SPON 25 - The Late Christmas Issue
SPON 26 - The It Came From Across The Pond Issue
Once upon a time, before somebody invented email, there was a thing called the Post Office where you queued up to send things to people. These queues were usually long ones and you stood in them next to old people who wanted a second class stamp and young lasses with herds of unruly children who picked up everything they could lay their hands on whilst mum sent back the top she’d got from Grattans that didn’t fit her. It was always raining and these queues had steam coming off them. It was always too warm in there so that by the time you eventually reached the front of the queue, forty five minutes later, you were as limp as a wet lettuce and ready to drop, the packages you held in your hands were already becoming soggy and you were hoping that you wouldn’t get the dopey one behind the counter who last week took the album you were posting to America and threw it over his shoulder hoping that it would land somewhere in the region of the airmail bag.
The upside to all this was that you got lots of lovely things through your door in return. Like this huge wad of zines and art work from Dr Steg. I don’t know if everybody who received issue 25 of Spon got around thirty odd pieces of artwork in them but if they did they can count themselves very lucky indeed. I know I do. As you can see there’s quite an array of styles here, some done in pen, some in watercolour, collage, some with fine detail and some that appear to have been knocked off in the time it takes call a rather famous cartoonist a not very nice word [long story].
Issue 26 is a direct reprint of an American zine called Media Junky around which has been wrapped a hand drawn cover the inside of which contains a postcard sent to Dr Steg from someone in an American Correctional Institute and a signed photo of Gracie Fields.
What all this does of course is continue the long tradition of Mail Art. I have to admit that despite being an avid correspondent in my time I was never drawn into the global Mail Art circle. Whilst others scribbled and cut and pasted away I seemed to spend most of my time writing long letters to mail order companies detailing my lousy day at work and how glad I was to receive their last package, something that must have caused a great deal of puzzlement to more than one distro/label outfit.
I wish Dr Steg all the very best in his continuing mission to fill the world with his artwork. I feel inspired. I have the pens, I have the paper. I have an idea.