Featured Zinester: mutedtalks

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mutedtalks, aka Tony Hoang, only began making zines in February of 2015, and tabled for his first time at Long Beach Zine Fest 2015. Since then he has jumped into the zine community full-force, tabling at less that seven zine fests in 2015. He handwrites and draws his zines, with some digital editing, and folds and saddlestitches them. His zines cover everything from literarture and poetry to politics and photography, with a good does of perzine thrown in. His current zines are about “Kimya Dawson, hearing every sound I’ve ever heard in my entire life all at once, and navigating loss.”

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When did you start making zines … and why?

I started making zines in February of 2015 because some really inspiring and wonderful people encouraged me to and believed I could share my work through zines. Also, after attending lots of zine fest, I recognized the overwhelming sense of community and sharing that stems from it, which is something I wanted to be a part of. I couldn’t have imagined that I would meet some of the most beautiful and lovely friends through zine making but I have and I’m forever grateful for the love and support that created it.

What was your first zine called? What was it about?

My first zine was called “Unmuffled Pleads” which was a collection of my work in different formats. On the first page, inside cover, I included Sol Lewitt’s letter to Eva Hesse which really helped me see art-making in a different way. It goes like this;

“Dear Eva,

It will be almost a month since you wrote to me and you have possibly forgotten your state of mind (I doubt it though). You seem the same as always, and being you, hate every minute of it. Don’t! Learn to say “Fuck You” to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itchin, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO!”

How do you create your zine content?

I find a subject that I feel passionate about or that feels honest and I go from there. Lately I’ve noticed I make zines to cope, and I use them as a form of therapy and healing. I try to talk about subjects that might be difficult so I may be able to share those experiences with others that might be going through similar situations. I hope that through my zines, others can be inspired, and the zines can help in anyway towards positivity.

In addition to zines, what are you passionate about?

I’ve been bookmaking for about seven years now and just last year I started making them to sell. So I spend lots of time cutting, folding, ripping, sewing and gluing. I’ve learned that this of bookmaking has become a form of meditation and de-stressing.

I’m also passionate about being a good dog dad. Toph (my dog) and I relax together in sunny spots, take two walks a day, go on outdoor adventures when we can, freak out about house flies, and spend quality time together ALL THE TIME.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making zines?

Make stuff that you care about, but really there are no rules in art-making/ zine making, just don’t be a jerk!

Why are you tabling at Long Beach Zine Fest?

Because ya’ll accepted me, duh! Last year I tabled at Long Beach Zine Fest and it was my first time tabling my work in this way. It was a life changing day for lots of reasons, and looking back, I smile about that day and feel grateful that I had the chance to share it. I’m so excited to be back and to hang out with all the cool long beach folks that come thru.

Connect with mutedtalks

Featured Zinester: Applesauce Industries

applesauce industries

Joe Goblyn, Desilu Muñoz, Sifry Borrayo and Paul Carrillo grew up in different parts of Southern California … Whittier, the Norwalk area. Lynwood and West Covina, to be specific.They came together as Applesauce Industries “just to make cool stuff regardless of what it is”. As such, they have a wide range of work, including photo zines, illustration zines, screenprinted, hand-drawn and graphic-driven zines. They don’t focus on one specific angle or topic, but “just want to be creative and put cool things out into the world.” And for the last three years, they’ve put that cool stuff out on both coasts, including three years at the LA Art Book Fair, two year at the NY Art Book Fair, and, of course, the inaugural Long Beach Zine Fest.

 

 

When did you start making zines … and why?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Not really, it’s been years. As a group it was close to three years ago, but some of us were making stuff for years before that. There’s some background in the punk/DIY scene present and that whole ideology really pushes you to make zines. Everyone’s voice is important, you know?

How do you create your zine content?

Basically, since we all do art and photo stuff regularly, it’s not so much of a thing s creating content for a zine as it is collecting it or creating theme to gather stuff to fit into.

Why do you make zines?

We make what we make because doing all the creative stuff that you can is important. It’s cool to see people’s reactions when they like what you made, or to inspire someone to make something of their own. When you explain to someone at the table that we made all the stuff that they are looking at, it’s like they get it in their head that creating something of their own isn’t that far out of reach. Also, having a physical item that you made and put out there is really rewarding. Like, 10 years from now someone might come across this thing that you made and see what you were doing creatively at that moment in time.

In addition to zines, what are you passionate about?

