Thursday, 19 April 2018

Zines in the British Library

In a ridiculous turn of events I'm giving a talk at the British Library next week as part of Artists' Books Here and Now programme.

I'll be talking about my work with Eleanor von Browne and Lydia Julien, and chatting about self-publishing, the economy of zines, and fandoms. 

I hope the good people of the British Library are ready for a 20 minute chat about why Just 17 was the most radical media to inspire my practice followed by powerpoint presentation on imagining Bruce Springsteen as the butch lesbian of my dreams.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Barbican Art Box launch

Last week we celebrated the launch of the Barbican Art Box zine anthology and look how good they look!

The zine anthology is the culmination of a nearly year long project with the Barbican's creative learning team. I worked with artists Paula Varjack, Åbäke, and Rhiannon Adam across 6 East London schools in response to the Barbican's Basquiat exhibition.

Participants learned about Basquiat, zines, and diy culture before making new work with artists relating to graffiti, text, and polaroid photography. The work was then pulled together into a series of zines, each zine representing the work of each school.

It's been such a wonderful experience and the launch last week was incredible. Some of the young participants gave presentations, talking about the influence of Basquiat and diy culture in their work and the things they had learned. The idea of public speaking as a teenager would have been horrifying to me, but these students are more brave and energetic than my teenage self ever was and it blew me away.

The personalities of each school really shine through in these zines and they feel so personal and explore some really interesting work. The final zine anthology is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the students created throughout the project. It felt like we could have easily made an individual anthology for each student at least! 

Finding out that some of the students have continued to make zines after the project had finished, swapping and sharing their work with their friends and classmates is amazing to me and I'm always so excited when people realise just how ridiculously easy it can be to self publish and share work and ideas. I can't wait to see what they do next.

Images from the zine anthology are now on display at the Barbican in the cinema cafe
Photo by Paula Varjack

Photo by Paula Varjack

Tuesday, 3 April 2018


This Saturday I'll be tabling at my first zine fair of the year at Bermondzines at Diy Space for London

Poster by Tobia Maschio

The zine fair runs from 12 - 7pm and is followed the launch of Twinken Park's new tape Flowers in the evening.

I might be a bit biased by Flowers is already the greatest queer rage record of 2018. The title track is about David Wojnarowicz and the lyrics punch me in the gut everytime. They are on tour at the moment, but come for the zine fest on Saturday and stay for queer trans punk rage.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Women in Focus festival

I'm hosting a free zine making workshop at Poplar Union as part of the Women in Focus festival this Saturday 10th March.

We'll be making zines dedicated to our favourite women heroes, artists, activists, and fictional characters. It's free to attend and all materials are provided. There's also a bunch of really fun workshops and performances throughout the weekend for you to attend too.

I also learned that if I ever do pursue a career as a wwe wrestler that I will never be able to cut a decent promo if my excruciating discomfort filming this is anything to go by:

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Queers on the edge of town

It's finally here, Me and Bruce #4 : Queers on the Edge of Town is out now!
Me and Bruce 4 photo 4 Me and bruce_zpsq1qljw4f.gif

Queers on the Edge of Town is the latest installment of my Me and Bruce zine series, chronicling my long life obsession with Bruce Springsteen.

Queers on the edge of town is a queer look at Springsteen, describing how weird it can be breaking out of the queer bubble to attend a Springsteen show as well as exploring gay teenage loneliness through Springsteen lyrics. The zine also imagines Bruce as the hot butch girl of my dreams, but most importantly documents the history of Bruce and Clarence Clemons making out.

Originally this zine started life as draft version of my chapter in the book Bruce Springsteen and Popular Music which came out last year. The zine is way longer than the original chapter and goes into more detail, as well as including a 6 page comic set to the lyrics of Backstreets, and lots of other copyrighted lyrics and images which wouldn't have fit in my book chapter. 

You can also get a special edition of the zine which comes with a 4 postcard set and pull-out poster of Bruce and Clarence making out. 

You can find the rest of my Me and Bruce zine series in my zine shop, or come find me at Glasgow Zine Fest in April. 

Monday, 19 February 2018

Coming soon

Me and Bruce is a zine series  which chronicles my obsession over Bruce Springsteen. 

Me and Bruce #4 : Queers on the Edge of Town is coming soon! out now

Here's a little preview

Friday, 16 February 2018

We were The Potentials

Hiya we are The Potentials and we are were a Buffy the Vampire Slayer themed band.

We saved the world a lot

After 3 ace years of playing together my Buffy punk band The Potentials broke up last month and it was heartbreaking. We made 2 records, went on 3 summer tours, made some music videos, recorded songs for compilations, put on all-dayers, played at Buffy themed nights, organised our annual Slayerfest halloween parties, and we played with a lot of wonderful bands and mates. And also Kate Nash once played Extra Flamey on her radio show with Amber Benson aka Tara as her special guest and they said we were cute. So that's as close to getting on Top of the Pops as we're ever gonna get.

Thanks to everyone who ever came to see us play, anyone who put us on and let us sleep on their floors and made us food. Thanks to everyone who drove us on tour, did artwork for us, interviewed us, played our songs, and supported the things we made. It's been the best.

I haven't really talked about it since it happened, but leaving the band was honestly one of the hardest decisions I've ever made and it felt like a breakup. And I was so worried I'd lose my identity once the band ended. I've been playing music since I was 17, who am I if I'm not in a daft novelty themed diy band? 

But in the last month I've seen my mates in real life on the reg, I've been able to plan day trips and make future social plans without worrying that it's gonna cut into tour/recording/practice schedules. And I don't have a constant stomach ache of worrying that there's something wrong with me for not being able to cope with being in a band.

My daft little Buffy themed band weren't even that active compared to other bands. We all worked full time hardcore jobs which left us exhausted and time poor, we were limited to touring in school holidays or when weren't working, and we all did a billion other creative projects outside of the band. I'd often look at my mates who juggled being in 2 or 3 different bands and wondered how they did it. 

I always struggle with burnout, I even made a zine about it. But I feel like I'm getting better at reclaiming my time and not worrying about having to do a million different things in order to keep my identity in tact. It turns out that when I'm not burning out I'm a pretty fun person to be around and that making pancakes, watching wrestling, and having weekends off is pretty great.

I'm sure I'll play music again and I'm sure I'll see burnout again, but for now I've got plenty of zine activities to organise and keep me occupied outside of my day job, and I now have free time to be a better friend to the people I love.