Broken Pencil interview

Here are the (mostly) full responses I gave to some questions Broken Pencil kindly put to us for the global zine scene report in issue #81 of their mag – thanks to Broken Pencil for interviewing us, and sorry I harped on so much. I’ve edited out some bits where I got too ranty and cut out bits that weren’t quite true/accurate.

Tell me a bit about the history of Take Care Zine Distro, and what you do today? What challenges have you had to face organizing a zine distro? 

We opened Take Care on 1 January 2010. In the mid 2000s I ran a little distro called Flying Machine – just a paper mail-order catalogue with a few listings. Take Care was sort of a way of picking up that project again. At first we stocked a fairly large number of zines – about 100 when we first opened, most from Australia. Everything we stocked was available through online mail-order, and we also tried to table at zine fairs along the east coast of Australia. 

When we first opened we accepted submissions, and we were mostly interested in stocking personal zines. We discovered there weren’t as many of those types of zines around as there were even 5 or 6 years previously, when I was doing Flying Machine. By the mid-00s, I think per-zines had acquired a set of tropes or conventions, a very specific aesthetic. My zine collection is mostly from the late 90s/early 2000s, and when you view them all together, zines from that era very strongly resemble one another. They also resemble one another in content. By the time we started Take Care those types of zines were becoming less common. This made me sad at first, but in a way there was more diversity in the new things that people were making. We ended up stocking more, for want of another word, ‘experimental’ zines, and comics, art zines and so forth.

After a few years we stopped taking submissions. We found that we got a comparatively huge number of enquiries – several a week – from people wanting to stock their zine, but very few orders. So we had this problem where clearly people knew about us and placed some value on what we were doing, but there was this weird gap. I think some people assumed that we had an audience or reach that didn’t actually exist. I partially blame social media for this: it’s easy for something to appear to be bigger than it actually is on the internet, and for people to ‘like’ the idea of something then move along and never think of it again, leaving behind the ‘like’ to give a false impression of the popularity or size of a project.

Anyway, a surprising number of people seemed to think that if they stocked their zine with us they’d instantly sell out and they – and we – would make lots of money. In reality we’d always sell a fair amount at fairs, but the mail-order has never sold much, and the percentage we take from sales – 20% – barely covers our ‘overheads’: website hosting, paypal fees, stationery etc. Don’t even mention labour. Of course, that is not why we run a distro – we love zines, we believe in zines, we firmly believe in a punk/DIY ethic, even if the stuff we stock doesn’t always look stereotypically punk. We are not in the slightest bit interested in running a business, although we do pride ourselves on being able to get stuff done, and we’re always efficient when it comes to packing orders or paying folks when we sell their zines. To me that is a punk thing, not a business thing – you don’t rip people off, you support the scene.

Some of the folks I’ve talked to have described a surge in artbooks, “designer” zines and higher priced zines. Some folks have found it hard to maintain space for traditional cut n paste and punk zines in the new zine landscape – is this something you’ve had to grapple with?

I discovered zines through the subcultural portal of music, through indie record stores and the network of riot grrrl inspired distros – like Pander and Smitten Kitten – that were around in the 90s and early 2000s. Zines for me are indelibly tied to punk and the ethics that emerged from punk. But I also spent most of my 20s in art school. Since I was young I’ve loved art, wanted to be an artist, and I identify as an artist. In my day job, I partly work as a graphic designer, at least that’s what I aspire to do as a day job. I sometimes feel like I’m a bit stuck between worlds in regards to zines/art/design. I don’t think these worlds are always mutually exclusive, but I agree that there is definitely a tendency for more people to make zines that are really slick, aiming to be professional, and often highly priced. Or rather, people make these things and call them zines, but perhaps they’re not zines. It is a thing that is hard to grapple with, and we have had to grapple with it at Take Care. In the early days we definitely turned down a lot of submissions on the grounds that they were bordering on not being zines. It raised the very frustrating question of how do you define what a zine even is, and who gets to decide?

