so, THE DAY I POSTED ABOUT MY PARTICIPATION in Conversation Gardening (an Amazon, uh… awareness outreach program initiated by my good pal Anders Nilsen), this site bit the dust for a while. but it’s back and so am i, i guess. if you tried to place an order before, and you couldn’t, now you can. and if you don’t know what the heck i’m talking about, take a couple minutes to check it out. it’s well worth your time.


RECID IV free online version: I DIDN’T LIE (but i did sort of change my mind).

soooooo. i announced a couple places that i was putting up the entire contents of RECIDIVIST IV online, and i said i would do it this past week.*

well, i did. but its hidden and i think i’m going to keep it that way for a little while. this is NOT a bait and switch, i swear.

here’s what happened. for those of you who have purchased the thing; firstly– thank you. and secondly– you probably know by now that it takes some wrestling and digging to read it. but i explained all that elsewhere.

here’s the transparency part– while that difficulty in reading is almost entirely on purpose, and was my intent from the very beginning, i have to admit that on a couple pages, it went further than i wanted it to. the process bit me. i’d done test prints and all that, but… ink density and all those layers of riso ink….there’s spots where it doesn’t punch through.

as i said– i wanted a specific effect, and for it to be very difficult in spots. but not impossible. that was not my intent. i worked real hard on those words, and believe it or not, they’re meant to be read.

and so i cursed myself for a few days straight. and then i thought– it is what it is, what do i do with it? and all of a sudden i started to find it really…interesting. because HAVING to read it in another form to get the “missing” text…well heck i didn’t plan that but…when you think about it, it underlines the theme(s) of the whole book, and adds a layer that i hadn’t intended, and never would have considered had everything gone “perfectly”. so i decided i was going to put up a readable copy, for free. also because i just thought that’d be awesome.

but that wasn’t the only factor. it was also because i had to price it higher than i wanted ($20 is no small change. the zine guy in me thought that was a travesty, and the 43 year old man in me who spent 18 months on it told him to go to hell), and lastly– because i thought a free version would sort of lay bare the fact that… it’s fine to be reading it on a screen, that’s the “content”, but this thing is clearly a tactile object. that’s how it functions, that’s its intended form. the difference between the 2 would be so clear and distinct that it would almost be like two completely different books that contained exactly the same information.

and i think that is nuts. and really interesting. that the “easy” version is free, to any and everyone that wants to read it. but the object, the piece of art that’s HARD to read…that costs something. because you get to keep it. and because i worked like hell on it.

so, my awesome pal Bob helped me get the whole thing formatted and up in the virtual world. the text had been cleaned up so there was no funny business. it looks great, you can just READ it, easy peasy. all i had to do was tap a keyboard and that was that.

but then i freaked out and changed my mind.

here’s why: look, i’ve been really, really happy with the response to this thing. rather than a rousing chorus of “what the fuck” (which is what i expected), people seem to be really spending time with it, and taking it for what it is. wrestling with it and busting it apart. because you have to, to get anything out of it. that’s what i hoped to do, and it seems like that’s happening, and i couldn’t be more pleased about that fact.

and i realized– putting a “clean” easy version up would put an end to that, right away. there’d be no reason to battle it out with the thing. it very well could ruin the experience of the printed version, rather than add to it.

i mean– i wouldn’t. if i knew i could go online and just READ the thing without any hassle…when the thing got hard to read i’d try for a minute and then just say “screw this”. i just would. it’s human nature.

OR if you check it out and read it for free, and think “hey! i really like this and want the print version”, and then ordered it…the jig is up, you know? somebody already spilled the milk so it can’t help but be a letdown. you’d be robbed of how the thing is SUPPOSED to work. it’d just be this dead thing you got in the mail, rather than something you get to play with, and fall into for a while.

any of you who know me/ La Mano know that i am potentially the worst businessman in the world, and my “marketing” savvy is nonexistent. i’m not jacking anyone around. i thought it’d be really cool to let people read it for free, and then realized wait maybe that’s not so cool at all.

i am still going to put it up. just not… for a while. especially for all of you who bought one and have pages you just can’t read (and you want to).

i think i should let it play out a while.

sorry for the runaround.

thanks and best,


ps–anyone who wants to pipe up on this in the comments, whether you’ve seen/ bought the thing or not…i’d be real interested to hear your thoughts.


*with an $18 refund to anyone who felt ripped off by this move.


pretty thorough and astounding review at The Comics Journal.


very nice interview up at my favorite comics site, The Comics Reporter. buried in there somewhere is the fact that i’ll be posting the entirety of RECIDIVIST IV online (for free) later this week. details to come.



