Category Archives: 2014

Interview with a Zinester: Brandi

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do
I am Brandi! I am from Brooklyn, NY but am currently living in Western Massachusetts with my husband and two cats for a PhD program in Sociology. I create two zines; Fat Grrrlz! and …Like Weeds. Both are personal zines, though Fat Grrrlz! focuses on fat embodiment and …Like Weeds is more of a mental health issue/survival zine. I have two issues out of Fat Grrrlz! and one of …Like Weeds and am currently working on the next issues of both. I am hoping to start working on a zine about being working-class and in grad school, too! As for academic research, I am interested in – broadly, the fat acceptance movement, zine culture, gender, work, working-class identities, ethnography, feminist theory, and queer theory. I am also currently the NYC Ladies Arm Wrestling champ and a retired janitor of ten years.

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?
I was first introduced to zines at punk shows when I was younger – maybe junior high? Eighth grade? Most of them were produced by guys and were strictly fanzines focused on punk and hardcore music. When I was in high-school I got into more personal zines, but I’m not sure exactly where that first point of contact came. I’m thinking through some Riot Grrrl connections I made during that time.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
For me, doing feminist zine-making involves giving myself and others a space to allow our voices to be heard. Typically, our voices might not be heard – at least not in such an accessible and autonomous way. It is also about feminist community building via these exchanges of personal and political narratives. I think Fat Grrrlz! reads more feminist explicitly; I talk about body positivity, sex, and that intersection of women and fat bodies, amongst other things. …Like Weeds might read more feminist implicitly; though with this idea of self-care really hitting the internet and social-media networks recently, it might end up being explicitly over time.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
I really love personal zines especially when talking about social class issues, body positivity, and queer stuff. I am also really into diy gardening zines and graffiti zines. Three favorites: Neckmonster, Figure 8, and FaT GiRl.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
The lemon squeezer; I start whole and vibrant and then I squeeze all of the juice out – spilling all of my guts almost- and there is a period where I might wonder “did I go too far?” but then I realize I am whole and vibrant again, with a glass of fresh lemon juice. This sums up much of my creation process, and how I feel after reading some zines! They can transform you into new vibrant beings either after reading or creating.

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Interview with a Zinester: Stevie Wilson

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do
I’m Stevie Wilson, serial zinest, maker of things, crafty costuming painted up lady. I do a variety of different comics but I’ve been putting out a couple zines a year made up of Auto-bio essay comics. I’ve been putting comics on the web since the early webcomic days. I’ve been told I’m more honest and open as my comic self then perhaps I can be in person.

My ongoing collection “You’re doing it wrong

stevieHow did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?
My dad had a collection of sci-fi zines from the 70’s and I grew up surrounded by my parents underground comic friends. Shary flenniken being one of them, I guess she inspired me to start writing notes about conversations I had or things I overheard to draw on for writing inspiration. I started keeping journal comics in high school and over the last couple of years they transformed into my personal platform for social equality. Like mini essays with pictures and a lot of sarcasm. I’ve probably been making zines for about 10 years at this point.

How did you come to collect zines? Why are they important to your collection?
I went to school for comics, so my zine collection started out as stuff my classmates and friends made. A lot of them were trades or bought to support artists who were near and dear to my heart.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
Well most of my current zine series is about different aspects of feminism and gender issues by reacting to stuff in media, I try to break down issues into points and use personal experiences to make light of what society is doing wrong. I feel like giving a voice to under represented or marginalized issues is a way to give people something to relate to, especially issues that are day to day sexism that people often shrug off and are told to “get over it”.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
Its some where between my friend Miriam Gibson’s group pokemon zine, which comes in an amazing pokemon envelope. Its so clever it makes me angry, or Megan Brennan’s “Comics the cat” which is a hysterical mini mini about the comics industry being gross but as represented by an adorable cat.

I like zines that make me smile, I guess at heart I like a well crafted joke and some good writing.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
My nearly 40 years old Kitchen-aid mixer, it’s stylishly retro and a work horse beast. (I’m pretty mean with a stapler)

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Interview with a Zinester: Katherine Arnoldi

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do
I was a teenage mom. Another mom, Jackie Ward, helped me to go to college. I wanted to do for others what Jackie had done for me.  I began in the 1980’s to make a graphic novel of my own struggle to go to college and copied it myself and handed it out at GED programs where I go as a volunteer to talk about college. I called it The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom (like the first issue of The Amazing True Story of Spiderman and other Marvel and DC comics). I ran a “College Mom Program” out of Charas Community Center on the Lower East Side (also as a volunteer) during the 1990’s. Finally, in 1998, The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom was published by Hyperion.

arnoldi

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?
I thought I was making up a new form. Later I learned about Joyce Farmer’s and Trina Robbins’ comics and zines from the 70’s out of California and about China Marten’s radical zines out of Baltimore.

How did you come to collect zines? Why are they important to your collection?
I would love to see a museum that would catalog and save some of the early work by women, many of whom did not have access to traditional publishing so made zines out of necessity.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
I am adamantly pro-choice. However, over 400,000 young teenage women give birth in the United States every year. I am concerned that a large group of our young women are often coerced to leave high school and have to struggle for an equal right to education.

