Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Who you callin' psycho?

Five years ago tonight, under the influence of cheap wine and California smog, I put together the first issue of Thieves Jargon, which contained work from:

-- Eric Jones, writer and bandit, perhaps my first personal contemporary influence. Cover artist for Kittens in the Boiler and Year of the Thief.

-- Nate VanSweden, who wrote for Barstool Sports, the shitty Boston with some of the sleaziest editors in the game.

-- Bill White, whose story "Chicken Shack" in the late journal Pig Iron Malt(along with Chuck Palahniuk's "Guts") made me want to start Thieves Jargon.

-- Stephen Shea, my favorite literary Sox fan, maybe the only honest person I ever worked retail with.

--Hollywood, my pseudonym.

The original goal? Do it better than anybody had previously done it. I'm pretty sure we were the first journal with anything approaching a message board. Maybe 3am, but I don't think anybody else was doing weekly issues. We had the weekly writers. When artwork showed up with issue 100, there weren't too many journals doing artwork.

We didn't catch much traction until issue 5, when we ran a piece called "Redemption, TX," by Megan Frazer. She pimped us on the Zoetrope message board, and then we started getting a lot more submissions and readers. That's where Jeff T. Kane found us.

Delphine Lecompte showed up for issue 11. I remember sending her email saying, I've never seen anything like this before, I'd love to see more, and then she sent me two stories a night, as she wrote them, for a year straight. She gave Thieves Jargon as much a voice as anybody, and her writing led to the first release from Thieves Jargon Press.

We've published almost 700 authors and 1400 pieces in the last five years. I've spent the past month running some of my favorites. I have a few more weeks of classic TJ authors that I want to publish one last time, and then I'm retiring.

Thieves Jargon is going to continue under the watch of Dan Scannell, who has been a TJ co-editor for long enough that I know he's thoughtful, smooth, and has enough similar tastes to me.

I'm going to concentrate on editing novels and compilations. I have several on my plate to get me through the summer. Send suckas my way and I'll do them right.

Thanks for reading.

More, better, later...

20 comments:

crackers said...

cheers

P. H. M. said...

I'm really glad you're not letting it die with your retirement. Never know when this online lit thing is really going to catch fire. Facebook and MySpace are eventually going to be secondary to the other things people like to do with the internet.

Mike said...

You got class, DiGangi.

xTx said...

Thanks for all of your hard work. TJ was one of the first online zines I found and read religiously. JEFF T. KANE! Delphine Lecompte! Willie Smith! So many favorites you introduced me to!

Nice job.

(It would be so cool if you could put together some book collections for each year of TJ...)

adam moorad said...

funny. i’ve always had this feel TJ was conceived in a puddle-cloud of cheap booze & bud. i’m happy to hear it will live on.

Spencer Troxell said...

Good luck, Matt. You made something very cool.

jtk said...

Yeah thanks for putting up so many of my stories years ago. Five years ago was before my life went to shit. Good luck with stuff.

Mark said...

and now internet writing is dead

DiGangi, let me know when you throw your hat into the telekinesis journal arena

congrats on this chapter man, you've done some good shit, people seem to have come at you with a lot of love and a lot of hate

GCP said...

Thanks for publishing my stories and good luck with your new ventures.

mather said...

This might be the closest thing to fame you ever find, Digangi, I wouldn't abandon it so fast...

andy.riverbed said...

i wanna mather famous.

Jacob McArthur Mooney said...

Class, Digangi. All class. It's been a pleasure working with you over these years.

-Jmm

mather said...

There is a great story about me by Andy Riverbed on P H Madore's site. "The Riverbed" makes fun of how old I am (39) and of my homosexual tendencies! It's a must read. All of the quotes are accurate, I gave them freely when he asked me for them. In the end he fantasizes about me getting my ass kicked by a group of thugs (sorry, ruined the ending). It's an entirely natural response: someone is rude, he doesn't like our poetry, he is an annoyance, we can't argue with him, so we must beat the fuck out of him. Always the "we", the "us". The group mentality... It would have been better if he could have gotten it published somewhere besides his buddy's site, but then the consistency would have been lost I suppose.

Riverbed, the fact that a guy like you would even be talking about me or thinking about me at all is a huge compliment. And Madore too.

andy.riverbed said...

you found that quick. i was gonna promo it next week. i'm impatient. i wanted to get it up last week, but just got it up yesterday. if madore didn't want to put it up i was gonna put it up myself.

andy.riverbed said...

BTW:

here's the link:

http://madoreable.com/2009/06/15/story-riverbed/

i'm still gonna promo it as something new and important and shit.

andy.riverbed said...

next week.

sorry for the fragmented posts.

there was an awesome show last night at the wayward and i was working it and i'm kind of hungover and tired as hell.

when i get out of work i'm taking a long ass nap, then waking up to finisht he last andujar story. next week to puerto rico.

maybe i can write a story and call it "mather as a spic junky sleeping under a bridge en santurce."

i love you mather. i want to have your baby and then eat it and shit it and eat it again.

it'll probably taste like you.

mather said...

It probably will, Riverbed.

Kenneth Mulvey said...

Word Mooney, about the class. I've owed the bastard a twelve of shiner and a long-legg'd hill country woman for years but he's never dead out right demanded it or broke any of my legs.

I'm having one on you tonight Digangi, peace.

mather said...

Is DiGangi dying?

Zachary Houle said...

Thanks for publishing my work all those years ago. You built something good here.