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Lost Weekend
By Paul McDevitt
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By Soozy Lipsey and Mike Benson
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Cheap Pop
By Takora Futori Houston
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By Adam Lowe
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Pocko Editions Library

We are pleased to announce that Pocko will officially launch its California-based branch “Pocko West” in April 2014! In doing so, Pocko West will collaborate with the Lucie Foundation to be the official programming partner for MOPLA - Los Angeles' Month of Photography. There will be a curated series of projections and lectures based on the latest edition of the Pocko Times: Light Works, co-produced with Filmmaster. Internationally recognised documentary photographer, Jospeh Rodriguez, will also give a unique presentation where he will share his experiences capturing the lifestyle of Hispanic gang culture in East Los Angeles. Please check our website for further programming details as and when when they are confirmed. You can also see Joseph's portfolio here. Surf's up!


Olaf Hajek has been featured in Taschen's latest book on the 100 most significant illustrators in the world. I think you'd all agree this is truly a great achievement! The compilation surveys visual artists from around the globe who've left their mark on the realm of illustration over the past several decades, featuring the likes of Gary Baseman, Paul Davies and Istvan Banyai. "100 Illustrators" is out now and would make a wonderful Christmas gift. 




 Following the previous two editions of the Pocko Times, a large format art journal, this latest edition chronicles the work of arguably the world’s most important photographers in the fields of documentary, staged and fine-art photography. In addition, Light Works will feature extracts from “Living in the End Times” by Slavoj Žižek, the controversial and eccentric political philosopher, considered 'the most dangerous philosopher in the West'. In his book Žižek discusses the end of Western capitalism and asks what the West must do to adapt to the society of the future. Such issues are raised within the work of Light Works, where photographers capture the very essence and importance of the photographic image in modern-day society, and explore how the medium communicates to the world. Through a selection of iconic photographic works, some unseen and some classics, this edition of Pocko Times encapsulates a reflection of our age through photography, exhibiting the aesthetics of celebrity culture, pornography, media, conflict, poverty and wealth.

See below for a sneak peak into the upcoming issue, with full text by Slavoj Žižek !

In China, so they say, if you really hate someone, the curse to fling at them is: “May you live in interesting times!” Historically, the “interesting times” have been periods of unrest, war and struggles for power in which millions of innocents suffered the consequences. Today, we are clearly approaching a new epoch of interesting times. After decades of the Welfare State, when financial cuts were limited to short periods and sustained by a promise that things would soon return to normal, we are entering a new period in which the economic crisis has become permanent, simply a way of life. Furthermore, today, the crises occur at both extremes of economic life—ecology (natural externality) and pure financial speculation—not at the core of the productive process. This is why it is crucial to avoid the simple commonsense solution: “we have to get rid of the speculators, introduce order there, and real production will go on”—the lesson of capitalism is that these “unreal” speculations are the real here; if we remove them, the reality of production suffers.

Undergoing psychoanalytic treatment, one learns to clarify one’s desires: do I really want what I think I want? Take the proverbial case of a husband engaged in a passionate extra-marital affair, dreaming of the moment when his wife will disappear (die, divorce him, or whatever) so that he will be free to live with his mistress—when it finally happens, his whole world breaks down, and he discovers that he no longer wants his mistress after all. As the old proverb says: there is only one thing worse than not getting what one wants—namely, actually getting it. Leftist academics are now approaching such a moment of truth: you wanted real change—now you can have it! Back in 1937, in The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell perfectly characterized this attitude when he pointed out that “every revolutionary opinion draws part of its strength from a secret conviction that nothing can be changed”: radicals invoke the need for revolutionary change as a kind of superstitious token that will achieve its opposite—that will prevent the change from really occurring. If a revolution is taking place, it should occur at a safe distance: in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela ... so that, while my heart is warmed when I think about the events far away, I can go on promoting my academic career.  

