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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 Modernizm

20 Apr
Modernizm is one of the many exhibitors participating in the 2011 Zine Fest Houston. Below is an interview with creator Stacy Kirages.
How did you become interested in zines?
I’ve always been interested in the DIY movement through different projects here and there, but I had never thought about making my own zine until the start of this year when I moved back to Houston to pursue a part time art-teaching job.  I came across an article about zines while looking for something to work on during my free time and thought, “Hey, maybe I can make one for fun!”  That is how my first mini-zine of Modernizm came about.
What is the concept behind your zine?
My zine, Modernizm, is all about art for art’s sake.  I wanted to create an outlet where I could share with others my passion for and dedication to the arts, whether it’s visual, literary, musical, or any other art form.  Like the name of the zine suggests, my goal is to have a clean and simple layout so that the reader can focus on contemplating the words and visuals on the page without too many distractions.
What new projects are you working on this year?
Since I started working on creating this zine in January, I’m constantly thinking of new ways to incorporate art in my everyday life.  I’m organizing a mail art project with a small group of people, mostly friends, just to get some creative energy going, and I’ll probably feature this in a future zine.  I can’t wait to see where this project goes.
What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?
As an after school art teacher, the elementary school classroom is a place where I get to be creative 24/7, whether it’s testing out an art activity or helping a child problem solve about his or her artwork.  Watching children create art is something that inspires me to continue with my own artistic endeavors.  Oh, and to answer the question more directly…I like making watercolor and ink drawings of random things, like fruit.
What is something you’re looking forward to about the 2011 Zine Fest Houston?
Since I’m pretty new to this scene, I’m mainly looking forward to learning as much as possible at this year’s Zine Fest Houston.  I’m also excited to see what other kinds of zines are out there as well as meet the creators behind them.  As a proponent of sharing and collaboration, I know that the Houston zine community will be a great place for that and I’m sure it will be a great learning experience.

Interview with Calico Grounds

8 Apr

Calico Grounds is one of the many exhibitors participating in the 2011 Zine Fest Houston. Below is an interview with creator Josh Bosarge.

How long have you been creating zines?

Calico Grounds has been around officially since mid-2009.

Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

Having full creative control is important, and I like to know that care and effort went into every release. Since they are small edition runs, I also know that my releases are going into the hands of people who appreciate what is being put out.

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

If people can take their minds off of how “creative” they think Austin is, and thinking that moving there will somehow make them that much more of an artist, then they could appreciate Houston and the things it has to offer. Houston’s DIY has always stood out to me.

What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?

I have started making films, which is something I have always been interested in. I have also started 2 bands: a hardcore project with members of some Houston noise bands, and a minimal project.

What new projects are you working on this year?

I will be working on a film installation, a few prints, a collective trade paperback, and many, many zines. I will also be working with other presses from abroad, including Zeitgeists from The Netherlands, and Dark Arts.

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

This year I will have zines from Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu, Luc Rioual, and Tom Ogden. I will also be showing a print with museum quality paper and inks by Ryan Lowry. There will be a few more I’m sure, but we’ll have to see where the next month or so takes us.