Interview with a Zinester: Ayun Halliday!

If you don’t know of Ayun Halliday – creator of the zine The East Village Inky and author of The Zinester’s Guide to NYC – you’ve been missing out. Here, let us help you with that:

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

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of The East Village Inky zine and author of the self-mocking autobiographies No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too LateThe Big Rumpus  Dirty Sugar Cookies: Culinary Observations, Questionable Taste, and Job Hopper. Little children know Ayun as the author of Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo, illustrated by Dan Santat. Teens know her as the author of Peanut, a graphic novel illustrated by Paul Hoppe. And Luddite vagabonds may recognize her as the author of the analog guidebook, The Zinester’s Guide to NYC.
As a member of the Neo-Futurists, Ayun wrote and performed in over 500 short plays. Her dream is to play the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet.
Ayun lives in Brooklyn with the playwright Greg Kotis, where she homeschools 50% of their children.

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

A stack of Ashley Parker Owens’ “Global Mail” – sort of the Fact Sheet Five for mail art – was dropped off at the theater I ran with some friends in Chicago. I was like, “What IS this strange free newspaper and how can I become a part of this world?” Shortly thereafter, I found my way to Quimby’s, where I bought a copy of Nancy’s magazine…which came with a free seed packet.
The East Village Inky actually looks rather like a small book my friend Gub Gub and I made to amuse ourselves when we were snowed in Indiana, in high school. (Other girls were presumably smokin’ bongs and listening to Rush) It had little line drawings of ourselves. I also had a tiny notebook in which I drew cartoons of things that happened to us in school – and that made me very sought after in French class, if nothing else. In terms of content, I was no Ariel Schrag. It was tame, but people like to see themselves – except the ones who don’t.

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

Some zines are overtly feminist by virttue of their focus or mission. Some seek to educate, or give a voice to marginilized women whose words might not find their way into print, otherwise. But every zine put out by a woman or girl is contributing to the historic record. As a reader, I prefer the anecdotal to the polemic. But it’s all good. All worthwhile in one way or another … if for no other reason than it’s undiluted. It’s the zine maker doing her best to express what she wants to say, without no outside editor putting his or her own spin on it.

I will also say there are feminist zines put out by men…many of them fathers of girls. Tomas Moniz’ Rad Dad comes to mind.

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

I like funny. I like comics and illustrations that have been done by hand. Some favorites are Carrie McNinch’s You Don’t Get There from Here, Jenna Freedman’sWinter Solstice Shout Out, and Kari Tervo’s Shards of Glass in Your Eye.

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

A battered old cappuccino machine that’s been cranking it out since college and refuses to die.

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Interview with a Zinester: Taryn Hipp

Superstar zinester and author Taryn Hipp gives us her thoughts on feminism, perzines, and teapots:

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Illustration by Clara Bee

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

My name is Taryn Hipp & I’ve been making zines for more than half my life. Currently, I write the perzine Lady Teeth. Each issues focuses on my experiences living with depression, getting & staying sober, recovery, falling in love. It took me a long time to reach the point where even when things feel like they are at their bleakest, I can appreciate the small amount of beauty hidden deep inside the pit of life (that sounds way more dramatic than it really is). Last year I put out my first book, a memoir novella titled Heavy Hangs the Head. It was published by Sweet Candy Press in Olympia Washington.

2. How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone? 
A girl I met down the shore handed me a copy of Cometbus & said “you should read this”. I carried that single issue of Cometbus with me to school every day. Soon after I started making my own zine & trading with girls I met in the AOL Riot Grrrl chat room. I was super influenced by Aaron’s work & by riot grrrl as a whole. 
 
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3. What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
I like to think that by making zines it is a feminist act in itself. To put your words down on paper & share them with the world is a rather radical concept. I’m still trying to explain it to my mother. Feminism appears in my work in subtle & not-so-subtle ways. I identify as a feminist before anything else & it sort of bums me out to see my peers either reject the idea entirely or, just like riot grrrl, make it some exclusive club that you need a membership to join.
4. What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
I have a few favorites, probably Truckface, You Don’t Get There From Here & Doris. I like zines that are honest, at times painfully or brutally so. I’m drawn to perzines more than anything else. I enjoy zines I can relate to, zines that I can read & walk away from feeling like the person who wrote it “gets me”, even if our only connection is through my eyes as the reader. Cometbus is still a favorite but I think that’s more of a sentimental type of connection at this point.
 
