Book Review: Mingering Mike by Dori Hadar

Book Review: Mingering Mike, The Amazing Career of an Imaginary Soul Superstar by Dori Hadar
Published by Princeton Architectural Press

Digging through crates of old records at a Washington, D.C. flea market back in December of 2003, Dori Hadar (DJ by night, criminal investigator by day) came across a box of old vinyl records, or what looked like records. But what he found was over fifty albums and even more singles of handmade "faux" albums of a career of imaginary soul superstar, Mingering Mike.

Putting his detective skills to work, Hadar hunted down Mingering Mike thirty years or so after his last album. As a boy, Mike lost himself in a world of his own imaginary susperstardom. Basing songs and albums on life experiences, from teenage love songs to political upheaval during the Vietnam war.

What I like about this book is that one could totally relate and see oneself doing something like this in childhood. Perhaps not to this degree, but I'm sure we've all imagined, and if we were artistically inclined, drew ourselves in some imaginary book, song album or film.

Being a folk art fan and having the appreciation for hand lettering, I'm really drawn to the creative and imagination that went into drawing all those cardboard records. And because the albums were made during a particular time in history, they support its status as both folk and contemporary art according to the Folk Art Magazine.

A book for someone who appreciates hand-lettering, folk art and in particular urban black american popular culture.
Princeton Architectural Press

Jan Halvarson

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