What was your first zine about and when was it made?
My first zine was called “In Between Naps” and it’s a comic adaptation of my high school diary. I made the first volume last year and I’m currently working on volume 3. It’s really fun to look back through my old diary (ten plus years removed, of course) and laugh at teenaged Rachel. I really like that most of my entries are mundane, eg. I went with my parents to the mall today and we got chinese food. Of course there are some secrets, too!
Describe your most recent zine.
My most recent zine is a comic called “By Mom, By Me: A Tale of Two Childhoods.” In this mini comic I juxtapose my own coming-of-age stories in the
suburbs of Washington, DC with those of my mother 40 years earlier, in the Bronx, New York. My mother’s stories are actually way better: she sneaks into a hotel and charges breakfast to a random room, joins a socialist club in New York City, and hides potatoes she doesn’t want to eat in her suitcase.
Of all the things you’ve ever made, zine-related or otherwise, what’s your one favorite?
My favorite zines are my “In Between Naps” mini comics because I’m terribly nostalgic. I had a lot of thoughts/feelings/experiences in high school that are really fun to look back on and explore. It’s interesting for me to see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. I always sort of wanted to share my diary and felt like I was writing for an unknown audience. I think comics are the perfect medium for me to share something so personal in because they are inherently less serious than other forms of writing.
- Julia Wertz – The first autobiographical novel I read (outside of more mainstream ones like “Persepolis”) was Wertz’s “Drinking at the Movies.” I loved her style and related to her cynical sense of humor.
- Lucy Knisely – I like Knisely’s cutesy drawing style and her ability to share her secrets.
- My old self – Reading my old diaries (I kept a diary regularly from 15 to present day) motivates me to write more, to create more, and to think introspectively about what I’m doing with my life. Ha!
What do you do when you’re not creating and how does it help or harm what you do artistically?
When I’m not creating I teach first grade full time! So, I’m basically never creating if it’s not Summer or Winter Break. Well, that’s not exactly true, but it is a pretty exhausting job so it’s hard to get motivated. That’s why I love participating in zine fests, it motivates me to create by seeing what everyone else in the community is doing!
To see more of Rachel’s work, check out her website!