Creator Q+A | Amy Martin

Throughout the month leading up the the SFZF we will be running daily mini-profiles of some of the many zinesters, cartoonists, and other creative types who make the Zine Fest what it is. Today's creator is Amy Martin. Stay tuned for more!

Q. When did you create your first zine or similar project? Can you describe it for us? When you look back, are you proud, embarrassed, both?
A. I made my first self-published book when I was six or so. It was called "Lin the Pin." Its hero was an anthropomorphic diaper pin (I have a lot of younger siblings). I stapled it backwards.
In adult life.... you can still read my first mini comics at the Isotope. They were 8-page stories written by my then-boyfriend, drawn by me. They were fantasy, not at all my kind of stories, but it got me going! Publishing my first book I created all by myself was one of my proudest moments. I still love that book.

Q. What is your all-time favorite zine/comic/etc (by someone other than you)? Who is your DIY hero?
A. I am such a big fan of Team Atrox. Everything they do is pure comedy gold. And they don't waste time or energy on fancy printing or binding---stapled with a card stock cover, thank you! Though, that is changing, now that they are doing the world's first ever sculpted comics (the first I've ever seen anyway).

Q. If you have been to the SF Zine Fest before, do you have a favorite/exciting/cringe-worthy memory?
A. 2009, with a half hour to go before his live reading at the Cartoon Art Museum, my friend suffered complete brain crash at Kinko's. I took over and worked absolute copier fucking magic and printed the entire book in time. Double-sided pages, correctly aligned (they were an odd size), collated, stapled and I almost got 'em trimmed as well. I think they had the copier gilded.

Q. What would you like to see more of in the small-press world?
A. Mini comics with good, solid stories. There's a lot of beautiful art being done in minis, but substantial, well-developed stories are rare. Books that come out regularly and are consistently fun to read and engaging would also be swell.

Q. If you could give advice to an aspiring DIY creator, what would it be? What advice do you wish you had gotten when you were starting out?
A. Definitely get to know other people. Make yourself a community. Don't create in a vacuum! It'll take you ten times as long to figure out how to do the things you want to do.
Also, done is better than perfect. Seriously, just get it done and print it up---what on earth's stopping you?!

Q. What do you think the general public knows or thinks about small-press? How can the zine/comics community reach a greater segment of the public? Or is it better to keep the small-press scene more tightly knit?
A. Meh, I don't really care about getting the general public into small press. Then it's not really small press anymore, is it? It's fun when it's our. little. secret. Also I like when it's small and personal. I like that it's not an easy scene to crack. There's more reward for those who do.

Q. In addition to the kind of work you will be showing at Zine Fest, what other creative pursuits do you have? Hobbies? Passions?
A. I knit like crazy!! I love to knit toys. Toys are such wonderful things, capable of holding so much significance and representing so much about us. Plus, soooofffft. I love soft things. They calm me down.