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Interview with Mitch Clem

7 Aug

Below you’ll find an interview with poster/comic/zine creator Mitch Clem. There is also a Wikipedia page about him.

How did you become interested in zines?

I’d gotten into punk rock somewhere in my early teens, and, from there, the transition to zines is pretty natural. It started as would be expected, Maximumrockandroll, Flipside, Punk Planet (realizing now I’m dating myself a bit, as only one of those is even still published). But the zine that really changed things for me was Cometbus. Not even sure how specifically I got into it other than it’s just sort of the ubiquitous punk-lit zine, but the first time I read it I was just floored by how much it resonated with me as a writer, and the handwritten pages instilled in me for the first time just how approachable the zinemaking process was. Even though now everything I make is comics, I still consider Cometbus a huge inspiration.

What is your favorite part of zine fests?

Oh my god you guys I’ve never been to one before! Since all my self-publishing to speak of has been comics, and I’ve made friends with some other cartoonists, we’d always just go to comic book conventions. Which, you know, doesn’t really cater to anything I’m about or anything my art is about. That world’s more “hey look at my drawing of an impossibly-proportioned mostly-nude woman holding a light saber in a provocative fashion” type stuff. And, I mean this in the nicest, most open-minded way possible, that shit completely fucking sucks. Eventually I made a cartoonist friend who also makes comics about punk rock and she told me to go to some zine fests or indie expos, and that I’d have a better time. And then this one happened and I got excited! Is there gonna be a ton of Star Wars stuff or what?

 

What new projects are you working on this year?

Right now Amanda and I are working tirelessly to finish issue #2 of Turnstile Comix, starring a very very exciting band that we’re keeping secret as of right now. That is taking up ALL our time. But I have recently started curating the first issue of a project called As You Were, which is a zine comprised entirely of comics by punk rock cartoonists/comickers. Assuming everyone turns in their submissions on time, the first issue should be out soon! Aside from that, the usual stuff: I still do Nothing Nice to Say, my webcomic about punk rock stuff, with my friend and co-writer Joe Briggs, and I still do the autobiographical comic My Stupid Life with my girlfriend and watercolorerist Nation of Amanda which appears in every issue of Razorcake magazine. I also bought some wild berry Pop Tarts, which I feel like should be super amazing and exciting but really taste almost indiscernable from the cherry ones except that the icing is a way more fun color. Oh, and I started making my own cold press coffee, but I’m not gonna bring that to the fest or anything, that’s just for me.

 

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

The best thing will be the debut issue of my new series, Turnstile Comix, where we adapt a band’s craziest road stories into a comic book that comes with a 7″ by the band. The first issue stars Minneapolis punk rock quartet the Slow Death (featuring members of Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels and the Ergs). Issue two should be out pretty soon, though doubtfully soon enough to have for the zine fest. I also made a zine collection of some of the recent incarnation of my webcomic Nothing Nice to Say. I may also bring the Nothing Nice to Say book, but maybe not? Oh, and I made some shirts making fun of crust punks which I might bring because it’s printed on organic, cruelty-free, USA union-made cotton shirts, so the crusters can’t even get mad about them. It’s not like they’re made out of plastic bags, ya know? I’m rambling. Are you guys getting dizzy too or is that just me?

How long have you been creating zines?

I started my first zine in high school (late 90s). It was called Summer’s Over. I published ten issues over the course of five years and then retired it when I eventually started doing the webcomic Nothing Nice to Say. From there it was all webcomics for a number of years, but over the past couple years I’ve regained a passion of actual print stuff, and have shifted most of my focus there. Boy it sure takes longer to fill a whole bunch of pages of drawings than it does to just scribble out three panels at a time a couple days out of the week! Yeesh.

Interview with Victoria of Foo Dog Blog

31 Jul
Victoria of Foo Dog Blog answered a few questions for us.  This will be her first Zine Fest.
What is the concept behind your zine
Basically, Foo’s adventures have taken him all over the country. Some zines and location specific. Others focus on a singular topic but all over the country. The possibilities are endless.
Why do you like zines? 
It provides a short, homegrown artistic outlet with a story at a reasonable cost for fans.
What made you decide to participate in 2012 Zine Fest Houston? 
A friend who follows Foo’s blog and has been to Zine Fest before and said, “Hey, you know where Foo would be great?” and so Foo is here.
What is something you think people should know about DIY in Houston?
Houston is an amazingly artistic city with a population of innovative and creative people that are all about DIY. It’s cool to DIY.
What will be on your table at this year’s zine fest
An assortment of Foo zines and products, a Footeria Mexican Bingo game, a catalog of available Foo t-shirts and other products, 8×10 Foo canvas portraits and an interactive Creative Caption Contest that can win participants fabulous Foo prizes.
What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines? 
Foo lets me help put together and write the Foo Dog Blog, and I write novels. The first, “In Death We Part,” is on sale now; and at the moment, I’m working on finishing the sequel, “Running in the Mists.”

Interview with Julia Vice Versa

22 Jul

Julia Vice Versa runs Vice Versa Press. Check out the Vice Versa Press website at viceversapress.com and stop by her table at Zine Fest Houston 2012.
Why do you like zines?
Zines are the most intimate, uninhibited form of communicating ideas
in print now. They remain uncensored and still underground, although the internet threatens to take that sense of renegade away.

What is your favorite part of zine fests?
Having beers and discussing if punk is still relevant. Not that I really know.

