Barbarları Beklerken Sanat Kolektifi’nden güncel müdahale pratiklerine katkı…
Biz Sokakta Mıyız, sanatın sokakla ilişkisine eleştirel bir bakıştır. Katılımcılar, sokakla birlikte kendi beden ve zihinlerine aynı soruyu soruyor : Biz Sokakta Mıyız?
“Biz Sokakta Mıyız?” içsel bir çağrışım. Sokağın içinden ayrılmış bir yol, patika, evrenin anında bir kilit. Sokağın temel normlarına ters politik bir noktadan bakmak istedik. Sokak konuşuluyor, sokak eleştiriliyor, sokak zihinde yaşıyor. Peki, biz hangi sokaktayız? Kavramlar yaşamın dinamikleridir. Yozlaşan dünyanın, sanal profil kredilerinin çapraz ateşe tutulduğu bir dünya istiyoruz. Zaman ve mekân algısının yerleşik düzeylerde seyrettiği bir panoramada sorular güncel ve etkindir. Sanat bu etkin anı yüceltmek yerine sorularla sorgulamalıdır. İnsanların konfor anını, sanatla ilgilenenlerin sözcüklerini konfor düzeyinden kurtarmak için sorduk, dünya ve sokak sadece zihinde kalmasın diye sorduk : Biz Sokakta Mıyız?
Barbarları Beklerken Sanat Kolektifi İletişim : email@example.com
Katkı Sunanlar : Ferit Sürmeli Dolunay Aker Erkan Karakiraz Erkut Tokman Aykut Akgül Mehmet Çiçek Aydın Zeyfeoğlu Görkem Özçelik Mustafa Erden Kahveci Arif Kuzuluk Erman Akçay Dilay Kababıyık Soner İflazoğlu Ali Erdal Uğur Sözal
Not : “Biz Sokakta Mıyız?” sonsuz devam edecek bir müdahaledir. Başlangıç amacıyla koyduğumuz ileti tarihi artık ortadan kalkmıştır. Siz de “Biz Sokakta Mıyız?” pankartlarıyla çekilmiş fotoğraflarınızı bize iletebilir yahut kendi mecralarınızda #bizsokaktamıyız#barbarlarıbeklerkensanatkolektifi hashtangleriyle paylaşabilirsiniz.
1959 yılında Küba devriminin ardından, bir sinema tutkunu olan Fidel CastroSanat ve Sinema Endüstrisi için Küba Enstitüsü’nü (ICAIC) kurdu. Hollywood’dan gelen filmlere ambargo uygulanıyordu ve Küba doğal olarak daha sosyalist filmlere, bununla birlikte, mali sebeplerden ötürü de Japon film kültürüne meyletti. Akira Kurosawa Batıda henüz keşfedilmesinden çok önce Küba’da biliniyorduı. Ulusal film üretiminin teşviki artırmasıyla devrimci Küba sinemasında ihtiyaçlar da arttı; bir grup sanatçı ve grafik tasarımcısı, afiş sanatı için yeni bir görsel dil yaratmak amacıyla bir araya geldiler. Alfredo Rostgaard, Eduardo Munoz Bachs, Rafael Morante, Antonio Fernandez Reboiro, René Azcuy ve Antonio Perez gibi sanatçıların afişleri kısa sürede dikkatleri üzerine çekti ve yerli-yabancı kültür sanat etkinliklerinde sergilenmeye başladı.
ICAIC afişlerinin tamamı üretim maliyeti düşük olması sebebiyle Küba’da yaygın olan serigrafi tekniğiyle basılmıştır. ICAIC binlerce film afişinin yanı sıra politik afişler ve daha sanatsal işler de bastı. Bir ICAIC afişinin boyutu her zaman 76 x 61 cm’dir. Bu boyut hala korunmaktadır. Buna ek olarak afişler tamamen el yapımıdır ve üzerlerinde bilgisayar müdahalesi yoktur. Mürekkep yağ bazlıdır ve afişlerin sergilenmeden önce en az 24 saat boyunca kuruması gerekir.
ICAIC afişlerinin dünya çapında beğeni kazanması Küba’daki kültürel ortamın da canlanmasına sebep olur, afişler zamanla devrimci kültürün vazgeçilmez parçaları haline gelirler. Susan Sonntag 1970’lerde Küba afişlerinin kültürlerini ticaret olarak tanımlamayı reddeden bir toplum için -çelişkili bir şekilde- de olsa reklamını yaptığını not düşer. Pratik ihtiyaçlara karşılık vermiyor olmalarından dolayı bu afişler, zamanla sanat aşkıyla yapılmış birer sanat eserine dönüşürler.
Eduardo Munoz Bachs : 1937 doğumlu Bachs, 1960 yılında ICAIC için ilk afişi olan Historias de la revolution‘u (Devrimin Tarihi, Tomas Goutierrez Alea) yapmadan evvel animasyon filmleriyle uğraşıyordu. Sonrasında Küba grafik tasarımı geleneksel yaklaşımlardan uzaklaştı ve zamanla kendi dilini oluşturmaya başladı. Bachs‘ın en sık kullandığı figürlerden biri Charlie Chaplin’di. Bunun sebebi ise Chaplin siluetinin evrenselliği ve grafik potansiyeliydi. Bachs, ölümünden hemen önce Chaplin’in Özgürlük Anıtı’na karşı verdiği mücadeleyi resmeden son afişini ise New York’taki Havana Film Festivali (2001) için hazırlamıştır.
Orijinal Metin: Juan Carlos Menez & Meeloo Gfeller, mollusk mag. #01
Türkçesi : Gökçe Mine Olgun
In 1959 after the Cuban social revolution, Fidel Castro, who was a film buff, created the ICAIC (Cuban Institute for Art and Movie Industry). The embargo sanctioned films coming from Hollywood, and Cuba naturally swayed towards more socialist films, but also, for financial reasons, towards Japanese film culture. Akira Kurozawa was a name in Cuba long before the west discovered him. As the national film production boomed the promotion needs of the new revolutionary Cuban cinema increased. A group of artists and graphic designer was formed with the aim to create a new visual language for poster art. It didn’t take long before the posters by artists like Alfredo Rostgaard, Eduardo Munoz Bachs, Rafael Morante, Antonio Fernandez Reboiro, Rene’ Azcuy and Antonio Perez were highlighted and exhibited in national as well as international art events.
The posters by ICAIC were all printed in silkscreen – a popular technique in Cuba since it had low production cost and a unique experimental character. ICAIC printed thousands of film posters, but also political and more artistically oriented works. The size of an ICAIC poster always has been, and still is, 76 x 61 cm. Furthermore they are exclusively hand made without the involvement of computers. The ink is oil based and the posters need to dry at least 24 hours before being exhibited. The worldwide recognition and the popularity of ICAIC posters transformed the cultural landscape in Cuba. It established the poster as a revolutionary cultural medium. Susan Sonntag (1970) writes that Cuban posters paradoxically promote culture in a society which refuses to define culture as merchandise. Since the posters lack practical needs, they become luxus objects, made simply for the love of art.
Eduardu Munoz Bachs : Born in 1937, Bachs worked with animation-films before he made his first poster in 1960 for the ICAIC film, Historias de la revolution (History from the revolution by Tomas Goutierrez Alea). From then on Cuban graphic design moved away from traditional conventions and formed its on visual language Bachs often used the Charlie Chaplin image because of the universality and graphic potential of Chaplin‘s silhouette. Right before his death, Bachs created his last poster for the Havana film festival in New York 2001, a Chaplin vs the statue of Liberty collage.
Engraver, cartoonist and illustrator Marco Toxico, born in the city of La Paz (Bolivia) in the early 1980s, studied graphic design and attended to the art department at the Universidad Mayor de San Andres. Feeling totally alien to the paradigms of Fine Arts, Marco frees himself from the weight in 2005. Together with Rafaela Rada, he begins to publish ‘Trazo Toxico‘ and gets involved in different editorial projects, as well as developing illustration works and posters for different events around the world. Marco Toxico is convinced of the power of independent publishing. In areas with a low reading culture and almost no institutional support, self-production is the option to develop. Marco has affirmed, in different interviews, the need for a self-editing circuit is fundamental: it not only guarantees control of the material by the artist, but also creative freedom and distribution and an effective education process through printed material. “It wouldn’t take a bit of a jerk to realize that there are no large publishing projects in Bolivia that can allow authors to live off their publications, this speaking on the literary theme, imagine what is the situation in the graphic narrative realm” he declared for “The Duty” (May, 2017)
When we come to the psychedelic approach in Marco‘s work, many visual and historical references are significant. Marco Toxico‘s work is characterized by the presence of anthropomorphic figures that inhabit areas only accessible through either in a dream experience or an altered mind state. The cartoonists of the legendary American ‘Raw‘ magazine or Roland Topor‘s irresistible visual allegories are close to the artist’s approach, as well as the infinite publication of superhero comics, TV cartoons and the off-set palettes of the legendary Novaro / Epucol magazines that educated all the kids of central and south America from the 60s through the 80s. Marco Toxico‘s work has been exhibited in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, USA, France, Hong Kong, Iran, Mexico, among other countries. His work as editor and author has also participated in numerous festivals both in Latin America and in Europe. Through editions La Natita has published ‘Esteril‘ (anthology) 2014, ‘Cobarde‘, 2015, ‘Fragil‘, 2016, and ‘Traidor‘, (anthology), 2017.