When my book came out I was able to speak out about how teenage mothers are denied equal access to education and how they struggle for equal rights to education.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
I love the autobiographical work. In some ways, works by China Martens’ (Future Generation) and Ayun Halliday (East Village Inky) were like Facebook before Facebook. Often the zines chronicled the zinesters’ daily lives, which makes for fabulously interesting reading and makes loyal readers wait with anticipation for the next issue.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
Is a Blender on Grind too humorless?

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Interview with a Zinester: Slim Lopez

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do:
I currently live in Brooklyn. I’m a freelance Illustrator and Designer. As well as a baker

slimHow did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?
My first introduction to zines was through politics-I got my first zines at a political event. I got more and more into zines in art school.

(For zine archives) How did you come to collect zines? Why are they important to your collection?
I started going to zine fairs, and looking for stores that carry them. I pick zines based on content that speaks to me, or if there is something unique that really calls out to me. One time I bought a zine about pickles where the cover was painted with glow in the dark paint.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
I think that making zines is inherently feminist. It gives people an outlet to work through things and join a community of people that have the same interests. Feminism shows up in my work both implicitly and explicitly. It tends to come up even if it’s not explicit because it’s something that I’m always thinking about.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
My favorite zine at the moment is Feel Better: A Zine About Self Love by Marlee Grace. It’s a great zine that reminds you of small, simple things that instantly make you feel good.
My favorite zines tend to be the ones with a hand made touch.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
A coffee grinder. I really like freshly ground coffee, but I don’t buy whole coffee beans as often as I would like to.

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Interview with the FZF’14 DJ Troy Frost: Kyara Andrade!

Bet you didn’t know we were going to have a live DJ at the Feminist Zine Fest this year! Kyara Andrade, a.k.a. DJ Troy Frost is an amazing artist and currently works at the Barnard Zine Library with one of our organizers, Jenna Freedman. Check out what she has to say in this special interview:

KyaraPhoto

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

My name is DJ Troy Frost. I identify as a prata*, DJ, oil painter, Hip Hop enthusiast, and a feminist supastar. When creating and engaging with art, my intention is to heal.

2. How did you come to make music and art? Do you have the same process for every type of media?

My mother and I would go to an art class offered at my high school every Wednesday and in that space I engaged with visual art in a comfortable, accessible way. Painting has been a way for me to process my feelings and experiences, while expressing things I don’t want to put words to. I was raised on hip hop music. I talk about it, critique it, and listen to it all the time. DJing is allowing me to contribute to the culture in a way that’s new, challenging, and fun for me! A part of my artistic process that is consistent is approaching each medium with humility, commitment and a willingness to connect with the people and the things around me.

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

Doing what you love in the face of doubt, systems of oppression that actively work against you and your people, and just your everyday haters is feminist as fuck because you are writing your own narrative and sending the message to those around you that they can too.

As a black woman living below the poverty line, being financially secure is important to me. Sometime I doubt that I can fulfill that need and be an artist. Creating anyway, believing in myself anyway, fueling what I love anyway is a way that feminism appears in my life, having family and friends that love, encourage, and invest in me is a way that feminism appears in my life, and knowing that my and my peoples’ identities and unrefined narratives (pleasant or traumatic) deserve to be at the center rather than the margins is a way that feminism appears in my work. I hope that living my life this way will encourage those around me to invest in what they love, be apart of supportive communities, and explore the depth of their identity.

4. What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Did you have a seminal “zine moment”?

As of now my favorite zine is “Shotgun Seamstress” by Osa Atoe. The content is empowering and meaningful. I know very little about punk rock music/culture and SS has been an awesome starting point for me. Aesthetically, it’s AMAZING; I love the cut-and-paste element, the layouts, and the images. SS is the inspiration for a zine I’m currently working on that will explore the intersection of Hip Hop, Identity and Feminism (be on the look out <3). SS has made me think more critically about capitalism, consumerism, and blackness without leaving me lost in theory or ideas far-removed from my lived experience.

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

Uh, wow this is hard. I would sum up my creative life in a pilon, which is a little bowl with a stick used to crush herbs, seasonings and other tasty ingredient that add the flavor, texture, excitement to my grandma’s dishes in the way that I add the flavor, excitement and style to the art forms that I explore and engage with. Hopefully that wasn’t too corny. 🙂

Ps: I am ecstatic about DJing for all the dope people that will be present on Saturday. See ya there!
* Prata means black girl in Cape Verdean Creole

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How to Make a Micro-Mini Zine (Video!)

A while back, I was sitting in the Barnard Zine Library folding and unfolding a really tiny zine… I couldn’t figure out how it was put together! Despite some intense Googling, no one had made a tutorial on how to make such a tiny 16-page zine. So – after what felt like hours of staring at 1 sheet of paper – I decided to make my own. Check out this blast-from-the-past video tutorial on how to make a micro-mini zine.

Hope to see some of you employing this technique at FZF this year!

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* Check out our rad new logo *

Designed by zinefest organizer Jordan Alam, here is our fancy new logo for 2014!

fzf2014logo1

Yay!

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