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ZFH 2015 Interview #4: The Center for Imaginative Cartography & Research

7 Oct

The Center for Imaginative Cartography & Research ImageToday’s morning interview is with The Center for Imaginative Cartography & Research, a creative collaboration between Emily Halbardier and Erik Sultzer, focusing on the topics of art, life, food, travel, and the environment. Let’s find out more about their views on where the zine scene is headed these days…

ZFH: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ll be showing at ZFH 2015!

The Center for Imaginative Cartography & Research: The Center for Imaginative Cartography & Research is a collaborative project between Emily Halbardier and Erik Sultzer. Erik’s from Kansas, Emily’s from Houston. We started The Center in 2012. Together, we explore relationships between art-making, language, education, geography, craft, and community.

For ZFH, we’ll have a range of projects on display and for sale: “Daily Ferments” is an instructional series on basic food fermentation; “Presents:” is a series of collaborative zines featuring the work of artists we admire; there will be a couple exhibition-related zines (we tend to produce zines/books alongside gallery-based installation projects); 11×17” 3-color Risograph posters of Texas flora; and a handful of other things. The newest zine we’ll have is “Frontier Heritage Waste,” a brief account of our recent travels from Texas to Kansas.

ZFH: What is the future of zines in this new and rapidly digitizing world?

Thecforicandr: We don’t forecast a future much different from the present, except for maybe a revitalization of the art. A zine is an object—a tangible, physical artifact—so there are limits governing its life in a digital, virtual world. Part of a zine’s definition is the printing process and physical reproduction. We think that in a world where more and more information is stored and shared online, more people will also crave and seek out the intimacy and connection that a zine can offer.

ZFH: Were you an analog to digital transition or were you a BB born in the tech age? How does technology and recent technological developments affect your zine-making practice?

Thecforicandr: We each grew up in different times and different places, so we represent both backgrounds. In our studio, we use the computer for nearly all post-production and layout tasks. We generally print in the studio on either Risograph or Xerox, with the odd bit of low-tech relief printing. We also make zines while on the road. In those instances, we use whatever materials are readily available. We always do all the binding and finish work by hand. We want our work to be visually clean while still allowing for the both the artist’s hand and the physical process to be visible. This is one reason why we choose to work with yesterday’s machinery, such as the Risograph— the final product is never perfect.

ZFH: What in your opinion is the best invention of the last 30 years?

Thecforicandr: The smart phone.

ZFH: What in your opinion is the worst invention of the last 30 years?

Thecforicandr: The smart phone.

ZFH: How will you best honor our cyber overlords?

Thecforicandr: We won’t.

Thank you, Emily and Erik!  Follow them on Instagram @thecforicandr.

ZFH 2015 Interview #3: Dwayne Carter

6 Oct

Dwayne Carter Image 1

Here to tell us about his current zine project called Madness is Dallas-based artist Dwayne Carter!

ZFH: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ll be showing at ZFH 2015!

Dwayne Carter: I am a Dallas-based artist who has been working in new media, and painting for over two decades. My current zine projects are a series of Madness “photo novellas” zines with stories focusing on the irrational side of human behavior. The most current titles are “Mirror of Madness” “Collective Madness” and “Irrational City.” It is our nature to react with emotion more than reason. The passions and urges that guide us are more powerful than our intellect. In confronting the unknowable, hunches, faith, or gang allegiance guide our judgments.

ZFH: What is the future of zines in this new and rapidly digitizing world?

DC: The clearest growth area in publishing is online since it is cheap and potentially as easy as posting a PDF file. This should continue to grow even without interactive Flash content. However, as an artist who has been engaged with digital art for quite a while, I think people have a growing need for analog stimulation. The “photo novella” format has a tradition in Mexican Comics and can be found in the checkout lines at Supermercados in Dallas and other cities in the Southwest. The photo novella is also used in health education since photo story telling is easy for people to understand.

ZFH: Were you an analog to digital transition or were you a BB born in the tech age? How does technology and recent technological developments affect your zine-making practice?

DC: I started working with digital media early with the advent of Photoshop 2 and 2.5. Because of this, I was fortunate to be hired at the start of the Richland College Multimedia Learning Center, which was one of the earliest departments to offer digital media courses in the Dallas area. As one of the first schools anywhere, we had students from Nebraska and the Bay Area attending workshops.  Students included writers for PBS with PhD degrees and plenty of MFA graduates who were seeking experience with current digital tools. It was a rich and rewarding time.

Dwayne Carter Image 2ZFH: What in your opinion is the best invention of the last 30 years?

