Plumbago, issue 3 is almost here!

This is something I’m very excited about, folks.

A year ago when we started Plumbago Magazine, as a paper companion to The Erasable Podcast, we just wanted to get some of our friends to submit drawings, or written words, or something that we could photocopy together into a few pieces of paper, folded and stapled.

Then, last summer, Issue 2 came out, and we suddenly had 36 pages full of writing, illustrations, comics and more about pencils. We made 300 copies, which seemed like a lot, but — wow! — that quickly sold out. (You can still buy a PDF copy of that issue, though.

Plumbago Magazine, Issue 3

For Issue 3, due out in January, I really wanted a whole issue dedicated to poetry and fiction. About pencils. I figured it would be slim pickings compared to Issue 2. But was I wrong!

Folks, we have almost 70 pages filled with a dozen short stories, many poems, illustrations, comics, paintings, graphite art, and more!

And yes. Everything’s about pencils. (Or, at least, pencils play a part in the story.)

And we’re making many more copies, so I hope we can keep them in stock for a while.

Here’s just a quick list of some of the content within:

We’re trying to sell a bunch of copies, yes, but only because — okay, mostly me — am really excited to see this come to fruition. It’s been a labor of love for the last two or three months, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

(And any revenue above and beyond printing, assembly and mailing costs will be donated to Heart to Heart International, a nonprofit providing medical relief to the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Because we don’t make enough to pay contributors, I don’t want to make a profit myself.)

I’m afraid these won’t be available for Christmas, but my goal is to get orders out the first or second week of January. They’re being printed at a print shop, but the folding, stapling, trimming, and corner-rounding will be done right here in my one-bedroom apartment (Katie is thrilled, let me tell you).

So place your order today. This is your chance to see the creativity and passion that runs through the internet pencil community.

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Plumbago Magazine, Issue 2 is for sale as a pre-order!

I’m really excited for the second issue of Plumbago, my zine project. If you’ll remember, the first issue came out late last year. It was a bit rushed, since I was trying to produce an issue in time for a Zine Fest at the Facebook Analog Lab.

Turns out, I made far too few copies, and because it was assembled entirely using the photocopier, several features in it were pretty heavily distorted.

This time around, I wanted to produce a higher-quality issue, to see how that felt.

Well, it feels pretty great! Weighing in at 36 pages full of photos, comics, illustrations, and written features, I present Issue #2!

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This isn’t a real image of the magazine, so the cover could look totally different than this. Just saying.

This time, I need to spend a bit more money on producing the issue, so I opened it up for pre-orders to fund the initial print run. Please help out by placing a pre-order!

Just a few features you’ll find in this issue:

  • “What I’ve Learned from Field Notes”: A piece by urban sketcher Tina Koyama
  • “Rabbinic Musings in Graphite”: about how pencils aid in the intense study environs of rabbi school by Mordechai Lightstone
  • “How to Keep Score at a Baseball Game Using a Pencil”: A piece by Gregory Dresser
  • “Are You Too Obsessed with Stationery?:” A quiz to help you measure your sickness
  • A comic by the Mad Penciler
  • An editorial by Dr. J. Frank, encouraging you to lovingly destroy your pencils
  • And lots, lots more.

This issue will be $10 each, but during the pre-order period, it’s $8. Head over to the Plumbago page on Erasable.us to order a copy now!

Introducing Plumbago Magazine: an analog companion to a digital publication about analog tools

Recently, I got the chance to explore a medium I’ve been interested in for a while — zines! The Facebook Analog Lab held a Zinefest last week, raising money for the Oakland Fire Department Relief Fund, helping those affected by the Ghostship warehouse fire.

I’ve been meaning to try to put together a zine for years — ever since my friends Alex Brown and Danee Pye made them for various creative projects. This gave me the perfect chance!

And I knew I wanted it to be about pencils and analog tools of creation. Although it’s a fantastic irony that it’s an analog throwback from blogs and podcasts and whatnot about analog tool, it’s with an authentic love and passion that this came about.

So here it is —the inaugural issue of Plumbago Magazine!

Why “Plumbago”?

As I mention in the introduction:

In the late 1500s, residents of Cumbria, England stumbled across a massive tree that was overturned during a storm. The roots brought up soil with it, and beneath it, there was a strange, dark mineral. It felt a lot like a mineral they used at the time — *plumbago*, or dark lead. The used this new mineral to mark their flocks of sheep to identify them in the field.

Zines are a delightful anachronism, though maybe not totally useless. It’s a messy, raw, tactile, finite way to communicate, and in that mess, there’s also a richness to what it’s communicating. Much like pencils.

A short history and exploration of Eberhard Faber's Mongol pencils, by Caitlin Elgin of CW Pencils.
This issue is 22 pages full of amazing contributors — if you’re dialed into the pencil and stationery community, you might already be familiar with some of them:

I tried to make this thing as authentically ziney as possible — no digital copy of the whole publication exists. This was put together with tape, staples and lots of photocopying.

Head over to the Plumbago page on the Erasable Podcast site for more information and to buy your own copy!