We have a varied group and that makes for some varied interests: art, photography, museums, bars, anime, comics, junk, thrifting, old cars, film, music, baseball, basketball, shoes, jewelry, hoarding, podcasts, the list really goes on and on…

What is your biggest challenge in making zines?

Making new stuff semi-regularly. The more zinefests/pop-ups/book fairs/events that there are the more that you feel you have to have something new for each event. You start to feel like the stuff you have is “old” and then you realize that you only put it out three months ago and have to kind of see that you aren’t a machine. But the pressure is definitely there to make new stuff almost constantly.

What do you like about your local zine community?

The local community is great. There’s a lot of people that we’ve met through all this that we wouldn’t have otherwise and that’s awesome. Especially meeting folks that have a passion for different forms of art and being creative. The clusters of talent that exist so close to us are amazing. You know what else is great about the local zine community? The fact that there’s a LONG BEACH ZINEFEST. How about the fact that you guys are making this thing happen again? That we have a group of people that aren’t just creative, but driven. Thank you for making this a thing we have to look forward to.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making zines?

You have the internet and it basically gives you access to the sum total of human knowledge. You can punch in “How to make a zine” and get a lot of good info. Other than that, just know it takes time and a bit of trial and error, but it’s worth it when you have that first issue in your hand. Also, don’t ask people where they get their stuff printed. They probably took a lot of time to find a place and develop a relationship with the folks that run it. That’s part of what you should be looking for.

Why are you tabling at Long Beach Zine Fest?

Because it was amazing last year and will be so again this year. And because all of our friends will be there. And because it’s awesome.

Connect with Applesauce Industries

Featured Zinester: the kid and i

the kid and i

LBZF 2015 was the first time mother-daughter team kristen and frankie, aka the kid and i, had tabled at a zine fest, but it definitely wasn’t their last. They tabled at IE Zine Fest in October 2015, and again this past March for LAZF 2016. Of course, prepping for a zine fest is a cake walk compared to hand drawing/writing, digitally editing, photocopying, folding, stapling *and* mailing out a zine every single month, as they have been doing since Vol 1. of “the kid and i”. They are now on Vol. 2, issue 7, and have no plans to stop.

Why do you make zines?

we make our zine because we believe self expression is so important. how you think and feel is valid, whether its frankie at 12 or me at 36. that whole, “paper is patient”…we can write about whatever we want. social issues, cultural issues, current events, feminism, growing up, solidarity, and just what goes on in our lives. its current and its real. its basically a documentation of our lives, and we think its pretty special.

What is your biggest challenge in making zines?

our biggest challenge is that we put out an issue every.single.month. frankie has school and homework and sometimes she’s at her dad’s. i work for a living, and there’s just everyday, life stuff. but we manage to get it all together. sometimes its sent out early in the month, sometimes, its mid month, but we do it. and people love getting mail. frankie also makes the envelopes each month.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making zines?

do it. and do it however you want. there are no rules. everyone has their own style, their own content, their own ideas. the one you make is yours.

What else do you want people know about you or your zines?

we want people to know that just because our zine is “the kid and i”, just because we’re a mother-daughter collaboration, we write about real stuff. its not all “cutesy” or something. its sometimes ugly or uncomfortable. but its real and that’s what matters to us. it’s about frankie growing up, and we all know how hard that is, especially for a 12 year-old girl. it’s an opportunity for her to express herself, and her experiences. it also gives me a chance to share my stories as a mom. a mother trying to raise a loving, strong, open-minded, aware, giving person.

Connect with the kid and i

Featured Zinester: Party Witch Press

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Bethy Squires, Colin Jenkins are Party Witch Press, a zine press from Indiana with zines about “witchcraft, ancient history, art, horror, and inane things celebrities say.” They have a zine called “Negative Yelp Reviews of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World”, a zine called “The Poetry of Kanye West”, and an zine-version of an audio-book. Now, that’s a party.

What was your first zine called? What was it about?

My [Squires’] first zine was called Final Girl (we still carry it, btw). It’s a feminist horror anthology zine. I made it with my friend Sarah. We each contributed horror fiction and criticism through a feminist lens.

How do you create your zine content?

Bethy: My zines are made collage-style, xeroxing and gluing and cutting and gluing and xeroxing. I also have an audibook-zine, made by talking into a ZOOM and then editing it together in Audacity.

Colin: My Canidae, is a collection of line art made in MS Paint.

In addition to zines, what are you passionate about?

Comedy, television, theatre, social justice, good satire, noodle dishes from around the world.

What is your favorite part of making zines?

