A diary is kept secret, until the day it decides to reveal itself. Being anonymous provides one solace. Not so much because of societal pressure, but because of the freedom secrecy has to offer. In a space where judgement ceases to exist; for expression to collaborate with art, Them Pretentious Basterds, a quarterly online publication, provides writers a space where they can pretend to stop pretending, momentarily.
For the love of the written word, the magazine invites writers and artists to submit non-mainstream fiction, open letters, poetry, and narrative art like paintings, sketches, digital art, illustrations and comic strips which perhaps have a story to tell.
The group is a non-profit based collective and publishes the most attractive or absurd pieces of writing by anyone whose work captures attention. The e-zine started as a space for formal critique where the group would meet on Sundays and discuss their work. They continue today to critique each other’s work, even as their society grew beyond the dead poets.
These self proclaimed ‘Purveyors of prose and poetry’ put together meta-narratives twisted with dark humour, and cannot be streamlined into a genre. Cryptic narrations and randomness put madness into the text which is illustrated with graphic art that complements the piece and also narrates the mood.
Toying with the art of storytelling, the magazine engages the reader with its witty randomness and engaging graphics which are made available for free download. The group has come out with three editions, and the most recent Ochre edition, is their first all-illustrated issue which continues to live up to its annotation; with poems that persisted to pretend to be stories and characters who arm-twist the stories to their absurd beginnings.