Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Interview with zine archivist & punk historian David Ensminger

8 Oct

Today we’re doing a double dose of interview fun! For your lunchtime reading enjoyment, we visit with David Ensminger, who will be giving a presentation at ZFH from 4-5pm so make sure you go! His work deals with what many zinesters are talking and thinking about – the meeting between our traditional paper culture and the digitization that indelibly marks society today. How do we bridge the gap, how do we archive things created ostensibly for temporary distribution? Read more below to find out!

Ensminger cover
Continue reading

A Trip to Skweegie Island with M. Austin Bedell

7 Oct

In honor of ZFH week, we’ll be featuring a zinester feature EVERY DAY! Ohh yes, you read correctly. So strap on your raybans and adjust your tommy bahama gear, as we journey through the forbidden pleasures enjoyed on Skweegie Island!

Image
portrait of the artist as a young garbuckle

What is your favorite part of zine fest?

Pronouncing “zine” with a long i, like “wine,” and insisting that’s how you say it. It’s almost as fun as saying “Star Track” at a sci-fi convention, or emphasizing the second syllable in “Marvel” (mar-VEL) at a comic con. I also enjoy the process of describing a book of mine to someone, just to have them tell me they only like the opposite thing.

What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?
Xeroxing my butt with the Gutenberg press. (ed: noooooooooo! yeeeeeessss!)

What new projects are you working on this year?
I’m working on a comic book love letter to my hometown’s long-gone video store, Fred’s TV & Video.  Well, maybe not a “love letter.”  I mean, don’t write love letters to dead things; it’s just sick.  But apparently there was a monkey in the back of the store that didn’t actually exist (?)

What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?
The complete smorgasbord of Skweegie Island comic books!  YES!!!!  EVERYTHING YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!

Why does self-publishing appeal to you?
It’s like running my own little world.  Nobody can tell me what goes and what doesn’t go, and the only struggles over content are internal.  I mean sure, nobody buys…  But, oh! how sickeningly satisfying it is to stare at a library of my own creation.
What is/are your favorite place(s) in Houston?
Astroworld is pretty fun.  Let’s go there!

Interview with ArmzRace Comics!

7 Oct

Today we’re shining a light on a collective effort to create productivity, and whose strategy is obviously paying off in dividends: ArmzRace Comics!

ar-logo

How long have you been making comics?

Unofficially, I’ve been creating comics off and on most of my life. Officially, ArmzRace Comics began in 1998 when Mark! and I decided that we wanted to get serious about making comics. We realized that the only way to get anything done was to set some (realistic) goals and then make each other stick to them. Since then, we have prodded each other along, sharing critiques and information about new techniques, and hopefully we have become better as creators and produced some great comics. Over the years, other creators, like Hardtraveling Hero have joined in the ArmzRace merriment.

What is the concept behind your comics?

ArmzRace Comics is a loose confederation of people who create comics. We’re all amateurs, but we provide support and constructive criticism to one another. Making art can sometimes be intimidating, but by setting a monthly goal and having a support network, we’re able to create some pretty cool work. From there, the sky’s the limit. I tend to do political comics, while Mark and Paul tend to prefer autobiographical. That said, we dabble in anything that interests us.

Why do you create comics? Why do you like comics?

I’ve been reading comics for as long as I can remember. They are a wonderful medium for expressing the whole range of human emotions and ideas. They are relatively low-cost to create, but they have tremendous scope, really only limited by the creator’s imagination. And while there are some “good practices,” there are no hard and fast rules on how they must be done. Sometimes I feel stymied because my artwork isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, but then I remember that there have been some great comics that only had stick people. That encourages me to keep creating.

 

AR-comics

What is something you’re looking forward to about the 2013 Zine fest Houston?

It’s always great to see what other people are working on, because it helps inspire me in my own work. Plus, I always like asking people how they did something, because I usually learn some new trick or tool that saves me a lot of time. Additionally, I’d love to meet other people who’d like to join the ArmzRace.  Zinefest 2013 will be particularly exciting for me, because my ArmzRace compatriots Mark! and Hardtraveling Hero, who are usually out on the East Coast, will be in town to table with me.

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

ArmzRace will have about a dozen mini-comics from Cej, Mark!, and the Hardtraveling Hero. They range from short fiction to autobiography to gag comics. Mark! will bring his new Gags: Bound mini, which is a book of one-panel jokes; and I’ll have my new For Whom the Bell’s, which is an autobiographical comic about dealing with Bell’s Palsy; and Hardtraveling Hero will have a book called Booty Call.

