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The Buk Shop

jon edgar webb: the editor’s bit and obit #33/88, ecs Chapbook (1993)

jon edgar webb: the editor’s bit and obit #33/88, ecs Chapbook (1993)

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This scarce chapbook was produced by ecs in 1993 and features what appears to be four letters from John Edgar Webb to supporters and subscribers of The Outsider. Each of the four letters is specific to each issue of the magazine: Outsider 1, Outsider 2, Outsider 3, and Outsider 4/5.

The content of each letter is typical Webb pleas for financial support and tales of LouJon’s trials and tribulations in putting out the issue at hand. Each issue leaves the press in the red, but thanks to the support of subscribers, another issue is eventually undertaken.

The chapbook’s title comes from the final letter concerning Outsider 4/5. It is reproduced here from a single sheet that Webb tipped into Outsider 4/5, once again announcing the imminent demise of the magazine. It would be the last issue, not necessarily for financial reasons, but because Jon Webb died on June 9, 1971. I have never seen the content of the first three sections, but I am making the assumption they were also messages sent to supporters.

According to the colophon,

copies sown
in homeage
march 1993

This is hand-numbered #33 of 88 copies and is in Near Fine condition.

Not much is known about ecs, but this interesting little press seems to have been associated in some way to Letters Bookshop in Toronto, Canada. Back in 1987, Letters offered for sale Al Purdy's copies of "A Signature of Charles Bukowski Poetry" (Targets 4, December 1960) and "Charles Bukowski A Signature of Poetry" (Targets 15, September 1963) aka Signature 3.

As part of the sale, ecs issued a faithful reproduction of Targets Signature 3 originally issued as a chapbook in Targets 15. Only 67 copies of the chapbook were stated to have been published.

In parallel, tecs also published a side-stitched chapbook titled “Signatures”, a 32-page study that describes Targets 4 and Targets 15 in fascinating detail, including photocopies of the original publications. There are several quotes from Bukowski experts, such as Wormwood Review publisher Marvin Malone, who questioned even the existence of Signature 3. Only 35 copies of the chapbook were stated to have been published.

The final ecs chapbook relating to Bukowski came on March 22, 1994, when a group of Bukowski faithful met at The Idler Pub in Toronto, Canada, to hold a wake for the recently deceased Charles Bukowski. As a tribute, ecs chapbook reprinted the classic Bukowski poem, Something for The Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks and You... Only 73 copies were stated to have been published.

Box 25, Copy 1

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