In authentic Marxism, the totality is not an ideal, but a critical notion—to locate a phenomenon in its totality does not mean to see the hidden harmony of the Whole, but to include in a system all its “symptoms,” its antagonisms and inconsistencies, as its integral parts. Let me take a contemporary example. In this sense, liberalism and fundamentalism form a “totality”: the opposition of liberalism and fundamentalism is structured in exactly the same way as that between Law and sin in St. Paul, that is, liberalism itself generates its opposite. So what about the core values of liberalism: freedom, equality, and so forth? The paradox is that liberalism itself is not strong enough to save them—its own core values—against the fundamentalist onslaught. The problem with liberalism is that it cannot stand on its own: there is something missing in the liberal edifice, and liberalism is in its very notion “parasitic,” relying on a presupposed network of communal values that it itself undermines with its own development. Fundamentalism is a reaction—a false, mystifying, reaction, of course—against a real fl aw in liberalism, and this is why it is again and again generated by liberalism. Left to its own devices, liberalism will slowly undermine itself—the only thing capable of saving its core values is a renewed Left. Or, to put it in well-known terms from 1968, in order for its key legacy to survive, liberalism needs the fraternal aid of the radical Left.

After the collapse of Communism, Russia embraced “shock therapy” and threw itself headlong into democracy and the fast track to capitalism—with economic bankruptcy as the result. China, on the contrary, followed the path of Chile and South Korea, using unencumbered authoritarian state power to control the social costs of the passage to capitalism, thus avoiding chaos. In short, the weird combination of capitalism and Communist rule, far from being a ridiculous anomaly, proved a blessing (not even) in disguise; China developed so fast not in spite of authoritarian Communist rule, but because of it. So, to conclude with a Stalinist-sounding note of suspicion: what if those who worry about the lack of democracy in China are really worrying about China becoming the next global superpower, threatening Western primacy?

If the most dynamic of today’s capitalists are the Communists in power in China, is this not the ultimate sign of the global triumph of capitalism? Another sign of that triumph is the fact that the ruling ideology can afford to tolerate what appears to be the most ruthless criticism: books, newspaper investigations and TV reports abound on the companies ruthlessly polluting our environment, on the bankers who continue to receive fat bonuses while their institutions are saved by public money, on sweatshops where children are forced to work long hours, and so on. Ruthless as these denunciations may appear, what is as a rule not questioned is the liberal-democratic framework itself. The goal—explicitly stated or otherwise—is to democratize capitalism, to extend democratic control into the economy, through media pressure, parliamentary inquiries, tougher regulations, police investigations, etc. But the democratic institutional framework of the (bourgeois) state remains the sacred cow that even the most radical forms of “ethical anti-capitalism” do not dare challenge.

Perhaps the most succinct characterization of the epoch which began with the First World War is the well-known phrase attributed to Gramsci: “The old world is dying away, and the new world struggles to come forth: now is the time of monsters.” Were Fascism and Stalinism not the twin monsters of the twentieth century, the one emerging out of the old world’s desperate attempts to survive, the other out of a misbegotten endeavor to build a new one? And what about the monsters we are engendering now, propelled by techno-gnostic dreams of a biogenetically controlled society? All the consequences should be drawn from this paradox: perhaps there is no direct passage to the New, at least not in the way we imagined it, and monsters necessarily emerge in any attempt to force that passage.

One sign of a new rise of this monstrosity is that the ruling classes seem less and less able to rule, even in their own interests. Take the fate of Christians in the Middle East. Over the last two millennia, they have survived a series of calamities, from the end of the Roman Empire through defeat in crusades, the decolonization of the Arab countries, the Khomeini revolution in Iran, etc.—with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia, the main US ally in this region, where there are no autochthonous Christians. In Iraq, there were approximately one million of them under Saddam, leading exactly the same lives as other Iraqi subjects, with one of them, Tariq Aziz, even occupying the high post of foreign minister and becoming Saddam’s confi dante. But then, something weird happened to Iraqi Christians, a true catastrophe—a Christian army occupied (or liberated, if you want) Iraq.  

