Tag Archives: zine fest houston

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 Interview #9: Snapshot Magazine

17 Sep

We are excited to catch up with Snapshot Magazine, an Austin-based publication featuring contemporary art and writing. Both Armando Garcia and Danea Johnson, creators of Snapshot, are sharing the interview space (they have put the name of the respondent after their respective answers!)

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ZFH: Why do you create zines?

 SM: Zines are a generous form of expression. They can be personal or include global or social issues. The versatility of such a platform and ease of publishing zines is what makes it worth it.



ZFH: How did you become interested in zines?

 SM: I first became introduced to zines when I started attending local music shows in South Texas. I was in my teens then, but I didn’t really become interested in zines until college. That’s when I met and made friends who actually took some part in zine culture, even if it was just reading or collecting them. They talked to me about them and I fell in love with the idea. — Armando

 I also became interested in zines during undergraduate in San Marcos, Texas. My sister and a good friend would spend our free time cutting, pasting and writing things for our zines. They were never published or formalized in any fashion and ended up in the trash. We were young and experiencing life outside of our privileged, formative years, so I’m sure the issues we talked about were personal, about girlhood and growing up. Every once in awhile we would go to Austin and visit Tower Records on Guadalupe (closed 10 years now!) to check out their selection. — Danea

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

SM: Our friend Sarah Frey —a major contributor to our magazine and a fave artistpublishesLessons in # Reality from time to time. It’s hardly available, but I’m pretty grateful that I have the past two issues that she’s made. I was able to get my hands on a reissue of Guide to Dating Gangsters Volume 1. I love stuff that takes a good look at ridiculous stereotypes and how f’ed up views on sexuality have become between cultures and within subcultures. It’s really harsh and hysterical, but only because it’s true. It’s handmade by Vice Versa Press and I think they were at your zine fest last year. — Armando

Right now I’m really into Vagina: The Zine based out of Austin, Texas and published by Hillary-Anne Crosby. Crosby exclusively provides a platform for women to express their creative sides, whether it’s drawings, poetry or short stories. It’s a role model of a zine. — Danea


ZFH: Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

SM: Besides abiding by your printer’s standards, there are no rules in self-publishing. I have found it to be a culmination of the many aspects of design: creative writing, technical writing, layout, graphics, printing, crafting, and conceptualizing.

 On the other hand, I can’t hide behind the fact that I was pretty privileged to have a job when we made the first issue. I was able to spend a good chunk of money on design software, a printer and a binder to compile and saddle stitch the magazine for us. Now I don’t really have a paying job, but we still plan on using the money we made on the sales of the first issue to put towards printing the second issue. It’s a vicious and beautiful, art cycle. It’s also the beauty of self-publishing. You have full control over all the aspects that are involved in making a book, magazine, or zine. The point being that I am focused on publishing forms of self-expression.

 We are both vested in the DIY mentality and we love that Snapshot Magazine can be whatever the reader wants it to be. To some it’s a pretty-looking zine, some consider it a new magazine format and there are even some who look at it as a coffee table piece. That’s what I aim for — bend/break the rules of traditional publishing. If you will, we shouldn’t be concerned with separating the cultures. Publishing should be fun and free. It should be a platform for art. — Armando


Self-publishing allows for different voices to be heard and legitimized through the power of readership. There’s freedom in not having an editorial board backed by advertising interests. You can do whatever it is you want to do and freely admit your biases. This freedom also comes with a responsibility to the work that you produce.

And yeah, it’s fun. The best part is getting to know our contributors and hearing their stories. — Danea

 

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

SM: Our focus is artists, designers, musicians and creative forces. We feature interviews, writing and photography. It’s our take on arts and culture in Texas. We may branch out of Texas, but so far we have focused on our home state.

ZFH: What is your creation process like when starting a new issue of Snapshot Magazine?

