Remembering Alan Justiss
Posted by Matthew Moyer on February 15, 2011
We’re sad to report that friend of the Zine Collection and Jacksonville writer par excellence Alan Justiss passed away over the weekend. Though he created a vast body of work, mixed it up with the likes of Alan Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski, and had a huge influence on at least two generations of young Jacksonville writers and creatives–and much will no doubt be written about that–we remember him fondly for his work above and beyond the call of duty in promoting the first Much Ado About Zines event last spring. Though obviously in ill health, Alan, acting as the grand old man of Jacksonville zines, undertook a hectic two-day schedule promoting and participating in the event. He appeared on WJCT’s First Coast Connect radio show (listen to that episode here) talking about the history of zines and chapbooks, gamely attended the gala fundraiser for the event, adding some much needed grit to the champagne bubbles, got up bright and early to do a reading on the day, signed books and chatted with fans, and finally attended a lunch with all of the other zine writers. His performance, shunning a microphone and relying on the gravitas of his voice for amplification, was just electrifying and incantatory. He easily held his own against savvy wordsmiths like Patrick Hughes and Duncan Barlow. It was a great thrill to be able to gather such a diverse and talented group of zine writers; but at the end of the day, it was Alan Justiss who sat at the head of the table. He will be missed.