A long time ago, in a suburb far far away, I worked my butt off fighting on the side of good with the Kansas City Free Speech Coalition. With their help, I co-founded the Midwest Underground Media Symposium (MUMS) which was an annual event for and by ziners to meet, market, and share all things zine. Some of our first guest presenters included R Seth Friedman of Factsheet Five, Ian McKaye of Dischord Records and Fugazi, Jello Biafra, V Vale of ReSearch/VSearch, Jeremy McConnell of Flavorpak, Henry Rollins of Black Flag, and MANY more.
In my zine Cynical Soul I shared my adventures and published the crap out of everything I could get my hands on. Here, I will begin to unpack and chronicle those adventures (1996 thru 2001) for posterity and hopefully entertainment!
One of the upshoots of invigorating the community was I got a gig teaching Text As Art (or the art of Zining Without a Net) at the Kansas City Art Institute. Though the class meat has evolved to include other components (journaling, mixed media & collage, visual elements) it remains a true proponent of zine culture and DIY for the young artists who sign up.
Additionally, I evolved. I got back in touch with my inner artist (largely as a result of what was awakened producing my zine) and the fight against censorship and for freedom of speech became Freedom of Stitch (freedom of stitch.com)
, where art and craft meet stitch, which is my crusade for mixed media embroidery -- all media should mix freely with stitch and be 3D about it, dammit!!