CAL FOLGER DAY
Curiosities by Cal Folger Day. Volumes include Domestic Labor Manual, a psychedelic and practical guide; The Shooter at 92, an interview with John Doyel (of Beadazzler fame); Béla Bartók: Haute Hungarian Hillbilly, a biography; Living With Steve, a memoir of rooming with ‘the blind guy’; Fair Play To The Missus, a review of love ceremonies; and Report Cards, stationery from the land of literature. “And as with all good poetry, the act of reduction makes every scrap of information that more charged.” –Robin Enrico, of the DiTKO! Zine Library, reviews Domestic Labor Manual (2013)
What got you in to independent publishing?
Well, a dearth of sponsorship, and the sense of it being something like a private devotional act. I’ve always loved duplication and photocopying particularly and I was putting together a monthly collaborative zine for a year before I started focusing on my own output. I didn’t go to art school or anything, this is just dilettante arts’n’craftsyness for me!
What do you make/publish?
Over the past couple years I’ve churned out a small discordant catalog… my magnum opus so far is a psychedelic and practical treatise on housecleaning. I also have a transcribed interview with John Doyel who patented the Beadazzler and practiced zen archery; a set of hand-drawn memes including Bill Clinton and my mother; a pamphlet called Béla Bartók: Hungarian Hillbilly, about the modernist Hungarian composer. And I’ve just finished a set of ten notecards, which together tell the story of Molly Spotted Elk from a biography by Bunny McBride.
Who/what inspires you?
In light of my previous response, maybe I can just say surprise itself! But I think it’s also right to give credit to a few women whose words and pictures were around in a big way as I was growing up: Susan Branch, Mary Engelbreit, and most of all Tasha Tudor. And when I was older I found the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, which is brave enough to take silly very seriously.
Who are your audience?
Well frankly, mostly weirdos… I’m also a musician, and I sell all this printed matter as merch along with physical format recordings at gigs too… I think if you can entice anyone to treasure a dinky ephemeral object it’s a lovely coup.
Have you exhibited at the Dublin Zine Fair before? How did it go?
Yes, I had a table last year, although I mostly missed out on the schmoozing because I had to do a shift at work! But I’d snuck in the other day and it seemed very vibrant and diverse, which is also what I’ve found at the Brooklyn and DC zine fests. I like that there’s such a loose mold.
Tell us a joke!
I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio. (Joan Rivers)