Sunday, May 17, 2015

Book Review: Krylon Underground 1984 - 1992

(Saint) Bob German's Krylon Underground 1984-1992 is an ambitious project, compiling all of the extant issues of his zine into a 288 page, over-sized trade softcover. From a purely archivist perspective, this compilation is massive and all inclusive. The style of Krylon Underground is surrealist & literate, peppered with provocative graphics, poetry, announcements for other zines, political pronouncements, and visual improvisations on the page.

Given the heft of this project, as a reader in 2015, I don't find much substance to relate to within its pages.This zine feels like an old friend, yet one that you parted ways with two decades ago. Krylon Underground has a vague "leftist" tone, but nothing that borders on radical thought. The content is so random that it is difficult to get enthusiastic about reading more than a few pages at a stretch. The zine feels so unfocused that after spending time with this compilation, I really can not tell you what it is about, other than an exercise in nostalgia, nor can I interpret whether it has any relevance to zine readers in the here & now. Krylon Underground readers from back in the day must know something that I don't. 

As we evolve as individuals, the things we embrace change, and we become heretics and hermetics in our own lives. Everything moves forward, we inhabit a brave new world. Krylon Underground inhabits a brave old world, and we have to ask whether we want to revisit that chaotic time and place. If so, take comfort that Krylon Underground is waiting for you. 

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