Participating at LA Zine Fest has been a DUM DUM Zine tradition since its inception.

Zine Circle 2

For DUM DUM Zine and any aspiring zinester in L.A., spring has always been synonymous with ZINE FEST and though we did not officially table this year (read more about this in our Letter from the Editor) we decided to DUM up the fest just the same.

I first attended a zine-making workshop hosted by L.A. Zine Fest back in 2012 and heard about DUM DUM Zine through another satellite L.A. Zine Fest event that same year, and I’ve been in the zine scene ever since. I’ve witnessed the festival coordinators build a wonderful, inclusive space for us artists, writers, publishers and all of our peers to network and make friends.

This year was no different. I was joined by our Music Staffer Julia Gibson, camera in tow, on the scene to talk to the Zinesters and festival attendees about their works and their creative inspirations.

Third Woman Press

Third Woman Press 2

Name: Mariana Lui

We are a feminists of color press. We have been around since the 70s. Kinda died down around the 90s, and we picked it up again a few years ago. We’ll be coming out with an anthology this year. We also have zines that are anthology of feminist works. They are more accessible because they are inexpensive. Overall, we like amplifying the voices of feminist of color

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What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

I don’t know about astonished, but definitely what inspires me is just all the awesome work of feminists of color that comes up. I don’t create anything that’s in any of these zines and  books here but what we do is we highlight work by other people that we think needs to be put out there.

Cold Cube Press

Cold Cube Press 2

Name: Michael Heck, Aiden Fitzgerald

Aiden: We run a publishing company called Cold Cube Press. It’s all risograph printing focusing mostly on kinda of like weirdo alt comics, poetry comics, poetry, visual art.

Michael: All of our favorite artists.

Aiden: Yeah, we put out one anthology a year that’s from [contributors] all over the country and world. For the artists that we publish [regularly], because we’re out of Seattle, we like to focus on people in Seattle, Portland and the NW.

Cold Cube 1

What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

Aiden: We’re both printers and artists as well. So at least for me, I get really inspired by seeing other printers and how good they are and trying to figure out and work backward about how they do stuff from a technical aspect. I kind of geek out about that. And then I think from a creative aspect, just coming to stuff like this. And we went to a panel last night called Barrio Queer which was amazing. Hearing them talk and others about their work and seeing it –  I really love how they’re doing things.

Michael: Exactly what he just said .Seeing what friends are doing and being like,’I wanna keep up with that!’

VTZ Volunteer Theme Zine

SC Woolridge/Volunteer Theme Zine

Name: Shawnna Woolridge

The VTZ is the volunteer theme zine. I curate a group of artists and based on their suggestions and rolling a 12 sided die, we select a theme and then everyone has to write to that theme in a very limited structural sense. Everyone can submit up to 2 pages; 1 page:1 story, 1 story; 2 pages or 2 pages : 2 different stories but every story has to reflect that that theme. The theme has to be represented.

 Volunteer Theme Zine

What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

Oh big question. I would say that the lack of being able to communicate properly verbally. And then being really frustrated about that and then finding a way to do that through writing and being able to reflect it visually. I have a really large imagination and it’s very difficult to say everything that’s going on in my head but if I can put everything together then, yes, I can do that. That’s what I want to do.

Queer Anxiety Babiez Distro

Queer Anxiety Babiez 2

Name: Maira McDermott

I’m one third of Queer Anxiety / Babiez Distro. We’re based out of the Bay Area. We focus on the intersection of gender, queerness, and mental health. And I’m also the head organizer for the Bay Area Queer Zine Fest which is happening for the first time this year in Oakland.

Queer Anxiety Babiez 1

What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

Just to be able to get my story out. I got into zines when I was researching my own mental and then I was like, wait, this is a thing that I can do. And it’s so much cheaper than therapy. That’s what I tell people when they ask that question, ‘Because it’s cheaper than therapy.’ And it’s really cool when people are able to relate and come back to you with that info, like ‘ Omg your zine helped me through this time that I was having.’ That means a lot to me. It’s really cool to make connections with people. I’ve made a lot of friends with zines. Part of the reason I want to keep creating is that I can go to their Zine Fests and keep hanging out with them.

Thick Thigh Collective

Thick Thigh Collective 2

Names: Caitlin Bartlett, Joi Purvy, Lindsey Eichenberger 

Caitlin: So, “Stay Mad” is a series that is submission-based. Each different zine edition has a different theme. The one we are debuting today is “Double Consciousness”.  It has 7 or 8 contributions all about Double Consciousness. Our zine “Staircases” is also debuting today. It’s loosely based on the feeling of feeling like you should have said something to someone after the fact. The feeling you get when you’re like ‘Shoot! I should’ve said this.’

Thick Thigh Collective 1

What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

Joi: Basically we all grew up in the DIY scene, just going to shows and realizing that everything is like straight-white-male dominated and we wanted to give a platform to marginalized voices and create space for everyone to openly create and  get their voices out there.

Lindsey: And zines specifically, I think are really powerful because they are really accessible. They’re affordable, you can make them yourself, you put them out yourself so there are no editors telling you what to include or sort going though and censoring and editing your thought. And you can put whatever you want in there. And distribute it yourself.

