Disquiet.com 25th Anniversary Countdown (7 of 13): Home Decorating in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

An archival ambient advent calendar from December 1st – 13th, 2021

It’s day 7 of my 13-day countdown to Disquiet.com’s 25th anniversary. I started Disquiet.com in December 1996. That’s three years before the word “blog” arrived, and seven years after I began writing professionally. Sometimes I dig up old pieces, ones that predate the site itself, like the essay “Home Decorating in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” which was inspired in part by a comic by Matt Madden, shown here.

The comic, titled “House Music,” originally ran in Pulse!, the Tower Records music magazine I helped edit from 1989 to 1996, and for which I later worked freelance until the company closed in bankruptcy. (I edited the comics at Pulse!, starting off with Adrian Tomine, then still a high school student, and Justin Green, and soon expanding to a wide range of great artists and illustrators, with a focus on artist-illustrators.) The essay was for Jeff LeVine’s Destroy All Comics zine (#5, May 1996).

In the rough sketch, shown above, of Matt’s comic, a man sits in front of the computer, typing. His presence thoroughly changes the strip. In the early version we’re led to believe that the comic’s narration is what the man is typing. In the final version, the narration is freed from such a physical mooring, much as the sounds are freed from their reference points and allowed to mingle into an imaginary musical composition.

Read: “Home Decorating in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.”

(Oops! I had an attribution wrong. Destroy All Comics was edited and published by Jeff LeVine. I had mistakenly attributed it to Frank Santoro, but that’s just ’cause Frank drew the cover of the issue. I have Matt Madden to thank for alerting me to my error.)

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