The uniformed representative of the United States Postal Service slipped the latest issue of Mineshaft magazine under my door a few weeks ago, and for that I am grateful. This issue, the 43rd, is as usual an excellent exhumation and examination of various features of the American landscape, and they’ve really outdone themselves this time. The late Aline Crumb and Sophie Crumb trade mother/daughter stories of their experiences with abortion; editor Everett Rand describes the challenges of zine publication in these fraught times; Christoph Mueller explores the environs of 1970s and 2020s New York in the company of Françoise Mouly, founder and editor with Art Spiegelman of the groundbreaking Raw; R. Crumb provides a few meditative landscapes; and there’s so much more behind that fine cover image from Drew Friedman (with lettering by Mueller).
Mineshaft is a magazine that should be read from cover to cover, straight through; Rand and consulting editor Gioia Palmieri create a unique journey through American culture with each issue, beautifully paced and befitting a magazine which, perhaps more than any other, is a contemplation of a passing American scene. Its lucid perspective (like those of its contributors) transcends nostalgia without neglecting a sense of loss; its surreality is the result of the past as seen through the prism of an angst-ridden present. And not just in America: In this issue, the final cartoon by the Italian Ivan Manuppelli, one of Mineshaft‘s new finds, speaks to me, and if it speaks to me, it speaks to others as well; Mineshaft is the antidote to this despair. You can purchase the issue and subscribe to future Mineshafts here.
This issue is dedicated to Justin Green, Diane Noomin, and Simon Deitch, who recently shuffled off this mortal coil, as did Aline Kominsky-Crumb after the magazine went to press. I raise my glass to all of them. And I should mention that contributors Drew Friedman and Noah van Sciver, both favorites of mine, will be featured guests at this year’s MoCCA Arts Festival here in New York at the beginning of April. I’ll be bringing the kids.