Interview with Makenzie Maupin

12 Sep

Check out her table at Zine Fest Houston this year!

Why do you create zines?

I started making zines about 1 1/2 years ago as a way to keep myself from total overwhelm of a tricky mix of anxiety and boredom. Making zines makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile with my time, something I can share with other people and get a sense of personal satisfaction. Whenever I feel like I’m wasting my life or I feel listless or too anxious, I put on a tv show and start drawing and writing. It’s so exciting to finish a set of zines and give them to people.

What is the concept behind your zine/zines?

I think someone described my zines one time as dripping with self-deprecation which I sort of took as a compliment. They’re largely self-centered, indulgent, and a bit silly really, but I make them primarily for my own fulfillment not for an audience. A lot of people seem to make super cool amazing zines with hip art that seem pretty marketable but my zines are just a by-product of my coping method. My art focused zines revolve around a certain topic (for instance: the idea of being “dateable”). Only recently have I started making more writing based zines, which center around the four seasons. I try to pick a few themes in my life during the said season and reflect on the events.

What new projects are you working on this year?

I really want to make a zine called “I Hope You Die in A Fire And Other Love Stories” about the people I’ve dated etc. But I would never want it to fall into the wrong hands so I guess I will just make it for myself.

What will be on your table at this year’s zine fest?

The zine I’ve recently made that I’m most excited about is a zine about my trip to London. I spent a lot of time working on it and it has really good stories about my time in the UK with my family who just moved there. I also have a guide to cheap eats in Houston that I put a lot of love in to, mostly just because I love to go out to eat. You can have a good meal for under $10 at every restaurant I listed. I also have the first 3 installments of my quarterly zine, Girl Afraid, which is hugely self-absorbed and a little embarrassing but I tell a lot of personal stories.

What is something you think people should know about DIY in Houston?

Wise advice about DIY culture from a naive 22 year old: First, if you think there’s nothing cool about Houston, you’re just not looking in the right places. Second, the more you put in to your community the more you get back. For instance, I used to think there were not many political people in Houston, but as I put more personally into local politics, the more I got out of it. Same with art, spirituality, music etc. If you are dissatisfied with your community, maybe you need to start changing your behavior first.

Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

I like self-publishing because it is the anti-thesis of everything I learned in business school. I never think about profit when I make zines. I do think about the cool zines I will get to trade and how inspired I will be by other people’s works. I like bartering and I like making something expecting nothing in return. It’s the opposite of a market system. It’s nice not to worry about maximizing profits, or increasing efficiency in production, or marketing a product (can you tell I take a lot of business classes?).  Bet you wouldn’t guess from all this talk that I’m actually pretty conservative…!

 

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