December 29, 2018

Here’s what HILOBROW published in October, November, and December 2018.

BEST OF HILOBROW: 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 1Q2020 | 2Q2020 | 3Q2020 SNEAK PEEK.


During 4Q2018, we published FOSSILS, the sixth volume in our ongoing PROJECT:OBJECT series, which is edited by Rob Walker and Josh Glenn. This time, they asked 25 talented PROJECT:OBJECT and HILOBROW friends to tell stories about significant objects that evoke a vanished era. Here’s the complete lineup:

Introduction by Josh Glenn and Rob Walker

Allegra Huston on SKATAWAY JACKET | Kevin Obsatz on HOMEMADE NUNCHUKS | Ian Bogost on DESKTOP TELEPHONE | Jeff Lewonczyk on CHA-CHA JACKET SCRAP | Kelly Horan on VOLVO KEY | Sarah Rich on WESTFEST EARRINGS | Cynthia Joyce on MELODICA | Kevin Brockmeier on SALADMOBILE | Adam Harrison Levy on PASSPORT HOLDER | Marissa Frayer on BABY BLANKET | Elizabeth Foy Larsen on RML BOOKEND | Jae Nichelle on SHEET MUSIC | Sean Patrick Walsh on TYPEWRITER | Andrew Innes on BUST OF DUCK | Carla Sinclair on FACTSHEET FIVE | Chapell Ellison on SLEIGH BELL | Malcolm Evans on “QUEEN MARY” FOB | Jason Gilbert on HAND CHAIR | Karl Taro Greenfeld on OPIUM KIT | Tony Leone on MODEL TANK | Dave Boerger on TEEN BIBLE | Chelsey Johnson on BREYER HORSES | Erin M. Routson on PAPER WALLET | Alissa Walker on JUKEBOX | Adrienne Crew on FISH SCALER.

Rob and Josh are grateful to FOSSILS’s contributors, many of whom have contributed their fees to the ACLU. Thanks, Mister Reusch, for the FOSSILS logo.


Lynn Peril added new installments in PLANET OF PERIL, a series primarily devoted to historical examples of what Lynn has named “pink think”: i.e., ideas and attitudes about what constitutes proper female behavior.

  • I MUST DECREASE MY BUST. “The so-called boyish type is an insane monstrosity to all aesthetic conventions of beauty.”
  • WIPE OUT. “If you’re under twenty-one, go surfing,” advised novelist Rona Jaffe in a 1966 article on how single girls could meet men on vacation. “If you don’t know about surfing or don’t like it, you’re too old to go.”


Adam McGovern wrapped up his year-long, twice-quarterly PANEL ZERO series — which used Q&As with comics creators to explore a wide variety of issues — with two final installments.

  • INSAME: Bishakh Som and the subject of change. “I just wanted to see what it was like to try and write a, like, micro-narrative that had more to do with the reader feeling like they were just hanging out at the beach with a bunch of Trans girls.”
  • NEVER ’NUFF: Stan-ing for the Man, 1922–2018. “Stan’s story can never end because he was always perfecting it, and everyone has a story about him too.”


Tom Nealon’s apophenic food-history series STUFFED returned — after a year’s hiatus — in October.

  • I CAN HAZ YOUR TACOS. “What do you think, you own tacos now, or something?” “Tacos have been rocked by colonization, the influx of immigrants, and then the export of the taco, including to the Southwestern United States where it was gussied up in a fried shell and subjected to other surprising indignities (e.g., the Trump Tower taco bowl).”
  • STUFFED TURKEY: There is a yearning at the heart of turkey tetrazzini, the memory of a void unfilled. “In Aztec mythology, Chalchiuhtotolin is the two-faced turkey god: cleansing and absolution on the one hand, plague and self-destruction on the other.”
  • BREAKING GINGERBREAD: Gingerbread isn’t so much complicated as it is a complicated illusion. “Ginger in Latin is giniber, gingebratum, in old/middle French gyngebraz, gingembras, gingimbrat, Middle English gingebrada, Old Occitan gingibrat, old Icelandic gingibráð, Middle Dutch gingebraes, gingebaers. Say those over and over again and it crosses over to gingerbread which is what they started calling preserved ginger and it was only much later when, presumably, someone wondered what was so bread-like about preserved ginger and they pivoted the use to ginger cakes and breads and other baked items.”


James Parker continued to bastardize THE KALEVALA, a Finnish sequence of folkloric songs, runes, and charms.