On the one hand I’m quite puritanical in my definition: zines are photocopied, cheap, have an ephemeral quality, you don’t charge too much for them, you don’t aim to make money out of them, you make them to support or create or communicate within a scene of like-minded people. On the other hand, I’m reluctant to define anything too strictly, because I think you can risk closing yourself off to new ideas and new forms of expression – you can stop evolving. I get worried sometimes that I’m set in my ways, this jaded old zinester from the 90s who refuses to accept that things change and kids use InDesign to lay out their zines these days. I think it’s ok – good, even – for things to reflect the times that they are made in. The aesthetic I most strongly associate with zines is actually one that belongs to and describes another time. There is something a bit anachronistic in my attachment to things like typewriters and analogue media, but for my part I try to explore that in the zines I make. But what I see when I think ‘zine’ is actually more subjective than I used to admit to myself. So, that’s been one of the other big challenges, actually, with running a distro: trying not to be narrow minded about what constitutes a zine, trying not to say what a zine should look like, trying to accept things on their own terms and judge them by the quality of their ideas and their fidelity to the spirit of zines – the punk/DIY ethic – and trying not to be too nostalgic for the sort of zines that were being made when I was a teenager.

Having said all that, there is confusion out there, about what is a zine and what is an artist book and what is a chapbook and so on. I think it’s ok to try to define things to an extent. Look at, say, Printed Matter in New York – they stock an incredible range of self-published stuff, and they don’t seem to have a problem isolating zines from the rest of it. I think a lot of the confusion actually stems – in Australia at least – from institutions like art galleries getting in on the zine scene. I think that changes the way people first encounter zines – rather than finding zines firmly attached to a subculture, or as a subculture in themselves, zines are presented as this general medium of artistic self-expression. So you get people making their limited edition artist book and selling it for $50 and wondering why no one at the zine fair is buying it. Or conversely, you have the person with their photocopied zine at the zine fair at the art gallery, and no one’s interested in their zine because the event they’re at probably shouldn’t really be called a zine fair, it’s probably more like an illustrator’s fair or something. Which is fine, but all those people selling art prints (including me!) should probably start their own fair, it would be less confusing for everyone.

How are people using zines in your communities, whether locally or across Australia? Are there major trends or changes you’ve scene over the years?

The most important change that has happened in Sydney recently has been Other Worlds. For a bit of background, for several years the only very large zine fair to happen on a regular basis in Sydney was held by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), who are the premiere contemporary art museum in Sydney, located on Circular Quay right alongside big, iconic Sydney-things like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The MCA is big bikkies, in terms of cultural capital in this country. I won’t go too much into the origins, but when they first started putting on a zine fair, a lot of long-time zinesters in Sydney were pretty miffed. The MCA didn’t really involve or ask zinesters about putting on a fair. (Bastian Fox Phelan would be able to give you a much better run down of the origins of the MCA fair than I could). In the first year there were discussions online about zinesters boycotting it to put on their own fair or gathering instead, which didn’t end up happening in any organised way, but a lot of people didn’t initially go to the MCA fair. There was a strong feeling that such a big cultural institution should not be appropriating or representing zine culture. Anyway, it ended up being an annual event and everyone – zinesters – eventually went to it, many out of a sort of obligation to ‘represent’ zines at this event which they felt otherwise wouldn’t have any zines at it. A lot of those other publications we discussed earlier were made and sold for the MCA zine fair. You got a feeling that every graphic design student in Sydney was using the MCA zine fair to showcase their end of year portfolio. After time, as tends to happen, the MCA zine fair became normalised, a sort of ‘how I learned to stopped worrying and love the monolithic cultural institution’ scenario. You could certainly sell a lot of zines there – I once sold out of everything I had within two hours then just went and ate ice cream on the harbour for the rest of the day.

The genesis of Other Worlds requires a little more background: In 2014 the Sydney Biennale (big blockbuster art show) was boycotted by a number of the artists involved. The Biennale was founded and sponsored by a company who were then called Transfield, who through their various channels were and are involved in construction, infrastructure and provision of services. They ran garrison (cleaning and security) services in the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, which are two offshore detention – aka prison – camps where the Australian government illegally and immorally detains refugees who are trying to get to Australia by boat from Indonesia, as part of a xenophobic ‘stop the boats’ policy. So this is what the Biennale Boycott was about – artists demanded that Transfield withdraw their contracts from Manus and Nauru, as part of a divestment campaign. I was very tangentially involved in this boycott when it started – attending some organising meetings and stuff. But it was very much focused around institutionalised artists, so it was a bit hard to figure out how I could contribute. Then it emerged that Transfield were also sponsors of the MCA. When the MCA zine fair rolled around again we casually put it out there that we would be joining Biennale artists in boycotting Transfield-linked institutions, and would not be attending the MCA zine fair. We invited other zinesters to join us, if they wished. Our friend Hon contacted us and said ‘should we put on an anti-Transfield’ zine fair?’, and so Other Worlds was born. We were expecting having maybe 10 tables and ended up having 100. This year was our fifth consecutive year running the fair.

