Dirty Zines at The Tan10:28 AM
By TiL Guest Blogger Korben Dallas
There is a fundraiser this evening for Albuquerque Zine Fest. It happens tonight at The Tan gallery. The fundraiser is being hailed as a Dirty Zine Reading and features readers named Billy Da Bunny and Major Rainy Sneer. DJ Mello will spin throughout the festivities.
Things in Light caught up with organizer Marya Errin Jones, asked about this popular precursor to ABQ Zine Fest, her thoughts on zines and the upcoming festival of self-printed lit.
What are you most excited about experiencing at the second annual ABQ Zine Fest?
I am really looking forward to seeing wall-to-wall zines at The Kosmos. Equally, I can’t wait to get inside the I Fly Away Zine Mobile, coming in from Oakland. The book mobile was one of my all-time favorite things when I was a kid. I think I’m going to turn eight years old when I see that Chevy pull into the parking lot!
Why do you think the dirty zine reading last year was such a popular event?
I think people keep coming to our dirty zine readings because they’re curious. People enjoy this type of zine reading because it quickens the pulse—dirty zines are exciting! The human imagination is vast and rich, and there are so many ways to tap into it. Almost as a rule in this culture, we’re exposed to sexuality and sensuality primarily through visual images, which is one way in, but sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes it’s too immediate. I think text can be tantalizing. A good, dirty story is like a great strip tease—you don’t yank off your clothes— there’s got to be a story behind the desire or the need to disrobe. I think it’s the same for dirty stories. It takes courage to speak the words that turn you on and it takes courage to listen. People show up to witness the spectacle of vulnerability. Strangely enough, I think it’s also exciting to be a little uncomfortable, to squirm a little, to giggle a little. Adults don’t giggle enough. I think a dirty zine reading is a great place to explore the internal edges of desire and curiosity, in an intellectual context.
Tell us about your love of zines.
My love for zines is new, fresh. We’re new lovers that don’t know a lot about each other, which is cool. I’m new to zines, and maybe they’ll turn out to a boyfriend who kisses and tells. But right now, I love that stapled, folded paper, and the stories and drawings tucked between the covers. I love reading zines as much as I move holding them—the texture of the paper, the shape and size of the zine. I secretly enjoy the quiet struggle I know a person goes through to get the story or the image onto the paper, and then the ease with which most zinesters just give the work away, or trade it for other zine—cash is good, but it’s not about making money—for me, it’s about giving a part of myself away, and hoping someone else will enjoy what I’ve made. I love it when writers are rock stars—it’s a great feeling to finally meet your favorite zinester, in the flesh, and know they’re just as awkward and weird as you! In a year, I’ve written nine zines of my own so far, and contributed to a few. Zines gave me my writing voice back when the sight of the blank page used to paralyze me. Seriously. It’s not that I don’t feel sick every time the idea for a zine comes up and I know I must chase it down. The difference is now I do it, and there’s no right way or wrong way to pursue the story. Zines gave me permission to be the scholar, the teacher, the lover I want to be, in print.
What's your favorite "dirty" zine?
It’s strange—I don’t really have a favorite dirty zine yet. But of the ones I have read, I would say I am partial to tales that get creative. I like sexy humor. I like smart smut. I’m inspired by Anais Nin’s short stories, I like the writing of Johnny Murdoc, published by Queer Young Cowboys.
So yeah, that's happening tonight, folks, at The Tan, starting at about 8 p.m. The Tan is located at 1415 Fourth St. SW, in beautiful Barelas. If you go, maybe you can get a picture taken with Billy Da Bunny, or something dirty like that. In any case there will be heaps of great stuff to read and listen to and it probably beats the hell out of Zorg's Labor Day barbecue.