What do you know about the Czech Republic? Probably not too much, so here are few geopolitical facts: it is situated in the middle of Europe, with 10 million inhabitants; it originated in 1993 (before, it was part of Czechoslovakia, which split into 2 separate states). There is 1 city with a population over 1 million (Prague), and a few cities with a population of several hundred thousand people (Brno, Ostrava, Plzeň)…). From 1948 ’til 1989, the nation lived under the iron fist of a socalled “Communist” regime that turned the state into one big concentration camp. After some years of a rightwing “economy at any cost” government recently came an equally arrogant social democratic (left) government. The country is currently suffering a recession caused in part by widespread corruption in government and business. Enough for a beginning? I hope so.
Filip / Insane Society Recs. 1999
Although there were some alternative activities before 1989 as well, they were only marginal and weak, because of the ruling regime’s repression. From November 1989 onwards, we can speak of the rise of anarchist, ecological, animalrights and similar movements and of course also of hardcore and punk music.
The anarchist movement’s activities began mainly in Prague, but they slowly reached other towns as well. C.A.S. (the Czech Anarchist Association), which was formed shortly before the November “revolution”, has organised several demonstrations in Prague, mostly against racism (after 1989, there was a boom of the naziskinheads movement over here), but also against the National Exposition, which cost a lot of money and was surrounded with financial machinations. Some of these demonstrations led to violent conflicts with Nazis and the police, who were of course on their side. The Nazi skinheads started to be a real threat directly after 1989; their popularity was constantly rising; in line with the nation’s general hidden racism and intolerant mentality (especially against the biggest ethnic minority here Gypsies). Also, the most popular skinhead band, “Orlik”, hit the music charts and they easily managed to sell more than 100.000 records. Lately they were replaced by more outspoken and more “hardcore” types of nazi bands, who weren’t so wellknown, but still had an influence on young Nazis. In spring ’90, there was a flood of racist attacks on Gypsies, blacks, etc., in Prague and in the northwestern part of the country. These were the first victims of the new Czech fascism, and the number of such attacks is higher every year. Anarchists were the first ones who took a stand against Nazis, back in these times, when police, the media, and politicians absolutely ignored the problem. It took them 7 years and more than 25 murders to make them realise it and do something about it (the turning point was the murder of a Sudanese student in Prague in autumn ’97, though the passivity of the police towards Nazis’ actions is still relatively high in some areas).
Back at the beginning of the 90’s, the anarchist movement was based mostly around the magazine A-KONTRA, which was issued more or less regularly, with a print run of several thousand copies, and was distributed throughout the country. It stopped publishing after several disputes in the editorial collective in ’95, but there are now some hopes of resurrecting it. A-KONTRA faced several state repressions and one of their editors was even charged for attempted murder of the leader of the Czech Communist Party the police lied that he had confessed to it, but later he was found innocent and the police had to apologize to him and to pay damages. AUTONOMIE was another magazine, founded in’93, and later the people around it formed the A.F. (Anarchist Federation), which had several branches, but didn’t last very long. AUTONOMIE stopped publishing in 96.
In 1995, the C.S.A.F. (CzechSlovak Anarchist Federation) was founded, and began publishing SVOBODNA MYSL (“Free Mind”) magazine. After a dispute in ’97, the C.S.A.F. continued under this name, but some of the former members left it and formed the Federation Of Social Anarchists (F.S.A.), with their own magazine called SVOBODNA PRACE (“Free Labour”). SVOBODNA MYSL changed its name to EXISTENCE, which is now the new magazine of C.S.A.F. The reason for the dispute was the typical conflict in anarchist movements everywhere the conflict between the “true anarchist”, promoting class war and anarchosyndicalist approach, here represented by F.S.A., versus the approach of the more “autonomous” anarchists, less ideological, more open to other alternative movements (mostly squatting and ecological activities), represented by C.S.A.F. Both organisations are based in Prague, but they have several branches around the country. Besides publishing their quarterly magazines, they organise different actions and demonstrations F.S.A., who is a member of the International Workers Association, has organized demonstrations against unemployment and syndicalist propagation work among workers, while C.S.A.F. has set up solidarity demos/street theatres for the Zapatistas, and antifascist demonstrations and has participated in some squatting activities.
KONFONTACE is a new magazine in newspaper format published by former editors of AUTONOMIE. It comes out every 2 months and manages to get the attention of “normal” people outside the anarchist ghetto. It’s quite radical and in it you can find wellwritten articles on police repression, the media, elections, etc.
Besides C.S.A.F. and F.S.A., there is another active anarchist group, called AKTIVITA CABARET VOLTAIRE, an informal anarchopunk group, based in the northwestern part of the Republic. They publish ‘zines, do distribution, organise and participate in different actions, and do a lot of support activities for the anarchist movement (such as money collections, etc.). You can get more precise information on all of these anarchist organisations directly from them contact information is at the end of this scene report.
Although the first squatting attempts took place already at the very beginning of the 90’s, the first relatively longterm and successful squat started in March 1992 the SOCHORKA squat in Prague on pplk. Sochora street 28. It was a typical apartment house, squatted by the anarchists around A-KONTRA magazine.
Despite an attack of cca 150 Nazi skinheads in December ’92 and a subsequent police eviction, it was resquatted shortly after eviction and managed to exist until September 97. The inhabitants left it after an agreement with the local council that they will get a new place for their activities (they got the new place in the end, but it’s in very bad condition now; there are plans to do something like a “Free University” there). The SOCHORKA squat was the centre of anarchist activities for a long time; it was the home of the A-KONTRA editorial staff and printing press and also contained a small gig place in the basement.
LADRONKA : the most famous Czech squat last year it celebrated 5 years of existence. This old fortress from the 17th century, situated in the Prague suburbs, was squatted in August ’93 by people related to AUTONOMIE. LADRONKA faced eviction several times, but after massive protests and demonstrations, the city gave up the idea of selling it to real estate speculators, and now there haven’t been any eviction threats for a long time. The squat has hosted a large number of gigs, exhibitions, rave parties etc. and is a very important place for the Czech autonomous movement. The adress is Tomanova street 1, in the Brevnov quarter, and the building is situated in the middle of a park. Some of the recent gigs included Varukers, Detestation, Cripple Bastards, Hellkrusher etc.
Squatting is not very widespread over here, particularly because of the very tough sentences that you can face if you try it (a large fine or up to 2 years of imprisonment), but also because there doesn’t seem to be enough active people willing to gather together to do it, with the exception of the bigger cities. In summer ’97 a group of people in Prague squatted a new house ZENKLOVKA on Zenklova street. They made agreements with the owner that they could use it until its demolition, but after pressure from the police (their antiextremist branch), the owner changed his mind and agreed to let the police to evict the squatters. After some nonviolent resistance (ocupation of the roof), the squat was evicted in the beginning of ’98. The same group of people later found a new building, and so on May 1st ’98 the MILADA squat was founded, in the Holesovice quarter near a railway station and student campuses. It’s old villa, scheduled for demolition. Squatters have made some minor repairs and opened the bar. There were several police and security agency attempts to evict them in October (again, after their agreement with the owner, police pressured him, convincing him that they found hard drugs in the squat). When the same nonviolent tactic was used to defend the house, the cops finally gave up, and MILADA is still going strong. You can get more information about its current situation from the C.S.A.F. contact adress. There was a squat in Brno from August ’til November ’97, when the house was violently attacked by police. Squatters were beaten down and had guns pulled on them, and in the end cops locked them all in one room and then threw a tear gas projectile inside. Meanwhile, they managed to destroy/steal most of the furnishings. The second day, the squat was definitively evicted.
