More Handshakes Performed

August 11, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

Another one of the forthcoming books, First Impressions, First Touch [Handbook] by A.E. Simns is also due out this next year–although, there is a fair bit of work that still has to come together, drawings primarily, so it may take a while. In the meantime, though, I sometimes manage to video people performing some of the handshakes from the book. At a wedding this past weekend, I witnessed the following, instructional sequence:

You can also watch this handshake again (to see the bride and groom, at whose wedding the preceding sequence was performed). You can click on this link to read something more about what kinds of handshakes are featured, or go here to read the preamble of the book. So many options.

posted by Caroline Picard

written by A.E. Simns and illustrated by Caroline Picard

Potato Face and The Moon-Halvers

A Story Otherwise Known As

The Man Who Lived All Alone in The Woods


DuckHunt

April 28, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

This is just one of the many glorious handshakes contained in the forthcoming title, First Impressions First Touch [Handbook] by A.E. Simns.

More Handshakes

April 12, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard & written by A.E. Simns

18. The Comrade

A shake for friends and enemies both, this handshake to be used in such instances where you desire a firm intimacy. The Benefactor puts out a hand, eyes bright and hard and smiling. The Beneficiary takes said hand, and with rhythmic precision both Benefactor and Beneficiary use their remaining and respective hand to reach in and grasp the other’s elbow. In deceptive times a special knife (known as a knuckleswitch) has been worn which, when set off by a pressure pad on the palm, flicks out and shivs the opponent. Thus, just as this is a celebratory shake for friendship and loyalty, it can also stir up the panic of death.

19. The Rifle

Like The Comrade with a little more play, upon grasping The Benefactor’s elbow, pull the whole arm of your opponent up to your line of sight and cock it, as though it is a rifle and you are aiming to shoot something behind your opponent’s back.  The Rifle is an excellent anti-asasination solution to The Comrade, when assassination is suspected. The Rifle deflects any knuckleswitch without acknowledging suspicion for the other. It sends a message of protection and has been used as a secret handshake to demonstrate loyalty in darker times. To that end bother Benefactor and Beneficiary can execute The Rifle on one another simultaneously, thereby creating a metaphorical fortress of defense.

20. The Cold War

In which no hands are shaken, but both individuals stand across from one another, staring with unrelenting gazes.

posted by caroline picard

What follows is an excerpt from our forthcoming title, First Impressions First Touch, an index of handshakes by A.E. Simns.

Sundry, Deferred

1) It is commonly believed that if aliens exist and can take human form, they would not be able to replicate the complexities of the pinky joint. Aliens cannot bend their pinky fingers. Therefore it is imperative to shake everyone’s hand in order to see who can bend and who cannot.

2) The handshake is special.

3) The non-shake shakers such as babies, dogs, and the elderly are interesting, but they are not shakers.

4) The handshake is like any other tool, in that you should not use certain handshakes until you feel comfortable executing them properly.

5) The puppeteer is not necessarily the best handshaker.

6) The converse is true.

a shout out

June 4, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

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Lust & Cashmere got another shout out on this blog with regard to the IPPY award. It’s pretty exciting–and even feels phenomenal to catch any notice whatever, given that the operation we run here at the GL is so small. That said, I’ve always been excited about the final product, so hey world, thanks for noticing. I toast you back for innumerable other reasons. You’ve been good to us.

2009 IPPY !

May 8, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

We are the happy recipients of an award from Independent Publisher–they’ve given the Independent Voice Award to our very own Lust & Cashmere! I got the following off the IP website, so you can go here to check out the full list of award winners (and learn more about IP).

Announcing the 2009 IPPY Outstanding Books of the Year

Special awards recognize the daring spirit of independent authors and publishers

For 26 years our mission at Independent Publisher has been to recognize and encourage the work of publishers who exhibit the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society. These medalists were chosen from our regular entries for exemplifying this daring spirit. Here are the winners of this year’s Outstanding Book of the Year awards, including two new categories established this year: the Independent Spirit Award recognizes the book project our judges found the most heartfelt and unique, and the Independent Voice Award recognizes the year’s most experimental, boundary-pushing voice among our fiction entries.