DC: There are days Adobe will drive you crazy, but Photoshop has outlived most digital tools. Also, the current sweep of mobile first is hard to ignore.

ZFH: What in your opinion is the worst invention of the last 30 years?

DC: The lacking competition for Photoshop.

ZFH: How will you best honor our cyber overlords?

DC: With a thumb to the nose in irreverence.

Be sure to check out Dwayne’s “photo novella” zines at Zine Fest Houston this year!

ZFH 2015 Interview #2: Alyssabeth Guerra

6 Oct

Alyssabeth Guerra ImageNext up is Alyssabeth Guerra who is debuting her new zine, Pillow Talk, at this year’s fest!

ZFH: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ll be showing at ZFH 2015!

Alyssabeth Guerra: My name is Alyssabeth Guerra and I currently reside in Beaumont, TX, but grew up in the Central Texas area. I have a degree from Texas Tech of General Studies in Jewelry/Metal Smithing Design, History with an emphasis in Mexico, and Art History with an emphasis in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. My interests include: art (obvi), history, cooking and eating all the food, being a good person (at least trying to), dogs, and a slew of other things. The main work I will be featuring at ZFH is my very first and new zine, Pillow Talk.

I’ve always been creative, but anyone can know the weight of feeling depleted or uninspired in their practices not to mention just life in general. I admit I have even felt a bit of a fraud at times as someone who works in the art world. So, this past year has really just been an effort to fall in love with art again by getting into comics and zines and back into my long-term practice as a mail artist. I guess like a sponge or something, I was just absorbing all of this material and letting it do its good work on me because I was able to come up with an idea for my own zine.

The idea for Pillow Talk came to me in quite a superficial way actually as I had just purchased this ‘new to me’ shirt that happened to have pearl snaps. As I realized this as I was putting it on I laughed, because it reminded me of a story that was told to me by someone who I care very much for, while we were in bed. Even though by this point he and I had separated, this story and those moments still meant as much. I began to think about other significant moments shared with past lovers, friends growing up, being a kid and put to bed by my parents, putting other kids to bed as an adult, and how simple and beautiful that all was. People spend about an average third of their life span asleep, and those we choose to be in our company while we are in our most vulnerable state has some significance I think.

In each issue of Pillow Talk my goal is to tackle a subject privy to my experiences with others, or topics relating to moments in bed and during the night/small hours of the morning. In Issue #1: The Loves of Our Lives, I talk about the different kinds of lovers one might encounter in life and my most memorable moments with a few of mine. Issue #2: Big and Bright is currently in the works but will feature some of my favorite constellations and mythology. If all goes as planned I will also have a special edition print of Big and Bright as a foldable booklet/poster with my illustrations as a working constellation map.

I’m pleased as punch for having the opportunity and taking the plunge to be a part of ZFH! I know I’ll have a great time, and it’ll be a great time for everyone else too! I’m pretty friendly so I’ll be more than happy to talk with anyone about whatever. :] Hope to see you there!

Thanks, Alyssabeth! We’re looking forward to checking out your new zine at the fest!

ZFH 2015 Interview #1: Alex Teich

6 Oct

Finally…the moment you have been waiting for! We are just now starting to post interviews from some of our exhibitors (we apologize for the delay!), which we are very excited about. We always send the exhibitors a list of questions from which they can choose as many or as few as they want to answer. Now without further delay…

Our first interview of 2015 is with Alex Teich, who has worked as an animator, an electrician, a travel guide editor, and a game show question writer. He was born in Stockholm and raised in Houston. He currently teaches mathematics at a public high school. Read on below for more information about Alex!

ZFH: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ll be showing at ZFH 2015!

Alex Teich: Hi, I’m Alex. I’ve got a zine that’s mostly my own ruminations of late on Houston, growing up here, what it looks like to me now, etc. I think it’s about change, which seems to fit with the theme of Zine Fest.

ZFH: What is the future of zines in this new and rapidly digitizing world?

AT: I’m guilty of sentimental attachment to the way things used to be, even as the attitude becomes increasingly absurd. I acknowledge that the effect of technology of the last 25 years on zine-making, and really anything creative I’d do, really is a net positive from an aesthetic standpoint. Zines, though, could be the best example of what makes me pine for something lost- we can still make them and celebrate them and thanks to technology, they can look like anything, but this whole circus is a simulation of what was once an indispensable way of making connections. So many aesthetics that we reverently carry forward- Instagram filters, the noise churning on magnetic tape- were once precipitates of actual utility and urgency. But those memories will die, leaving the aesthetics themselves to perhaps demonstrate real intrinsic value. So, what we’re doing at Zine Fest- carrying it forward- could turn out to be crucial!

