Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mock Turtle Press

More signs of life in the dying city.

Stopping by Jazzy Java Cafe I happened across a basket of little chapbooks with a donation can. Entitled "Collage" this is a collection of stories. The one bought was "short stories by Dayton authors". So it seems people are still doing zines here.

The publisher is "Mock Turtle Press", who maintains both a facebook and myspace page. Here's a link to the hipper myspace site (and, as is usual, the "Freinds" section provides linkage to local cultural creatives and their freinds and associates).

Perhaps what's interesting here is the concept of mixing print & paper (zines) with a presence in the social networking online world. The myspace/facebook sites promotes the zine, but one wonders if a zine could work the other way, promoting a blog or online place.

Stuff like this is heartening; small shoots of independent cultural production in a desert of soul sucking cultural conformity and conservativism. It's the small thrills of looking at the little postcards and mini-flyers at, say, Gem City or Jazzy Java or that coffeeshop at Paccia, or at the 5th Street Deli (and the larger band and event posters in the windows); that there are things happening out there, a scene of sorts creating and producing things, usually music but other types of cultural activity, too.

In short, a local bohemia or alternative scene.

Perhaps Dayton could evolve something like the Bristol Underground Scene. Or maybe it already has and all is needed is a wikipedia entry?


Anonymous said...

There have been initiatives like this around Dayton since at least the 1970s. When I was in high school there in prehistoric times, there always seemed to be two or three competing local underground free magazines and newsletters that were distributed at head shops - like one that used to be in the Art Theatre building on Wayne Ave. I recall one pseudo-revolutionary rag that reprinted Freak Brothers cartoon strips and Abbie Hoffman monkey wrenching advice. It had an author that excoriated the white GM factory worker proletariat of Dayton, who had the pen name of "Pancho White Villa." (White Villa was local-to-Dayton canned food packager that seemed to have gone out of business years ago. It was a funny/ironic use of a local Daytonism.)

Jefferey said...

I know there was some sort of underground newspaper or street sheet called the Razzberry. BGSU's pop culture department has a set of issues in their library (havn't seen them).

I seem to vaguely recall hearing that Dayton had a little "Haight-Ashbury/Old Town" type scene on North Main, around the intersection of Forest and Grand. And there was a lefty bookshop on Salem called "Modern Times" or something like that.

Well before my time, but sad that this is all forgotten now. I guess local scenes like this are pretty ephermal.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the RAZZBERRY. That rings a bell.

Just remembered another "group" around Dayton in the 70s that was associated with the above mentioned screed: the "Revolutionary Three Stooges Brigade". Their byline was "Viva, Larry, Curly and Moe". Somehow, Pancho White Villa was associated with this bunch.

Older ex-hippies around Dayton probably know more about this than I do...

But this is keeping with the idea of grass roots and underground creative arts efforts in Dayton.

Anonymous said...

I know there was some sort of underground newspaper or street sheet called the Razzberry.
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Ori said...

wow. i just found this. hello! i started printing the mock turtle zines and have admittedly been remiss in getting out the next issue because i was waiting to get enough submissions and now i have to find the time to format and the money to print. it all comes out of pocket. if anyone out there would like to help, please contact us at also, another local group has been printing a zine called smarty pants once or twice a year. does anyone have old copies of the Razzberry? would love to see it! i'm not a dayton native, and it's my opinion that every city needs underground print media! :)