The Minus Times Collected: Twenty Years/Thirty Issues (1992%E2%80%932012)

Hunter Kennedy, Editor, David Berman, Contribution by, Dan Clowes, Contribution by, Stephen Colbert, Contribution by, Patrick DeWitt, Contribution by, Dave Eggers, Contribution by
Edited by Hunter Kennedy, preface by Patrick DeWitt. Featherproof & Drag City (PGW, dist.). $16.95 paper (440p) ISBN 978-0-9831863-2-8
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Notorious for its prescient ability to provide a forum for writers like Wells Tower, Patrick deWitt, and David Berman in their formative years as well as its sporadic publication and scarcity, the Minus Times gained a fervent following. Obsessive collectors will likely inhale this collection of all 30 issues, which also boasts an additional 60 pages of new content from some of the magazine's most popular contributors. The hodgepodge of content–which careens from arch attempts at comedy ("Deleted Sports Card Facts" by Jeff Johnson and David Roth consists of entries such as "Has never had ketchup. Claims not to know what it is"), to a stark account of heroin addiction, essays on life and work in Hollywood, and plenty of random clip art scattered throughout–and the magazine's fans may well find this highly entertaining. But those new to the Minus Times are likely to find their patience tested by Kennedy's cringeworthy fiction, cartoons devoid of humor or insight, and a whole lot of filler of varying levels of clarity, imagination and talent, all rendered in gritty Courier type. The sheer randomness of the material— a Q&A with Stephen Colbert, smatterings of poetry, playlists for mix tapes—keeps readers on their toes but the misses far outweigh the hits. (Sept.)
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