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One Crumb-y cover 

Mineshaft scores the work of an old(er) master

Everett Rand must be doing something right. Thousands of nice guys (and girlz) publish zines, but how many get original art from R. Crumb himself? Rand has returned to North Carolina after cold-weather detours in Vermont and West Virginia. His wonderful, unique, labor-of-love zine is back, too. Six hundred copies of Mineshaft #14 are just out, with a nationwide circulation. Crumb contributed a cool cat-goddess back cover, and Rand asked if he would like to design a new "price tag." A few weeks later a bunch of drawings arrived. The latest Mineshaft includes the usual quality, comix and artwork, essays (co-editor/publisher Gioia Palmieri contributes a fantastic "Inside the Mineshaft" history) and letters--including one written by Crumb ("Me, I'm always preoccupied with, you know, trying to open my third eye or some other nutty thing like that, rather oblivious to the motivations and maneuverings of the people around me."). Especially check out Simon Deitch's pen-and-ink take on Sept. 11, like an old-timey '50s monster movie poster.

Now calling Durham home, with a day job at The Magnolia Grill, Rand also wanted to include some local art, which comes courtesy of Rhonda Reese's "Poetry Wars," a recent spoken word creation she read at Joe & Jo's Downtown.

Phew, what treasures! Rand's mailbox will never be empty again. Crumb's buddies (and fans) get the idea: Send stuff to Mineshaft!

Fingers crossed as this year blows into the wind, zinestream keeps checking the various mailboxes for two anticipated items. The Annual Utne Reader Press Awards will be announced in less than two weeks. The Triangle and North Carolina have always been recognized as a print media hot spot, and this year (following in the tradition of The Sun, Dream/girl, Mental Floss, Southern Exposure, Double Take, Transition and the Independent Weekly) a pair of locally published magazines have been nominated for national awards. Daylight Magazine is up for Best New Title and No Depression is listed in the Arts/Creativity Coverage category.

Any day from Conway, Ark., we'll see the re-relaunch of The Oxford American! Now scheduled to publish as a nonprofit quarterly, the much loved OA will include a new column by Kaye Gibbons, book commentary by Hal Crowther and a Guest Music Column by Will Blythe on the glut of tribute albums. Ambitious and always upbeat editor/publisher Marc Smirnoff promises a spring Southern Food issue and a July box-office-buster--the annual Southern Music issue (with CD). Get (or re-get) your subscription now--previous music issues are now going for $50 on Ebay.

Want a stocking stuffer? Crystal Cat Records has just released a pair of three-CD sets from February 2003: Double Take Benefits at the Somerville Theatre. Those were the intimate Bruce Springsteen Massachusetts shows, fundraisers for the documentary studies magazine's last stand. But here at zinestream, we've learned never to say "last."

  • Contributing writer John Valentine can be reached at

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