The outcome of the Transfield boycott is quite complex – much too much to go into here. Australia still tortures refugees and asylum seekers in offshore prison camps, so in that regard you could say it did not succeed. But it cleared some ground. And almost as a by-product, the zine community regained a bit of control of their scene – we got our own zine fair, and that’s very powerful. 

A lot of people assume that I hate the MCA, but it’s not the case at all – I’m very idealistic but also very pragmatic. I feel like there’s a bit of a game of snakes and ladders going on between institutionalised art practices and the underground or subcultures, and I’m interested in how people play it, how they negotiate the different modes of living, so that they can live, so they can get by in capitalism. I’m not judgemental about how people figure out how to do that. But I’m certainly, myself, angling for more collectivity, more community, more DIY.

What advice might you give to people trying to start their own distro or activate their local zine community?

At the end of the day, I think people should do whatever the hell they like and call it whatever they like. My feeling is that the best way to deal with something you don’t like is to do something you do like, yourself, with your friends. Put on your own zine fair, start your own distro. The worst thing you can do is get caught up in endlessly trying to define things and make things fit your world-view perfectly, or worry about other people doing it WRONG. Do your thing and let others do theirs. If the space doesn’t exist, make the space exist – that’s the point of zines. I get concerned with people who basically have a lot in common getting tied up in knots over small differences – the ‘narcissism of small differences’, as it’s been called. Fight, sure, but save the fight for actual fascists, for governments who are torturing refugees. Be tactical and pragmatic, and kind.

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My weekend at the Sydney Anarchist Book Fair and Canberra Zine Emporium, with bonus swipes at Sydney’s public transport system

When I learned that $50 was the asking price for a table at the inaugural Sydney Anarchist Book Fair (22 March 2014) I was a bit disappointed but not surprised. For some reason, that seems to be the going rate at anarchist book fairs. Why? Answers on a postcard to PO Box 4, Enmore NSW 2042, please…

The cost of tables nearly put me off booking, but that would have meant breaking my main resolution for 2014, which was to stop being the biggest pikelet in zinedom and table some fairs other than the MCA* and Canberra this year. I was already going strong on this resolution, managing to get myself, Tim and a suitcase fulla zines to Melbourne for the Festival of the Photocopier in February, FINALLY, having said I was gonna go the previous three years or something, but pike-pike-piking every time.

So I booked, and on Saturday me and Anwyn (Tim having flown to Paris – Paris! Bastard!** – a few days earlier) made our way by the mysterious 428 bus (mysterious in that many have wondered where the fuck it is***) to the Addison Rd Community Centre at the too-early-for-me-hour of 9:30 AM. The big hall at Addison Rd was full of tables that were covered in books, zines and other paraphernalia, and the walls were hung with inspiring banners from rallies and pickets, our favourite of which was one that simply said ‘STRIKE’, in big letters painted red and black on the diagonal. Why beat around the bush, right?

Thank you and well done to members of the Jura Books collective, who were largely responsible for organising the event: it was pretty ace, despite the price of stalls, and I hope it becomes a regular thing. I suck at estimating how much of a given thing there is in a given space at a given time, but there were enough stalls to fill the big hall at Addison Rd, and enough people in attendance to provide a constant, relaxed hum of activity. Highlights for me included getting a long desired back issue of Shotgun Seamstress from Race Riot Distro and seeing the amazing stuff that Negative Press have been publishing from their DIY print workshop. The best zine of the day – though admittedly I didn’t nab them all – was Lou’s ‘Flighpath and other zines’, a compilation of excerpts from zines they made between 2000 – 2007. Everyone should know that these are literally the best zines that were made in Sydney during the early 00s.

There was a lot of other stuff going on at the fair – choirs singing, panels panelling, a yoga class yogaing, speakers speechifying etc etc. The Counter-Revolution crew made some really nice vegan burgers that tasted on par with a Lord of the Fries burger but didn’t give me an upset tummy: delicious AND digestible. Win! I tried to go back for seconds but they’d already packed up, looking knackered. For most of the day I mostly stuck to my seat (literally: it was hot), but S kindly minded our stall for a bit so we could see the Sydney Feminist Discussion Circle give their panel presentation, ‘Casting Spells’, which pretty much went off, in a manner that panels generally don’t. I was reminded a bit of Stewart Lee’s ‘I agreed the fuck out of it’ joke from the latest season of Comedy Vehicle, but still: it can be good to be in a big room full of people who seem to share views about important things, especially in these dark times. See the Golden Barley School blog for a transcript of one of the papers.

