It’s been a while since I posted one of these awesome zinester interviews, but here we are ready for you! In today’s installment of “Meet this Zinester,” we get nice and comfortable with the two awesome creators of Warship Zine, Carlos and Vicki. So stick around, get inspired, and then make zines~
Who are Vicki and Carlos? Where are you guys based?
Vicki: Hi, I’m Vicki, one half of Warship Zine and we are based out of San Antonio, TX. I work in scientific research by day but at night I do my best to get out around town. High on the list are happy hours, free outdoor movies, biking, and drinking all the Lonestar tallboys I can.
Carlos: Hey, I’m Carlos, I make comics, illustrations, and zines. I graduated from Texas State with a degree in communication design, and use that piece of paper into tricking people to hire me for design jobs. I’m currently working as an art director of a local paper. I like comics, and movies a bunch, and when I’m not curled up in a ball in my bed, I like to get out and drink around San Antonio.
What are zines to you?
Vicki: The first time I came across a zine I was in high school, in the 90’s, when punk, grunge, and indie rock were my constant soundtrack. I feel very connected to the cut and paste Xerox zines of those times. They just scream out DIY punk to me and that’s what zines really are to me: The underground aspect, the rawness, but really the opportunity to share your voice on your own terms.
Carlos: Zines are everything. They are a great tool to communicate any message, and they can be so cheap to produce that it’s a medium that’s available to most people.
What kind of zines do you make?
Vicki: Warship is a collaborative zine but we each make our own zines on the side. I make a series of gardening zines but I also have a few based on my other interests, books and punk rock.
Carlos: My personal zines vary in topic and format. I like to make mini comics, but also do art zines, photo zines, and written stuff; really whatever weird idea comes to me. A lot of stuff is pop culture based, but I’m trying to do more of my own ideas with future projects.
Tell me about Warship Zine. What inspired the creation of it and what’s it all about it?
Vicki: Warship Zine was Carlos’ idea. We basically just sit around drinking beers and say, “You know what would be a cool zine idea?!?” and then somehow convince people to contribute their work to our drunk ideas. The zine is just about what we’re in love with. Each issue is a different theme but we tend to do movie, music, and a general theme issue. Bookish themes are harder but I’m doing my best to get them in there.
Carlos: Warship probably did come about while we were drinking. I had (have?) a real problem with my personal work where I have an idea, work on it, then let it kind of fizzle out, so I thought collaborating with someone would be fun, and it’d be harder for me to fail because I had someone else relying on me to get this thing out. I hate to disappoint, so it’s been working pretty well, I think. With Warship we just wanted to do a zine about stuff we love, and wanted to see other people’s takes on these topics. It’s been a real blast seeing other people’s work come in. We’re always blown away by the submissions we get.
What’s your favorite thing about zines?
Vicki: The possibilities. I discovered zines in high school but didn’t meet them again until Warship. Carlos showed me that there could be more than just your standard fold and staple. He throws different paper, fold outs, weird extras in his designs and it surprises me how it all works. But I also mean possibilities in that you have no restrictions to your zine, only those you impose on yourself.
Carlos: My favorite thing about zines is that anyone can make one, and there is no “wrong” way to do it. It’s a cheap way to get your ideas out there.
Do you recall your first zine ever, what was it about and what inspired you to create it?
Vicki: My first zine was a small collaborative zine I did with Carlos. He saw me drawing pictures of the vegetables in my garden and suggested I write up a gardening how to. He said I would give him the illustrations and text and he would do the layout. After that I started learning the layout on my own. I’m a bit of a plant freak and I continued the series to include herbs and houseplants. My zines are still pretty basic but they’re all mine.
Carlos: My first zine was a zine of my art and comics. I did it the old fashioned way of Xeroxing, cutting, and pasting at a Kinkos. I made a lot of mistakes. But it was a good learning experience.
Tell me a little about your zine-making process.
Vicki: Warship is definitely a labor of love. Carlos has a background in art and design so his layouts can get complicated but it always pays off in the end. We invite people to contribute after announcing our theme and Carlos then designs the zine. I come in as a proofreader and help build the zine, which if you’ve seen one of our issues is an event in itself. Everything we do is DIY. We print and build everything ourselves.
Carlos: It all starts with an idea, and then I try to flesh it out. I sketch some stuff, do some final drawings, scan art work, lay it out in InDesign, and then print and staple. With Warship it’s a bit more complicated, we have to figure out how much printing is gonna cost, we look for different paper that will work with the theme of the zine, and there’s a lot of trial and error. But the end product usually looks pretty ok.
What do you hope people get out of your zines?
Vicki: I really just want people to enjoy our zine. We definitely come at it from a fan(atic) point of view. We’re sharing our obsessive love with the world. We want you as obsessed as we are.
Carlos: I want people to enjoy what we do. After working on Warship for months on end, I get a bit burned out on it, so when people buy it and are into it, it makes me like the work I did on it again.
Name two of your favorite zinesters.
Vicki: I really like Hot Dog Dayz although I have no idea where he’s from. One of those random internet connections but all of his stuff really reminds me of the old school zines I cut my teeth on. Cut and paste, found art, reviews and he makes these mix tapes and buttons and neat packages. Shelby Criswell is another favorite. Their illustrations are the BEST, I could read their comics all the time. I especially love all the punk themes that get thrown into their work every now and then.
Carlos: I really like the work of Ryan Cecil-Smith he’s made some cool mini comics. They’re riso-printed on the best paper and cut perfectly. Edwin Sandoval makes some crazy zines full of monsters and guts, and he uses really interesting papers and printing processes.
Do you have any advice for new zinesters?
Vicki: Just do it! I think people can get intimidated about getting started because they feel like they’re not doing it “right”. Screw that! Do what you want! The beauty of zine making is there are no rules and when you realize that the door flies right off the hinges.
Carlos: Just make the thing. Don’t overthink it. Make one, then make another.
Interview conducted by Solansh Moya
Pictures provided by Vicki and Carlos