Quarterly Report Redux: The Laughing SquidPosted: July 29, 2013
When I first signed up for packages at Quarterly.co, I chose to go with two different options. The first was the Technology & Toys option, which you can read all about my experience of here. The second was the Laughing Squid curated box which just arrived in the mail the other day.
The theme for this box was “old school”, and I have to say that, for my money, they hit just the right note. As soon as I saw the zine that they created in lieu of a letter, I was hooked.
It immediately took me back to my time in college down in Richmond in the mid-90s, and a host of memories came flooding back. The fact that they pointed out such zines were the precursors of blogs such as this one helped bring my past into my present, which (for me at least) was an instant hit.
The next item to grab my attention was the copy of The Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society book that they included.
While I am not familiar with it, apparently this is the history (and in some senses pre-history) of the Laughing Squid as well as many other cultural icons, and as a hefty tome weighing in at 300 pages, this looks to be a great read. The cover art is inspired by the old-time pulp comics, and the interior includes some great looking art and photographs. If nothing else, this will make a great coffee table book and conversation piece. Also, if I might take a moment to inject a slice of crass commercialism, the cover price on this one book almost justifies the cost of the Quarterly box by itself, which definitely alleviates any lingering concerns I had from the last box.
The next two items are a combination “starter kit” to get you where they want you to be, and even though I have never tried one the desired result is such a cultural icon I guessed immediately as soon as I saw them what the goal was.
Yes, they sent me the fixings for a Fluffernutter, and as they said in the zine, “all you have to do is add white bread and enjoy!” I have, more than once, thought that I should at least try one of these, if for no other reason than because I want to know what everyone else is talking about. I suppose now I have no more excuses. And if nothing else, I do love my PB&Js, so I’m halfway there.
The final item just tickled me. I have never been a big art collector, but I have always wanted to build a collection. The issue is that, to paraphrase an old joke, art is like pornography; I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it (and I certainly know if I like it). Most art just doesn’t grab me, but the stuff I like I really like, and the print that was included in my box this month hit just the right note of quirky and fun for my taste:
As soon as I saw it, I just had an image in my mind of Cthulhu and friends toasting the end of the world with “Skaal!” and I couldn’t stop giggling. What can I say, I’m weird. This one is getting framed as soon as possible and going up on the wall in my new home office.
So having received two deliveries now from Quarterly, I can definitely say I am overall pleased with the service. The first was fun but less than I hoped for, while the second was more nostalgic and did a lot to tickle my quirkiness. I was definitely thrilled with the Laughing Squid box and can’t wait for the next one.