Image: Japanese-language publicity for site.
March 1996


Unfinished cartoon of Nelke from "In A Lonely Place"

At long last, new stories!

Two new stories have been uploaded onto "Xander Mellish: Short Stories and Cartoons."

The first, Charlotte's Mirror, is about an ambitious young journalist sent to interview a TV personality she both loves and envies.

The second, In A Lonely Place, takes place on the home front during World War II. It's the first story I've ever written set outside of contemporary times.

I'm a terribly slow writer...."Charlotte" took me more than three years, and at least a hundred revisions, while "In A Lonely Place", which is still on its first major draft, is more than 18 months old.

I wish I could write faster; I've tried. When I do, however, the stories, come out really badly. I think they just need a little time to mature on their own.

Cartoon Imperialism

Cybercafes in more than 15 countries around the world have requested "Xander Mellish: Short Stories and Cartoons" posters for display.

Up and coming, it seems, is a gallery show of originals.

Not bad for someone who only learned how to draw doodling in a notebook through two semesters of calculus class.

Check out the posters in the following spots:

Virtual Access Cafe, Victoria, Australia

Cyber Cafe Club, Hong Kong

SpaceNet Cafe, Munich, Germany

Cafe Manawatu, Palmerston North, New Zealand

North London Internet Centre, Kentish Town, London, England

Cyber Cafe Smiley, Mortsel, Belgium

Cafe Internet, London, England

The Global Cafe, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Global Cafe Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

Peak Art Cybercafe, Stockport, England

Internet Quest, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Talk 101, Blackpool, England

Cyberespaces, Annecy, France

Cup and Easel, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

Imaginet CyberCafe, Durban, South Africa

Cyber Cafe, Warsaw, Pol and

Die Internet Cafe, Bonn, Germany

CafeNet, Guildford, Surrey, England

Club de Internet, Naucalpan, Mexico

Planet Connect Cybercafe, Leeds, England

M-Stone Cybercafe, Tokyo, Japan

CyberPub, Nottingham, U.K.

Scottish Bar, Fribourg, Switzerland

Cybernet Cafe, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia

Punters Cafe , Sheffield, England

Net 21 (UK) Ltd., Hull, England

CYBERCAFE, LJubljana, Slovenia

2nd BYTE Cybercafe, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, England


In The U.S.

Pangaea Coffee House, Madison, Wisconsin

Capstone Coffeehouse, Kansas City, Missouri

The Digital Barn. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Internet Cafe, Scranton, Pennsylvania

Cafe Connection, Newport News, Virginia

Get Wired, Raleigh, North Carolina

Mugsy's Internet & Coffee House, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Merchandising Corner

The point of this site is not to sell stuff. The point of this site is to bring stories to readers.

However, I am not above trying to make a little dough to help defer the costs of server space and promotion, so starting this month I will be offering signed and numbered posters for sale, along with framed hand-drawn cartoons.

I'm also considering T-shirts for the summer months - would you wear one?

Me in 1994, on Broadway and Twenty-Second Street.

The Story Behind This Project

This website is part of a project I began three years ago, partly out of frustration. I was writing a lot of short stories, but I was having trouble finding readers.

Meanwhile, the streets around my apartment in New York City were full of posters advertising bands and theater events. So I decided to turn my stories into posters.

The first posters were only the typed first pages of each story, with a phone number at the bottom people could call if they wanted to read the rest. I put them up all over the city, on lamp posts and in subway stations and in laundromats, any place people might have spare time to read.

I got hundreds of phone calls, and a lot of interested readers. People would call and ask questions about the characters. Some actors got together and made one of the stories into a play. I had fans.

Putting up the posters, which I usually did running away from cops in the middle of the night, was an experience in itself. One old drunken bum in a subway station on Second Avenue read the poster aloud in a voice as deep and lyrical as Paul Robeson. I made a deal with some anarchists who were putting up posters demanding war against the facsist state that we wouldn't cover up each others' work. A drug dealer on St. Mark's Place stopped selling Xanax long enough to ask for a story, take it, and tuck it carefully into his pocket. Also, I saw a lot of very big rats.

Once the posters were up, I used to spy on people reading them. People are very suspicious in New York about calling a stranger's phone number: I think I probably had twenty readers for every one caller. It was tough duty sometimes: there's no more honest criticism than when you can see someone walk away after the first paragraph. But I was really happy to see people of every size and shape reading the posters - school kids, homeless people, Wall Street yuppies, black girls in gangs, old ladies, everybody. So much coventionally published fiction in the U.S. is read only by a little subset of white, educated - maybe overeducated - literary snobs. It was cool to see my stories read by everybody.

Since the election of a new New York City mayor in 1993, putting up posters has become rather futile. The city's run better now, and the lamp posts get cleaned, usually overnight.

Fortunately, with the help of the Internet, I can now reach readers all over the world.

This site has now been operating since September, 1995, and has recieved more than 6000 visitors, generating more than 52,000 hits.

Image: A cartoon 

Help Bring Readers To This Site

I'm always looking for new readers, and you can help by recommending media outlets, both online and off-line, that might help publicize the site.

If you've seen this site mentioned in the media, I'd really appreciate it if you'd let me know where.

Thanks for continuing to visit the site!