5. If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
Is a teapot a kitchen appliance? A teapot can sit on your stove unused for extended periods of time but when you’re ready for a cup of tea & you fill it with water, turn on the burner eventually it will boil & make noise. That’s me. I’m just waiting to make noise.
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Interview with a Zinester: Rachel L!

Rachel, besides being 1/2 of Hoax zine (along with organizer sari!), has written a ton of personal zines including one of my personal favorites “Not Queer as in Radical but Lesbian as in Fuck You.” This will be her second year tabling at Feminist Zinefest and we’re so glad to have her! Here’s more about her work:

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

My name is Rachel, and I am New York City based zinester. I co-edit the feminist compilation zine Hoax with my best friend, Sari. Hoax is a US bi-annual queer feminist compilation zine that aims to create a space to analyze the feminisms of our everyday lives. I additionally write perzines about topics such as community building, queer identity, and mutual aid. 

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

I learned about zines because I was absolutely obsessed with riot grrl when I was a teenager. I read excerpts of all the classic riot grrl zines that had been scanned onto the Internet, and I always had the intention of creating my own feminist zines. I began collecting hard copy zines when I was approximately eighteen years old, as soon as I discovered  Bluestockings and learned that zines could be purchased offline without giving strangers my address (I still had the illusion that there was such a thing as Internet privacy, ha!) I was intimidated by the process of distributing my own work, and so I actively looked for friends who would be interested in working on a project with me. I began working on my first zine, Hoax #1, with Sari during my last year of college. It’s been five years and, during that time, I have worked with others or individually to create 18 different zines. Two more zines – Hoax #10 and Hoax #11, and actively in the works!

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

Feminist zine making is, to me, the process of asking critical questions. 

Hoax Zine is intended to explore how feminism plays out in our daily lives. Our core values are as following: Accessibility: Circulating content that will be well-received by readers with various levels of reading comprehension skills and keeping the monetary price of the zine at a consistent and optimally affordable amount; Accountability: Reflecting upon our individual privileges and access to various forms of capital, holding ourselves accountable for participation (active or passive) in violence and exclusion perpetuated under the guise of feminism, and accepting constructive criticism to make gender liberation safer for people who are typically marginalized within feminist circles; Education: Taking discussions of feminisms and feminist-related material outside of academia through sharing personal stories and research-driven essays, calling attention to the past and present efforts of feminist-positive work, and learning together via the process of collaborative editing; Empowerment: Bearing witness to people whose voices are traditionally marginalized, erased, silenced, and/or devalued and engaging with the discomfort of having our viewpoints critically challenged; and Safety: Prioritizing the safety of writers and artists by allowing them the option to use pen names and intentionally keeping Hoax’s material off the internet, and of readers by circulating a list of detailed topics of essays to allow them the ability to decide for themselves which material has the potential to be triggering/upsetting/uncomfortable to them.

My personal zines are mostly on the topics of queer identity and feminist community building. Feminism has been an immensely influential epistemological framework in my life, and my writing is rarely divorced from that influence.  

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

I have two favorite zines of all time. The first is My Life With Evan Dando Popstar. This zine was written by Kathleen Hanna in the early 90’s, and it was the first zine I ever read that taught me that zines can be  intentional and artful. It is a work of semi-autobiographical fiction that uses the narrative of a female stalker who is obsessed with Evan Dando from The Lemonheads, as well as strategically employed irony, to explore the male gaze, “good art,”  and what it means to be a female artist. 

My other favorite zine is “Picking Up he Pieces *or* What Have I Done, and What am I Going to Do About It.” This is an autobiographical zine about witnessing the death of a parent, transfeminine identity, depression, transitioning, and detransitioning. My friend lent me his copy earlier during the year, and I could not put it down. If you ever come across a copy, I highly suggest canceling whatever nonsense you have planning for the afternoon & set aside an hour or three to read it.

Other shout outs go to: You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania, Mixed Up, The Worst, Your Secretary, Whatstheirname, Malcriada, The Future Generation, and Mend my Dress

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

If I could sum up my zinester life in a kitchen appliance, I would be a high-efficiency processor. The type that over-mashes your food into NOTHINGNESS  if you press “on” for too long. 