Any final thoughts?

I want to encourage people to come out to Zine Fest and support the arts scene in Houston. Likewise, I invite everyone to take a look at http://ArmzRace.com I enjoy getting people’s feedback, and I’d love to have other creative types join the Race!

Zine Fest Houston week kicks off in 3, 2…

6 Oct

Welp, it’s finally time. We’ve worked hard this year to spread the good word to all the good folks of Houston and now if I bend my ear, it seems I can hear, through the newly crisp fall air, the sound of zines being folded and staplers busily stapling away!

This is going to be a great week for Houston zines, not only because Zine Fest Houston is coming at your FACE on Saturday! Here’s a little preview of what’s going down:

TODAY at East Side Social Center, the POC Zine Project’s Race Riot! Tour is going to be presenting Zines made by and/or for POC for sale and/or trade, guest zine readers & speakers and many more.’ This is a great project, so make sure you head over to ESSC today at 4pm to check it out!

Image

Following hot on its heels is the All Hallow’Zine open mic & zine reading event at Kaboom Books! We are very excited to be presenting in collaboration with the folks at Kaboom, who are lovely lovely people. Come join us for refreshments and sweet sweet entertainment from the self publishing community!

Image

And, of course, Zine Fest Houston will be taking place on October 12th at the Museum of Printing History between 3-8pm. Here’s what you can look forward to at the fest!

Image

4-5pm: Presentation by zine archivist and punk rock historian David Ensminger.

David Ensminger is a Humanities, Folklore, and English Instructor at Lee College in Baytown, TX. As a writer covering music, art, and contemporary issues, he has authored three books: Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generations (Univ. Press of Mississippi), co-authored Mojo Hand (Univ. of Texas Press), a biography of bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins, and contributed to Popmatters, Maximum Rock’n’Roll, Houston Press, Postmodern Culture, Art in Print, M/C Journal, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Artcore, Liminalities, and others. As a digital archivist and blogger, he maintains 25 blogs documenting vernacular culture. Throughout his career, his zines, articles, and blogs have focused on the often overlooked but fecund, ongoing, and nuanced contributions of women, African Americans, Hispanics, queers and lesbians, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing communities upon the legacy, history, and modern dynamics of punk. In 2012, he released The Punk and Indie Compendium, an App published by BiblioBoard (featured on iTunes), featuring 250 entries, including music, photography, interviews, and ephemera from his zines ranging from 1988-2012. His photographs have been featured in his books, blogs, and articles as well. Lastly, as a drummer, singer, and curator of traveling Visual Vitriol poster exhibitions, he has toured American and Western Europe since 2002.

5-5:30pm: Raffle!

5:30-6:30pm: Panel with Space City Nerd as moderators featuring Jamie Kinosian and more panelists TBA!

6:30-6:45pm: Another raffle!

6:45-7:45pm: Presentation by artist Michael Bise

Michael Bise is an artist and author of the ongoing comic, ‘Life on the List,’ a chronicle of the artist’s struggle with what can often be a debilitating heart condition. A pick for the 2013 Texas Biennial, Michael Bise has a show entitled Love in the Kingdom of the Sick up at Moody Gallery that is definitely worth checking out before you hear him speak at the fest!

7:45-8pm: A big raffle!!!

Throughout the fest there will also be kid/teen workshops generously provided by Harris County Public Librarian Maggie Block, zinester extraordinaire! Thank you Maggie, you’re the best!

Maggie Block was formerly a North East transplant in the Midwest, but is now some sort of North East/Midwest hybrid transplant in the Lone Star State (“Yankee” has been suggested, but just seems over simplistic). She is a youth worker, evolving from babysitter & camp counselor to teaching artist & nanny to what she is currently: a youth librarian. Maggie first got involved with Zine Fest Houston when she asked if the organizers would do a presentation on zines for her teens at HCPL’s Aldine branch. She’s thrilled to be double tasking as a tabler and youth workshop leader for this year’s fest!

We’ll also be joined by the Broke Ass Pizza Cooperative, who will be slinging pizza outside the museum for vegans and non-vegans alike! Yummy!

