Raw Material

Will Pfeifer, Underbelly

Age: 29

Selection: "Family Circus of Horrors" (page 23)

Sample: $2 cash from 2221 Cumberland St. #2, Rockford, IL 61103

When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
First issue appeared in July of 1995. As far as inspiration goes, it wasn't like a bolt from the blue or anything. I had accumulated tons of pop culture debris in my head over the years and saw plenty of other folks publishing zines, so I said, "Hell, I could do that."

Why publish a zine?
I've actually been self-publishing mini-comics for years, so the decision to collect and publish my writing just seemed natural.

What can you tell us about the selection you provided for "The Book of Zines"?
It sits there innocuously on the funny pages, but The Family Circus is one bizarre little strip. It's rarely funny in the conventional sense, but it can be a fascinating (and even disturbing) thing to read day after day. I just wanted to write something that would allow everyone to get the same enjoyment (if that's the right word) out of it that I do.

Have you published any other zines?
I've published a mini-comic called "Violent Man" since 1986. I suppose it's basically yet another superhero spoof, but I've gotten to the point where the super-heroics (or mindless violence, as it were) is a minor segment of the book. I have a lot more fun writing deliberately convoluted storylines and throwing in lots of pop culture satire.

Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
It's probably a good idea to invest in a computer so you don't have to spend days cutting, pasting and playing with rubber cement when it comes time to put the whole thing together. Also, crazy layouts are fun and we all love Raygun magazine, but if you want people to actually read your articles, put some thought in how you're going to present the contents of your zine. Most of all, write whatever you want, 'cause it's your magazine and no one's looking over your shoulder. As a guy who works at a newspaper all day, it took me a while to realize this.

What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
I enjoy the writing the most, but the feeling of holding the (finally) finishes publication in your hand is tough to beat.

In my other life, I'm an:
Assistant graphics editor and columnist at the Rockford Register Star in Illinois.

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