Archive | May, 2011

Official Schedule

18 May

4:oo pm: Zine Fest Houston 2011 begins!

4:30 pm: Zine reading by Kirk Loftin (of CatBat)

5:00 pm: The Grass Skirts

5:45 pm: Organ Failure

7:00 pm: Panel Discussion (with  Film Monitor, Robbie & Bobby, Space City Nerd, and Weak Highlights)

7:30 pm: Muzak John

8:00pm: Infant Mortality Rate

8:40 pm: Carlos Pozo

9:20 pm: Rotten Piece

10:00pm: Zine Fest Houston 2011 ends

Interview with Gingham Ghost

18 May

Below is an interview with Gingham Ghost, one of the many exhibitors at the 2011 Zine Fest Houston.

What is your favorite part of ZineFest?

It’s great to sell minicomics but the best part is meeting new zinesters and trading.

What are your favorite zines/minicomics?

We’re big fans of self-published autobiographical comics likes… King Cat (John Porcellino), Big Plans (Aron Nels Steinke), Phase 7 (Alec Longstreth), Milkyboots (Virgina Paine), Clutch (Greg Means), Brainfag (Nate Beaty) and Just So You Know (Joey Alison Sayers).

What will be at your table at this years ZineFest?

We will be bringing a slew of our minicomics, highlights include…

“Okay? Okay!” – an autobiographical double comic telling the same love story from two different perspectives in two contrasting art styles.

“AOA #1” – a huge collection of colorful hand-painted diary comics by Melinda Tracy Boyce, a twenty-something exploring Portland and hanging out with her boyfriend.

“Batcave Beach Chapter 1” – a fictional story about an outcast who sneaks into a private school’s party, befriends an eccentric duo obsessed with death and begins a haunting and quirky adventure to discover the meaning of life… before it’s too late.

What new projects are you working on this year?

We will continue our diary comics and our monthly Digital Zine distributed by email (sign up for it for free at as well as work on the exciting second chapter of Batcave Beach.

What other creative ventures do you have besides creating zines?

Besides zines and comics we create music as The Jellyfish Bandits.  Aaron Whitaker also is a painter and screenwriter.

Interview with ArmzRace

13 May

ArmzRace is one of the many exhibitors at this year’s Zine Fest Houston. Below is an interview with Cej.

How long have you been making comics?

Unofficially, I’ve been creating comics off and on most of my life. Officially, ArmzRace began in 1998 when Mark! and I decided that we wanted to get serious about making comics. We realized that the only way to get anything done was to set some (realistic) goals and then make each other stick to them. Since then, we have prodded each other along, sharing critiques and information about new techniques, and hopefully we have become better as creators and produced some great comics. Over the years, other creators, like Hardtraveling Hero have joined in the ArmzRace merriment.

Why do you create comics? Why do you like comics?

I’ve been reading comics for as long as I can remember. They are a wonderful medium for expressing the whole range of human emotions and ideas. They are relatively low-cost to create, but they have tremendous scope, really only limited by the creator’s imagination. And while there are some “good practices,” there are no hard and fast rules on how they must be done. Sometimes I feel stymied because my artwork isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, but then I remember that there have been some great comics that only had stick people. That encourages me to keep creating.

What is something you’re looking forward to about the 2011 zine fest Houston?

Comic creation tends to be a fairly individual endeavor, so I’m hoping to meet other like-minded creators. It’s always great to see what other people are working on, because it helps inspire me in my own work. Public feedback is always good for personal development, but it means even more when it comes from people who have been in the trenches. Additionally, I’d love to meet other people who’d like to join the ArmzRace and create comics alongside me.

 What will be on your table at this year’s zine fest?

ArmzRace will have about a half dozen mini-comics from Cej, Mark!, and the Hardtraveling Hero. They range from short fiction to autobiography to gag comics. I’m hoping to finish my fourth mini prior to the Fest (somehow May 21 snuck up on me!). It will be a book of political comics and commentary called Cannon Fodder.

Any parting thoughts?

