Thursday, October 22, 2009

APE '09: Will You Marry Me ___?

Will You Marry Me ___? by Nathan Carter

Admittedly, I’ve been making stupid little zines infrequently for years, and what keeps me from embracing the art and hobby whole hog is my ignorance of zine and mini-comics distribution. I’ve dared distribute zines by hand at war protests before, where I thought a charged political crowd would be open to such fringe material, but as suspected they were too consumed with their own cause to consider anyone else’s. When I search on-line, many zine distributors’ sites seem out of date, perhaps folded entirely (no pun intended). It’s enough to give up the practice all together.

Enter Nathan Carter and his zine Will You Marry Me ___?

Nathan takes the bull by the horns and mails you his zines, and all you the reader have to do is send him the stamps. Sure, the zines are single sheets of regular letter-sized paper, but Nathan uses the folds as proverbial page turns so you get at least two little works of art -- again, all for the price of a stamp. I was taken by two of his latest zines at the Alternative Press Expo, and Nathan was kind enough to let me take them both; one is a traditional newspaper/photography collage, the other a little more text-intensive. I appreciate the transparency of both media, as the author expresses feelings of inadequacy and adaptation, though admittedly the former sadly takes less to consume than the latter. Interestingly and ironically, I bet it takes more time to make . . .

. . . which brings me to the final point. Did I mention these zines cost the meager price of a stamp? Yes, for the price of postage, Nathan would mail you a little piece of his soul every month -- and I’m not being melodramatic. That’s what it is, on colored paper, to boot. When he recommended them, you could tell he favored some over others, like any self-criticizing artist, but the consistency is in their availably, and I hope Nathan’s inspiration to continue producing them. I’m excited to think, in this small way, APE will arrive in my mailbox all year long.

And I may consider sending some of it out myself someday . . .

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