The Cover Edition 2022

by | Dec 30, 2022 | 0 comments


Some would say this edition is a little late, that Christmas has already passed and we’re on to New Years. However, being raised Christian by a Roman Catholic and Orthodox Ukrainian, the 12 days of Christmas takes on longer journey, or in my Father’s eyes, the true date of Christmas isn’t till January 7th according to the Julian Orthodox calendar. Which makes me wonder if December 25th is the actual date for Christ’s birth given that… well anyway, I digress.

Suffice it to say, no, Christmas is not over, far from it. However if I have to hear another 12 days of Mariah Carey’s magnum opus, I may go slightly mad. If the department stores have it their way, it likely won’t be until Valentines before Mariah is put into her 10 month coma only to be resurrected come Hallow’s Eve. Read Nicole’s origins article below on the ode to Christmas for further jolly ranting. 

And now for something completely different. Cue Tina Turner.

The Company and I thought we’d keep this edition short and sweet. Simply the Best. Call it the Cover Edition, the Art Feature, the Yearly Wrap up and what have you, it’s been hell of a journey this year. A little slow to start in the studio, we’ve ended the year off with a bang, with not a drop of creativity left spared. 

With wonderful clients, readers, and supporters like you we’ve been able to produce some of our best work yet. We’ve taken part in numerous international commercial campaigns and expanded into advertising as a studio mainstay. What do you need? KARJAKA can create. Giddy Up! The Magazine continue to grow reader and sponsorship, and request come in weekly for ideas and articles.

Most importantly, we’ve had the privilege of watching our clients light up in and out of studio. If you haven’t noticed, life tends to be on the chaotic side these days, so we’re of the mindset to create a sliver order in spite of it all. Call it controlled chaos, wrangling cats, or whatever your preferred analogy or metaphor might be, KARJAKA comes back to our mantra of KISS(ing), keeping it simple stupid.

Simply put we keep the drama in our elegant light, imagery and ads, to bring out the best and maybe a little drama in you.  

From all of us at KARJAKA, 

Wishing you a most creative Holidays & New Year! 

so i turn up at Lindsey’s
Amanda Deboer Bartlet

so i turn up at Lindsey’s after she’s already carried the tree home and
there it was in the corner, the branches still
stiff upward from being twined and
roped round so long.

the lights were strung on green wire, half of the bulbs burned out or
blinking as they wrapped back and
forth toward thewire star.

she opened a bag of ornaments: red, blue, silver; their paint chipped
from being crammed and rubbed up
against for eleven months.

we hooked and hung them in the spaces and
there it was, stiff in the corner
with half its lights burned out and us

staring into the tree looking to fill the places we missed.
we hooked the dead tree and it laughed back by
dropping dry needles on the silk skirt we dressed him in.

on the train home, a man with half his teeth out got into a conversation with the
girls across the aisle. the blonde’s earrings whipped her
in the cheek as she turned to

her friend. “he’s so mean!” she noted, then
whipped back to him, “why
are you so mean?” with an offended smile on her face.

he let out a dry holler of a laugh that rattled and dropped to the floor like a dead man’s last wish.
a cigarette dangled from the hole where his bottom
front teeth used to live and

there he was next to an empty chair talking
at two empty girls. “what the hell would I do with a cell phone? who
the fuck am I gonna call? My momma’s dead! My dad’s dead! my grandparent’s

are dead! what am I gonna do with a cell phone? if I found one I’d give it away!”
as he walked out, the door got stuck
open and there we all were, filling spaces

on the train somewhere between Bryn Mawr and
Sheridan, experiencing a short delay and
waiting for signals up ahead…

the blonde dropped some dry comments while the
operator fussed with the door trying to close the space and
move ahead to underground tunnels
on a fixed track to nowhere.

Amanda Deboer Bartlett

and then… BAM! CHRISTMAS to the FACE
Nicole Vitale

It seems like every year without fail, Holiday music creeps into the atmosphere of every TJMaxx and ShopRite earlier and earlier. All you’re trying to do is innocently shop for a new bra and BAM: CHRISTMAS TO THE FACE in late October. I’m of the school of thought that we should bask in the crispness of Autumn, savor the meaning of Thanksgiving (not the Colonialism bit, but the togetherness and gratitude part) and enjoy our tryptophan comas in peace without being assaulted by those godforsaken jingle bells everywhere we turn. Maybe that makes me look like a cute ‘n curvy lil Eb Scrooge, but so be it! I prefer to wait until one door closes before opening another, stepping further and further into the madness that is the holiday season.

…but now that we’ve made it here — knee-deep in December, strangled by ribbons, blinded by Rudolph’s nose and jabbed by holly — I suppose it’s time to talk shop (and not Santa’s): holiday music. Christmas carols commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ have been around since the 4th century but were not immediately associated with the holiday of Christmas until the 13th century. According to, “Saint Francis of Assisi, the Roman Catholic saint of animals and the environment, is often credited with incorporating upbeat Latin hymns into Christmas services. The energetic, joyful carols were sung in sharp contrast to the somber Christmas music of the day”. Carolers would often gather in town squares and “sing for their supper”, so to speak, given mince pies and other tasty treats as a thanks for their performance. In modern times, many caroling groups gather to sing and raise money for charities and parishes.

The less pagan, more commercialized rung on the Christmas ladder came with the adaptation of Saint Nicholas into Santa Claus, characterized by his big belly, long white beard, and generally (and suspiciously) jolly demeanor. Kids ate this sh*t up BIG TIME, and parents fueled the narrative that if they behaved, Santa would get them everything their greedy little baby capitalist hearts could desire. Macy’s department store featured Santa at the tail end of every Thanksgiving parade from its inception in 1924, and Santa became a staple in the lyrics of Christmas songs since then. Move over Jesus, there’s a new sheriff in town! Am I going to Hell? I might be going to Hell.

Christmas Pop music really started to take off in the 1930’s, with a string of classics that the general populous still know and love today. Bangers like “Silent Night”, “Winter Wonderland”, and “Jingle Bells” made way for the next surge of fun sing along tracks. Crooners like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra dominated the charts with their take on tunes such as “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, made famous by Judy Garland in the MGM studio film Meet Me In St. Louis. In the 1960’s famed (and now somewhat infamous) record producer and songwriter Phil Spector cranked out massive hits with his signature Wall of Sound production style, enveloping the listener in an orchestral assault and layers upon layers upon layers of sound. Among some of his most iconic holiday hits The Ronettes’ “Sleigh Ride” and Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”. That same music production tactic can be heard through the 60’s and up to today, the best example being Kelly Clarkson’s 2013 “Underneath the Tree”.

Now of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the Queen of Christmas herself, the OG Ms. Mariah Mimi/Butterfly/five-octave vocal range Carey. Mariah first blessed us with her first holiday album Merry Christmas in 1994, and the world has not been the same since then (and I have not recovered). You can’t think about entering a karaoke bar from November 1st through New Year’s Day and avoid being assaulted with drunk biddies attempting that F# toward the end of the song like a chorus of feral wolves howling at the blood moon. I am convinced that the KGB injected that song with some top secret formula that will eventually become the harbinger of societal downfall, but until that day comes, you best believe I’ll be howling with those drunk girls at Ed & Mary’s (my favorite Jersey City bar) and worshiping at the altar of Mariah all season long.

Wishing all you readers an amazing holiday season and a kickass new year to come!

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