 SM: Concepts usually brew in our minds for what seems a lifetime. We light a candle and make a wish and say a prayer. Then, the universe kicks our asses into high gear and we gather content and design for an issue in less than two months. At least, that’s the approach that we have taken for the past two issues.

 In those two months, we may interview almost a dozen artists through emails and at meetings or events. Sometimes people contribute their photography, but for the most part Danea shoots all the photos. Meanwhile all the concepts come to fruition in the layouts, design quirks and typesetting. I tend to lose track of the number of test prints that we go through and then VOILA!

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On a personal note, reading about the creative process has made me feel MUCH better as I scramble to get my own zine together in these last few weeks!! Thanks guys, can’t wait to see Snapshot at fest!

ZFH 2014 Interviews #8: Dalton Stark

15 Sep

Today’s interview features a Jurassic-sized helping of deets about Dalton Stark, illustrator and full-time dinosaur lover! Raarr

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Stark-Its a ME!

ZFH: Why do you create zines?

DS: My making of zines comes from my will to simply create cool stuff. Zines are just such a fun format to express my own silly muses in.

ZFH: Why do you like zines?

DS: I have always adored DIY style projects, and zines are a medium in which artists are really given that ideal playground to showcase ideas. Pens, printer paper, and a copy machine. Folded and stapled into sweet chocolatey goodness. Doesn’t get much better then that. I think.

ZFH: How did you become interested in zines?

DS: I made my first zine during my freshman year of college to really just amuse myself. When I showed it to my English professor, he made me informed of the entire community surrounding it, and so i decided I needed to make more and get into zine fest!

ZFH: What is your favorite part of zine fest?

DS: My favorite part of zine fest has to be being surrounded by so many brilliant creatives. Their energy is all so wonderful and being in their presence is so thrilling. I just love the people.
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ZFH: 
What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?

DS: Im definitely looking forward to seeing all the other zinesters and their creations, and hoping mine are received genuinely as well!

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

DS: After participating in 2013, I found this was an event I had to make another appearance too!

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

DS: If everything goes well enough that I manage to complete these in time, I’ll hopefully have The Book of Dinosaur, which is essentially an illustrated dinosaur encyclopedia zine, and some sort of Pokemon zine

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

DS: I love drawing cartoons, and mainly just filtering reality through them. I just want to draw the world and the things that reflect my own inner child.
Stark-Time.Wizard

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

DS: The Houston Museum of Natural Science Paleontology Hall. Oof.

ZFH: You’ve been developing a lot of new designs lately. What are your influences overall and what direction are you trying to take your work in these days?

DS: Im highly influenced by both old and new cartoons, and in saying that, Im currently just developing my portfolio so I can perhaps show it to Cartoon Network or something super sweet like that.

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Sweet! Thanks Dalton!

ZFH 2014 Interviews #7: Blake Jones

12 Sep

Today’s interview is with Blake Jones, illustrator and creator of the effervescent Cool Dog. Check out his work here, as well as the Lousy Deal collective!

ZFH: Why do you create zines?

Blake: Im constantly CONSTANTLY sketching and doodling and churning out zines just became a way for me to show off drawings and ideas I was proud of and ready to show-off


ZFH: 
How did you become interested in zines?

Blake: The first zine i ever got was from this artist named Jason Sho Green, I found his website through stumpleupon in like 8th grade and bought just the cheapest thing on his site, I didnt even know what a zine was I just bought it and cherished it because I had never seen anything like it and it just blew me away and heavily changed how i look at art and illustration.
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ZFH: What is your favorite part of zine fest?

Blake: trading with people for sure.

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

Blake: I don’t know if they are considered zines/mini-comics but they arent full fledged graphic novels but any work that Adrian Tomine puts out instantly gets added to my shelf.

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

Blake: This year I’ve got a new 80+ page book coming out full of photos and drawings I’ve taken this year, I also recently cleaned out my studio and found literally a few hundred quick drawings just spread on scrap and loose paper, instead of trying to organize them and scan them or anything, ive made about 50 original folders that all contain 5 to 8 original drawings that will be present kind of blind box goodie bag style.

