Alphonse Wolfgang Coleman,
Bubba's Live Bait
Selection: "Showdown at Mailbox Corral"
Recent review (from You Could Do Worse):
"Don't be fooled by Bubba's down-home look. These are honest
words from the heart of the Bible Belt."
Sample: $1 cash and two 32-cent postage
stamps from P.O. Box 824, Knoxville, TN 37901
When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
The first issue
was in January 1994. I'd been reading various zines for a couple
of years before that. Some of my favorites were Girlymag, Farm Pulp, Seamonkeys from Guatemala, and
many other personal zines too numerous to mention. This was back
when almost every zine had the obligatory entreaty to "do
your own zine if you like mine" somewhere in it. In the
last couple of years I think zine editors have realized that
encouraging everybody to do a zine wasn't such a great ideathere's
been a flood of weak zines lately. Anyway, partly in response
to the editors' entreaties and partly from the realization that
"Hey, I could do better than this one," I finally decided
to do one. At first I feared my writing wouldn't hold people's
interest, so I got as many folks to participate as I could. That
was a mistake.
Why publish a zine?
There are only a few valid
reasons to publishthe foremost being to be read. I want
someone to look at my thoughts on paper. I'm not as concerned
with whether they agree or not, just that they're read it. That
helps me deal with losing a lot of money on the zinereaders
who take the time to hear what I have to say are doing me a favor,
so any money lost is a payment for that service. Also, I envisioned
it as a bit of a "sugar-coated pill." I obviously want
to affect people's opinions about important socio-political issues,
but I don't want to be overwhelmingly didactic about it, so hidden
behind all the humor and satire there is a definite political
strain. Creating something that transcends capitalism (i.e. losing
money hand-over-fist) is a revolutionary act. That's why I don't
care too much for zines trying to get bigger and bigger. If they
succeed, all they've achieved is creating another consumer good.
What can you tell us about the selection you provided for
"The Book of Zines"?
All one should really know
is that it is a true storyI have no patience for fiction.
What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
Probably sitting down with
tape, gluestick, scissors and my big boxes of stolen clip art
and putting the zine together. It takes a long time but I enjoy
it. Reading the first finished, stapled, and folded zine is a
big charge too. I also really dig thoughtful letters from readers
and other zine editors.
Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
Time for Uncle Zine to bore
the kids with preaching. (1) First off, don't do it for money.
Embrace the fact that you will lose money or just barely break
even. If you somehow (yeah, right) start to make a profit from
it, you are doing something wrong. Lower the price, make it longer,
whatever. Don't fall into the bullshit capitalist rationalization
mode where you "put all the profits back into the zine"buying
computers, scanners, quitting your day job.
(2) Don't try to
get bigger and bigger constantly. You may get what you wish forI've
seen a lot of zines get crushed by the logistics of a giant circulation.
It just isn't any fun for them anymore when it starts to resemble
a job. Deliberately strive to keep your subscription list small.
I consider mine like an extended family.
(3) Don't let technology
squeeze the individuality out of your zine. No matter how cool
and original you think that font is, it isn't; we've seen it
two million times. If you're not putting pen to paper at some
point, you're doing it wrong. Do your own drawings, write some
headlines or even articles. I think forcing yourself to actually
cut and paste with scissors and glue forces you to think m ore
about the design; it makes your zine more crafted and original.
If you zine looks like someone else's, you've missed the point
in doing a zine. It should be as individual as you are.
In my other life, I'm an:
College student (geography),
musician, and receptionist at a social work agency.
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