Tag Archives: Papercutter

Zines and Me!

Rough sketch for zine idea.

As I mentioned before (here), I’ve only recently become interested in the world of zines. Not only do zines appear to be an incredibly flexible channel for creativity, but I think that this medium would be a great compliment to my graphic novels and children’s books. I like the idea of the zine being very hands on — a real artist book, the artist not only illustrating, but also cutting and pasting the finished pamphlet together. This process reminds me greatly of Andy Warhol, his factory, and 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy.

Before I begin any zines of my own, I’ve been trying to get a better sense of their mercurial world. At APE (Alternative Press Expo) 2012, I talked with Tugboat Press, who produce annual free comics and an anthology called Papercutter. Tugboat led me to Parcell Press, who seems to carry a vast array of zines, comics, etc. I also found “How to Make a Zine” on Rookie. I guess the one true rule of creating zines is that there are no rules!

As I ponder the pre-existing zine world, my own ideas for zines just keep pouring out of me. I scribble these ideas down furiously in a Gallatin notebook I received upon graduation and was saving for something important (who knew that important something was zines). Endless ideas — everything from opera parodies to The Death of Chatterton. I’m not sure when I’ll actually have time to realize these zines since I’m already working on so many projects that need to get done (The Poet and the Flea, The First Reich, etcetera, etcetera). I’m hoping to take a stab early next year, June at the latest. We’ll see how that works out…

Some useful zine-related websites I’ve discovered:

Plus, I figure if I make enough zines, then eventually I can release them all in one book.

Any comments, suggestions, or thoughts would be truly appreciated!

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Experience of APE

Related post: Plans for APE

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Wow, what can I say about APE?

Well, this was definitely an experience!

Firstly, I believe that APE (Alternative Press Expo) was a productive endeavor. I learned much more about the nature of each publisher I’ve been tracking online. I hope that Shannon and I managed to get the names of our projects (The Poet and the Flea and The First Reich) out there just a little. And I learned a lot about what techniques make a successful table.

As far as the bigger publishers go (Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, Last Gasp, Top Shelf, etc.), I was glad to see them at the Expo — to see all their products laid out in front of me, rather than squinting at images on a computer screen. Some of them only had marketing representatives who didn’t know much about the submissions process, which was too bad. Others had more knowledgable people to talk to, who offered some useful advice. I guess it really just boils down to submitting material and seeing what happens!

I very much enjoyed talking to some of the smaller publishers. They were very enthusiastic, helpful, and informative. And just because they’re smaller doesn’t mean they have inferior products. They are extremely professional (but in a laid back sort of way) and their books are gorgeous!

I loved talking with the kind folks at Yam Books. Tim Hensley (creator of Ticket Stub) was shocked that someone in their twenties (me) was a Barbara Stanwyck fan!! Both Saturday and Sunday, we had conversations about the film noir starlet, exchanging movie titles and laughing away. He even drew me this awesome illustration of Barbara (see below) in Double Indemnity — bangs and sunglasses and all!

Also had good but brief conversations with the good people at A Raven Above Press and Never Press.

I’ve only recently become interested in learning more about the world of zines. And Tugboat Press seemed like a good place to start. I really admire what they’re doing. I’m glad I talked with them because I learned that, rather than taking submissions, they commission artists. I also received recommendations about which volumes of their anthology Papercutter to buy and realized that they are interested in a vast array of genres. I’m excited to really sit down and read my purchases.

Sunday, I finally figured out where Uncivilized Books got to (I just could not figure out that map!). Their chief Tom was excellent at patiently answering my questions and encouraging me to submit my work. I’m excited to start working on sending out some follow-up e-mails to everyone I talked with!

Also, I picked up a lot of interesting flyers, cards, stickers, etc. from around the expo and from the free table. Below are some of my favorites!!

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Here are my notes of what makes a successful table in case I end up getting one for APE next year!

(This is just a rough list for my personal use. In no particular order!)

  • Need a billboard/banner advertising name of artist/graphic novel.
  • Need a tablecloth.
  • Need a sign (or maybe t-shirts) to hang off the front of the table.
  • Wear one of your own t-shirts to further advertise your graphic novel.
  • Perhaps a sign or two saying: “Please talk to us — we’re friendly!”
  • Perhaps a big bowl of free candy.
  • Attract customers with a selection of cheaper items ($1 pins or stickers?).
  • Need a clipboard and form for customers to sign up for your mailing list.
  • Provide plenty of business cards and/or postcards.

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Among the flyers and such was a postcard for the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest, free and taking place December 8th in Berkeley. I’m very interested in checking it out!

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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