Raw Material

Julian Davis,
Secret Handsignals of the DBA

Selection: "Deviant Bowler Signals" (page 117)

Recent review (from Factsheet Five): "Great fun—even more so if you're a deviant bowler."

Sample: SASE for catalog from 2205 California St. NE, Box 207C, Minneapolis, MN 55418

When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
The Secret Handsignals book came out in 1994. It was a necessity for members of the DBA so they could communicate in public without the general populace understanding what was being communicated. They contracted with me to do this. They also wanted something to keep people laughing when they were bowling badly.

Why publish a zine?
To paraphrase Anais Nin on why she became a writer, I had to create my own world because I wasn't happy with this one. In some sense this applied to me. I wasn't happy with the world then and things were getting worse. Now I am feeling better, largely due to regular acupuncture treatments and some hypno-therapy.
There are also few commercial publications that I find worth reading. None really, as they are all vehicles for advertising. I read some of the better political journals but they get too depressing. Few people have a sense of humor about their lives. Few people out there speak for me or are saying anything I need to hear. It tends to be in the zine community that I find people that are on the same wavelength.

What can you tell us about the selection you provided for "The Book of Zines"?
Originally these really were secret signals that only members of the DBA knew. They gave me permission to share them. I have been commissioned to produce a newer, more secret edition.

Have you published any other zines?
BABY SPLIT BOWLING NEWS. This is the one that started it all for me in November 1989. It contains a mixture of humor and human drama. It's a look at life through the eyes of deviant bowlers. Besides being somewhat about bowling, each issue has it's own particular theme. Past themes have been: Dead Ants; Fungus; Burnt Toast; Science Fiction, etc. OFFICE (and art) SUPPLY JUNKIE is a support newsletter of sorts for people addicted to office and art supplies. THE CITY OF TINY LIGHTS is a zine concerning mail art and arts editorial. WHAT DID I EAT LAST NIGHT? is a mix of prose and graphics of no particular theme but is geared towards people who feel different when they wake up in the morning. INTERNATIONAL SWAG is recorded music reviews and related items. That will get published when I can find the paper that has the list of the reviewed bands. THE DBA TATTLER is the very occasional newsletter of the DBA. STATE FAIR is about the fair/carnival-going experience. There are several books I've done too: ZEN MIND; SLIME CLOWNS; THE UNIBOMBERS MANIFESTO; THE BOOK OF PRISON SLANG; BUGGER, which is a reprint of the 1964 Beat anthology classic edited by Ed Sanders; the September 1952 issue of THE JOURNAL OF SPACE FLIGHT, which was published by the Chicago Rocket Society.

Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
Whatever category your publication might fall in, look at similar ones and figure out what you can do that'll be different. Leave a good border on each page. Make a test print before you do your run. There is nothing worse than trying to read something that is poorly printed. Get a dictionary. Take your proof home and sit on it for a few days. Then look at it again and improve it. Don't print more than 25 copies. Let demand grow. Don't freak out when no one likes it.

What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
1) Production. It's a real thrill to see this thing develop in front of me, and then to be able to hold the final piece.
2) Doing trades, getting mail and finding out that people actually do appreciate what I'm doing.

In my other life, I'm an:
Ordained minister, semi-retired film/video electrician, sex film worker, semi-retired swagman, visual artist, and about to become a cook on the Great Lakes ships.

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