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an interview with Nick Ferreira…
Nick Ferreira and his lady Kerry recently opened up Amigos Shop in Providence, RI (in addition to Amigos Publishing). Amigos shop will sell Zines, Art, Books etc. I threw some questions at them about it all, so check that out.
Nuno Olivera: How did Amigos Publishing & Shop come to be?
Nick Ferreira: Originally, Kerry and I started Amigos Publishing as a side project when we were living in LA. We just thought it’d be cool to publish stuff that our creative friends made. We never really had any big goals for it and since we both work or go to school or whatever, it was just a fun side project, and continues to be except as a legit business which is interesting and weird at the same time. And as for the shop, it’s something that I’ve wanted to do since I graduated high school probably. Well, some sort of art space that is. Then the first time I went to Printed Matter in New York at its old location pretty much solidified my ideas and real interest for art books and art objects offered in an affordable manner. Also, while living in LA my girlfriend and partner, Kerry, interned at Ooga Booga. Between attending events there and just experiencing the real positive vibe that Wendy, Max, and crew put off, I really saw how important and helpful a place like that can be to an area. A good way to look at it is your local bike shop. The vibe I got from Ooga Booga was always welcoming, similar to the two bike shops I’ve frequented most over the years, Dick Maul’s and Circuit BMX.
NO: What is the goal with the shop, and what will be available there?
NF: The goal for the shop is to offer a large selection of independent publications, books, media, and art objects. We’re not really going to pigeonhole what are goals are too much in the beginning because I like the idea of things sort of coming together naturally and learning from previous things. But we do hope to offer a good amount in the form of release parties, movie screenings, and small openings that use our tiny space wisely. I’m looking forward to working with local and non local artists and, like the zines we publish, our friends who make and are about interesting things. Right now our inventory is pretty small but we will have books and zines published by us, Amigos, Swill Children from Brooklyn, The Kingsboro Press, Hamburger Eyes, Elk, Mothersnews, Teenage Teardrops, etc. We also have a bunch of stuff from various artists.
NO: How did the name “Amigos” come about?
NF: It came about because it seemed like the simplest and best looking name we could think of. We’re about our friends but, friends doesn’t look as good as Amigos. I hate naming things.
NO: For those who are not familiar, give us a little insight into the Zine scene. Even though it’s pretty niche, it is definitely a popular creative outlet.
NF: Well, I’m no expert but there’s a lot of cool stuff going on with zines, and art zines in general. Way more than your sort of stereotypical peace punk, vegan recipe zine. If you have been to the N.Y. Art Book Fair that Printed Matter has been putting on for a few years now, this year especially, the whole third floor of MOMA’s P.S. 1 was taken over by some real awesome and interesting zines. It was so overwhelming. Publishers like Swill Children are doing real cool things in a sort of “zine” format. Their new Peter Sutherland book Worked, is great. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that there’s a whole bunch of things going on with art books and zines right now.
NO: You have been doing Holeshot for a minute, what is it about Zines that gets you stoked?
NF: Just knowing how getting zines in the mail used to make me feel sort of keeps me going and psyched. I also just really like creating this space that is exactly how I want it to look. My knowledge of web based things is limited so I can’t manipulate it as well as I can with print. My interest in zines and art books has also sort of led me to the only normal job I can see myself actually doing, which is a Librarian. It’s super niche and competitive but eventually, and hopefully, someday I’ll be able to work with artists’ books as a special collection. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll be happy to work a reference desk or be a Young Adult librarian.
NO: What are some of your favorite zines?
NF: Elk Zines and Books are consistently awesome. They are like the analog version of a site like Them Thangs but with contributors, images culled from archives, old skate zine covers, and just a whole bunch of ephemera. He also publishes books with artists and writers. It’s pretty awesome and I highly suggest checking it out when you get a chance. Some other cool zines I’ve grabbed recently were a No Age/Brian Roettinger collabo zine. The layout is dialed, its printed on a RISO machine and has letters that one of the band members wrote to Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth and in turn a letter Lee Ranaldo wrote back. Also, this series of Fanzines Oliver Payne makes Safe Crackers are sweet. The newest one was a fanzine devoted to arcade tokens and a 12 inch LP was released with it that featured field recordings of arcade games remixed. Prashant Gopal’s Locals Only, which is part of his series called Yo Sick, is one of my favorite newer BMX zines. My all time favorite BMX zine though is Skunk Zine. So raw and basically sums up what BMX means to me even to this day. It was made by some Skunk Bros affiliates in the late 90′s and blew my 13 year old mind.
