Tag Archives: Sarah Welch

ZFH 2015 Interview #15: Mystic Multiples

15 Oct

Mystic Multiples Image 3Mystic Multiples, a full service letterpress and risography publishing service located in Houston, TX, consists of Sarah Welch and James Beard. Begun in 2008, Mystic Multiples exists to produce challenging, new work in print for designers and artists. Sarah Welch is also this year’s featured artist! :)

ZFH: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ll be showing at ZFH 2015!

SW: Mystic Multiples is a local letterpress and risography print shop. We do commercial jobs and quite a lot of art prints, comix, and zine publishing. James Beard is the fearless founder / master printer and Sarah Welch is the artist / printshop lackey.

The hot new newness for this year is the third installment of the Endless Monsoon series, Only Humid. I just opened a show under that same title at Box13 Artspace, the premise of the show was to do a book release that was also an art exhibition of objects/ props/ artifacts lifted from the pages of the comix. It was weird and fun and you can see it through November 7th.

Our other new, very exciting thing is the Brackish zine and Brackish Box Sets. We finished these mid-Summer but our release party was flooded out, so now is your chance to finally, finally pick one up. This project was a collaborative effort between myself and Houston artist, Katie Mulholland. Brackish images the past, present, and invented future of the Houston landscape. The book features local and invasive flora & fauna, architecture, interior spaces, city infrastructure, industry, and residential vignettes. Special attention is lavishes on locations with ancient, sometimes futuristic presence. Think 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Jurassic Park. The zine is great, the box set is even greater and comes with three risographed prints and one amazing letterpress Mossman print by Katie Mulholland.

As always we’re gonna have lots of fun riso art prints and hopefully, time permitting a special Halloweenie themed print I am currently working on. All sorts.

ZFH: What is the future of zines in this new and rapidly digitizing world?

JB: Digital just meshes well for some people’s style. If you want to get it out there on a tiny budget, it’s hard to beat the internet. But, a lot of our work focuses on creating a means to support continued zine making via creating a tangible object that’s different from the other stuff out there. There are still a lot of unexplored areas, and industrialization with has made it easier than ever to get your hands on the tools of the trade (check craigslist!) to print your own. So, I think we’ll continue to see more web work, which is great, and I think we’ll continue to see more people getting DIY in a sense that blurs the line between home production and professional production, which is also great!

ZFH: Were you an analog to digital transition or were you a BB born in the tech age?

SW: This is soon to be the question that will define if you are an old fogey or not.

I’m just gonna out myself now as an old fogey by saying: I typed my first book reports on an electric typewriter. That said, my folks were somewhat early adopters–I think?–to home computers and AOL free trials. I remember having home dial-up access by the fifth or sixth grade.

JB: I see the distinction as not being too different. The thing I always worry about is that technology is making it easier to use a machine without understanding how it works. This isn’t to say that you need to understand the catalytic converter on your car, but you probably understand that the gas ignites and pushes a piston to power your wheels. Digital technology is a little more obscured, and we could end up with a lot of machines that work by button and contain ‘no user serviceable parts’, which is really a threat to DIY in general. I like the older technology because it’s a little more human in that sense. But I could have never gotten into it without the Internet, so that knowledge factor is definitely part of my life.

ZFH: How does technology and recent technological developments affect your zine-making practice?

SW: Like everyone else, technology is a crucial but mostly invisible part of so much I do. I use the Internet for research, Adobe for coloring and formatting my comix, and social media to share whatever I’m currently working on. I know James has sourced 100% of the print equipment we have through the Internet. Ironically, we’ve even found old service manuals for our out-moded machines-both the letterpress and the riso!–online. So it’s just this constant back-and-forth between old and new and digital and physical. I don’t see zine making as this misty-eyed, nostalgic practice removed from current technology at all. Zine making has been impacted just as much as any other media by technological development.

ZFH: What in your opinion is the best invention of the last 30 years?

SW: Wow. If this was “best invention of the last 50 years” I would have said widespread availability of the pill, but, the obvious answer for the last 30 years is the Internet. Common, household use of the Internet. At first those two things seem very different, but I think to be a great invention, something must have ability to empower large swaths of humanity.

