Zine Residency News – We’ll Soon Be Swearing In Cursive with Mckenzie!

I’m so excited to tell everyone – Mckenzie will be spending a few weeks in August as a participant in the Fight Boredom Zine Residency! We’ve gotten to know each other through our zines and letters over the past few years, and I’m looking forward to spending time together outside of the busy-ness of zinefests. While here, she’ll be working on the latest issue of her perzine Swearing In Cursive, including some writing on her job at a high-end fabric and yarn store and the intersection of capitalism / feminized labour / “women’s work”, as well as keeping a journal, avoiding the internet, and checking out the city. We’ll have just caught her after her move from Oakland, CA to Boston, MA, and I imagine we’ll have a lot to talk about in terms of comparing cities, concepts of home, and uhhh OkCupid dates in our respective cities.

Mckenzie is a queer, fat, femme, latin@ cis woman. In addition to knitting and zines, she’s into cooking and sharing food, singing (oh can we please go to karaoke together??), and dancing around her room to cute songs about crushes. When asked about her favourite zines and what makes her happy, Mckenzie responded:

“During my last year of high school, I was introduced to Amber’s zines Culture Slut and Fight Boredom, Maranda‘s zine Telegram, and Tukru‘s zine Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell through their respective blogs. My introduction to zines was really profound. They were my introduction to feminism, queerness, and discussions about mental health and social justice. Although it took me about five years to make my first zine, it was the first community that I felt a connection with. Recently, after years of knitting and only months of sewing, I began the process of creating my own wardrobe. Making my own clothes teaches me technical skills, allows me to create clothes that fit my fat bod, and gives me the option to choose ethically sourced fabric and manufacturing options. My connections with the zine and textile communities ebb and flow, but they have fostered, (and continue to foster!), amazing growth in me and for that I am grateful.”

mckenzie1

mckenzie2

mckenzie3

You can find more at Etsy and Instagram, and you can catch Mckenzie and I tabling together at Queer Between The Covers (Montréal’s annual queer bookfair) on Saturday, August 15th from 11am – 6pm at the Centre communautaire de loisirs Sainte-Catherine d’Alexandrie, 700 Rue Amherst, métro Berri-UQAM. (Photos above taken by Kennedy Mullen).

Someday You Will Ache Like I Ache: A Zine About Internalized Sexism

somedayyouwillachelikeiache

Joan is now the third person to participate in the Fight Boredom Zine Residency in 2015. She visited us from Halifax and spent three weeks of April here with us, working on a zine about internalized sexism. She begins by writing about a relationship that she was recently involved in, wherein she was asked to be non-monogamous. This was attempted in different ways, and she wasn’t happy, but would always default to what her male partner wanted. She came to see this as one of the many occasions in which she would go against her own will or desires in order to impress men – not just her partner, but acquaintances, co-workers, etc. The first half of the zine focuses on these interactions, and the latter half is more about how she is confronting these attitudes within herself and unlearning these patterns – with the help of a few of my favourite writers, including bell hooks and Anaïs Nin. This is a really thoughtful zine, and a brave one to write.

We skipped the launch party this time around, but you can order the zine on this very website for $1.00 + postage, or catch Fight Boredom Distro at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday, May 23rd and Queer Between The Covers on Saturday, August 15th.

✿✿✿THE RIGHT TO A SPRING✿✿✿ Zine Launch & Show at CATS

Flier by Katrina, Rose, and Jane

Flier by Katrina, Rose, and Jane

March 25 / 7-11pm / $5.00 PWYC
CATS / 137 rue St-Ferdinand rm. 263 / follow the pawprints

wrapped too tightly for blood to flow, skin hidden from the wind

we’re asked to scale back, take cuts, to taper our flares in the name of purported scarcity, deny adornment, expression in favor of frigid nonchalance, whilst the moneyed and carefully coiffed men of industry can strut their straight legged confidence in solemn complicity with the sleet that crashed through our dewy spiderweb of a social safety net and encased our amps in ice, naturalizing the toxic drifts of masculine reserve that pile over our infrastructures of care and education, hoping we might lose sight of our warmth, our sisterhood, in the blizzard, let cold waves wash over us and accept such a chilling future.

it’s been a long winter.

oh agents of austerity, retreat ~~~
we have

THE RIGHT TO A SPRING

coiled, ready to strike,
melt what towers over us

FIGHT BOREDOM RESIDENCY ZINE RELEASE for Katrina’s ROT #6 and Rose Ghostly’s Impossible Creatures #4 and KSRRK’s Icon Factory #2.

