July 19, 2008

I picked up Cloud Marauder no. 3 (1968) at Moe's the other day. Oakland-based and edited by David Bullen, Don Cushman, Dennis Koran & Anthony Shonwald. For a zine, this is a nice well-printed object. Someone spent some hours in the book arts studio putting this together, with multiple, colored pressed illustrations & letter-pressing.

From the few hits that came up while attempting to find more about this publication, I found that they also made books, and later some individuals were involved in other small press activities. Although the overall dearth of information makes it seem that this venture hasn't yet received the attention it may well deserve.

Geoffrey Young
gives a sense of their activity within the context of small press activity back-in-the-day:

"The list of that time's significant activity looks generationally gargantuan compared to today's scaled down hopes. There were John McBride and Paul Vangelisti's Red Hill Press, George Mattingly's Blue Wind, Johanna Drucker's involvement with Rebis as well as her own Chaste Press, there was Cushman's and Dave Bullen's Cloud Marauder, Ishmael Reed's various imprimiturs including I. Reed Books, there was Alta's Shameless Hussy, Frances Butler and Alastair Johnston's Poltroon, Jerry Ratch and Mari-Anne Hayden's Sombre Reptiles, Bill Berkson's Big Sky, Barry Watten's This, Bob Perelman's Hills; and there were Jack Shoemaker's Sand Dollar, Michael Wolfe's Tombuctou, David Meltzer's Tree, Robert Hawley's Oyez, Donald Allen's Four Seasons, Curtis Faville's L, Richard Grossinger's North Atlantic Books, Bob Callahan's Turtle Island & Stephen Rodefer's PickPocket, to name some, but by no means all, of the press activity."

I would like to and do think that we are doing an equally bang-up job if not better today, but I wonder if we'd have even a fraction as much small press activity if we were back in the days of presses, mimeographs, or even first generation Xeroxes.

At any rate, this zine has introduced me to David Melnick & James Tate appears after winning the Yale Younger (wd. that happen today?).



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