Welcome to issue #64. The cover star is a squirrel I encountered on a recent walk in the park. I took his photo using a piece of broken blue glass as a filter.
So as previously announced, I’m taking a break for a while, so this issue gathers up a lot of odds & ends I had around instead of being a themed issue. Maybe a little thinner than recent issues, but still plenty of stuff.
Alan Sparhawk of Low – A super short interview (by QRD standards) of specific questions I hadn’t seen asked in any of the recent interviews about the new album that I wanted to know the answers to.
Paul Gregory of Lanterns on the Lake – A straggler for our guitarist interview series, so I snuck him into this issue instead of waiting for the next set in the distant future.
Fruits de Mer & Sound in Silence - I had tried to get another issue of the label interview series going, but I only got in a couple of interviews. So here are two more in the series.
The Shards that Float Upstream by Patricia Russo – Long time readers know Patricia as a big contributor back in the days when we had a lot of short stories in QRD. Her surrealistic near poetry prose style is pretty great. I’m super happy to have her making another appearance.
Living Art by Joshua Heinrich – I sent out a call for essays about the dread of your best artwork being behind you. Josh of fornever was the only person to send something in. Thanks Josh!
Plumerai - Mondegreen Tour Diary by Martin Newman – So I had been planning on doing a series of interviews with touring musicians about how to survive life on the road, but I kept dragging my feet about it & so Martin made this tour diary of his last couple strings of shows.
Remora - Recent Covers – So I’ve been doing some cover songs lately to try to re-invigorate my love of music. These are the best results.
Sun Photos – I’ve been making these weird animated gifs the past few months of photos of the sun through pieces of broken glass. My Tumblr is filled with them. They might be my big thing….
Thank you all for your interest & support over the years. It’s meant a lot to me. Sign up for the mailing list to know when we are getting back in the groove of doing some more issues.
I can’t imagine this is really the end after 19 years, but I need to regroup & figure out what’s going right & what’s going wrong with a lot of the work I’ve been doing in my life. If you have ideas for how to make my work feel vibrant & exciting again, I’d be glad to hear them. The problem isn’t the lack of money earned from the work (though obviously that is an issue) so much as that it seems like there’s less interest in it from the general public. The goal of my work (QRD, music, Silber, comics, painting, etc.) is to build a feeling of community & to help people feel less uniquely alone, but at this point it seems that the lack of interest compared to five years ago is screaming at me that I am uniquely alone & invalid & useless. The decision for the hiatus was because I essentially had a nervous breakdown/severe depressive episode a couple months ago (things had been building up to it for a couple years now). I spent days not getting out of bed, just staring at the ceiling. When I’d try to eat I’d throw up. I dropped from 128 pounds to 110 pounds over a couple weeks. I thought I might actually die from it because of heart atrophy & that seemed acceptable enough to me. Twelve people noticed & eleven people cared & that was enough to get me through (hopefully, still a battle to leave the bed every day). Everyone agreed with me that part of the problem was the frustration with the work I was doing & that it was time to take a break. It took me two months to wrap up everything I already had committed to doing for other folks (releases on Silber & all the QRD interviews, all going slow because of the difficulty leaving the bed) & now at the end of it I’m freaking out more than ever about “How do I define who I am without my work?” Which is a huge deal, but I’m blessed that I had enough good things happen in my life to have the luxury to face an existential crisis & have the time to try to figure out what’s next instead of just falling right into any opportunity that presents itself. Hopefully I’ll see you on the other side of things from a better place.
Brian John Mitchell