Husband and wife, Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson have been making zines for over 20 years. There book on the subject, Whatcha' Mean, What's A Zine?, was published by Graphia (Houghton Mifflin) Books and has become a go to for zinemakers, students and teachers. Esther's comic, UNLOVABLE has been published in BUST Magazine for over 14 years and was collected into a 3 volume set published by Fantagraphics. Cartoon Network has also made an animated pilot. Together, they make books, exhibit in galleries and teach publishing at Art Center College of Design.
Mark started making zines in 1995 as a way to promote his illustration career. His first zine was called JOHN, based on a kid he grew up with in Vegas. It was inspired by seeing a zine by Ron Rege, jr. called Andy Remembers. Esther created her first zine when she discovered a diary in a gas station bathroom while on a road trip. This went on to become her biggest selling zine, UNLOVABLE.
We really enjoy all parts of the zine making process. Mark especially enjoys the final stages, the collating and getting close to the what the final will look like. Esther's is an amazing storyteller and really puts a lot of time and energy into the beginning, the research and idea making.
You just have to dive in. The idea does not need to be all figured out or perfect. It's best to just start and see where it takes you. No pressure. Have fun. Enjoy the process. Some of our best zines have come from experimenting and they have led us to places we never planned.