There are several other places in Prague for punk and alternative activities the PROPAST punk pub (Lipanska 3, quarter Zizkov) there is also small record shop near from here BASS RIOT STORE (Chvalova 8), the UTOPIE autonomous cafe (Wenzigova/Lublanska street corner, Nove Mesto quarter) and the 007 CLUB (Strahov Hill, among the university campuses). There used to be a socialcultural centre called BLACK HAND, which was quite wellknown worldwide, but from the beginning of its existence in ’93, it had lot of problems with the local authorities, and it never attracted the wider attention of the people. The centre closed down in ’97 and later was demolished, there’s now a very nice concreteparking lot in its place…
Animal rights and ecological activities, over here are mostly official and mainstreamoriented they aren’t very radical at all. They do some useful activities, but most of them have clearly distanced themself from any autonomous or anarchist activities, because they fear for their public reputation. They have chosen instead to cooperate with politicians; they give advice on which party to vote for in the elections, and so on. Summer blockades of the construction site for the Temelin nuclear power plant were one of the few examples of good cooperation between anarchists and ecological activists. These went for several years, but have now stopped. The general “step backwards” in the strategy of these organisations has also something to do with the policy of their funding most of their income comes from foundations established by the European Union or other official sources, who don’t like to see very radical activities. You can find more honest and more “grassroots” groups; the problem is that they are too small and they lack finacial resources. In the animal rights field, the most active are probably SVOBODA ZVIRAT (“Freedom for Animals”) and ANIMAL S.O.S., who both organise info stands, demonstrations, petitions, exhibitions, etc. against several forms of animal abuse. Brno is home to NESEHNUTI (“The Unmoved”, more officially the “Independent Social Ecological Movement”), which works in the human and animal rights fields, and is also active against a planned motorway, which will spoil an important recreation area in Brno. The Czech chapter of EARTH FIRST! was established some months ago in Prague. They put out an Action Update newsletter and also plan to have an internet site. There are some other smaller groups working on these issues spread all across the country, often working on local problems.
Last year saw 2 street parties, which were among to the Czech autonomous movement’s biggest actions ever. The GLOBAL STREET PARTY took place 16.5.98 in Prague, organised by EARTH FIRST!, C.S.A.F., and other groups as a protest against world globalisation and against the city’s unsustainable traffic situation it is plagued by cars and pollution. The action was attented by cca 3.000 people and started peacefully, until the demonstration went onto Prague’s most important traffic artery and blocked it. Cops tried to stop the demonstration, but they were fought back and had to escape. A cop car was turned over, and some other were smashed with bricks. Then part of the march headed to the city centre, where the McDonalds’ and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants were attacked, causing big damage to their property. The police, who at first weren’t able to handle the situation at all and let the people riot, then arrived in big numbers and went absolutely mad. They beat up lot of people, including innocent passersby. In their obvious “nobrain style”, they couldn’t pick up the actual rioters, but arrested mostly those demonstrators who didn’t manage to escape. The arrested people went through several punishments and beatings and were thrown to jail for about 2 weeks, but in the end they were released, because the cops couldn’t charge them with anything. The GLOBAL STREET PARTY made headlines in the mass media for many days and caused public discussions about globalisation, police brutality, the problems of young people, etc. Also, a special antidemonstration police squad was formed.
A LOCAL STREET PARTY was organised 3 months later,-this time with cca 4.000 participants. It started in a park, with a rave party, info booths with alternative press materials, etc., and the march was shorter this time, with a route avoiding the possible conflict points, such as the abovementioned restaurants. It must be said that this time police showed up in all force, with thousand of cops readied and several dozen plainclothes cops among the demonstraters themselves, some of them dressed as punx. These “masked” cops tried to provoke some action that would give a reason to attack, but they weren’t successful. The demonstration went OK, without large conflicts, the only exception being the march of cca 100 people on a McDonalds’ restaurant after the official end of the demonstration finally the plainclothes pigs managed to provoke a few confused punx who were immediately arrested after their first attempt to break the police line. If you are interested in seeing pictures from both parties, check out the lidskaprava.cz site on the internet.
No need to say that no action was taken against the cops who beat up and humimilated the people after the GLOBAL STREET PARTY. Police brutality against anarchists and punx is already something common over here, after several wellknown cases such as the beatings of protestors against the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase in ’92, the raid on the Propast punk pub in ’96, and the attack on the demonstration against police brutality in ’97 (which, ironically, was supposed to commemorate the Propast raid). The “antiextremist branch” of the Czech police is investigating not only the anarchist and autonomous movement, but also the official ecological organisations like GREENPEACE, which led to an international scandal a few years back. Cops and nazis are surely the biggest threat to punx like everywhere. As a reaction on widespread naziskinheads movement, the Czech version of Antifascist Action ANTIFASISTICKA AKCE (A.F.A.)was formed some time ago, they do newsletter called “Akce” (previously “Antifa News”), but otherwise aren’t very active.
Hardcore Punk Scene :
OK, OK, so now definitely something about the music. Now, at the beginning of 1999, there is really a good and strong hardcore/punk scene, but first let’s look a bit into the history of the Czech punk/HC scene. The first punk bands started over here in the beginning of the 80’s (A 64, ENERGIE G, ZIKKURAT, etc.) and slowly the scene started to grow. During the 80’s and especially at the end of 80’s, when the opression by the regime wasn’t as strong as before, there were more and more punk bands, such as F.P.B., VISACÍ ZÁMEK, PLEXIS, H.N.F., Z.N.C. etc. and later also first hardcore bands (TELEX, P.S., SUCIDAL COMMANDO, S.R.K., MICHAEL’S UNCLE, KRITICKA SITUACE, etc.). In these times, punk was in the deep underground, gigs were illegal, bands had problems with the authorities and it was absolutely impossible to release a record (the first official Czech punk record was a 7″ by VISACÍ ZÁMEK in ’88!). Punx always used to have problems with cops, in school and at work, because of their appearance. Some of them were sentenced for “crimes” such as “having a negative stance towards socialist system” or even “propagation of fascism”, etc. Society and especially the media looked on punk as a tool of Western imperialism, smuggled into our country to spoil the young people. Since 1989, all this has changed, and punk has reached a wider range of young people, official media, and record labels, and these old bands have started to release their first records (mostly on new commercial labels, but there was hardly anyone thinking about that back in 1990 here). Luckily, some new and fresh DIY labels, zines, bands, gigs, etc. also emerged soon, and the scene became more political and DIYoriented. Thanx to people like KRITICKA SITUACE singer Robert, Martin (MALARIE RECORDS) or Bergamo (and his Black Hand agency), the foreign punk/HC bands (Nausea, Murphys Law, Inferno, Chaos U.K., No Means No, Concrete Sox, Gorilla Biscuits etc. in the first years, and then tons more) started playing gigs here, and a relatively strong and independent scene was built.
So, who is who in current Czech HC/ Punk?
Let’s start with grindcore, which recently is quite popular over here. The trio MALIGNANT TUMOUR is playing a mix of grind/mincecore in the vein of Agathocles and Regurgitate, now with political lyrics. They have about 5 split EP’s and one split CD + tons of tapes out and have also played on festivals in Belgium and Germany. Future plans include a full CD and some more split EP’s. From the same city (Ostrava) as M.T. come CEREBRAL TURBULENCY (they have progressed from death metal to pure grindcore), P.T.A.O. (exSOCIAL DEFORMITY, heavy megabassed grind/noise, a split EP with Japanese Final Exit is out) and PURULENT SPERMCANAL (gore grind in the vein of Gut/Impetigo). It seems that this town is the capital of grind! Other grinders TWISTED TRUTH, influenced by old N.D., who just recently released a split EP with ROT on Fudgeworthy Records and plan 2 more split EP’s with MALIGNANT TUMOUR and WARSORE. INGROWING (exPLASTIC GRAVE, who released a split 7″ with Agathocles), one of the most popular bands in death metal/grind territory, have a split CD and a split EP out, some new releases out soon. NEGLIGENT COLLATERAL COLLAPSE do weird grind/industrial mixes, sometimes with the help of a computer, some tapes out, their drummer did a Czech grind core encyclopedia on the internet! GRIDE, from the southwestern part of the Czech Republic, do a killer mix of extreme hardcore and grind with great sociopolitical lyrics, they call their music “power gride core” and so far have done 1 split EP w/LIES AND DISTRUST and a split LP with M.B.. They have also played some gigs abroad. Besides the split EP, GRIDE also share a drummer with LIES & DISTRUST, who play classical scandiinfluenced crust core with growling vocals. L&D also plan a split EP (w/ EXEKUCE) and a split LP in Brazil later in ’99. Two other cool crust bands are located near the Polish border HOW LONG? (a split EP out, another planned) and R.A.F., both play dual voc crust butchery, R.A.F.even include a trumpet! This area is also home to HIBAKUSHA, DISNEY and ZRADCE RASY, all playing the crusty shit too. Another raw crustpunx EXEKUCE (based around the “Propast” punk pub) are one of the few bands currently playing in our capital Prague, with a split EP due out sooner or later. Brno is home to MRTVA BUDOUCNOST, fastasfuck dualvoc extreme core with 3 split EP’s. They have a split LP w/LEFT IN RUINS (on Six Weeks Rec.) and another one w/GRIDE (collaboration of Insane Society, View Beyond and other labels), future plans include an 8″ flexi in the U.S. and huge pile of compilations. M.B. did some touring abroad too. Also continuing the tradition of the extreme HC style (Hellnation fans take note!) are PANGS OF REMORSE from the Western part of the country, they did a split EP and a German tour with M.B. back in’96, but haven’t been very active since this time. Some new vinyl (probably with S.O.K. a mix of thrash/grind/HC + whatever… with 100% crazy lyrics) may come out sooner or later. Crust/grind/extreme HC is already wellestablished here with most bands of this style already going strong for long years. One of the brandnew additions to the family are MINDLOCK, producing some cruel sounds in the Sore Throat vein.