The Christian occupation army dissolved the secular Iraqi army and thus left the streets open to Muslim fundamentalist militias to terrorize both each other and the Christians. No wonder roughly half of Iraq’s Christians soon left the country, preferring even the terrorist-supporting Syria to a liberated Iraq under Christian military control. In 2010, things took a turn for the worse. Tariq Aziz, who had survived the previous trials, was condemned by a Shia court to death by hanging for his “persecution of Muslim parties” (i.e., his fi ght against Muslim fundamentalism) under Saddam. Bomb attacks on Christians and their churches followed one after the other, leaving dozens dead, so that finally, in early November 2010, the Baghdad archbishop Atanasios Davud appealed to his flock to leave Iraq: “Christians have to leave the beloved country of our ancestors and escape the intended ethnic cleansing. This is still better than getting killed one after the other.” And to dot the i, as it were, that same month it was reported that al Maliki had been confirmed as Iraqi prime minister thanks to Iranian support. So the result of the US intervention is that Iran, the prime agent of the axis of Evil, is edging closer to dominating Iraq politically

US policy is thus definitively approaching a stage of madness, and not only in terms of domestic policy (as the Tea Party proposes to fight the national debt by lowering taxes, i.e., by raising the debt—one cannot but recall here Stalin’s well-known thesis that, in the Soviet Union, the state was withering away through the strengthening of its organs, especially its organs of police repression). In foreign policy also, the spread of Western Judeo-Christian values is organized by creating conditions which lead to the expulsion of Christians (who, maybe, could move to Iran ...). This is definitely not a clash of civilizations, but a true dialogue and cooperation between the US and the Muslim fundamentalists.  

Our situation is thus the very opposite of the classical twentieth-century predicament in which the Left knew what it had to do (establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, etc.), but simply had to wait patiently for the opportunity to offer itself. Today, we do not know what we have to do, but we have to act now, because the consequences of inaction could be catastrophic. We will have to risk taking steps into the abyss of the New in totally inappropriate situations; we will have to reinvent aspects of the New just in order to maintain what was good in the Old (education, healthcare, etc.). The journal in which Gramsci published his writings in the early 1920s was called L’Ordine nuovo (The New Order)—a title which was later appropriated by the extreme Right. Rather than seeing this later appropriation as revealing the “truth” of Gramsci’s use of the title—abandoning it as running counter to the rebellious freedom of an authentic Left—we should return to it as an index of the hard problem of defining the new order any revolution will have to establish after its success. In short, our times can be characterized as none other than Stalin characterized the atom bomb: not for those with weak nerves. 

Communism is today not the name of a solution but the name of a problem: the problem of the commons in all its dimensions—the commons of nature as the substance of our life, the problem of our biogenetic commons, the problem of our cultural commons (“intellectual property”), and, last but not least, the problem of the commons as that universal space of humanity from which no one should be excluded. Whatever the solution might be, it will have to solve this problem.


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BLADE brings together the world's first exclusive collection of advertising masterworks in a massive 450 page, full colour publication. Our eclectic survey of cutting edge communications gathers the wit and wisdom of the worlds leading creatives. Only the most compelling copy, captivating designs and dynamic brand identities are showcased in a publication that shifts the way we look at advertising. Page through a portion of it and find out more at The Blade on Pocko Editions or view its external microsite.

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Pocko's first children's book is out now... introducing kika, the amazing little rabbit! This colourful and tactile book, drawn by Japanese artist Fukiko Yamamoto entertains and educates 0-3 year olds. "Kika is... spunky, expressive and unique.


EL Cártel, a book of fly-posters that have been displayed all over Madrid, broadcasting visual allegories on western life, society and politics.

You've stomached the papers, you've endured CNN, now see the news from the ground. El Cártel is the siren of the city, waging a war of guerilla news on the streets of Madrid. Chronicling an age where information is industry, this activism art is the visual intifada. Author: Olaf, Jaques le Bisquit, Mutis and Eneko make up El Cártel

Postman, brings us a cynical collection of comic images, each one painted directly onto envelopes and posted around the world.

Dragging the post office back from extinction, this sensational collection of storified envelopes fights the war against phone, fax and email. Addressed to Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair and a London Zoo Monkey, these are frescoes par avion that you’ll treasure forever. Author: Jeroen Teunen

