Dan Kelly, Chum
Selection: Their World of Love, by Leslie
Stella (page 55)
Recent review (from McJob):
"Uproarious writing, hilarious ideas."
Sample: $3 from P.O. Box 47174, Chicago,
IL 60647. Also available: "Cop Porn," a collection
of Dan's zine writing ($5)(checks: Dan Kelly)
When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
Way back in 1991, during a
particularly long bout with unemployment, I began filling my
copious spare time through writing away to organizations in Ivan
Stang's "High Weirdness by Mail." Eventually I encountered
zines and decidedpardon the cliche"Hey, I can
do this... and much better, incidentally." Inspired, I consulted
my associates and friends Kathy Mosely and Darrin Sullivan (who
several months earlier suggested that we start a magazine called
"Idiom," which was a nice idea but never got off the
ground). "Whathell?" we thought and threw ourselves
into the creation of a zine called Vox Canis. Each issue of Vox
Canis was devoted to a single theme, and so it went, up until
the seventh issue (appropriately, the "Death" issue).
We agreed that we'd eventually publish another zine, and after
a year of working on individual projects, we came together in
1994 to create the first issue of Chum. The rest is history/hysteria.
Why publish a zine?
By and large, to put our money
where our mouths are. As a collection of cranky old grumps, Darrin,
Kathy and I would often spend entire evenings slagging on this
or that media abomination. Our zine(s) allow us to show how publishing
should be done (or, at least, they allow us to create a magazine
that we would like to find on the news racks, but obviously never
will owing to public demand, etc.)
What can you tell us about the selection you provided for
"The Book of Zines"?
Dan: Leslie Stella
is one of Chicago's brightest young writers, and we are proud
as punch to have her on board. As demonstrated in Chum and in
her ongoing work with Lumpen magazine, Leslie's sparkling style
and stinging wit brings a sass and verve sadly lacking in most
of the dung that passes for satirical writing these days. If
I could be a girl, I would want to be Leslieonly with a
Gucci wardrobe and a tony red sportscar.
Leslie: When I showed
the story to my mom, she said, "I can't stand that Fabio.
But I love Yanni." Then she said something about Yanni's
music lifting her soul, but I wasn't paying attention.
Do you publish other zines?
Evil (R) (a zine devoted to
true crime and my personal obsession with serial killersnatch,
before they became all trendy) and Danger! (a semi-regular zine
devoted to whatever personal obsessions I'm experiencing at the
time; be they the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, satanic rock
n' roll murder, Tony Alamo, guns, street kooks, and oh so much
Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
1) Avoid the Megacorp(R) photocopy
centers (you know who you are). It is abominable how many stories
I've heard about these nellies refusing to copy "objectionable"
or "copyrighted" material for fear of legal repercussions;
rooking publishers out of tens of dollars for aligning copies,
collating or other "extra services" which mysteriously
appear during the printing process; snubbing zine people for
larger, and thus more lucrative jobs; and generally acting like
a bunch of braindead toner zombies whenever I had the misfortune
of dealing with them.
2) Do whatever you want to
do, but do it well. Just because you have a print run of less
than one hundred doesn't mean you don't have to know the difference
between its and it's. I have more respect for a zine that comes
out only once a year but which reads well and looks professional
than I do for a monthly piece of genital toss composed of a zillion
reviews and a few poorly written essays. I've always favored
the saying: "It's not enough to say, 'I can do this.' You
have to say, 'I can do this better.' "
What's your favorite part of doing a zine?Dan
For 24 pages, I am God.
Fat Bald Jeff
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