Raw Material
Flatter! Cover

Jaina A. Davis, Flatter!

Age: 27

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 carry it.

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 diapers.

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 Magazine!

In my other life, I'm a:
Publisher/editor/jetsetter. I'm starting a mail order catalog to expose the zines I love with little or no distribution.

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