Interview with Caleb Fraid

4 Oct

Caleb Fraid mailed in his interview on 12 paper plates. I’ve transcribed it below, but plan to post photos of each plate at some point. ***UPDATE: View all of the plates here*** Be sure to check out his table on Saturday at Zine Fest!

What made you decide to participate in Zine Fest Houston?

I was playing a show at Super Happy Fun Land one nite + a guy suggested it to me because I draw little scribbles.

What are your favorite zines/mini comics?

Sardine Mag-o-Zine by Charlie McAlister and anything associated with Ashley Hold (

What is something you’re looking forward to about Zine Fest Houston 2012?

I’m just hoping to have a nice day with like-minded people and see what everyone else is doing. It seems fun, plus I want to expose people to my friend Phillip Lee Duncan’s artwork and poetry and music.  He passed away in January of this year. He was also the singer of my band Ribeye. I hope I can expose people to the work of Ashley Holt and Charlie McAlister too. They’re not dead yet.

Why do you create zines?

I don’t really. This will be my first proper zine…I think. Mainly, I just like writing and drawing and scribbling. I do it every day. I have to because it is the quickest and easiest and most immediately satisfying way that I can be creative. I’m always working or taking care of my pets and I don’t have enough time to do creative stuff. But I can always find five minutes to draw something and that makes me feel ok.

Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

I like the purity of it. I like the control. I like making stuff. It’s all around a perfect concept. It’s like a child’s drawing on the fridge. It’s just good, plain + simple.

What is the concept behind your zines?

I have been meaning to satisfy this itch for over twenty years now. Road + Track. Track + Field. Field + Stream (it may have come to me when I was listening to the song “Field + Stream” by my foavirte alt country band Souled American in the late ‘80s). Stream + Road (and now at long last…to bring it full circle!). I guess how I make it gel is this: it is the daily stream; it is the lifetime road. We change as we don’t.

How did you become interested in zines?

I don’t really know. When I think bac on it, the first name that pops into my brain is Kalah Allen. I’m more of a music/tapes person and I met her somehow thru a fellow hometaper named Charlie McAlister. Anyways, she invited me up to Kansas City for another ZInefest called MUMS??? This was back in the mid to late 90’s. Actually, I just looked it up: Midwest Underground Media Symposium, 1996. It had some big stars at it kinda. The singer of Fugazi and the guy that did those Re\search books I vaguely had looked at in the 90’s so me and my band at the time, Ribeye, put some tapes together in a suitcase and drove all night—Houston to Austin, Austin to KC. We arrived the day of the event, called and woke up Kalah, and didn’t sleep. We hung out all day at diners, parks, the MUMS itself. I remember some kids grilling Ian MacKaye about how sleep is a waste of time and people need to do away with it, the kind of stuff “radical” college kids come up with, and he basically said something along the lines of sleep being necessary like when a library closed for the day to reshelve all the books. It was a fun day capped off with a 24 hour comic event at Kalah’s place. I slept through this entire event ust to prove those radical kids right. I missed all the fun. Anyway, Kalah did some great stuff and probably still does. I’ve lost touch with her. There was also a guy named Kissyface there???

What other ventures do you have besides making zines?

I have been running a record/tape/cd-r label since 1995 called Doormat, Tx. Music is my main deal. Also, I’m planning on a NAPKINFEST at some point (maybe 2015) because I draw on napkins a lot. I hope to have 10,000 napkins.



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