Mark Maynard & Linette Lao, Crimewave U.S.A.
Age: Mark, 29; Linette, 26
Selections: "I'm on Geraldo!"
(page 45); "Cleaning Linette's Room" (page 50)
Recent review (from Factsheet Five): "If
zines were food, Crimewave U.S.A. would be a free birthday meal
at Denny's complete with all your friends, balloons and a spilled
cup of coffeeit's that much fun."
Sample: $3 from P.O. Box 980301, Ypsilanti,
MI 48198 (checks: Mark Maynard)
When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
Linette and I started Crimewave in 1994, right after I published
my autobiography, "It Takes Ball to Be Mark Maynard"
(available for three dollars from Crimewave Press). I realized
then that I had a lot more to say and I also thought that maybe
someday, if we stayed at it long enough, we might get our pictures
in People magazine by doing it. That's my biggest, dare I say
my only, goal in life.
Crimewave was born when a blaring TV announced, "Crimewave
U.S.A., next on Inside Edition!" Mark and I knew immediately
that this was to be our next project. At the time, Mark was publishing
small books about himself. I had just gotten a job as a graphic
designer as a newspaper, and suddenly had access to scanners,
cameras, and office supplies. Crimewave emerged without warning,
it was the result of no planning and a single sleepless night.
Since those days, we have learned to use spell check and to edit
and write ahead of time, and what was one sleepless night has
become a couple of weeks of working late. Still, the original
spirit of Crimewave has remained intactthe zine is dedicated
to the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of our lives.
Why publish a zine?
publish in order to preserve my thoughts. I'm obsessed with the
thought that what I do must be preserved. As a result of that,
I do mass copying, laminating, audio and video recording, etc.
It's not that I'm an egomaniac, or even because I think what
I have to say is all that important. It's because I'm scared
to die without having anything to show for myself. Where will
the proof be that I was ever here once I am gone? That thought
is a big motivator.
What can you tell us about the selection you provided for
"The Book of Zines"?
Mark: My selection
is about my appearance on "Geraldo!" On one hand I
hate the institution of celebrity and yet on the other I am enthralled
by it and enamored of it. I think that these apparently contradictory
viewpoints are reflected in this piece. There is sarcasm and
cynicism, but there is also a certain reverence for this American
artform. Just keep in mind, if I really hated it I wouldn't have
been there. That goes a long way toward explaining my mindset.
I was visiting my parents during the summer of 1995 and decided
I wouldn't go out until I had cleaned out the junk in my room.
I hadn't lived there for years. Christina, who drew "Cleaning
Linette's Room," was the director. She was saying, "You
don't need that, I'll take that." I need somebody like that
around all the timea director of throwing things away.
My problem in general with messes is stuff where there's no category
for you to put it. Books go onto a shelf, obviously, but where
does this other stuff go?
Have you published any other zines?
I used to publish a zine by the name of "Infantazine"
in the late 80s or early 90s. It, like me at the time, was paranoid
and radical. It dealt mainly with conspiracies of the alien variety
and the process of mental decay which was then taking place within
my mind. It was written under an alias and mailed from a mail
drop rented with a fake ID. It seems silly now, but I was honestly
fearful that I might be killed if it was found out that was behind
this little zine. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a nutty illness.
Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
Don't give a fuck about what other people say or think about
your work. I wish that I could do that, but I can't. I honestly
think that I would be doing much more interesting work if I just
believed that the opinions of others didn't matter. Also, it
helps to be an obsessive person, a hoarder of scraps, a collector
of everything. You never know when you might need a certain picture,
a certain quote. It's best to save everything just in case. Editing
a zine, for me, is just the process of organizing all the interesting
things that you've collected over a particular period of time
and printing them all together. Another piece of advice: don't
show your zine to your parents or employers, especially if you're
living at home or using their machines to copy it.
It's good to be conservative when distributing your zine. You
never know who will plague you with the persistent question,
"Is this going to be in your zine?" It's awful to have
people so conscious of their roles as characters. It's completely
What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
The absolute best part is going to the mailbox. For me, it's
all about acceptance. The next best part is lying in bed with
a finished copy after working on it for 60 hours straight. I
always manage to stay awake long enough to read it through from
cover to cover one more time.
There is a moment after you've put out a zine, after you've recovered,
when you can finally objectively bask in your work. And you can
tell what's funny and what's good, which you've probably lost
sight of in the creation process. It's nice to be able to enjoy
the fruits of your labors. For me, this moment comes a few days
after the zine's finished.
In my other life, I'm a:Fan Mail
I just quit my job as an assistant manager at a large copy shop,
so as of now I guess I have no profession, unless publishing
a zine counts for something.
I was working as a graphic designer for a newspaper, but soon
will be going to graduate school to paint and write.
Back to Crap
Hound // Index //
Ahead to Don't Say Uh-Oh