Monday, December 29, 2008

Culture: Pop Void #1

(Ed., Jim Morton, Pop Void Publications, 1987)

Described by its editor Jim Morton as "a National Geographic for people of another planet," this was the first of what was to be a series of volumes of the publication, but as far as I know, it never went past the first issue.

A celebration to the lower echelons of U.S. Pop Culture, Pop Void #1 features articles of various lengths on such subjects as the artwork of Margaret & Walter Keane, the poetry of Rod McKuen, such popular foodstuffs of the past and present as Funny Face Instant Drink Mix and Kraft Macaroni, the history and development of nudism in the U.S., the phenominon of Lawrence Welk, literary output of the great maker of Bad Movies, Ed Wood, Jr., and much, much more. The quality of the articles and the amount of information they contain vary, but regardless of length or sentence structure, the subject presented is of interest to any fan of obscure Americana tastelessness. Actually, considering the obscurity of some of the subjects, the disinterest in which they are held in by the average public, that any information can be given is almost a surprise.

Easy to read and informative, the Pop Void #1 leaves the reader wanting more, more, more — which makes it all the more a shame that no further editions ever seem to have seen the light of day. A copy of this publication belongs up on every modern person’s bookshelf, sandwiched between some old ReSearch publication and Jeffrey Tennyson’s Hamburger Heaven (a study of the cultural and social implications of the hamburger), and with a Thriftstore bought print of one of the Keene’s pathetically sad big-eyed children hanging proudly on the wall above it.

Look for both, Pop Void and the print, and possess them with pride.


Top — The cover.

Bottom — A purty picture by the Keanes.

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