An Audience with Kerry Ann Lee

What is it that makes the world of Zines so exciting, creative and diverse? It’s the people that make them! We decided to ask some of our favourite zine producers some questions in a new series.

First up we have Kerry Ann Lee, renowned zine maker, distro runner, artist, designer and all round amazing woman…

Describe an average day:

Average days are such a rarity. They tend to start off the same. I get up approximately half an hour after my alarm. I have three different alarm clocks next to my bed and choose which one to set depending on how I best feel like waking up. One sounds like a bull-horn, one sounds like the X-files theme tune and the other one is an androgynous 80’s talking robot voice. I will most likely have coffee and cereal and read something. I will then either go and teach an art class or answer emails and keep abreast of current affairs on the internet. I will have a project I’m working on. This will probably be design work, zine making or making something. I may be writing a letter or putting together a care package I need to post to the other side of the world – that’s if my friends don’t catch me accidentally online on the internet and we start chatting about the weather in Italy, the traffic in Beijing or gigs in New York. My day often involves some form of caffeinated socialising, maybe some curly fries, veggie sushi, or mock deep fried drumstick (and if I’m lucky a game of chinese checkers with Sam). All the while I will be crossing off things on my ever-growing ‘to-do’ list like returning comics, zines and music to the City Library or purchasing everyday household items. Evening times are filled with either lots more work, hang-outs or the occasional smelly punk show. The later also entails late night eats and lots more slang talk til the wee hours.

How did you first get into zines?

Reading DIY NZ comic zines and anarcho punk fanzines like Profane Existence as a surly teenager. My friends started making zines in the mid 90s and I wanted in.

Describe your work:

angular, scratchy, furry, bountiful and green.

What do you like about zines?

The fact that the artist/author is also the maker, that they can be made by anyone, for anyone about anything, anywhere and the materiality of these things made from scratch. I also like that although many zines share common themes or interests, they tend to be very individualistic and often tend to defy category or cliques.

Is there anything you don’t like about zines as a medium?

Cost is always a mitigating factor in production and distribution. Also having been making these things for over 11 years, it is sometimes tiring having to still explain what they are and their value. I find I’m doing less of this now due to having an amazing public zine library and lots of inspired and enthusiastic people involved. 🙂

How do you get inspiration for a zine?

Hearing crazy stories and bad jokes, reading lots of books and zines, watching old horror movies, meeting interesting people, encountering odd occurances. Wanting to learn more and share things to possibly amuse, educate and irritate others. I used to just hide away and emerge with a zine, but now I find I talk about it enough,involve other people through collaboration, submissions or interviews and then it has to happen.

Tell us about some of your favourite zines:

Radical! Cometbus, Scenery, Punk Planet, Doris, Dharma Punks, Child that Mind, Helter Skelter, Maximum RockNRoll, Thriftscore, Girlyhead, Flying Fox, Bamboo Girl, Keep in Touch, Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People, Hodgepodge, Choice Guy, Ladyfriend, I Hate this Part of Texas, Enobled Mind, Burn Collector, HeartattaCk, Foodgeek, Is Not Magazine, This is Not a Comic, Johnny America, the list goes on…

Draw (or collage or photograph) a picture of yourself: