Get to Know Your Zinester: Pop-Hop

Describe your zine style. What can we expect to find at your table?
Well, we aren’t a zine. We’re a bookstore. But we carry a lot of zines, small press and self-publications! Lovely works by DUM DUM Zine, Drippy Bone books, Allison Krumwiede, Shaun Krupa, J.T. Steiny, Parrot, Rattling Wall, The Ice Plant, Red Sky, Wintergarten, Never Press Vermin, Budget Press. We tend to give priority to friends and compatriots. It’s not to be insular or cliqueish, but friendship is so rare and precious and is a huge part of your identity. In a world where celebrity fanaticism is rampant cultural homogeneity has taken hold like a bacterial infection. I like the idea of giving a platform to the people that are closest to you, it lends some heart and diversity to the proceedings and helps fight Beiber fever. And if, for example, the potholder my mom crocheted isn’t the very best potholder on the market, I can live with that. At least it’s unique.

Oh and we’re also print shop so we’ll have some of our own stuff there too.

Where do you work on your zines?
Well, we actually have workshops from time to time that facilitate zinemaking and self-publishing. In fact we’re having one, Screen’N Zine, in conjunction with LAZF’13 here at the store hosted by myself, Robey Clark, and Adriana Yugovich, art educator extraordinaire. That’ll be pretty fun. We’re also having a panel discussion, The Zine Table, here the next day. But that’s getting off the point a little I guess.

I like making zines in public, like at a copy shop at the self serve area. Having the process happen out in the open makes it feel like a performance and creates a sense of accountability I find oddly comforting. And if someone only ever uses a copier to do work-work, and hasn’t realized the aesthetic possibilities of the equipment most often only used for dreary tasks, then it may help spread the good word of DIY, so that’s a bonus too. 

Once a concerned woman told me I had to hold my original still if I want to get a good copy. I showed her all the patterns and bizarre shapes you get when you move your original around a lot when the copy head goes by and she was so delighted by it, she started doing it with the family letter she was getting copied there. I wish I knew what she was up to these days.

What advice would you give to a first-time zinester or to an aspiring zinemaker?
Allow mistakes to be a guide to you, befriend entropy. When I was (not that much) younger I was easily tripped up if I made a mistake, but now I try to make so many mistakes that it becomes the weft of the fabric of my work. You can never make something perfect unless your ideal includes some rough edges and spilled milk. Plus, chaos is just beautiful when taken on its own merits. Shattered glass, a crumbling building, paint splatter, the mess up pictures on a roll of film; these are all things people generally try to distance themselves from but if you take a moment and soak them in… it’s a bit of a cliché but there really is an absurd beauty in all of that.

What’s the best thing that ever happened to you because of zines?
Zines are a form of expression. Expression often begets dialogue and dialogue often begets friendship. And friendship is one of the best things of all, as I touched on above. Who knows, you could meet the love of your life just by making a zine! Far, far stranger things have happened.

Check out Pop-Hop online or at 5002 York Blvd. in Highland Park! Be sure to check out the LA Zine Week events going on at  Pop-Hop, The Zine Table and Screen ‘n Zine, and hopefully w’ell see you there!

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