Get to Know Your Volunteer Coordinator: Kenzo Martinez

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
Kenzo Martinez

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, 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.

by Taylor Yates of DUM DUM Zine

Get to Know Your Speaker: Ron Regé, Jr presents The Cartoon Utopia

Ron Regé, Jr.

The Cartoon Utopia

Ron Regé, Jr

Sunday, February 16th @ Helms Bakery

3:00 – 4:00 PM

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.

By Taylor Yates of DUM DUM Zine

Get to Know Your Zinester: My Little Friend

Describe your work in two sentences or less.

Old school per-zine, cut and paste style, heavy on the vintage illustrations. 


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

& Pens, which is in my neighborhood! And then online Stranger Danger DistroSweet Candy Distro (and press!), Fight Boredom Distro.

What are you working on for the Fest this year?

Hopefully another issue of My Little Friend, and a second issue of “Sorry I Have Nothing Special To Draw”

How did you get involved in making zines?

I started making zines in middle school after reading the book “A Girls Guide To Taking Over the World: Writings From the Girl Zine Revolution” and listening to a lot of Liz Phair and Hole.
What’s your favorite part of LA Zine Fest?  
Seeing all my zine friends from all over the country! (maybe even world?) and experiencing the collective enthusiasm for zines and print media! 
Check out more from Eryca at her Etsy!

Get to Know Your Panel: Black Hill Presents – Zine to Publishing

Black Hill Press Presents: Zine to Publishing

Sunday, February 16th @ Helms Bakery

11 AM – 12 PM 

Are you curious to learn more about the fantastical process of going from zine-making to publishing? “Black Hill Press Presents: Zine to Publishing” offers the insight and wisdom of a handful of veteran zinesters, as well as their DIY tips and tricks for getting it all done. This is an all-star panel you should definitely attend!

Zinesters Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson began their collaboration in college and have been designing, illustrating, and sharing home projects with the public for 10 years, with credits including American Illustration, The New York Times, McSweeney’s and Business Week. Through joint and independent projects, they’ve embraced the imperfect haven of the zine world and propagated the need to express ideas in a way that isn’t always precious. Check out their stuff at Fun Chicken.

Tomas Moniz is the author of award-winning zine Rad Dad, through which he has for almost eight years shared and commented on issues regarding alternative fatherhood and childrearing tactics. Moniz has blended anarchistic and feminist values into a narrative that aims to help ease the parenting transition from childhood to adolescence. He also writes randy poetry and album-based short stories. You can read last winter’s L.A. Zine Fest interview of Moniz here.

Yumi Sakugawa has illustrated and authored several how-to guides on becoming a more intuitive person with her latest offering “Your Guide to Becoming One with the Universe” occupying much of our reading time of late. A UCLA graduate. Sakugawa is often featured on Buzzfeed, HuffPost Arts, and NPR. Learn more about trusting yourself on her website.

Kevin Staniec is a well-versed writer and the co-founder of both Black Hill Press and ISM, a non-profit publishing organization of paperbacks and experimental art projects. Featured in the likes of Artslant, Huffington post, LA Times, LA Weekly, and Juxtapoz, Staniec knows the ins and outs of publishing from all sides. Learn more about this press wizard here.

These are the people you should trust with your life…er, wait, trust with your zines, check ‘em out!

 by Rose Quezada and Taylor Yates of DUM DUM ZINE

Get to Know Your Zinester: Intergalatic Fantastic

What was your first zine about and when was it made?

“Mini Glitter PSA” was my first zine series which I created to distribute during the Echo Park Rising Festival in summer of 2013. Measuring about one inch tall, each booklet features a helpful reminder about life with messages ranging from, “Tell the people you love how you feel about them TODAY… before we all die!” to “Outer space is watching you like almost all the time.”

Describe your most recent zine.

The zines I’m currently working on are photo exposes on three of my favorite topics- circuses, the Islands, and space! Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Barbarella even get in on the mix.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, zine-related or otherwise, what’s your one favorite?

My favorite creative endeavor up until this point was “Saccharine Surreality,” the candy-themed group art show I curated at Pehrspace in January of 2013. Begin given the opportunity to collaborate with friends and exhibit their work is incredibly fulfilling and fun. Saccharine Surreality featured work by 15 local artists, video installations, candy cover songs by Geoff Geis, a candy zine, candy-themed cocktails, and unlimited free candy!! Only two partygoers died of sugar poisoning, so we considered the event a success.

Name three of your influences and how they affected your work.

Visually, I find the work of Busby Berkeley incredibly thrilling and inspirational. He pushed the boundaries of film and used costumes, choreography, and people as his medium in a way that would make modern CGI experts cry from envy!! John Waters is my favorite lifestyle influence, the uber-classy/trashy characters in his films inspire me to be myself at all times, no matter the cost. And of course, Jayne Mansfield. Style icon and a hero of shameless self-promotion, inventor of the nip-slip and an avid animal lover, she died way before her time!

What do you do when you’re not creating and how does it help or harm what you do artistically?

I believe everything we perceive affects the psyche, be it positively or negatively, and it is our responsibility to act as the curators of this perception. For that reason, it’s important to seek out experiences and visual stimulation which will positively benefit our creative output. When I’m not making things, I like to walk around wacky neighborhoods talking to strangers, and then at night watch bands play songs.

Get to Know Your Zinester: Fair Dig

Describe your work in two sentences or less.

FAIR DIG is a perzine – a journal about fighting, failure, fitness, gender, and the people and things I love. I’m also expanding into some more artsy endeavors, with photography and… I don’t know if you call it poetry or prose, because I missed that day in English class that explained the difference.

photo by Daisy Noemi

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

I scour the shelves of Skylight Books, The Last Bookstore, and Pop Hop Books, but most of my discoveries come from zine events.

What are you working on for the Fest this year?

I will be finished with COUCHED, a new release from Fair Dig Press, and it’s a poetry/prose (?!) and photography zine about love, writing, fact vs. autobiographical fiction, and how art betrays an artist’s secrets. I’m also hoping to complete FAIR DIG #3, which will look back on some of the heartbreaks that formed (or warped) my views on relationships, describe my forays into the coffee culture of L.A., and try to answer the questions about my anxieties and dread that I posed at the end of issue #2.

How did you get involved in making zines?

There are many influences I have named in various interviews, some of whom may relish the credit and perhaps others who’d prefer to deflect the blame. I read and wrote for other people’s zines for many years, but it was the folks I met through L.A. Zine Week 2012 and the first L.A. Zine Fest (both of which I was covering for my podcast Shakeytown Radio) who taught me or encouraged me through the various steps of actually writing, laying out and printing my own zine.

What’s your favorite part of LA Zine Fest?

All the beautiful, creative, intelligent, kind and wonderful human beings I have met, whether they be vendors, organizers, volunteers, or attendees. The L.A. zine community, the Southern Californian zine community overall, and the various visitors from across the continent… these are my people. This is my tribe. After wandering for three decades and some change, I’ve found a home.

To find more from Brodie Foster Hubbard, check out his blog and his podcast, The Shakeytown Radio Hour.

Get to Know Your Zinester: She’s Not a Morning Person

Describe your work in two sentences or less.

She’s Not a Morning Person zine is a 14 year old perzine about cool things like cats, being Chicana, loving people of all genders, and personal growth.

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

Jen Venegas

I get all of my zines from local zine fests, friends, and Sweet Candy distro.

What are you working on for the Fest this year?

I just put out a poetry issue of SNAMP about queer love, death, and the ocean. I might also have an even newer issue but no promises!!

How did you get involved in making zines?

I picked up a zine from a show in LA that was made by the now defunct Defacto Death Camp crew. From then on, I was hooked and started making my own.

