ZFH Interviews #4: Sugar and Rice Magazine

7 Sep

To whet your appetite on a gloomy Sunday afternoon, we bring you our fourth interview! Sugar and Rice, “the Gulf Coast’s Food and Culture Magazine”. David Leftwich shares more below. 

sr_blackZFH: Why do you create zines?

DL: Because you can take a “what-the-fuck” attitude and create something that you think is cool and important.

ZFH: Why do you like zines?

DL: I like zines because they expose you to so many different voices and perspectives. They’re a great way for people to bring writing, artwork, and photography into the world and do it in print. Also, with the rise of online everything, I think their underground attitude is important for keeping print alive.

ZFH: How did you become interested in zines?

DL: My first exposure to zines was 20+ years ago when I managed the magazine section of an independent bookstore in Washington, DC. We had a nice selection of zines that covered everything from music to poetry to politics. I thought they were a great way to learn about stuff—new music, new poets, etc.—that you weren’t finding in the mainstream media.

ZFH: What is your favorite part of zine fest?

DL: I have to admit this will be my first time attending, but I’m really excited to see all the different zines and hopefully add some to my collection.

ZFH: What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2014 ZineFest Houston?


From “Creole Coffee,” by David Leftwich. July 31, 2014.

DL: Ha. See #4. The zines!

ZFH: What are your favorite zines/mini-comics etc.?

DL: I may have a broad definition of zines, because I include a lot of small, independent literary journals. I just discovered a new one called Agriculture Reader, which I really like. They are publishing a lot of great writing, poetry, and art. Another one I really like is The Hat. They went on a hiatus for a couple of years but just published a new issue, #8, and are currently working on #9. I’m excited to have them back in the game. I’m also a big fan of Saucy Magazine, which explores the interactions between food and art. Each issue explores a different them using a different format and trim size, and feature some great photography and writing.

ZFH: What made you decide to participate in the 2014 Zine FestHouston?

DL: The opportunity to see other people’s works, to meet other people trying to keep alternative print alive, to share our work with others, and to support an important community in Houston.

ZFH: What new projects are you working on this year?

DL: Issues 3 & 4 of Sugar & Rice. I’m really excited about the graphic novella/essay I’m working on with artist Sara Hinkle for issue 3. She’s a kick-ass artist. And she is doing some amazing illustrations for a graphic recreation of the infamous opening night of Houston’s once iconic Shamrock hotel.

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

DL: That you can do it here. Houston is wide open. It has a pretty amazing DIY/entrepreneurial spirit that people support. I’m constantly meeting people here who have an idea and then successfully pursue it—whether that’s starting a successful bar on some maxed-out credit cards, launching a worm-composting business, starting an urban farm, opening an art gallery, or launching a food zine. Just go for it.

ZFH: What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?

DL: Issues 2 and 3 of Sugar & Rice.

ZFH: What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?

DL: Cooking and writing poetry.

ZFH: Why does self-publishing appeal to you?

DL: You can do what you want. You can pursue and tell the untold stories—the stores that the mainstream media ignores.

ZFH: What is the concept behind your zine/zines

DL: Sugar & Rice is an independent publication that is telling the stories of Texas and the Gulf Coast through the lens of food. We believe that Texas and the Gulf have vibrant cultures whose stories often go untold—stories we are dedicated to telling well.

ZFH: How long have you been creating zines?

DL: We’ve been working on this venture for about a year and half.

ZFH: What is/are your favorite place(s) in Houston?

DL: There are so many. Here’s a random, but not all-inclusive list, of favorites:

The neighborhoods and buildings around the Houston Ship Channel where it is inside the Loop
Urban Harvest East Side Farmers market
Pollos Asados La Sillas food truck (really a bright yellow school bus) at 1416 Broadway
Little India (the area around the intersection of Hillcroft and Harwin)
Brazos Book Store
The Art Car Museum
The Station Museum of Contemporary Art
Long Point Road from Gessner to Hempstead
Hong Kong Market on Bellaire Ave.
The trails at the Houston Arboretum
Antidote, Blacksmith, and Catalina
Alice’s Tall Texan, Bad News Bar, Poison Girl, D&T Drive-Inn
The now closed Blancos
Buffalo Bayou
Alabama Community Garden
Revival Market
Kaboom Books
Airline Drive from Cavalcade to 610

And that’s just a start.

ZFH: FInally, what do you think the zine/self publishing scene in Houston will be like in 20 years?

DL: Magazines printed on paper collectively made from recycled cardboard sold at noodle stands lining Bellaire Avenue.


A beautiful vision indeed! Thanks David! We look forward to seeing your stuff at fest this year. 

ZFH Interviews #3: Alex Gleason

6 Sep alex-gleason-sombrero

For your Friday evening enjoyment, an interview with Alex Gleason, author of “Toddler Timothy’s Delicious Candy Apples,” a deceptively sweet title.


ZFH: What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?
AG: Toddler Timothy’s Delicious Candy Apples: a Halloween storybook about a trick-or-treater who meets a terrible fate.

ZFH: Why did you create Toddler Timothy’s Delicious Candy Apples?

AG: To instill fear in the hearts and minds of children.
2 - Photo of Book

ZFH: What is the concept behind Toddler Timothy’s Delicious Candy Apples?

