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Cover Art by Bobby Tran Dale / Botda
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Letters of Comment
Gloomy Sundays: An Interview with Luc Fierens
It Means It's Wank
Twenty-Four Hours the Column!
Ken's Column: Zine Collections
Basic Stuff You Should Know
D. Blake Werts
Davida Gypsy Breier
Gavin J. Grant
This issue had largely been written before the election. I'm struggling to edit it a week after the election. On one hand, publishing a zine seems trivial in the face of so many social and ecological threats. On the other hand, we are entering an era where independent publishing will once again become critical. The web is a tracked din of screaming and very little listening. Here, on paper, we can organize, communicate, and resist, as has always been the way when freedom is threatened. Fight. Resist. Create.
Communities can become a living thing. Healthy ones create a safe, encouraging place for their members. Unhealthy ones can hurt all of those involved. Occasionally you end up with people who can poison the water for the whole group and you have to start over. And sometimes there are people vital to the community but you don't realize just how integral they are until they are gone.
That is something I have been thinking about after losing a friend, Wayne, who was part of Baltimore's literary scene. A direct result of his death was seeing parts of my local community for what it is, both good and bad. When I received Jeff Somer's column we emailed a little and reminisced about Ninjalicious. It is hard to believe that he died over 10 years ago. I also still miss Jenny Makofsky, who died a year before Ninjalicious, both of them so very young.
What does this have to do with community? Often we make our truest mark by doing small things – showing up at a reading, lending a traveling friend a couch, offering a kind word, or participating on a usenet newsgroup. These are a few simple actions that can help create a healthy community. Personally, I want to be a part a community that celebrates and supports who we are and what we do. And being part of a community that is alive means that some of our friends get to live on and remain part of it.
As I explained to my 10-year-old son, just because someone dies doesn't mean the friendship dies. I am still friends with Wayne, Jenny, and Ninj and they still influence my sense of community. In Wayne's case, he was always supportive and encouraging and I am taking that lesson to heart. He had been battling health issues for over two years, but he never lost that spark of kindness that made him Wayne. I'll do what I can to carry that spark forward in his memory.
If you are reading this, you are part of a community. I encourage you to support your cohorts and to ask for help when you need it, we're all in this together.