What’s your favorite part of LA Zine Fest?

Being around so many inspiring people in one place, seeing friends I only see at zine fests, and meeting new awesome people to be awesome with.

Check out more from Jen Venegas on her blog!

Get to Know Your Zinester: Awkward Ladies Club

What was your first zine about and when was it made?

My first zine was one of two for San Francisco Zinefest in 2012 called “Never Date Dudes From the Internet.” I was going through an old yahoo mail account and found a folder labeled “craigslist” – I thought it was from when I was looking for apartments when I first moved to California but it turned out to be every email I received when I put out a dating ad in 2005. I put it all together with the original ad I posted – it’s sort of a history of a slightly more innocent period of internet dating.

Describe your most recent zine.

My background is in the biological sciences and I worked in labs for 10 years, mostly with bacteria. The new book I’ll be bringing to LAZF is called “My Favorite Microbes” and is about the (mostly) friendly bugs that live in the world around us: soil bacteria, bacteria that live in volcanoes, bacteria that live inside other bacteria, bacteria in clouds that make ice form.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, zine-related or otherwise, what’s your one favorite?

I’ve made art based on of some of my dad’s tweets. He’s a twitter genius and a lot funnier than I am.

Name three of your influences and how they affected your work.

Emily Alden Foster – Her zines are clever and unique and have this universal, all-ages appeal. We met through zines and recently collaborated on a video project. With her I was able to work in a medium I had never tried before, and our results were great … the zine community is so wonderful.

Jessica Lewis – She and her fellow editors run Static Zine in Toronto, which is the first collaborative zine I’ve contributed to (Issue #8, Mental Health). That was my first opportunity to get really honest about a topic – my experiences with antidepressants – that I wanted to talk about but didn’t know where to start. Jessica writes some very thoughtful zines of her own and is a lovely pen pal.

David Murray – David runs the t-shirt and design company SEIBEI as well as Telegraph Gallery in Virginia with his wife Kate DeNeveu. I’ve known David since college, and I’ve watched him build his artistic empire from scratch. We made our first zines together and shared a table at our first zine event. His approach to art is “what can I do next that will make my friends laugh?” and I try to think about that too every time I start a new book.

What do you do when you’re not creating and how does it help or harm what you do artistically?

Shortly after San Francisco Zinefest this past September, my husband was in a bicycle accident. He’s doing great now, but he needed surgery and physical therapy and only started walking again in December. That took over our lives for the last few months, but he’s getting back to work now and I am too. If you haven’t seen me or heard from me since SFZF, please find me and say hi and tell me what you’ve been up to! I can’t wait to see everyone again!

For more from Amy Burek, check out Awkward Ladies Club online!

Get to Know Your Zinester: Mend My Dress Press

Describe your work in two sentences or less.

We run a small press, publishing zine anthologies, and also a distro. We carry a lot of per-zines, because we love to read stories about the experiences of others.

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

Mostly live events, tablings, etc. – there’s usually so much to find in person that isn’t easily found online (which is not to say that we don’t love a whole bunch of online distros too, but its fun to look through stuff in person and meet people).

What are you working on for the Fest this year?

We’ve got a few new books that we’ll have out in time for the fest, and we’ll also likely be bringing some new zines that we’re individually working on.

How did you get involved in making zines?

Colleen made a zine in 2005 about her grandmother and has been making one shots ever since because there’s just too many ideas to make a regularly occurring serial. Neely started writing Mend My Dress years ago, when she was a messy college student. She will be writing until she is a messy fairy godmother to all of the lost bunnies.

What’s your favorite part of LA Zine Fest?

Its so wonderfully organized and it’s just a really great place to see friends from all over we hardly ever get to see, and a great place to find new zines to read. Not to mention the occasional celeb sighting! Plus, it seems appropriate to bust out the gold pants in LA, and any excuse for gold pants is a favorite.

Check out Mend My Dress Press online!