Jacket Copy

Books, authors and all things bookish

« Previous Post | Jacket Copy Home | Next Post »

Slake's second issue -- delayed for gay sexual content -- coming soon

January 12, 2011 |  7:32 am

Slake2 After a hitch in its printing schedule because of a story with explicit sexual content, the second issue of Los Angeles-based literary journal Slake is expected to reach bookstores in February.

During the early stages of printing the issue, someone at the printing house read and objected to the story "Tommy Crow" by Sam Slovick. It's a story of teenagers falling in love -- and lust, as teenages do -- and contains some explicit sexual language, including one scene that mentions a specific sexual act.

What was objectionable, Slake co-editor Laurie Ochoa explained, was that the story contained "consensual sex between two 16-year-old boys."

"The scene never stood out to us at all," said co-editor Joe Donnelly. "It reminds me of how infantile our culture is sometimes. To me this is just childishness."

The first issue and second issue of Slake also included stories with explicit heterosexual sex, the editors said, which were not cited as being objectionable.

Slake found its printer through Four Colour Graphics, a U.S.-based print broker that provides sales and customer service for a number of different printers. "We print all sorts of illustrated books here: medical, cookbooks, children's books," says George Dick, president of Four Colour Graphics. "It's not uncommon for printing plants to object to material that is obscene or pornographic."

After the objection to the story, Dick's company found another printer for Slake. The magazine's bulk print run was shifted to a printer in South Korea.

"We got the call the same day Obama signed the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' " Ochoa said. "It was ironic."

It's interesting that Slake, a magazine that has emphasized slow reading and the idea that a print object can be a beautiful, valuable thing, was tripped up at a stage of the physical printing process -- one that's usually invisible to the end user. The person who interceded in getting the story printed was neither its editors nor the readers, both of whom expect Slake to contain, as Donnelly says,"adult material for an adult world." When relying on the many people it takes to make a print product, their different standards can, apparently, make a difference.

"I've been in the printing business since 1980," Dick said. "Printers tend to be conservative organizations. They respect the wishes of the people that work in their factory." He works with a printer in China that won't print anything with references to the Dalai Lama.

Those books, too, get sent to South Korea.

-- Carolyn Kellogg
twitter.com/paperhaus

Image: Slake Magazine's Issue No. 2.

Comments 

Advertisement










Video