Mineshaft. Number 15, April 2005

by Everett Rand and Gioia Palmieri, editors.. 611 Bon Air Avenue, Durham, NC 27704. Issn 1531-138X.

Book Review by

The front cover of this issue features a drawing by R. Crumb and the back cover a reproduction of a circa 1940s or 1950s newspaper advertisement for burlesque, complete with picture of Donna Kaye, who was the headline stripper. There is a reprint of an interview with Charles Bukowski by Ace Backwords within. And also inside more Crumb and more Burlesque and a piece by Andre Codresque. And of course more. For a 48 page magazine, word for word, line by line, drawing by drawing, item by item, with a focused purpose, I’d be hard to find a match for Mineshaft. I was remembered, after reading Bruce Simon’s Los Angeles Burlesque article, in Mineshaft, the burlesque advertisements of my own childhood and how my fantasies were fueled and molded by these 1950s burlesque ads. In the newspapers! Yes, in the everyday newspapers. Oh the right-wing has stifled and drowned our sexuality. I mean there was kinda porn in the newspaper! I remember the headliners: Honey Bee and Busty Russell. Busty measured 50 inches around the bust! This became a measure of greatness in my circle of friends: 50 inches! 50 inches! Our dreams were measured by 50 inches. Well, that’s just a personal reaction to Mineshaft - the best little magazine in the candy section of your local supermarket book store where the proprietor is so old that you can buy quarts of beer and drink it out by the railroad tracks with Mineshaft in hand dreaming of Ginger Jones. It’s the work of the little magazine to remove the reader from the daily to the realm of the extraordinary, the mind and imagination, and Mineshaft does it with each page. Totally engrossing and appealing. Get it. Keep it up on the shelf. Oh! Wait! No hide it! Mineshaft is a magazine that your friends will steal.

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