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.”
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;
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.