I sent Jeff an email, telling him a little about Junk, inviting him to check out our site and submit if he wanted. He told me he didn’t really have anything related to addiction except perhaps one strip about nail biting.
So, here we go, folks. We’re launching our first Comics Edition at Junk, presenting Jeffrey Brown’s piece, “Yaaaay! Bite Your Nails!”
Help us get the word out. This is going to be fun.
Tim and I are pleased to publish new work by Erin Murphy on Junk. When “Slow Burn” showed up in our inbox, all I wrote to Tim was, “Wow.” Fortunately, I gained enough vocabulary to write Erin back right away and tell her “Yes, we want it!”
Because Junk publishes monthly, we needed to be patient about delivering her story to you, but now that the time is upon us, we hope you agree that it was worth the wait.
Tim and I were so excited when we saw this photo. Not only were we happy to receive a submission from Dinty Moore, but the photo reveals so much about the effects of addiction. The setting reflects the desperation and defiance of the addict. The composition and framing of the subjects illuminates a network of need—the girl holds a protective hand over what might be a baby strapped to her belly, track marks riddling the back of her knee. The dog pines for the girl’s attention, its leash dangling uselessly. And the bottle of wine—almost a study itself—lies drained to the dregs.
And what does this piece tell us about Mr. Moore? It’s almost as mysterious as what the poor child in the picture holds in her arms. We know the photo was taken in Florence, Italy, in the late summer of this year. Perhaps a vacation? Possibly business? What does it say when a photographer visits one of the jewels of the Renaissance and returns with a photograph of a junky as mournful and evocative as this?
We don’t know. We can only guess, dear reader.
What we do know is that this is a fine piece of visual nonfiction, and we are pleased as punch to present it here on Junk.
Since Junk’s launch in November, we’re received a steady stream of submissions, and Tim and I are pleased to see some good, quality work. Next week, we’ll publish the first of our visual submissions, and we’re excited. Most of the work submitted to date has been prose, which is great, we love the written word—have no fear, writers! But we’d also like to put in a plug to visual and performance artists. We want to see your work!
We want photos, comics, paintings, drawings, performances, from people who are willing tell a story about their own addiction or the effect of addiction on them from someone else. Self-portraits can be revealing; a recent trip to a museum exhibit of Picasso’s work reminded us of this. One of our favorite visual artists, Cindy Sherman, combines storytelling, photography, and performance in an intriguing way. Or maybe you are a singer-songwriter with work you’d like to share to our audience—we watch YouTube, too.
You don’t have to be Picasso or Cindy Sherman to get our attention. We’re just trying to get YOUR attention. Submit!
I really liked Lee Martin’s story about food and family. Food allergy is a useful analogy for the effects of addiction: Even when it poisons our body, we crave that to which we are addicted. It is not uncommon to feel love, yearning and loss–sometimes decades later–for things we lose to sobriety. Family as well as food.
I pulled the car into a parking spot in front of Hovey’s. “We’re just killing time, right?” I said to Deb, and she agreed to go inside.
That wasn’t the whole truth, that part about killing time. I wasn’t aware of it then, but I am now. Somewhere inside me that evening was the ridiculous belief that I could walk into Hovey’s, order anything I wanted from the menu and make myself at home, order a Big Murt and fries and a chocolate shake, and shoot the breeze with the waitress about the holiday basketball tournament at the high school, the Christmas lights at the park, the dark days of winter we’d face together, by golly, in this small, wink-you’ll-miss-it town.