Rollerderby (the book)
(Feral House, $14.95)

Dear Lisa:

Thanks so much for sending us Rollerderby (the book) ! I can finally throw out all those old copies of your zine I have lying around the house. You know, I am the hugest Rollerderby fan--it's right up there with Cometbus and the Victoria's Secret catalog as my favorite reading material.

The cool thing, when it's all collected together in a book, is that the volume really traces your journey as an artist and a person. Initially, in the Suckdog years, when you were married to Costes and doing the band pretty much full time, Rollerderby is brash, often deliberately bratty. "Suckdog is not really a band, it's sort of a coming-together of all the wild jungle beasts of the night." Then, in some weird way, and without losing any of its urgency, it becomes more thoughtful, when you start hanging out with Dame Darcy and you get a cat.

I love how you publish phone conversations almost verbatim, with the scars and creases of communication still showing. You never make yourself look cool at the expense of honesty, and I really appreciate that. Your interests remain constant over time: music, relationships, people. I like that you interviewed Combustible Edison before I had ever heard of them. I love that you don't just interview stars: you interview the weirdos in your town, your friends, freaks.

The theme of freakiness and being on the edge of abandon is an important one in Rollerderby. Strangely enough, though, it never becomes morbid or depressing. I remember getting the first issue and expecting it to be dangerous, even sick. Having seen you perform, I expected your aesthetic—"lots of blood, lots of ladies, an excess of alcohol now and again, and the odd little adventures that happen when you mix all those elements up"—to spill over into your writing. But Rollerderby was conversational, practical and even cheerful. You neatly inverted the freakiness I assumed you had when you printed the letters people send you. You're not sick, your fans are!

Towards the end of the book, Boyd Rice starts appearing more in Rollerderby, and your relationship with him unfolds. At first you seemed a little obsessed, but you objected to his politics (I love when you are talking to your friend Rachel and she says "[He's] a NAZI: that means he's probably racist."). I still can't tell if he seduced you into thinking he's not all that bad, or if you thought the ultimate revenge would be to have a love child with the king of hate. But there you are on the last page, with Wolfgang in your arms and a smile on your face.

I am almost out of room and I haven't even mentioned the five social points you make in favor of green nail polish, your uncloseting of Barry Manilow fans everywhere, your date with Fabio, the trenchant analysis of Linda Evangelista's bowl haircut, or the interviews with your parents about sex. God knows where you are going next, Lisa. I can't wait for your next book.

Best wishes and best kisses!


Rollerderby—the book is the first book in Popcult, a new series from Feral House (PO Box 3466 Portland, OR 97208) Rollerderby, the zine is available from PO Box 18054, Denver CO 80218. According to the Feral House book ,a subscription is $8 and individual issues are $3.
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