Hannah Neurotica sat down with Hard Knox creator Sage Adderley for an interview all about the zine world. The two also co-host ZINECORE RADIO.
I held Hard Knox before I ever met its creator. Hard Knox was the story of a woman’s experience with domestic violence. Her words were painful, familiar, courageous, and empowering. I sought out the zinester immediately, leading me to one of my most wonderful friends – Ms. Sage Adderley.
Punk-rock, tattooed mother of three, Sage not only writes her own zines but for the last seven years has run one of the most successful zine distros around – Sweet Candy. I was happy as hell when she agreed to be my official ZINECORE Radio co-host this year.
Hannah Neurotica: How did you discover zines?
Sage Adderley: In 2004 I was taking a few writing courses and I became inspired to put together my own art and literary publication. I began searching information about independent publishing online and I came across a zine community on LiveJournal. I began following the community and ordering zines.
Hannah: When did you know zines were something you were passionate about?
Sage: Honestly, it was the first time I received a zine in the mail. I was in awe of the cut-and-paste layout and diary style writing. I was instantly hooked. I ordered more zines and then decided to write my first perzine, Tattooed Memoirs.
Hannah: Aside from making zines, you also run Sweet Candy Distro. Can you talk about it?
Sage: I opened up Sweet Candy Distro very soon after discovering zines. I can vividly remember having a burning to desire to distribute zines as far around the world as possible. That may sound silly, but I truly wanted to be a helpful part of the community.
Hannah: The first zine of yours I ever read was Hard Knox. It had a huge impact on me and made me want to be more open with others about my own zines. Can you talk about Hard Knox for those who aren’t familiar?
Sage: Hard Knox was a zine I wrote around 2004 or 2005 and it was very heavy regarding a violent relationship I was in. I never truly dealt with being in a domestic violent relationship. I left him and left those horrible memories behind, but in reality I truly only put a band-aid on my pain and trauma. I decided to write a zine and to this day, it was the most therapeutic thing I have ever done for myself. It was an intense release to write it and then to receive letters from people telling me about their experience with abuse.
Hannah: Let’s switch gears and talk about ZINECORE Radio. You have been amazing and so supportive of the PPNNE Zine Anthology and Speak Out/Open Mic episodes. How do you feel personally about the vote to defund Planned Parenthood?
Sage: I am sad and pissed off. It feels like the wheels are going in reverse; our society is going backwards. How can a place that does a ridiculous amount for people run the risk of being shut down because of the personal beliefs of some people in power?
I am moving to an area where Planned Parenthood will be the place to get my annual check-up, as well as birth control. Like millions of others without health coverage, I am really counting on staying healthy through Planned Parenthood. What is happening right now is a BIG deal.
Hannah: Zines can end up being very personal. Especially when talking about our experiences with sexuality, reproductive rights, sexual rights and health. Why are zines a good art form to express support for Planned Parenthood?
Sage: In the form of zines, a person can tell their story through art, photographs and even in a comic form. There are no boundaries. Stories can be told in whatever format the creator is most comfortable. Everyone’s experience is important and zines can show the variety of ways Planned Parenthood is helping.
Hannah: A lot of people say they want to submit to the PPNNE ‘Zine Anthology but don’t have any idea how to start or what to write about. What might you say to some of those out there who want to submit to this book but don’t know how to start?
Sage: Sometimes it is wonderful to just free write. You may find what naturally comes out is amazing and all you have to do is cut and paste it onto paper. Or it may at least kick you into gear and start churning ideas in your brain. I write zines like I am telling a story to a friend.
Hannah: So what are five tips you might give to those making zines?
-Don’t pressure yourself or force any writing—just be you!
– Remember your zine is for you. Write what is in your heart, not what you think others want to hear.
– Read zines. This is a great way to get a feel of what zines are about.
– Start off small so you don’t feel overwhelmed to fill every page.
– Experiment, there are no rules. Tear up magazines and maps (who cares if it is cliché, do it!) and have fun.
ZINECORE RADIO #21: I Stand with Planned Parenthood SPEAK OUT & OPEN MIC
Host: Hannah Neurotica with special co-host Sage Adderley of Sweet Candy Distro
Date: Thursday April 7, 2011
Time: 8pm EST
Call in #: (646) 478-4473
To sign up, contact firstname.lastname@example.org