  • RUNE 2 (departure): “Vainamoinen in November”. “When a poet utters,/the sky’s eardrum flutters./My eyes ache from seeing./My balls ache from being.”

In October, HILOBROW staged a reading of James’s Kalevala bastardizations — featuring HILOBROW friends Tom Nealon, Matthew Battles, and Kristin Parker, among others — at our headquarters at the GO WEST coworking space here in Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood. The assembled crowd was ecstatic!


This year’s weekly ENTHUSIASM series, here at HILOBROW, was: WOWEE ZOWEE. We’ve asked 52 of HILOBROW’s friends and contributors to wax enthusiastic about albums from the Nineties (1994–2003). Here’s the 4Q2018 lineup:

Jason Cohen on IS THIS IT | Matthew De Abaitua on THE RAINBOW CHILDREN | Jenny Davidson on TIME (THE REVELATOR) | Crystal Durant on LIVE THROUGH THIS | Gordon Dahlquist on GARBAGE | Erin M. Routson on WASHING MACHINE | Carl Wilson on TEMPTING | Jessamyn West on ALL HAIL WEST TEXAS | Kaleb Horton on STREETCORE | Tom Nealon on BAZOOKA TOOTH | Erik Davis on DOPESMOKER | David Levine on FEVER TO TELL | Deb Chachra on MASS ROMANTIC.

Josh Glenn is editor of the WOWEE ZOWEE series. He’s very grateful to WOWEE ZOWEE’s contributors, many of whom have contributed their fees to the ACLU.


We continued publishing NEW WAVE SCI-FI 75, which aims to identify Josh Glenn’s 75 favorite science-fiction novels published during the Sixties (1964–1973) and Seventies (1974–1983). Here’s the 4Q2018 lineup:

J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise | Jodorowsky & Giraud’s The Incal | Joanna Russ’s We Who Are About To… | Cordwainer Smith’s Norstrilia | Samuel R. Delany’s Trouble on Triton | Moebius’s The Airtight Garage | Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly | Gary Panter’s Jimbo | John Varley’s The Ophiuchi Hotline | Vonda N. McIntyre’s Dreamsnake | John Crowley’s Engine Summer | Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred | Frank Miller’s graphic novel Rōnin


We published a final installment in Adam McGovern’s textshow series, a once-per-quarter round-table discussion on a variety of social and cultural themes. Here it is:

  • EMPOWER FANTASY: John Jennings, Stacey Robinson, and Emily Asher-Perrin unlock Luke Cage. “I was gonna ask if Cage is ‘Marvel’s Black friend,’ ‘cuz he seems most to thrive in team books (Thunderbolts, Mighty Avengers, etc.) — but it is unusual for American mass culture to see him as a father figure, which he essentially is to those teams too.”


We published four new installments in the BEST ADVENTURES series, which chronicles Josh Glenn’s attempt to identify the 10 best adventures he’s read from each year of the 20th century. Here’s the 4Q2018 lineup:


HILOBROW friend Tony Leone is not only an award-winning graphic designer, he’s an award-winning model tank builder, too. During 4Q2018, HILOBROW was pleased to publish TANK UP, a series showcasing ten of his favorite builds. Some installments previously appeared elsewhere.


In December, HILOBROW began reprinting twelve stories originally written for Josh Glenn and Rob Walker’s 2009–2010 anthropological-literary experiment SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS. Here’s 4Q2018’s ANOTHER 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE lineup: Ben Greenman on SMILING MUG | Dean Haspiel on KENTUCKY DISH | Doug Dorst on RUSSIAN FIGURE | Kurt Andersen on SANTA NUTCRACKER | Matt Brown on CRUMPTER | Chris Adrian on KANGAMOUSE | Nicholson Baker on MEAT THERMOMETER


HiLoBooks wrapped up our RADIUM-AGE INTRODUCTIONS & AFTERWORDS series, reprinting the original essays that we commissioned for our 2012–2013 editions of 10 Radium Age science-fiction novels. Here’s the 4Q2018 lineup: Mark Kingwell vs. Muriel Jaeger’s The Man with Six Senses | Bruce Sterling vs. Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (Afterword) | Gordon Dahlquist vs. Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt (Afterword)


During 4Q2018, HiLoBooks finished serializing H. De Vere Stacpoole’s 1918 Avenger/Artful Dodger-type adventure novel THE MAN WHO LOST HIMSELF; and also Jack London’s 1908 Radium Age sci-fi novel THE IRON HEEL.


BEST OF HILOBROW: 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 1Q2020 | 2Q2020 | 3Q2020 SNEAK PEEK.