Monday, 12 September 2011

Seen through other people's eyes

Not least because of the dearth of other bi glossy and zinestery titles even internationally these days, BCN-making is sometimes a bit of a lonely furrow to plough*.

As such, early this summer I started doing a little bit of consciously trying to hook into the places where other small press / zinestery types might be found. After all, while I do my best to make BCN look as much of a Serious Queer Press Contender as I can, the 'independence first: advertising is just to help pay for shiny extras' attitude of rugged small-press publishing is entirely zinester culture. I know where my roots are, even if I do get to do the cover in colour these days :) and it might be good to recharge those firey batteries of WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF US representation rage and OOOH CLEVER layout creativity.

This led to finding zinewiki, and to a couple of delicious mornings where I dug out a wodge of my 80s and 90s bi zines and tried to remember enough about them to say something meaningful on zinewiki, and thus built up a bi zine(ster) category on it. It was a bit of a shock to find the zinewiki had so many hundreds of hundreds of zines and none of the bi stuff was out there. A happy, heady mix of improving bi visibility, nerding on one of my favourite subjects, and happily reminiscing about the days of buying stuff from abroad before PayPal made it all so simple ("hello little tourist currency exchange shop that I've caught two buses to get to, I'd like to buy five US dollars please, as notes. Um. How much is that?")

In turn this led to a little flurry of zine-buying, feeling a little more inspired to make another issue of QUelectionEERing, and then finding BCN got offered a writeup by people who read lots of zines.

And here it is, over on SpillTheZines. As the doting mother to BCN you have no idea how much trepidation there was in clicking on the link! But silly of me, they were very kind. It is interesting to see it through someone else's eyes though: for instance, I take all the stuff on the website, the links and such, for granted because I've been doing them for a billion years**.

* I originally wrote "plough to furrow" here. It can be hard some issues to get together all the content for the deadlines I aim for, and be artworking promptly when life gets in the way, but it's not THAT hard! :)
** or is it ten years? one or the other.

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