No One And The Somebodies

Westchester/Bronx Weird Punk since 2001
#NoOneAndTheSomebodies with 310,000 new friends at The #PeoplesClimateMarch!

#peoplesclimate #DNclimate #NOATS http://t.co/C2LzhUbmp9

#NoOneAndTheSomebodies with 310,000 new friends at The #PeoplesClimateMarch!

#peoplesclimate #DNclimate #NOATS http://t.co/C2LzhUbmp9

This hasn’t even started yet! Come on down to the #PeoplesClimateMarch!

This hasn’t even started yet! Come on down to the #PeoplesClimateMarch!

ditkoexclamation:

My first experience of Colin Atrophy was about twelve years ago. This was about two weeks before actually meeting him for the first time. I’d been instructed by a friend to impersonate him (since he was on the invitation list and wasn’t coming) to get into a high school “battle of the bands” at Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, NY. We hung out/played shows in the same circle of friends for many years and had seen him play music but I hadn’t been familiar with his writing until fairly recently. It’s exciting when you get to see work you care about made by someone you care about seed from grassroots efforts and grow into and change established power structures. A future blossoms depending on what we do in the present.   
Slice Harvester was a blog and fanzine being published from 2009 through 2011. Colin ate and reviewed a plain pizza slice at every single pizza parlor in the borough of Manhattan. It started as a joke and swiftly developed into an unintended spiritual kick to the head. Through this effort Colin’s ideas about the interestingness of writing had been revitalized along with the discovery of how creative work can be used as a tool to undo years of self-deprecation. Currently his efforts are culminating in the form of a memoir about “eating a cheese slice from every pizzeria in Manhattan while falling in love, getting sober, and becoming an internet phenomenon” which will be published by Simon & Schuster. I asked Colin a few simple questions.




















GW - What’re the first ‘zines you’d experienced and what did you think of them?
CA - First zines I ever read were A Punk Kid Walks Into A Bar and Fresh Meat: Get It Here, both of which I got from The Vinyl Solution on Main St. in Port Chester, NY the same day Jeff sold my dad a Rev. Horton Heat record and convinced me to buy Boogie Down Productions “Criminal Minded” instead of "I Got Next," the KRS-One that had just come out. As a shy, somewhat withdrawn kid just getting into punk, doing a zine seemed like a really good way to “support the scene” in some kind of active way, which was something I knew I wanted even if I didn’t necessarily understand why I felt this desperate need to be part of a community, and that community in particular, as a fourteen year old. I started Atrophy Zine that year and it continued in a few iterations from when I was fourteen until I was nineteen.
GW - What’s the book going to be like?
CA- The book is a lot like the zines, but longer form and maybe fills in some gaps. I feel like there’s stuff I tried to talk about in the zine—notions of community, male socialization/male violence, healing from the harmful effects of late-era neoliberal capitalism, etc—by relating it to pizza or the experience of pizza eating or the pizza parlor as a cultural/social institution that I just didn’t really bother to flesh out and now I’m taking the opportunity to do that. Which is not to say that it’s all super serious or anything, I think the book is gonna be hella funny and I’m so stoked about having the opportunity to write it and I want to try to make it a fun experience for the reader because I’m having so much fun writing it. And let’s be real, pizza is not the most super serious subject matter.
GW - Has the way you think of your work changed over the time you’ve been doing it?
CA - The way I think about my work hasn’t changed much at all because I don’t really think about it, I just sort of do it impulsively and then think later, but the work itself has changed a lot. I was talking to Mike Taylor the other day and he told me that one of the things he thought was interesting about watching the zine develop over the years was seeing the tone of it change from fun time punk party guy check out my friend’s cool band, to “total punk vinegar,” to paraphrase what he said. And it’s like, the thing is that by the end I had basically exhausted everything there was to say about pizza and I was just using pizza as an excuse to kvetch about how awful the world is but also extol the virtues of those moments of transcendence where even though the world is awful we are still able to feel something beautiful shine through. Which I guess comes back to punk, right? At least for me. Because like, punk is this deeply flawed and problematic thing for a lot of people and that’s totally real and valid and I would never want to dismiss that, but it’s also this life vest for a lot of folks, myself included, and has been the site of so much positive growth and change. I remember biking to No Rio one day straight from a friend’s funeral service and Cindy Crabb’s old band Trouble Trouble Trouble was playing the matinee and I had been crying all morning and I walked into that awkward room and hugged Cindy and then she played and I never stopped crying but I danced harder than I ever did at a show before or after and when the band was done I was done crying and I went home without saying goodbye to anyone and I slept until the next day and I don’t know how I would’ve been able to process that grief, to sift and sort all the emotion that accompanies losing a peer for the time, if it wasn’t for punk and the built in cathartic/ecstatic structure of the punk show. I’m getting totally off topic here, huh? I guess my work has changed aesthetically but it has always been about two things predominantly: 






1. Creating a record of myself at a given time that all future selves will have to be accountable to, so that I can never avoid or walk away from my own history. 

