|author: Al Burian||shelved under: Writing|
|date: 2010||publisher: PM Press|
|content type: book|
Burn Collector compiles the first nine issues of Al Burian’s sporadically published and widely acclaimed personal zine. Beginning in the mid-nineties, Burian distributed his work through the tight-knit network of the DIY punk music scene. Burn Collector caught on because of its unusual content—in a scene rife with dogmatic political diatribes and bland record reviews, Burian presented his readers with humorous anecdotes, philosophical musings, nuanced descriptions of odd locales and curious characters, taken mostly from outside of the punk milieu—and also because of the author’s narrative voice, which reflected the literary influences of Celine, Henry Miller, or even David Sedaris more than the influence of his contemporaries in the zine world. The writing in Burn Collector blueprinted a post-punk persona that was smart, strange, political but not correct, attached to subculture, but striving also for a connection to the world at large, and to the greater themes of human existence.
The book went through six printings, along the way garnering acclaim from readers, inspiring a film (Matt McCormick’s 2009, Some Days are Better than Others) and a major label album (Thrice’s 2003, The Artist in the Ambulance). More importantly, the book inspired readers to write and self-publish: to do it themselves, in the true punk spirit.