Zinester Feature: Chris Engelsma

24 Sep

Today’s featured zinester is Chris Engelsma, author of Jesus Christ Manatee and a contributor to the Zine Fest Houston 2013 Compilation! Among other things, he’ll be featuring a typographical map of Houston, a portion of which is featured in his interview, which you can read below!!

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A Conversation With Sarah Welch

16 Sep

Today we catch up with Sarah Welch, an illustrator and comics writer, most recently featured on the cover of the latest issue of Cite magazine – very nice! We’re happy she’s pleased with this year’s venue, we are hard pressed to contain the excitement ourselves~ Read on for more!

My name is Sarah Welch and I’ll be tabling at Zine Fest Houston 2013. I’m an artist from Texas, who left Texas to go to Chicago for a long time, but then ultimately came back to Texas. My zines are mostly short comics. I’m legally blind and I like drinking cold beverages in the shower.

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What new projects are you working on this year?

This year I’m working on my first attempt at a comic with an original narrative, Endless Monsoon. It’s about growing older and finding ways to deal or not deal with continuous change. Haha. Is that vague enough? It’s a bit of an amalgamation of my own life, and the lives of my friends, and my first summer here in Houston. I’m trying to pack a lot of flavor into a little package with this one.

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

I’ll be tabling with my long time creative partner, James Beard of Mystic Multiples. M.M acquired a clean little Riso printer this year so we’ll definitely have some Riso made zines and prints available. I’ll be bringing in my comics, some original screen prints, and possibly some letterpress goods. We also have a secret surprise I can’t talk about. Just come say hey to us. You’ll be like, “hey,” and then we’ll be like, “hey,” right back at you and everything will be chill and casual.

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

The 2012 Houston Zine Fest–at Super Happy Fun Land–was my first and I was covered in a thick layer of sweat and atmospheric swamp particles for the entire event. This year I am looking forward to the central air conditioning at the Museum of Print History (because I can’t be ruining my wares with all kinds of funky).

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

My favorite zines and comics tend to be the single serving variety. Zines and comics that are well curated collections of images or have an almost oversimplified purpose, i.e. Pictures of Rocks or How to Crack an Egg. I’ve been a big Ed Ruscha person for a minute now and I think it has rubbed off not only on my own work, but my taste in everything else.

Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

Oh boy. Self-publishing is everything. Self-publishing is empowerment, accessibility, and printmaking. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?

In addition to zines and comics I’ve been trying to cultivate an illustration career, doing jobs for Houston publications and non-profits. Working for clients has been new and exciting and fulfilling. Actually, since you asked, you can see my cover illustration on the latest issue of Cite magazine. I also make art for my own personal pleasure and satisfaction. You can see that stuff, as well as a whole load of other stuff on my websites:

sarahwelch.info
sarahwelch.tumblr.com

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REGISTRATION IS OPEN! (again)

13 Sep

After much anticipation and baited breath, we bring glad tidings to you, dear zinesters:

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We’re opening registration again for Zine Fest Houston at the Museum of Printing History on October 12th!

Click here for table information, prices, and download a registration form for ZFH 2013!

We can’t stress enough, SPACE IS LIMITED!! So get while the gettin’ is good. :]

Double Interview with Lauren and Aaron!

11 Sep

Today’s featured Zinesters are Lauren and Aaron, who’ll be tabling together at ZFH this year! They win the award for most creative interview formatting thus far! We can’t wait to see what they bring to the fest.

Aaron:
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Zinester Highlight: The Lovely Blubs

9 Sep
Zinester highlights continue with a conversation with Tayyba Kanwal, coordinator of The Lovely Blubs. Read on!

Why do you create zines?

The Lovely Blubs are a multi-generational co-inspiring team, and zines have the magical ability to web together our ideas and creative skills. Zines let us play together, and share our worlds with people who get the fun of it.

What is your favorite part of zine fest?

Talking with people about the inspiration behind the hundred of stories and images floating around the Zine Fest, both theirs and ours.

What new projects are you working on this year?