Düz duvara tırmananların dergisi Kütük fanzin, üçüncü sayısı için yola çıktı, Arno Suna tarafından hazırlanan yayın, Kadir Küçük, Orhan Kiraz, Tollie Tolga, Tessa Fox gibi İstanbul sokaklarının en tehlikeli kaykaycılarından fotoğraf ve hikayelere yer veriyor, ayrıca KK‘den çizimler ve Arno‘dan editöryal espiriler de fanzine farklı bir hava katmış. İlk iki sayısı A5 renkli formatta hazırlanan derginin eski-yeni sayıları için erişim adresi : Arno Suna, firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you evaluate current comics culture as an oldschool artist? Things are not looking good from where I stand. Obviously, I realize it’s mainly a generation gap thing. My formative years as a comic book fan were the 70’s – early 80’s so that style wil always be nearest to my heart. I also read a lot of 60’s Marvel reprints as well as reprints of the old EC Horror stuff at that time.There are a few decent comics around these days but as far as the overall quality, I don’t think it can compare to that great old stuff.
Are there any comic series you follow? I don’t follow any monthly comics regularly but there are a few things that I buy sporadically whenever I happen to see them. The Walking Dead is the best thing I’ve read in recent years. Unfortunately, it seems the publishing schedule is fairly unstable so I just get the collections as they come out. Richard Sala’s Evil Eye is a favorite as well. And I like to follow the work of a few favorite artists such as Mike Mignola, Jaime Hernandez and Steve Rude.
I presume that horror comics have a special place for you? Yeah, I was raised on superhero comics and I love all the old Marvel stuff but these days superhero comics don’t do much for me. I really can’t get enough of the old Horror stuff though. I have a pretty large collection of EC Comics and other pre-code Horror comics as well as a lot of the 70’s black and white magazines (Eerie Publications, Skywald, Warren) from which I draw immeasurable inspiration.
What would you like to say about todays horror culture? There will always be a lot of old-school Horror freaks out there to keep the flame burning but I’m not really too fond of a lot of the stuff I see. There seems to be a bit too much focus on crappy horror junk like Freddy and Jason and all the serial killer worship that gets mixed up in the horror scene. I’m much more fond of the creepy atmosphere of early horror and the cheesy, over-the-top 50’s-60’s stuff than the grim, reality-based stuff that’s been going on since the 70’s.
Is there any publication continuing the Eerie spirit over there? Nothing that I’m aware of unfortunately. Like I said earlier, there are some good Horror comics being produced but I haven’t seen anything that really captures the spirit of that great old stuff.
What did you lately seen or what should you recommend us? If you’re asking about new Horror movies, I really dug Land of the Dead. It didn’t really live up to my expectations but to be fair, my expectations were unreasonably high. As far as non-Horror movies go, Batman Begins and Revenge of the Sith were both excellent.
What do you think about current Asian horror cinema? I’ve been a fan of Japanese and Chinese cinema for many years so I always keep an eye on the movies coming from that part of the world. There have definitely been a lot of great Horror movies coming from them recently. I think the Horror Movie business in the US had gotten pretty stagnant at the time, focusing on boring slasher movies and the Asian movies gave people a different kind of Horror that they hadn’t seen before. Unfortunately, Hollywood has a habit of trying to suck every ounce of money they can out of a popular concept and proceeded to rape the genre until it’s now on the verge of becoming just as boring and cliched as the stuff that preceded it. I have faith in the Asian filmmakers to keep coming up with fresh ideas for us to enjoy and I have equal faith in Hollywood to continue to give us watered down Hollywood-ized versions of them.
Hi Enzo, can you tell us a little bit about yourself ? Hello. I go by the name Enzo Garza, I create and destroy many things in life. Right now, I’m working on a handful of projects that will manifest in 2016. My main bag is monsters, ghouls and trouble etcetera.
How long have you been active in the comic strips area? I’ve been working on and off for years now, with only a handful of works currently out there.
What kind of works have you pursued until now? Honestly, anything I can dig.
You mostly seem to produce independent diy books. Can you tell us about your Sensation BOOM and Mik-Viktor characters ? I love the independent and DIY comics and get a real kick out of seeing people produce them.
As for Sensation BOOM, it’s a mini comic I started in 2010 when I ushered at a local movie theatre. I would always carry scratch paper and sketch. Then one day I folded a paper in half and created a 2 page mini comic called Sensation BOOM. The main idea being on page 1 a monster or ghoul would show up only to be blown apart by Sensation BOOM on page 2. It all carried on and I ended up producing 10 issues of a four page mini comic. 2016 will see Sensation BOOM return with a run of larger mini comics and will flesh out more about the main character. One thing I really like about him is he’s just this homeless drifter with the ability to explode and regenerate. He’s got a short temper and dresses in found clothing. The whole monster and creature brawling is just a small part of it.
Mik-Viktor, a warrior leech from the earth’s core, came to be after my wanting to join in Simone Angelini’s Intergalactic Tournament of MAZZATE* (a comic book fight club). Mazzate being a place were creators come together to have their characters fight each other to the death via animation. It was a blast to design such a horrid creature like Mik-Viktor and all the more rewarding seeing the entire fight unfold.”
Are the comic strips of Mik-Viktor going to be published or is it only a character design ? Mik-Viktor is definitely a comic I want to now make, he’s a mean motherfucker and I dig him greatly. I’ll have a Mik-Viktor comic out in early 2016.
As foreign readers, we got to know American comic strips as super heroes except for some examples like CREEPY and EERIE. However, in time, an alternative scene which includes illustrators like Robert Crumb and the visibility of underground comics surfaced. Can you tell us briefly about American underground comic strips ? My introduction to comics outside of Marvel and DC came at an early age from my father’s copies of Creepy and Eerie magazine. I loved all the chaos and horror within the pages and those covers were incredible. Richard Corben was definitely a favorite of mine. Most of my copies had water damage due to my father’s comics being in a flood. Beyond the water damage I would also find these pages all penned up by his ex-wife. Something my father would later tell me was because she didn’t like comics and thought they were stupid. It wasn’t until later in life I discovered the works of Robert Crumb and those in the pages of Zap Comix. I had never seen such freedom, lust, rage, fear and doubt portrayed in such a way. Add to that the copious amounts of sex and perversion, it was all so incredible to behold.
Your favourite artists or favourite comic books? Right now I’m really enjoying the works of Matthew Allison (Cankor), Ofloda Monstro, Benjamin Marra (Terror Assaulter: O.M.W.O.T.), Pedro Mancini (Alien Triste), Jason (You Can’t Get There From Here), Chuck Forsman (Revenger), Simone Angelini (Anubi), Alexis Ziritt (Space Riders) and Michel Fiffe (Copra) to name a very few.
On what year did you get involved in this movement? I suppose my beginnings in the movement occurred the moment I created my own comics and photocopied them for distribution. Honestly, I don’t feel I’m bringing anything to the table right now. At least enough to commentate on the medium as a whole. We’ll see how it all goes once I actually put something of worth out there.
I guess you’re into horror and monster movies. I was very surprised when I read and found out that Godzilla which we know from Japanese cinema was actually inspired by a much older American movie “Phantom from 10.000 Leagues”. What do you think? Which one is more successful in monster movies? Godzilla’s an old friend of the family, I’d say no one really stands a chance against the real King of the Monsters.
Can you tell us your favourite movies in the genre of B-movies and horror movies? Growing up I have such fond memories of Horror movies and the B-movie as a whole. VHS was big during my youth and I spent lots of time growing my collection. Much in thanks to the ability to record the movies we would rent from our local video store. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead (1990), Re-Animator and Child’s Play. I have an early memory as a child being terribly scared of Pet Cemetery.
What are you working on now. Are there any books you’re planning to publish in the near future? I’m currently working on Sensation BOOM with plans to release the first issue in early 2016. As for the near future, that belongs to Mik-Viktor and a comic I’m very pleased with called Kelp. I’m very anxious for that one, it’s certainly something I’ve poured my self into and can’t wait to share with everyone.
Merhaba Enzo, bizlere biraz kendinden bahseder misin? Merhaba. İsmimle başlamak gerekirse, ben Enzo Garza, hayatta birçok şeyi yıkar ve yaratırım. Şu anda 2016’da ortaya çıkacak bazı projeler üzerinde çalışıyorum. Dosyamda her zaman canavarlar, hortlaklar ve belalı şeyler bulunur.
