WORD ON THE STREET: DC SIDEWALKS 2008-2011: 4 ¾” x 5 ½”, 32 pgs.

Nov 22, 2011

Word indeed! A strong entrance into the canon of, for lack of a proper term, “coffee table zines.” Within lies photos of twenty-nine different squares of sidewalk that this (anonymous) artist somehow divined upon (does D.C. have a wet cement directory?). The extent of this is impressive on its own, but better yet is what’s conveyed when the photos are successively digested. The art varies from sidewalk to sidewalk, but, together, form a visceral sort of pictographic narrative—Black Flag bars (“CAN’T DECIDE ANYTHING, SUMMER 2010”) to existential pontification (“Just trying to live,” “Does the fun ever start?”) to donuts living the chaos to bleak Dead Moon lyrics (“END OF SUMMER 2010”). Throughout all this is a recurring dead dinosaur waxing maudlin (“heart sick”), nihilistic (“fuck everything”), or in my favorite photo in the whole zine, just walking around listening to Bent Outta Shape on a walkman. It’s telling, I guess, but I don’t know about whom, that that photo in particular struck me more than most sentiments aped in any zine I’ve read lately. The spirit of this whole thing, and definitely the drawing style, are in the vein of Scam/ Erick Lyle’s graffiti. I can’t wait to go hunt these down next time I’m in D.C., because as great as this zine is, I know these are way cooler to walk over in person. –Dave Brainwreck (W.O.T.S., PO Box 73691, WDC20056)



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