Get to Know Your Zinester: Ms. Valerie Park Distro

Describe your zine style. What can we expect to find at your table?
We carry all kinds of zines, but tend to go for zines (and make zines) that are literary or that have interesting or uncommon subjects. We like the idea of pushing the possibilities of what a zine can be, while also loving it all.

Where do you work on your zines?
Mostly at our home, an Olympia, Wa. semi-collective house called The Alamingo. Also at the IPRC in Portland, Or.

What are your three favorite small-press/DIY publications?
Hard to pick favorites, but I’ll say that these are my two favorite new small presses:
1. Mend My Dress Press (Tacoma, Wa.)
2. Perfect Day Publishing (Portland, Or.)
3. Eberhardt Press is my favorite all around press. Often more of a printer/collaborator than a publisher, but I love almost everything they’re a part of. 

What advice would you give to a first-time zinester or to an aspiring zinemaker?
I would say that it’s important to get something finished, just to get the ball rolling. I don’t necessarily encourage people to do something that they won’t be proud of later, but I also think that, if you’re stuck, just to finish it. My friend Craven Rock (Eaves of Ass, Razorcake) would say that if you someday want to pretend the first issue of your zine doesn’t exist, you can. So that’s something to keep in mind, too. Maybe it will alleviate some of the stress.

What’s the best thing that ever happened to you because of zines?
There’s been so much good that has come from being involved with zines. Some of my best friends, for one. And being part of such a large network of people across the world is pretty cool, too. Also: one time many years ago, I had an editor from a U.K. zine that I had been published in randomly end up in my kitchen after a house show. And we completely freaked out when we figured out that we knew each other through zines. That was pretty great.

Joshua James Amberson runs the Ms Valerie Park Distro and is also the author of of Basic Paper Airplane, The Prince Zine, and Growing Things.

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