Mütter Museum

by Gretchen Worden

"Superb ... Mütter Museum teaches you indelibly how strange life can be, how unpredictable and various. The [photographs], sometimes ghastly, sometimes heartbreaking, are mysteriously mesmerizing [and] will revise and enlarge your idea of what it is to be human." — Newsweek

"The images have an almost classical quality ... gorgeous and repulsive at once." — The New Yorker

Photography • hardcover • 9 x 11" • 192 pages • 135 full-color images • $50.00 • ISBN:0-922233-24-1

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Drew Friedman's Sideshow Freaks

by Drew Friedman

"Drew Friedman has created the greatest sideshow lineup ever. His astounding portraits of the strange, the unusual, the bizarre, and the unconventionally beautiful truly capture the spirit of these extraordinary characters. This is a must-have book for anyone who is a fan of the joyously twisted world of the sideshow." — Todd Robbins, Purveyor of Amazement, co-author (with Teller) and star of Play Dead

Featured at
Boing Boing

Nonfiction • hardcover • 8 x 8" • 112 pages • Color illustrations throughout • $19.95 • ISBN:0-922233-36-6

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The Drug User: Documents 1840-1960

Edited by John Strausbaugh and Donald Blaise
Foreword by William S. Burroughs


"This book belongs on the shelf of every Johnson in America." — William S. Burroughs

No down-and-out apologies of reformed junkies, no hyperbolic heroics of crime-busting drug czars, these neglected records of drug use are thoughtful excursions by the likes of Charles Baudelaire, Jean Cocteau, Anais Nin, Albert Hofmann, Sigmund Freud, and Aldous Huxley.

Nonfiction • trade paperback original • $10.95 • 5.25 x 8.25" • 272 pages • ISBN: 0-922233-05-5

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E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith

by John Strausbaugh

In the first serious exploration of Elvis Presley worship, John Strausbaugh draws on the words of Elvis's true believers and an array of other sources—film, anthropology, folklore, and his own field research at Graceland—to unveil the deification of Elvis Presley, better known as "E" to his friends.

Nonfiction • trade paperback original • 6 x 9" • 224 pages • $12.95 • ISBN:0-922233-15-2

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Guillotine: Its Legend and Lore

by Daniel Gerould

At the peak of the French Revolution, as noble aspirations began to give way to the bloodthirsty chaos of the Reign of Terror, Doctor Guillotin submitted to the National Assembly a plan for a "humanitarian" method of execution. Over the next two hundred years, until its abolition in 1981, countless numbers fell victim to the guillotine, from kings to criminals and aristocrats to anarchists. This lavishly illustrated volume explores the impact of this instrument of death on the creative imagination of some of history's most outstanding figures, including writings from Dumas, Hugo, Tolstoy, and others who saw the device in action.

Nonfiction • trade paperback original • 6 x 9" • 336 pages • Black-and-white illustrations throughout • $14.95 • ISBN: 0-922233-02-0

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Junk English

by Ken Smith

"The more you read and hear, the less you know. Junk English is terrific ... lively, funny, and impeccably right-minded ... takes mighty whacks in all the right places..." — The Washington Post

"... idiosyncratic harrumphing ... Smith has no time for persiflage ... the sword of righteousness smites with a fearsome blade in Junk English...." — The Boston Globe

"If Orwell's Politics and the English Language were updated ... it might look like Junk English. Quirky ... will delight language purists...." — Publishers Weekly

"Compact ... reasonably priced ... highly recommended for all libraries and could be considered essential reading in English classes." — Library Journal

"... a new Strunk & White ... written in such a humorous, nonthreatening way that it might actually be of some use...." — NY Press

"An admirably cranky little book ... refreshingly judgmental ... will make you laugh, and you'll never use effort as a verb again." — Forbes FYI

"... small and streamlined, almost a thesaurus of sloppy usage ... deserves a place on the desk of any writer or editor." — Minneapolis Star & Tribune

Ken Smith is also author of Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films 1945-1970; Raw Deal: Horrible and Ironic Stories of Forgotten Americans; Ken's Guide to the Bible; and co-author of The New Roadside America.

