Have you ever wanted to start your own zine, but just couldn’t figure out how to get from A to B? If so, and you have some free time at 10 a.m. tomorrow, head on over to the Art and Design Building at 408 East Peabody, Room 240, for a guest lecture from Matt Kessler and Zach Huelsing of Eye Rocket Books. The irreverent masterminds behind Diamonds: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Baseball and The National Science Fair Of Amazing New Discoveries will give their two cents on what it takes to make your own zine and give a preview of their latest, Todd’s Favorite Adult Actors and Their Favorite Flowers.
“We are going to tell you how to start your own business!” Kessler says. “We are going to consolidate all the information that it’s taken us two years to learn onto one handout. And, most importantly, Zach is really really hot. The guy’s got a great beard. And he loves freshmen.”
After the jump, more wisdom from Kessler.
Smile Politely: How did you get started as zine writers/artists?
Matt Kessler: We noticed that there was a huge hole in the publishing market for baseball magazines geared towards teen girls. So we made our first publication, Diamonds: A Teen Girl’s Guide To Baseball. This was a high-budget, glossy, hologram-bedecked magazine full of product placements and perfume ads….Or maybe it was actually a one-page black-and-white mini-comic we xeroxed at Kinko’s.
It was probably also the last publication to ever sell for twenty-five cents.
But we just basically had a really great time making Diamonds and we’ve been doing it ever since.
SP: What’s the inspiration for the new zine, Todd’s Favorite Adult Actors and Their Favorite Flowers? There’s got to be a good story there.
MK: The inspiration for our new project is Zach’s massive porno collection. And my massive collection of flowers. We were just sitting around one day, I was looking at his pornos and he was watering my garden and we were like….wait a second.
SP: What’s the format of the lecture going to be like?
MK: It should be pretty fun. We’re going to talk about a lot of the secrets we learned along the way, how to make zines and how to get them into people’s hands. We’re also going to tell everyone how to start their own label/business and talk about the ins-and-outs of the business side of independent publishing.
I think the idea is to basically save people a lot of time and resources if they should ever want to give independent publishing a shot.
SP: Do you guys do this full time or if not, what are your side jobs?
MK: No, we still have day jobs. I work as an audio editor and Zach is currently seeking a position as a graphic designer.
SP: Are you connected with the U of I / attend school here or anything?
MK: Nope, but they paid me for a while!