And finally, after a long week of zine reading and making and fun fun fun, come unwind with us at The Doctor’s Office (1302 Nance St.) for the ZFH 2013 After Show! Featuring an Improv Ham Jam (bring your best ham), WOMB BOMB (with former ZFH organizer Lindsey Simard!), CAFFEINATED (Evan McCarley and Scott Gregory bring you the pop-punk anarchy feels), Amazing Technology, and more TBA! Also featuring a keg sponsored by Karbach! Thanks guys!

Hearing about zinefest but bummed you didn’t register in time? It’s cool! There will be overflow tables available at the doc’s office for you to set up and trade, sell, throw around, or distro your stuff in what ever way you see fit! :}

omggg it’s gonna be amaaaaazine!

Leroy Brown of ICECUBES tells all!

2 Oct
Today’s zinester feature catches up with Leroy Brown, artist and writer of the existential, icebound comic ICECUBES

Image

Why do you create zines?

 
Well, I create comics and my book is self published. I’ve always loved comics and wanted to make them.
 

What is your favorite part of zine fest?

Zine Fest Houston is a great place to meet Houston artists and creatives. The great thing about Houston is that the creative community here is very open and accepting and has a very welcoming attitude. 
 

What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?

Meeting other artists and fans.

 

What made you decide to participate in the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?

I met Shane Boyle, the founder of Zine Fest and he invited me to participate. I’m very glad he did!
 

What new projects are you working on this year?

Well, I am a video editor by trade and I am working on a pilot for a late night music video TV show called Dizzy TV.  Hopefully I can get a local channel to carry it!
I also did a gallery art show in New Orleans called  LaPopSexTVArtShow (http://www.lapopsextvartshow.blogspot.com/)
 

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

Houston is a great place to be an artist. There’s a great attitude here, plenty of room and an audience willing to explore new stuff.
 

What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?

My comic book ICECUBES and hopefully a small zine I am working on.
 

What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?

I am an artist (see above) a musician and a TV video editor.
 

Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

I am an artist and it’s my job to put new things out there. People hesitate to support new ideas until they see it for themselves.
 

What is the concept behind your zine?

My comic ICECUBES is a ‘slice of life’ comic that deals with existential themes and identity questions in a humorous fashion. (at least I hope it’s humorous!)
 

How long have you been creating zines?

I’ve been drawing since I was 10. My latest comic ICECUBES was created in 2006.
 

What is/are your favorite place(s) in Houston?

The whole town is awesome! (but I really like Chinatown and Little India)
 

Zinester Feature: Vice Versa Press (ATX)

30 Sep

Today’s zinester feature highlights Vice Versa Press out of Austin! We’re really pleased to have them join us for ZFH 2013; it was great to see other Texans when we were up in Portland for the Portland Zine Symposium, and it’s great to have these neighborinos joining us in Houston for ZFH 2013! Yay!

Image

What is your favorite part of zine fest?

My favorite part of zine fest is joking around with other tablers and inevtiably finding ways to fight the awkward moments that selling ones good entails.

What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?

Seeing familiar faces and forming better friendships with other zinesters. Maybe having a few cigarettes outside. Smoking a spliff would be cool.

What are your favorite zines/mini-comics etc.?

Tales of Blarg! is the freakin bomb, anything by sir Aaron Cometbus, PRIZE Comics, Feedback headbanging how-tos

What made you decide to participate in the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?

The fact that 2013 Zine Fest Houston was being held at the Museum of Printing History is awesome. As a printmaker, I’d be a traitor if I did not go.

What new projects are you working on this year?

I’m completing “Guide to Dating Gangsters vol. 2″. It’s been two years since the first issue was released and I’d hate to give anyone the idea that I’ve had any dating dry spells. Just a few close encounters/ it’s complicated.

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

The fact that DownTogether House is AWESOME. I hung out there for a little bit post-Zine Fest last year and had a really nice time. Got to sleep in the hammock and shoot the shit in general. 

Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

Self publishing appeals to me because it is virtually uncensored. I can print what I want. No sales quota to meet. No audience to cater to. Just me, some sharpies, a couple travel tales, and the copy machine. Plus, I can control ALL the elements of my publication through self publishing. I’ve got the power.

A Chat with Shane Patrick Boyle, founder of Zine Fest Houston!

27 Sep

Today’s spotlight is on Shane Patrick Boyle, a long time creator of zines and the founder of Zine Fest Houston, whose first event was held in 1993. That’s 20 years ago! This guy has held the helm of ZFH in the past and even from afar helps ZFH be as great as it can be in every way! Thanks Shane!

