By Nia King, POCZP Contributor
There are a lot of things I hate about punk culture. You can read about most of them in The First 7-Inch Was Better: How I Became an Ex-Punk. But one of the positive things I took away from punk was the knowledge that I could do things myself (whether it was publishing a zine, putting a show together, or cooking a meal for a big crowd at Food Not Bombs with little help and little culinary training).
I’m not saying the zines, shows, or meals were exceptionally well-produced, but as a pink-haired 16 year old, I knew they were all things I could do myself. I didn’t need to ask permission.
[DESCRIPTION: Nia King assembles some of her zines at home (2013). Photo credit: Nia King]
As I got older, being a punk became less important to me, and identities like “queer” and “woman of color” began to play a bigger role in my life. I took my passion for social justice out of the VFW kitchen, and poured it into campus organizing in college, and after graduation, an entry level job at a terrible non-profit. There I learned that doing things well required years of training, lots of money, and often outside consultants. Little emphasis was put into helping us build the skills we’d need to do things ourselves. A lot of emphasis was put into making sure I didn’t forget to use oxford commas.
Three years outside of college (and one year outside the uber-dysfunctional non-profit), I am thankful for my punk roots. Though I dropped out of art school and still draw at, what I feel, is a high school level, I started a webcomic, which is currently being featured in the Lady Drawers exhibition in Chicago. With very little audio editing experience, I started a podcast. (I record all the interviews on my phone.) And without ever having taken a journalism class, I started writing for magazines. The verdict is still out on how that’s going.
None of the things I made are award-winning, all of them are a little rough around the edges. But I’ve overcome that deep-seated fear of imperfection that comes from the knowledge that as a queer woman of color I have to be a super-overachiever to be given even half the credit I’m due. I’m amplifying the voices of people from marginalized communities (whether it be myself or other queer and trans artists of color) in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to if I’d continue to believe I needed more training and better equipment before I put my foot in the water. Growing up in punk culture and zine culture taught me, “It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to do it.”
I’m sure my privileges as a light-skinned, middle-class, cisgender woman had everything to do with the doors that have been opened for me. Doors were also opened for me by the incredible mentors I had at Mills College and Colorlines Magazine (which is not where I developed my fear of forgetting oxford commas, and was actually an amazingly supportive work environment.)
But punk is where I learned the DIY ethic that taught me I don’t need a ton of schooling or a ton of money to call myself an artist. I just need to make art, self-publish, and hustle to get my work to the audience that matters most to me: other folks from marginalized communities struggling to figure out if they can do it themselves.
“Let’s Talk About” is an experimental series by POCZP created to share communal knowledge, resources and reflections on a wide range of topics affecting communities of color.
If you are a person of color—or a white person with a history of supporting POC Zine Project— who wants to contribute to “Let’s Talk About,” submit to email@example.com with “Let’s Talk About” in the subject line.
All submissions to “Let’s Talk About” will be compiled into a zine (print & digital) that will be released by POCZP in December of 2013.
SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT
If everyone in our community gave $10, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2013. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to our 2013 tour, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.
DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh
By Itoro Udofia, Legacy Series Intern
The West Coast is bringing you some awesome zine events coming to L.A, Oakland, San Francisco, Portland and Oregon. If you find yourself on a search for zines that speak truth to power and written by ordinary people who create their own alternative press, then don’t miss out! Come out, get tips, make your own zine and learn more about creating these much needed spaces to have our voices heard.
Don’t miss out, bring a friend and get involved. We’ll see you there!
These events are just a sampling of what’s going on and represent zine events open to everyone. When information is provided, we will include accessibility details.
Use Your Words!: A Reading with Tomas Moniz, Artnoose, Ariel Gore, Jillian Lauren & Jerry Stahl
Friday, February 15
Stories Books and Cafe
1716 West Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
7:30-9pm PST - FREE
Tomas will be part of POCZP’s panel at L.A. Zine Fest as well.
LA Zine Fest at the Ukranian Cultural Center
Sunday, February 17
The Ukrainian Cultural Center
4315 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
11am - 5pm PST - FREE
All workshops and discussions are FREE, however there is limited seating at the Moth, so if you really want to see something, be sure to get there early to snag a seat in time.
Multiple panels and other events are going down, including the following:
Anthologizing Your Zine with Mend My Dress Press
Mend My Dress Press’ workshop offering up some strategies to help you begin the process of anthologizing your zine, touching on everything from choosing content to suggestions for publishing. Get advice from the Press’ founders and authors in the flesh!
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
@ The Moth Theatre
POC Zine Project presents: Beyond ‘Race Riot’: People of Color in Zines from 1990s-Today
Join POC Zine Project members Cristy C. Road, Osa Atoe, Mariam Bastani, Suzy X, Tomas Moniz and POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano as they reunite after the 2012 Race Riot! Tour at L.A. Zine Fest. POCZP members will present a multimedia reading and discussion, as well as answer questions about their experience traveling to 14 cities and six universities on the Race Riot! tour, strategies for building community, and more.
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
@ The Moth Theatre
Check the schedule for specifics on other panels.
Zine Reading with Mend My Dress Press at Needle & Pens
Wednesday, February 13
Needle & Pens, 7 PM
Zine Reading with Mend My Dress Press at The Holdout http://mendmydress.com/2013/01/09/were-goin-on-tour/
Thursday, February 14
The Holdout, 7:30 PM
MakeArt Workshop with DIY Rubber Band Books at Bayview Branch Library
Saturday, February 23
12:30 - 2:00PM
Drop-in, no registration required
Free and open to the public
Bayview Branch Library
5075 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94124
Learn this simple book-making technique using only two materials: paper and colorful rubber bands. Use your book as a journal, photo album, sticker book or planner!
DIY Zine Making Workshop at Rock Paper Scissors Collective
Thursday, February 28 Every 4th Thursday from 6-8pm Sliding scale cost $1-$10 questions -[at]- rpscollective -[dot]- org
2278 Telegraph ave., Oakland, CA 94612510.238.9171
Led by Price Cobbs who says “I am an office worker by trade, with an interest in the arts. Like many, I have at times made unauthorized fliers and booklets on my employer’s copy machines. I am excited by the thought of using my office photocopy skills to produce a multi-page magazine.”
Zine Making Workshop at Makeshift Society
Wednesday, March 6
Makeshift Society 235 Gough St., San Francisco, CA 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM This event is $25-20 dollars, depending on your membership status.
Bookish Beasts at the Center for Sex and Culture Library and Archive
Sunday, April 14
8AM - 6PM PST
1349 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103
[Between 9th and 10th Streets, on the corner of Grace Street]
Zine & Comic Book Festival —details to come.
Annual Stumptown Comics at the Oregon Convention Center
Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28 Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-6
777 NE ML King Blvd.
Portland, OR 97232
Entering its tenth year as an organization, the annual Stumptown Comics Festival has been a staple of Portland, Oregon’s vibrant comics community that’s home to artist collective like Periscope Studios and Tranquility Base, along with publishers such as Dark Horse Comics, Top Shelf Productions, and Oni Press. Overseen by a board of professionals in the industry, Stumptown Comics, Inc. has progressed thanks to the valuable time of efforts of its volunteers.
WEST COAST CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
This isn’t technically a zine event but we wanted to share this anyway:
Humboldt State University (HSU) Asian Pacific Islander American Student Alliance’s (A.P.A.S.A) zine call for submissions!! APASA’s goal is to create a space for people who identify within pan-Asian Pacific Islander ethnicity at HSU to gather and find camaraderie. They also seek to form alliances with other groups and the local community in an effort to increase awareness and appreciation of the diversity that exists within their group and how we identify as Asian, Asian American, South Asian, and Pacific Islanders, & to work in solidarity to engage their differences.
Get your creative work or your local resource/business published in the A.P.A.S.A Pan-Asian Pacific Islander ZINE. A paper printed version will be published & distributed as part of the March Pan-API Perspectives festival.
February 20, 2013: Deadline to submit pieces for the paper version of the zine, to firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the “Pan-API Zine?
It is an online resource open to HSU students and the Humboldt County community at large to share stories, reflections, art, and poetry, which focus on experiences & perspectives of pan-Asian Pacific Islander ethnicity. The Pan-API Zine is a place to list and find different community resources, including local non-profits & businesses that offer services in relation to the pan-API perspective.
While this online Zine was created as part of the Pan-API Perspectives festival that will take place from March 25-30, 2013, it is also an ongoing and living resource for the community to share learnings and resources before the festival and after as well.
COMMUNITY: Did we miss any Spring 2013 West Coast zine events? Submit here and we’ll update this post.
Would you like to help us create Scene Reports for every state? Contact us: email@example.com.
If you would like to invite POC Zine Project to your upcoming event, or collaborate on a joint event, let us know!
Editor’s Note: Itoro will be creating weekly Scene Report roundups. Make sure to send us your zine event details so we can share! If it’s not zine-related but possibly of interest to zinesters of color, we will share that as well.
TITLE: 1001 Black Men
CREATOR: Ajuan Mance
ORIGIN: Oakland, CA (USA)
DESCRIPTION BY AJUAN: 1001 Black Men is a zine that publishes selections from the 1001 Black Men online sketchbook by the artist Ajuan Mance (me), organized by subject. Here’s an excerpt from the artist’s statement, describing the goals of the 1001 Black Men project:
1001 Black Men is a series of drawings inspired by the faces I see in Oakland every day, and by my memories of the family, friends, and neighbors I grew up with out east. In the poem “Beautiful Black Men,” Nikki Giovanni describes her love for all types of Black men, explaining that, for her, they represent “the same old danger/but a brand new pleasure.” In this series of drawings, I push past entrenched stereotypes to create images of Black men that reflect the wonderful complexity of African American lives—our history so deeply embedded in our present, our celebrations so often tempered by grief and, yes, the pleasure and danger we find in so many of the people, places, and activities that give us joy.
This 8.5” x 11” zine includes both color and grayscale images.
Where to Buy: The zine is available on Etsy.com at the 8-Rock Press Store.
Say Hello: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s Note: A “Community Submission” post results from POC folk submitting their own zine to be featured on the POC Zine Project Tumblr. If you would like to share your zine with the POC Zine Project community, here’s how to do it.
When you submit, feel free to add some background, a description of your work and art and your mission statement. If you just send us the name of your zine, we’ll simply link back to a source for purchasing it and use the language you already have on your site.
As long as the zine was created/co-created by a person of color, we will always share Community Submissions. Enjoy!