Ne zamandan beri çizgi roman dünyasındasın, bugüne kadar ne tip çalışmalar yaptın? Şu sıralar elimin altında olan bir avuç iş üzerinde yıllardır uğraşmaktayım ve dürüstçe söyleyebilirim ki sevdiğim, ilgimi çeken ne varsa yaptım.
Sanırım daha çok bağımsız kitaplar yayımlıyorsun, bizlere biraz Sensation BOOM ve Mik-Viktor karakterlerinden bahseder misin? Bağımsız ve kendin yap (Do it yourself) formatındaki çizgi romanlara bayılıyorum ve insanların ürettikleri bu işleri görmekten gerçekten zevk alıyorum.
Sensation BOOM’a gelince, 2010 yılında yerel bir sinema salonunda yer göstericiyken başladığım kısa bir çizgi roman. Ben her zaman yanımda karalayabileceğim ve çizim yapabileceğim malzemeler taşırım. Derken bir gün, kağıdın tekini katlayıp adı Sensation BOOM olan iki sayfalık bir kısa çizgi roman yarattım. Ana fikir, birinci sayfadaki canavar ya da yaratığın ikinci sayfadaki Sensation BOOM tarafından yerle bir edilmesi. Tüm bunları bu şekilde süren, on nüshadan oluşan dört sayfalık kısa çizgi romanlar olarak tamamladım. 2016’da Sensation Boom genişletilerek ve ana karakter hakkında ayrıntıları da içerecek şekilde yeniden geri dönecek. Ana karakter hakkında gerçekten sevdiğim şeylerden biri, o yersiz yurtsuz bir serseri ve patlayıp yeniden oluşabilme yeteneğine sahip. Asabi biri ve ne bulursa onu giyiyor. Tüm canavar ve yaratıklarla olan kavgası ise bu durumun sadece ufak bir parçası.
Mik-Viktor, magma tabakasından gelen savaşçı bir sülük, tanınması MAZZATE* Simone Angelini’nin Galaksiler Arası Turnuva’sına (bir çizgi roman dövüş kulübü) katılmak istememden sonra gelişti. Mazzate, yaratıcıların karakterlerini animasyon yoluyla ölümüne dövüştürmek için biraraya geldikleri bir yer. Mik-Viktor gibi feci bir yaratık tasarımı ortalığı kasıp kavurdu ve tüm dövüş boyunca artan bir şekilde ortaya çıkarak kendini gösterdi.
Mik-Viktor’un hikayeleri yayınlanacak mı yoksa sadece bir karakter tasarımı mı ?Mik-Victor kesinlikle şu an yapmak istediğim bir çizgi roman, o aşağılık bir puşt ve onu fazlasıyla geliştirmek istiyorum. Ve sanırım 2016’nın başlarında bir Mik-Viktor çizgi romanı çıkartacağım.
Yabancı okurlar olarak Amerikan çizgiromanlarını CREEPY, EERIE (Süper Korku) gibi örneklerin dışında hep süper kahramanlarla birlikte tanıdık, fakat zamanla Robert Crumb gibi çizerlerin de olduğu alternatif bir sahnenin, yeraltı çizgiromanlarının varlığı su üstüne çıktı. Bizleri biraz Amerikan yeraltı çizgiromanlarından bahsedebilir misin ? Marvel ve DC dışındaki çizgi romanlara başlamam erken yaşta babamın Creppy ve Eerie dergileriyle gerçekleşti. Sayfalardaki kaos ve korkuya bayılırdım ayrıca kapakları inanılmazdı. Richard Corben kesinlikle favorimdir. Elimdeki birçok kopya babamın çizgi romanlarını sel bastığı için hasarlı. Hasarın haricinde bulabildiğim sayfalar da babamın eski eşi tarafından karalanmış durumda. Bunu yapmasının nedeni, sonraları babamın bana anlattığına göre eski eşinin çizgi romanlardan hoşlanmadığı ve aptalca bulduğu içinmiş. Robert Crumb’ın işlerini Zap Comix’te keşfetmemle birlikte, daha önce hiç karşılaşmadığım bir özgürlük dürtüsü, şehvet, korku, şüphe ve öfkenin tasvirleriyle karşılaştım. Tabii ki buna bolca sapkınlık ve seks de eklenmeli, tüm bunları gözlemlemek inanılmazdı.
Favori çizerler veya sevdiğin dergiler ? Bu aralar işlerinden keyif aldığım Matthew Allison (Cankor), Ofloda Monstro, Benjamin Marra (Terror Assaulter: O.M.W.O.T.), Pedro Mancini (Alien Triste), Jason (You Can’t Get There From Here), Chuck Forsman (Revenger), Simone Angelini (Anubi), Alexis Ziritt (Space Riders) ve Michel Fiffe (Copra) gibi bir kaç isim var.
Sen harekete kaç yılında katıldın, şu anki bağımsız çizgi romancılığı nasıl değerlendiriyorsun ? Sanırım kendi çizgi romanlarımı yarattığım ve onları fotokopiyle çoğaltarak dağıttığımda bu harekete girişim gerçekleşmiş oldu. Dürüstçe diyebilirim ki ortaya çok da birşeyler koyabildiğimi hissetmiyorum şu an. En azından yorum yapabilmek için genel beğeniyi yakalayan ortalama bir şeyler gerek. Ben değeceğini düşündüğüm birşeyleri ortaya koydum ve bundan sonra nasıl gidecek göreceğiz.
Godzilla’nın, Amerikan yapımı daha eski bir film olan “Phantom from 10.000 Leagues”den esinlenerek çekildiğini okuduğumda şaşırmıştım. Sen ne düşünüyorsun; Canavar filmlerinde hangi taraf daha başarılı ?Godzilla ailenin en eski dostudur ve ona, Canavarların Kralına karşı kimsenin şansı olmadığını söyleyebilirim.
B-Movie veya korku filmlerini sever misin ? İlk gençliğimde düşkünü olduğum korku filmleri ve B-movie‘lere dair bir kaç anım var. VHS benim gençliğimde gerçekten yaygındı ve zamanımın çoğunu bunların koleksiyonuna harcadım. Yerel video dükkanları sayesinde kiraladığımız filmleri kayıt edebilme durumu vardı. Gönlümde özel yeri her zaman olacak olanlar “Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Evil Dead”, “Night of the Living Dead” (1990’daki yeniden uyarlaması), “Re-Animator” ve “Child’s Play”’dir. Erken çocukluk anılarımda müthiş korktuğum film ise “Pet Cemetery”.
Şu an üzerinde çalıştığın bir şeyler var mı, yakın zamanda yayınlamayı düşündüğün bir şeyler ? 2016’nın başlarında ilk sayısını yayımlamayı planladığım Sensation BOOM üzerinde çalışıyorum. Sonrasında Mik-Viktor ve “Kelp” ismini verdiğim yeni bir çizgi romana geçeceğim. Bunları ortaya çıkarmak için can atıyorum, kesinlikle içimi dökeceğim bir şey bu ve bunu herkesle paylaşmak için sabırsızlanıyorum.
How long have you been in the world of comics ? I’ve been making art since 2007 but in 2013 a friend of mine published this independent comic called Pure İnsanity that I and a few other artist contributed too, that was the first publication that showed my work although I guess I’m still relatively new still.
You produce bizarre animations, too and the amateur spirit surrounding your works has rapidly started to gain a powerful style recently. Considering the works you’ve created this far, where within your field of art do you position yourself ? I guess I’d be more of a animator who does art on the side. I personally would not have thought my drawings would get as big as they did, you see originally animation was and still is something that I wanted to do for a living. I had a fascination with cartoons ever since I was little but it was animated films from Bill Plympton, Bruce Bickford and Ralph Bakshi and many other animators that made me realize the great things that animation can do and it really motivated me to make the crazy cartoons I’ve done.
You enjoy pushing the limits of sarcasm, irony and absurdity to create bizarre worlds; considering the comics market, isn’t the obscenity of the works you create risky in terms of bringing the works to a more professional level ? No, I don’t believe so, I think as art goes it’s just a series of lines on paper, if you are not physically harming anyone, offended people can either learn to laugh at them selves, or continue to complain, and that’s fine. I don’t wish to take anything away from the artist who wishes to draw the clean family friendly cartoons.
What’s going on in the world of American Underground Comics recently; can you inform us a little bit ? What about the artists you follow the most as well as your favorites ? Taking into account also the developments in Europe, which echol do you find your style closer to ? I think that would be a better question for a current person who makes underground comix, from what I’ve seen it boils down to selling yourself and getting your art out there by going to conventions and networking. My favorite artists, where do I start, I really like the early 70’s Zap artist like R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, and Spain Rodriguez, and Rory Hayes. outside that there is Mike Diana, Johnny Ryan (who’s art I guess I find my work closer to) and Manga artist from Japan like Junji Ito, Suehiro Maruo, and Hideshi Hino.
