Dear God, What Hath Monofonus Wrought Now?
The Austin indie media company gets all epistolary with Thor Harris
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
10:30AM, Mon. May 25, 2015
Thor Harris – wildly talented painter, celebrated drummer for SWANS, helmet-wearing Viking-about-town – went through a period of extreme depression years ago. But who’s to say that depression, or his recovery from it, has anything to do with how downright inspirational the man is now?
Monofonus Press isn’t saying that. But what they are saying, Morgan Coy and his cadre of publishing and record-producing savants, is, “Hey, everybody – check out what we’ve teamed up with Thor Harris to bring into this world.”
And now here I am, amplifying that message via the Austin Chronicle blogs. Because it's something that will reward your attention.
Dear God is a collection of brief letters written by Thor Harris – letters to such entities as The Internet, Musicians, Believers, The U.S. Supreme Court, Addicts, Austin Texas, Kurt Cobain, Sex, Suicides, Control Freaks, Republican Friends, and so on. And Harris tells it, as the hippies used to say, like it is. He shares his thoughts with each addressee in plain and sincere messages that reveal his relationship to them, the messages sure to resonate with anyone who gives enough of a shit to be reading this post in the first place. To resonate with anyone, I’d insist, who has a brain and a heart or otherwise qualifies as human.
To Hell with you! You don’t even exist, yet you rage on without a care. Pushing me toward oblivion, taking my loved ones from me one by one. What would I do without you on my back?
Regretfully yours, Thor
But, those letters?
Note: That’s not all.
It could have been all. It could have been just the texts as reproduced in Harris’ own handwriting, and that would’ve made for a fine little booklet sort of thing, you know?
But it’s not a little booklet sort of thing.
Dear God by Thor Harris is presented as a collection of postcards. And each heavy-stock postcard displays a full-color illustration by a different Austin artist – Ben Aqua, Abi Daniel, Christa Palazzolo, Jules Buck Jones, Michelle Devereaux, and 34 others – and is firmly bound but perforated for your tearing-out-and-sending pleasure.
Monofonus Press has released a flood of material in the course of its existence thus far – zines, posters, books, records, CDs, cassettes, good gawd y’all – and we’re especially fond of the graphic novel Shadow Healer in these parts … but I reckon this new Thor Harris collection of postcards is easily among the best things they’ve spent their time and effort producing.
Recommendation: Don’t just get a copy for yourself – get one for an out-of-state friend too, some friend you’ve been trying to describe our city to. Because this is what Austin’s like, in so many ways that matter.