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ZFH 2014 Interview #11: Flyover Zine Distro

21 Sep

Today we are featuring Flyover Zine Distro, a newly created distro that “archives and publishes anti-authoritarian, queer, and POC zines that are of/about the U.S. South.” We go behind the scenes about the formation of Flyover, upcoming projects, and more!

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ZFH: Tell us about Flyover Distro’s mission. What gaps in the broader narrative is it seeking to fill and how do you think it will reframe discussions about PoCs and queer people in the South?

FZD: We actually found each other as collaborators after having a conversation about what it means to live in the south as any combination of queer, radical, or POC. There’s this idea that if you’re here & queer, you gotta get out. Our lives have been shadowed by a pull from the mythical north, the “progressive” cities, where queer lives are somehow more legitimate- and Flyover works to resist that notion. We are also interested in the idea of the “romantic south” and how class/race/gender/sexuality work to complicate this romantic image with something more authentic for those who are marginalized. We hope that this archive helps facilitate a conversation we’ve been living our entire lives, and we hope to contribute towards the collective liberation for others who feel similarly.

 

ZFH: What new projects are you working on this year?

FZD: We’ve done a lot of work on building our archive, so now we are interested in publishing new original zines! We hope our presence at Zine Fest will encourage other radical / POC / queer southerners to create zines about their experience and put them on the internet (preferably with us but whatevs).

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

FZD: Our free, online archive is organized into three categories- art, history, and theory- and we will have original copies of every zine in our digital library to peruse at the table during Zine Fest. We are also releasing Lena’s new zine, Light Skinned Tears, with a few other zines for purchase from Flyover Press. We even have a few surprises that we’re working on right now and really excited to pass out- you’ll have to stop by our table and see!

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

FZD: We’re definitely looking forward to building a presence for radical zinesters, and finding that community among those we meet. Zine Fest is also the first event where Flyover Distro has a physical presence! We are really excited to show up, put our archive out, and see what resonates with everyone.

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

Cecelia: The first zine I read in our archive is a popular one, Memoirs of a Queer Hapa #2 by Jackie Wang, and it gave me a really personal understanding of how zines can be a tool for radical self-education. Being a queer hapa (part Asian) myself, that zine was the first time I found the language for a systematic understanding of race and sexuality that applied to my nuanced lived experience. Zines can do that- illuminate your position in the world in a really humanizing and transformational way.

Lena: It’s hard to choose just one! For theory zines, Anarchist Reimaginings: Communities of Resistance because it is so simply done and focuses on borders and prisons, two really important issues in the south. I also love The Radical Cheerleading Handbook, a uniquely femme form of protest that a lot of radical queers and women use to be visible at protests and rallies, which can be disproportionately dominated by masculine or male voices.

ZFH: What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?

Cecelia: We joke that one of us brings art and the other bring activism to the collab. I was introduced to the zine scene less than a year ago, coming from an arts perspective. My work as a playwright deals with crafting interesting and honest narratives surrounding queer experience. My work as a theatre teacher deals with helping students understand ways in which they may be systematically oppressed and subverting these structures through art. So Flyover felt like a great way to continue this work on a larger scale.

Lena: I’ve been hanging around the activist crowd for a few years, and sort of make art on the side. I really value the activist focus on the big picture and strategy, but I feel like art is crucial for remaining human when shit gets hard, remembering to be playful and feeling/processing the emotional fallout from events that people might classify as “activist”. I’m a writer, and a giant book nerd, so my main gig is with the radical library in town, Solidarity Houston, formerly Sedition Books, as well as some other coalitions.

 
ZFH: Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

FZD: Zines are written by real people who are not focused on a self-validating endgame that is created by traditional publishing. And because zines have no value to mainstream publishing, the content is not edited in the same way. People who self-publish know that they are accountable not to a huge corporate entity but to their community, so zines become then this form where the exchange value or “currency” is trust-based, where providing honest education is the goal.

 

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Thanks y’all! We are very excited for you to make your debut at ZFH 2014!!

ZFH 2014 Interviews #10: Rough House Comics

19 Sep
Today we interview Rough House Comics, an Austin-based comics collective specializing in riso prints of their work! It is at turns surreal, obscene, hilarious, and thought-provoking stuff. Read more below!

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ZFH: How did Rough House come together? What would you say is the glue that holds the collective together in terms of style/content, if any?

RH: Rough House came together as a group of Austin cartoonists who wanted to leave their studios once in a while and engage with other artists with similar interests. Soon after, we purchased a Risograph and quickly started working on an anthology to showcase the best cartoonists we could find in town. We then starting looking beyond Austin to include quality work from both established and unknown comics artists from around the world.


ZFH: 
Why do you create zines?

RH: Books are a format that humanity has been experimenting with longer than most of the media we encounter on a daily basis. In this digital age it’s nice to experience a work of art that takes up space in the physical world. The sense of touch is more important than we give it credit for.


ZFH: 
Why do you like zines?

RH: There are no rules and they are relatively inexpensive to produce.


ZFH: 
How did you become interested in zines?

RH: 
When people think of zines they often think of black and white photocopied punk zines. While this tradition is certainly a contingent in the zine community, we came to zines from the tradition of artist books and mini-comics and that’s where our focus lies.ZFH:

What is your favorite part of zine fest?


RH: 
I attended Zine Fest in 2012 and had a great time meeting other artists and zine enthusiasts. There’s such a great sense of encouragement and community at events like this.


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

RH: I heard the venue is great and I can’t wait to check it out.

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

RH: The last few years have seen a small explosion of micro-publishers of comics. There are now dozens of comics subscription services that are usually printed, stapled, and distributed by one or two people on a very small budget. It’s great to see that the internet has only strengthened the print community. I like the work that’s being put out by Space Face, Retrofit, Oily, and Sparkplug among several others.

ZFH: What made you decide to participate in the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?

RH: We attended the MenilFest and had a great time. Everyone told us to go to Zine Fest. Houston always treats us well.
Gillian Rhodes

Gillian Rhodes

ZFH: What new projects are you working on this year?

RH: We’ll be publishing various mini-comics in the coming months including a SummerZine, some collaborative comics, and a comic by Austin artist James Roo. And we’ll hopefully have the next Rough House anthology out in the spring.


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

RH: It exists!


ZFH:
 Haha! Short and sweet. Love it. What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?

RH: 
We will have copies of our latest anthology, Rough House 2. It contains comics from over a dozen artists. We’ll also have various mini-comics available.
ZFH: What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?

RH: The members of our collective are individually involved in creative endeavors that range from music and painting to figure skating. Our love of comics brings us together.


ZFH: 
Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

RH: It allows you to work with minimal financial risk, which in turn allows for greater artistic freedom.


ZFH: What is the concept behind your zine/zines?

RH: We just aim to publish interesting comics. The avant-garde and slapstick comedy are equally at home on our pages.


ZFH: How long have you been creating zines?

RH: Our collective formed in 2012 but our members have been producing mini-comics for some time before that.

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

RH: 
The Orange Show


ZFH: What do you think the zine/self publishing scene in Houston will be like in 20 years?

RH: 
Hopefully it will just continue to grow stronger and gain more visibility.
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ZFH 2014 Compilation Cover by Sebastian Gomez de la Torre!

30 Apr

ZFH 2014 Compilation Cover by Sebastian Gomez de la Torre!

Whetting your appetite for the compilation, here’s a peek at the official cover! It’s a candy-colored undersea world and it is sooo luscious! We are really excited about this comp!!! We’ll see you Saturday at Menil Community Arts Festival! <3

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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