The Epitaph: The Journal of Fatal Statistics (”It’s not morbid. It’s not gloomy. And it’s not just the obituaries.”) was my zine, published in the early to mid-1990s. It evolved from The Hollywood Gravesite Directory, my guide to celebrity gravesites in Southern California (first published in 1985, and about which I’m sure I’ll write more eventually — and perhaps even re-publish someday).
The Epitaph was very well-received by readers and reviewers alike (it was even featured in the New Museum’s 1996 zine exhibition, until all the copies were stolen), and I loved doing it — but it was time-consuming and expensive to produce (most issues ran over 50 pages, contained color photos printed on a LaserJet, and were spiral-bound).
The first Epitaph consisted mostly of obituaries of the famous and infamous, with a few short original articles; eventually, the obits took a back seat to the (often lavishly illustrated) articles, written not only by me, but by a number of people who have since gone on to some fame (at least in circles fascinated by subjects of a funereal nature).
The Web version of The Epitaph will offer all (well, almost all) the articles originally published in the print version (reproduced as faithfully as possible), plus lots of new stuff as it pops up.
I estimate it will take many months to reproduce everything from the original print version, so check often for new (that is, old) additions as they’ll arrive here one item at a time.
Oh, and yes, I do still keep obsessive track of obituaries, but you won’t find many current obits here (unless there’s something unusual about them); my obit-tracking evolved into a Yahoo! mailing list — Dead Celebrity Alert (where about 400 of us have been posting obits of the famous since 2001), and, more recently, DeadCelebrityAlert.com, where it’s much easier to find the obits you’re looking for. (No, it’s no coincidence that DeadCelebrityAlert.com resembles The Epitaph; I like things simple and easy on the eyes.)
P.S. I’d love to hear from former readers and fellow zinesters who traded info, zines, and their friendship with me, yet whom I’ve lost track of. (Harvard Wood, are you out there? Elaine of “Pups”? John Marr? “Clang Bang Bang” guy, whose Manson Family coverage was astounding, and who once sent me three one-dollar bills with George Washington “X’d out of our world”? …)