Who and What We Are

Xerography Debt is a review zine for zine readers by zine writers (and readers). It is a hybrid of review zine and personal zine (the ancestor to many blogs). The paper version has been around since 1999. This blog thing is are attempt to bridge the gap between Web 2.0 and Paper 1.0. Print is not dead, but it is becoming more pixelated.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Support is a Lot More than Bras and Jock Straps [introduction to Xerography Debt #36]

I’d been pondering the intro for this issue for a few weeks and was getting a bit nervous when my usual, “something will come to me” approach wasn’t working. The deadline for this issue was Sept. 15, 2014. So there I was, at the Bomba Estereo show in Philadelphia at 11:30pm on Sept. 15, not a word of this  introduction written, and not really thinking about anything when I had what Japanese Buddhists refer to as satori1, but on a much smaller scale. I had a sudden, unexpected, fully formed idea surrounding one word: Support.

The concert ended about 60 seconds later and as we emerged into the night air I told Patrick he had the first shift driving home because I had to write the intro to XD. Thankfully, as a fellow writer and editor he didn’t see this as aberrant behavior on my part. My love of spiders is another story.

Within the pages of this zine we’ve discussed time and again the ideas of community and supporting zines. This zine’s very essence speaks to that. If we had a mission statement the word support would be used, probably more than once. But what does support really mean?

Oftentimes support is seen as strictly financial – buying zines or funding a Kickstarter campaign, but that isn’t always an option for everyone, nor the only option. In my eyes support is showing up at a reading or signing to support not only friends but any author or publisher you respect. It means writing a letter to say how much you enjoyed a new issue (or book). It means writing a review or telling other people about zines you admire.

I once went to a show where only a small handful (literally) of people showed up. The band played as if they had a full house. They earned twice my respect that night. Zines can be like that too. Often only a limited number of copies are published and if I am among that small audience I should be applauding loud enough for the writer to hear. We don’t do this in a vacuum, but sometimes it can feel like it.

In the last several months three writers I know have been dealing with some heartbreaking problems. I’ve attempted to offer support in the ways I can and see that other members of their respective communities are doing the same. Sometimes support comes in the form of just listening and other times it is wine and potato chips.

Support, like much of life, is about showing up. So show up and support in whatever way you can. It matters.


PS - Also, you should give Bomba Estereo a listen.

“sudden enlightenment and a state of consciousness attained by intuitive illumination
representing the spiritual goal of Zen Buddhism” — Merriam-Webster