I’ve always loved comics. Always. They’re woven into me. To that end, I’ve studied everything surrounding them. It’s hard to say how, off the bat, a textbook about supply chain management relates to funnybooks, but that’s only examining one piece of the puzzle, one picture out of context. Within the framework of the industry it’s obvious where it’s relevance lies. Such is comics. They only make sense when read altogether.
Zines are part of that tapestry. Cheap, disposable, easy-to-make/lifetime-to-master black and white xeroxed ramblings. Those sweaty saddle-stitched bundles of paper can be the seed of a career in comics.
I got my start in comics not through art school, but through making zines by way of minicomics. Editors responded to my sequential work there, rather than my college illustration portfolio. Art school honed my eyes and ability, but making zines was my true education in comics.
Zines are fun. They’re cheap. They’re an instant soapbox for you to talk about, or do, whatever you’re passionate about. I’ve never encountered a zine troll, though that may be due to the times that I was actually making minis. They force you to get outside and interact with people (because really, how else are you going to make your costs back?) Basically, they’re failure-proof. They’re the best gamble. You can’t really mess it up, because by making one, you’ve already won.
Zines basically took me from secluded, talented hobbyist to working comics guy in a few short weeks. They forced me to get out of my head and commit to paper whatever it was that I was daydreaming about. They made me get outside and make friends. I received pleasant feedback. I got some fans of my work. I connected with others.
Creator Resource has given me an incredible opportunity, one that I’ve quietly been praying for: a chance to ask my friends about what they do. It’s a rare privilege that they’ve given me, and I thank them not only for their time, but also for their insights.
To my friends that answered the interviews, I just want to say thanks again, and apologize for how long they were. Lacking experience in journalism, I honestly had no idea what was customary. I really did not know what I was doing here, and everyone was very accommodating to me with that.
Zines have helped play a fundamental role in much of their lives, as they did in mine. They gave us all a community to be a part of, a creative outlet, and a way to experiment with writing in a relatively safe way. I hope you enjoy these interviews, as I had a blast in making them.
- Zine Interview with Annie Koyama - August 27, 2018
- Zine Talk with Bryan Lee O’Malley - August 20, 2018
- Zine Interview: Lindsay Gibb - August 13, 2018