How do you like music ? What do you enjoy listening to ? I listen to mostly Sludge Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore, and Hardcore Punk.
What do you think about GG Allin? He’s one of the craziest guys ever taking place in the rock’n’roll stage that recorded great albums in the 80s but then (I though) flipped because of all the drugs he used. What do you think makes GG so legendary? I’m a fan, you know I think what made GG Allin legendary was not so much his music but his life style, when we see the crazy things he did on stage I think there is a primal part of us that want’s to do the same, but wouldn’t out of fear of going to prison.
How do you like Antiseen? There great, they got some awesome songs, and the played with GG Allin which must have been crazy!
Are there any projects you’re working on right now ? Like a book you’re planning to publish or something for the S&T Studios that will take place in the future? I’m trying to finish another cartoon, a little book featuring my art would be ideal in the future, although I don’t have any plans for that now.
Robert, Minneapolis’den genç bir çizer, aynı zamanda bir çizgi filmci. Ona, yaptığı tuhaf işler hakkında bazı sorular sorduk.
Robert merhaba, ne zamandan beri çizgi roman dünyasındasın? 2007’den beri sanatla uğraşıyorum. 2013 yılında birkaç farklı sanatçıyla birlikte bağımsız bir çizgiroman dergisi olan “Pure Insanity” için birşeyler çizdim; böylece çalışmalarımı yayınlama şansını yakaladım. Sanatımı sergilediğim ilk yayın bu oldu, bunun dışında yeni olduğumu söyleyebilirim..
Aynı zamanda çizgi filmler de üretiyorsun ve çalışmalarındaki amatör ruh, son zamanlarda gittikçe güçlü bir stil kazanmaya başladı. Sanırım, ben bir sanatçıdan daha çok animatörüm. Çizimlerimin bu düzeyde ilgi göreceğini hiç düşünmemiştim açıkçası. Hayatımı animasyonla kazanmak istiyordum ve halen de bunda kararlıyım. Çocukluğumdan beri çizgi filmler beni büyülemiştir, aynı zamanda Bill Plympton, Bruce Bickford, Ralph Bakshi ve daha pek çok animatörün filmleri beni çizgi filmlerin muhteşem şeyler yapabileceğine ikna etti ve ben de çılgın animasyonlar yapma motivasyonu uyandırdı.
Hassas bir çizgiyle sarkazm, ironi ve absürdlüğü son raddesine kadar ileri götürerek tuhaf dünyalar kuruyorsun. Çizgiroman piyasasını göz önüne alırsak yaptığın işin müstehcenliğinin riskli olduğunu düşünüyor musun? Açıkçası pek böyle düşünmüyorum. Yaptıklarımız sadece sayfanın üzerindeki çizimlerden ibaret ve fiziksel olarak kimseye zarar vermiyorsanız rahatsız olan insanlar, ya kendilerine gülmeyi öğrenecekler ya da şikayet etmeye devam edecekler ki bu benim için sorun değil. İyi aile çizgi filmleri yapmak isteyenler istediğini yapabilirler.
Amerikan Yeraltı Çizgiroman dünyasında son zamanlarda neler oluyor, bizleri biraz bilgilendirebilir misin? Sanırım bu yeraltı çizgiromancıları için daha uygun bir soru olurdu. Kaldı ki, gördüğüm kadarıyla olay tamamen işini ortaya koyup kendini pazarlamaktan ve toplantılara katılıp bağlantılar kurmaktan geçiyor. En sevdiğim sanatçılar, nereden başlasam, 70’lerin Zap Comix sanatçılarını gerçekten severim : R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Spain Rodriguez ve Rory Hayes gibi, bunlara Mike Diana ve sanatını kendime yakın bulduğum Johnny Ryan‘ı ve Japon manga sanatçıları Junji Ito, Suehiro Mauro ve Hideshi Hino da ekleyebilirim.
Müzikle aran nasıl? Neler dinlersin? Çoğunlukla sludge metal, black metal, grindcore ve hardcore punk dinliyorum.
GG Allin hakkında ne düşünüyorsun, GG’yi bu derece efsane kılan sence nedir? Hayranı olduğumu biliyorsun. Bence onu efsane yapan müziğinden çok yaşam tarzıydı ve sahnede yaptığı manyak şeyleri gördüğümüzde, ilkel bir yanımız bunlara eşlik etmek istiyor ama kodesi boylama korkusuyla maalesef çekiniyoruz. Antiseen’i nasıl buluyorsun? Harika! Muhteşem şarkıları var ve GG Allin ile çaldılar ki bu gerçekten çılgınca!
Şu an üzerinde çalıştığın bir proje var mı? Şu an üzerinde çalıştığım bir çizgi filmim var; bunun dışında yakın gelecekte işlerimi bir araya getiren ufak bir kitap da hiç fena olmaz.
Longtime publisher Ron Turner of Last Gasp lets the red wine spill and herds some very wild cats
Interview by Eric Reynolds Portrait by Joe Brook
Juxtapoz magazine March 2015
This winter saw the culmination of one of the great bodies of work of the past half-century: a deluxe, boxed-set collection from Fantagraphics Books of all seventeen issues of the legendary underground comic book series, Zap Comix, founded by Robert Crumb in 1968.
Zap Comix, which Crumb eventually expanded into an artist collective that included his peers Robert Williams, Gilbert Shelton, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Spain Rodriguez and Paul Mavrides, can legitimately claim a greater influence over the art form of comics than virtually any other, short of possibly MAD magazine. Though it has had a variety of publishers over the years, no one published the title for longer than San Francisco legend Ron Turner, whose Last Gasp Eco-Funnies remains a focal point for the underground comics movement, the San Francisco countercultural scene, and the West Coast lowbrow art movement, some 45 years after its founding.
Turner’s larger-than-life personality and Zelig-like relationship to his beloved hometown warrants a biography of its own. He can tell stories about people as diverse as Charles Manson, Norman Schwarzkopf, the Reverend Jim Jones and Lee Harvey Oswald. Many credit/blame him with a Bambino-like curse that has kept his city’s beloved Forty-Niners from winning a Super Bowl over the past two decades. But, on the occasion of The Complete Zap Comix, Fantagraphics Books Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds spoke to Turner specifically about his relationship with the influential comix anthology and his history of publishing underground comics.
Eric Reynolds: You were a graduate student at San Francisco State University when you founded Last Gasp Eco-Funnies in 1970. Can you tell us more about that period? Ron Turner: I was studying allergies and emotions at Kaiser Hospital. I was finishing up my master’s degree in experimental psychology. The only problem was. we were in the midst of the longest student strike in U.S. history at SF State.
My roommate, Roger Alvarado, was head of the Third World Liberation Front, and every day we were out on the picket line being attacked by members of the police force on our little 19-acre campus. Roger looked a lot like Che. Myself and my then-girlfriend Fran Ryan were very political.
We were also involved in the first ecology center. To help fund it, I came up with an idea to make an underground comic with ecology themes and have them sell it to pay for the printing and artists. I strong-armed a bunch of dealers in Berkeley to loan the money for printing and royalties. It worked, and within three months we had a book, Slow Death Funnies #1. Crumb agreed to do what turned out to be a two pager. Also, I got Gilbert Shelton to do a page. I was, by that, time living in Berkeley and had all the Slow Death guys over. I learned to ban drinks in the room where the original artwork was. Some were careless (or jealous) of the others and would almost intentionally spill red wine on a page.
How did you get connected with the comics community? Don Donohue and noted beatnik poet Charles Plymel printed the first Zap. and then Crumb moved it to Print Mint, which was run by two couples. Bob and Peggy worked at the poster store on Haight, and Don and his wife, Alice, were at the frame shop on Telegraph in Berkeley.
We knew Bob and Peggy Rita (of the Print Mint, publisher of Zap #0 and #1) because of our common connection to the Farm Workers Union. Fran had headed up the lettuce boycott and worked as Cesar Chavez’s secretary. We were members of a group called the Committee of Returned Volunteers. You had to have spent at least two years in a volunteer capacity in a foreign country (Peace Corps, American Friends Service Committee, etc.) We became the translators of cultural imperialism to the anti-Vietnam War movement.
You must have been familiar with Zap by this point? I first read Zap at a New Year’s party around the end of ’68. I was completely stoned and the comic brought back my childhood fascination with that art form. I reread it for hours. I discovered Gary Arlington was a source [for this underground material] and went to his store in the Mission. It was a place that never changed over 40 years—stacked to the ceiling with comic books and artwork, although in the early days, seven or eight people could move around in there. Gary seemed to be a “true believer,” although later he became more delusional and thought he was Christ on a mission. That didn’t stop us from becoming friends. In early ’70, when I was putting together Slow Death #1, I had paid Don Donahue (who printed the first Zap) and Arlington the princely sum of $25 each to put them on retainer. They liked the sound of that.
I first met Crumb at Gary Arlington’s store. I let Crumb know that my dad had given me a lot of 78 records and he was over in a flash to look through them. I think I just gave him the records. My dad had been a country and western disk jockey in Bakersfield back in the late ’50s and ’60s and was involved in that business till his death in the ’80s. Soon thereafter. I got Crumb interviewed on KPFA, the Pacifica station in Berkeley. He drew a pic of himself by a radio mike, sweating so profusely that the liquid was up to his calves. I took him to lunch and all he wanted was a hamburger. He was already a superstar in the counterculture and I felt honored to be in his presence. I visited him up in Potter Valley with his first wife, Dana. She passed last year. Crumb would retire after dinner to a little shack and was drawing Eggs Ackly and the Vulture Demoness. I was blown away on how fast he could fill in the panels: he obviously had the script down in his head.
At what point did Last Gasp stop being a side project to fund the ecology center and/or other social movements, and become your primary vocation or passion? The first Slow Death appeared in time for a dozen friends and myself to get to college campuses around the Bay Area and hawk them on the lawns during the first Earth Day in 1970. In order to get rid of the garage-busting amount of boxes containing 20,000 comix, I had to contemplate distribution. I had beaten the draft and was fervently anti-war, and felt that I had been given a two year pass to do something. I always wondered about the concept of distribution. It seemed so mysterious. Also. I had some drug dealers to repay.
I was moving in more comic book circles and my radical college friends were not embracing the kinds of comix I was beginning to leave on their kitchen tables. The ecology center would only take ten copies at a time and not call when they ran out. Comix were not what a lot of people at the time felt were a proper item in a bookstore.
Our Committee of Returned Volunteers was continuing to be involved in various social justice issues. Trina Robbins asked me to visit to see a comic she was putting together called It Ain’t Me, Babe. It was the same name as a woman’s radical newspaper published in Berkeley by a collective. Trina did a cartoon strip called Belinda Berkeley in that paper. Women’s liberation was big at the time. The comic seemed a natural. So I said yes and paid Trina for it. Our third publication was Skull Comics #2. Jaxon [a.k.a. the cartoonist Jack Jackson], who was a partner at Rip Off Press, brought it to me. It had a great Gilbert Shelton cover and fantastic horror stories. The horror genre always seemed to have enough social activism in the form of morality tales and the unmasking of human foibles to interest me, so I gladly said yes. I still don’t know why Rip Off didn’t publish it themselves.
Before the end of the year, we had Slow Death #2 ready to go. We did the first front-to-back, wrap-around cover. After the first printing, it needed color, and so the second was done, and 100 copies were done on silver paper. I signed and numbered them and gave most of them away to the various artists. The next year. I had paid back the “investors,” and then was asked to be in a partnership by one of the investers. This is when it became a vocation.
The first two issues of Zap were published by the Print Mint, and you came in soon thereafter, I believe. How did that come about? By 1970, Zap #1-4 had been printed, and having found the xerox copies of Crumb’s first Zap, it was added as #0 to keep artistic continuity. Posters were the big art movement of the social order of the ’60s and ’70s. Comix hitchhiked with the posters to head shops. At one time, there were over 40,000 head shops nationwide. Comic stores began, and another source of sales opened up.
Somewhere around ’75, Crumb confided in me his unhappiness with Print Mint. He was complaining about them not paying him all he was owed. I offered to print up Zap #0 and #1. He took the first two issues of Zap away and I began publishing them. The Print Mint was having a hard time, perhaps it was a decline in the [rock] poster business, I don’t know. But I needed the comix, so I proposed that one of us pay the printer and one of us pay the artists. They agreed, but the deal fell apart and Zap became a Last Gasp title in full by ’76-’77. There was no bad blood [between Last Gasp and Print Mint], although I’m sure Print Mint wasn’t happy. I think the contract stipulated 12% of the retail price for royalty. When a new issue came out, the guys got all their money up front.
By 1980, there were over 30 national distributors. Head shops, comic shops and a few alternative book stores were buying comix. As I sold more and more copies of Zap, it was apparent that it had become the premiere [underground] comic book, with [Gilbert Shelton’s] Freak Bros, a close second. Had Zap come out regularly, I’m sure it would have been no time before an issue could have gone close to a million-copy release, but as Crumb once said, one of the differences between undergrounds and above-grounds was that undergrounds were never on a regular schedule.
How does it feel to see it collected now, after all of this time? I’m glad the book got done. After publishing it for almost 40 years, it’s great to see it in such a lush, robust presentation. I just wish that Spain Rodriguez and Rick Griffin would have lived to see this fine compendium of their work. I am humbled to have had a small part in the Zap artists’ careers. These guys were and are amazing.
His artistic universe is nourished by contemporary comics, independent comics, free figuration, pop art, popular arts and brute art. Born in 1966 in Porrentruy, Switzerland, a graduate of the Bienne School of Visual Arts and a member of the Swiss Association of Visual Artists Visarte, he is an illustrator, painter, graphic artist and organizer of cultural events. Passionate about travel, he love to travel the world with his feet and carnets, as for example during a tour of the world in 2015. His work is the subject of exhibitions in Switzerland, France, Belgium, USA and Madagascar and has been published by several Swiss and French publishers. I reside and work in Porrentruy.
As a cultural organizer, he manage several associations and cultural centers, showrooms, artist tours, contemporary art exhibitions, artistic events and festivals in Switzerland and Belgium, in the fields of current music, theater, and comic strip and the cinema. He also worked in communication, journalism and the humanitarian. He was awarded the 2019 Culture Prize of the City of Porrentruy. He is available for illustration and graphic design projects and for any exciting exhibition and publication proposal.
“Graphzine Graphzone” is the first in-depth study devoted to graphzines, this alternative, born in the wake of punk, both to comics and to so-called contemporary institutional art. If the world of graphzine may indeed seem close to that of independent comic book publishing, one more step is taken in radicalism: the producers of graphzines, good practitioners of Do it yourself, favor self-production and the limited editions, experiment with different printing processes and overcome the constraints of traditional storytelling. What unites them is undoubtedly the obsession with images (from the most conventional to the most astonishing and shocking) and an artisanal realization often carried out in network. To retrace the history and grasp the conceptual challenges of this production, the author draws heavily on the words of those skilled in the art, a choral approach that responds to the polymorphic nature of graphzine. Starting from the pioneers (Bazooka and Elles Sont De Sortie), X.-G. Néret explores in detail this phenomenon which was to proliferate outside institutions from the 1980s. A new territory opened up, which broke the narrative conventions of comics by the ambiguous bringing together of images and texts. By analyzing the variety of influences and forms of graphzine, among which the heta-uma, Japanese graphic current invented by Teruhiko Yumura, important source although underground, the author releases the essence of this practice. Graphzine proves to be a lifestyle, the affirmation of a creative power which implies a reversal of values favoring the expression of singularities; a freedom that manifests itself both in terms of form, experimental and content, subject to no censorship other than that which the artists inflict on themselves – at the risk, for some, of being intimidated or condemned. They thus explore, sometimes with disarming “insatiable innocence”, territories that the normalizing bodies condemn, in particular those which relate to sexuality and death. X.-G. Néret also sees in it a powerful graphic avant-garde, in the wake of Dada, of lettering and situationism, helping to prolong and renew “a secret history of the 20th century”.
“Make a newspaper like a work of art … Use printing, drawing, text, typography, layout, as material for artistic expression.” (Loulou Picasso) “We wanted to create something as strong as the Dada movement … We did not like traditional graphics, nor galleries … We were a micro society … We imitated the terrorist commando … Graphic dictatorship, that was to do things without asking permission. ” (Kiki Picasso) “Of course it is art, and much stronger than all the impostures that we can see in galleries. These apparently stateless productions constantly question everything through the richness and quantity of the images which they propose… Perhaps that one will reproach us for lacking a bourgeois strategy. But one day our work will be seen and it will have the effectiveness of having said the time. ” (Bruno Richard) “Radical publications produced outside of any editorial structure by enthusiasts.” (Pierre La Police) “It’s like a little art exhibit in the form of a printed booklet.” (DeePee) “It is an object, an object that you never tire of turning pages. You have never seen pages like these.” (Delfeil de Ton) “Afterwards, you will never again buy the pack of crap cartoons that you usually read.” (Willem) “Resolutely the opposite of the apology of the commercial which prevails everywhere … Since you are told that what these people do is the best in terms of Contemporary Art!” (Jean-Christophe Menu) “Be deliberate not to play the game of self-censorship …” (Fredox) “Do it yourself if you are not happy.” (Kerozen)
Projet artistique associatif créé en 2013 et installé à Bruxelles dans un lieu dénommé le Sterput, l’asbl E² organise expositions, ateliers créatifs, focus sur la micro-édition, et autres manifestations culturelles tout au long de l’année. Espace de rencontre et de diffusion d’artistes émergents et confirmés venus de tous horizons, l’asbl E² promeut un art contemporain alternatif et hors normes, et propose une vision de l’art différente, brute et aiguisée, mais aussi populaire et accessible, en visant l’accès à la culture pour tous. Art figuratif non conforme et singulier, la galerie croit en la puissance émotionnelle des images.
