About this project
Let's do a BLT book! And T-shirts!
*Final Edit*: Thank you so much to everyone who made this BLT Kickstarter so successful! It is exciting to have hit the first stretch goal. You can follow the progress of the project here on Kickstarter or on BlackLeatherTimes.com.
Punk humor zine Black Leather Times needs your help celebrating turning 25 this Halloween. That is a quarter century of bringing the sociably antisocial funny to science fiction conventions, goth industrial nightclubs, and punk rock group houses.
"Oh, BLT is hilarious. I love it. I almost peed myself the first time I read an issue. I think an anniversary book would be a great idea." - author Thomas Roche
I used to live in a DC area punk rock group house called Cambodia. Yes, you are right, it was named after the Dead Kennedys song. My concerned parents told me they worried it was "just like Andy Warhol's Factory". I heard "artistic incubator" and set about publishing first BLT and then Blue Blood. BLT contributors have done all sorts of marvelous things in art, writing, music, gaming, and crime. I'm so grateful to have been able to work with so many cool and interesting and talented individuals. Even the dicks. Sometimes dicks can have great senses of humor.
BLT started out as a bit of a general interest zine and quickly found its voice as primarily an absolutely fearless humor zine. Each issue featured hostile yet funny opinion pieces, sarcastic quizzes, appalling advice columns, and witty editorials. Along with occasional nightclub, book, CD, restaurant, con, and city reviews and embarrassing outtakes from band interviews.
"off-color sketches about grunge culture hijinks" - Kevin McManus, The Washington Post
I like comic strips and humor books and stand-up comedy, but I often feel alienated by routines which reference what most people's lives are supposedly like. BLT makes us all feel at home, with hilarious and insightful commentary on mohawks and employment, industrial DJs playing the same songs, dates who claim to be vampires, and Spock ears versus elf ears. Articles include using stage blood for birth control, how to be a fake escort with a real college degree, and drugging your mom so you can sneak out to Rocky Horror. With bonus pus and spiked barrels of death.
"Punks with computers. You've been warned." - bestselling author Richard Kadrey in Covert Culture Sourcebook
Books, T-shirts, Zines
Here are the specifics of what I'd like to create with this project. The book will be 6" x 9" and printed on good paper, with occasional color throughout. It will be approximately 400 pages. Yes, you read that correctly. FOUR HUNDRED pages of delicious BLT for your pleasurable consumption. The book will contain every issue of BLT, in some cases remastered for easier legibility or to lay out correctly on the page. There will also be information on the production process for fellow zinesters and artists interested in the technical aspects. And there will be some words looking back on BLT's journey and the ways the world has changed.
It has been a while since we did BLT T-shirts, so I'd like to do a few new designs. If we exceed our goal for funding the book, I'd like to do even more T-shirts.
The most important stretch goal, however, is new issues of BLT. I think it would be ridiculously fun to do new issues. If you are interested in writing or illustrating, please drop me a line to chat about likely themes.
One of my favorite parts of doing BLT (besides doing dramatic readings of hate mail, in my living room, with my unsavory pals) is definitely giving away free copies at events. We started off printing 500 copies of each issue and that eventually grew to 3000. A new BLT was generally created each time the crew was going to a special event. Over time, this has meant CastleCon, EveCon, BaltiCon, Phenomicon, DragonCon, and of course Cambodia and Hollowpoint house parties. Freebie copies of each issue were also given away at cool boutiques including Smash, Commander Salamander, Night Dreams, Shrine, and Retail Slut and clubs including The 9:30 (before it was at the WUST Music Hall location), dc space, Trax, The Roxy, and Helter Skelter. Yes, the BLT crew are dorks, but we're snappily-dressed dorks with bad attitudes and good taste in music ;-)
"Dear Ms. "G": Please be advised that you may not leave material for distribution in any of our stores without the express permission of our corporate office ... you may be subject to legal action." - Regional Manager Diana Donlon, Kemp Mill Music
We are working on a lot of cool T-Shirt ideas, featuring BLT themes and classic artwork. We are looking forward to getting supporter feedback on which ones you really like best so we can make final selections. Some may end up being stretch goals, so check the updates for more news about t-shirt options, voting, and such.
Risks and challenges
I'd like to have the book out by Halloween 2015. From past experience, there are three types of mishaps, which we don't expect, but could conceivably happen. We could be compelled to change printers, which can involve a bunch of extra work to meet the specs of a different press. I've dealt with this successfully in the past, but it did take extra time and effort. Some nostalgic aspect of the project could be a bummer and slow things down. A few kind words tends to be a quick fix for this. Costs for some aspect of production could go up and I'd need to make up the difference. Worst case scenario would be missing the deadline I'd prefer and delivering late but still delivering.
I'm 100% confident that we will deliver the books. I've successfully produced hundreds of publications, both in print and digital formats. This includes dozens of issues of BLT. We have all the issues of BLT on hand. Most are already either scanned or converted to InDesign. The main thing this project still needs is just the funds to go to press, so, if the Kickstarter is successful, I believe this project will definitely happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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