Lust and Cashmere trailer

December 16, 2008

posted and created by Caroline Picard

special thanks to all you readers out there! the text was provided by A.E. Simns

You can also watch it here at the new Green Lantern Channel [http://www.youtube.com/greenlanternpress] on YouTube. (please forgive its rough beginnings, and visit it often to watch it evolve.)

we just got this super-sweet review/interview posted! you can read it here, or check it out on its original site here! Thanks Laura!

TOPICS » ,

Preserving our Independents: Green Lantern Press

By Laura Pearson | 12.10.08

Caroline Picard is the Director of The Green Lantern Gallery and Press, and–like the two Chicagoans featured in the last installment of Preserving Our Independents–she is busy. That is, in a creatively productive sense. In 2005, Picard established The Green Lantern in a building above the Singer Sewing Shop at 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. The 1,200-foot loft space serves as a venue for all kinds of community art events–exhibitions, film screenings, readings, live music performances, even occasional “acro-cat” circuses and informal break-dance battles.

Besides being a gallery owner, Picard is–among other things–a painter, collagist, writer, and bookbinder. By establishing an independent press as part of The Green Lantern (now a 501(c)3 organization), Picard reinforced her desire to work across mediums. The Green Lantern Press publishes limited edition original fiction with an emphasis on “underdressed intelligence.” According to the mission statement, these are works that “relate old dusty books to contemporary experience without a lot of noise and pointing”–works like Nicholas Sarno’s God Bless the Squirrel Cage, Moshe Zvi Marvit’s Urbesque, and A.E. Simn’s Lust and Cashmere. The GLP also publishes Phonebook, a handy guide to alternative art spaces in the U.S.

A unique aspect of the press is its “slow media” approach: Books are printed in small, collector’s editions of 1,500. The first 500 books in each print run feature silkscreened covers designed by local artists. The remaining “no frills” editions are sold at a lower price, allowing the books to reach a larger audience. This is just one way that Picard, and her collaborators at The Green Lantern, approach their publications and projects with imagination and resourcefulness. Picard believes that many Chicagoans have these qualities in spades. “I don’t think I could have started [in any other city],” she says. “There is such a strong DIY tradition here. I was talking to a friend of mine once about how Chicago is like the Wild West, where anyone can come and set up a little shanty, put a sign out, and sell bonds. People will always come to check it out. They buy the bonds and, generally speaking, the bonds are legit. Sometimes they’re fake, and then people stop going…. But how crazy that people are always willing to give you the benefit of the doubt!”

I corresponded with Picard about the origins of The Green Lantern, book publishing as compared to co-op milk production, and future projects.

Laura Pearson: I’m curious about how you started The Green Lantern. Did it begin as an individual project or a collaborative effort?

Caroline Picard: The Green Lantern began years ago in a series of conversations that ebbed and flowed between myself, Nick Sarno, Jason Bacasa, and a handful of others who happened to be in the same bar or coffee shop at the same time. Depending on who was involved in the conversation, it tended to have different emphases, For instance, I remember sitting on a stoop with Moshe [Zvi Marvit] in Washington D.C. He suggested we one day buy a warehouse building and open a bar with live music for our friend, Peter Speer, who runs an independent music label called Colonial Records (at the time an undeveloped idea without a name). Moshe suggested we could fund the press with the bar, offer live music, and hang art on the walls. I believe we had just come from a lecture given by Noam Chomsky, after which Moshe (age 20 at the time) and I (18) shook the man’s hand and informed him that we wanted to start a revolution. Chomsky gave us his card. I think, somehow, opening the bar was tied into the revolution idea, but I can’t be sure.

A few years later, after college, Nick and I were roommates in San Francisco and the idea resurfaced. This time we thought we’d start a literary journal. We did the research, felt daunted by the economic prospects and, in all honesty, didn’t have the money. The house we lived in caught on fire; I moved to Philadelphia, another roommate moved to Florida, and the other two–Nick and Kate–stayed in the city.