‘E²/ Sterput gallery is located in the city of Brussels and, unlike other spaces dedicated to the exhibition oriented to the search for names or fashion trends, E²/ Sterput focuses on the elusive, complex but always stimulating underground or visionary art with the objective to give it a specific space for circulation and exhibition. Founded and directed by Emilie Ouvrard, the gallery began as a traveling project where different expressions were mixed : visual arts, music, publications etc. Aware of the need for a space, Emilie founded in 2013. E²/ Sterput develops the non-profit associative artistic space model, allowing various activities to take place in her space and for the community to get to know and actively participate of the project. In addition to the exhibitions that take place there, there are workshops given by different guest artists, talks and the edition of multiple originals and art publications. Many of the artists we love and admire have passed through E²/ Sterput: Pakito Bolino, Mavado Charon, Nils Bertho, Antoine Bernhart, Daisuke Ichiba and many more. We were able to talk to Emilie through email this past May, here we reproduce the conversation.’ – Leonardo Casas, Tinystar ‘zine
When and how your involvement in art begins; were you always been working in Belgium?
Emilie Ouvrard : As a child, as many children, I spent a lot of time with my mum making drawings and creating art. My mum was working half time for her children and she enjoyed doing creative workshops with us. Maybe my love for art starts with this, I don’t really know. I was in high school and I got interested in children books. I found some really nice publications featuring beautiful artists. And I met some friends in art courses with parents involved in the arts. Which was not at all where I came from. All this was new and interesting for me. After I graduate from high school, I left my parents place in the west of France to go to live in Montpellier, in the south of France. I went to the university to study anthropology and other stuff. In this city where Mattt Konture is living who is really a great artist. Also, I used to go to a bookshop close from my apartment to buy some comix, and there I saw some fanzines Mattt Konture was made with some of his friends. I had never saw something like that. I found it really wonderful, so I bought it. And I bought many other of his fanzines, too. I became quite a fan of his works. Right after that, I discovered Le Dernier Cri and their beautiful handmade books full of colors in a book fair in Montpellier. I found some bookshops selling them in Paris and one in Montpellier. So I started making a collection of the books and posters of the artists I liked. And I discovered many other publishers and artists in the bookshops I used to go in Montpellier and in Paris (when I went there to see some friends). After university, we decided to move to Brussels, where I still live and where I created the project E²/ Sterput. I created this project in 2013 because I couldn’t find all the underground art publishers and artistic works I liked. I thought it was a lack for a city like Brussels. I was missing all the art I liked. I wanted to bring it there in my city Brussels. So I created the association with a friend because we had the opportunity to get a small room for six months in a cultural art center called Recyclart. So we organized one exhibition each month with a lot of concerts. I don’t know how I survived. It was very intense. Because all this work I do with the project E²/ Sterput is as a volunteer and I work at a regular job in an office in public administration four days a week. After the first six months at Recyclart, we were a traveller gallery organizing exhibitions in different places in Brussels : studio printer, underground cinema and cafe. And during this travelling period we also organized two big festivals with exhibitions, concerts, workshops… until we started looking for, and finally, found a place to stay for a not too expensive rent.
Every artist is a different universe…
Could you tell me something about the first art show ever you worked on? The first show/ exhibition I worked on was in the room at Recyclart with the E2 / Sterput project (just called Gallery E² at that time). It was an exhibition of three artists: Elzo Durt, Mathieu Desjardins and FSTN. I didn’t know anything about organizing an exhibition. But I am a good organizer and I love art. Elzo Durt is a very famous artist in Brussels, so a lot of people attended for this first show and It was really fun.
Could you please explain us to the concept of ‘Gallery of art associative’? The project is associative. I don’t really know if the meaning in English is the same as in French. Associative means that it is non lucrative and non professional. It is a project you do with passion as a volunteer. Professional gallerists work in art sells. Their goal is to make money selling art. They also decide which art is main and recognized art. Our goal is to show underground and non conventional art and share it with the people. But artists need money to eat and live. So we take in charge all the fees of the exhibition and the exhibited work can be sell. For the money, we take 20% on the sell and we also ask for grant/ subvention from the city/ region/ state. With that money, we can pay the rent, pay train ticket for the artists, organize creative workshops (on donation for the people and paid for the artist). The public money goes back to the people and to the artists through our art project.
Were you, by that time, looking to display a specific art movement/ art style? Tell us about the E² curatorial activity and how were the artists started to display at the space. For the curatorial work, I just display the artists I like. It is just my tastes. Tastes that have been built by all the publishers, books, artists I met in all the book shops and galleries I’ve attended to, and now, also, with internet. I don’t hide all my influences. For now it is just me organizing and deciding the gallery’s calendar of the exhibitions. But I will change the running of our project to go to something more collective. Because we are now twenty volunteers at E². Some of them are just happy to be here, to open the gallery to the public once a month or to spend a nice time with the friends, but others are great artists or great collectors and they want to get more involved in the gallery’s calendar design. And I want the project to live after and without me. I want the project to be able stand on its own.
What kind of experience is to open artists like Daisuke Ichiba, Gea and Stu Mead to public ?Daisuke Ichiba is quite general public; almost everybody likes his work and find it very beautiful. And Japan is on fashion in Europe. Gea also, her work please a lot of people and she is a girl, so she can treat subjects that some people won’t allow from men. Stu Mead it is more complicated. Because of the subject, and also because of the style (and because he is a man). The public is sometimes really closed and far from art. They are more in illustration and graphic design, which is not the same as art; and they mix them. And sometimes they don’t understand the complexity of the human being, its fears, its craziness, its our own demons… They think they know what is GOOD and BAD and if they see BAD in art, they don’t understand. They want to throw the artist in jail. But they don’t even try to understand or know the artist. They think they are the great avengers of the perfect moral philosophy of the world. Every artist is a different universe and art is not reality. And they are not perfect moral philosophy, life is complicated and human beings are very complex.
Le projet E² s’exprime également à travers l’édition de livres d’artistes imprimés et façonnés à la main à Bruxelles en série limitée. Un ouvrage est publié à l’occasion de chaque exposition. La distro E², zone de distribution de micro-édition, présente une fine sélection de créations artistiques variées : fanzines, livres, affiches, et autres productions issues du DIY et de ses acteurs.
For each art show the gallery publishes an edition, today is very rare for art galleries – at least around here to do so – what it means to you to use this printing language? Yes, we do publish a book and some cards/ posters for each exhibition. We started at the end of the first six months at Recyclart because we had some money left and we love books and we met a nice screen-print printer. So we thought it was a nice souvenir to make a book of all those exhibitions. – The artist gets some copies, so he can sell them or do what he wants. It is a way to thanks the artist and to give him a souvenir and a retribution.
The people who can’t afford an unique artwork can buy a signed book. It is like an artwork. We love books as many people and this is a big pleasure to make a book and share it with other book lovers. It is like a souvenir of the exhibitions. In Brussels we’re working with some printers we know. We always work with the same printers. One of the volunteer at the gallery is a great graphic artist and he works on all the books. The printers print the books and we get at the print studio to make the final work (binding, cutting…). It is a local work with nice people we know. We also sell them in few bookshops and galleries in Belgium, France, USA and Japan.
Is there any art show displayed at E² that had raised some controversy / scandal? Three times we got some messages telling us that this art is BAD, that we “should remove the paintings”, that is not “acceptable”. But is not something that happens very often and we can’t say it is a scandal. It just happened three times with Antoine Bernhart, Anne Van Der Linden and Stu Mead.
Many people are afraid and not interested in buying a book or an artwork as the same price as they consume cell phones like crazies ?!
Do you consider important the creation of a network of like-minded artist/ galleries today? Yes I think so but i am not sure. It depends of the size of the network and how it is created? I enjoy meeting new artists and galleries and publishers. But most of the time, in our days, I meet them on facebook and instagram but I hate facebook and instagram.
In some realms of the art world, the future of an artwork depends on having a good agent. What is the reality for an artist working on a more underground level? I think artists in underground level have many different ways to approach their works. Do they want/ need to make money with their art? Do they want to get famous or do they want to stay in the underground? I think it is sad that there is almost no galleries among the associative, non lucrative underground project like us (impossible to make money) and the very rich art dealer/ gallerist. I think this is a historical fact, sad but true : art is for the riches. We should think again about the place of art in the society and we have to change it at all levels, politics and people. Why many people are so afraid and not interested in buying a book or an artwork as the same price as they consume cell phones like crazies ?! And why cultural politics don’t give more space to the art for the society?