Describe your work in two sentences or less.
Whether I am creating a comic, a zine, a handmade card, or an illustration, I always aim for what I do to tell a story– with words, with words and pictures, or images alone. Some of my stories are sadder and darker (but with a message), while the silly ones generally have jokes and puns.
Where are your favorite places (in your neighborhood or online) to find new zines?
Well, I teach the Comics for Kids class at Meltdown Comics Store in West Hollywood, and they always have great comics and zines! Other stores I really love are Pop Hop in Highland Park, Stories in Echo Park, and Skylight Books in Los Feliz. I live near to it, and I have heard about the Eastside Zine Market [organized by Adam and Denice of Seite Books], but not gotten the chance to get over there quite yet. I hope to soon!
Online, my Twitter feed and Instagram feeds will often pop up and direct me towards artists whose work I like, and who often make zines of it. Etsy and Tumblr are good sources, too. And the LAZF website itself is a very strong resource for people who hope to be directed towards new and exciting things being made in the world of zines.
What are you working on for the Fest this year?
This year, I’m working on a few new zines/minicomics. My main comic is the “Matters of the Harp” series, which about two clams– Bob, who is an angel, and Samantha, who is a devil, and they work as consciences. There’s also drama with a very emotional T-Rex that they know, in the second issue. Puns are a big part of those stories (and in many things that I make).
At the show, I will have a little comic zine called “Colonel Koala and the Mechanical Marsupial.” It’s a short Steampunk story about a toy koala (not a stretch, if you at all know me personally or have heard of Fuzzles the Koala, who interested parties can find on Facebook) who is a lonely teddy-bear, secretly being followed by a “real” koala who may or may not have nefarious intentions.
I will also be displaying several educational zines related to comics-making. Since I work at after school programs teaching elementary school age through middle school aged children how to write and draw cartoons, I always give the students a paper lesson plan to take home that we work with during the class, and I’ve been self-publishing those recently as zines that I sell at conventions and fairs.
Lastly, I will have a few zines of the art and illustration I’ve done, (some of which focus on black and white art, and another which focuses on faces and portraits with hidden images in the hair), and some anthologies I’ve participated in that published my comic work. The few non-zine items on my table will be prints, handmade greeting “cardtoons” (which are captioned with puns), and perhaps one or two handmade Sculpey prototypes of the characters from my stories.
How did you get involved in making zines?
I’ve been writing and drawing my own minicomics since college, and I’ve just kept up with that, done a few things for publications, and added illustration zines and/or educational zines to that repetoire (having been inspired and learned much over the past couple of years, where zines have really exploded!)
What’s your favorite part of LA Zine Fest?
I love getting to see all of the amazing work people are coming up with, to meet attendees who are really passionate about art, comics, and writing, and that the L.A. community (as well as the overall Zine community, since so many people come from out of state to do this event– and hello to everyone who I have met at the PDX Zine Symposium, who will be coming down to California for this one)!
Check out more from Donna Letterese at her website!