Describe your work in two sentences or less
Deirdree: I was recently called the “Lisa Frank on Crystal Meth” in regards to zines…I’ll go with that. ❤
Steven: We like handcrafted, perfectly imperfect zines made with scissors & glue sticks & our exquisitely humble photocopier – Ms. MC Sunflower Jones…aka “Smokey Smoker Dance A Roo the Queen of Ice Skating & Patron Saint of Mentholated Cigarellos To-Go” – we’d kill for her. & we have.
Where are your favorite places (in your neighborhood or online) to find new zines?
D: It’s hard to find zines around Long Beach…we sell our zines in shops but we’re pretty much the only zines there. I started a li’l facebook group called Zines A Go Go & people are starting to post about their zines so I’m learning about all new titles from people around the globe…so yeah, I guess it’d be facebook? I don’t really leave my apartment. Ever.
S: We’ve gotten some really good stuff from trading with people on We Make Zines & at different zine events & shit. I like a lot of the stuff we see on Etsy, but are too broke to ever buy anything…Deirdree spends all of our money on Mexican coffee & ciggies.
What are you working on for the Fest this year?
We just printed our spectacularly & incredibly, horrifically & spontaneously grandiose comp zine that we’re totes the most proud of &
the cherubs sing when you call it by name, Gag Me With A… #10, & it will be premiering to the zine-ee-rific public at large come February 16th. Got a new totally ‘80s Pocket Reader on Adam Ant (spoiler alert: his tears water-damage the last page!), & some new witchy micro zines that’ll leave you casting spells & showing off your dark sensibilities, as well…but the mammoth prize fighting magnum opus, c’est What’s Your Damage? – Mental Illness & Shit!, that one has had us pulling our hair out for so many months now –we’re about as bald as Britney Spears – gritting our teeth to the tune of “Yankee Doodle Dandy”…& it may or may not get finished.
Hopefully, we can get one of the two volumes & a few of the six companion micro zines completed in time…but if we don’t, we’ll still have the brand new Gag Moi to show off & a table littered with pleasing new shit, old shit, uppers, downers, all arounders…all kinds of sugary sweet, cut & pasted gel-capped bonbons!
How did you get involved in making zines
S: The first time I saw a zine, I knew that it was something I had to do. It was 1992, I was 15, & we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing…but it was absolutely liberating & now I just can’t quit. It’s my lifestyle & it’s fucking fantastic to be creating with the most beautifully brilliant woman to ever shake a fist at me…my own true love & domestic partner in crime, c’est Deirdree Prudence, the Queen of mah heart! ❤ ❤ ❤
D: A friend of mine, back in 2000, got me into writing for a local poetry zine, the Body Politik…it, pretty quickly after I joined in on the fun, stopped production & I knew that I had to continue the self-publishing madness. Several years & countless zines later, I met my match & zine/lifetime soulmate, Steven Hughes Purkey. He was putting out Modus Operandi, I was already working on Gag Me With A… & the stars & planets aligned in a heart-shaped pattern of intergalactic yumminess that not many will ever get a chance to experience, let alone live. We quickly started making zines together, via separate states in the good ole US of weirdo A (though both on the best coast)& MC Sunflower Jones – MC Shamrock Jones & Sunflower Gray Productions joining forces – pretty much began at last year’s LA Zine Fest! Steven literally never went home & MC Sunflower Jones is here to stay, as
well. You gotta put up with the gushiness of it all.
What’s your favorite part of LA Zine Fest?
S: I’m looking forward to bullshitting with other zine freaks, selling some of our shit, & basking in the glow of smiles that comprise the energy of an event this fantastic & humungous…if you come to LA Zine Fest, make sure to stop at the MC Sunflower Jones table & formally introduce yourself. As shy as we may be, we love meeting new peeps! & I can’t wait to see all you art heads there. I don’t know who we’re gonna be tabling with, but they’re in for it…
D: LA Zine Fest has allowed me to meet other zinesters – from hanging out with the organizers in the events leading up to the first fest two years ago to people I’ve already become friends with online to meeting contributors to my zines for the first time (!!!) – it’s like a yearly reunion of all the most amazing people I know &/or know of. I fucking feel like Dorothy Gale & will be all, “& Ann was there! & Sage was there! & Rhea & Bianca & Maranda – even you were there, too, Toto!” But I won’t need Toto there, I’ll have my own Stevie P. to keep me safe. & centered. With my feet in the air & my head on the ground. LA Zine Fest or bust! ❤
To see more from Steven & Deirdree, check out MC Sunflower Jones online!