From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ] 

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Martin Perna
Date: Aug 1, 2006 3:34 PM
Subject: BLACKOUT! (a new book by Martín Perna)

Hello beautiful people. This is Martín Perna writing. To you I may be a
friend, a relative, someone you met in passing or someone you seen onstage.
I’m writing to let you know about my latest project, BLACKOUT!, a coloring
book about the magic of when the lights go off. Illustrations are by my dear
friend Ricardo Cortés, author and illustrator of “It’s Just a Plant.” This
is the first of many forthcoming children’s book projects.

Attached is the press release, and if you want to see more of the book,
visit We’ll be doing parties and readings in New
York, Austin TX, and Berkeley, CA in the next few weeks. If you’re anywhere
close, drop by in person or visit us online.

Peace and joy,
Martín Perna

ps…my other musical project OCOTE SOUL SOUNDS celebrates the release of
“El Niño y El Sol” August 8, 2006 on ESL
MUSIC. The new ANTIBALAS LP will be out in early
2007. It has been a busy year.

contact: info [at] ocotesoul [dot] com

*BLACKOUT!* When will the next one strike? Once a rare occurrence, blackouts
are now of
concern from New York to California. As blackouts make energy a front-burner
issue, two
Brooklyn artists take a fun and enlightened perspective on the crisis.

*BLACKOUT!*, a coloring-book story for all ages, weaves a tale of the magic
and imagination
that surged throughout the dark city over the course of a 36-hour-long
blackout that
affected over 50 million people in the northeastern United States and

Inspired by the unusual wave of goodwill and spontaneity in his Brooklyn
Martín Perna wrote most of *BLACKOUT!* in fifteen minutes. “The images, my
own and those of
others—they all rushed into me at once. The story wrote itself.” Over the
next two years he
revised the story and took the plunge into independent publishing. He
enlisted the help of
artist and impresario Ricardo Cortés. Cortés’ It’s Just a Plant, which he
wrote, illustrated, and
published through his own Magic Propaganda Mill Books, landed him on the Fox
TV’s O’Reilly
Factor and in the pages of Entertainment Weekly, TIMEOut and New York

For Martín Perna and Ocote Soul Media, *BLACKOUT!* is another project in
what he refers to as
“the utopian hustle,” which includes other ventures such as the
orchestra Antibalas, involvement in Tristate Biodiesel’s creation of the
first waste restaurant
grease-to-biodiesel plant in NYC, and earth architecture projects in Texas,
Mexico, and
California. On the book, he remarks, “*BLACKOUT!* is a timeless story that
finds readers of all
ages. The mission of *BLACKOUT!* is to add to the growing body of media that
will expand our
imagination. Imagination is critical to both our happiness and our

*BLACKOUT!* launches on August 12, 2006 with a kid-friendly party at the
Fort Greene ecofriendly
eatery Habana Outpost (, featuring food, music,
art, and a reading of the book. This is followed by live and on-air

August 12: LAUNCH PARTY! Habana Outpost, Brooklyn, NY. 2-8 PM
August 13: City Sol Festival, Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd and FDR. 1-7 PM
August 14: WBAI-FM 99.5 “Wake Up Call” radio show. 8-8:30 AM
August 14: Bluestockings Bookstore 177 Allen St. NYC 7PM
August 16: Carlito’s Café 1701 Lexington Ave. NYC 7PM
August 26: Guerrilla Café 1620 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 11AM

*BLACKOUT!* is a 32-page coloring book printed on 100% recycled paper with
vegetable inks,
available online at, and at select bookstores

** features submissions by readers of their own drawings
and photos
inspired by the blackout, links to other blackout sites, as well as
curriculum guides for
elementary and secondary school teachers.

For more information about *BLACKOUT!* please visit:
More info: Martín Perna, writer: / Ricardo Cortés,