I wanted to include the majority of the short stories I’ve produced over the past five years, and so I went through all my stuff and arranged them not chronologically, but by how they each fed into each other. The book contains stories collected from anthologies, some new work, and a few pieces that I reformatted from small run mini-comics, artists books, and drawings that I’ve made over the years. My style changes quite a bit from project to project, so the book has a kind of patchwork quilt feel to it, but I wanted to make sure there was a solid thread between how one story feeds into the next.
A lot of our early work was activist books… We were always kind of motivated in that way. When you have your own publishing house, you have to follow your own tastes, so we were publishing whatever we liked. We were also publishing a lot of translated fiction, because we felt that something that was important in the United States that was important then and still now, to combat that sort of insular feeling that we are all there is. To bring other writers and voices into the language, and get them exposed to new readers.
Mr. McFall grew up in Detroit, the only child of two schoolteachers, and he studied literature and music in college. He worked at a bookstore in Connecticut after graduation and then moved to New York in the mid-1970s to flourish as an actor, singer, poet and openly gay man. He took a job at the Strand in 1978.
“Back then, it was a cruel place; I was the first nice person to work here,” Mr. McFall said.
I’ve gone back to basics in recent years and placed a lot of emphasis on traditional tools… I have realized that calligraphy makes me a better type designer with digital tools and vice versa. There is a beautiful synergy between the two. There is also something very satisfying about making expressive marks and calligraphy has a humanity and expressive quality hard to capture with a computer. A personal motto at the moment is learn new old skills.
- Q & A with Misha Beletsky, Art Director Abbeville Press, Part One, March 12, 2013
- Midweek Miscellany, August 12th, 2009, August 12, 2009
- Q & A with Misha Beletsky, Part Two, March 13, 2013