The Taddle Creek Ashcan

Summer, 2022 / No. 49
Illustration by Hartley Lin
Hartley Lin

A magazine of Taddle Creek’s means does not end up with a lot of excess, unpublished content. Nor is it able to feed its Web site with exclusive stories on a regular basis. But there was a time when the magazine gave that latter a shot. Most of the content in this issue originally appeared exclusively on the Taddle Creek Web site, in the early days of the twenty-first century. Of the nine authors whose fiction, poetry, and comics are included here, eight have appeared in the magazine before, while one, Cecily Ross, is making her long overdue Taddle Creek print debut. (One additional piece, written by David Whitton specifically for the magazine’s tenth anniversary outdoor reading, has been lost, much to Dave’s delight, and is now the ultimate piece of Taddle Creek ephemera.) 

This issue completes the magazine’s secret twenty-year plan to “make up” three issues, letting it arrive at an even fifty for its upcoming twenty-fifth anniversary. (As long-time readers may recall, Taddle Creek was published annually for its first three years.) The first bonus issue, Taddle Creek No. 6, published in 2001, was possibly Canada’s first (and last?) issue of a regular print magazine published only in digital form, as a PDF, an Open eBook file, and in Microsoft Reader format, the latter two of which are long defunct. It worked great on a PalmPilot. (The PDF can still be downloaded from the Taddle Creek Web site.) 

The second bonus issue, No. 32, was a newspaper broadsheet comic section—very similar to the one published in Taddle Creek No. 48—and appeared in 2014. And now, this third extra, known around the office as the Taddle Creek ashcan: a format used by the comic industry in its early days to a establish title trademarks via cheaply produced issues not intended for resale. Since all of the stories in this issue have appeared somewhere in the Taddle Creek literary universe but never in the magazine proper, this B-sides-and-rarities collection officially gives them canon status at last. 

The magazine hopes you enjoy this low-cost collection of recycled content. Next issue: Taddle Creek’s story comes to an end in a double-ish-sized anniversary number. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion!