Celebrate California Bookstore Day with LA Zine Fest at Skylight Books! The event is free and it’ll be a chance to ask questions of other zinesters in an environment that is specifically for question-asking (so you don’t have to feel shy!) Also, just come by to meet some other zinemakers or check out the ama-ZINE zine selection at Skylight’s Annex. We’ll see you there!
Jaime Hernandez (co-creator of Love & Rockets) in Conversation with Charles Hatfield
Sunday, February 16th at Helms Bakery
5:15 PM – 6:45 PM
Jaime Hernandez is the co-creator of Love & Rockets, Penny Century, and Whoa Nellie, comics that gave comics and graphic novels their edge in the eighties for the first time since the late sixties. Jaime split drawing and writing duties with his brother, Gilbert, and the two explored entirely different sides of Latino culture, Los Angeles music scenes, and human sexuality. The brothers Jaime, Gilbert and Mario self-published the first issue of Love & Rockets, “Maggie the Mechanic,” in 1981, but the comic shot into national attention when they submitted it to TheComic Journal for critique and instead found themselves with a publishing deal with editor Gary Groth’s Fantagraphics Books.
While Gilbert set his Love & Rockets stories in Palomar, a fictional town in Mexico, Jaime set his imagination loose on Hoppers, which is a fictional parallel to the Oxnard barrio where he and his brother grew up. Those storylines center on the Locas, particularly Hopey Glass and Maggie Chascarillo, who are on-again/off-again lovers and friends that navigate death, breakdowns, pregnancy, jobs, and growing old. Love & Rockets published the final, 11th volume in 1996.
Jaime will be in conversation with Charles Hatfield, an Associate Professor of English at California State University, Northridge. Hatfield has been published extensively in academic journal and comic trade publications (including the very same Comics Journal!) about graphic novels and alternative comics. The two will discuss the birth and evolution of the alternative comics genre, discuss Jaime’s prolific body of work, and shoot the shit.
Have you had a chance to watch this yet? The incredible video features Tiny Splendor, Bela Messex, Yumi Sakugawa, Kenzo Martinez, Brodie Foster HUbbard, and Daisy Noemi, uses animations by Dustin Garcia, and was made by Mick LeGrande. Take a look and pass it on! Continue reading →
POC Zine Project presents … Cultivating Culture & Community: Strategies For Overcoming The Bullshit
Sunday, February 16th at Helms Bakery
1:00 – 2:00 PM
Curated and moderated by POC Zine Project founder Daniela Capistrano, this panel of community organizers and artists from across the country will share their strategies for organizing events, starting a distro and building community on both a local and national level. Hear solutions for solving problems that frequently come up in any grassroots/volunteer-based movement or project (not limited to zines).
Join the discussion by attending the panel, asking questions and contributing your ideas. Follow along and share online by accessing the panel hashtag on Twitter, which will be #LAZFCC.
Panel Location: In the “Passageway” directly adjacent to the parking garage of Helms, located at 8711 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA. 90232. The entrance is located between La Dijonaise and Vitra.
MEET POCZP’S PANELISTS
Cihuatl Ce (Founder, Ovarian Psyco-Cycles Bicycle Brigade in Los Angeles, CA)
We’re excited to announce that Cihuatl Ce will be performing during our panel discussion. Don’t miss this opportunity to see her live!
Ara Christina Jo (Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland, CA)
Dail Chambers (Founder, Yeyo Arts collective in St. Louis, MO)
Nyky Gomez (Founder, Brown Recluse Zine Distro in Seattle, WA)
Tracey Brown (Community Organizer in New Orleans, La)
DISCLOSURE: To ensure intentionally safer spaces for POC, this event features primarily women of color speakers and is open to anyone, of any background, to attend and share stories. For those that give permission, your feedback will be compiled into a community/events organizing “how-to” zine by POCZP/L.A. Zine Fest that will be distributed widely in Fall of 2014.
SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT
If everyone in our community gave $10, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2014. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to ongoing advocacy costs, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.
We are rebooting our org structure and operations in 2014 and will be transparent about that process. Stay tuned.
What was your first zine about and when was it made?
My first zine was pretty much an angsty rant about my peers & trying to be a teenage feminist in the South Bay. It was made my Sophomore year of High School after a zine club I founded failed to make entries for a collab (early lessons learned? haha). I was early into my “D.I.Y. activist career” and reading a lot about the history of U.S. occupation, racism, & class war. Understandably I was pisssed. The fact that I was the only noticeable loud mouthed punk chick at my High School also didn’t help. Luckily I was privileged enough to have internet access at the time, and as a result was part of a few riot grrrl & zine communities on livejournal. Eventually the zine I made (Germfree Adolescents) was featured in a distro & sent out to people all over the world. Some of these people I became pen pals with and still know to this day (some of you are at the fest!). It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, but eventually college activism and collabs became “my thing.” Now that I am focusing more on my art I have decided to make more issues of my little bb.
Describe your most recent zine.
I’m trying to pull a couple more outta my butt before the fest, but the most recent completed zine will be a recap of some pieces since I was 16 into early college. I talk about dealing with chronic pain as a young person, loss and mourning of a loved one, some silly lyrics from when I was in an all-girl punk band, and some other things you’ll have to buy/trade to read!
My zines are “traditional” style aka B&W copy/paste with found images & my own writing. I try to make them reminiscent of “real” magazines with “articles” & my own “ads” in between. Recently I’ve been doing more work in Illustrator & Photoshop so I replicate the same look digitally using scans to save time.
Of all the things you’ve ever made, zine-related or otherwise, what’s your one favorite?
I made this booklet for my Abuelita’s 80th Birthday party that was basically a biographical zine. Looking back I would change a lot of things & wouldn’t necessarily boast it as my work, but it was really important to me and made other people feel good. And I think those are two things that draw me to ANYTHING I do. The process of making the booklet also taught me a lot about editing programs as well as my own family history as a 3rd generation Chican@.
Name three of your influences and how they affected your work.
Undoubtedly Barbara Kruger. If you haven’t heard about her letter recently to Supreme you should really Google it. She’s just such a bad ass & her pieces are so simple yet powerful. I’m a total hoarder of old comics/magazines but I try to be productive with them, so I feel like a lot of my zine stuff is really similar to her style.
Second is AlexWrekk, who was and is a huge influence to me even before I knew her actual name/connection to the work she does. Stolen Sharpie Revolution and her whole approach to the zine community and sharing resources is right up my alley/something I strive to do as well. I also happened to read a couple of her zines during a time I was going thru a similar experience & they were extremely validating to me.
And last, but not least, is the POC Zine Project. Even before the actual project was founded there are several folx who make up the team whose zines were my STOCK as a youngster & drastically shaped how I look at and live in the world today. I was a suuuuper awkward fan girl @ their table last year as a result so hai. As someone with privilege who makes perzines, I love how much they challenge/educate/give a platform for people who need & deserve that space. Everyone needs to check them out and give them their support!
What do you do when you’re not creating and how does it help or harm what you do artistically? I play a lot of computer games, watch anime/shows, read comics, go on hikes, mess around in my garden, & try new/different foods locally. I’ve been playing video games since I was 6, so I highly doubt that habit will ever die off, but it definitely can be a double-edged sword. On one end there are endless amounts of creative influence, but on the other end I lose track of time & often forget to eat or pee.
The same could be said for anime/TV/comics, except I feel I have more restraint in those fields. Anime especially has exposed me to different kinds of stories/characters that I didn’t get as a kid with American cartoons. I tend to read Indie comics (Orc Stain, Saga) which are both inspirational for the creative feats the artist makes or the exploration of new plot lines/archetypes in the medium.
All of the other stuff is just me being a human and enjoying nature & good foods. A lot of people talk shit about the South Bay but there are some beautiful beaches, hiking spots, and delicious family owned restaurants all up the coast. Especially living in a busy city or commuting everywhere it’s super important to unwind and take a breather somewhere quiet — it makes me a happier more productive person.
L.A. Zine Fest is an awesome event that requires tons of setup, so naturally they’ve got some super talented volunteers to take on some of the work. DUM DUM got to ask one of these brave souls, Kenzo Martinez, LA Zinefest Organizer & Volunteer Coordinator, about his experience.
DUM DUM: Do you have a favorite zine?
KENZO MARTINEZ: Right now it’s “Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe” by Yumi Sakugawa, who is also hosting a Zine Week event on the 14th at Giant Robot 2, and tabling at Zine Fest.
DD: How did you get involved with volunteering for Zine Fest?
KM: I was tabling back in 2012 at the first L.A Zine Fest, and at the end of the day I started helping other people clean up. There was a cool installation with leaves and twigs that Walt Gorecki (Homeroom Gallery, Jewcocks) put together, so we cleaned that up for awhile, and that was that.
DD: How many volunteers do you have, and where did they all come from?
KM: We don’t have an exact number, some people can make it to meetings while others are otherwise engaged, but we have about 15 awesome people from Earth, L.A, others from nearby stars but they’re all mostly from our D.I.Y and D.I.T communities. Usually they spring fully formed with powers unimaginable from the womb of creation.
DD: What’s the volunteer party potluck like? What kinds of trouble do you guys get into?
KM: Well, it was a pretty snazzy affair with Maui BBQ chips, eggplant sammiches, quiche and stuff. The nicest people came, the sun stood golden in the sky and we dined al fresco. There was talk of art, poetry, music, logistics and time schedules. It was wonderful, until the fire…we put out the fire and filled out some Google docs.
DD: What’s something Fest goers should look out for?
KM: Each other! The beautiful thing is we’re building a community that already includes you, so look around and hang with the family you never knew you had. Oh, and you know our keynote speaker is Jamie Hernandez of “Love and Rockets” right? He’s one of my all time favorite creators, so you should check that out.
DD: How can we get involved in the awesomeness???
KM: Email me at email@example.com, I’ll give you some options and then we make it happen. For this year’s Fest, get into a comfortable position, imagine something inspiring, close your eyes, take three slooow deep breaths and say to yourself, “I am already part of a community where I can openly express things I care about” and then show up! Bring a zine you made or some stickers in a backpack and say hello, talk and trade with yer awesome new buddies.
You can find Kenzo at L.A. Zine Fest! DUM DUM would like to add that no zines, pets, people or property were harmed during the volunteer potluck.
Bring your little lost tuckus over to listen to the wise words of Ron Regé, Jr., the man who made a New Year’s resolution back in 1990s Massachusetts to draw a comic EVERY DAY. And guess what, when he was done he published most of them in what is now an annual periodical, Yeast Heist. He’s also been published by Highwater Books, Fantagraphics, McSweeney’s, and Drawn & Quarterly, and featured in NY Times and VICE. So trust us when we tell you, this man can help you manifest your vision.
Regé will be discussing his latest creation, the ambitious Cartoon Utopia, which tackles the overwhelming topics of religious and spiritual philosophy, as well as matters concerning the occult. Heralded as a complicated masterpiece of enlightenment, Cartoon Utopia challenges the traditional medium through layer after layer of discovery, both of the self and universal. No easy feat, but then again, Regé is no ordinary cartoonist.
Along with reading from and discussing his book, Regé promises to share with us his process, exposing the inner workings of a beautiful and mystical mind. Stop by his panel if you’re ready to open your brain up and let those metaphysical inquiries float into the universe.