What is something you’re looking forward to about the 2012 Zine
Fest Houston?
Getting turned on to new and old Chopped and Screwed music and finding
soul dance parties to go to.

What made you decide to participate in 2012 Zine Fest Houston?
Vice Versa Press is releasing the “Guide to Bing Alone” zine at the
end of the summer and it would be a great opportunity to get that zine
circulating. Plus, zinesters in general are pretty cool folk.

What will be on your table at this year’s zine fest?
A slew of self published zines (Including “Guide to Dating Gangsters
Vol.1″), stickers, mix CDs, a devotional pop-up shrine for spirit offerings, Printers Luck and Good Hair Day novena candles, good vibes.

Interview with Modernizm

16 Jul
Here’s a short interview with Stacy Kirages, creator of Modernizm and Zine Fest Houston participant. Look for her table at Zine Fest Houston 2012.
How long have you been creating zines?
I’ve been creating zines for about two years now, ever since I graduated from school and moved back to Houston in 2010.  I just can’t seem to get enough, so I keep on making them.  I’m constantly brainstorming for new zine ideas and when I think of a good one, I’ll immediately write it down because I don’t want to forget.  You should never let a good zine idea go to waste!
Why do you like zines?
Zines appeal to me because they are the exact opposite of anything that is mass-produced and drastically different from digital media.  They are such unique and personal objects, sometimes only having a run of ten editions.  In this day and age, I think it’s awesome that there are still people who are enthusiastic about creating small-scale handmade publications.  Holding a zine in your hand is not like holding an iPad or a Kindle.  This is about connecting with something more tangible and DIY.  I also enjoy the endless possibilities of subject matter when creating zines.  A zine can literally be about anything you want it to be.  From what you had to eat that day, your grandmother’s Tupperware collection, that one time you went to the beach or things that start with the letter R!  There is no right or wrong way to make a zine, and that, I believe, is truly the beauty of self-publishing.
What are your favorite zines/minicomics/etc?
Lately I’ve been interested in food zines, such as The Runcible Spoon based in Washington, D.C., and Remedy Quarterly and Put A Egg On It, both based in Brooklyn.  The Runcible Spoon is fun because it’s half-collage, half-illustration, filled with tons of color and 100% handmade.  I have Issue #7: Mad Science, which features recipes for mooncake, occult jam and home cured bacon.  Remedy Quarterly has a great design aesthetic – very clean and easy to read.  Put A Egg On It is printed on green paper and has superbly written essays about food and the memory of eating certain foods.  There’s also an amazing zine about pizza called Slice Harvester, but I haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy just yet.
What is your favorite part of zine fests?
I’d have to say that my favorite part of participating in and going to zine fests is definitely the trading aspect.  It’s exciting getting to see what other kinds of zines are out there and what everyone else is creating.  There is also that nervous feeling you get right before a trade.  Are they going to say yes to trading with you?  Will they like your zine or not?  These are some of the questions that go through my mind before I ask someone to trade with me.  I’ve had a pretty good experience with trading though because I think the zine community is open and receptive to exchanging and collaborating as much as possible with other zinesters.
What new projects are you working on this year?
This year I’m planning on applying for a Houston Arts Alliance grant to help with the production costs of a zine called The Zinester’s Guide to Houston based off Ayun Halliday’s (creator of the East Village Inky) zine/city guide to New York.  As much as people hate on the Bayou City sometimes, I am proud to call myself a Houstonian and I think the city has such a great art scene and artistic community.  I haven’t worked out all the details, but I hope that local writers will be willing to contribute essays and/or fictional stories about their experience living in Houston and their favorite places around town.  Other than that big project, I am going to continue working on my Modernizm zine series and collaborate with as many creative people as possible.

Registration forms now available!

11 May

Click here for the  form.

 

Also, the Zine Fest Compilation is now on sale at Domy!

Representin’ the ZFH

30 Apr

A nice picture of the Zine Fest Houston Compilation cover (illustrated by Gabriel Dieter) appears in Robert Boyd’s review of Nighthawks at the Last Supper. Nighthawks at the Last Supper was a minature convention organized as a performance piece within the UH MFA Thesis Exhibition at DiverseWorks.

Closson, who created a graphic novel called Lorica for his thesis and serialized it in self published booklets, was an exhibitor at last year’s Zine Fest. Several Zine Fest veterans (including Jarrod Perez, Gabriel Dieter, shane patrick boyle, Edwin Johston Mark Nasso and Jason Poland) participated as exhibitors in Closson’s performance piece. Christopher Cascio, who did the centerfold for the Zine Fest compilation, was also in attendance.

Quote

Article about Houston Indie Book Fest

17 Apr

“People don’t recognize that Houston is a very important cultural center, both mainstream and underground.”-shane patrick boyle

Check out this Houston Press article about the Houston Indie Book Fest. It features a few words with Zine Fest Houston founder shane patrick boyle.

14 Apr

Houston Indie Book Fest Time!

14 Apr

Join us on Saturday, April 14th, from 11-5, at the Menil for this year’s Houston Indie Book Fest. We’ll be debuting our compilation and selling zines from Zine Fest Houston participants.

Check out our new art!

8 Mar

Gabriel Dieter is designing art for the 2012 Zine Fest Houston. Check out our new header that he designed. Our theme will be monsters and zines this year. Stay tuned for more updates about the fest & details about the compilation zine.

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