Monday, November 9, 2015

Stealing Is Not Cool

Vegan Varg informed me that my zine Cemetery Gates is reviewed in the current issue of Slingshot. I was excited and nervous - because truth be told the zine community has not been kind to CG in the past. I found the review online and later in the week received a print issue of the zine in the mail.

If you cannot read the review in the photo::
Cemetery Gates #1  $6.50 ppd (???) PO Box 251 Modesto, CA 95353
This new publication looks at how people confront death and grief. The editor sets the context of why to do this and its quite touching. The bulk of the content are some written pieces and photos of cemeteries. The atmosphere of cemeteries is pretty hard to capture using photocopiers but there’s close to a dozen images here that you can take to the copy shop and use to make art with. (eggplant)

After reading the review I sat in my chair and had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I was angry, amused and disappointed. Basically eggplant says to steal my photos, my zine, my hard work and use them for whatever. Seriously? I know in the punk community/anarcho community stealing is seen as a F-you to capitalism - as long as you steal from the big guys. If you walk into any punk-radical store there is at least 5 signs saying not to steal from them - they are not the man. I always find that way of thinking stupid.When did stealing from small companies, zines, small business become cool?
I wrote to eggplant and basically he told me that I should be lucky to have been reviewed. Wow really? Also that by releasing my zine I put it out there for anyone to do as they wish with it. Seriously? When did zines become so cut & paste, like things you toss? I know among my zine friends we save our zines, organize them and hold onto them. They are not a big time publication to cut up and use for collage.

I want to put it out there that when I make a zine I do not expect to make much. When you buy a zine from me you are paying for the price of the copies I made, postage and future zine costs. If I have anything extra after that - well I have two cats who like to eat and I like a good beer now and then. The point is I make little $ off of my work. I spend months on a issue from photos, to setting up interviews and everything in between.
My zines are not art project material. I encourage people to share zines - mine included but above all turn friends onto zines and let them buy copies. Making zines is a passion that zine makers have. A passion that costs money and time. Zines are more than paper and staples. Support zine makers! Buy zines, encourage your favorite zine makers to make more zines.

I will be releasing Cemetery Gates 3 - in the next few weeks. Sneek-peek tid bit: there will be a color cover this time around! I have been getting positive feedback from the horror community and think I will stick with sending press samples out to them. Also I will put bold 'these are my photos' type wording in upcoming issues more prominently. Maybe a banner that reads: do not steal is in order?


  1. You are right to be pissed - I'm pissed for you too! and I can't believe the reviewer was so flippant in response. If that's the sentiment then you don't need their searing brand of luck.
    To me zines are more personal, more ephemeral than books and take a special place on my shelf or if I chose the right person to pass one on to.
    I am uber looking forward to issue three. As a devote cradle to grave horror fan I can see how the horror community would be more supportive. And unlike the reviewers suggestion to rip off your images, I took inspiration to take my own. I have a post in the works on my childhood stomping grounds - dedicated to you!