AND EFFUSIVE GLOOM SHOWcase featuring

CITADEL (occultish empower electronics) / HARBINGERS (first show, sloppy gothic synth punk) / JANE HARMS (performing the animist bag ritual of the autumn 2014 West Coast tour 1 time only in Montreal) / Installation by URLIRL and screening of short film: BANQUET (3 way ceremony of gross decadence in our own backyard) (Providence, RI)

All funds to benefit CATS, a new, dearly needed social space in the southwest of Montreal. Facebook event here.

Zines, Comics & Crypto: Zine Release Party & Double Workshop / Feb. 1st

Zines, Comics & Crypto: Zine Release Party & Double Workshop
Sunday, Feb. 1st, 1-4pm @ Foulab, 999 du Collège, Suite 33B (2nd floor), metro Place St-Henri. Facebook event here.

infecticitislaunch

After traveling from Berlin and spending a month in Montréal with the Fight Boredom Zine Residency, zinester and activist Comet Crowbar is ready to release issue #15 of her zine, Infecticitis. This 3-hour hangout session is in two parts:

1-2pm Drawing & Comics workshop (Lynda Barry style)
During this hour we’ll play some drawing games, make comics, loosen up and get silly, and try to erase the idea of “but I can’t draw!” from our minds. Everyone can draw, and that’s what we’re gonna do. Bring your favorite pens and crayons (some paper and pens will be provided).

2:30-3:30 Introduction to PGP Email Encryption
First we will discuss why surveillance is harmful and affects everyone, and try to dismantle the apathetic idea of “but I have nothing to hide” as an excuse. Then we’ll explain the difference between symmetrical vs. asymmetrical cryptography, what a “keypair” is, how to verify your key, and what programs are needed to get it running on your computer. This workshop is coming from the understanding that it can be quite intimidating to learn all this “computer stuff” if you’re not that tech-savvy. We will smash that idea by making this a safer-space to ask questions, share knowledge, and use accessible language that everyone can understand. I am not an expert but I am happy to share what I know. Crypto is your friend! (FemHack will also be getting into this in a workshop a week later).

You will also find: Snacks, tea, nooks for reading/chatting and lots of zines! Come pick up a hot-off-the-press copy of Infecticitis #15 and Comet’s recent book, Tumble the Boulder – The Surveillance State and the American Empire. There will be a table of zines by queers, feminists, and anarchists from Fight Boredom Distro and a selection of zines on digital security from Comet’s Raumschiff Distro.

About the facilitator: Comet Crowbar is a white cis queer lady and is a co-founder and organizer of the Zine Fest Berlin. She’s passionate about self-publishing, cryptography, plants and weaving. Come say hi.

This event is a safer-space. This event is a safer-space. A “safer space” means that we don’t tolerate any form of oppression or harassment, such as sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia and other such BS! Please be respectful to each other and ask consent before you touch someone. Children are welcome, but as Foulab contains power tools and other hazards, they must be closely supervised by an adult for safety reasons.

Unfortunately the space is not wheelchair accessible.

Zine Residency News – Au Revoir Clara, Bonjour Comet!

In just a few days, another zine residency is set to begin. This month, we’ll be welcoming Comet into our home. She’ll be using her three weeks here to reflect on her two homes of Berlin, Germany and Boston, MA while taking a break from both of them. Tasks on the to-do list include compiling the fifteenth issue of Infecticitis, working on a resource guide for putting organizing ideas into action, interviewing people who are working on their own radical projects, and hosting a cryptoparty.