2. Writing a long form love letter to the horrible world and all the people in it.








GW - Making the ‘zines did you ever think it would progress into a book put out by a major publisher?
CA - Somewhere in my head I did kind of always think of me one day doing a major label book as a weird inevitability, but at the same time I didn’t ACTUALLY expect it to happen and was totally surprised when it did and am constantly super grateful for the opportunity I’ve been provided and I try to balance acknowledging that I did a lot of hard work to get here with also remembering that I am lucky for a lot of reasons too.
GW - What do you think will distinguish the book from your previous work?
CA - It’s longer. Hopefully it’s better, too! I like to think that everything I’ve done has been at least slightly better than everything before. I think Slice Harvester helped me remember that writing is a craft and it takes practice and just doing it every day improves your abilities. So in that sense, I think I’m more deliberate. Also I have an editor this time and I really like her and think she is going to help me step it up in a way I wouldn’t be able to do on my own. And that’s crazy coming from fanzines, because doing a fanzine is such a solitary, independent, self-reliant task that ceding some of that autonomy and acknowledging that maybe someone else knows better is a totally exciting challenge.
GW - What would you hope readers take away from your work?
CA - I hope it makes all the men’s dicks wither up and fall off.


-GW Duncanson

ditkoexclamation:

My first experience of Colin Atrophy was about twelve years ago. This was about two weeks before actually meeting him for the first time. I’d been instructed by a friend to impersonate him (since he was on the invitation list and wasn’t coming) to get into a high school “battle of the bands” at Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, NY. We hung out/played shows in the same circle of friends for many years and had seen him play music but I hadn’t been familiar with his writing until fairly recently. It’s exciting when you get to see work you care about made by someone you care about seed from grassroots efforts and grow into and change established power structures. A future blossoms depending on what we do in the present.   

Slice Harvester was a blog and fanzine being published from 2009 through 2011. Colin ate and reviewed a plain pizza slice at every single pizza parlor in the borough of Manhattan. It started as a joke and swiftly developed into an unintended spiritual kick to the head. Through this effort Colin’s ideas about the interestingness of writing had been revitalized along with the discovery of how creative work can be used as a tool to undo years of self-deprecation. Currently his efforts are culminating in the form of a memoir about “eating a cheese slice from every pizzeria in Manhattan while falling in love, getting sober, and becoming an internet phenomenon” which will be published by Simon & Schuster. I asked Colin a few simple questions.

