1992:The first incarnation of Pulp Tattoo was a mini comic. 4¼ × 5½".My buddy Mark Innes had been self-publishing them for a while so I monkey-see-monkey-did one my own self.It contained an assortment of one-page comix and some longer pieces.
Literary historians will want to take note that this issue contains first appearance of Professor Ham!
I didn't have any copies handy at the time of this writing. I found some of these imageson a site in the Uk that had a copy for sale.
I am in no way affiliated with 'ecrater" but it was handy for them to provide some visuals I could share.
Back in them days we didn't have no fancy innernets to flog our wares.WE had to go out and trudge through mountains of slush and dead bodies to find the shops who would allow our little booklets to occupy precious shelf space.
"WHO DARES APPROACH THE ALL KNOWING ,ALL POWERFUL USED BOOKSHOP?"
All that slogging around did eventually get an unexpected result. One day,several weeks after I distributed my merchandise, I received a phone call from a reporter who was doing an article for The Toronto Sun.He found a copy of Pulp Tattoo in one of the bookshops that I was initially reluctant to venture into.
The conversation went something like this....
Voice: "Do you do Zines?"
Me: "Uh...I did a mini comic..."
Voice: "Yes,but.do you do ZINES?"
Me: "I guess you could call it a 'zine"
Voice: "Great! Can you come down to the offices tomorrow to answer some questions and do a photo shoot? Do you have anything in colour? "
It turned out the reporter had caught wind of the local "Zine Scene" and was contriving an article about all these young self publishers aspiring to become the next Randolph Hearst or Conrad Black... When I showed up at the Sun office it was just me,the reporter and a photographer. Apparently the other members of the Zine Scene were not available until after sundown. I said "yeah" to the right questions enough to get included in the article. I really didn't think I belonged in that article since I barely knew what a zine was at the time and I had only made a very tiny contribution to "the scene".
When the article came out I was very surprised and horrified to see a full page spread mostly occupied by a colour photo of my big hairy face grinning and holding up my little comic.The photo was titled "Pulp and Pepper" and it made me look like I was the King Of All Zines. It was completely misleading. The article continued onto the next page where there was a very small black and white photo with 4 or 5 people who actually made regular contributions to the Zine Scene.
I felt pretty bad about it at the time.Even though it wasn't my fault.In the runaway part of my brain I expected the entire Zine Scene to rally against me and chase me into a windmill carrying burning copies of my unworthy un-zine.
Nothing cool like that happened though. Nothing much at all happened. A few people I knew saw the article and noted how large and hairy my face was filling the page but beyond that no more phone calls . No huge jump in sales. Not very many groupies followed me around.It all happened in a flash and life went on.
I was doing key animation on a TV series at the time.
Ultimately:it was a pretty neat thing to happen to a first time attempt at self-publishing and most importantly it did not deter me from publishing bigger things in the future...
6 ⅝" × 10 ¼" !!!
to be continuum...
*Newspaper clippings provided by the Mike Urry archives.
The first image I'm putting on here is a tribute to Jack Kirby.One of my heroes.He lived next door to Frank Zappa another one of my heroes.Both those guys were outstandingly prolific. I've been spending too much time at the opposite end of that spectrum.By posting this image of Jack I hope to invoke his spirit to stand over me and kick my ass to do more of my own stuff. Stay tuned...