Likewise, if I could sum up my zinester life in my just regular household appliance, I would be a paper shredder because I am disorganized and love to deconstruct the truths that I am presented with. Also, because punks never follow the rules ;-P  

Interview with a Zinester: Dana and Jake!

Today’s Interview with a Zinester actually stars two zinesters – Dana and Jake, the creators of Paper Teeth. See what makes them tick:

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

We are a couple from the Albany, NY / Adirondack area – Dana and Jake (aka – Maxi P. and Snake). We both attended Sage college for illustration and creative writing. Like most kids fresh out of school, we found ourselves working jobs just to pay the bills. It didn’t take long for us to begin craving something that could provide a lasting and satisfying creative outlet. Fast forward to last winter: [Snake] went on tour with his band for three weeks and upon returning, the two of us decided to embark on a fun project we could do together. Sharing ideas and artwork in this way has brought us even closer and has provided us with a way to expel our daily annoyances, day dreams, etc. in a productive way. We usually leave our zines in coffee shops, music venues or trade them with friends. We never charge money for our zines, it’s all just for fun.

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

The interest in zines stems from an interest in things like graphic novels, comics as well as various music scenes. Zines are appealing to both of us because we share the same DIY sensibilities that zines of all genres bolster. After [Snake] returned from tour with his band, he had collected a nice little bundle of zines from across the country. We began making our own, trading with other people we exchanged addresses with and it has simply become a constant in our lives since. The thrill of getting something in the mail or just getting a glimpse into the life of a stranger in the form of a little book has us hooked. We are influenced by the people we trade with!

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

Some of the pieces we do run the gamut of satirical and subtle to in-your-face “fuck the patriarchy” stuff. Above all else, we strive to always emphasize the idea of equality no matter what. It’s important that we keep doing this work, no matter how small or insignificant it seems. Those who have the privilege to speak out and spread ideas must continue to do so in a creative and easily accessible way in order to allow powerful ideas to live on.

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

Since we don’t really have a specific “topic” for our zines (it’s more or less a collection of random drawings and poems) its interesting to see when someone can create a zine dedicated to a very specific idea or interest. It would be difficult for either one of us to pick a favorite style. We have friends who create zines that read like a diary and prove to be both hilarious and heart-wrenching. We also have friends who make silly doodles that are just so precious to us in their simplicity. They’re all special to us!

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

A whisk or a pair of beaters, perhaps. Our method is to just throw a bunch of stuff together and put it through the copier and see what comes out the other end. No rules, man. No rules. Just chaos.

Interview with a Zinester: Sarah Sawyers-Lovett!

Sarah is the author of Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric and, more recently, the book Everybody Else’s Girl, as well as editor of the compilation zines Dangerous Damsels and The Worth of Water. We’re so excited to have her exhibiting for her second year at Feminist Zine Fest NYC! Here’s her story:

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

My name is Sarah. I’m a zine and book writer, a balloon twister, a face painter, a wife and hedgehog mom, and a pickle enthusiast.

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

I was introduced to zines via a queer pen pal service in the mid-90’s. I’ve been influenced by a lot of early riot grrrl and queercore zinesters, though as I get older, I think I’ve gotten better at fleshing that out into something that feels more like an authentically independent voice.

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

Feminism is part of everything I do. Thinking specifically about feminism and writing, I think I implicitly write for an audience of queer folks and female-identified people. I try to keep my privilege in perspective and write in the most honest way I can.

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

I don’t have just one favorite. I’m a huge fan of a lot of different things, and I’m lucky to be part of this community that consists of so many people I respect and admire.

 

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

Well, a coffee pot.

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Interview with a Zinester: Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz!

 Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz – singer, zinester, self-described “mad rat girl” – will be joining us on March 1st tabling her zine Living in La La Land. Here’s her interview:
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1. Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

I’m an artist and experimental musician, primarily. I like to do a lot
of things. For a long time I was mainly doing minicomics, but the
zines I’ve been putting together lately are combination comics,
written commentary and photo-collages. I want all those elements to
flow together into the overall mood of the story I’m telling. I want
the “Living In La La Land” zines to merge a landscape that’s both the
external place where I am (New York City) and my personal
consciousness when going through the experiences I’m recounting.