This year The Lovely Blubs are starting a new series that will be released at the Zine Fest over six years. Come find us for part 1 of a futuristic zine inspired by Alice (of Wonderland) by Natasha and Unity Haq. You’ve seen their Mara & Clay series mature over the two years they were in elementary school. They are now middle schoolers and seasoned zinesters. We are thrilled about the prospect of watching this new series evolve with them through their years in middle school and high school. 

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

You don’t want to miss Natasha & Unity Haq’s first installment of their new Alice zine! Athena Haq’s “Duck and Swan” love story (featuring a duck in a tux!) was a hit last year, and she will be back with another moving new zine. The Lovely Blubs will also have a new set of postcards of their original art, that you have become so fond of over the last two years. And this year, Maya Kanwal has a special treat waiting for you – handwritten copies of her published second person short story, a story that was imagined as a letter, and now you can have a personal copy.

What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?

Maya Kanwal, the coordinator of The Lovely Blubs, is writing a short story collection, one of which is forthcoming this fall in the journal Quarterly West, and was presented at a reading at the Houston Public Library central branch. She has also completed a YA novel that is now in the hands of the powers that be. You can check her out here: http://mayakanwal.com and follow her on twitter @mayakanwal

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

The Lovely Blubs haunt the museums that we are so lucky to have such easy access to, and spend a lot of time (both watching and performing) at the Wortham Center, Main Street Theater and Winter Street Studios. Those of us who are old enough can also be consistently found writing at Agora, imbibing at The Anvil and listening to readings at Rudyards.

A visit with Vanessa Capshaw of BATS!

3 Sep

Next in our lineup of featured zinesters is Vanessa Capshaw, whose dreamy 80s zine covers clothe BATS, “an ongoing comic-zine series that centers around the abject misadventures of Juju and the Lox, two genderqueer boys in high school.” [from BATASTROPHE]

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Why do you create zines?

I create zines because I enjoy the DIY/Self Publishing element to it in which I can publish anything I want to publish. With zines there are no boundaries or rules. I also enjoy the construction process – I love playing around with Xerox machines and silkscreening covers. Even folding and stapling them is fun for me!

 
What new projects are you working on this year?

I am currently working on a mini-art zine called “OMG BFFS” and a follow up to “BATS: Cry Crystal Castle”. 

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

Other than zines and comics, I sell pinback buttons, prints, silkscreened tote bags and even silkscreened shirts that feature my comic characters.

 
What is the concept behind your zine/zines?

I focus on concepts of escapism, sexuality and mental illness and explore them through my comic characters Lox and Juju, two genderqueer high school boys that live in Houston, TX.

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

The Enclave area of the Energy Corridor in the Westside of town. It has such an intense eerie feel to it! Back when I actually lived in Houston I would drive around that area when feeling pensive or bored. It’s changed a lot in the past decade or so, but I still love it.

Interview with Richard Alexander of Richy Vegas

28 Aug

We’re really excited about the response we’ve gotten so far when we had pre-registration open! If you haven’t registered yet, don’t worry – we’ll be opening general registration again soon, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, check back here often as we begin to feature interviews with our tablers for ZFH 2013! The first up is with Richard Alexander, whose work, uniquely produced on paper plates, features his life with schizoaffective disorder. Read the interview below!

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What is your favorite part of zine fest?

I like to talk to people about my work when they stop at my table.
 
What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?

I’m going to take at least thirty minutes off from my table to check out the other tables.  It helps break things up a little.
 
What made you decide to participate in the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?
 
I like the one day format as opposed to two days for most events like these.  I sell just about the same amount of stuff in one day at Zine Fest that I sell in two days at other events.
 
What new projects are you working on this year?

I’m working on part 2 of a two-part story for Richy Vegas Comics.  I will have part one available at Zine Fest.
 
Why does self-publishing appeal to you?
 
My comics are drawn in ball-point pen on paper plates.  The unusual materials and round format don’t exactly interest publishers in taking a chance on me.  In 1998 I sent work to Harvey Pekar for him to look at.  He said that I would probably have to self-publish, which has turned out to be true.
 
What is the concept behind your zine/zines?

Richy Vegas Comics comprise a memoir of my struggles with mental illness.  The round format allows me to play with conventional narrative presentation and break it down a little.  I still have a great interest in readability and accessibility, though.
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