I [Squires] love cutting out little pieces of text and gluing them in roughly parallel to each other. To paraphrase Margaret Kilgallen, the line will never be perfect, and that’s where the art lies.

Connect with Party Witch Press

Featured Zinester: BAECON BITS

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a self portrait

Baecon Bits is published by illustrator Ellen Bae. Her zines center around “collaborative projects, memories & experiences, random funny things, favorite people & things, and personal artwork.” She hand-draws and writes her content, along with some digital manipulation, and she not only photocopies, but also risographs her zines! Her binding varies from zine to zine … some are stapled, some are hand-stitched and others are saddlestitched.

 

What was your first zine called? What was it about?

It was a risograph-printed, 8-page book made from one sheet of paper. My comic was about how I got my cat, Dorian Grey.

Why do you make zines?

The first time I really felt the impact of a zine was when I read my friend’s zine of her poems. There was a particularly moving piece about her father who had recently passed away at the time. There was a huge difference seeing her words in her own self published zine, rather than just on a scrap of paper. It was powerful and haunting.

What I make doesn’t necessarily have that sort of impact, but I’m fine with that. There is a sense of freedom and self empowerment to make something printed that you can flip through. You made it, every word and image in there is yours.

What do you like about your local zine community?

The people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made. The genuinely open and supportive atmosphere. The diversity, everyone is different and it’s celebrated.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making zines?

Don’t think about what a zine is “supposed to be like”. Just make what you want to make. Have fun with it!

 

Connect with Baecon Bits

Featured Zinester: Nikki Alfonzo

Nikki Alfonso

California: Nikki Alonzo

LBZF16 is photographer Nikki Alonzo’s second Long Beach Zine Fest. Her zines run the gamut of topics– though her passion for “puppies and butts” is apparent throughout. Alonzo works in Photoshop to alter her images, then photocopies and staples them together, or as she says “I just stitch my work together and cross my damn fingers.”

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  • Nikki Alfonso
  • Nikki Alfonso
  • Nikki Alfonso

What are your current zines about?

My current zines are about what I’m shooting at the time. It’s super mixed up from puppies to butts to just whatever I’m fixated on. I like to make collages in my zines too. I want to make a zine on one certain theme but it’s been hard for me… Maybe one day! Oh and I have one little zine on my journal entries. Just scanned pages from my journals. It’s called “Fucking FEELINGS” A lot more fun then Nikki Alfonzo Volume #1 etc.. etc…

Why do you make zines?

I make zines because they make me feel like I’m putting my creative flow out into the world. Even though I have a website it just isn’t the same. I like seeing something in my hand. Once it’s printed it really feels like a finished product. And I just love the whole zine community. It’s just awesome to see all these people putting out what they like/love. Sharing their stories, art work, informing us on things I might have never known about.

What is your favorite part of making zines?

My favorite part is finally getting my work printed and seeing how it looks outside of Photoshop.

What is your biggest challenge in making zines?

Stapling my pages. Some people have such nice hand stitched zines … I gotta work on my book making skills.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making zines?

JUST DO IT!!!!!

Featured Zinester: Scumburbia

Sam-Grinberg_PortraitScumburbia is Sam Grinberg, an illustrator, animator and filmmaker, originally from New York/New Jersey, and now living in LA. Grinberg has tabled at ZineMelt, LAZF, OC Zine Fest, and SF Zine Fest with his handwritten, drawn, and saddlestitched comic zines, including Scumburbia, about two punk kids living in suburbia and As You Were, a punk comics anthology featuring many different artists telling unique stories.

When did you start making zines … and why?

I originally started making folded/stapled paper comics since I was around 10 years old (way before I knew what a “zine” was)..It was the only outlet for me to tell stories that I wanted to to tell. I made my first “zine” around 3 years ago that was a hybrid of stories and comics.

What was your first zine called? What was it about?

It was called “A Loveless Life” and was small mini-comic/zine that featured 4 one page stories about love, sex, & death.

How do you create your zine content?

After I get an idea, I thumbnail out the entire concept/story and then begin to pencil it all out on paper. If there’s a lot of text I’ll write that, but most likely go into Photoshop to clean up the hand written text (I usually never use fonts).

In addition to zines, what are you passionate about?

I’ll always be passionate about comics and animation; my zines will always be affiliated or related to a film or comic I’m working on.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making zines?

You’ll probably hate the first zine you make, but make it anyway, because each one you make will get better and better.

 

Connect with Sam Grinberg