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

I can’t remember cuz I’m old (LOL). No, it’s hard to pinpoint because
it seems like zines were always around and part of what I was
interested in. You’d go into a record store and there would be a rack
of zines, primarily music ones but also more eclectic or personal
stuff that people had made and put in there on consignment. Same with
comic stores, there’d be a section for self-published minicomics in
the better ones.

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

I think anytime a person uses zines as a forum to explore ideas that
are important to or within the feminist movement, and adds their voice
to it, that’s feminist zine making. I think in mine the feminism
appears in a very implicit way. It’s autobiographical and therefore
has a “the personal is political” approach. In that way it encompasses
issues of feminism, or touches on issues regarding schizoaffective
disorder, physical disability, or issues with housing & the police and
such, and trying to live a creative life through it all because these
are the things my husband and I are dealing with. There are also some
less-than-glorious moments of conflict; there’s one page where this
very yuppie-ish woman shoved my husband out of the way to get to a
cab, which is very much ablism on her part, and I fly into an
“episode” and begin attacking the cab and calling her a
not-very-feminist word o_0. So you’re looking at this intersection of
ablism, mental health issues, and some of my own gender baggage coming
out in the heat of the moment. But it would have been disingenuous to
wash over that, to not look at where sexism can become internalized
even in someone who has consciously taken an interest in feminism.

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

I dunno, there’s a lot of good ones! I’m mercurial like that, my
favorites can change all the time and now with zines going through
this sort of resurgence, I’m sure there are a lot of good newer ones I
haven’t even seen yet. Then when you get into mail art, that’s a whole
other realm of the art world beyond zines. My friend Tamara, (who is a
great artist and also a feminist) participates in a lot of mail art
projects, there are people sending all these one of a kind things
through mail, all over the world. I think that movement started with
Fluxus, though it may go back farther. What I like about zines is
their freedom of style. They can be as raw or slick as the creator
decides. The subject matter and design of a zine doesn’t have to be
dictated by marketing trends or the interests of sponsors, or what’s
currently a popular opinion to hold.

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

A blender–it’s able to mix up multiple elements, it’s in turmoil, and
it makes noise and has blades. 🙂

Interview with a Zinester: Annie Mok!

Today’s interview with a zinester features Philly-based creator of Screentests, Annie Mok. Illustrator, writer, singer (and fantastic dancer), “dream warrior comix-babe” – she’s a big deal. Check her out:

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

My name is Annie Mok. I identify as a trans woman, plus sometimes other things too / in addition to rather than instead of being a trans woman. I make comics solo and collaborative, draw illustrations, and sing in a band called See-Through Girls. I live in West Philly in a tall house called Witchhazel House.

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

I got introduced to zines through a grab bag that was offered for free off a message board in 2005, when I was in high school. I read zines by lots of people, including Rocket Queen #2, and Taryn Hipp’s Girl Swirl and A Girl Called Mike. Later I found minicomics when I went to art school in Minneapolis. As far as zines go, King-Cat by John P. affected me strongly.

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

Since I’m a woman, and my work advocates for my lived experience as valid, the work is “feminist.”

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

I re-read Gabrielle Bell’s minis, published by Uncivilized Books, over and over.

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

A ceramic thing to make a pour-over coffee.

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Interview with a Zinester: Victoria Law!

Get pumped, everyone – two weeks until Zine Fest! We’re so excited Victoria Law – author of Resistance Behind Bars, co-editor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind, and editor of Tenacious zine – will be tabling! Here’s what she has to say:

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1. Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.
I’m a freelance writer, mother, zinester & analog photographer. I write about prisoner justice issues, primarily focusing on women prisoners–both the injustices they face and the ways that they resist, challenge and try to change these injustices.
In late 2002, I was asked by several women incarcerated in Oregon if I would do a regular zine of art & writings by women in prison. They weren’t seeing themselves or their experiences represented in the media–mainstream, independent or prisoner zines–and wanted to change that. But, being in prison, they don’t have access to copying machines, postage, computers, the ability to send mail out unread by prison mailrooms…so they were looking for someone on the outside to take on this project.
How could I say no? And so, Tenacious: Art & Writings by Women in Prison was born.
Nearly a dozen years later, most of the women who came up with the idea have since been released, but I recently put out issue #30 with writings from women incarcerated in several parts of the country. Tenacious is free to women in prison (both cisgender and trans women) and I’m noticing, from the letters & submissions that I get, that women often pass it around to others in that prison. For many of the women, it’s a chance not only to share their experiences in print, but also to be heard and to be validated. So many times, women in prison are told that their lives, experiences and voices don’t matter, that nothing that they do matter. To see their words in print contradicts that. It shows them that their lives *do* matter.
I also sometimes do one-off photo zines. I also used to make travel zines using the postcards I sent to CookiePuss, the cat at ABC No Rio. (Sadly, CookiePuss passed away in September 2013 just before her 17th birthday)
2. How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone? 
I actually don’t remember how I was introduced to zines. I was in high school at the time. I was living in Queens, but started coming to the Lower East Side and East Village on weekends. I probably picked up a zine at a poetry reading or independent bookstore. Maybe someone gave me one when I went to ABC No Rio? I really can’t remember.
3. What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
I think that producing a zine that highlights the voices (both verbal and visual) of women behind bars is definitely an act of feminist zine-making. Focusing specifically on women’s prison issues when the conversation about mass incarceration is so dominated by men’s issues is also an act of feminism.
4. What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
I really like zines with some kind of personal touch. My fellow mama zinester China Martens used to hand-color the covers of her zine The Future Generation and I always loved how she made them look like old hand-colored photographs (back before color photography existed). Unfortunately, I can’t handcolor zines that I send into prisons because many prison mailrooms would either send them right back or toss them in the garbage, claiming that this somehow violates mailroom regulations and threatens the safety and security of the institution. (If only colored pencils could bring down prison walls!)
As for mail art: I was involved with Books Through Bars–NYC (a group that sent free books & other reading material to people in prison) for many years.  I used to love seeing all the envelope art that incarcerated artists would send us when they wrote to request books. The bulk of envelope art came from Texas, but around 2003, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice banned envelope art.
5. If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?

Hmmm, I was originally going to say a hot plate because, for the first 13 years of my adult life, I only had a hot plate to make my meals. And it wasn’t a very good strong hot plate, which meant that I could only do very little with it.

But I think my zinester life is actually more like my fridge–sometimes empty, sometimes full of good things, sometimes half-filled with leftovers, occasionally housing things I’ve forgotten and are now growing scary things inside them.

Interview with a Zinester: Ponyboy Violet!

Ponyboy – radical eating disorder activist, author of ANAlog, tabler at this coming Feminist Zinefest – gives us the scoop on their work:

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

 
i write a zine called ANAlog: dispatches on d.i.y anorexia recovery.  it’s a zine about grappling with eating disorders that i write for radical-identified folks specifically, because, while a lot of mainstream literature has been created to try and address why eating disorders happen and how to recover from them, i have not found these narratives to adequately address my own struggles, or the struggles of the other radical and queer folks i know who’ve lived with eating disorders.

 
2. How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone? 
 
it was all about doris for me!  i had read zines before doris, but i didn’t fully understand their magic until doris was introduced to me, and i can’t actually sum up the humungous impact this zine has had on my life.  doris is profound without being pretentious, self-reflective without being self-important.  it is poetic and playful and political in equal measure.  it’s silly and severe, shy and bold.  it’s been a giant influence.

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

i am genderqueer — though i was female-assigned at birth, i don’t fit into the female/male binary and don’t identify as female.  given this, i’ve had a complicated relationship to feminism — or, maybe more accurately, i’ve had a complicated relationship to some feminists and their expressions and definitions of feminism.  i don’t identify with an essentialist feminism, one that focuses on sussing out who the “real” women in the movement are, and in my zine i talk about the liberation i experienced when i discovered that i could call my body parts whatever i wanted, and when i realized that i didn’t have to let culture dictate what my body should look like/behave like.  all of that being said, i think feminism should be widened, not done away with, and i think a lot of good people are doing good work to widen feminism today — to make sure that it includes all kinds of bodies and identities, to make sure that it stays within a radical framework.  i would like to think of my zine as a contribution to this widening feminism, and think it’s crucial that any radical examination of eating disorders take place  through a feminist lens: eating disorders are rebellions against capitalism and patriarchy’s incursions on our bodies, and the state has always attempted to control the population by controlling female-assigned bodies first and foremost.

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

see question number two! : )

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

hmm… as an eating disorder activist, this is an interesting question to consider!  i think i’d be a knife with a pink handle.