DIY, The Pocko Family has given birth, and you are holding the baby. This Pocko infant is yours to mould into maturity. Lavish its pages with your wildest ideas, your fears and fantasies, all the things you wanted Pocko to do but were afraid to ask. Author: You
Cheap Pop, reality is not always what it seems, you find yourself pixelated inside the graphic world of computer games and Japanese pop iconography. Houston, we have a problem… What seems to be the trouble, Hubble? Aliens Houston, luminous demons and neon creatures, acid hair and mythical features, slam on the brakes, Houston, we gotta stop, we’re crashing down on planet POP! Beep!! “Game Over.” Say farewell to the reality of soil and water… welcome to Takora Futori’s cyber world of Cheap Pop
Hot Wheels, presents us with the obscure side of humanity’s savage love affair with the car buzzing insanely behind the wheel of a supersonic post apocalyptic drag race auto. With flame on their wheels, mad racers are the lunatic fringe of motor racing. A ramshackle fusion of body and wheels is engineered. Oil and organs struggle for supremacy as man and motor drive each other round the bend. Author: Dan Holliday
Faulty, the awesome grasp of fervent love, deviant and yet compelling, where image and text merge in poetic constellation. Two views of one love. She draws the pictures. He writes the captions. Together, they blend bleakness and beauty, crafting an arsenal of postcards for murderous love. Author: Soozy Lipsey and Mike Benson

I Am Me In the hyper-reality of popular Japanese culture nothing is ever as it seems. Every month thousands of the young Japanese girls that read teen magazine Nicola send in illustrated postcards to Yonehara, the editor. On blank cards the girls draw Manga style personifications of themselves. What goes on in the mind of a teenage hormone-bomb?  Slip under the skin of one of the world's most impenetrable societies, below the apparent sweetness and feel the wakening heart beneath. Author: Yasumasa Yonehara.

Out of Science In Hiro’s world rational scientific order has completely collapsed – it’s almost as if the Enlightenment had never happened! Through a series of related images Hiro describes a world that is surreal, amusing and threatening by turns. His richly coloured, expressionist paintings are populated by a host of characters. Is science the dominant religion?  We place our lives in the hands of doctors, we trust science to play with natural order.  Where will this worship take us? Where are we now? Strap on your safety belt and prepare to launch...out of science. Author: Hiro Sugiyama
U EL EL UL EL TE KA is the remarkable record of a series of co-operations between the Ukrainian military and a host of respected Ukrainian artists. The USSR-the world's last great empire was held together by the fear of the Red ARmy. Now, a group of Ukrainian artists and their former oppressors engage in a once unthinkable collaboration.  As fashion blends with the crumbling symbols of military power, the old order fumbles down an unchartered trail. Author: Marta Kuzma
M.I.A. Images and icons of revolution and resistance litter our visual environment. Torn from their original context they are put to work for their own ends by agents of our culture industry. From a long-forgotten region of endemic conflict comes a project to challenge your ethical core. The art of warfare is sprawled across these pages transforming bloodshed into beauty and raising the phoenix of forbidden expression. Author: Maya Arulpragasam
Quattro Stagioni Beware the darkness! This 24 page postcard book is the chilling visual record of the effect of the endless Finnish winter on Haapaniemi’s psyche. Shrouded in winter for most of the year, Finland's seasons are mostly left to the imagination. Fantasy creatures and visionary landscapes merge to create a whole new calendar. Author: Klaus Haapaniemi

Lost Weekend, is a series of illustrations springing out from the artist’s self imposed two-day weekend isolation. Chronicling every idle thought, every unconscious wandering of a mind fizzing with humour and energy, Lost Weekend is a mental slideshow. Curious, thought-provoking and exceptionally funny, anything can happen in the world of a wondering mind. Author: Paul McDevitt
Day by Day, presents a photo-history on identity and the erosion of a relationship. Time heals...and wounds. A bittersweet portrait of the most difficult project of all: a relationship.  Each face frozen on film tells a subtle story of hope, fear and our sheer determination to love. Authors: Ori Gersht and Tracey Ferguson

Dear Thank You Yours Sincerely This book is a collection of 77 letters received by the artist in reply to his incessant applications over a period of three years. From these most prosaic documents a kind of bittersweet poetry emerges, a sustained and repetitive meditation on the politics and the poetics of rejection. Author: Atsuhide Ito Dear Reader, Thank you for your interest in buying this book. However we regret to inform you that despite your impressive credentials, competition in this field is extremely fierce and unfortunately we are unable to grant your request at this time. Best of luck in the future. Yours Sincerely, Pocko
Yamanote Iñigo Asis’s photographs, taken on Tokyo’s circle line, exploit the sense of ‘curtains opening’, when the unsuspecting passengers momentarily confront the waiting photographer. Standing in front of the camera has never been so annoying. But the point is that from this uncomfortable situation the most fascinating facial expressions emerge: hidden details of the contained anger created by the impotence to do anything about it. Author: Inigo Asis
Powersmile Privately collected by two German teenagers in the 70's, the press-photos of US Senators and Governors in ‘Power-Smile’ are a miniature archive of a period when media-friendliness became the establishment's key survival strategy, evidence of the then-emerging reality that a good PR shot is worth a thousands votes. Clean as my teeth, straight as my tie. Here in all their greasy glory are the power-hungry political chameleons of Nixon's America, flossing for office and combing for Capitol Hill.  What do you see in the mesmerised stare? Learned or lobotomised? Groomed or doomed? Author: Adam Lowe

