Between July 1st, 1907 and June 30th, 1908 there were close to 700-million postcards mailed within the United States alone – approximately 8 postcards for each individual living here. This was the Golden Age of Postcards. The low postage and improvements in printing technology made postcards a very simple, attractive, and cost-effective form of communication.
What we’re left with now is thousands-upon-thousands of dusty shoeboxes filled with 25-cent postcards in antique shops across the country. Pieces of peoples’ lives – talks of quarantines, wars, sickly mothers, and secret admirers occasionally being shuffled through but often discarded by collectors because they’re in “bad shape”.
We’ve moved to email. Shaping pixels on a screen with no personality – spell-checks catch our mistakes – communication is instant and free, allowing for meaningful conversation along the lines of:
POSTCARDS wants to bring the postcard back. A 160-page anthology produced and edited by Jason Rodriguez (coedited by James W. Powell), POSTCARDS tells stories inspired by these glimpses into a person’s life. Why did the mysterious “E” brave a quarantine to see his friend Elmer? Did Earl Shafer ever return from World War II? Did Anna really marry a man with a 12-year-old son, as her cousin suspected? An all-star line-up, including Harvey Pekar, Matt Kindt, Phil Hester, Tom Beland, Stuart Moore, Michael Gaydos, Josh Fialkov, Ande Parks, Rick Spears & Rob G, Robert Tinnell, Neil Kleid, Antony Johnston, and Noel Tuazon, have set out to answer these questions and more.
POSTCARDS is set to be released July 2007, but we can’t wait that long to bring the postcard back. We want your postcards. We want a glimpse into your life. If you have something you want to tell us about yourself, please send a postcard to:
P.O. Box 17851
Arlington, VA 22201
Include an email address on the card – if something catches our eye we may be asking for permission to post it on the POSTCARDS MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/AllYouLeave) or Production Blog (http://www.allyouleave.com). If something really gets us excited we may even ask for permission to feature it within a future volume of POSTCARDS. Also, feel free to include your return address – you might get a reply postcard from someone in the book with a little bit about their life or even a sketch.
So pick out some fun postcards and get to writing - purchase proper postage (that’s 24-cents, in case you haven't mailed a postcard within the last couple of decades) - send us a postcard. Send a postcard to your mother or your boyfriend or your friend from college while you're at it.
Help us bring the postcard back.