Thursday, January 06, 2011
HOW I CAME TO WRITE THIS BOOK: Mike White
IMPOSSIBLE FUNKY: Cashiers du Cinemart.
"How I came to write this book" - Mike White
I'm a lazy man. To get off my duff and do anything takes quite a lot. Just as a confluence of events got me writing a zine, another series got the book Impossibly Funky on track. I had a great distribution network for my zine, Cashiers du Cinemart. My best distributor had to be Tower Records. The guy in charge of magazines, Clint Johns -- a prince among men -- asked me to put together a book proposal for a collection of articles. And the rest is history. Oh, wait... The economy imploded and by the time I turned in the proposal, Tower had filed Chapter 11. However, the seed had been planted.
The economy continued to circle the toilet while I worked on what would ultimately become my final issue. It wasn't until I tried to get that one out to the masses that I realized how many stores I used to deal with had closed up shop. I pulled the plug on the zine but still wanted to give one last hurrah. I won't go into how smart it is to put out a book in this economic climate. I
plunged headfirst into crafting a compilation of articles.
I sat down with two friends, Mike Thompson and Lori Hubbard-Higgins. Mike had been with me from the beginning, we were old college buddies. Lori had read all of the old issues.
The three of us met over a list of everything that had ever run in the zine. They volunteered their favorite pieces while I did the same. By the end of a long evening of coffee and weepy
reminiscences (we all had coffee, only I did the weeping) we had a workable list that was pared down until we got to a place that wouldn't result in an insane amount of pages. Additionally, we
picked authors with whom I could still get in contact. Some people have fallen off the face of the earth. I wanted to get sign-off to reprint their stuff and didn't want to chase some author around
I wanted to make the book a good investment for people who may have been foolish enough to have read all of the original issues by updating some articles, combining and streamlining others. I also added quite a bit of new material: a couple interviews and articles that had never been published. Thus, the "13.2% New Stuff" emblazoned on the cover. It's fuzzy math, to be sure, but we can all pretend it's accurate.
And then the publishing process began... but that's a whole other story.
Mike White founded the zine on which this book was based: Cashiers du Cinemart. You can find him here.