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.

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