Nonfiction • trade paperback original • 5 x 7.25" • 144 pages • $12.95 • ISBN:0-922233-23-3

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Junk English 2

by Ken Smith

Junk English 2 combines basic advice—peppered with contemporary examples of alarmingly common verbal atrocities—with entertaining invective. Based on the author's uncounted hours of exposure to infomercials, ads, and other dubious cultural forms, the book covers topics such as "parasitic intensifiers," "-ize verbs," and the dreaded "weasel words." Frequently abused words such as "focus," "factor," and "process" are examined as are the seemingly unstoppable impulses toward vagueness and euphemisms. Written so that the ordinary writer and speaker of English can readily see the manipulations of language, especially in the post-9/11 era, Junk English 2 is useful as a quick reference, a source for further exploration, and a fun read.

Ken Smith is also author of Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films 1945-1970; Raw Deal: Horrible and Ironic Stories of Forgotten Americans; Ken's Guide to the Bible; and co-author of The New Roadside America.

Nonfiction • trade paperback original • 5 x 7.25" • 176 pages • $12.95 • ISBN: 978-0922233274

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Mental Hygiene: Better Living Through Classroom Films 1945-1970

by Ken Smith

Weenie roasts are swell!

"Smith's informative and often hilarious short essays on classroom film genres like 'Girls Only,' 'Dating,' 'Sex Education,' and 'Fitting In' illuminate the social indoctrination of American teenagers." — Publishers Weekly

Many films featured in Mental Hygiene can be seen at the Internet Archive; for example: 1 | 2 | 3

Nonfiction, popular culture, film • trade paperback original • 7 x 10" • 240 pages • black-and-white illustrations throughout • $24.95 • ISBN 0-922233-21-7

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Ken's Guide to the Bible

by Ken Smith

In Ken's Guide to the Bible Ken Smith merrily brings to light the strangest, most embarrassing, and most flabberghastingly bizarre stories within the world's best-known book—the Bible. Ken's Guide to the Bible takes literalists to task by pointing out everything in the Good Book that is totally weird. Ken's Guide to the Bible is written for people who don't have the time to read the Good Book but who suspect that it shelters a lot of absurdity between its covers. Ken's Guide to the Bible spotlights all the naughty, cool, fun parts of Bible, free from the indulgent interpretations of the faithful.

Nonfiction • trade paperback original • 5.5 x 8.25" • 144 pages • $7.95 • ISBN: 0-922233-17-9

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Prisoners

by Arne Svenson

"Svenson's book is a memorial to lost pieces of our national character." —L.A. Weekly

Seventy portraits reprinted from their original glass-plate negatives of turn-of-the-20th-century prisoners are accompanied by the salty, subjective contemporary newspaper stories describing the crimes of which they were accused and convicted. These powerful photographs capture the character and pathos of the men of the post-Gold Rush West charged with desperate crimes: the theft of a pair of shoes, of a can of oysters, of a dog named "Booze"; and as cold-blooded as murder.

Photography, history, true crime • trade paperback original • 10 x 9" • 160 pages • $24.95 • ISBN: 0-922233-18-7

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Raw Deal: Horrible and Ironic Stories of Forgotten Americans

by Ken Smith

Raw Deal is the perfect antidote to all of the self-affirming, ego-inflating, think-positive-and-you-can-win hogwash that pervades our society. The stories of twenty-two of America's most ironic, undeserving victims are told in Raw Deal from Ota Benga, the African Pygmy put on display in a New York zoo, to Charles Goodyear, inventor of rubber, who died peniless. With hand-illustrated portraits by artist Mack White, Raw Deal proves what we all know deep down: good vibes and a positive attitude aren't worth squat when you're in the way of someone with power and money.

Nonfiction • trade paperback original • 5 x 7.75" • 304 pages • Black-and-white illustrations throughout • $12.95 • ISBN:0-922233-20-9

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Up River: Man-Made Sites of Interest on the Hudson from the Battery to Troy

by Matthew Coolidge and The Center for Land Use Interpretation (www.clui.org)

With fascinating full-color aerial photographs that reveal man-made sites rarely seen by those who travel along the river's banks, Up River tells the story of the Hudson River's crucial role in the development of industry and modern America.

To view John Strausbaugh's video tour tour with Matthew Coolidge for The New York Times, click here.

