Yep, this is I. The zine library has been doing interviews with their favourite zine authours, me one of them. The interview is on their blog and on their wall.
To see the blog go here
Unfortunately the blog version is a little bit censored, but not the one on their wall.
This is the uncensored version…
Matt: Huh!? Hi! What? Oh, it’s you Carmel. I’ve seen you around. I know you a little bit. Zine Library, Zinefest, something else… How’s life?
C: Oh, not bad. Been reading, doing stuff. How about yourself?
M: I’m superfine. No, I lie. I’m just a liar. Bad start. Can we reboot?
C: Well I’m afraid I’m a human. That’s not how I work. Please, can I have your assistance?
M: Depends. What is it you need? Me giving you a hand is on condition of a lot of variables. You know one time I gave a stranger a hand and ended up in a Turkish bath as payment for the help. Is this something you can do for me?
C: What? No! I’m the one asking the questions! Listen here, I like your zines and want to know a bit more about you and your work.
M: Oh really? Well I like moonlit beach walks, girls who wear black thick-rimmed glasses and-
C: Hey! Quit it! … I’m planning to share your insights with our customers on our zine website and on the display board in the Zine Collection area.
M: So this is what this is all about. Right, well start the interview at will.
C: Here we go: Describe an average day.
M: What’s average? I wake up anywhere between 6am and 2pm (and about once or twice a week I pull an all-nighter) and then the rest of the day could be potentially filled with any of the following: making art/clothes/experiments/mess, meeting up with friends/librarian/tutor, going out for a walk/bike/band practice/eat and then at the end of the day I like to write/make more art/get drunk & stoned with friends/roam the streets. Any combination of those is likely to happen on any day, and usually without being planned. You can see why nothing is average in this case.
C: Ha, right… How’d you first get into zines?
M: When I was a little kid my best mates and I made little ‘publications’ for our classmates on a regular basis. They were usually satirical with references to whatever was popular in the schoolyard at the time. Then three of us made our first ‘real’ zine at about eleven years old which lead me to become involved with a sort of poking-fun, anti-school student magazine in high school. After we published a Harry Potter spoiler in our headlines (Snape kills Dumbledore), though, things got dicey for us in the schoolyard. Then we released an article about our rugby team, outlining them as some sort of a bunch homosexual hentai characters and we really did need to watch our backs in the dark corridors and restrooms (for butt-rape). What brought it all crashing down was our untimely last issue; the MS Paint Comix issue. Nothing so simultaneously fantastic and terrible has ever been put into print, and you can take that to the bank! Then at art school I kinda just took on zines as an art form and… so… yeah. I make zines as a form of art.
C: That’s a real life story there! Well, the life story of your zines. Describe your work for me if you will…
M: I like making zines that have a high ratio of visuals to text. As I just said, I make zines as a form of art. I don’t just chuck photographs and sketches and whatnot into it like a common slut workbook. The zine isn’t an archive. I gotta think like: THE ZINE IS THE WORK OF ART. That’s why I believe when someone gets one of my zines they are holding an artwork, not a vessel for pictures of art. My zines are artworks in themselves. I’m all about re-evaluating the value of art, and the zine is one of the ways I explore this. The cheap photocopies are saying something…
C: That’s quite some insight you have there. So, what do you like about zines?
M: The intimacy, the DIY, the heart, they’re real. There’s nothing superficial about zines, like so much other reading material. They don’t have secret ulterior motives. They say what the author wants to say without any suppression. Money doesn’t drive zines, it can’t, passion does. Zines are there to speak out, cause a stink, let the facts be known, telling you to get real or to fuck off. Those who care make zines. I could go on, but there isn’t any need.
C: Sweet Jesus, good reasons. There must be something you don’t like about zines as a medium, right?
M: Oh fuck yeah. Slaving over a stinking hot copier that’s constantly belching out bouts of virulent Ozone gas right into your lungs gets tiresome after about 2 seconds. I know it’s stupid, but in the long run I couldn’t care less. The other thing that sucks is the folding and stapling. BORING! I like to print in colour, and even though I get it far cheaper than most, it still drives up my ‘breaking-even’ margin when I go to sell. People don’t like spending too much money on zines, even if they are in full colour.
C: Fair ‘nuff. How do you get inspiration for a zine?
M: I just live my life. Make art, have experiences, Do things, ya know? There’s no hierarchy of ideas here. If I like it I do it, right? I don’t make running themes or gags that need to be followed. Whatever gets in gets in.
C: Lets wrap it up now. Tell me about some of your favourite zines or authors if you’d like.
M: Sure. There’s this dude Karl Bakla. He knows what he’s saying, ay? He’s got his head screwed on right; he has a point of view. Political stuff, social stuff, personal stuff: if it’s concerning him then you’re gonna see it. Somehow, by some pure miracle of heathenism he manages to produce these amazing, raw, genuine illustrations that never cease to amaze me. This guy is the real deal. When he writes it’s eye catching and funny, but he always has a point. He don’t ramble about the pointless. He’s a philosopher or something like that. I can just imagine him back in the Greek times in a robe and addressing the people about the evils of society…
Then there’s Vanessa Berry. We’re pen pals of a sort and she writes these beautifully stupefying fictional and non-fictional stories, either way they’re based on her own experiences and I love them so much. Her zines are a window into her mind. When her brain needs some air she opens that window and writes a zine. Even her letters to me are written with the same indistinguishable finesse and I think I value them even more than her zines cause they’re for my eyes and mind only. Honestly, she is pretty amazing.
There are a couple of others, but these two authors are my favourites.
C: All right, well, thanks. I gotta go, see ya!
M: What? Hey! Don’t run away! … That was strange. Heh, at least she left this Dictaphone with me. I suppose I’ll mail this tape to the zine place, though. Hmmm, her phone number’s written the side of here...