Last night I did some much needed math. I finally went ahead and calculated the total amount earned sellin' my zines through the online outlets that I've used over the past three years (Ebay, Etsy and Big Cartel).

Since 2007, four hundred and twenty eight of my zines have been purchased online, generating a not-so-whopping total of $1969.57 in sales. (I should mention that this amount and the title of this blog are purely coincidental.)

Now, over the course of three years, that's not a lot of money. Most of it went right back into buying supplies and makin' more zines. But it's something. And it's something that I'm a little proud of.

Combined with the copies that I have sold offline, and the review copies that I've given away, I have managed to get more than 500 of my publications into the hands of the people who've ordered them. Cool cats & kittens from across the United States, as well as Mexico, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Switzerland, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Estonia.

I wasn't sure when I would hit the 500 mark, but it finally happened sometime last year. And that is a milestone that I'm really proud of.


Sneak Preview

Article excerpt: As a kid growing up on the far South Side of Chicago, whenever I would envision the physical features of Asian peoples—since those I saw most were in martial arts movies and Ultraman reruns on television—a fairly narrow set of characteristics always came to mind. Perhaps not surprisingly, brown skin and curly black hair were never among them.

But one fateful day my father would tell me of an eye-opening experience he'd had as a young man serving in the United States Marines. While stationed in the Philippines between 1961 and 1963, "Pops" would learn of Asians whose physical features were significantly different from what most Americans have been conditioned to expect.

There in the Philippines, Pops would see native Filipinos who, albeit small in stature, looked a lot like him, with dark brown skin, curly black hair and—stranger still—African facial features. To say the very least, the sight of such people living in the heart of Southeast Asia was completely unexpected.

It was also unsettling.

Perhaps equally as unsettling, my father would soon learn that these puzzling pint-sized people were referred to locally by a Spanish term, one that translates literally into English as the "little blacks..."


On Friday of last week, the 64th edition of Giant Robot magazine went to press. Shortly after, I received an e-mail from co-editor Martin Wong. He was droppin' me a line to say that in a few short weeks a copy of that issue would be mailed to me directly from the printer.

Back at the end of January, Martin had advised me that a piece I'd penned on the indigenous blacks of Southeast Asia (previewed above) was going to be used as one of the features in the upcoming issue of Giant Robot. As pleased as I was to hear the news, though, I wouldn't allow myself to actually believe it until I saw an actual layout.

Well, by the end of the first week of February I was lookin' at an e-mailed pdf file of the four pages my article was spread out over. Each page was a beauty to behold.

Whenever I get my actual copy of the magazine in the mail, I'll be scanning one of those pages to post here in the blog. If you want to see the actual article, though, you're just gonna have to buy yourself a copy of Giant Robot 64.


D-I-Y: Paper Pinhole Camera

Posted today on Complex magazine's blog was a link to a D-I-Y (do it yourself) paper pinhole camera by Czech designer Jaroslav Jurica. The camera, called the Rubikon 2, is a modified take on an older paper model (above) that has apparently been makin' the rounds through photo mags, classrooms and shutterbug circles since 2005.

According to Jurica, his Rubikon 2 is even easier to build and use than its predecessor. Though I can't say that I actually plan on making one, in the back of my mind I keep tellin' myself that someday I'm gonna do some experiments with a cool paper pinhole camera like this.


Art of Zines Covered

"Why have something tactile and in 3-D when you can just put a blog up? But it's different; it's in the moment of making these things and putting them out and having something tangible that is never going away. I don't care what anybody says about the end of print. This culture is not going away."

- Cherri Lakey, Anno Domini Gallery

The Art of Zines 2010 was covered today in the San Jose METRO Weekly. Read the full article in the Arts section by clicking here.


Art of Zines 2010

Anno Domini Gallery / Art of Zines 2010

Six years ago, while still workin' on the final pages of the first issue of Kung Fu Grip!, I read somewhere online that the Anno Domini Gallery of San Jose was going to be hosting its 4th annual Art of Zines exhibition. The show, hosted by the San Jose Museum of Art that year, was brilliantly scheduled to run in concurrence with a solo exhibition of works by internationally acclaimed artist Yoshitomo Nara.

Quite needless to say, the very thought of having my fledgling publication included in such an exhibit was pretty thrilling. But that dream would begin to fade rather quickly when I realized that -- even with just a handful of pages to go -- I could not finish the zine in time enough to meet an exhibition deadline that was just a few days away.

When Kung Fu Grip! #1 was completed a week or so later, I was immensely pleased with the end result. I was also happy that I hadn't chosen to rush through the final pages in order to meet that deadline. But it never did stop gnawing at me that I missed the chance to have my zine included in what would end up being Anno Domini's last zine exhibition.

That is...until now.

In 2010, after a fairly long hiatus, the Art of Zines exhibition is back at Anno Domini. I am proud to be participating in this event. My sincerest thanks goes out to gallery co-owner Cherri Lakey for the invitation. (Maybe now a much-needed sense of healing for missing Art of Zines 04 can finally begin.)

The Art of Zines runs through March 13 at Anno Domini Gallery, 150 S. Montgomery St., Unit B, San Jose, CA. For more information visit www.galleryad.com


Since 2006?

According to my profile, this lil' Blogger account was created back in the Spring of 2006. And yet, amazingly, despite a fairly established presence elsewhere on what George Bush often referred to as the "Internets" (Western twang required), I have virtually nothing to show for this now nearly 4-year-old account.

That, true-believer, is about to change.

Yes, coming soon to this not-so-new, but greatly improved blog is a...plethora of new postings, many of which will feature things that are currenty in development at the KFG Mountain Monastery. I have lots of new D-I-Y items on the horizon, including 1" button sets and a new zine or two.

In the immediate days to come, there's also gonna be a blurb about an article I wrote which will soon be featured in one of my favorite publications. (As soon as I have the details, true-believer, you too will have 'em.)

Yes siree, 2010 is the year of the blog! Well, this neglected blog anyway. So please keep an eye out for much more than what was posted in the past [cough] threeyearsandninemonths [cough].

And hey, considerin' my previous track record, with just one single post it already feels like I'm about...two-thousand and six steps ahead of the game.

St. Paco
Kung Fu Grip! Zine