NO: What can we expect from Amigos Publishing & the shop in the future?
NF: More titles published by Amigos and a constantly growing inventory. Right now we’re in the very early process of working with a few friends on a Black Sabbath inspired sound/print book. We also plan on having monthly events and rotating art installations, for this month we have an installation by Providence based artist Rachel Fae Coleman. April is set up for a surf themed month to sort of help usher summer in. We’ll be showing Point Break on April 20th and having some surf inspired art and books featured.
NO: Thanks, and good luck with the shop! Anything you would like to add before we wrap this up?
NF: Thanks for caring! If anyone reading this comes through Providence we’re located at 200 Allens Ave. Studio 7F (Second Floor), Providence RI 02903. There’s a bunch of sick spots by if that helps! You can also check us out on the web at www.amigospublishing.com.
AMIGOS SHOP will host a screening of
SATURDAY, JAN 28 @ 7pm
200 Allens Ave. Studio 7F, Providence 401.439.9532
“All Sorts of Sports” — the lost manuscript…
Over forty years ago, Theodore S. Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, began work on a book. Per usual, he had assistants working with him, one of whom managed the project. For reasons noted below, he put the manuscript aside. Then, in 1983, he reconsidered it when his former employee sent it to him for a long-lost look.
It consists of nineteen handwritten and drawn pages, the first seven of which are completely in the hand of Dr. Seuss. The remaining pages are mostly written by an assistant with corrections and doodles by Dr. Seuss, some taped on.
The text, written in Seussian prose, reads, in part:
“All Sorts of Sports. Shall I play checkers? golf? croquet? There are so many games there are to play. I could. / maybe.. / shall I.. There are so many many sorts. So many sorts of games + sports. What am I going to do today? There are so many games to play! I guess I won’t. I’m all tired out. 100 GAMES & sports you can play. You can play checkers. You can play chess. Baseball. Football. Volleyball. Basketball. You can ski on snow. You can ski on water. And tiddle-de-winks. What am I going to do today. Well, that’s a simple matter. Oh, that’s easy. We could play. There are so many sports games to play. We could swim. I could play baseball…golf..or catch. Or I could play a tennis match. There are so many sports, let’s see… I could bowl, jump hurdles, or water ski. I could blumf. Or blumf blumf blumf blumf blumf. Or blumf. Or blumf blumf blumf blumf blumf.”
The last page, marked page “6-7” by Dr. Seuss seems to be where the assistant took over, though Seuss adds corrections and doodles, as previously mentioned, some taped on.
The manuscript is accompanied by a Dr. Seuss TLs (typed letter, signed), autographed “Ted,” regarding this unfinished book on Cat in the Hat Beginner Books letterhead dated July 11, 1983.
“Re your enclosed manuscript, I do indeed remember it. And my critique now is as same as then. What, in my opinion, is wrong with this story is that…despite the greatness of Pete as a stellar athlete hero…the negative image of him flubbing and unable to catch any ball at all will make him a schnook.
“This is not entirely apparent in the text, but when you picture these negative scenes in illustrations, you will find that negatives are always more memorable than positives. And I think the reader’s reaction will be, ‘What’s the matter with this dope?’ I may be wrong of course…so why not send it to Harper and Row who do very good brat books and several times have made best sellers out of properties that I’ve rejected.”
In short, a schnook in a book is not a great hook.
The advice to submit the book to Harper and Row is somewhat sarcastic; after the success of The Cat in the Hat Random House set up Seuss with his own imprint, Beginner Books. in partnership with Random House publisher Bennett Cerf’s wife, Phyllis Fraser Cerf, and Geisel’s wife, Helen. Harper and Row slavishly tried to goose the Seuss juice for their specially created imprint devoted to “brat books.”
Readers of this letter may experience a bit of confusion over who actually wrote this manuscript. I called Nate D. Sanders Auctions – who is offering the manuscript – for clarification. Mr. Sanders replied:
“I obtained this from one of Seuss’ past employees who was a writers assistant. She was given the task of managing this book project. The first few pages of the manuscript are entirely in Seuss’s hand. Later, the assistant took over. When Seuss refers to the manuscript as the assistant’s, he is referring to the fact that it was her project and that it was indeed hers not his and she took possession of it, not him.”
This is an eye-popping find, a Seuss book in its earliest stage, rough Seuss draft, an abandoned project not only never before seen on the market but never before seen or heard of, period.
many more sketches to see at Nate D. Sanders Auctions…