Comet recently published a book called Tumble the Boulder – The Surveillance State and the American Empire, and writes a perzine series called Infecticitis, which covers topics such as mental health and winter survival, hiking through the US, living autonomously, and DIY philosophy. She runs Raumschiff Distro and is a co-founder of the Berlin Zinefest. I’m really looking forward to meeting her and working alongside her for the month of January!

comet1

comet4

In other zine residency news, Clara made her way back to Toronto on December 30th, after two glorious weeks at Full Homo. We’d known each other through zines for years, but this was the most time we’d ever spent together, and it came right down to us saying the same words at the same time, picking up the same books at Drawn & Quarterly, trying on the same clothes at thrift stores, choosing the same cereal at the grocery store, showing off the same dance moves onstage at karaoke. She did a couple of really meaningful tarot readings for me, constantly reaffirmed me when I showed low self-confidence, and she even began learning French. I couldn’t be happier, but I miss her already. Thank you to everyone who came out to the launch party on Sunday, to everyone who encourages me toward living my dream life, and to Clara for everything.

Clara’s new zine We Don’t Go Nowhere is now available via Fight Boredom Distro, and I’ll soonly have back issues of Radio Antarctica and other titles in stock.

wedontgonowhere

If you’d like to apply to the zine residency, or suggest it to a friend, there’s more info here. Here’s to 2015 continuing on a wave of creativity and follow-through.

Say Hello To Clara, The First Zine Resident at Full Homo!

The Fight Boredom Zine Residency is back in action, and Clara Bee Lavery is on her way! She’ll be Megabus-ing it here from Toronto and spending two weeks at Full Homo to write, draw, and well, give us something to look forward to this winter. Clara is currently working on a graphic novel about a difficult winter, a short but turbulent relationship, and issues of disordered eating and body image. She describes this as raw and unapologetic, equal parts harsh and tender. If you’ve read any of her recent zines, including Radio Antarctica and I Ain’t Sayin’ You Treated Me Unkind, you know what she means. And if not, you’re in for a treat.

While completing the pencil and inking for a 2015 publication date, she’ll also be making a zine about her favourite things about the winter. Check in with this website later for details about a launch party – and hot apple cider!

not-so-much-to-be-loved-as-to-love

When asked why she wants to participate in the residency, Clara says, “Because of the nature of functioning under capitalism, it can be hard to find large, unbroken chunks of time to do the work that is most meaningful to us. The Fight Boredom Zine Residency provides a perfect opportunity to do this and is convenient for me in terms of location and cost. But on a deeper level, Fight Boredom Distro is a gorgeously, thoughtfully curated catalogue that has made room for the voices I’ve been trying to hear over the cacophony of boring dude writers my whole life. Fight Boredom is the tough femme who locks arms with you at the punk show and teaches you how to elbow your way to the front of the pit. It prioritizes the narratives we so desperately need, and being part of that is thrilling to me.” Can you see the hearts in my eyes??

fleetwood-williams

Clara is a punk-rock nanny who takes care of children and plants by day, and spends the rest of her time drawing, reading, exploring cities, listening to records, and drinking coffee. Some of her favourite zines include Telegram by Maranda Elizabeth, Hex Key by Jami Sailor, Tributaries by JC, Motor City Kitty by Brianna Dearest, Dig Deep by Heather C., Deafula by Kerri, Doris by Cindy Crabb, and Vanity Zine (many of which are available via Fight Boredom Distro, FYI). Some other writers she loves are Chris Kraus, Bhanu Kapil Rider, bell hooks, Michael Ondaatje, Michael Chabon, Soraya Peerbaye, Lynda Barry, Julie Doucet, Gabrielle Bell, Junot Diaz, Jorge Luis Borges, Anne Michaels and so many more.

nj-comic-1

Back porch selfies forever!

Back porch selfies forever!

You can check out more of her work here. If you’d like to apply for the Fight Boredom Zine Residency, or recommend it to a friend, there is more info here. See you soon, Clara!