"Graphically illustrates the impact of civilization on the [Hudson] River." — The New York Times

Millions of people in New York and New Jersey consider the Hudson River as familiar as their own backyard yet only have a superficial knowledge of the landscape and land use of this river's waterfront. This revealing book deepens readers' understanding with an aerial portrait of the river's shores from the Battery, at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, to the river's origin near Albany. Focusing on man-made sites rarely seen by those who travel along the river's banksâ€"some of which can only be seen from the airâ€"the book showcases the shore area's vanishing (or vanished) avenues, prisons, power plants, quarries, parks, condos, and redevelopments. Up River's photos and accompanying succinct text tell the story of how this river was used in developing industry and modern America from Revolutionary times through 19th-century exploitation of the waterfront to the beginnings of environmental activism that protects famous vistas from the quarriers of the Palisades.

Nonfiction • hardcover • 9 x 6" • 176 pages • 86 full-color aerial photographs and a fold-out map • $19.95 • ISBN: 978-0-922233-29-8

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Venus in Furs

by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
with selected letters of
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
and Emilie Mataja
foreword by Sylvère Lotringer


"A pioneering masterpiece." — James Cleugh, The First Masochist

The legendary novel Venus in Furs earned its author entry into psychology books all over the world after the German psychologist Krafft-Ebing coined the term "masochism" from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's name.

Illuminating his darkest obsessions, Sacher-Masoch created the archetypal Severin and Wanda—a "suprasensual" man who craves abuse and domination, and an idealized cruel, icy Venus come to life—literary reflections of Sacher-Masoch's own life. As Sylvère Lotringer writes in his foreword, "In Venus in Furs reality and fantasy aren't just intertwined, they're indistinguishable." A fascinating account of the pathology of submission and control, Venus in Furs bears the unmistakable mark of a literary classic.

Fiction • trade paperback • 5.125 x 8 .25" • 224 pages • $9.95 • ISBN: 0-922233-01-2

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Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show

by Suehiro Maruo

"Exquisite ... adult comic art of high visual sophistication." —New York Press

One of the most extraordinarily talented graphic novel artists in Japan today, Suehiro Maruo has created a riveting masterpiece with Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show. Maruo's retelling of this classic Japanese tale, his childhood favorite, is like the grimmest of Grimm's fairy tales.

Manga (Graphic Novel) • trade paperback original • 7 x 10" • 160 pages • $10.95 • ISBN: 0-922233-06-3

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Comics Underground Japan

edited by Kevin Quigley

"Blast Books once again provides a glorious selection of Japan's underground masters. My personal favorite is Kazuichi Hanawa's rich historical grotesque 'Mercy Flesh.'" — Joe Coleman

Comics Underground Japan presents the wild, subversive world of Japan's most accomplished underground comics artists. Some of the dozen artists included in this anthology will be familiar to followers of manga; others make their American debut in these pages. The richly imaginative stories in this volume show a great range of graphic style, from painstakingly detailed draftsmanship to exuberant, maniacal renderings. At the heart of each work in this anthology is a unique personal vision and a fierce artistic compulsion—these manga artists are the misfits of the art form, and they are its visionaries.

Manga (Graphic Short Stories) • trade paperback original • 7 x 10" • 240 pages • $14.95 • ISBN: 0-922233-16-0

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Hell Baby

by Hideshi Hino

"A mix of beautiful and spare imagery." — The Comics Journal

This graphic novel by one of Japan's most accomplished artists tells the unsettling saga of twin sisters born on a dark and stormy night in Tokyo: one normal, and one a demon baby with a taste for blood—a Hell Baby. Tossed into a garbage dump, Hell Baby dies in the plastic bag but is brought back to life by an unworldly bolt of lightning. Replete with Hino's trademark black humor and unflinching imagery, Hell Baby is a classic horror tour de force.

Manga (Graphic Novel) • trade paperback original • 6 x 9" • 200 pages • $10.95 • ISBN: 0-922233-12-8

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Panorama of Hell

by Hideshi Hino

"With Panorama of Hell, Americans have a real chance to attempt to understand the depth of nuclear horror." —L. A. Weekly

Panorama of Hell is a shocking, tortuous journey into the depths of one man's post-nuclear Hell. Through the confessions of a fiendish Hell painter born in the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima, Hideshi Hino tells a nightmarish story, creating a manga masterpiece of black humor, stunning vision, and unflinching imagery.

Manga (Graphic Novel) • trade paperback original • 6 x 9" • 200 pages • $9.95 • ISBN: 0-922233-00-4

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