Raw Material
Temp Slave!

Jeff Kelly,
Temp Slave!

Age: Old enough

Selection: "Wind Tunnel? Sure!" (page 163)

Recent review (from The Dial): "Essential reading for non-essential workers."

Sample: No longer available, although Jeff compiled a book called The Best of Temp Slave!.

When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
TS! was started in November of 1993. I was working as a temp in an insurance company. They told me I'd be hired full time, strung me along, and then informed me I'd be canned in two weeks. So, first I produced a blasphemous zine called "Welcome to the World of Insurance: An Intro to Corporate Hell." I passed this out to the full-timers. Since I was a temp I decided to do something for the temps. Thus the creation of TS! I considered it a one-shot zine at the time but it quickly gained a readership. So, four years later, I'm still at it.

Why publish a zine?
As a working class person, there isn't much room in the mainstream press for what I have to say. I bring a lot of anger and bitterness and also humor to the stories I write, something the mainstream runs from like the plague. TS! is many things. It's an attempt to analyze the changing face of work in America. It's also geared toward brining humor into the political scene. Otherwise, TS! is the greatest revenge against professional journalists, academics, bosses who would normally look down their noses at me. Plus I love cartoons and it's my goal to bring aspiring cartoonists to readers.
Best of Temp Slave!TS! is becoming known as a starting point for many cartoonists including Clay Butler, Peter Sickman-Garner, Don MacKeen. I'm a frustrated cartoonist myself—frustrated because I can't draw for shit. So I rearrange what I see in mainstream publications instead. They try to sell something with an image, I rework the image. People have told me that I work from a situationist perspective. Never really considered this because I've always, since I was a kid, seen media images as totally bogus. I'm just interested in producing belly laughs and helping people see beyond the facade of corporate bullshit.

Have you published any other zines?
East to Cali, a travel zine about visiting strange places and people in California, Welcome to the World of Insurance, and Nosebleed, a report on a baseball game and a major concert that delves into crowd behavior and the selling of entertainment in America.

Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
Most zinesters give up after a few issues, a good thing because publishing can be a pain in the ass. TS! is somewhat of an unusual case. After two issues it began being distributed all over America and Europe. It caused, and still causes me considerable financial problems. Rule 1: Try your best to establish a personal relationship with distributors, Rule 2: Be prompt mailing copies to subscribers, Rule 3: Put your ego in check. Ego mires things in the creative process but it should not entitle you to become a stark raving lunatic. In the scheme of things zines are a speck within the speck within the speck of the publishing world.

What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
When the final issue is collated, stapled and trimmed, I'm one happy boy. The finished product, the realization that despite all the hassles and financial problems, I had enough energy and motivation to create something really empowers me. Plus, the reaction of readers and the fun people I've met through the mail.

In my other life, I'm a:
Press operator in a manufacturing plant. It's my first "real" job in three years and no one would understand what I actually do since it's pretty technical, mechanical whatever.

Fan Mail
Best of Temp Slave!

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