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.
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?
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
Alabama Community Garden
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.