This week's interview is with Meredith Wallace!
Meredith is another gem of a zinester that I found by reading 'Hello Amber's' write-up for her zine: 'Life, Death, Love & "All of the Above"'. I was immediately intrigued and promptly emailed her so I could buy her zine. Once I got it in my hot-little-hands I knew that I needed to spread the news to you guys! Here is our interview :
1. Name, Location, Age.
Meredith Wallace, Los Angeles, CA, 23.
2. What are you listening to at this moment?
I've been really obsessing over the song "Young Lions" by Comet Gain lately, but I'm pretty much at the point where that love will turn into hate! Other than that, I've been jamming out to Gang Gang Dance, Bardo Pond, Tyler Jon Tyler and Julie Doiron & the Wooden Stars.
3. What are some of your favorite zines?
Oh man, this is a toughie! I'm definitely a huge fan of Truckface. Whenever someone asks me to recommend a zine I immediately throw every issue of Truckface at them. I'm also anxiously awaiting a new zine from my friend Bianca, who writes Things You Can Learn When You Listen to Strangers and Trust Me, I Know What I'm Doing (http://youcantrustme.tumblr.com/). It's hard to be a funny writer, and her stuff literally makes me laugh out loud. Some other zines I'm loving right now are Roots of Hope, A Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Life, Shortandqueer, Doris, Shotgun Seamstress, Culture Slut and Telegram Ma'am. I ordered a CRAZY big bunch of zines from Stranger Danger last month and I'm still working through it, so I bet there's a bunch I've forgotten.
4. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I just managed to snag my first full-time job out of college, doing library work in the research institute of an art museum. The majority of my previous jobs have been in libraries as well, and my resume pretty much is useless for other types of work, so I feel pretty committed to the library thing now! I don't know if I'll ever go on to get my MLIS, but if I can keep working in academic libraries for the rest of my life I'd be a pretty happy gal.
5. Any practical tips for people who are interested in making zines?
Edit and take your time. It took about a year and a half (and many, many edits) from start to finish to make the most recent zine I put out. I had two trusted friends read over my work and give me their input, which was tremendously helpful and got me used to the idea of putting such personal writing out there. At the same time, I always trusted my gut when it came to the final edit. It's always great to get other people's opinions on your work, especially if it's a more literary piece, but it's your writing at the end of the day, so you have to feel good about every single sentence, down to the punctuation. At the same time though, try not to take it too seriously. Eventually you just gotta say "screw it" and put it out there, even if it isn't perfect. On the actual zine production front, always have a lot of extra paper on hand! You will make mistakes. Lots of them, so keep extra supplies around and give yourself time.
6. Do you read any magazines? If so which?
Not too much anymore. I do read Bitch when I can, and sometimes Readymade as well.
7. What is the neatest thing that has happened to you from making zines?
The really cool things that have happened to me have more to do with being a distro owner than a zinester. The first super cool thing was when I was running Supernova Zine Distro, my first distro when I was in high school. I ran it from 2001-2005 and was interviewed for the book "Girls Make Media" by Mary Celeste Kearney. I, at the time, was probably only 16 and didn't realize the interview was for a REAL BOOK, so I sound a little dorky. Uh, also, I was 16, so dorkiness is pretty much par for the course. It's still really cool though and I'm proud of myself for doing so much at such a young age. The most recent cool thing to happen to me because of zines was getting involved with Meltdown Comics. Meltdown is a huge and amazing comic book store in Hollywood that puts on tons of events. I wrote them an email just hoping for a blog mention, and instead the owner had me start selling False Start's stock in the store, and eventually organizing zine-related events there. A few months later, when I needed a job, he gave me a part-time job even though I didn't even know Marvel from DC at the time! Although I'm no longer working there, I still sell zines there and organize DIY events.
8. Have you ever been interested in publishing something sold at mainstream chains?
I've thought about submitting pieces to literary publications, but I've never actually gone through with it. I was actually just thinking today about how sad it must be for writers who really want to get their work out there and don't know about self-publishing. I imagine it must be tough having to rely on mainstream publications in order to ever see your work in print.
9. Favorite format to make zines, hand-written / type-writer or / computer-typed?
10. Give some random advice to my readers about anything.
As someone who has just been through one of the worst years ever, for tons of reasons (some of which I brought on myself!), just remember that no matter how bad things get, they will always get better eventually. I promise.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Life, Death, Love & "All of the Above"
My zine, Life, Death, Love & All of the Above, is a 44 page text-heavy memoir about the summer when I fell in love with my boyfriend and the winter we found out he had leukemia.
[Her story is personal in the ways that I have always appreciated and seek out, but have mostly only found online or in zines. I felt more like I was watching a movie than reading with all of her descriptions of L.A. and intimate bedroom moments.]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -
You can purchase the above zine directly from Meredith (paypal $4 + $1 shipping, if you can to email@example.com) or from Fight Boredom Distro .
Meredith also runs False Start , a zine distro based in Los Angeles with a focus on awesome and aesthetically pleasing zines ranging from the traditional photocopied perzine to elaborate art zines, and everything in between.
On top of all of that, she also keeps a photography-based Tumblr as well!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Thanks again to Meredith for letting me interview her for 'On the Zine Scene'!
Check out other interviews here. And if you are interested in being interviewed for this feature please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I love to support my fellow zinesters!