To the Editors:
I think that your readers would be interested in knowing of the plight of Jon and Louise Webb, publishers of Loujon Press limited edition books.
Books published by Jon and “Gypsy Lou” have won a number of awards for typography, type direction and design. Every one of the volumes that they have produced is now valued by rare book dealers at several times the original cost. Yet it seems likely that they will have to cease publishing.
While working on the “Kenneth Patchen issue” (No. 4/5) of their book-format magazine The Outsider, the Webbs were beset by a series of disasters. Both had to be taken to the hospital for operations they could not afford. Lou’s strangulated intestine caused her to go into a coma, and she was twice rushed to surgery. Before either had entirely recovered, their home-printshop was hit by a flood which destroyed, among other things, printed pages of The Outsider, paper stock, copies of a Henry Miller limited edition the Webbs had printed valued at $1500, and a valuable manuscript collection already wrapped for mailing to a university that had purchased it. With a small grant, and assistance from friends, the Webbs finally got this issue printed, but only after they had sold their home, their car, their furniture, even phono & records, to do it.
Now that the issue is out, they are in no better a position. The money received from 800 prepublication orders is long spent, and they now must vacate their home. At the moment they lack the money to move their press.
If the Webbs are to continue as publishers, they will have to have a substantial grant. They can be helped out of their immediate plight, however, if readers will purchase copies of The Outsider. No. 4/5 is a handbound, hardcover book printed from handset type. It contains a 46 page homage to Kenneth Patchen, with tributes from Norman Thomas, Henry Miller, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Hugh MacDiarmid, Kenneth Rexroth and others. The remainder of the issue contains work by 63 other authors and artists. The price is $6.00, and it may be ordered from: Loujon Press, 1009 East Elm Street, Tuscon, Arizona 85719.
Committee of Small Magazine
Editors and Publishers
September 11, 1969