Image

You can help support Shane’s upcoming zines and attendance at ZFH 2013 through his indiegogo campaign!

 

How did you become interested in zines?

When I was a kid in Beaumont, I dreamed. As many kids do, of starting my own comics publishing empire. This dream was still alive throughout most of high school. In ninth grade, our family moved to North Little Rock, and I started going to a comic shop called Collector’s Edition on a regular basis. The owner was Michael Tierney, who created and self-published a comic book called Wildstars. When I asked his advice on how to get started as a comics publisher, he told me to start small and he explained how to make a simple 5.5x 8.5 pamphlet from 2-sided 8.5 x 11 pages folded in half. By the time I got around to trying this, I was living in Texas again, Alief this time, and had started a science fiction, fantasy and comics club. I followed his instructions to put together the club’s fanzine called Astrozine which I published on a consistent monthly basis for an entire year. Later I discovered there was more to zines than just fanzines. I got into literary, political, art, travel and personal zines. As I got more into zines, I outgrew the dream of becoming a publishing mogul, but  the passion I developed for small-scale self-publishing has stayed with me my whole life.

What do you like about zines?

I like that anyone can create a zine and a zine can be about anything. You don’t need to have a degree or be famous or hire an agent. I have seen zines by fast food workers, single mothers, homeless people, teachers, writers, artists, prisoners, waiters, dish washers, retail employees, kids, retired people, students, squatters, librarians, janitors, temp workers, activists and just about every walk of life. The only credential necessary is the determination to finish a zine.

You can also live anywhere and create a zine. You don’t have to be in a cool city  like Portland or Houston. You can be in a small town in a rural state (as I am currently) or even on the other side of the world. It’s also cool to discover zines from different places and experience interesting locales through the eyes of zinesters.

Ultimately, a zine, regardless of subject, is a personal expression of the person who created it. It is not a commercial product that is the result of marketing research. Zines have no obligation to be popular.
What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?

I am looking forward to getting out of Mena, Arkansas and visiting with other zinesters. Sure, the scenery is beautiful here, but I’ve been here since Christmas, and other than a trip to Portland for ICAF and a trip to Little Rock for their awesome zine gathering, I haven’t been able to hang out much with people I can actually talk to, so it will be nice to get back to Houston.

New zines and old friends are the main draw for me this year, but I am also looking forward to getting out and revisiting the city I used to live in and looking forward to tasting authentic Mexican food again. Hell, I am even looking forward to the humidity.

What is your favorite place in Houston?

I lived nearly a quarter century, off and on, in Houston, and moved a lot from neighborhood to neighborhood, when I was there, but I found myself returning most often to the east end. I guess Greater Eastwood (not EADO or any of the area the condos have conquered) is what it would be called, but I am also including the area south of 45, surrounding the universities.

Montrose and the Heights are still cool, but have lost a significant chunk of their character over the years, while Eastwood and the surrounding areas are still much the same as they were in the 90s and this area is still reasonably priced compared to other inner loop neighborhoods, especially when you consider how close it is to downtown and two universities.

What new projects are you working on this year?

I am working on four new zines to debut at Zine Fest. They are:

  • Ouachita Journal  #1: A zine about Arkansas   and my experiences living, here,   in Mena (located in the foothills of the   Ouachita Mountains).
  • Offline Adventure Zine #1: a travel narratives zine about getting out and experiencing life, regardless of how old you are or how much money you have or any other excuse that may be holding you back.
  • shane # 9: tenth anniversary issue of my ongoing self-titled zine with a new theme each issue. This issue focuses on gender and sexual orientation in comics.
  • Cluttered Mind #3: Featuring articles, essays, reviews, poetry, comics, fiction and art. This issue includes a reflection on the 20-year history of zine gatherings in Houston.

These zines are more personal than most of my recent work and represent a new direction for me. I am also planning to include some color photos in these zines.

What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest Houston?

Mostly the zines I mentioned above, some postcards related to these four zines, stickers and a few of my art prints. I may also bring a deluxe reprint of Walkin’ Man and a micro minicomic featuring a new Flyin’ Man story. Next year, both of these characters will be celebrating their tenth anniversaries.

What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?

I do prose writing (fiction and nonfiction), art, and comics. I am also in the process of launching a couple of new blogs that tie in with my zines.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers