Mick Washington is a 22-year-old comics artist from Dallas, Texas. As a member of an art collective called the Iguana House, they help put on live music shows and comic readings. Some comics of theirs include The Devil Stole a Shooting Star, This Is My First Diary Comic, and The Last Day on Earth—and most recently, they illustrated a story on Marsha P. Johnson for DC's Wonder Woman Anthology. They are currently being held captive in Chicago by an evil cat named Ashley.
How did you get interested in zines?
I first got interested in zines through an Alternative Comics / Graphic Noveling class I took when I was about 16. It was my first time ever being in Chicago and I fell in love with the city and zine-making simultaneously. The professor who taught the class is still a dear friend of mine today.
What are your zines about?
My zines are about me—mostly. I identify as a comic artist, but zines are my favorite way to get my stories out quickly. Zine making is a political practice. They're informational, crudely made, messy, and beautiful. As a black person, the most revolutionary thing I can do is to exist for as long as I can in this world, and my zines show me existing. If I could go back and rename them more accurately, I would change the title of my first and second diary comics, but "diary zines" doesn't have the best ring to it. I do have a zine out called Things I would Rather Do Than Drink Cow's Milk and it rhymes—just in case anyone reading feels the need to break out in song.
What are some of your favorite zines and zine makers?
Some of my favorite zines were picked up from gallery showings, art book fairs, or given to me by comics artists in passing. I remember I went to a comics reading called Zine Not Dead a few years ago and Bianca Xunise locked eyes with me, strolled over, and handed me an unreleased zine of hers, and smiled before walking away. The most recent zine I picked up was a fanzine that went along with an installation by Emma Roffey. I'm also really into fanzines (collections of fanart compiled by one person or submitted under a specific theme)—I'm thinking of all of the Klance fanzines from 2017.
Your zines are in our library collection for patrons to borrow. What do you think about that?
I am so honored and thrilled that people all over are able to see my art—but it's a little scary as well. With the subject matter of my zines being so personal, it's a little hard to be perceived by everyone. I hope my stories bring people joy.
What is the future of zines?
I think the future of zines can't be discussed without mentioning the future of print as a whole. Living in such a digital age has made it difficult to obtain physical copies of art that you enjoy. Don't get me wrong—I love the accessibility that digital formats offer, but something special is missing when I can't hold paper in my hands and keep it with me forever. I think zines will be around forever, but the method of delivery will change. And that's not something that I'm super excited for.
Why are zines important?
Zines are important because they let people know! What exactly are zines letting people know? That's not up to me. But when it is; zines let people know what I would rather do than drink cow's milk, how I would spend my last day on Earth, and how I embarrass myself frequently in my day to day life.