GW - What’re the first ‘zines you’d experienced and what did you think of them?
CA - First zines I ever read were A Punk Kid Walks Into A Bar and Fresh Meat: Get It Here, both of which I got from The Vinyl Solution on Main St. in Port Chester, NY the same day Jeff sold my dad a Rev. Horton Heat record and convinced me to buy Boogie Down Productions “Criminal Minded” instead of "I Got Next," the KRS-One that had just come out. As a shy, somewhat withdrawn kid just getting into punk, doing a zine seemed like a really good way to “support the scene” in some kind of active way, which was something I knew I wanted even if I didn’t necessarily understand why I felt this desperate need to be part of a community, and that community in particular, as a fourteen year old. I started Atrophy Zine that year and it continued in a few iterations from when I was fourteen until I was nineteen.
GW - What’s the book going to be like?
CA- The book is a lot like the zines, but longer form and maybe fills in some gaps. I feel like there’s stuff I tried to talk about in the zine—notions of community, male socialization/male violence, healing from the harmful effects of late-era neoliberal capitalism, etc—by relating it to pizza or the experience of pizza eating or the pizza parlor as a cultural/social institution that I just didn’t really bother to flesh out and now I’m taking the opportunity to do that. Which is not to say that it’s all super serious or anything, I think the book is gonna be hella funny and I’m so stoked about having the opportunity to write it and I want to try to make it a fun experience for the reader because I’m having so much fun writing it. And let’s be real, pizza is not the most super serious subject matter.
GW - Has the way you think of your work changed over the time you’ve been doing it?
CA - The way I think about my work hasn’t changed much at all because I don’t really think about it, I just sort of do it impulsively and then think later, but the work itself has changed a lot. I was talking to Mike Taylor the other day and he told me that one of the things he thought was interesting about watching the zine develop over the years was seeing the tone of it change from fun time punk party guy check out my friend’s cool band, to “total punk vinegar,” to paraphrase what he said. And it’s like, the thing is that by the end I had basically exhausted everything there was to say about pizza and I was just using pizza as an excuse to kvetch about how awful the world is but also extol the virtues of those moments of transcendence where even though the world is awful we are still able to feel something beautiful shine through. Which I guess comes back to punk, right? At least for me. Because like, punk is this deeply flawed and problematic thing for a lot of people and that’s totally real and valid and I would never want to dismiss that, but it’s also this life vest for a lot of folks, myself included, and has been the site of so much positive growth and change. I remember biking to No Rio one day straight from a friend’s funeral service and Cindy Crabb’s old band Trouble Trouble Trouble was playing the matinee and I had been crying all morning and I walked into that awkward room and hugged Cindy and then she played and I never stopped crying but I danced harder than I ever did at a show before or after and when the band was done I was done crying and I went home without saying goodbye to anyone and I slept until the next day and I don’t know how I would’ve been able to process that grief, to sift and sort all the emotion that accompanies losing a peer for the time, if it wasn’t for punk and the built in cathartic/ecstatic structure of the punk show. I’m getting totally off topic here, huh? I guess my work has changed aesthetically but it has always been about two things predominantly: 
1. Creating a record of myself at a given time that all future selves will have to be accountable to, so that I can never avoid or walk away from my own history. 
2. Writing a long form love letter to the horrible world and all the people in it.
GW - Making the ‘zines did you ever think it would progress into a book put out by a major publisher?
CA - Somewhere in my head I did kind of always think of me one day doing a major label book as a weird inevitability, but at the same time I didn’t ACTUALLY expect it to happen and was totally surprised when it did and am constantly super grateful for the opportunity I’ve been provided and I try to balance acknowledging that I did a lot of hard work to get here with also remembering that I am lucky for a lot of reasons too.
GW - What do you think will distinguish the book from your previous work?
CA - It’s longer. Hopefully it’s better, too! I like to think that everything I’ve done has been at least slightly better than everything before. I think Slice Harvester helped me remember that writing is a craft and it takes practice and just doing it every day improves your abilities. So in that sense, I think I’m more deliberate. Also I have an editor this time and I really like her and think she is going to help me step it up in a way I wouldn’t be able to do on my own. And that’s crazy coming from fanzines, because doing a fanzine is such a solitary, independent, self-reliant task that ceding some of that autonomy and acknowledging that maybe someone else knows better is a totally exciting challenge.
GW - What would you hope readers take away from your work?
CA - I hope it makes all the men’s dicks wither up and fall off.

(via ditkoexclamation)

ditkoexclamation:

Caroline Paquita is a Miami native who currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Along an art-making journey leading from Florida to California to Minnesota to Providence and finally New York, Caroline has produced nearly twenty years of successful work in music and visual art. Sine 2011 Caroline’s “feminist, queer, and total-art-freaker" orientated small press label Pegacorn has released over thirteen exemplary publications. Caroline was one of the first people I thought of when I’d first had the idea to do an interview series for the Ditko! blog and it’s my pleasure to present these words to you here.

GW- What’s Womanimalistic?

CP- Womanimalistic is a comic zine that I draw and publish, as well as a larger body of work that I’ve been focused on for the past six years now. On a deeper, more out there level, it’s also your feral self; the one that’s in touch with your instincts and your environment. Most people I know are total WOMANIMALS, so it’s a sort of consciousness raising to bring us all together!

GW- What’s Pegacorn Press?
CP- Pegacorn Press is a publishing adventure that I officially began in 2011, after self publishing for the past eighteen years. In 2009, I bought my first Risograph stencil duplicator and began my journey of figuring out how to use it, and use it well. At first, due to my living situations, I stored and used it in the kitchen, but in the past couple years, I was able to finally get a dedicated studio. It’s been great to not have a crazy amount of printing equipment and paper in my house anymore and to be able to spread out for days at a time, without bothering my housemates.
GW- Would you describe your bookmaking process?
CP- So far (officially), Pegacorn Press has put out eleven publications and three calendars- it’s a really, really laborious process. Basic steps: drawing/designing, layout, making masters that are good for Riso printing, gathering up all the supplies, printing one side, blow drying that, printing the other sides, collating, stapling, corner rounding (if the project calls for that), folding, photos of the finished item, getting it online, mail order and/or dropping off at stores… ACH! I know that I’m missing steps, but that’s the basic format for my personal process.

