Damian Le

The main focus of my personal work is food zines. My World Donut Journal series acts as a comedic guide to different types of Asian donuts and Orange County donuts. My aim with this series is to highlight the cultural/economic importance of donuts, specifically to Asians, and Southern California Asian American communities in particular. I also make food/relationship comics and illustration zines.

City:Westminster
  • Cultural
  • Illustration
  • Comics
  • Other (please describe)

Logo/Graphic
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What are your current zines about?

The focus of my zines is split between two topics: food/culture and illustration and comics. My World Donut Journal Zines examine different types of donuts, specifically as they pertain to Asians, Asian-Americans, and Orange County in particular. I AM NEVER SHARING MY FOOD WITH YOU AGAIN is a comic zine about never sharing your food again and relationships. I am also working on a guide to Honolulu's sweets. My illustration work is primarily ink focused and explores the intersection of flora and humanity, dreamscapes, disassociation and most recently, fashion. My comics are about melancholy people or kids fighting.

What methods do you use to make your zine?

  • Handwritten/drawn
  • Digital

What type of binding do you use for your zine(s)?

  • Stapled

When did you start making zines ... and why?

A few years ago in my mid-20's. I made zines to deal with the uncertainty of being a person in his mid-20's. I thought it'd be a good way to channel some creative energy, make something tactile, and meet other content creators.

How do you create your zine content?

It usually starts with research/eating a lot. Eating lots of donuts contributes to the donut zine and the ensuing self-loathing is channeled into the illustration work and sad comics.

Why do you think independent publishing is important?

It's a great way for people to take control of their own content and present it in a form that's true to them. Independent publishing and zine making is a process that is not only mentally and emotionally stimulating, but is uniquely tactile.

What does the future of zines and independent publishing look like to you?

I see public libraries playing an important role in the future of zines. They will essentially be storing units of memetic cultural information unique to the region. And more importantly, they'll be housing content that can't really be found elsewhere.

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

My first zine was called POP TWIN PM S/S 2015. It's a collection of drawings, sketches, and comics that were personal to me collected over the course of the previous year. It was also my primary trade zine. I continue to release a version every year for the sake of trading and it's the only zine I still personally cut and bind.

What is your favorite part of making zines?

The experience of completing a zine. The physicality of holding an object you created that is uniquely you and being able to put that into someone else's hands.