The day wrapped up and R gave me and Anwyn a lift home in their hilariously macho ute, manoeuvring the gear stick wedged between A’s legs like the beginning of some horrendously clichéd porn routine. We got home safe before the threatening storm broke, and prepared for the following day’s zine activities: the second annual Canberra Zine Emporium (23 March 2014)!

I must have been feeling pretty hardcore to take on two zine fairs in as many days. There were moments, I confess, when I contemplated copping out on Canberra. But I remembered the time when R (a different one) wasn’t gonna come to an exhibition opening I was having, but at the last moment decided to Toughen The Fuck Up, and I thought, yes: that indeed is sage advice. Anyway, preparation only consisted of filling another gym bag full of zines and writing my home phone number (yes, I have a landline) on the back of A’s hand so she could call me in the morning in case I pegged my mobile at the wall when the alarm went off and went back to sleep. I sleep like a pupa, wrapped up tight from head to toe in my sheets with only a small aperture for air. I am very strict about the quality and quantity of sleep I get, and there are very few things I will sacrifice sleep for. We were catching the coach to Canberra, meaning we had to be at Central before 7 AM, meaning I had to be out of bed by 5:30 AM. Could I do it?

Yep, I did, it all went fine. I even made a Thermos of tea and everything. Only stuff up was that on my way to Dulwich Hill station, gym bag of zines breaking my shoulder in the still pitch black, naughty-cat filled morning, A rang to say that according to her trusty train tracking app the train was running twenty minutes late, so we had to call a cab. Oh Shitty Rail, you never fail to fail! (And I don’t care if you’ve changed your name to ‘Sydney Trains’ and have a passive-aggressive train-bot making all the announcements now, either. Bah). The cabbie let us out opposite the coach terminal and in the wait before boarding ‘someone’ had a chance to do a bit of quick Sharpie work on a Biennale of Sydney poster which, despite the success of the recent boycott, still advertised detention centre profiteers Transfield among its sponsors. A side note: when did everyone stop using ‘Textas’ and start using ‘Sharpies’? Answers on a postcard etc…

On days when I start work in the early afternoon, I usually arrive in time to see my work mate Josefino sleeping perfectly upright in a chair in the lunchroom with his lower jaw dangling open, in a creepy, death mask kind of way. I felt my own jaw slackening involuntarily as I attempted to sleep in my coach seat, but I’d covered my face with a jumper to block out the ever increasing sunlight, so no one saw me dribble into my sleeve. At the beginning of the trip the coach driver had made a long announcement about how the seat arm rests work, why you shouldn’t vomit in the restroom sink, where you should dispose of your rubbish and why you should not accuse him of being drunk if the coach is buffeted by high winds off Lake George as we roll into Canberra. ‘I am perfectly sober’, he assured us. He also said that yesterday he’d knocked 15 minutes off the estimated arrival time, and that he hoped to do the same today.

True to his word, 3 hours and 15 minutes later we arrived in Canberra: ‘we are fifteen minutes early, just like yesterday’, he intoned with modest pride over the PA. We lugged our zines to Gorman House. There, almost everyone else had already set up. We found ourselves seated next to Safdar from the Refugee Art Project, who aside from helping to run that important project is a nice chap and was kind enough to trade his personal zine – Safdar’s Weird Shit – for one of mine.

Every zine fair I’ve been to in Canberra has been good, and this was no exception. Chiara – author of Rhetorical zine and one of the CZE crew – postulated that this is because nothing much happens in Canberra, so when something does happen people are very responsive. Actually, she said: ‘in Canberra, people like shopping’. I would have liked to have been in town for the other zine related entertainments that CZE collective organised, especially the slide-show on Saturday night, but for obvious reasons I couldn’t make it. You’ll have to ask someone else for a run down on that.

There was other stuff going on at this fair, too: CZE collective members announced periodically that a zine workshop was happening here, a magician was performing there… But to be honest, when I go to a zine fair there’s pretty much two things I’m interested in: minding my table, and looking at what other people have on theirs. And talking to people, you know. And food. But that’s just me. There was plenty of food on hand, and I was soon stuffing myself, first with a gozleme then a soysage sandwich then a rather delicious cinnamon doughnut, with what now occurs to me to be a complete lack of solidarity with A’s gluten intolerance. Sorry.

