BY AMY Z. QUINN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right, these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. Hey, we know how it is — so many words to read, so little time to surf for free porn. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you, freeing up valuable nanoseconds that can now be better spent ‘roughing up the suspect’ over at Suicide Girls or what have you. Every week we pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey center. Why? Because we love you!
ON THE COVER
CITY PAPER: If life is really divided among people who live to make art and those who make art to live, brothers Steven and Billy Blaise Dufala have one foot on either side. Or, given the closeness with which the two guys from the Jerz live and work, maybe one’s standing on either side but they’re holding hands across the divide. Lori Hill turns out a solid feature on the now West Philly-based renaissance men, who are involved in everything from music (Man Man) to scatological pop-up books to homemade jeans-making.
“To make a blanket statement, he’s loud and I’m quiet,” says Steven.
“You’re more intimate and personal. I happen to be more public,” says Billy.
The work, described in exacting but not superfluous detail, sounds like a disjointed jumble of themes and media but, to hear the brothers tell it, is actually rumination on the dualities, the darks and lights, in our lives, so maybe two very different brothers are exactly the people to bring it all together.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: You know how sometimes you see shows like “CSI:” or maybe “Special Victims Unit,” where they have a particularly ghastly, unspeakably perverse sex crime and you wonder where writers get those sick ideas from? The macabre slaying of 14-year-old Peggy Reber back in 1968, retold here in as part of an ongoing effort by a writer familiar with the case to bring the unsolved killing fresh attention and — perhaps, finally, closure — was the kind of case full of unspeakably grotesque details even fiction dares not reveal. Raised by a floozy mother in a Lebanon, Pa. flophouse, Reber’s body was brutally raped and mutilated at the hands of possibly more than one killer.
But the person on the floor turned out to be Reber’s 14-year-old daughter Peggy. The girl had been beaten and viciously bitten on her upper body. She’d been strangled with either an electrical cord or a scarf (depending on whom you asked afterward), sodomized with a mop handle or a jar (again, depending), and sexually assaulted with an archer’s bow, the pointy tip of which came to protrude from her upper chest.
Forty years ago, freelance writer Martha Shaak was the chief admissions officer at the hospital where Peggy’s corpse was brought from the crime scene. Though many of the figures in the case are now dead and the trial evidence unaccounted for, Shaak says she hopes her research will re-ignite enough interest in the case to finally break it open. If nothing else, Shaak’s writing will ensure that despite whatever degradation she suffered in life and death, Peggy Reber is, for better or worse, unforgettable.
INSIDE THE BOOK
CP: David Sylvester, the dude who biked across continents (and hopes to again) until a serious car crash, wants to be the city’s new Fitness Czar. Hear, hear! Workin’ it New Hampshire style with Philly for Obama; the “Bike Share in Philly?” thing.
PW: True-life tales of crime in the big city, and Kia Gregory hits up Chief Ramsey’s first community meeting. Something else that makes me very much NOT want to listen to the Juno soundtrack until maybe six months from now when everyone just shuts the hell up about it already.
WINNER: PW, by a “Cold Case”