JB: The Internet. How can you beat KNOWLEDGEEEEEEEEE. It’s like that episode of Star Trek: TNG where Lt. Barclay had his brain wired into the enterprise after encountering the alien probe that expanded his intelligence. The probe is the Internet.

ZFH: What in your opinion is the worst invention of the last 30 years?

SW: So many to choose from… Unmanned Combat Drones? New Fracking Technology?

JB: Cell phones? It’s a love / hate sort of thing. Being available 24/7 is just about the least zen thing ever, which is sad.

ZFH: How will you best honor our cyber overlords?

SW: Planning to replace half my brain with a computer ;) Maybe some robotic eyeballs.

JB: 3-in-1 oil lubrication fountain, marine grade protective wax, sacrificial finger in the press?

SW: Hahaha, yes oil lubrication fountains everywhere.

Awesome, thanks Sarah and James! We <3 everything you do!!!

ZFH 2015 POSTER and Menil Fest Unbirthday recap~!

19 Jun


Our poster is here! So many thanks to Sarah Welch for her BEAUTIFUL design, and thanks also to Lady Lazarus who will be putting their incredible skills behind a run of prints YOU WILL BE ABLE TO PROCURE at the fest! Aren’t you excited!?

This post is belated for another reason: we wanted to offer a recap of the Menil Fest, where we held an Unbirthday Party at the Menil Bookstore! We released our beautiful compilation that day and to celebrate nothing in particular, we decorated the store and had a DELICIOUS cake made as well as a PIÑAta!!!

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Stacy and Maria having an organizers’ moment!! Maria is making…… a face

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Super fun. Many thanks to Sally Glass and the bookstore staff for helping us put this wonderful day of fun together! <3


12 Mar

art by Sarah Welch

Submission Details for the 2015 Zine Fest Houston Compilation
The zine will be in black and white, with a full color cover. Each page will be 8 ½” tall by 5 ½”.  Contributor credits and contact information will be featured in the zine as well, so please include with your submission a 1-2 sentence bio and your contact info.

We are limiting the contributions to zine creators who have either tabled at a Zine Fest Houston event, or live in Houston and the surrounding areas. We want to keep the zine focused on Houston, natch.

We would like to have the zine ready for this year’s Menil Fest Indie Book Fair, which is on Saturday, April 18. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, April 11, 2015.

What to submit

The theme of this year’s Zine Fest Houston is: “The Triumph of Artificial Zinetelligence”  
IN A WORLD where digital publishing meets the creamy softness of that perfect paper, we scan the horizon for signs that our synthesis has truly become complete. Out of a box of tech mess and old paperwork rises AZ: ARTIFICIAL ZINETELLIGENCE – is it human, machine, or zine? WILL THE WORLD EVER KNOW?
Traversing the information superhighway like an 18-wheeler trying to get on 45N from 10E, the phenomenon known as Artificial Zinetelligence harnesses the intimacy of the tactile with the community of the digital. Print culture hasn’t just survived… IT HAS EVOLVED! Where will we go next in the never-ending quest to fold, staple and distro where no one has folded, stapled and distro’d before? STAY TUNED….
So, you can interpret this how you wish. There is a 2 page maximum to keep the zine from being unwieldy. We want the pages to reflect each contributor, so please do not submit incomplete pages.  Pages should be 8 1/2″ by 5 1/2″.
We encourage you to make new work for this year’s zine compilation theme, but understand that there are time constraints! J

Rights to the work
By submitting your work you agree to let us print it in the 2015 compilation. You will retain all other rights to your work. 

How to submit

By email:  Reply to this email (info@zinefesthouston.org) with your attachment as a .tiff, .jpg, or .png file. SUBMISSIONS MUST BE 300dpi. 

By mail:  Mail your photocopies (or originals if you don’t need them back in a hurry) to:
Zine Fest Houston
c/o Stacy Kirages
PO Box 920740
Houston, TX 77292
A note about Menil Fest Indie Book Fair
We will be tabling at the Menil Fest Indie Book Fair again this year, which is on Saturday, April 18, 2015, 11am-6pm. If you’d like to come join us and/or sell your zines on our table (we could always use an extra person at the table for breaks and such), let us know by replying to this email (info@zinefesthouston.org). We’d love to have a strong showing of Houston zines to represent us, and this is a great way to present work at the Indie Book Fest without having to get your own table.
ALSO EXCITING NEWS…we are partnering with the Menil Bookstore this year for an all day fun event at the Menil Community Arts Festival called Zine Fest Houston’s Un-birthday Party! We hope you will be able to stop by and participate in all the un-birthday activities we have planned that day, or if you would like to help out at the event, please let us know!!!