There’s a lot of power in self-publishing and being able to give it to people who you want to read it. Which ideally are people who don’t normally have access to high level academic shit that someone would get exposure to in higher education. Zines are a way that everybody can learn and participate in a social movement. And that’s why they are so cool. To me they are a superior form of literature.

La Liga Zine

Name: Mia Rodriguez

The zine is basically about Latinx expression. We try to focus on the different ways we can express ourselves whether it be creatively through writing, photos, poetry, or film. We also focus on things in our community. We try to feature community organizers, organizations that help end poverty in our community, people that are part of organizations that serve LGBTQ+ communities. We’re basically all about empowering through showing diversity and highlighting that diversity in our work.

La Liga 1

What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

When we started it was mostly a desire to see ourselves in a fashion sense. We originally started as a fashion/street style blog and we wanted to see ourselves and people that looked like us being featured and highlighted in fashion. We wanted to show that we could be fashionable even though our bodies and our faces, skin color, hair color doesn’t fit into a normal mold of what is featured in other online fashion communities – we can still be a part of that. We wanted to create a pace for ourselves where we could exist and show how much creative work our community does.

Sorry Mom Comix

Andi Santagata 1

Name: Andi Santagata

I’m from Vermont. I go the center for Cartoon Studies. My work is almost all Autobio teen angst and other things that make you hurt but you’ll love it. My zine, Jed the Undead is about a fourteen year old teenage demon whose parents get a divorce and he has to move to the suburbs out of hell. It’s really about guilt, puberty and masculinity. There’s lots of stuff about coming of age and feeling guilty for being a dude. And as a trans dude I feel that a lot. It’s all done in traditional ink wash, brush pen. Plus it has a secret dick censor bar.

 Trans Man Walking/Andi Satagawa

What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

Oh man, aside from the weird that force you to make comics for ever? Probably, like it means a lot to me to share this with the people who care. I’ve been meeting a lot of people who make the same type of comics and the connection is amazing.

Paradise Archive Collective

Paradise Archive Film Society 4

Names: Alyssa M. Garcia & Bonnie Jean

Alyssa M. Garcia: The work that I produced today is called “Sip Zine”. It’s a part of Paradise Archive Collective Zines. We’re all women of color, we all shoot film, and we’re basically trying to reestablish spaces that have tried to eliminate us from them. First and foremost being, photography. It’s a lot of male- based orgs and collectives being featured in magazines. My work personally is black and white, a lot of portraiture and shoot photography

What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

 Paradise Archive Film Society 2

Bonnie jean: Like Alyssa said, we are a women of color film/photography based zine coming into the scene to establish ourselves in these spaces. Hoping to showcase our work and letting people see what women can create. My work is currently photographing my friends. I go to a lot protests and I’m discovering myself as a film photographer.  I also do digital but I’m trying to get more into film and hope to better my technique and be able to give women voice in these kind of spaces.

Gracie CT

Gracie CT 2

Name: Gracie CT

Zines: “Whatever” ” No Mean Yes?” Fear of A Female Planet?

 I hail from Oakland. All of my work is kind of feminist-based, either through body positivity, experiences with street harassment, people who’ve experienced trauma and daily harassment. And then also music scenes; highlighting women or feminist fronted bands. I like the DIY thing, I like collage and like my shit to be tangible and kind of inexpensive.

Gracie CT 2

What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

Definitely just daily life. The street harassment never ends. Body positivity is a daily issue, some days are good some days are bad, you know? So really just my general experience and other women’s experiences whom I’ve talked to.

Paradise Khanmalek

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Zines: “Flower the Moon, the Sun, my Grandmas, my Hands, Fish, Glitter”, “Walkumentary”  ”Reality”

My name is Paradise Khanmalek. I’m from L.A (Palms). I just made this new series of portraits and I’m calling it Pantheon because I’m thinking they’re like a Pantheon of gods and deities. And they’re all hairy, brown girls and one of them is the God electricity and another is the God of solar energy. And they’re all pretty sci-fi and magical. And then I have this book of illustrated poetry called, “Reality”. I’m trying to dissect and create reality through sci-fi magic and suss out my qualms with society and sexuality, gender, race and all of those things through poetry and creating something healing and magical that feels good to make and to see.

I have a coloring book for children called the “Life of Flowers”. I have a photo book called “Flowers, the Moon, the Sun, my Grandmas, my Hands, Fish, Glitter”. It’s a comparison of glitter found in the natural world, like the glittering effervescence of a sunset compared to man-made glitter like gems and rhinestones and lace.

I also have a series of mini zines I made called “Walkumentary”. I’ve been going on walks this week after work and just trying to find the beautiful visual splendor found within the littered Koreatown neighborhood I live in. Taking photos of beautiful things, like flowers, the sun, the shadows. And I made these little zines people can pick up and just see the little beautiful details found in the world.

LAZF mock ups

What inspires you and astonishes you as a creator?

I feel like a lot of other brown girls in this world – I’m sad, man. And it’s hard living in this word. It’s hard being fat and brown and feeling like a complete other and totally different and not accepted. I’m trying to illustrate a beautiful family of fat, brown girls that are literal deities and my own pantheon of gods. I’m just trying to be happy and find beauty in this world and connect with other people and find happiness and mental health, you know what I mean?