RECIDIVIST vol. IV on sale here, now.







look, right over there: see, it says “new”



we’ve been working on this for a couple of months now. Dan Ibarra is an old friend, and he is one of the 2 awesome sob’s behind Aesthetic Apparatus. not only are they some of my favorite designers around, they are also great guys, and we share a lot of the same ideas about how and why art gets made, and how you get it done. we spent many, MANY long hours talking about what kind of different educational models there could be for making art: not “designing” or “making comics”, but just the lifelong practice of needing to do stuff, regardless of the discipline you ascribe to. what would WE want from a program? what kind of things are common across the board for creative types, regardless of what stage their “career” is at (or even if they want a career) or how they apply that need to make stuff (commercially? not at all? somewhere in the middle?). we pulled as many of those ideas as we could into this summer program we’ve concocted, and tried to think of some ideas outside of the normal academic “we teach you, you learn” model. it is really really exciting. read the whole thing in the link.


21st Anniversary Sale

welcome to the La Mano site. it’s been new for a while, but i neglected to tell anyone, so maybe it’s new to you. welcome.

there’s been a big hullabaloo recently about the 20 year reissue of Nirvana’s In Utero. which made me think, i am OLD, but also: hey, i remember that (it was strange in a way i can’t describe to you young folk). i was living in Oakland california, and a year before that the very first La Mano publication–a 2-color split comic betwixt me and La Mano co-founder Mr. Mike– was born. and that made me think: holy shit, that’s 21 years ago.
and now, all those years later, La Mano is still a thing.

i’m not sure what it was at the outset, or exactly what kind of “thing” it is now, in 2013. but it’s turned into many things in the interim: a “label” for my self-published zines, a “real” publisher of books, and in recent years a conduit for some weird, weird objects which increasingly shuffle their way back along the exact same impulse that got me doing it in the first place: making stuff just to MAKE STUFF, using your own hands and whatever you can lay your hands on.

for instance: i swore the last RECIDIVIST (in 2005) was the final issue. now i’m talking it back: the new one is half finished.

it’s a zine. printed in 3 colors on my risograph and the offset press, newsprint, folded and stapled. out in the early new year.

and then, i don’t know what’s next.

but whatever it is, you can rest assured that it won’t look or feel or sound like anything else.

the entire world has changed in 21 years. and that’s fine (sort of).

but some things stay the same, like it or not. La Mano is still here, somehow.

in the meantime, i’m in the mood to clear the decks a bit.

from now until christmas, many La Mano items will be for sale ridiculously cheap– 50- 75% off cover price.


1) because i am a terrible businessman, and
2) because i want to get rid of some boxes in my studio and
3) because i would rather have you reading them than NOT reading them. that is what we made them for. YOU SHOULD HAVE THEM, NOT ME.

this isn’t a plea for help or a direct funding outreach; it’s a good old fashioned sale.

but here’s the rundown:

RECIDIVIST : $5 (regular $15)
LIKE A DOG: $10 (cover price $23)
THE KIM DEITCH FILES (regular edition) $20 (cover price $45)
THE KIM DEITCH FILES (deluxe edition) $50 (cover price $125)
SAMMY THE MOUSE VOL 1: $5 (cover price $14)
FEAR OF SONG CD: $5 ($13)

i’m doing a flat rate on all book orders of $2.50 (media mail). order more than one book and i’ll eat the extra.

both Deitch Files and the posters will be $10 more for shipping. overseas orders email me and we’ll work it out.

each and every order will come with this:

it’s the original, 2 sided cover to Recidivist #2 (i paid a ton of $ to have these printed, then would photocopy the interior pages as i needed them). complete with single french fold. it’s actually pretty beautiful, and i’ll sign it for you, as well.


zak sally.


more detail stuff on the site is imminent, but in the meantime, i’m packing up the car LATE tomorrow evening and driving to South Beloit to pick up John Porcellino and Noah Van Sciver, and together we will then drive like maniacs for the next 14 hours until we arrive in Toronto in order to attend TCAF. last year was pretty fantastic, and this year will be as well: in addition to the aforementioned pals, La Mano will also be seeing old pals like Tom Neely/ I Will Destroy You, Sparkplug Comic Books, 2D Cloud, Koyama Press, and many, many more. i’m excited.

i’ve also neglected to update with some great press La Mano has garnered lately, for Sammy the Mouse vol 1 (by yrs truly): here’s one from the San Francisco Weekly, another from the Onion, a long interview (which i’m very proud of) at Robot 6, and a nice one from Canada’s Daily Mail.

maybe more that i’m forgetting, but forget it.

best, zak.

(do i need to mention that the prices on stuff over to the right are POSTAGE PAID? well, they are, just consult the drop down menu.)


welcome to the new La Mano site.

it’s been a long time coming, i suppose, but here it is. obviously, it’s still in the works– very soon, there will be detail pages for each of the individual books featuring info, press quotes, sample pages and all that. eventually we’ll have an artist page as well.

but, for the time being, i wanted a functional place for people to directly order the new La Mano items– Sammy the Mouse Vol 1, the new John Porcellino silkscreen print, the TOOTH book, and the new La Mano T-shirts.

there you have it. more very soon.

i promise.

thanks and best



Like a Dog


Dead Ringer



Zak Sally