AG: It’s about tainted Halloween candy. After some research, I learned that no kid has ever gotten poisoned candy from a stranger’s house on Halloween. Yet, my mother used to inspect every piece of candy in my basket before letting me eat it. I’m poking fun at people’s irrational fears.

ZFH: How did you become interested in zines?

AG: I wanted to make a book to pass out to trick-or-treaters. Later I was told that my creation was a “zine”, and discovered that there are other people in Houston making their own books too.

ZFH: What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?

AG: I make websites and write code.

ZFH: What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?

AG: Seeing some cool artwork and meeting other people who make books.

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

AG: H-Town is one of the few places that does this. Represent.

ZFH: Why do you like zines?

AG: They’re pure expression–no profit. Zines make the world a better place.

ZFH: Do you find an intersection between your coding work and your illustration work in terms of content or aesthetic layout? If so, what?

AG: Writing a program is kind of like building a machine, and it can break like one. If you’re smart, you’ll make it out of replaceable parts, so if one piece breaks you can deal with it. I’ve learned to write programs this way.

Adapting this to my digital illustrations gives me a lot of control. I separate my drawings into components, which can be moved, resized, and rotated freely without messing up anything behind them. For example, I’ll draw an entire backdrop, even the parts I know will be covered, so I can freely move my subjects over them. I’ll draw a detailed bald head before layering the hair on. But that’s just the start; I take it to the extreme, down to finger nails sometimes. It really helps to fine tune everything, make changes in the future, and allows me to re-use pieces of my drawings in other drawings.


So! Look forward to a disturbing cautionary tale sure to scar your children! In the best way possible. Yay! Till next time!

ZFH 2014 Interviews #2: Chris Engelsma

3 Sep

Today’s interview is with Chris Engelsma, author of Boolean Comics, has been converted into a visually appealing format that we just looooooveeeeeee!! Get to know him better by reading below and be sure to check out Angus & Darling, updating Tuesdays!





ZFH 2014 INTERVIEWS #1: Austin Bedell

2 Sep turducken_party
As we hurtle inexorably toward Zine Fest Houston 2014, we are happy to again present our annual *~TABLER INTERVIEWS~* 
Here to start us off: Austin Bedell, illustrator and author of ongoing comic Skweegie Island!
ZFH: How did you become interested in zines?
AB: There was this long period in which I made nothing, simply because I had no idea who might possibly publish my work. Like, why write or draw a comic book if no one’s going to print it?
Boom. Do it myself. Simple.
Now the big question is, why print a bunch of comic books that no one is going to read? Maybe I’ll bullshit an answer to that one someday…
ZFH: What made you decide to participate in the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?
AB: That printing museum is oh, so nice and air-conditioned! And all the folks are so getalongable.
ZFH: What new projects are you working on this year?
AB: Last year I mentioned some nonsense about a comic book I was sort of working on, though not 100% invested in, but I TOTALLY FINISHED IT AND IT WILL BE HERE THIS YEAR AND IT IS GREAT, so…
I have no shame in telling you that I’m working on something else now!
ZFH: What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?
AB: That one thing I just mentioned. And older things. And maybe something I tape together between now and the Fest.
ZFH: How long have you been creating zines?
AB: Since 2009. So what’s that, like, 15 years or something?
ZFH: What do you think the zine/self publishing scene in Houston will be like in 20 years?
AB: 1000x more naked, but also with guns.
ZFH: Your drawings and comics of video games, Garfield, and other bastions of popular culture have a decidedly surreal slant to them. What would you say has informed that vision?
AB: Drugs! Drugs! Oh, a million times drugs!
And that’s the word from Skweegie Island. Be sure to check out Austin’s stuff at ZFH this year! We’ll be releasing our tabling map soon enough…


30 Jul



zfh 2014 registration website

That’s right! After the long wait, we are officially opening registration for the 2014 Zine Fest Houston, Under the Zine!

Go here for details on how to register and to download a form!


Summertime news!

10 Jun

Announcement one: IT’S SUMMER! Everybody hide! If the rains don’t wash you away, you’ll be shriveled up by the sun! Be vigilant. The sun is watching each of us, individually, at all times….🙂

IN OTHER NEWS, we are VERY excited about the upcoming Fresh Arts Cultured Cocktail event (AND BINGO BINGO BINGO) this Thursday, June 12th from 5-7pm at Boheme! We’d love for you to join us, we’ve got a great evening planned with fabulous door prizes for those smiled upon by the bingo gods! Will it be you…!?

In other news, we’ll be having a volunteer meet n greet on July 2nd, 7:30pm at Lowbrow (1601 Main St.) Are you interested in being a part of ZFH? Do you have ideas for events you’d like to plan or help coordinate? Let’s all get together and share each others’ company and ideas! Be a part of the best ever ZFH!

meet n greet


ZFH 2014 Compilation Cover by Sebastian Gomez de la Torre!

30 Apr

ZFH 2014 Compilation Cover by Sebastian Gomez de la Torre!

Whetting your appetite for the compilation, here’s a peek at the official cover! It’s a candy-colored undersea world and it is sooo luscious! We are really excited about this comp!!! We’ll see you Saturday at Menil Community Arts Festival!❤