I feel like I owe you an explanation. Why hasn't there been an issue of the paper version of Holy Titclamps since June of 1999? Why haven't I mailed out a version of Queer Zine Explosion since August of 1999, even though I produced an edition in June of 2000? Why didn't those reviews get uploaded on the website? Why have I been bad at answering mail? What's the story?
I'm sorry. I feel I've let people down. The things I haven't done have a variety of degrees of difficulty. The more difficult ones (putting together issues of Holy Titclamps) are easy to explain. Some of the smaller things are harder to justify.
These things get done by increments, by working on them steadily. But I've been tending to do that thing of throwing stuff in a box and letting it build up.
Here's what I've been up to. In the fall of 1999 I went to Queeruption in New York City, bringing issues of the still fairly fresh Holy Titclamps and Queer Zine Explosion, as well as a paper version of the "Mailbox" page I was doing on my website. At the time, I would bring mail with me to work and type in reviews on the website of stuff as it arrived, and post it on the website. At a certain point, even that method got backlogged. Also that fall I volunteered for Tom Ammiano's mayoral campaign.
In January of 2000, I started co-producing a weekly queer comedy showcase. I do publicity, design posters and cards, run the website and email list, and work the door of the venue. I've kept doing that until the present and that's taken some of my time.
In March of 2000, I was laid off from the job I've had since shortly after moving to California in 1992. I didn't get a great severance package, but I've saved enough, and my living expenses are low enough, that it wasn't too much of a worry.
Around the same time, I started volunteering one day a week in the news department at KPFA. I had wanted to get involved at KPFA to try to get more queer programming on the air there, since they haven't had a locally produced queer show for about seven years, and now they don't even broadcast the syndicated program This Way Out. I'm still volunteering in the news department, and havn't made much progess on getting a queer show on the air.
In June of 2000, I drove up to Seattle and Portland with the person I was collaborating musically with, Ian Callas. We performed at Queer Panic, an event put together by people including Gordon of the zine Teen Fag. I also did a reading at Reading Frenzy in Portland.
Before the trip, I put together a paper version of Queer Zine Explosion #18, reviewing zines that I'd gotten up to that point. I didn't have time to do full CD or book reviews, and the publication includes a list of items that did not receive full reviews. I had intended to revise QZE 18 and add new materials I'd picked up on the trip and expand reviews, but I never got around to doing that, mailing to subscribers or zinemakers, or posting the information on the website. My current plan is to go ahead and do QZE 19 and mail out both together. I will try to get the reviews from QZE 18 and newer reviews up on the site as soon as possible.
In the summer and fall of 2000, I got more involved in local politics, including volunteering on Matt Gonzalez' campaign for San Francisco Supervisor, eventually to the point of designing campaign literature for the campaign (see, those zine skills can come in handy.) Since the election, I've also been volunteering in Matt's office at City Hall, at first three days a week (but now I've cut back to one day a week.)
Since about April of 2001, I've been involved in planning meetings for a Queeruption event to happen in San Francisco in October of 2001.
Now it's June of 2001. In a couple days, I'm going to Scutterfest in Los Angeles, another queer music and zine festival. I want to have something to give away, so I will be trying to throw together QZE 19. The reviews will be a little shorter than usual. It can be a bit of a bummer going through the boxes and discovering letters nearly a year old that haven't been answered. I have managed to fill orders for zines along the way, though some have been overlooked. Looking back over the chronology in Holy Titclamps #17, I can see that there have been other year-long gaps in publication -- QZE 14 in Sept 1996, and while a preliminary version of QZE 15 was made in October 1997, QZE 15 was not mailed out until March of 1998.
The website version of Holy Titclamps has been somewhat active -- I've kept up on listing San Francisco events and a weekly email list on the same subject, and a page and list on queer bands touring. Doing local event reviews and listing what arrives in my mailbox seems to have fallen by the wayside. Once there's a backlog of mail it doesn't seem fair somehow to list newer stuff, and it almost means doing the work twice when the reviews have to get re-massaged for QZE whenever that is published.
I still don't have full-time employment. I've done a little free-lance writing and received some money for political work. You would think that with not having a full-time job I'd have time for zine stuff. Somehow, the zine doesn't make it into my schedule like the comedy show, radio and political volunteering, and planning meetings do. At this point, I would like to have a full-time job again, but the job market is difficult. I try to make myself useful in the meantime.
While I have listed a lot of other activities I've done, to be sure, I've wasted some time. But you use the internet too, don't you?
Will there be another Holy Titclamps? Probably, but I don't know when. Some people have sent me submissions to print. I don't want to be like Harlan Ellison sitting on the submissions for The Last Dangerous Visions for thirty years. Selling the zines has become more difficult -- distributors and stores have gone out of business, there are more returns, and I'm unwilling to compromise on certain marketing things -- I'm not sticking glossy full-color models on the cover like every other magazine, and I don't think the money I could make off ads is worth it. At this point, I'd like to think I can produce something this fall.
I have an incredible amount of paper in my apartment -- zines, correspondence, unsold copies of my own zine. There's hardly room to move. I don't think I can manage to sort through all this material on my own. Eventually, I plan on donating my papers to an archive, probably San Francisco's GLBT Historical Society, which already has a good number of zines. Also in its collection are papers associated with the zine Homoture. However, to deal with the material I have now, I really need a volunteer to help me. If anyone in San Francisco is interested in helping me, please let me know.
I hope this helps you understand.