Jaina A. Davis, Flatter!
Selection: "How to Become a Cult
Guru," by Phil X. Milstein (page 65)
Recent review (from Mommy
and I Are One): "Flatter! is effervescent, bubbly and
tickles my nose." (From Farm Pulp):
"Flatter! always has lots of pictures, which is my prerequisite
for a good zine, always has vaguely erotic centerfolds, loads
of oblate puffery and leaves you full and satiated like a Sunday
pasta at mom's."
When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
When I was a wee tot I'd draw
satirical cartoons about my mom and put together little magazines.
In high school (1987/88) my best friend and I did a literary
magazine parody called Gisca Sianliha, which means "Goose
Pork". My grandmother was the first female editor of the
UCLA Daily Bruin newspaper, so I think it's hereditary. Flatter!
started in 1992 after years of talk. The final catalyst was meeting
the sweetly enthusiastic Lisa Carver. She had such fun putting
out Rollerderby that I got swept up
in her momentum. The next thing I knew I was walking into stores
clutching the first issue of Flatter!, meekly asking if they'd
Why publish a zine?
The thrill and the glamour!
The elusive mystery of being "The Press." To someday
own Hearst Castle.
What can you tell us about the selection you provided for
"The Book of Zines"?
Each issue of Flatter! has
a theme, such as "Cakes and Spankings," "Jewish/Japanese,"
or "Wolves and Grandmas." The issue that this article
comes from was "The Cult Issue" which had everything
from Koresh to Blue Oyster Cult in its pages. Phil X. Milstein
was my very first subscriber, and is one of my very favorite
contributors. He was doing zines when the rest of us were in
Do you publish any other zines?
I started a small publishing
company, putting out friends comics and zines. So far I've released
Christine Shields "Blue Hole" comic, Bwana Spoons "Soft
Smooth Brain" comic, and a zine in the works called "My
World" by my oldest friend Patty. I have several of my own
in progress as well. I want to do a small, messy, Xeroxed zine
that doesn't require as much work as Flatter. It's called "Vilma",
but it will never come out, because I'm too manic to do anything
the simple and quick way. I also have the "ClubISM Newsletter"
which is a pretend club consisting of ISMists, office supply
lusters, and clown enthusiasts. I'm sorry I'm so confusing.
Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
Don't underestimate yourself!
Just because everyone else does a cheap, reduced typewriter photocopied
mess doesn't mean you have to. You don't need money if you have
a good imagination. I'm sick of illegible publications. Just
shut up if you don't want anyone to understand you! HA!
What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
The crowds of little people
clamoring around my limo, cameras flashing, the cover of People
In my other life, I'm a:Office
I'm starting a mail order catalog to expose the zines I love
with little or no distribution.
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