View From the Ledge
Selection: "Five Weird News Items
So Common They're Not Weird Anymore" (page 70)
Sample: $1 cash from P.O. Box 18737, Tampa,
When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
I was caught in the Carter
malaise while working in Washington. For the first time in quite
a while, nothing seemed to matter to me, and I started noticing
the world's rapidly accelerating decline. My friends noticed,
too. Their newspaper clippings were on their refrigerators, but
I published mine.
Why publish a zine?
You find out there are many
kindred spirits around the country, or beyond, that you'd never
meet otherwise. You expand the possibilities of things that might
make you less bored.
What can you tell us about the selection you provided for
"The Book of Zines"?
I chose five once. If I chose
today, it'd be a different five, all just as ridiculous. In fact,
if I had chosen the day after I chose the first ones, it might
have been a different five.
Have you published any other zines?
My News of the Weird zine
is published every six weeks and contains only the latest six
of my syndicated newspaper columns. I published one issue of
my attempt at a News of the Weird covering sex called True Crime
and Debauchery. I'm not sure of the fate. In the early 1980s,
I published a few issues of commentary called Chuck Shepherd's
Wrestling Newsletter, which was as good as it got in those days
but pales next to some of the pro wrestling zines on the market
Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
Don't mistake equality of
opportunity for equality of outcome. It might be romantic to
think all zines are worthwhile, but consider the people you meet
who aren't zinesters: Maybe 10 percent are cool, 20 percent to
30 percent are on the border, and 60 percent to 70 percent suck.
Same with zines.
What's your favorite part of doing a zine?
Paste-up. Lining up the clippings
without using a light table or a T-square. Put on a little classical
music, pop open an ice-cold Double Diamond.
In my other life, I'm the:Fan
Writer of the syndicated newspaper
of the Weird.
More News of the
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