Lost Positives Review

Broken Pencil

Fiction Book of the Issue

Issue #29

Stark and compact, Lost Positives is that rare small press book that doesn’t strive for big press appearance or respectability. A large press will spend thousands to achieve a look of languorous and inoffensive boredom, pulling out all the sepia tinted stops. Trying to compete, a small press will often use a photo of the author’s bike, a Photoshop sepia filter and script fonts that would look offensive on even a laminated Tex-Mex menu. Lost Positives knows itself and what it is—small, simple—is a wonderful thing. Cotrona cut his teeth writing for Cometbus and let me tell you: in 1992 there were, as I’m sure there still are in 2005, at least five kids in every small town wishing they could write for Cometbus and be like the near-mythical Aaron Cometbus. We could travel the back roads, taunt a railyard bull and interview strange men in parks while making notes for our essay on our favourite soda pop. Like Cometbus, Cotrona’s writing feels open to the strange, everyday worlds it explores in short story form, from stressed out cabbies to childhood memories of catching fish but never eating them. This book is different from a perzine in more than just an ISBN number and a spine--Cotrona is a writer confidently finding himself. (Brian Joseph Davis)