This lake house in South Carolina has been the meetup spot for our family my entire life. I was really excited to go for July 4th this year, and brought along a Mamiya 645 and Olympus OM-1 to get some candid shots and portraits of the fam.
I shot Arista EDU 100 for B&W 35mm, expired Ektachrome, Vericolor and Agfa 400 for color 120, and HP5 and Delta 400 for B&W 120. I was really happy with how the color shots turned out, and just ordered some Kodak Portra 400. More to come.
So I held out for a long time before finally picking up a Fujifilm Instax camera. I loved my old Polaroid, but I thought I’d moved on to bigger and better (and sharper) images. Plus the actual camera design looks like shit. That said, when Caitie’s friends decided to fly in and surprise her for a “ladies weekend”, I thought it would be the perfect time to snag one. All I can really say is it was pretty damn fun having it around.
First round of trades arrived in the mail! (disregard le desk mess)
So I’ve learned a lot in the past month or so since making my first ‘zine and mailing a bunch of copies all over the damn place. First and foremost, I learned how much postage is required to send a letter within the US, to Canada, Mexico, the UK, and the Philippines. Great first step.
More importantly, I’ve learned that the people behind the ‘zine culture are awesome – they create interesting content, but more importantly – they want to share it (often times not for a profit). Enter TRADES. To me, this is what it’s all about.
Ed Tillman, California. I love his “packaging” of iPhone photos. The cigar band is a nice touch, and the zine was carefully printed & folded. Take that Instagram.
When I printed off 60 copies of mark’s demise volume 1, I looked at this stack of photocopied/stapled booklets and thought to myself “now what”? After some sporadic googling I was fortunate enough to find a few websites that facilitated zine-communication (most notably http://wemakezines.ning.com/). Honestly, my first response was “oh wow, there aren’t many members on this site that are still active…”. But I posted anyways, and sent a few messages…to my surprise, there were actually quite a few people interested in trading.
“Two middle age punks discover the joys of birding…” ‘nough said. Thanks to Ryan Mishap from Oregon
I can’t deny that I loved the axioms.
So I spent an afternoon stuffing envelopes and writing addresses…it all felt kind of zen, and I loved the physicality of the whole process – so much more tangible than a blog. I put handwritten notes in a bunch of them, and photocopied “thanks for the trade” notes in the rest (lesson learned: It’s better to ALWAYS include a handwritten note…every time I got one it totally made my day).
This the envelope I received from Fishspit in WA. An awesome amount of time/thought went into collaging the whole exterior…
Great cover illustration and dramatic story inside…fishspit is a character. Despite his rough exterior, you can tell he’s a thoughtful guy.
I think that’s the appeal of zines (for me) in 2016…in an age where everything is online and pixelated, where people are snapping/insta-chatting dozens of times a day with shortening attention spans…for someone to take the time to actually curate a body of work to print instead of just puking it onto the interwebs shows that we are still capable of taking a thoughtful approach towards sharing what is important to us, instead of just letting the internet decide.
(yes, I get the irony that this is a blog post.)
Ok long story long, the point of this post is to share some cool shit I got in the mail from cool people. Clearly these aren’t “reviews” (if you’re interested in that: http://syndicatedzinereviews.blogspot.ca/), but I wanted to take a few pics of things that stood out to me.
Trio of minizines from Shane in California. I love the title of issue #1
too true, too true
I am really impressed with Julius Smit’s Tramp. Nicely bound, very cohesive and thought provoking.
Great mix of photos and words. Nicely laid out and engaging
I’m not sure what the Walking Artist Network is, but I’m definitely going to have to check it out
Stephanie from Lancaster Ohio sent her latest issue of New Hearts New Bones on Cheering and Waving Press. I had a feeling I’d like her just based on the name of her distro (“Cheering and waving..” I mean that’s pretty rad). The zine is great and hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet at a zine swap in August.
I couldn’t help but enjoy the Hillarump photo
Most importantly, I really enjoyed getting the handwritten notes from the zinesters I was trading with…writing letters is a a lost art! Hopefully we can continue trade, and I can get to know all of them a bit better through their work and words.
Ed Templeton is a special kind of awesome. If you haven’t seen his Epicly Later’d series (Vice), it’s worth a watch. Professional skateboarder, founder of Toy Machine Bloodsucking Skateboarding Company, and artist/photographer, he is an inspiration to artist-slash-skateweirdos around the world. I watched a bunch of his interviews yesterday, and it motivated me to finally slap a face on what was previously an empty domain that’s been burning a hole through a shelf in my hosting account. Enter marks demise.