I want to encourage people to come out to Zine Fest and support the arts scene in Houston. Likewise, I invite everyone to take a look at I enjoy getting people’s feedback, and I’d love to have other creative types join the Race!

Interview with Waste and Void Distro

13 May

Waste and Void is one of the many exhibitors participating in the 2011 Zine Fest Houston.  Below is an interview with the distribution group.

Why do you create zines?
To put it succinctly: We are anarchists; we desire the destruction of this society in favor of one that allows for true freedom.  Of course these are loaded terms and these things won’t occur without some sort of provocation.  So we create and distribute zines to address both of these issues: we seek to define our desires and incite others to join us in our struggles.

What will be on your table at this year’s zine fest?
Well, some of the themes our distro likes to explore are illegalism, insurrectionary and anti-civilization theory, crime, and anthropology.  So, we’ll have everything from anthropology essays and herbal medicine primers to manuals on creating secret hiding places and lockpicking guides.  We’ll also have universal handcuff keys and possibly lockpick sets for sale.

How did you become interested in zines?
When one of us was 16, they were locked up for several different felony charges, and as their time went on, the Anarchist Black Cross Federation began sending them zines every week. These zines helped them do their time and get out unaffected by the state. Zines can reach youth, prisoners, and subversives in a way that books cannot.

What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?
Aside from zines and literature, we’re also working on creating stickers and pins to give out.  We also like graffiti (the legal kind, of course ;)). Though really, we aren’t too into creation; destruction is more our thing.

What is something you’re looking forward to about the 2011 zine fest Houston?
Honestly, we’re most looking forward to meeting individuals who hold some sort of interest in learning more about anarchy, criminality, and life beyond this wretched civilization.  We’re absolutely thrilled to make new friends and discuss/debate what can definitely be contentious issues.

Musical Performers

5 May

It’s finally time to announce this year’s performers at Zine Fest Houston! We’ve selected an assortment of local musicians committed to unique sounds and DIY. Look for the finalized performance schedule next week.

Rotten Piece – solo experimental/industrial/noise

Infant Mortality Rate – solo experimental/industrial

Organ Failure – outsider comedy band

Carlos Pozo – ambient/experimental sound on laptop and electronics

The Grass Skirts – tropical pop band

Muzak John – solo experimental/comedy/electronica

Work by Give Up at ZFH!

5 May

A piece by noted Houston street artist Give Up will be on display at this year’s Zine Fest Houston.  Stop by Khon’s rooftop (2808 Milam St) from 4pm to 10pm, May 21st, to view the art work and check out all of the zines, minicomics, and other small press/self-published work for sale.

Interview with Dave Nelson

1 May

Dave Nelson is one of the many exhibitors participating in the 2011 Zine Fest Houston. Below is an interview with him.

What will be on your table at this year’s zine fest?

My Finding Elim collection and LOTS of random character sketches.

What is the concept behind your zine?

Finding Elim is just a newspaper-style comic centered around a small-town pastor and his family. Mostly gags.

How did you become interested in zines?

My first experience with mini-comics was the Chick tracts at my church. As a kid, a comic was a comic and I didn’t care if they were mass produced “propaganda”. The concept of making tiny comics stuck and I started making my first minis for specific events like birthdays and fundraisers.

Why do you like zines?

A zine or journal comic is an intimate window into the minds and lives of creative artists. Like any good story, they allow me to experience things I’d never do on my own like dumpster diving, hanging in the hood, or simply skating through downtown at 3 in the morning.

Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

There’s no one to say you can’t do it. And I do love to see the finished product.

What is your favorite part of zine fests?

The people that come to zine fests are so unique; it’s got to be the best party of the year for a homebody like myself.

What is something you’re looking forward to about the 2011 Zine Fest Houston?

Meeting the zinesters and collecting some great local comics.

What are your favorite zines/minicomics/etc?

“Dreams of Donuts” by Heather Wreckage or anything by Jarrod L Perez. 

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

There is no standard of quality. If you have something to say, just get it down on paper and put it out there.