Jerome Gaynor, funkapotamus
Selection: "Desperate for Nothing
in Particular for No Particular Reason" (page 2)
Recent review (from Pulled Mints): "If
you like autobiographical comics, this is one of the best. Jerome
can make a non-event (being bored, hanging out at the mall) into
an amazing emotional experience by focusing on the right details."
Sample: $2 from P.O. Box 63207, St. Louis,
When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do
Freshman year in college,
college was so dull and horrible, I started doing the zine for
something to do.
Why publish a zine?
I do lots of drawings all
the time and I hate formal gallery-type settings, so I just photocopy
them and give them away. The same way spontaneous, no-frills
shows were a reaction by punks to over-produced and "wanky"
rock concerts, I like showing my art by copying it and handing
it out instead of in big slick magazines or in a gallery, where
a fake line is drawn between the artist and the viewer. It's
a good way to meet people tooif I give someone a zine and
they like it, they can write me a letter. It makes meeting cool
people really easy.
If you've got something
you think the world should see, publishing a zine is the easiest
way to get the message out. As the mainstream media narrows its
scope and chucks integrity totally out the window, it's not surprising
that more people have started doing it themselves. Of course,
a lot of kids do zines just to do them and the result is useless
and ugly garbage, but I still think that it's a good thing that
they are trying to create something to express themselves. the
only really bad zines are ones with high production values and
no substance (you know, like Vogue, People, Time, Newsweekthose
really shitty ones...)
Do you publish any other zines?
Yeah I did "Flying Saucer
Attack" a year ago ($6 from address above). I took a premise
(In the course of a single day, aliens come to Earth and destroy
every human being), and sent out invitations to about 50 underground
comic-artists, asking them to contribute a story about that day.
Everybody really came through with excellent submissions, and
I did everything myself in the production (editing, paste-up,
printing, collating, folding & stapling, trimming), I even
carried the boxes of paper home on foot five miles because I
didn't have a car! And it came out great, so I'm really proud
of that. Also I regularly contribute to Roctober,
the best zine ever, from easy listening to punk.
Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
The only thing is if you're
making a zine, put some real effort into it. Don't just slap
a bunch of crap that you don't care about on paper just to be
doing a zine. And unless you have something exceptional to say,
don't bother with slickness, because a shoddy bad zine can be
cool, but a slick bad zine is wasteful and phony, and there's
enough of that in the mainstream media already. A lot of kids
make punk zines and just slap it together, a bunch of boring
stuff that's badly written and sloppy. A little attention to
style goes a long way.
What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
The first day I finish one,
distributing them to all my friends and giving them to strangers.
the whole big pay-off after months of work. Also flipping through
it and being so relieved and proud of it. I love it when I give
someone a copy of my zine and they get excited: "Is this
the new one!? Rad!"
In my other life, I'm a:Fan
Well I was gonna be a doctor
but I basically dropped out after the first day. so I used to
be a science student. now I make Web pages, but I start graduate
school in physical therapy this year. I don't consider myself
a "computer guy." (Actually I support the Unabomber
as a write-in presidential candidate in '96: "The Industrial
Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the
human race.") So I guess in my other life I'm a scientist.
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