Interview with a Zinester: Julia Lipscomb!

We’re back with Interview with a Zinester! This time, we’ve got Julia Lipscomb, a bi-coastal zinester that has volunteered at several zine libraries, including the Zine Archive and Publishing Project (ZAPP) in Seattle and currently ABC No Rio. We’re excited to have her table at the zine fest this year! Let’s hear what she has to say:

(psst, if you haven’t checked out our last interview with new zinester Devon Spencer, you can see it right here!)

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1. Give us a short description of yourself and the work you do (including any zine samples if you have them!).

I write personal zines! I’ve been writing zines since 2004, and honestly my zines have gone through as many phases as I have. In high school, I wrote about music. In college, I was writing poetry and chapbooks and sometimes zines about archiving from my internships. After college, zines proved to be my only recession-proof skill. How NOT to Write a Resume is a comic published after sending my resume to over 200 positions and getting rejected by 30 interviews. I think it’s important for zines to come full circle. When you evoke difficult feelings in zines, it is the responsibility of the zinester to start in a happy place and end in a happy place. Whether that’s framed by poetry, comedy or another rhetorical device is up to the zinester. No matter what I write about, it’s always personal.

Currently I’m pursuing a Masters in Arts & Cultural Management at Pratt Institute. Basically I love working in nonprofit arts organizations so much that I decided to study them! My classmates and professors are very inspiring.

2. How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone? And what was your seminal zine moment?

Like most zinesters, I started publishing zines before I even knew what a zine was! My seminal zine moment was visiting the Zine Archive & Publishing Project (ZAPP) in Seattle the summer after graduating high school. In Spokane, Washington, where I grew up, I could count the number of zine publishers on one hand. At ZAPP, there were thousands – and by thousands, I mean twenty thousand – zines in every genre imaginable (or unimaginable). It was unreal and definitely humbling. I knew I had to step up my game.

Growing up in Spokane, I was influenced by local writers and cultural leaders, by people who included zines in a larger community of artists, musicians, writers, publicists, record labels, and other innovators doing their thing independent of profit. Local journalist, Isamu Jordan, was publishing a weekly music column in the alternative publication, 7, and interviewing every musician in the community – I was very inspired by that and started interviewing musicians myself. Sadly, Isamu passed away suddenly last September and I can’t think of my earlier beginnings without remembering him.

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

Anyone regardless of gender who uses zines to protect and defend their political, economic and social rights is doing feminist zine-making, in the broadest definition of the term. I also believe that keeping a space open for zinesters – whether for a one-time event, open hours library or in collaboration with another arts venue – is inherently political. That’s what makes public spaces for feminist zine-making so difficult – and necessary.

Most of my zines are more implicitly feminist, though I can’t deny once publishing a zine titled sex + intellect aimed at sexism in academic circles. My latest zine, One Ear Bud Free, is a work zine inspired by other work zines like Dishwasher and Temp Slave. One Ear Bud Free is an exposé of all of the temp jobs and unpaid internships I worked and the music that got me through them. You may recognize a few jobs where being a woman or having a speech disability simply got in the way of my performance or chance at long-term employment.

I’m super inspired and excited for NYC Feminist Zine Fest, and I want to write more feminist zines! Lately this past season I’ve received a lot of criticisms for being a woman who watches football by both men and women alike, so I think a zine about football is in order. Go hawks!

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

A friend from ZAPP in Seattle makes these beautiful silkscreen zines and runs Blue Dot Prints. I also love Gina Siciliano’s zines that I picked up in Portland. She draws these beautiful, incredibly-detailed comics and her narratives are very moving and relatable. I’m attracted to more “art” zines, though I do have a soft spot in my heart for grainy offset zines found in old school punk zine archives.

Blue Dot Press’ work: http://www.bluedotprints.com/

Gina’s work: http://ginasiciliano.com/home.html

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

This is my favorite question of all because I had to think the hardest on it. I keep thinking of the broiler underneath conventional ovens. The broiler is the best way to make the yummiest open face grilled cheese sandwiches. You can make something gourmet with your best cheese, or you can use the broiler to simply make something good to eat at 500 degrees in less than 5 minutes.

Shameless zinester plug: Come read and make zines with me at ABC No Rio. The ABC No Rio zine library is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9pm. I’m in on Thursday’s!