1986 "New Noire Stars of the 90s" - Bat and Norman goofing off and creating a myth.
1987 Bat creates and publishes the first Issue of Sins of Coffee.

Sins of Coffee comes out approximately once or twice a year. The beginnings of a creative group starts to form with people who become involved with Sins of Coffee:
  •Bat who is the editor-in-chief and publisher.
  •Norman who contributes Antagonistic Pedestrian cartoons and stories.
  •Elizabeth (Melusine) who becomes co-editor and contributor.
  •Kallisti who becomes art editor and contributor.

What is Sepulchritude?

a creative group, is:
Mordantia Bat,
Melusine de Nuit,
le Marquis Déjà Dû.

Sepulchritude is the name taken by this group of people and also the name for a particular group of their projects, both collaborative and individual.


1990 The four decide to start an art "salon." They call it a salon with a generous bit of tongue-in-cheek (we recently even found the notes from the first meeting), but they were quite serious about forming some sort of creative alliance for support, inspiration, collaboration, and general debauchery.
1989 The first forays into making absinthe also begin due to a suggestion and sudden source of fresh wormwood.
Friday night debauches/meetings (the sometimes so-called "salon") began to be held at Cafe du Nord and continued on in some form until the late 90s. Although the main focus of the Friday night meetings was really just to get together, have a few drinks, socialize, and maybe brainstorm, many projects were hatched and worked on at that back corner booth throughout the years. The gatherings were enlivened throughout the years by many other people visiting, participating, and drinking with them -- thus, really, many others contributed either directly or indirectly to our ongoing artistic endeavors.
Norman dies. (See tribute to him written in 1993).
Melusine, Bat, and Kallisti bemoan the fact no one writes good letters anymore -- like in the book Dangerous Liaisons. So, as bemoaning something usually spurs them into action, they decide to start writing florid letters to each other. Thus starts the "Dangerous Liaisons Project." Although this project started as a response to the bemoaning, it expanded into a long-term involved project and was carried on for years. The concept was simple: write letters in the style common to the days when correspondence was both the main form of communication and a practiced art. They essentially gossiped about their lives, addressing each other with their adopted silly titles of nobility. Bars were usually referred to as salons or soirees. The letters go on for some years with other participants occasionally joining in. Hundreds of pages were amassed between all the participants. (Some excerpts of the letters can be seen in Melusine's "Drinking With Thine Enemies" column.)
Bat meets the Marquis. They quickly discover a mutual interest in Dangerous Liaisons. When Bat describes the letter-writing project she, Kallisti, and Melusine are currently embroiled in, he salivates and joins in with their madness. He proves to be both an enthusiastic participant and instigator in mutual creative projects with Bat, Melusine, and Kallisti.
The Marquis devises the Brainchild game, which leads to writing of the Brainchild stories



Kallisti and le Marquis decide to move to New Orleans. Not long before they move, Cafe du Nord redecorates and wants to get rid of the actual corner booth and table we used for so many years. Kallisti appropriates the table and takes it to New Orleans.

In New Orleans, Kallisti deftly exploits the possibilities of the new medium of the web, expanding the first infant pages of Chapel Perilous (which she had actually started working on in 1995). In New Orleans, she begins work on the Absinthe pages -- which have since developed into a huge project and made her, indeed, the reigning Absinthe Kween these days.

1997 Kallisti is very productive during this period. In addition to feverishly working on her Chapel Perilous pages, she also insists we begin a new 'zine (to replace and even outdo Sins of Coffee -- which Bat had put on permanent hiatus in 1996 after making an online archive of it.)

Suffering is Hip
launches in 1997. Kallisti takes the name Sepulchritude, which they all had been loosely using for quite a while to incorporate various of their projects, and registers it as a domain. The name solidifies further into significance for them.
Neither Kallisti nor le Marquis had managed to find good and sustainable jobs in all the time they'd been in New Orleans, and their funds kept dwindling, making life impossible. So, they reluctantly decide it's time to depart -- the Marquis moving to Philadelphia and Kallisti moving back to the Bay Area -- where they know they can find work. Kallisti gives the old Du Nord table to the Marquis, and he takes it to Philly.
Melusine now decides it's her turn to move to New Orleans. Le Marquis, feeling done with Philadelphia for the moment, decides to move back to New Orleans, too, and they rent a house together. And the table? Yup. It goes back to New Orleans. (One day, no doubt, we will create a formal document keeping track of the table's movements. Maybe we should attach a global positioning system tracker or a webcam to it and offer the results online. We are both silly enough and geeky enough to do it. Don't think we wouldn't.)






Wonder where we came up with the word Sepulchritude? See one of our now infamous and ludicrous arguments about the day we think we coined it.


"Suffering is Hip" and Sepulchritude, both officially starting in 1996-97, still continue to thrive, each editor periodically contributing his or her own work as well finding other authors and artists to showcase. The four: Kallisti, Bat, Melusine, and le Marquis do form a good working group for collaboration, cross-collaborations, and sub-collaborations. Although each does work on other solo creative projects both in and outside this grouping and as well as collaborating on other projects outside the Sepulchritude group, they have noticed and are grateful for the particular effect they seem to have on one other -- to inspire and conspire on the strangest of endeavors. They seem to really have stumbled into something viable under the name "Sepulchritude."

Fortunately, email and the like minimize the inconvenience of the four collaborators when they are geographically scattered and unable to sit across the table anymore at weekly Friday night get-togethers. Occasionally, they descend on each other for a visit (see the February entries in Melusine's diary or in the Marquis' diary for mentions of the Mardi Gras 2001 visit). While email does not replace piling up empty cocktail glasses at a shared table, it still facilitates collaboration and the maintainence of ongoing projects. Maybe things are a little slower, yeah, but they eventually get done.

And when one needs to take a hiatus or breather (or gets usurped by the temporal concerns of a job or something), the others are there to take up the slack and continue on.


The Marquis and Melusine are in New Orleans. The Marquis is taking a hiatus and incubating, He'll be back. Melusine is describing her current escapades in her online journal.

Bat and Kallisti are in the San Francisco Bay Area (Bat in San Francisco; Kallisti in the East Bay). Kallisti busies herself with her job, keeps up the Absinthe pages and forum, and toils on her newest amusement: making a miniature brothel/apothecary dollhouse after Hogarth. Bat has several writing projects in the works, some more consuming than others. Her latest project is writing a new novel. This one will include some collaboration from Kallisti. They've never collaborated on a novel before and are surprised such a thing to do hadn't occurred to them before. It's all an adventure.

And the table? It's still happy with the Marquis last heard ....