One of the great things about both the SABF and CZE was that very few people asked me to explain what a ‘zign’ is or for me to spruik my stuff to them. What does this mean? That we’ve reached some sort of saturation point in educating people about zines, or that the novelty value has worn off and only those who actually know and care what they are bother to attend zine fairs these days?

By about 3 PM I was feeling pretty tired. I did a bit of looking around, got some stuff from Sticky, Burrows & Co. and individual Canberran zinesters. I am particularly looking forward to reading ‘Better things to do: the early history of Canberra straight-edge’, because I like it when people use zines to document secret, underground histories, and I haven’t thought about Forward Defence in a very long time. I guess the secret histories thing is also why I was so excited about Lou’s ‘Flightpath’ zine. When I have a chance to read everything properly I might do a long overdue zine-haul-round-up post on my poor neglected blog, Flying Machine.

So, the CZE ended at 4 PM. As seems customary at zinester organised fairs, everyone helped stack the chairs and fold up the tables at the end. A and me made our way back to the coach terminal, and then back home to the small area of Sydney where we and all our friends seem to live these days. And that was my weekend. It was lovely to see zine friends from Melbourne and Canberra and other places, and to hang out with friends in Sydney. It’s quite an honour to know so many good people. Thank you all, friends.

X Emma

* Of course, I will be at Other Worlds, not the MCA, this 25 May.

** ‘Paris! Bastard!’ might be the name of my new band, watcha think? Answers on a postcard etc…

*** I actually know why the 428 is always late, but there’s no time to go into it here.

Some notes on sponsorship – redux

Hey folks, I’m just dragging this up (with a few changes to the wording) from the bottom of the post before last where it was first published. In conversations I had on the weekend at the Sydney Anarchist Book Fair and Canberra Zine Emporium (thank you to the organisers of both events) people were overwhelmingly supportive of the idea of boycotting the MCA zine fair over the MCA’s relationship with Transfield, but there was some confusion about precisely what that relationship is. Creating confusion is a pretty good way of obscuring facts, but anyway: this is the information I have found with my limited internet searching abilities:

In a pay-walled article on ArtsHub, the MCA called our use of the word ‘sponsorship’ to describe their relationship with Transfield a “factual inaccurancy”, stating instead that Transfield are a ‘Corporate Member’.

‘Corporate Members’ are listed on the ‘Sponsorship’ page of the MCA website.

Transfield are listed on page 60 of the most recent (2012) MCA annual report in the section for ‘Sponsorship, Donations, Marketing and Public Relations’, as a ‘Corporate Member’.

The MCA are listed on the ‘Community Involvement – Sponsorships’ page of the Transfield website: “Transfield Holdings has been a corporate sponsor of the Museum of Contemporary Art since 2004.” (accessed 24/3/14, emphasis mine. Note that the Transfield domain name and the Transfield logo at the top of the web-page do not make a distinction between ‘Transfield Holdings’, ‘Transfield Services’ or ‘Transfield Foundation’.)

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So, the word ‘sponsorship’ seems to have a slippery definition, depending on when, how and by whom it is used. Clearly Transfield consider their corporate membership to be a variety of sponsorship. The MCA, perhaps, feels differently – although their own publicly accessible information on their sponsors etc is ambiguous. Whatever the difference (or lack of) between ‘sponsorship’ and ‘corporate membership’ in this case, the MCA and Transfield have a brand relationship. As the MCA website outlines, Corporate Membership provides an opportunity to:

“[a]lign with Australia’s leading contemporary arts brand and an exciting range of collections” and[d]evelop and enhance relationships with key clients and stakeholders”.

