Interview with a Zinester: Laura Lannes!

Laura Lannes, Brazilian zinester, is up next! Read on.

Drawn b&w self portrait of Laura with wavy hair put up and fading from dark at the top to disappearing into the white background at the bottom.
Drawn b&w self portrait of Laura with wavy hair put up and fading from dark at the top to disappearing into the white background at the bottom.

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

I’m a cartoonist and illustrator. I make comics about a lot of personal stuff, I guess, looking back now. I seem to do a lot of stuff about anxiety and depression, gender issues, weird feelings about my body.

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?

I first saw zines at a head shop near my house when I was in high school. They had a bunch of stuff about weed; some of them were comics. I was very into it. That’s when I started buying zines. In 2011 I made my first one and took it to a zine festival; that’s when I got in touch with zine culture. I’ve been influenced by a lot of cartoonists – zines have always been a staple of comics fests. I have a zine by amazing cartoonist Laerte that features a page on how to make zines (it’s in Portuguese because I’m from Brazil):

Comic created by Laura Lanne, written in Portuguese.
Comic created by Laerte, written in Portuguese.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?

Feminism is always on my mind. I think a lot about gender roles, particularly – why do I act a certain way, why is this “feminine” and this “masculine” etc. So that shows up in my work, not always subtly.

Considering the history of zines as a counterculture product, I think it’s a very well-suited medium for the self-expression of any group whose voice is silenced by the mainstream. I think this applies to women, and people of color, and feminists, and queer people, and so many other groups.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?

Eleanor Davis, one of my favorite artists, has a little one called “31 drawings that have something to do with being in love and not being in love.” It’s such a great little object. I also like one by a Brazilian cartoonist called Lovelove6 – all of her work is about feminism, and her first two zines were called (translation mine) “The ethics of horniness in post-modernity,” volumes 1 and 2.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?

Probably a deep fryer. I wish I was a vegetable steamer, but I know I’m a deep fryer.

Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?

I like Annie Mok’s work, I was happy to see her name on the exhbitor list.

This is gonna seem biased because she’s my roommate, but, for real, Hazel Newlevant has great stuff that I love.


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