Nov 21, 2012

Antagonist Art, Part 2: The Books

Last week we featured the films of the Antagonist Movement & Ethan Minsker. Today, Ethan is back with part two which focuses on his books. As I mentioned last week, back in the late 90's I had a weekly DJ gig at Niagara in the East Village at 7th St and Avenue A. One of my favorite guys to work with there, Ethan Minsker, has gone on to follow his muse with the Antagonist Art Movement which, so far, encompasses an impressive collection of film and books. I've asked Ethan to to give us some background on his projects as I think its well worth spreading the word. Big thanks to Ethan for the contribution!

As an unknown writer, I knew I would have little chance to find an agent and/or publisher, so I used what I had learned from publishing my fanzine, Psycho Moto Zine, and other chapbooks to start my own publishing company. Through the fanzine I have editors and artists whom I trust. Everything else I am still learning. The only differences I can see between a major publishing house, and becoming your own publisher, are distribution and publicity. The advantage for me is that I can produce a book the way I want. Most writers will tell you that, unless you are a best seller, publishers won't put in the time to edit or promote your novel. I wanted to make works that I would love, long after I produced them, alongside artists I admired and thought had potential to grow. Maybe you have seen the sticker of my book cover for Barstool Prophets? Promotion for my books has been a mixed bag of t-shirts, stickers, and videos playing on our public access show. The mainstream channels won't pay attention to you unless you are George Clooney, and while I do have a nice smile, I am no George Clooney. So promotion has been guerilla-style—down and dirty. In an attempt to generate a following of readers I have priced my ebook's at $1.99, everywhere ebook's can be found. Take a risk and get your own. Signed copies of my book can be found at the St. Marks Bookstore currently on 9th street and 3rd Avenue in New York City.

My writing

I believe that everyone’s life can be broken up into chapters. The series I am currently working on separates my life into three parts. The first, growing up in Washington, D.C., and becoming involved in the punk rock scene where my friends were murdered. The second, moving to New York City at age eighteen, and working in the Lower East Side bars. Thirdly, the book I am currently in the process of editing covers the birth of the Antagonist Art Movement and my transition from bars to galleries. My D.C. book, Rich Boy Cries For Momma, took me over 12 years to finish. Like a detective I had to search out all the punk rock bands to get permission to reprint their lyrics. I write in a conversational, simple and direct tone. I am interested in how locations and environments work as a background and help shape the story itself, from Washington, D.C.'s punk scene in the 80s and 90s, to New York City, before and after September 11th. The city you live in is as much a part of the story as your characters.

Below are descriptions and links to trailers of the books and fanzines by Ethan H. Minsker. Please don't be shy about passing these on. And if you do read any of them, join our fan pages on Facebook to get updates.

Rich Boy Cries for Momma is told from the perspective of the good son turned teenage punk rocker, and is set in Washington, D.C. during the turbulent 1970s and 80s. Filled with mayhem, teenage romances, and substance abuse, but also humor and warmth, the story focuses on the young, unnamed protagonist. A disparate cast of characters—from junkies, gangsters, and jocks, to the kids of diplomats, the girl next door and the boy who suffers from fecalphilia—become entangled in the “scene”. Rich Boy Cries for Momma pulls the reader into the allure of a counterculture that ultimately changes the lives of the narrator and those he cares most about.

Barstool Prophets is a rowdy, raw, and humorous memoir of true events. The story follows the lives of a wild spectrum of characters, narrated by a young writer working in a bar in New York’s East Village. Barstool Prophets chronicles this iconic neighborhood over a period of 20 years, from its seedy early 1990s, to its recent gentrification into a Manhattan hot spot. From the love-addled bartender, to the suicidal doorman, to the junkies in Tompkins Square Park, they are a family, with all the accompanying joys and dysfunctions.

Trailer for Barstool Prophets

Read a copy of PMZ fanzine here.

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