Get to Know Your Zinester: Joshua James Amberson of Antiquated Future

Describe your work in two sentences or less.

Allowing for endless possibilities. Asking a lot of questions, not claiming to have any answers.

Where are your favorite places (in your neighborhood or online) to find new zines?

I have a constant flow of zines and a constant waiting-to-be-read stack. Which my teenager-self would have thought of as the best of all possible futures. Between co-running the Antiquated Future distro, helping organize the Portland Zine Symposium, going to meetings at the excellent Portland Buttons Works shop, and helping with events at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, the zine supply is endless.

What are you working on for the Fest this year?

I’ll be releasing the revised and updated second edition of The Prince Zine. The zine came out a couple/few years ago and is a history and analysis of the-artist-currently-known-as-Prince. It doesn’t really make sense to do a second issue, so I took a cue from Ariel Birks of Jesus Christ Superzine and focused on a second edition instead. It will have a lot of new material, more drawings from Rachel Lee-Carman, and more stuff specifically for people who are totally unfamiliar with Prince. For how epic the first one was, it was actually a bit more rushed than I would have liked. I’ve been putting it off because it involves getting so focused on Prince that it’s hard to get other stuff done. The zine is supposed to in part be a meditation on fame culture, but to get there I have to totally embrace it for a while. Which isn’t especially healthy.

How did you get involved in making zines?

In 2002 I started co-running a non-profit publishing company with my friend Cole Cunningham. We published poetry chapbooks, broadsides, comic zines, coloring books, and graffiti zines. This led to me starting the zine Basic Paper Airplane and I stuck with it after the publishing company folded and kept getting more and more involved with zines as the years went on. I started reading them in the mid-’90s, so it was a pretty slow process from reading them to making them.

What’s your favorite part of LA Zine Fest?

The Fest is super incredible and unlike anything else I’ve ever been to. Last year was my first year and I haven’t been able to shut up about it since. That there’s that much energy and excitement around zines – that it’s at capacity for the whole day and people will wait out in the 80 degree sun for upwards of an hour to get in, all for zines? That’s my favorite part.

Be sure to check out Joshua’s distro, Antiquated Future!

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