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Games in the galleries and the bookstore

Gaming is in the air. Last year there was craps table art from McCollum and Mullican; this year we have a tricky deck of cards from Annabel Daou at Gallery Joe and more craps and cards from Matthew Ritchie at the Fabric Workshop. (See Libby’s post for more.)

Now comes news of another hands-on, no-risk opportunity to gamble — this time for gain!!

Molly’s Bookstore, 1010 S. 9th St., owned by Molly Russakoff, will be a den of gambling for the month of April. Winners get discounts on books, and losers lose a little respect, that’s all. All this was made known via the bookstore’s official email newsletter, We Work at the Bookstore, a project of art, writing and whimsy that spun off the late-lamented Philadelphia Independent which, come to think of it, had an entire page devoted to games page.

Quoting from issue number 2 of We Work at the Bookstore:

Why drive all the way to Atlantic City when you can be a born again sucker right here in the City of Brotherly Love? And why play cards for money when you can play for books? Molly’s Bookstore and Casino invites you to visit during the month of April and test your luck against our three dealer/clerks.

Erik Bader
will deal Crazy Eights.
Matt Schwartz will deal Five Card Draw.
Joseph Sweeney will deal Blackjack.

Winners win twenty percent off any book in stock by Fyodor Dostoevsky or Dashiell Hammett. Losers lose nothing but our respect. (Blackjack players who hit with an Ace and any 10 or face card get a twenty-five percent discount.)

(image at the top is from an interactive Crazy Eights game on apple computer’s website. You can download the game (it’s shareware) from the apple website.

I want to recommend We Work at the Bookstore. The free email missive is fun and charming. Sign up by emailing the editors: Here’s another short feature I enjoyed from number 2 — an interview with a budding artist whose formalist mindset runs amok with an unexpected surreal answer to the last question.

A serious interview with Johnny Dickie, 7 year-old son
of Molly Russakoff, proprietress of Molly’s Bookstore and publisher of

Q. Where is it that you work?

A. I really don’t work anywhere but my mom owns a bookstore but probably I will get a job when I grow up.

Q. Tell me about this picture.

A. This is the Meat Dog. I was copying from this book and then I made a mistake so I tried correcting it but I led myself into a better picture, which gave me the possibility to draw more without the book.


Q. What pictures do you plan on drawing in the future?

A. I’d say like more realistic ones and more easier to draw ones and not like a struggle or not like taking a few days to draw it or having to draw it over again.

Q. What’s your favorite drawing of all time?

A. I’d say this one.

Q. And why is it your favorite?

A. It has good effects and good, you know, good matching. And good shape.

Q. What is it called?

A. It is called the Fish Head.

Q. Are you sure that’s a fish?

A. I just call it Fish Head.

Q. Why do you call it Fish Head?

A. If you look at it closely, it gives you the slight resemblance of fish.

Q. What is the hardest job you’ve ever had?

A. Once I had a job working inside of an ATM machine where my job was to pass out the money. Inside the machine it was dark and there were many dust mites.

(image is a fish head family cartoon by Tom Tomorrow. Click here to see the whole cartoon.)