This year for ZFH we are thrilled to be hosting Alex Wrekk, author of Brainscan zine and Stolen Sharpie Revolution, one of the best primers zine making and zine culture! She also runs Portland Button Works and is one of the organizers of the Portland Zine Symposium! ZFH attended the PZS last year, their 13th birthday!! We had an amazing time, and to be perfectly honest~~~~~
~~~~~we kind of did our Zine Prom because we had such a great time at the PZS Zine Prom at the Independent Publishing Resource Center! So, full disclosure there. 😉
Coincidentally, our interview with Alex is the 13th in our series…. Fate? NO! SELF DETERMINATION AND STICK-TO-IT-IVENESS!
Ahem. Read on for more.
ZFH: Why do you create zines?
AW: I don’t think I could not create zines. Ever since I first realized “I can make this!” it has felt like a compulsion to document thing. However, sometimes I think I document things less for other people and more for myself.
ZFH: Why do you like zines?
AW: Because they are people telling their stories on their own terms and I think there is something really beautiful in that.
ZFH: How did you become interested in zines?
AW: I had seen late 80s and early 90s music magazines in the town that I lived in, Salt Lake City, Utah. They seemed interesting, but when I was in high school I dated someone and their father was a monitor for AOL chat rooms and somehow he found out about zines and gave them to us. It seemed so magical. They all seemed so different and interesting. I wanted to read more.
ZFH: What is your favorite part of zine fest?
AW: Seeing old friends and making new ones.
ZFH: What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?
AW: I have no idea! I’m really excited to check out a zine fest in the city of my birth! I’ve been trying to go to a new zine a fest every year and ZFH is my choice this year. Every zine fest has its own personality, I’m looking forward to meeting ZFH!
ZFH: What are your favorite zines/mini-comics etc.?
AW: I really hate this question. So, I will answer it with Copy Scams lyrics “My favorite zines are by my friends and I’ve got room for more of them”
ZFH: What made you decide to participate in the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?
AW: Each year I try to choose a zine fest I have never been to before and Zine fest Houston is the one I picked this year!
ZFH: What new projects are you working on this year?
AW: I finished a 24 hour zine about weird things that happened to me at shows but I’m currently working on the 5th edition of my book about zines, Stolen Sharpie Revolution. I‘m also working on a kickstarter for it and would love if you could pitch in.
ZFH: What is something you think people should know about DIY in Houston?
AW: I don’t know even know anything about DIY in Houston but I’m excited to learn!
ZFH: What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?
AW: I will be bringing my personal zine, Brainscan. Plus, my distro Portland Button Works and zine distro with lots of zines and books and zine related buttons.
ZFH: What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?
AW: Well, I do a lot of zine stuff that isn’t just making zine. I am an organizer for the Portland Zine Symposium, I founded July as International Zine Month, I run a shop that sell zines and makes custom buttons, and I’m in a zine themed band with members from 3 different countries called, The Copy Scams. Outside that, I enjoy gardening, cooking vegan food, secular witchcraft, bike riding, craft beer, playing Dungeons & Dragons, dark mori kei and Strega fashion.
ZFH: Why does self-publishing appeal to you?
AW: I get to tell my own story on my own terns. Also, I really like to do cut and paste layout.
ZFW: What is the concept behind your zine/zines?
AW: My main zine is Brainscan and I have been creating it since 1997 so it has grown and changed a lot over the years. I’ve told stories of love and love lost, travel, music, recovers from an emotionally abusive relationship, reproductive health, fiction, and more!
ZFH: How long have you been creating zines?
AW: I think I made my first one in 1995. It was a silly thing called Fun in a Bucket.
ZFH: What is/are your favorite place(s) in Houston?
AW: Honestly, I haven’t spent much time there since I moved away in 1987.
ZFH: What do you think the zine/self publishing scene in Houston will be like in 20 years?
AW: I hope it is thriving!
ZFH: You’ve done very extensive work and organizing in the DIY and radical communities through Portland Button Works and the Portland Zine Symposium as well as Stolen Sharpie Revolution. You’re also a native Houstonian! Do you think that being from here has shaped your desire to organize and your perspectives on the importance of this type of publishing? If so, how?
AW: I am a Native Houstonian. Man, that feels weird to say, but it would make my dad proud. I’d like to say that my mom having a craft business in the 80s and encouraging my sister and I to DIY before it was cool had some influence. However, I wouldn’t say that it would has influenced me with publishing. My dad is from Texas and my mom is from Oregon and the dynamic of my parents being both from really independently minded places has been really important in my personal growth.
Thanks Alex! We can’t wait to see you at fest!!! Make sure you donate to Stolen Sharpie Revolution!! 6 days to go~