This second set of conversations between RE/Search publisher V. Vale and zine creators is a deft continuation of the first one. He gets a decent variety of zinesters, young to middle-aged, female, male, queer, straight, working and middle class, and focus on mail art, politics, and the weird. He's not quite as good at finding a race balance or more personal perzine authors, but I think it's okay to cut him some slack.
I have to admit that I skipped over most of the art/weird dude interviews, except the first two, Dishwasher Pete and Temp Slave, which by the way, critiquing work, are not great to read on the way to your job. Predictably, one of my favorite interviews is with smarty pants Mimi Thi Nguyen, editor of Evolution of a Race Riot and author of other zines. My other favorite, perhaps also predictably, but although we have one of her zines at Barnard, Candi Strecker wasn't fully on my radar. She's a librarian, which is evident in this passage:
Sidney Suppey's Quarterly and Confused Pet Monthly, which I'm still publishing, though approximately yearly instead of monthly. That's just a name that came into my head totally out of the blue! The first half was based on a custom from the last century, which you can still see in older magazines like Harpers or Forbes, where the founders of a magazine got to name it after themselves. I had an image of this Victorian patroness of the arts named Miss Sidney Suppey. It was fun to imagine her hair up in a bun, like Miss Manners, funding this little arts magazine. This was a notion that had nothing to do with what was in the pages. Anyway, that accounts for half of the name. The other half was an idea for a psychology magazine for pet owners called The Confused Pet Monthly. Then I had an idea that struck me as just hilarious: what if these two magazines had merged at some time in the past, resulting in a ridiculously unwieldy name?
Right? If there is such a thing as librarian humor, that's gotta be it. She says lots of other great stuff in the interview, making connections between science fiction and punk fanzines, as well as fads and politics --"When you only talk about the Brady Bunch and skip the Kent State shootings, you create a one-sided picture of an era. It's not that one is silly and the other is serious, but that both were happening simultaneously."--the change in geek subculture because of techies' increasing economic success, and zine publishers' motivation. Excuse me while I write her a fan letter.