ZFH: What in your opinion is the best invention of the last 30 years? What in your opinion is the worst invention of the last 30 years?

AT: The best and worst inventions- first of all, neither has anything to do with art, and probably nothing to do with media. The worst invention especially, we won’t know what that is until it’s too late. Fracking seems pretty obvious, but maybe the Hadron collider will take us all out.

ZFH: How will you best honor our cyber overlords?

AT: I will pay respect to the overlords by enrolling in a cyber-literacy course at my local library branch, where I expect to learn the meaning of “BB” on a machine running Windows 95.

Awesome, thanks Alex!


31 Jul

you know the drill


ZFH 2015 POSTER and Menil Fest Unbirthday recap~!

19 Jun


Our poster is here! So many thanks to Sarah Welch for her BEAUTIFUL design, and thanks also to Lady Lazarus who will be putting their incredible skills behind a run of prints YOU WILL BE ABLE TO PROCURE at the fest! Aren’t you excited!?

This post is belated for another reason: we wanted to offer a recap of the Menil Fest, where we held an Unbirthday Party at the Menil Bookstore! We released our beautiful compilation that day and to celebrate nothing in particular, we decorated the store and had a DELICIOUS cake made as well as a PIÑAta!!!

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Stacy and Maria having an organizers’ moment!! Maria is making…… a face

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11156391_10153201551305279_3704081816379213144_n 11129541_10153201553700279_5517588909168733678_n 11182158_10153201554170279_8896806090972675695_n 11188311_10153201552585279_2883704344170792030_n 11196326_10153201554575279_4201913403194944516_n

Super fun. Many thanks to Sally Glass and the bookstore staff for helping us put this wonderful day of fun together! ❤


12 Mar

art by Sarah Welch

Submission Details for the 2015 Zine Fest Houston Compilation
The zine will be in black and white, with a full color cover. Each page will be 8 ½” tall by 5 ½”.  Contributor credits and contact information will be featured in the zine as well, so please include with your submission a 1-2 sentence bio and your contact info.

We are limiting the contributions to zine creators who have either tabled at a Zine Fest Houston event, or live in Houston and the surrounding areas. We want to keep the zine focused on Houston, natch.

We would like to have the zine ready for this year’s Menil Fest Indie Book Fair, which is on Saturday, April 18. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, April 11, 2015.

What to submit

The theme of this year’s Zine Fest Houston is: “The Triumph of Artificial Zinetelligence”  
IN A WORLD where digital publishing meets the creamy softness of that perfect paper, we scan the horizon for signs that our synthesis has truly become complete. Out of a box of tech mess and old paperwork rises AZ: ARTIFICIAL ZINETELLIGENCE – is it human, machine, or zine? WILL THE WORLD EVER KNOW?
Traversing the information superhighway like an 18-wheeler trying to get on 45N from 10E, the phenomenon known as Artificial Zinetelligence harnesses the intimacy of the tactile with the community of the digital. Print culture hasn’t just survived… IT HAS EVOLVED! Where will we go next in the never-ending quest to fold, staple and distro where no one has folded, stapled and distro’d before? STAY TUNED….
So, you can interpret this how you wish. There is a 2 page maximum to keep the zine from being unwieldy. We want the pages to reflect each contributor, so please do not submit incomplete pages.  Pages should be 8 1/2″ by 5 1/2″.
We encourage you to make new work for this year’s zine compilation theme, but understand that there are time constraints! J

Rights to the work
By submitting your work you agree to let us print it in the 2015 compilation. You will retain all other rights to your work. 

How to submit

By email:  Reply to this email ( with your attachment as a .tiff, .jpg, or .png file. SUBMISSIONS MUST BE 300dpi. 

By mail:  Mail your photocopies (or originals if you don’t need them back in a hurry) to:
Zine Fest Houston
c/o Stacy Kirages
PO Box 920740
Houston, TX 77292
A note about Menil Fest Indie Book Fair
We will be tabling at the Menil Fest Indie Book Fair again this year, which is on Saturday, April 18, 2015, 11am-6pm. If you’d like to come join us and/or sell your zines on our table (we could always use an extra person at the table for breaks and such), let us know by replying to this email ( We’d love to have a strong showing of Houston zines to represent us, and this is a great way to present work at the Indie Book Fest without having to get your own table.
ALSO EXCITING NEWS…we are partnering with the Menil Bookstore this year for an all day fun event at the Menil Community Arts Festival called Zine Fest Houston’s Un-birthday Party! We hope you will be able to stop by and participate in all the un-birthday activities we have planned that day, or if you would like to help out at the event, please let us know!!!