When I’m publishing my own work, this is done all by my lonesome, but when I work with others, we share most of the labor. I have some equipment that streamlines the process a bit, such as a booklet maker (which staples and folds), but smaller publications can’t be run through it, so it’s back to sitting at a table with huge piles of paper, doing it all by hand. I used to print editions in the thousands, but it’s really hard to deal with that much paper around, so nowadays, I start with editions of 300-500 and just reprint when I need to.
GW- How has making this type of work affected your life?
CP- Ha, ha, ha! Well… in my personal life, I neurotically work on Pegacorn Press all the time, whether that’s putting things together, or doing mail order, etc. When I’m in deadline mode, I often don’t have a personal life. I’m lucky to have a supportive partner who is down to help me when I need it, though I often forge ahead alone. (There’s many late nights, but I’m naturally a night owl, so that’s real helpful.) All my close friends understand my drive/passion and know that when I’m deep in it, I probably won’t make it out to events. Often, they send me texts, or call, to give me little shout outs of encouragements, which is really, really nice.

This is a side rant, but one that I do think is important to address: despite NYC’s obsession with using interns to do all the “busy” work (aka, shit work), I still haven’t had one, though it’s often suggested that I should. I actually don’t believe in the idea of interns for anything but super non-profit/social justice organizations and most definitely, not for any type of even-quasi formal entrepreneurial adventures, even if you’re not making that much money! Basically, if I won’t work for less than $20 an hour, then I wouldn’t try to hire someone for less than that. It would be completely amazing if this whole abusive and total waste of time internship model was transformed into something that was more equitable for both parties. If you don’t have money to hire someone, but have a lot of work that you can’t do for some reason, perhaps consider a more equitable apprenticeship, or a barter/trade model where both parties can both benefit across the board.

In my world, I try to work in a way that makes putting things out a super low stress endeavor, which requires following an intense work schedule so that everything doesn’t pile up. This doesn’t always work, despite my best intentions. While it’s incredible to own all my own printing equipment and have access to it all the time, it also means maintenance and dealing with machine breakdowns. Sometimes, there have been some ultra, pull-out-your-hair-and-scream-like-all-hell printing nightmares. I’ve spent a lot of my time in my studio tinkering with my Risos, cursing, wanting to sledge hammer everything, doing magical dances and singing songs, in an attempt to coax them back into better printing conditions. Again, having a partner and friends who understand what I’m doing, is really helpful! I’ve weighed the pros and cons of what I do and still have determined that while it can be a real pain in the ass sometimes, I love what I do and it is totally worth it!
GW- Would you explain some of the things you’ve learned in your bookmaking career that might help someone who might not have that level of experience?
CP- Diligence. Having high quality standards. Studying/talking with others who do what you’re trying to do. Really, as with most things, you need to do something consistently in order to really refine your craft, whatever that may be. I’ve been asked this question a lot, from being in bands, to making art, and it always comes down to “practice makes perfect.” People are dissuaded from continuing to do something because they don’t like the initial outcome, even though they have only tried once, or only several times, at whatever is it they are trying to accomplish. They look at someone who has done something for a long time and say, “I WANT TO DO THAT!”, not really absorbing that it took that person probably years to really master their practice. You gotta just keep doing it, over and over and over again. In time, you will either get to where you want to be, or, it may even lead you to something that you never expected you’d be interested in!
GW- Have you received any memorable responses from readers?
CP- I get responses from people all over the world on a regular basis and that’s a big part of what keeps me going. One of the best though, was that someone was inspired to start a New Year’s Eve party called a “Unicorgy New Year’s,” after ordering Sy Wagon’s, Those Fucking Unicorns.
GW-  Do you have any future books coming out you’re excited about?
CP- Im in the middle of getting ready for a solo retrospective at Booklyn, later this Spring, which is a truly exciting opportunity. That being said, I’ve been working on making box sets of EVERY publication that I’ve ever done myself (and those that have released via Pegacorn Press), which is over twenty something releases that I’ve been able to find in all my stuff. Due to using totally non-archival materials (such as duct tape and sharpie pens) as a teen, I’ve had to scan everything to reprint it via laserjet, which has become and epic adventure in time- a real throwback to late 1990’s/early 2000’s zine culture! (Please take note: even if you store your work in the best possible situations, if you use non archival materials, they don’t seem to look that great after ten years or so.) This has been so insane of an endeavor, that a lot of Pegacorn Press projects have had to be put on hold for now. After this show is up and the artist books and box sets are out in April, I hope to have a couple new releases for CAKE in Chicago in June!

(via ditkoexclamation)