The theme of this issue is ghosts. Sure a ghost may be a pale specter of the dead, caught between planes of existence and perhaps haunting the living out of obligation or just to pass the time; but what seems essential to ghosts, is that, well, they used to be alive. The ghost is recognizable, in aspects, as the living being it used to be, but fundamentally transformed by death, so that its logic, its motivations, its essence are no longer the same as that of the living. The form continues but disconnected from its previous meaning. In this way, every recorded song or printed illustration is a ghost. Something is lost, but what that is, is not quite clear. The ghost repeats the actions of its life, with none of the original intentions of those actions. Through ghost stories we grapple with how to deal with ghosts. How do we see the ghosts that surround us? How do delineate them from the living forms they once were? How do we grapple with ghosts, as they carry on, affecting our lives in deep ways, their lingering actions often disconnected from meaning, logic, or intention? And for the ghost, while something is lost, is something else gained?
This issue is a ghost of itself. It was supposed to be released in the fall of 2020, but we became backlogged with other exciting new TSM projects in the works, and so, TSM Issue 14 died. Now it has risen from the dead, to haunt you, our dear readers. We asked for submissions that evoked ghosts of all ilk, documenting the ghostly forms of creative works and choices, that often live beyond us with effects unknown and reverberations unseen. The illustration below submitted by Laura Catherwood beautifully embodies this theme: read their description below! Starting on Page 3 a review of an album called Spectre, its relation to the theme quite on the nose! On page 13 we have a tribute to Chicago DIY venue Situations which lives on in the hearts of its patrons. Smack dab and center starting on page 19 are some chilling original ghost stories. On page 27, a review of the ghost of the Bill & Ted franchise, which came back in 2020 for a friendly theatrical haunting. On page 33 a beautiful poem that paints a portrait of the author’s grandmother, which wasn’t intended for the ghosts theme, but perhaps fits into how we r ecreate the lives of those that precede us in our imagination and through the written word. On Page 34, a poem reimagines Maya Deren’s short film Meshes of the Afternoon, nearly 80 years later catching new reflections of meaning from the avant-garde work which depicted a sort of fractured self haunting. On page 37 a comic about dealing with the ghosts of oneself, and on page 38 old comics come back to life in an awesome collage. Hope you enjoy and r eflect on ghosts both beautiful and haunting!