Writer who stumbled into typesetting and the occasional cover wrap. Founder of King Shot Press, a micropublisher of radical literature. Currently in Portland, but also sometimes Athens and elsewhere.

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NOV 25 2022: Busy Business

If you’re someone like me who struggles to internalize accomplishments, then I think it’s important, especially when you’re feeling unproductive, to audit your output going back a year. There will always be months where it feels like nothing happened, and there will be months where it feels like everything happened. I spent much of 2022 working on independently-published books, doing my best to make them better.

January: MUSIC IS OVER! by Ben Arzate (typesetting), SMALL MOODS by Shane Kowalski (typesetting)

February: YOU PRAY FOR DRY WEATHER AT THE SIGHT OF THE SUN by J David Osborne (typesetting)

March: LETTING OUT  THE DEVILS by Kelby Losack (typesetting, bathroom graffiti)

April: JESUS CHRIST JOE by Selby (typesetting, cover wrap)

May: THE VACATION by Garth Miró (typesetting),  CORNUCOPIA by Lindsay Amaris Temple (typesetting, cover wrap), AURA by Hillary Leftwich (typesetting, image correction)

June: ISLAND TIME by Olivia Kan-Sperling (typesetting, cover wrap/spot UV outline from existing  design)

July: Worked on novel

August: Worked on novel

September: DONALD GOINES by Calvin Westra (typesetting, cover wrap, charcoals, audiobook censorship)

October: Moved into a house, built some things

November: POLO by Jinnwoo (typesetting, cover wrap using existing design)

December: EXPVT (Expat litjournal #5)

There are also King Shot titles, as well as projects for various writers, publishers that aren’t public yet. Upwards of 20 books, maybe.

Seeing this all laid out makes me feel pretty good.

SEP 12 2021: Feel Bad All The Time

This bookmark was a late-2020 ask from author Ben Arzate, to create a vaporwave-inspired bookmark he could include with his books. He’d sent along some samples of colors and artwork, and even though I’m not intimately familiar with the aesthetic, I researched it and put together some mockups (not shown here) to make sure we were on the same page, and then I contacted my friend Daphne, a pretty killer Greek artist, and asked if she wanted to collab on it—we’d lightly toyed with the idea of comics stuff in the past, but it’d never lined up.

Anyway, I put on Poolsuite FM at Daphne’s recommendation, to immerse, and decided to take an emotional approach to the prompt, while she came up with some striking riffs on the “crying girl” trope. Because it’s an intentionally lo-fi aesthetic, the struggle was in balancing it so it’d look eye-catching and unpolished. I placed Daphne’s crying girl at the foreground very little blending so it’d look like it was cut-and-pasted right out of a screencap, glitched up the backdrop, and threw in a random-ass dolphin hopping over a palm tree for good measure. I believe the text says something like “I Feel Sick,” to complement Ben’s Feel Bad All The Time branding. I don’t know how true to the vaporwave aesthetic it actually ended up being, but I adore that it’s campy/ridiculous and very melancholy.

SEP 8 2021: Sam Pink Remastered

I recently completed a six-book series of covers to Sam Pink’s early novels. I’m quite happy with how these turned out. Lo-fi, melancholy, organic.

The books are chronologically dressed (2010-2014), each with artwork that was produced around the time the specific book was written. I was allowed to interpret/remix the covers according to how the novels spoke to me. I aimed at a vibe somewhere between Daniel Johnston and Harmony Korine, which is where I think Sam’s work sometimes rests. These were a lot of fun to revisit.

JUNE 10 2021: Book Design Part 2

This is one of four variant editions of the limited reissue of my first novel, Long Lost Dog Of It. I wrote this book between 2012-2014, under influence of neon noir like Only God ForgivesLost Highway, Collateral, Enter the Void; books like Wise Blood, American Tabloid, Antwerp, V; erotic films like Andrew Blake's Dollhouse and Paris Chic. I think there’s also some Cormac McCarthy/DFW influence in there too. If you enjoy that weird kinda shit, maybe you’ll dig it, who knows.

As far as this particular design goes, it’s the only non-Matthew Revert cover to any of my work. I never thought I’d design something for myself, let alone that it’d see print. It was intimidating to have something of mine next to three killer designs by him. I decided on something minimalist that reflects the book’s tone. The idea of a fracture behind a machine gun seemed fitting, after a few variations. I thought a lot about the back of Ryan Gosling’s scorpion jacket in the movie adaptation of James Sallis’ Drive while working on it. I also wanted the back cover to feel like the opening credits sequence of a film. I think it turned out pretty okay.

And here are Matthew Revert’s designs for the other three covers:

MAY 24 2021: Living Constellation

Debating with myself about whether not rap's real
‘Cause broke motherfuckers are the only ones that have skill.


Below is the original introduction to Gravity, titled “Living Constellation: An Introduction,” from when it was called something else. I cut it from the final 2017 incarnation and replaced it with a short paragraph because I felt self-conscious. Who’d care? Turns out I would, seven years later. I sometimes miss the person who wrote this. I was ashamed of the struggles that made me special. I didn't even have my own working computer. I’d type up work at Internet Cafes and email it to myself. I think all of it made me a stronger writer.

“I wrote my first novel at eighteen years old, and after a process of about seven or eight further attempts, I finally released my first book shortly before my thirtieth birthday. In those twelve years between, I lost almost all of the hundreds of thousands of words I wrote, to hard-drive crashes and weather, and occasional anger. Between the ages of twenty-three and twenty-nine, I moved five times: four cities on two continents. For a while I worked as a night manager at a hostel, reading and working out sentences until dawn, drinking instant coffee I’d spoon into water bottles and shake. I used to sit at the beach or the marina some mornings and dream of leaving—but I’d already left somewhere else and I was in Athens and five years had already passed. What’s strange is I didn’t miss anyone, or if I did miss the people I’d known, there was an understanding that we could live without each other. I was certain then I could survive alone. I felt poor there, not so poor that I was homeless or starving (that would come later, in Paris), but it was poor enough I couldn’t afford to go out except to go to work. Just enough money for a kind of limbo. My desk was a battered old card table and a padded chair I’d repaired with packing tape. There’s an entire year of this time I don’t recall what I was doing, I was drunk all the time and more than okay with that. On a morning I felt spontaneously helpless enough I couldn’t stand it anymore, I bought a ticket and departed a few weeks later, for France. There I sometimes lived between couches, on the kindness of friends I’d made working at the hostel.  I spent most of my time in the Pompidou Centre, people watching, studying (I’m an autodidact, if that matters) and working on another doomed novel. Often, I drank wine and contemplated drowning myself in a canal. I used to fantasize about where someone might find me floating. It wasn’t until I returned to the States that things started feeling lighter for the first time in years. I started taking walks. These days I’m more at ease, I live in Oregon, I write slower, I met a good woman . . . you could call it ‘being happier.’ For income, I stock shelves at a hardware store and help people find the tools they need—hey, it’s work. I’m still young and none of this feels as far of a distance as it was. Most of my life’s been improvised. What’s presented here are a handful of the stories that managed to survive. Portland, 2014.”