Last Night at the Casino: Special Double Issue (#14 & #15)
Perzine, Billy McCall, 38 and 46 pgs, iknowbilly.etsy.com, $6.92
Last Night at the Casino is some of the best storytelling I have encountered in a long time. It’s the latest in a (separate) series by Billy McCall, overall winner of the Broken Pencil Zine Awards. In the foreword, McCall briefly lists a few stories that he didn’t include; tales of crime, suicide and indulgence. While there are plenty of bonkers episodes that did make the cut, McCall ignores the clickbait and tells a cohesive memoir of his time as a dealer in a large Baltimore casino.
It is riveting prose that would be in a hardcover at Chapters if McCall knew the right people, or wanted to. It’s divided up into small bite-sized stories you can read in the time it takes your friend to “do something real quick” on their phone while you’re hanging out.
It’s the story of starting a new job, being afraid, making friends at work, having people hate you or doubt you, and emerging with confidence in your work. Mandatory reading for any working stiff artist.