Get to Know Your Zinester: Kelli Callis

Describe your work in two sentences or less.

I take life-changing events and try and make sense of them through my writing.

Where are your favorite places in your city to look for new zines?

I want to see more zines at Meltdown, the Last Bookstore, and Skylight Books.

What are you working on for the Fest this year?

My last zine was about my traumatic pregnancy, hospitalization, and birth of my son, so this time around, I figured I’d keep the narrative going. It’s about raising my son and the highs and lows of dealing with autism and sensory processing disorder in a semi-judgy suburban environment.

How did you get involved in making zines?

When I first moved to San Francisco in the early 90s, I wanted a way to introduce myself to people, and this was when zines were a medium for communication. My first issue was 5 cents because I didn’t want to just give them out for free (because if people said ‘no,’ that would be a real bummer, but if it was too much, then they wouldn’t buy it). I met a ton of people through zines, actually, in town, and all over the world, so I have to say that the experiment was incredibly successful.

What’s your favorite part of LA Zine Fest?

Undoubtedly, when a grown woman stands in front of my table, flips through one of my issues, and then says, “I used to read this zine when I was a teenager,” and then I get all proud and pretend my words may have led these women to become interesting, beautiful artists.

Check out Kelli’s zines in her Etsy shop!

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