And now for something completely different...

It's Mark here and thought I'd talk a little bit about this fantastic, if very strange book, A Serious Life: The History of Savoy Publishing written by a friend of mine, DM Mitchell. He's written a tremendous introduction to my short story collection, The Outsider, which you may see out on Cargo Publishing sometime in the next fifty million years or so.

Not only is that a sleek cover by John Coulthart, but the book itself is a really fascinating read, even for the many of us unfamiliar with Savoy Publishing. 

The Savoy was originally a publication by the esoteric book dealer Leonard Smithers, Aubrey Beardsley and the symbolist artist Arthur Symons-all friends and contemporaries of Oscar Wilde. It was designed to publish difficult or shocking literature of the mid 1890s. 

The idea was revived again in 1976 by David Britton and Charles Partington  before Michael Butterworth came onboard. The label became a home to avant-garde and difficult novels that struggled to find a home. Brilliant books, not the most commercial let's say.

Savoy expanded over the years to produce comic books, records, books, art and critical discussive works-all toned by an anarchic edge. i-D Magazine called it "the strangest publishing company in the world" and with good reason: their releases cover jumbles of interesting things from esoterica and occultism to Burroughs-esque cut up experimentalism and the history of bands like KISS and The Cramps.

DM Mitchell's book reviews every item they've released and tells the stories of the police raids, book burnings, wild parties and how this grew to be one of the most important avant-garde hangouts in the world. That would be in Manchester.

Available from Savoy Books directly or Amazon, it's well worth a look. And that cover will look cracking on your shelf.

I don't have to remind you that for great books on art, architecture, fashion, graffiti, streetwear, fashion, comic books-you name it, we got it-is

Till next week, ciao,



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