Zine Fest Houston 2015 featured artist: Sarah Welch!

9 Jan

Howdy from 2015~ to all of you out there~

in 2015~

Hope everyone got a chance to relax and enjoy some quality chilling as the year came to an end. I know we’ve been pretty quiet for the past few months, but hey – rest is a proven benefit to our mental and physical health so it’s all For The Cause.

Anyway, we’ve got just a ton already lined up for 2015 and we’re itching to get started!! Last year’s fest was a really special one, and we were so amazed at the people who have come together to form the team that made ZFH 2014 so frigging GREAT!! Writing about the fest fell by the wayside somehow (mea culpa :( ), but in lieu of a post here on our website you can read what other folks have written here and check out a very cool vid by Space City Chronicles here!

Looking forward to the year to come though, we are absolutely thrilled to kick the year off right by announcing that our featured artist for 2015 is …

Sarah Welch Featured ARtist

Sarah is an incredibly accomplished illustrator and printmaker who runs Mystic Multiples with James Beard. She also writes and draws the sweet, sleepy song of Houston, Endless Monsoon. With clients such as Diverse Works, Aurora Picture Show, Cite Magazine, and Free Press Houston under her belt among others, she has made a name for herself as a local illustrator whose work is grounded in our humid, rainy city. Sarah, we are so happy to be collaborating with you this year!!

Well guys stay tuned for ZFH in the 2015. It’s bound to be a good one.

ZFH 2014 Interviews #5: Sarah Welch

9 Sep

Today’s interview finds us catching up with the immortal Sarah Welch. A prodigious illustrator, comics artist and purveyor of fine zines and prints, she is the author of Misseen and Endless Monsoon, and her illustrations have been featured in Free Press Houston and Cite Magazine, among others. Let’s take a turn ’round the block and stay a spell with Sarah.


ZFH:Misseen” deals with your issues living with low vision. Do you think it has affected your aesthetic choices when drawing? If so, how?

SW: I think the most prominent, literal effect it’s had is that I use a lot of black. I wasn’t really conscious of this until recently, but I think it probably makes my life a little easier when I’m workingto see everything divided into bold, distinct shapes, I’m not about demure line work really. I used to aspire to perfect, clean lines, but I think I’m team chunky whether I like it or not. Team Chunky y’all.

Sidenote–I tried to buy one of those blue non-photo pencils once so I could feel more ~professional~ making comics hahaha and it was a complete waste of time because I couldn’t see jack. So my originals always look like a mess.

EMpt2_pg6 copy

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

SW: A lot of what we plan to have this year has yet to be printed, so I’m going to cross my fingers that all this reaches fruition. The top priority for me is to have second edition copies of Endless Monsoon I (which we premiered and nearly sold out of at last year’s ZFH) and of course, the new Endless Monsoon II: Cry Me a River. Monsoon II ended up twice as long as the first installment so we plan to release it as two books. We should have some new little riso printssome gator printsin my fantasies I’m also making a set of Halloween themed cards. I like Halloween.

ZFH: What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?

SW: ZFH after party prom. I hope they play lots of Mariah Carey. I’m ready for my prom slow dance to some chopped and screwed Mariah please. Is there a request list?
ZFH: There is now! Next question: What do you think the zine/self publishing scene in Houston will be like in 20 years?

SW: I don’t know about 20 years, I think I’m only willing to forecast 5-10 years into the future. Like all things in Houston, I see growth. I think we could be a good hub for the south and southwest zinester, self-publishing crowd. I like the idea of ZFH becoming an event that is attended by folks all over the country like SPX. There’s a lot of comic, zine, DIY talent in Texas, and there’s no reason ZFH doesn’t draw more attention in the future.

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

SW: I don’t leave my duplex often, but when I do, I like to go to the Dan Flavin grocery store building on Richmond. I’m also in a serious relationship with Hot Bagel right now. I get the toasted garlic bagel with lox cream cheese. James likes the bagel kolaches.


Thanks Sarah! Can’t wait to see what happens next in EM.

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.


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).


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:




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