I guess I am probably preaching to the choir on this one, but what happened to trading? Recently I have been met with a lot of people that dont want to trade their zines, and I can respect that I suppose. I am just confused...isnt that sort of what zines are all about? Is there some hidden wealth of money to be made in this and I just haven't been informed yet? As far as I have ever tried, even breaking even in the world of zines and comix is just an uphill battle. I have have seen my comix collect dust whenever I put them on consignment or up on my mailorder site, and I keep thinking someday somebody will find them and at least I will be able to make up for the price of the printing. Eventually I gave up all that sort of horseshit and just realized the reason I got into minicomix and zines in the first place was because of the nature of the community.
When I read comics, even indie comics there is a distinct line between creators and consumers that is very rarely crossed. That line just doesn't exist in the world of small press - I can send my comics to almost anybody in the community and get a great package back. And that is the most exciting part about it for me, waiting and watching the mail box and seeing what will come next.
So why the cold shoulder on the trades recently? Aren't zines about the scene and the community? Is there ANYBODY who is getting rich of zines, or even making enough to buy a pizza once in a while? I dunno but for me and mine, its all about the trades and always will be. Trading is what keeps my sharp and keeps me motivated to strive to make a better product. Nothing is more embarrassing than sending out a package that is sorta shit only to get a great package back in the mail. So I try to make the best product I can to get a good fair exchange. Its like somehow the zine community has gotten back to our human roots and abandoned the world of plastic credit cards and electronic funds and has gone back to good honest to goodness bartering. I make a good product by the sweat of my brow (and a few pencil shavings) and then trade my product not for money which I would blow on comics anyway, but for their own product, produced in the same way. Its so great - no wonder cavemen were so happy. Bartering and sex with dinosaurs!!
I know for some people its just not economical, and I don't want to come down on those folks, but if there is anything that makes a purely theoretical community like that of the zine world breathe real human breath and bleed human blood, its trading. Otherwise it is just another catchy business model, or a cold networking system. Lets go trade some fucking zines and comics y'all.
My address is always open for trades. Send something and I promise to send something back, no matter what. If nothing comes I must be dead:
1-42 Namiuchi-cho, Kita-ku
Nagoya, Aichi 462-0041