Deborah Barkun, Pawholes
Selection: "Cleavage: Appendage or
Accessory?" (page 85)
Review (from the Fine Print catalog):
"Each issue brims with positively twisted musings on indie
rock fanaticism, sexuality and popular culture, and exposes everyday
ironies with humor, intelligence and style."
When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do
My father used to get Factsheet
Five when I was a kid so I literally grew up looking at zines.
Pawholes was started by myself and Keren Kurti in 1991. It was
something we had been talking about doing for awhile and for
some reason the soil was particularly receptive at that time.
At the time, we were both frustrated by what we felt was a silencing
of a female point of view in the alternative music and cultural
scenes, and craved an open, approachable space in which to freely
let our voicesand those of othersring.
Where did you come up with the name "Pawholes"?
It came from an experience
that we felt typified our need to self-publish. We road-tripped
to an infamous punk rock club in our nation's capital to see
a show. I was wearing my favorite jeansan old well-worn
pair of Levi's that conformed perfectly to my body-shapethe
very essence of comfort. There were a few softly-worn patches
and tiny rips in the ass, but nothing obscene or revealing. While
there, I ran into a friend who I hadn't seen in several years
and we spent the beginning part of the evening catching up. We
were having a great time. Soon I noticed that my friend was no
longer a well-behaved gentleman, but was rapidly becoming a multi-limbed,
depraved octopus. I spent the later part of the evening continuously
removing his roving hands from my person. By the time I emerged
from the club, hours later, the tiny discreet rips in my jeans
had become large, gaping holes ("pawholes") the tears
that appear in one's clothing after being pawed by a randy gentleman.
Why publish a zine?
I suppose that a self-publish
partially because I feel the need to create a truly open forum
for the particular mix of sardonic humor, alternative culture
and social criticism that swirl incessantly around in the minds
of my friends and I, and partially because I am a control-freak
about my own creative endeavors, and really get off on seeing
a project through from the very start to the very end. As I write
this I am on a production deadline for Pawholes No. 6, and have
been deprived of sleep, nutrition and rational thought for over
72 hours. I am a total wreck and nothing gives me more pleasure
than this wigged-out feeling. I adore the crunch at the very
end: the mucusy crud of rubber cement on my fingers, the white-out
vapors seeping into my precious lung-tissue, the floor, a sea
of scrap paper and paste-ups gone awry, my body's subsistence
on pure adrenaline. There's nothing like it.
What can you tell us about the selection you provided for
"The Book of Zines"?
I compiled the "Cleavage"
piece because of my own whimsical experiences with an ample bosom.
I knew there must be a bounty of similar tales and I felt that
the world had a need to know!
Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?Creative
1) Never refer to yourself
as a "zinester."
2) Never trust a printer.
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