Raw Material

Jeremy Braddock, Verbivore

Age: 28

Selection: "The Verbivore JFK Assassination Diorama," by Jeremy and Miguel Echegaray (page 14)

Recent reviews (from Crank): "Filled with well-written, poignant articles covering everything from political struggle to pop culture oddballs, this is a damn-near perfect zine."

Sample: $3 from 2131 St. Albans St., Philadelphia, PA 19146 (checks: Jeremy Braddock)

When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
The first issue of Verbivore came out in the summer of 1994. I'd been inspired by zines like Mudflap, Pawholes and (of course) Cometbus. It was really exciting to see the "hell yes, I can do it myself—and better!" vibe of punk catching fire in the scene of writing. When I saw Gearhead, I was so taken by its angle (punk rock and hot rods) that I more or less began thinking about grafting that idea onto things I was interested in (food and popular culture). I met Mike LaVella of Gearhead at a party in SF a little bit later, and he told me how he started out, and I took it from there.

Why publish a zine?
More than anything, it's out of nervous energy. I also figured that I knew a lot of people who were great writers with interesting ideas, most of whom would have to wait far too long to see those ideas in print. It sounds pompous, but I hoped Verbivore might be a kind of proactive strike!

What can you tell us about the selection you provided for "The Book of Zines"?
I hope that the piece is more or less self-explanatory. This exercise will make more sense to anyone who's had the chance to wander around Dealey Plaza and been accosted by people selling you newsletters, books and, above all, their opinions. The assassination is only interesting as long as no one believes that the truth can ever be known. What's really interesting is what we and everyone else brings to it. That also sounds pompous, so just ignore that and enjoy the piece, for Pete's sake!

Have you published any other zines?
This is it so far.

Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
Just the usual. Don't aim to high at first. Keep your costs low, stand up to people who might be taking advantage of you. It's good to have a clear idea about WHY you want to do your zine (because when you find out how much damn work it turns out to be, you'll have to keep reminding yourself of this!). Also, getting in touch with other zine publishers is fantastically helpful.

What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
I love hearing from people who have read Verbivore, telling me what they liked and hated. It really makes you feel like you're communicating, which is the whole point.

In my other life, I'm a:
Surf music enthusiast, tall order cook, sometime Schlitz drinker, degraded temp worker and student.

The Kennedy Assassination

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