Get to Know Your Zinester: The Runcible Spoon

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

photo by Brooklyn Zine Fest
I made my first zine when I was 14, after I picked up a zine from San Francisco at Skylight Books on Vermont Street that said “it’s so easy to start your own zine.” It was called “Sever,” after my favorite 311 song (don’t judge) and was all about music, fashion and culture. They were free, and I dropped them off at Tower Records and little indie shops in downtown LA. I got to interview Sonic Youth and Le Tigre once – I think they felt bad for me.

Describe your most recent zine.

My most recent zine is The Runcible Spoon’s CHEAP issue. It’s our biggest and best issue ever. We have some crazy art from one of my favorite people in food, Thu Tran. She is the wonderful creator of IFC’s “Food Party,” an un-reality show about cooking. It also has some advice on how to eat samples at Whole Foods and a recipe for a pie you can cook INSIDE a gas station, using ingredients from the snack section.

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

I think my favorite zine would have to be the zines I make for my friends. I made one for my friend Alison (who makes On Flora) called “Little Morrissey Activity Book.” It has a Rorschach Test for Morrissey’s hair, a word find, a madlib about a dream date with Morrissey, and more fun weird things.

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

Nylon was big for me as a teen. Every time I opened up the magazine, I felt like I was being transported to the cool dream world of New York City. That’s what I wanted to do with my own magazines – give you a vision of the world through my eyes. I love the work of Adrian Tomine. His cartoons are smart, poignant, funny and fresh. I’ve always strived to do that in my own illustration. Lastly I would say the book “Amelia’s Notebook” by Marissa Moss. She inspired me to start decorating my own journals with silly drawings and notes, which I still do in my zines today.

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

When I’m not making zines I am the social editor for ONE.org, an advocacy organization that fights global poverty. It’s a tremendously creative and fulfilling job and I love it. The happiness I have at work carries on to my side projects, which I do because there are so many interesting things to do in the world but so little time. 
photo by Brooklyn Zine Fest

For more from Malaka Gharib, check out The Runcible Spoon!

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