By strange, cosmic interconnectivities," Maggie Young said she wound up in Tulsa with her close friend, Violet Rush.
In March, Young and Rush will publish She God, possibly the first "zine" Tulsa has seen in a long time. The publishing party will be held at the SoundPony on March 1 to coincide with the next Brady Arts Walk.
Even though they're a nine hour drive from where they met in Albuquerque, they are collaborating to continue the artistic development they began there. When it comes to channeling creativity, "Albuquerque reminds me of Tulsa," Young said.
A zine is a self-published magazine -- often produced by photocopying an original manuscript. Originating as far back as the 1930s, zines became a popular way for alternative and underground cultures to express themselves.
Express themselves Young and Rush do. She God will feature Xeroxed photographs, writings, and other forms of art. Screen prints and illustrations will be particularly prominent.
Young was quick to praise her Rush, her collaborator in this project. "Violet is an illustrator. Her illustrations are awesome," she said.
While the cover will remain a secret until the release date, Young showed me some of the art that will be featured. One that stood out was a screen print of a nude woman taken from a French anatomy textbook from the early 1900s.
It's all a little freaky -- but it a good way.
That may be the way they want it. Young was loath to explain whether there was any meaning to the works. "We want ... to let the imagery speak for itself," she said. "Humans as a species like to categorize shit. But we have brains for a reason."
In other words, just enjoy the work for the bizarre awesomeness it tries to be -- and don't try to read too much into it.
One message Young and Rush want to emphasize, however, is the beauty and glory of womanhood: an idea from which they derive the name of their zine.
"We feel like the decline of Western civilization and the degradation of women go hand in hand," Young said. "With the Judeo-Christian paradigm ... women are second-class citizens."
Young hopes She God will play some small part in changing that. "Women are sacred and magical. ... This is our place to express," she said.
Interest in zines has waned since the advent of the Internet in the 1990s, but that doesn't discourage Young. For her, She God remains "a way for anyone to put their little weirdo ideas together."
Surely, she could do that on a blog or a website, but Young thinks doing that loses something in the translation. She God will be "a real, tangible thing," she said, adding that she likes a zine's "lo-fi feel." A zine "is humble and anyone can do it. ... Creating is creating."
Young said that she likes how open the Tulsa community is to the zine. When asked about the SoundPony, she said, "It's a great location with the Brady Arts Walk right there. I love the vibe. ... This [project] really brings out a community."
She hopes to use She God as a springboard to meet more likeminded Tulsans. Already, local print maker Cheyenne Butcher will be featured in She God, in addition to artists from New Mexico and Los Angeles, along with Young and Rush themselves.
The launch party for She God will take place at the SoundPony, 409 N. Main St., on March 1 from 6-9pm. The event is free and open to the public. Large copies of the zine will be sold for $20, while smaller copies will be available for $5.
"We're not real sticklers. ... This is definitely a freeform, fun kind of project," Young said. It may also be the rebirth of a phenomenon.
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