We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

the first time i got the idea to do a zine was in vermont.i went up there with forrest "fire" macgwire,in 1980.klaus was a friend of his who lived in an old sugar house out in the mountains.he was into hardcore punk,like fear and shit.also though he really dug mail art.mail art was like some wierd art cult.everybody into it did like collage and wierd 3-d postcards,really pushing the envelope(get it?)when it came to what went through the mail-3 foot postcards with toy soldiers glued to them,for instance,or various other forms of dadaist expressionism.heavily art school type shit was traded through the mail.klaus was older too(33),which amazed me then,because i was convinced all old people sucked except for my grandmother.but meeting klaus made me realize old people could be cool,and do art.vermont is way the fuck out there.its miles away from anything real.its a wierd state too-they hate tourists there,but they live off them at the same time.plus the residents themselves are all stuck up and mean,and bob dylans daughter goes to prep school there.i got a job on an apple orchard up there.at apple season they needed a ton of people to come help harvest every year-"fruit tramps",migrant farm labor.they had bunkhouses there they'd provide to live in,with a hired cook for everybody.it attracted alot of counter culture types-hippies paying off thier student loan,weed grower's,"the florida blacks",and section two jamaicans.most white people cant pick,they'll tell you.the bunk houses are segregated by race,due to cultural differences,usually into the hippy house,the black house and the jamaica house.otherwise there would be knife fights.the florida guys were mostly illiterate orange pickers,and they gambled and drank alot-like 40 ouncers at 6 am.there was alot of cross visits,as the harvest season for dope is also in the fall,so on the weekends we could moonlight at my friends cabin manicuring and gaurding with a mini-14.being out of the city like that,i really had alot of time to draw and get my act together.i was squatting then and all my friends in the city were doing dope,which i wasnt into that much.so vermont was a welcome break from all that shit.when the harvest was over,wewent back to the city with all our bread and weed and just got ripped for like two weeks.but i'll never forget klaus,he's the one who turned me on to zines really.a couple years later,after trading shit through the mail he turned me on to factsheet five with mike gunderloy,i think,and i got reviewed,which to a young dick like me was a major accomplishment.i put alot of time into doing zines,instead of doing crimes,since i was on probation anyways.i went to vermont to avoid jail,really.i was headed nowhere in ny,and getting out into the sticks for 2 months taught me alot.pouring through klauses wierd zine/art collection inspired me more than trying to get into art school and getting laid in the city.mail art-it sounds quaint,now,but back then it was pretty cool.

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Comment by Nick Kessler on April 29, 2011 at 11:29am
Cool post.  It's ironic, the counterculture that comes from the little state of Vermont--after all, jam band Phish was from there...and they weren't all that great.  They definitely weren't punk, either.  Now I want to find out all I can about this state... 
Comment by Krissy Ponyboy Press on April 27, 2011 at 10:34am

Cool story of how zines can change someone's path. It's neat to imagine a kid so affected by mail art, and it is still cool, I thnk. Even more so, now that there are so many other mediums, I think. I wish I had known about zines back then, I would have glommed on to it so fast. But, it never occurred to me to make my own little book and I never saw any until the Nineties, well except some punk fanzines in records stores, but I never thought of them as something other than belonging to punk.  

p.s. Break up your paragraphs.


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