Tag Archives: shane patrick boyle

ZFH 2015 Interview #17: Shane Patrick Boyle

16 Oct

Shane Patrick Boyle Image 1We are excited to share with you an interview with THE Shane Patrick Boyle, founder of Zine Fest Houston!!!  We always enjoy talking about zines with him and hearing his stories. Stop by his table at Zine Fest Houston to check out all the new work he’ll have this year!

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

Shane Patrick Boyle: I have been creating zines and comix since high school, but I won’t say how long ago that was. My work has covered various subjects and styles. Oh, and I was also the founder of a certain zine festival in Houston that is kind of a big deal now. Current projects that I hope to have ready for Zine Fest include:

shane # 10: This is a mini-comic / zine with a different theme every issue. Issue 9 centered around my childhood interest in female superheroes. Issue 10 explores this theme further with a fictional story in comics form. The setting is a playground in the 1970s and it includes appearances by Wonder Woman, Curious George, Stormtroopers and Cylons. I am planning this as a 24-hour comic, but it won’t be a true 24-hour comic, because I already have the story planned out in my head.

Offline Adventure # 1: I have been planning this series for a few years and my vision for it continues to evolve, but essentially it is about getting out and doing stuff. The main focus is on travel (around the world or around the block), literal and metaphorical, including the long detours we find ourselves following in the journey of life. It is about going out and finding adventure, regardless of where we are, how old we are or how much money we have. The first issue will chronicle my solo bike ride to Galveston, back in August, on the anniversary of my bike accident, and will also explore the important role that bike riding has played in my life since I began riding at the age of 42. Topics of future issues will include my experience hitchhiking / walking to Austin in ’93 and my trip to New York in ’94 for the 25th anniversary of Stonewall with just enough money for a one-way Greyhound ticket.

Art.Spirit: This will be a collection of comics, one panel cartoons and musings inspired by quotes from Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit, with a nod to Charles M. Schulz as well.

In addition, I am planning 11th anniversary reprints of my Walking Man and Flying Man comics with additional material and I will be reprinting one of my prose stories as a stand alone zine. I also plan on bringing some vintage zines to Zine Fest. These are zines and comics I worked on in the 80s and 90s including Elsewhere, a science fiction and fantasy zine, Virus Board, a literary zine, and Shorts, a comics anthology magazine.

Shane Patrick Boyle Image 2ZFH: What is the future of zines in this new and rapidly digitizing world?

SPB: We don’t live in a world that is new or rapidly digitizing. If anything, the digitization of our world is slowing down. Back in the 90s, the world could, perhaps, be described as rapidly digitizing. Back then, there was talk about e-zines (now known as blogs) and the death of print and about how the internet would kill zines, but 25 years later, zines are even more popular than they were in the 90s, and many are being created by people who weren’t even born when this prediction was made.

The future of zines is the same as it was then. Some day, somebody will declare that print is dead again and that the Internet (or whatever takes its place) will kill zines. People will repeat this claim and every time they do, it will seem more true. Eventually, zinesters will become discouraged and many will stop making zines. Then one day someone will read about zines, on the Internet of the future, and will become curious and start making their own zines. Their friends on the future equivalent of social networks will start doing the same. They will connect with the people who never stopped making zines, and they will bring back zine festivals. Zines will become cool again, and before long, there will be another zine renaissance.

Zines will outlive the Internet.

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

SPB: I am not sure I understand all that technical jargon. I created hand-made books for my elementary school teachers and classmates. Later, in high school, when I made my first printed zines, I did the typesetting and layout on a manual typewriter and left spaces for the artists to fill in. Later, I graduated to an electric typewriter with a 10,000 character memory and interchangeable print wheels that allowed me to use four different fonts.

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

SPB: The most recent technological developments do not affect me, because I cannot afford to keep up with them. These days, I combine old school cut and paste with digital typesetting. I am gradually entering the digital age, but mostly I only have access to old technology and open source programs (no Photo Shop or Page Maker). I did buy a printer / scanner online when I was living in Mena, Arkansas, because there was no copy shop within 80 miles. I used it to produce several zines, but it seems to have stopped working, so for my next zines, I will probably either borrow my roommate’s printer / scanner or go to CopydotCom.

Shane Patrick Boyle Image 3ZFH: What in your opinion is the best invention of the last 30 years?

SPB: For me, the most important invention of the last 30 years was the insulin pen, invented exactly 30 years ago. As a type 1 diabetic, I need insulin or I will die. I have a long-lasting insulin I take before bed and a fast-acting insulin I take before meals and whenever my blood sugar gets high. When I use insulin in vials, I have to keep them refrigerated, they break easily, and they can’t be re-capped. I also have to carry syringes to draw the insulin out of the vials, and when cops or security searched me, they would often find the syringes and assume they were for drugs. The pens are much more portable, don’t require refrigeration after they are opened, and are virtually unbreakable. They are expensive as hell, even with insurance, but when I can get them, insulin pens allow me so much more freedom than insulin in vials. I can carry insulin with me anywhere without needing a cooler. I can go on long distance bike rides, take trips on the Greyhound or spend a week traveling and staying in hostels.

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

SPB: The worst invention of the last 30 years is the e-reader (Kindle, Nook etc.). I have nothing against e-books, but a special device for reading them seems silly. Especially when it costs as much as two bookcases. If the whole point of technology is efficiency, why not just read on your laptop, your tablet or even your phone. The latest versions of the Kindle are becoming more tablet-like anyway, and tablets are starting to do everything computers can do, and phones are starting to combine everything. If you have to bring an extra device just for reading, you might as well bring a book.

ZFH: How will you best honor our cyber overlords?

SPB: I do not currently honor my flesh and blood overlords. I intend to show the same disrespect to all overlords, whether they be made of circuitry, stone, light, spirit or anything else.

Thanks, Shane! We enjoyed reading your thoughts about the zine scene and are looking forward to your new zines!

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!


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.


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