What was your first zine about and when was it made?
Yumi: My first zine was a 32-page half-letter-sized black and white comic called “Milk and Moo” back in 2008. I made it while I was teaching English in Japan and living with my relatives in the Chiba prefecture for Design Festa, an annual visual artist convention that happens every year in Tokyo. I was sharing a tiny booth with my friend and fellow English teacher, and it seemed like the perfect excuse to debut my first-ever self-published comic zine.
Shako Art: My first zine was a 3×2” 20 panel mini comic called “Flight” in 2010. I made it for a bookmaking class I took the final semester of college which got me into making hand made books and short comics.
Describe your most recent zine.
Yumi: My most recent zine “Mundane Fortunes For The Next Ten Billion Years And Other Stories” is a 28-page anthology of short-short comic stories I created throughout 2011. It deals with subject matters that have interested me the most this year: doppelgangers, interdimensional travel, dreaming, the end of the world, the ridiculous brevity of our mortal lives.
Shako Art: “Kitsune No Koibito” is a 26 page comic I worked on this summer. The comic is a surreal short story told through several anamorphic characters.
What do you do when you’re not creating and how does it help or harm what you do artistically?
Yumi: My boyfriend is a filmmaker and just an all-around film nut, so I am constantly watching movies with him that I otherwise would never think to watch on my own. Obscure foreign movies, super-mainstream movies, agonizing-to-watch artistic films, really bad movies, really good movies–everything! There are obvious parallels between movies and graphic novels, so watching movies in every shape in form definitely helps bring new visual and narrative influences to my own craft, however consciously or subconsciously.
I’m also getting back into cooking in my free time. Cooking for me is a creative hobby where I can simply enjoy the process and not care about making it the best thing ever. It is also a reminder to myself to take joy in the process of making comics and zines without agonizing over the end result.
Shako Art: I’m usually digging for unexplored comics. Trips to used book stores and coffee dates are regular routines. Coffee never harms me. I’m exploring more of embroidery this year and it’s a lot of frustrating-fun. I think it’s helping my development of textures and shape.