Book Reviews – September 2010

Share this:Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0

Bear With a Chainsaw #1
Devin Renshaw
Street: 05.01
This is the greatest idea for a zine. There’s nothing serious or preachy about it. It’s just 20 pages of monster drawings seemingly influenced by artists like Ed Roth and Shel Silverstein. There’s something delightfully abnormal about Renshaw’s brain that allows him to create intricately detailed monsters in a bizarre, disturbing style. There’s a hair-and-scab-covered beast dripping mucus from his eyes and nose, a bug-eyed creature with tentacles for teeth and some sort of perverse, seven-legged anteater covered in enormous boils. My favorite piece is a tentacled blob of eyeballs and teeth, labeled with the simple caption, “It eats and sees.” The art is absolutely stunning, but the zine is also home to articles and essays about reheating old macaroni and caring for house plants. There’s a completely unreadable rhyming poem and a goofy short story about a marijuana-thieving rat. Renshaw would do well to have more confidence in relying on his art to carry the zine and be more discriminatory in accepting submissions. Despite the weak writing, this zine is an absolutely necessary addition to any collection. Check out some of his work at supercrazymonsters.blogspot.com and shoot him an email at cactuswren75@gmail.com to get your copy. –Nate Perkins

The Big-Ass Book of Home Décor
Mark Montano
Street: 04.01
I wouldn’t say that I compulsively hoard or collect, but I definitely have my fair share of crap. I often find myself looking at random junk on the curb saying to myself, “That’s got to be good for something.” If you find yourself in the same boat and are surrounded by junk, maybe you should take a look at this book. The Big-Ass Book of Home Décor gives reasonable suggestions for the hoarding hobbyist. Nothing is beyond the reach of someone with a little craft glue and a hammer. The book is sectioned off into different categories that cover everything from “Fab-Tastic Furniture” to “Luscious Lighting and Lavish Lampshades.” Ok, the titles of the chapters may be a little hokey, but the book is well formatted with great pictures and easy-to-follow instructions. No longer do we have to live in fear of the junk room or the trash pile on the curb. I suggest that you seize the moment and turn your crap into much cooler and interesting-looking crap. –Ben Trentelman

Street Boners: 1,764 Hipster Fashion Jokes
Gavin McInnes
Street: 05.27
The mastermind behind VICE Magazine’s infamous “Dos and Don’ts” takes his fashion shit-talking one step further with Street Boners. Street Boners features a rating system to more accurately judge what falls in the category of “good look” and what falls flat on its face. Every picture is accompanied by a line of kitten heads—10 kitten heads means it’s hot, one kitten head … well, you get the idea. Not surprisingly, it’s mostly the ladies who are getting 10 kittens. It’s even more likely if they look mildly strung out. Punk rockers from the suburbs also seem to rack up the kittens in this book. Street Boners also features a helpful guide of rules to keep you from committing a major fashion faux pas. This was actually my favorite section of the book as it calls out some of my favorite fashion disasters. For men: ditch the cargo shorts, chin beards and the flip flops. Ladies: wear heels when you’re going out. They make your ass look better. If you’re over 25, ditch the pigtails and never ever ever wear platform flip flops … ever. Throw this gem on your coffee table, laugh your ass off and hope that whatever you’re wearing gets at least eight kittens. –Jeanette D. Moses

Photos: