Rod Lott, Hitch
Selections: "Real-Life Giant Construction
Kit for Kids" (page 26); "Two Minutes Batchat with
Adam West" (page 54); "Rejected Apes Subplots,"
by Rod and Chris Henry (page 83); "The Shaneshaw Redemption,"
by Brad Lott (page 137)
Recent reviews (from Schlock): "Hitch
has got to be one of the zinedom's funniest and most wise-ass
magazines I've read. At times it reminds me of the old National
Lampoon, back when it was actually funny." (From Damaged):
"Hitch is the king of all zines!"
Sample: $4 from P.O. Box 23621, Oklahoma
City, OK 73123 (checks: Rod Lott)
When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
I launched Hitch during a
brief period of unemployment in the summer of 1994. Right before
I graduated with a journalism degree in 1993 from the University
of Oklahoma, a friend and I joked about how we could avoid working
for a newspaper when we got out into the real world. One option
I came up with was to start our own magazine. Of course, since
neither of our families are Rockefellers, that was an impossibility.
But it was still something I'd always wanted to do. So after
the national magazine I was working for (Private Practice) went
out of business in May 1994, I was bored for about six weeks
sitting at home. So I put the first issue together, and had a
lot of fun doing so...except that since I wasn't drawing a paycheck,
it didn't get printed until a month after I found another job.
I've kept it going ever since, and it only gets more and more
Why publish a zine?
To me, coming from a journalism
background, the publishing process is a lot of fun. I'm always
disappointed a little once each issue comes back from the printer,
because the fun part's over. Also, in college I gained a cult
following as a long-running columnist in the student daily, where
I'd get recognized, receive fan mail and even be stalked by crazed
females (including one who asked me to marry herI didn't).
I really kind of missed having people read my work and respond
to it, so a zine was a wholly natural step.
What can you tell us about the selections you provided
for "The Book of Zines"?
"Two Minutes Batchat
With Adam West": My fascination with Batman is
well-known among friends and family members. In fact, in grade
school, I gave up the chance to say a final goodbye to our family's
dying sheepdog because Batman was battling Mr. Freeze. Batman
took precedence over everything, and still does. I even place
it before sex with the wife. When I heard that Adam West was coming to OKC to do some chintzy
grocery store appearance, I knew I had to be there. I tried to
no avail to get a one-on-one interview, so I had to settle with
just throwing out questions while he signed my Batman video.
I had to work up the nerve to be able to ask my childhood hero
about the chafing.
Construction Equipment for Kids": A journalism
school friend and Hitch contributor Taylor Holland first introduced
me to Hard Hat Harry by commenting on the insane ads you'd see
for this video on late-night TV. I'd never heard of it. About
a year later, though, I was fishing through the coupon circulars
in our daily paper and found an offer for the video for only
$4.95. I thought it would be funny to review, but it was horrifying.
I cannot bring myself to watch it a second time. I am haunted
by dreams of Hard Hat Harry.
Have you ever published any other zines?
In high school, a classmate
and I started an underground newspaper called "The Weekly
Onion." It was all typed out on a dot matrix printer and
laid out with rubber cement and Xeroxed on a horrible copy machine.
When the first issue came out (all four pages of it), we almost
got suspended. We were told never to do another issue. We said
okay. Then we did 29 more. There was some funny stuff in there,
and a few pieces have found their way into the pages of Hitch.
Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
Don't copy other zines. When
you're getting ready to start one, read a bunch of others and
then create something totally different. Don't expect to make
money. Don't think that getting a distributor will make you money,
either. Don't run poetry. And when doing a zine ceases to be
fun, quit immediately.
What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
As a journalist, the actual
"work" of a zinethe editing and the layoutwill
always be my favorite part of doing one. The least? The whole
postage and mailing thing.
In my other life, I'm an:Fan
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