Monthly Archives: July 2011

Microcosm Artist Feature: Do-It-Yourself Screenprinting’s John Isaacson!

If you haven’t heard it from us (or through ye olde grapevine) we are running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the re-publishing of John Isaacson’s book Do-It-Yourself Screenprinting. Sadly, the campaign isn’t going so well. We currently have seven days to raise nearly $4,000 of the $5,000 goal (which is one half of the printing costs; we’re shouldering the rest.) So if you can find it in your big ol’ heart to help John’s book spring back to life, here’s the Kickstarter link. Meantime, feast your eyeballs on this collection of the dude’s screenprinting work! We love ya, John!

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Rad Dad—The Book!

Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood combines the best from the award-winning zine Rad Dad and from Daddy Dialectic, two kindred publications that have explored parenting as political territory. Both have pushed the conversation around fathering beyond the safe, apolitical focus and have worked hard to create a diverse, multi-faceted space to grapple with the complexity of fathering. 

Today more than ever, fatherhood demands constant improvisation, risk, and struggle. With grace, honesty, and strength, Rad Dad’s writers tackle all the issues that other parenting guides are afraid to touch: the brutalities, beauties, and politics of the birth experience, the challenges of parenting on an equal basis with mothers, the tests faced by transgendered and gay fathers, the emotions of sperm donation, and parental confrontations with war, violence, racism, and incarceration. Rad Dad is for every father out in the real world trying to parent in ways that are loving, meaningful, authentic, and ultimately revolutionary. 

Contributors Include: Steve Almond, Jack Amoureux, Mike Araujo, Mark Andersen, Jeff Chang, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jeff Conant, Jason Denzin, Cory Doctorow, Craig Elliott, Chip Gagnon, Keith Hennessy, David L. Hoyt, Simon Knapus, Ian MacKaye, Tomas Moniz, Zappa Montag, Raj Patel, Jeremy Adam Smith, Jason Sperber, Burke Stansbury, Shawn Taylor, Tata, Jeff West, and Mark Whiteley.

Interview with DIY Screenprinting author John Isaacson!

We’re running a Kickstarter campaign right now to help fund one of thee most awesome DIY guides of all time: John Isaacson’s epic, wonderful, hilarious, helpful graphic-novel-as-silk-screening-manual Do-It-Yourself Screenprinting! Right now there are only a few days left until the Kickstartin’ is Kickstopped and it’s not lookin’ too hot. We could hella use your support on this one! If you’ve got a coin or two lying around, here’s the Kickstarter link. Now, without further adieu, meet John Isaacson. He’s a really amazing dude…

Q: Tell us how the book originally came about; where were you in your life?

A: I was discovering mini-comics for the first time in the early 2000s. I was a street vendor selling t-shirts I screenprinted. A lot of people bought shirts from me, but even more wanted to know how to print on their own shirts. They were like, “How do you do this?” So I would explain, and I tend to be a little long-winded, so their eyes would glaze over after a certain point. Then I realized, “Hey, I should just make a little mini-comic about how to silk screen and then more people will get what I am talking about. Then they won’t have to remember what I said; they could just look at it in a little book.”

Q: Do you remember your first screenprinting project?

A: I think it was a stencil of the Operation Ivy skanking punk. Either that or Kokopelli designs. Dancing people for the “Dance Weekend” event at my high school.

Q: What kinds of things are you screenprinting these days?

A: Mostly the odd poster here and there. A few comic book covers.

Q: What’s the first bit of advice you’d give a would-be screenprinter?

A: Be patient, be willing to start over from scratch, remain calm, think critically, and learn from your mistakes. Reuse materials to keep it cheap. Also, buy my book!

Q: Is there anything you wish someone would’ve told you when you were first getting started!

A: That you don’t need to wash out the emulsion with hot water after exposure. Also, that the spray from a spray bottle is not strong enough to remove emulsion.

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Q: What kind of town is Portland for screenprinters?

A: Totally amazing. There are so many studios for printing in and great printers like Daria Tessler, Zack Soto, Kinoko, Keegan Meegan, Corinne Teed, Roger Peet, and E*Rock. I wish I saw more screenprinted posters on the street…

Q: What would you say you’ve learned most from screenprinting?

A: I’ve learned to solve problems creatively. I’ve learned to constantly trouble-shoot and always look for solutions, to never expect “perfection”, to experiment and try new things, and to be loose and not uptight.

Rad Dad #20

Hot on the heels of Rad Dad 19, we’re excited to announce the release of issue 20! This issues features articles about special needs children, traditional Japanese grandparents, queer male allies, and an interview with Brian Heagney—the author, illustrator, and publisher of the kid’s book, The ABCs of Anarchism. Some of this issue is learning lessons from your children—or even them teaching you lessons—and as always, Rad Dad is a forum and a source of hope that parents and children can one day be welcomed in radical spaces. This is important reading—vital stuff for parents and nonparents alike.