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

Blake: more people just need to do it in general, theres so much untapped talent in this city. i mean shit even if you suck you can only get better, you don’t just get worse at stuff after practice

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

Blake: i’ve got shirts, the new book, some old books, zines left over from last year, stickers, and some new screen prints that i’ll be hustling. Im also going to attempt 60-second drawings for $1 each.

ZFH: Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

Blake: Its let you be in 100% control of the content you are presenting. It seem’s like a no brainer for me.

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

Blake: I never go with a certain theme or story really, when laying them out i try to pay attention to how spreads will look next to each other but thats about it. I’m too ADD to have any type of narrative.

ZFH: Can you talk about the creation/content of Stud Muffin?

Blake: The content is going to be 80+ pages of new drawings and photos i’ve taken over the past year. I went out of the country a few months ago and got to see a lot of wild stuff, this has also been a crazy emotional year for me and I just decided rather than trying to hurry and put out 3-4 zines with everything I’d just combine it all into a book so everyone can get the full package.

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Lots to look forward too. You can also get a sort of sneak preview of his work by picking up this month’s issue of Free Press Houston!

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.


EM_CMAR_preview

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?
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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.

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

ZFH Interviews #3: Alex Gleason

6 Sep alex-gleason-sombrero

For your Friday evening enjoyment, an interview with Alex Gleason, author of “Toddler Timothy’s Delicious Candy Apples,” a deceptively sweet title.

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ZFH: What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?
AG: Toddler Timothy’s Delicious Candy Apples: a Halloween storybook about a trick-or-treater who meets a terrible fate.

ZFH: Why did you create Toddler Timothy’s Delicious Candy Apples?

AG: To instill fear in the hearts and minds of children.
2 - Photo of Book

ZFH: What is the concept behind Toddler Timothy’s Delicious Candy Apples?

AG: It’s about tainted Halloween candy. After some research, I learned that no kid has ever gotten poisoned candy from a stranger’s house on Halloween. Yet, my mother used to inspect every piece of candy in my basket before letting me eat it. I’m poking fun at people’s irrational fears.

ZFH: How did you become interested in zines?

AG: I wanted to make a book to pass out to trick-or-treaters. Later I was told that my creation was a “zine”, and discovered that there are other people in Houston making their own books too.

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

AG: I make websites and write code.

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

AG: Seeing some cool artwork and meeting other people who make books.

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

AG: H-Town is one of the few places that does this. Represent.

ZFH: Why do you like zines?

AG: They’re pure expression–no profit. Zines make the world a better place.

ZFH: Do you find an intersection between your coding work and your illustration work in terms of content or aesthetic layout? If so, what?

AG: Writing a program is kind of like building a machine, and it can break like one. If you’re smart, you’ll make it out of replaceable parts, so if one piece breaks you can deal with it. I’ve learned to write programs this way.

Adapting this to my digital illustrations gives me a lot of control. I separate my drawings into components, which can be moved, resized, and rotated freely without messing up anything behind them. For example, I’ll draw an entire backdrop, even the parts I know will be covered, so I can freely move my subjects over them. I’ll draw a detailed bald head before layering the hair on. But that’s just the start; I take it to the extreme, down to finger nails sometimes. It really helps to fine tune everything, make changes in the future, and allows me to re-use pieces of my drawings in other drawings.

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So! Look forward to a disturbing cautionary tale sure to scar your children! In the best way possible. Yay! Till next time!

ZFH 2014 Interviews #2: Chris Engelsma

3 Sep

Today’s interview is with Chris Engelsma, author of Boolean Comics, has been converted into a visually appealing format that we just looooooveeeeeee!! Get to know him better by reading below and be sure to check out Angus & Darling, updating Tuesdays!

 

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