Tablehead 'Tablehead’ is a kind of travelogue, a document on the appearance of 'players' in six different countries, and the pictures themselves are replete with subliminal signifiers of national difference. They play without pay. Table footballers are four-inch 'time capsules'. Bruised and abused by their obligitory vocation, some lose their heads, others bear their scars with pride. Every face a story soaked in personal pain and glory. Author: Nicola Shwartz

He said, She said These unassuming snippets of typed dialogue and ultra-naïve felt-pen drawings of stylish young people, set against a background of lined school notepaper, presents us with a catalogue of poignant, and often hilarious, vignettes. "I love you." he said. "How do I know that?" she said. "You don't." he said. Prodding for reassurance, these felt-tip creatures explore the deception behind romantic cliches. Emotions wrapped in words confuse the truth. It's not that we don't mean what we say, it's that we don't know what we mean. Author: Daisy de Villeneuve.

by Daisy de Villeneuve Forward by Zac Posen Following the glorious international response of “He Said, She Said”which is now out of print, best selling author Daisy de Villeneuve is releasing her second book with the support of Topshop and published by Pocko Editions. Release date: November 2003 THE BOOK: ‘I Told You So’, is a series of short stories about different girls, what they all share in common is that they are of the same type: ‘Bitch’. Partially auto-biographical, Daisy de Villeneuve gives us insights into the twenty-something, singleton world of girls, dating and the cruelty of female friendships. “These girls have somehow ended up entangled in my life and the stories follow my encounters with them; always showing up at the wrong time, rude to my friends, stealing my men and taking what they can get from me. All in the name of innocence? Girls dread girls like this. ‘I Told You So’ is a world where the cat’s claws are poised to scratch the nearest female competitor. Some of us avoid them and others attract them yet along the line, we have all been scratched! ‘…She was psychotic, demented and badly behaved, but it was as if they were oblivious to all of this. She’s the kind of girl that has a big mouth and an opinion, typically clueless opinion.’ DAISY DE VILLENEUVE: Since the publication of ‘He Said She Said’, Daisy’s profile has reached critical mass. Frequently interviewed in art and style magazines from New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, Daisy continues to promote her work with critically acclaimed exhibitions. Her disarming line drawings have drawn rave reviews from a number of critics and have been taken up as a leading light of Topshop’s recent major charm-offensive. TOPSHOP & POCKO ‘I Told You So’ is kindly supported by multi-award winning high street retailer, Topshop. ‘Having worked with Daisy previously on the launch of our shoe collection, we are honored to be able to continue this relationship’ – Jane Shepherdson, Topshop Brand Director. ‘I Told You So’ will be available from selected branches of Topshop and bookstores from November. Pocko is both an independent publishing company as well as a creative agency and has achieved world wide acclaim for The Pocko Collection: a series of visual books with massive cult following. Each book contains 100 colour illustrations, hardcover and priced at £14.99. ISBN 1-903977-19-3 For review copies please contact Pocko Editions: Inigo Asis, info@pocko.com tel .020 8964 9580 For further information on Topshop, please contact: Sameera Hassan or Nicola Griffin at Topshop Press Office on 020 7291 2388/020 7927 1484.

"Daisy de Villeneuve has brought illustration to the masses." - Elle "Beautifully illustrated with Daisy's naive and witty line drawings, and is extremely funny as well as being rather touching... horribly believable." - Vogue.com "Daisy de Villeneuve is a truly remarkable artist whos has a gift for translating the pathos of her daily adventures into smart, modern and comic work. - Zac Posen.
All Material and Images Copyright Pocko 2010