James Bernard Frost (author); A VERY MINOR PROPHET; Hawthorne Books (Fiction: Literary) 19.95 ISBN: 9780983304982
Byline: Joseph Thompson
Before the Internet, there were zines: xeroxed pages combining comics with collage and held together by staples and passion. Strictly appealing to long tail market segments, zines were never about money. They were about expression. They were individual free speech forums in which their creators could talk about the horrors of suburbia, sexuality, and the difficulties of getting laid. Zines were lowbrow, transcendent, shallow and deep. They were controversial and contradictory. But most importantly, they were cool.
James Bernard Frost's latest book A Very Minor Prophet is the coolest paean to the bygone era of the zine and to the land at the end of the Earth. Told from the perspective of Barth Flynn, a cyclist, barista, and atheist, A Very Minor Prophet records the months leading up to the 2004 election and the days that immediately followed. As the result of a flat tire, Flynn witnesses the first sermon of Joseph Patrick Booker, a midget bent on changing how the world sees Jesus, and creates a zine around the experience. For the first time in Flynn's life, he's done something with passion. His world changes forever: As a man, he messes up; as an artist, he sells out with the realization that, "the saddest thing about selling out is just how cheaply most of us do it for." And in the end he finds redemption.
Like a zine that changes with the whims of its creator, A Very Minor Prophet is...