Raw Material
funkapotamus 10

Jerome Gaynor, funkapotamus

Age: 24

Selection: "Desperate for Nothing in Particular for No Particular Reason" (page 2)

Recent review (from Pulled Mints): "If you like autobiographical comics, this is one of the best. Jerome can make a non-event (being bored, hanging out at the mall) into an amazing emotional experience by focusing on the right details."

Sample: $2 from P.O. Box 63207, St. Louis, MO 63163

When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
Freshman year in college, college was so dull and horrible, I started doing the zine for something to do.

Why publish a zine?
I do lots of drawings all the time and I hate formal gallery-type settings, so I just photocopy them and give them away. The same way spontaneous, no-frills shows were a reaction by punks to over-produced and "wanky" rock concerts, I like showing my art by copying it and handing it out instead of in big slick magazines or in a gallery, where a fake line is drawn between the artist and the viewer. It's a good way to meet people too—if I give someone a zine and they like it, they can write me a letter. It makes meeting cool people really easy.
funkapotamus 8 If you've got something you think the world should see, publishing a zine is the easiest way to get the message out. As the mainstream media narrows its scope and chucks integrity totally out the window, it's not surprising that more people have started doing it themselves. Of course, a lot of kids do zines just to do them and the result is useless and ugly garbage, but I still think that it's a good thing that they are trying to create something to express themselves. the only really bad zines are ones with high production values and no substance (you know, like Vogue, People, Time, Newsweek—those really shitty ones...)

Do you publish any other zines?
Yeah I did "Flying Saucer Attack" a year ago ($6 from address above). I took a premise (In the course of a single day, aliens come to Earth and destroy every human being), and sent out invitations to Flying Saucer Attackabout 50 underground comic-artists, asking them to contribute a story about that day. Everybody really came through with excellent submissions, and I did everything myself in the production (editing, paste-up, printing, collating, folding & stapling, trimming), I even carried the boxes of paper home on foot five miles because I didn't have a car! And it came out great, so I'm really proud of that. Also I regularly contribute to Roctober, the best zine ever, from easy listening to punk.

Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
The only thing is if you're making a zine, put some real effort into it. Don't just slap a bunch of crap that you don't care about on paper just to be doing a zine. And unless you have something exceptional to say, don't bother with slickness, because a shoddy bad zine can be cool, but a slick bad zine is wasteful and phony, and there's enough of that in the mainstream media already. A lot of kids make punk zines and just slap it together, a bunch of boring stuff that's badly written and sloppy. A little attention to style goes a long way.

What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
The first day I finish one, distributing them to all my friends and giving them to strangers. the whole big pay-off after months of work. Also flipping through it and being so relieved and proud of it. I love it when I give someone a copy of my zine and they get excited: "Is this the new one!? Rad!"

In my other life, I'm a:
Well I was gonna be a doctor but I basically dropped out after the first day. so I used to be a science student. now I make Web pages, but I start graduate school in physical therapy this year. I don't consider myself a "computer guy." (Actually I support the Unabomber as a write-in presidential candidate in '96: "The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.") So I guess in my other life I'm a scientist.

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