Raw Material

Mommy and I Are One Cover

Jessica Hundley,
Mommy and I
Are One

Age: 27

Selection: "KISS Memories" (page 107)

Recent review (from Tail Spins): "This very well could be my new favorite brain candy. Mommy contains some impressive writing and is aesthetically pleasing inside and out. It will make you happy."

Sample: $5 from 1845 N. Gramercy Place, No. 305, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (checks: Mommy and I Are One)

When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
Well, I was on a cross-country trip, which is an act always conducive to life-changing epiphanies. I had just graduated with a degree in creative writing and it was becoming increasingly clear that my prospects were limited to crappy retail or hellish waitressing jobs. I had been involved in the early stages of another Boston magazine which had fallen flat on its face from too many egos. So I was gazing out the window, feeling pleased and dazed and hypnotized by the road, when the thought, "Screw it. I'll just do it myself" materialized out of nowhere. One of my companions on the trip had a friend who had been trying to start a zine for years and could never find anyone who would stick to it. Lots of talk, no action. So when I returned (Fall 1993), I met this mysterious stranger—we got stinking drunk and had a very deep philosophical conversation concerning our literary aspirations. All our ideas linked quite nicely and he seemed like an alright sort of guy. So Andy Hunter and launched Mommy and I Are One—the first issue went to the printer in the summer of 1994.

Why publish a zine?
After the traditional kick in the face of numerous ice-cold rejection letters, I figured I could either resign myself to failure or device a fool-proof method of getting my work into print. With my own magazine, I'm pretty much guaranteed glory. Of course, we also want to expose people of energy and talent in the arts who have not crossed the threshold to superstardom, but certainly deserve to.

What can you tell us about the selection you provided for "The Book of Zines"?
Gene!It's true! It's true! I swear it really happened! Girls Scouts Honor! It was one of the most perfect, beautifully orchestrated moments in life! God it was gorgeous, you should have been there! I get all shaky and choked up! And I love KISS! I have a sincere adoration and respect for them that far surpasses any of that kitchy, tired amusement they inspire in others! Hooray!

Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
The best advice I can give is find yourself a soulmate, someone who wants the same things as you, who has ceaseless enthusiasm and loyalty to the cause. Without Andy Hunter, I would never have been able to create this magazine. (I feel like I'm signing his yearbook.) Also, do not get discouraged. Every issue will move closer to finding a real identity for itself. And cliché of clichés—do not be afraid of what people think! Write sincerely and truthfully about what you know and love. Not everyone will enjoy it, but unique as you are, it's a guarantee that there are others with the same desires and obsessions who will find your work to be a light in a dark, cruel world. Let the critics stick it up their bums.

What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
Partly the exposure I can give to artists who deserve to be deified and who are getting ignored by the mainstream press, and partly the validation it gives to my otherwise pathetic existence.

In my other life, I'm a:
Big fat loser.

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