New Zines & Stories of Formative Queer Teen Experiences

Flier by Melissa

Flier by Melissa

It’s autumn, but somehow it’s so sunny and warm today. I just had my morning coffee out on the balcony with zine pal Lily, who came to town so that we could go see Placebo (!!!) together. She recently made a really excellent zine called Queer Sailor Moon Fanfiction Saved My Life, which you can get at this very distro or at her zine racks at Pressed and Gabba Hey in Ottawa, and probably other distros, too. After I read her zine, I wrote a quick letter to her to tell her about my own pre-teen/teenage fandom experiences, and how influential Placebo was to me. It happens that they’d recently announced a Montréal show during my birthday week, and we decided we had to go together. The show was last night. We went with Cinder, another pal – they made the zine MIXD: A Mixed-Race Compilation Zine, which I’ll soonly be stocking in the distro. We had a chance to talk about some queer teen experiences together, and of course to sing along with Placebo. Sometimes I’m amazed at the rad friends that I have – a group of ’em had actually gotten together the funds to buy my ticket as a birthday present, because they know that I’m a broke baby and that I wanted to make this a really good week. I’d seen them twice before (seven years ago and eleven years ago, my gosh!) and I’m not going to write a show review here, but I will say that it was a really lovely night and I’m glad to have shared it with friends.

Placebo on the marquee, photo from my Instagram: @amber_dearest

Placebo on the marquee, photo from my Instagram: @amber_dearest

I’ve actually been getting some writing done lately, and working on website updates. It’s so easy to fall behind. Earlier this week, I downloaded StayFocusd and FocusWriter and they’ve both been helping me to stay away from social media and other distractions. I can only use Facebook and Twitter for thirty minutes a day, and FocusWriter helps me set and keep track of my writing goals. So I added some new zines to the catalogue, including Queer Sailor Moon Fanfiction Saved My Life; The Collected Scathings of Ioana Poprowka; If Destroyed Still True #6: Iraqi Kurdistan Edition; and Sex Industry Apologist #1-#2, and I finally wrote descriptions for Pinch Kid #4; Rot #5; Deafula #7; Pansy #9; Bike Rides From SW Montréal; and Spirits: Relationships With Alcohol & Drugs #2.

Tabling in Toronto, Montréal, and Halifax this fall is another thing that’s really making me get organized. The Toronto Queer Zine Fair was last week and I had such a blast. The first thing I noticed when I walked in the room was that we actually had SPACE. Organizing large events (or any kind of event) can be really stressful and difficult, and there are all kinds of accessibility needs to keep in mind (which frankly, are completely overlooked by a lot of organizers). Some really simple things that organizers often forget about are to leave space between tables so that tablers can easily get in and out (how many times have I had to crawl under a table just to leave for a bathroom break?? And what about people who don’t have the ability to do so??), to leave space for people to maneuver around corners and high-traffic areas, to recognize that some people will have mobility aids and can’t just squeeze through a crowd of people, etc etc. Granted, this was my perspective as an able-bodied person. But I took note. I had the company of my sibling, who was tabling their zine and anthology Telegram to my right, and and made friends with the zinesters to my left. My bestie Kit dropped by for a bit, and I met all sorts of rad queers. I feel like zinefests are always a whirlwind of small talk and cute people and too much coffee, and this was no exception. I don’t know how to write about them anymore, but I wanna tell everyone what a great time I had. Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by my table! I managed to sell nearly everything I brought with me, and I’m looking forward to reading my haul – Fucked: On Being Sexually Dysfunctional In Sex-Positive Queer Scenes; Working Class Queers; Home: A Conversation Zine; On Sisterhood, our sisters specifically; and Telegram #36. I’d say the highlight of my day was talking root beer with table-neighbour Bee (soda-talk is the way to my heart!) and realizing we both used to post on the Placebo messageboard as teenagers. This interaction felt magical.

Our sunny kitchen, where I spend a lot of time.

Our sunny kitchen, where I spend a lot of time writing letters and working on the distro.

What else have I been up to lately? Redecorating the house, participating in 31 Postcards In 31 Days, beginning my winter survival strategy, reading a lotta books, dealing with the stressy-depressies, and just trying to make it through. So that’s it, a rare update from me. Oh hey, I’ll be in Halifax soon! I feel like such a lucky kid to have the chance to visit twice in one year. I’ll be tabling at the Halifax Pop Explosion Zine Fair (Facebook event here), and hangin’ around town for the week. Please get in touch if you’d like to grab a coffee, or show me your favourite parts of the city! Whenever I visit Halifax, I just like to wander for hours and hours.

And in just over a month, Expozine! ‘Til then…