XYZPDQ: An Imaginary Press

Apparently, I’m now the proprietor of the completely imaginary virtual press known as XYZPDQ Press, which is a division of Picture Engine Advancer Mercantiles. And, yes, XYZ etc. is the acronym for the warning, “examine your zipper pretty damn quick.” Which most of you knew already, but some of you didn’t, so now you do. And you really should check it, you know, because modern zippers are so toothless and also because if you don’t and your zipper’s down on accident, someone will always see it and point at it and chortle at you a lot because of it, which is something I hope doesn’t ever happen to you, because it happened to me a lot in grade school and is why I’m so obsessed with doublechecking the secure status of all sorts of closures to this day. Like, my wife can tell you, I check on our locked doors a bunch of times a night.

What we do at XYZPDQ is, we make (or aspire to make) book-like objects to sell or to give to people to enjoy. Mostly give. And the “we” is really just me, since I’m the sole owner and employee. I just like saying “we” because it makes it sound like I’m not all alone down here in my tiny dim workshop in the corner of the basement under the old Pritzker’s Department Store at the corner of 4th and Shiloh. Don’t worry about me, though. There’s a bunch of barrels of old Civil Defense rations down here and also a Bakelite radio that gets radio shows from the middle of the last century, just like how radios sometimes do in sentimental sci-fi stories, except it’s not a story, but a true fact I can’t really explain.

Anyway, back to business: a few of our books are the usual kind of paper type of books. But mostly what we’re interested in doing is non-paper books. The reasons for this are many and various, but the top reason is, there are already hundreds and thousands of excellent and skilled book artists in the world, and so it’s hard for a newbie to find a niche, and so if there’s a little narrow niche in doing non-traditional books, then I’ll just do that, because, again, the world for sure doesn’t need me to make stuff other people can make better. The problem, of course, is that non-traditional books are in a niche some folks would like to nail a board over and forget about. So, you know, thus the spiderhole I’ve got going in the basement. A place for hunkering down while bottle rockets get lobbed to and fro in the streets overhead. Which means I guess I’m like a Mole Man of the book arts world. Which is okay with me, I guess. I sort of look all right in a green cape.

Although, I have to say, I have the worst case of bibliomania of any human I know or have ever known, so even if it often seems like I don’t fit in the book arts world, I feel like I totally do fit, on account of the extreme and chronic bibliophilia I just mentioned. Like, seriously, the worst case in the history of the whole world. Again, just ask my wife, she’ll tell you. Whenever we move, the main thing we’re moving is about a million tons of books and a couple of old chairs and a bed. Plus, a few cups and plates and whatnot. And a commemorative spork from a really memorable State Fair, although I can’t remember which state it was in.

Anyhow, that’s all for now, because I have about 9 years of work to do and three weeks to do it in, so I’m going to go do that for a while.

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