Obviously, things don’t turn out the way one expects, though I think this is generally for the better. We’d always been interested in independent venues and culture, and it was probably only a matter of time before one of us set up shop someplace. The literal beginning of The Green Lantern happened somewhat arbitrarily. I had lived in Chicago for a year, house-sitting. I decided I would stay in the city more permanently and needed to find a more permanent place to live. I looked at various apartments–dark garden places with sketchy landlords and high price tags. In the midst of this, I happened to walk past the Singer Sewing Machine Shop. Above it, there was a For Rent sign. I went to look at it and realized that it would be cheaper to run a space than go to grad school. It would also be more efficient to run an apartment gallery than to rent a single apartment and a studio (I was painting at the time). So I took the place. The next day I called Nick and asked him if he wanted to start the press with me. That was it.

LP: Were there other small publishers that you looked to for inspiration?

CP: I don’t know. Featherproof, certainly. McSweeney’s. Even the not-so-indie New Yorker magazine.

We got our business model from Slow Food organizations. I worked for a year at The Cowgirl Creamery, an artisan cheese company in California. For that year I helped make 350 cheeses a day (their production has gone way up since). The Slow Food movement has enabled mom-and-pop dairies to stay open. By becoming organic, they are able to control their price points, and thus thrive outside of the rubric of co-op milk production, which, from what I understand, is a real machine that streamlines production to such an extent as to squeeze out the little guys. I really liked this approach, because it showed how innovation and creative thinking could create new avenues of economy that then liberate the individual within the corporate system. Obviously, The Green Lantern has a long way to go before we get to such a point. I hope we can though.

LP: GLP publications are lovingly designed! I understand you’ve chosen different silkscreeners (Mat Daly, Alana Bailey) to design the covers. Any specific artists you’d like to work with in the future?

CP: This year we’re working with Nick Butcher from Sonnenzimmer. I don’t know who we’ll work with next year, but I like the idea that each year is a kind of screen-printer’s residency.

LP: What’s next for GLP?

CP: I’m working out the exhibition schedule for 2009/2010 this January. We will be publishing a few smaller books, in editions of 100–200, a long prose poem by Devin King that references The Odyssey, a translation of Rimbaud’s “A Season in Hell” by Nick Sarno (the proceeds of which will be donated to a children’s hospital in San Francisco), as well as a reprint of The North Georgia Gazette, a newspaper published in 1821 by a fleet of English sailors who were trapped in the Arctic for nine months. Our edition will include the original manuscript, as well as an excerpt from the Captain’s journal, some annotations kept by the transcriber, Lily Robert-Foley, and contemporary artworks by Jason Dunda, Daniel Anhorn, Rebecca Grady, Deb Sokolow, and Nick Butcher, who will be pressing a 7-inch record. This book–it’s probably our most ambitious project–is due for release in February, in an edition of 250. Nick Butcher is also going to be making the covers.

The next book we’re gearing up for is an original novel by Terri Griffith, due out this spring. Next fall, we’re going to release a book called The Concrete of Tight Places, by Justin Andrews, as well as a collection of short stories by Ashley Murray.

Which, I guess is to say, we’re going to be really busy. In the best way.

LP: In keeping with the final question of my last column, what are three words you’d use to describe your independent publishing experiences in Chicago?

CP: Wide open. Supportive.

Ravaged Love

October 28, 2008

Q:  I met this sweater.  It is soft like a girl.  I want to know:  is it wrong to be in love with a sweater?  I don’t know what to do.  It torments me in my darkest hours.  I can’t help it.  When it’s not around, I can’t think of anything else.  And when it is around, I have to touch it, to rub it against myself, stroke myself with it.  Once after I came in it I rubbed it against my father’s face while he was sleeping.  Our relationship has never been quite the same since.  If you ask me, I think he’s jealous of the sweater.  What should I do?

– all knotted up.

 

A:  Get rid of the sweater immediately.  It is a terrible threat to your health and sanity.  Dispose of it in a black bag.  Tie a red string around the bag to close it up and leave it at the Lincoln statue at the corner of Western and Ashland at 3pm tomorrow exactly.  Don’t ask why.  Just do it.

 

 

Read Johnny’s full story in Lust&Cashmere by A.E. Simns now available from The Green Lantern Press.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978575660