I drew this for my friend Malcolm, based on our ongoing conversations around graduate school (rejections and reservations). Part of the sentiment of this drawing is based in legitimate critiques of even wanting to pursue a PhD, but also for me it’s a part of an emotional process of recognizing that getting a PhD is not the be-all end-all of my own intellectual abilities, that I can think and write and even publish outside of the academy. There is almost like a 5 stages of grief thing happening in my sketchbook. It’s funny to think that I have a hard time with the idea of creating without the validation of an institution, since so much of my work with zines hinges on it.
Oh panopticonic admissions departments utilizing google to stalk potential students, please still let me in your ivory tower! I will thanklessly grade your papers and teach your students, read hundreds of pages a day and write essays to be published in obscure academic journals. Because I love you, academia, even if you reject me. Even if you eat me alive.
This is getting grossly and uncomfortably personal, even for someone who draws dildos on the covers of their zines. In other news, you may have noticed that I have changed the theme of this blog and I hope you are not disgusted (speak now or forever hold your peace, silent blog readers).
Also, I am speaking this Thursday at Red Emma’s in Baltimore on the “the history, present, and potential of queer zines” and on similar topics at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective in Richmond on March 12th, unless I decide to talk about something else. On March 26th, Jami Sailor and I will be facilitating a panel called “Archiving the Underground: A Conversation on Zines in Academia” at the Chicago Zine Fest.
See academia? I don’t need you to talk nerdy for free.
<3 j (not resentful) bee
Chile got hit by a massive earthquake this morning…I’m pretty sure that everyone I know is safe but it’s a really bad situation, and I’m not sure about the kids in Valpo… If folks know of ways that are not crappy Red Cross-type things that we can do to help, please post and spread the word.
In better news, yesterday I got a major package of zines from Jackie Wang that totally made my life, including On Being Hard Femme #1, Memoirs of a Queer Hapa #1 & Memoirs of a Queer Hapa #2, The Adventures of Loneberry, and We Are Good Enough #2-6.
My friend Lane had showed me On Being Hard Femme this summer, but I am super excited to have my own copy and experience that bizarre hometown pride that happens when a traveler stops in your city and writes a zine there. I just finished reading The Adventures of Loneberry and I think I’m going to pause on the zines because I have too much work and also you never want to rush something this good. Jackie has definitely joined the ranks of favorite zinesters ever, I love her writing and what she talks about. The Adventures of Loneberry is mostly tales of traveling all over for a summer, including going to Baltimore 3 times and hanging out with folks I know and love, which was exciting to read about, even though it made me wish I had been around this summer to meet her (although we eventually did meet and had hot tub times and she is awesome). Jackie writes, “This zine is about being a little person in the world and feeling fucking big-huge, even. Part tales of wild journeys, part critical reflections on being a queer mixed-race womyn lone traveler. It’s about crushes. And letters. And shitting on the idea that adventure is a white boy thing.” Jackie, move to Baltimore soon. I want to hang out and talk about femme identity and polyamory and school and avocados or whatever.
I also got Bound to Struggle Volume 4: Desire in the mail from Simon Strikeback. Which includes two pages from my sketchbook among a host of cool things. Here’s one of ‘em:
I really loved kit wilson-yang’s piece “desired location” which is sexy and emotionally salient and about gender and wearing “girl” clothes and becoming brave. So good. I also loved Gina de Vries’s (?) piece because it was super sexy. I think of all the issues of Bound to Struggle this one is actually the least epically kinky and epically radical, but it is adorable and sexy. I wish Simon would switch the cover up sometimes but that’s just me.
Bound to Struggle Vol. 4 is 43 pages, photocopied half-size and includes a whole bunch of contributors talking about desire. Kinky, politically-infused desire. It costs 5$ for U.S. folks and 6$ for out of U.S. folks, and can be ordered by e-mailing Simon at s.strikeback [at] gmail.com.
I was supposed to go to a Purim party in Baltimore tonight but then I got depressed and decided to stay home. I’m sort of regretting it but I think I’m going to clean my room. Tomorrow at some point I am going to Red Emma’s to drop off some issues of Femme a Barbe, so if anyone wants to drink coffee with me I would love to see beautiful Baltimore faces.
Yesterday Sassyfrass tabled with some awesome folks as part of the Radical Bookfair Pavilion at the Baltimore Book Festival, including China Martens, Tuff Charm distro and After the Fall distro. In addition to picking up some sweet zines, I made about six dollars, with which I promptly purchased a “blendy freezy” from Red Emma’s and a light rail ticket with which to go visit my parents. Sweet deal.
Some zinerific pictures:
friendzzz making super cool mini-zines. i did not take the second picture.
illz of tuff charm distro…look at all them free zines!
spreadin’ the gospel.
that’s my stuff on the right…splitting a table with China Martens!!
i made some bangin’ trades with these folks.
Please find someone who is not making a hilarious face in this picture.
China reading her zine!
I think tabling at this particular event was an interesting experience, because I was one of like two personal zines there, with a couple of free distros. What I love most about zine fests is meeting all the folks who do personal zines and trading with them, and chatting with the folks who wander in and explaining what zines are etc., which is hard to do in a giant book fest with folks mostly browsing at high speed. But overall I was pretty psyched about the day. The best part was when a bunch of little kids were learning how to make zines, and also when my mom bought me some pad thai. Hellz yeah. I’m hoping that next year I will be living in Baltimore and helping to make the zine bazaar even bigger and more of a success. That is my evil master vagenda. Mwahahah.
Zines Not Dead,
So my scanner is currently nonfunctional, not sure what’s up with that. But in the meantime, I got an honorable mention in the Baltimore City Paper annual comics contest. Look, my work is on a website! It’s not worth money and it’s not first place, but I am pretty excited about it anyway. Also enjoy these sweet tips on how to cartoon.
So since my scanner is broken I thought I would just take a picture of the other page I did for the Disorientation Guide:
Plus, I am a playground for ratties.
I just can’t get enough of my girls. It’s kind of gross how much I love them, and let them chew on my hair.
Last, make sure you go check out the Radical Bookfair Pavilion at the Baltimore Book Festival, not this coming weekend (which is Hampdenfest) but in like two weekends. There is a zine bazaar on Friday Sept. 25th and I am taking off school to be there, so hopefully you can also get your ass over there, at least for a little while to come give me hugs and/or coffee.
<3 jenna b.