There’s 4 stories in WASHED IN DIRT. I chose them because of their connection to cars and the human body and dirt and blood and skin and oil and gas fumes and because I thought they’d resonate with Matthew. You'll see when you get a copy of this issue that they did.
How did I first connect with Matthew Barney? I worked on his Detroit film project, KHU in 2009. One freezing day, he hired my building company to take the doors off a church so an ambulance could be driven into the sanctuary. The church was surrounded by Detroit’s water treatment facility. In other words, huge ponds of steamy goop were less than fifty feet from the church's entrance. Smelly? Yes! The following year, 2010, Matthew hired me again. This time I was clearing land, cutting trees and chopping up scrub with a machete. KHU was a huge and cool project. It was great to be part of it. Later when I was putting my first book together, STUPOR: A TREASURY OF TRUE STORIES, I contacted Matthew and asked if he’d do a blurb for it. He agreed. His blurb is actually an entire graphic that he created for the back cover. It includes the phrase: “First rate . . . Hughes cuts everyone’s grass — Grisham’s, Ludlum’s, even Patricia Cornwell’s—and more than get’s away with it.” Later, I asked Matthew if he’d like to layout a STUPOR, and, yes, he agreed.
What I want most is to share WASHED IN DIRT with you. I want you to hold it in your hand and say, "Damn, this is nice." Here’s what I decided: I’m going to print a large run of this issue — 2,000 copies. It’s going to be in full-color and produced on an off-set press. It’s going to be on a heavy stock, 70# paper. It will look fantastic, and even though it’s only 16 pages, it will feel substantial.
Truly, this is a great opportunity to support a unique collaboration between a major American artist, and an up-and-coming zine writer from the Motor City, and also to receive some great rewards for doing so.
Remember, there’s a reason that Matthew Barney collaborated with me. He digs my book. I hope you'll check it out too. Although it’s available on Amazon and great locations, like Printed Matter in NYC, it’s also available to you here for the small pledge of $25.
And yes, there's a T-shirt too, at the $60 level. It’s sweet. It’s an American Apparel shirt emblazoned with the Stupor Logo and the artwork of long-time collaborator Tim Hailey. I call the graphic the “Lose Lose Situation.” It’s an image that appears in every issue of Stupor (Watch the video. The image is on the wall just above my shoulder on the right side of the screen). A friend of mine wore it to jury duty once, and swears that it’s the reason for him being de-selected and asked to leave. Maybe so. I can’t guarantee it’ll get you out of jury duty, but I can guarantee you’ll turn heads.
Word of warning: Stupor is written for a mature audience, for those 18 and up. Matthew Barney’s images are of a similar nature.
Thank you, and I hope you fund this project.
- (33 days)