What would a bit of amateur research be without a visit to Wikipedia? From the entry on brand equity (or as it’s sometimes known, brand value):

Brand equity is a phrase used in the marketing industry which describes the value of having a well-known brand name, based on the idea that the owner of a well-known brand name can generate more money from products with that brand name than from products with a less well known name…”

Cheers,

Emma

Why we’re not going to the MCA zine fair

You may have heard that the MCA has done the call-out for their zine fair this year at the end of May. Take Care has decided not to participate in this year’s fair, due to sponsorship connections the MCA has with a finance conglomerate called Transfield.  Transfield run the service contracts in the detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru. Some of you may be aware that there is currently a campaign underway to boycott the upcoming Sydney Biennale due to its ties with Transfield. We support this boycott and calls for organisations and individuals to disvest their financial interests with Transfield and any other company that profits from the human misery – and murder – produced by the conditions in the camps. As such, we feel that we can’t be involved with the MCA fair this year, either, unless they suddenly cease to have a relationship with Transfield. That would only happen if we make some noise about it. So we encourage others to read up on this issue, and to join us in a boycott. The Crossborder Operational Matters site has a lot of valuable information on it about Transfield’s relationship with the arts. The RISE (Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees) site has a statement on the Biennale boycott.

x Emma

Always different, always the same

Copies of you zine at Junior gazette 2013

One of the most reliable occurrences in the life of PO Box 4, Enmore NSW 2042 is the fortnightly arrival of the previous two weeks’ issues of YOU zine. YOU arrives so regularly, so punctually, that it’s almost tempting to take it for granted, to call it predictable, even. The regularity with which it arrives in the post is matched by the regularity of its aesthetic: brown paper bags and white office copy paper. Or sometimes white paper bags and brown recycled copy paper. The word ‘you’ stamped on the cover in red or black. Sometimes in purple, green, or blue, but always a generic ink-pad colour. The paper bag (sometimes it’s an envelope, postcard or a standard A5 zine) is decorated using some sort of print making technique: rubber stamps, rubbings, Lino cuts. Or with an image torn from a magazine, newspaper, or some such place. Or with coloured gaffa tape. Each individual copy in an issue of YOU is a slight variation on the same thing. Each issue of YOU a slight variation on all the other issues of YOU. Inside the paper bag, more repetition: a photocopied letter, folded, stapled inside. The familiar handwriting, the familiar way that it’s signed off. Sometime’s it someone else’s handwriting, but there have been so many guest writers that that’s to be expected, too. The writing itself: a story from a day in the life of Luke You, an ordinary life of intense interests, an interesting life. An interested life. The envelopes that YOU arrives in each fortnight: again, repetition. The same envelope, an Australia Post A4 tough bag. The same format for the address, written with the same black texta. Or sometimes it’s written in pen. The same words – ‘Artwork, Do Not Bend’ and ‘Documents Only’ – rubber stamped on the outside. $1.80 worth of postage stamps in the top right hand corner. The same note thanking Take Care for stocking YOU: a photocopy of the note that was sent with the very first issues of YOU that we stocked. Repetition, repetition, repetition. And then some.

When we started Take Care – we opened on the 1st of January, 2010 – YOU was one of the first zines we stocked. It’s a pretty legendary zine: there is a YOU book, there have been YOU writing marathons, a couple of years ago YOU made it into Microcosm’s zine annual as one of the best zine’s of the year. I have a YOU t-shirt (it makes a cameo appearance in my latest zine, ‘Trabajar en una Tienda’, see if you can spot it). I’m not exactly sure why I am writing this post, just that today I picked up last fortnight’s issues of YOU from the post office and I read them in the car while my dad gave me a lift home. I’d just finished reading ‘Red or Dead’, David Peace’s novel about Bill Shankly’s management of Liverpool Football Club. It’s a novel about obsession – a football obsession, in this case – and the use of relentless repetition, relentless practice, persistence and passion, and relentlessness itself, as a way to achieve invincibility, immortality, greatness. And it occurred to me that that is what YOU is: it is the circa 1970s Liverpool Football Club of zines, and Luke You is the Bill Shankly of zinesters. I don’t know very much about football really, but I liked the book a lot, so I feel confident in drawing this analogy.

So anyway, the real point of all of this is to say: we stock YOU. We have many issues of it in stock. It’s free. Well, we have to charge 1c for it, because of the way paypal works. If you add it to your cart when ordering other zines, we’ll fit in as many issues as the total you’ve paid for postage will allow.

If, however, you would like some issues of YOU on their own to arrive in your letter box, send us $3 to our paypal address (for postage) and we’ll send you a full A4 envelope’s worth. Just be sure to put your address and a request for copies of YOU zine in the ‘note to merchant’ field In paypal.

And coming soon: the latest issue of another great zine, ‘Disposable Camera’, is a split with… YOU! It’s about the Housemartins and Hull and it’s brilliant, but unfortunately we can’t put it on the catalogue until Tim gets back from holidays, with his computer that can upload scans. Until then, writhe in anticipation (or order a copy from Sticky).

x Emma