The People of the Sun focuses a lot on publications created by PoC (people of color), and though there isn’t a whole lot in our collection to date (PoS started only a few months ago), there is a lot of content in each title we carry. The zinemakers who’ve contributed to our cause are nothing short of amazing, and do well to make their voices heard, which is to be expected when – I’m sure – a great deal of them have had to deal with being ignored a whole lot, which always sort of angers me a bit considering how much many of us have to offer. Speaking only for my zine series, which is one of the few “traditional” perzines in the PoS library (though I’d say a lot of the political one’s are very personal in nature), the style is basically one which always focuses on the writing, since that’s where my heart lies, while using photography to re-create the sort of flashbacks I have while the writing tries to make sense of whatever is going on through my mind at the moment.
Where do you work on your zines?
I work on my zines almost exclusively on my laptop, since my living conditions don’t grant me much in terms of creative space, though before I actually stitch everything together both the writing and photography take place at random; for the photography, it’s almost always spontaneous and accidental, whereas for the writing it mostly takes place in situations where I’m supposed to be doing something else, like paying attention to a teacher.
What are your three favorite small-press/DIY publications?
Besides the ones in the PoS collection, there’s really only one title that sticks out in my mind, which is “Malcriada,” by Suzy X.
What advice would you give to a first-time zinester or to an aspiring zinemaker?
Never try to mimic someone else’s style or model your own writing/zine after someone else’s, just make it however feels right to you, and if anyone tells you it’s not good – don’t listen to them. Also, try not to get too excited about the process and start showing off when you’re only a few pages in and ask for reviews, if people don’t understand it or you get some negative feedback, it may just end up killing your whole drive to create rather than pressing you forward.
What’s the best thing that ever happened to you because of zines?
It seemed like every time I wanted to completely give up on writing, I’d randomly get an email from someone talking about how great my writing was, and how they’re surprised I’m not a real hot-shot yet. I always find that pretty funny, being that I honestly go through a lot of moments where I think what I’m creating is utter crap, and yet there are these people who think I’m the best and keep asking me to publish a book or something because the small amount of writing they’ve seen is a real tease. There’s also those people who find my writing through these zines, tell me I really cheered ‘em up, and though I know that can’t always last forever, I’m still glad I was somehow able to pick-up someone’s chin – if only for a night.
Check out People of the Sun – PoC Zine Distro over here!