Savannah Arts Publishing
Although Savannah is a rather small city, it boasts a thriving art scene thanks in part to the presence of the Savannah College of Art & Design. Art galleries and creative business are more prevalent than ever; and while the artistic community in Savannah continues to grow, it seems that the area of independent arts publishing has been somewhat left behind. This absence in arts publishing clearly hasn’t been due to a lack of artists, but rather a lack of outlets and resources for zine-makers and publishers to print and sell their work.
Excitingly, there are an increasing number of spaces in Savannah that are tuning into the needs of independent arts publications in an attempt to grow the local scene. Appreciation Society is a retail platform based in Savannah that offers a curated collection of artists’ books, zines and independently published magazines. Appreciation Society strives to bring independent arts publications to the southeast and to provide local zine-makers, emerging artists and publishers with an outlet for their work. Starlandia Supply, a newly opened reclaimed art supply store, has quickly become a pillar of Savannah’s creative community. They offer affordable zine printing services, and the shop has also hosted zine-making workshops.
Events like the annual Atlanta Zine Fest, the St. Pete Zine Fest and Nashville’s Handmade & Bound are also doing their part in encouraging a dialogue and creative camaraderie amongst zine-makers and independent publishers working in the southeast.
Here are some zines and independently published magazines that are Savannah favorites:
Fist City is an art collective comprised of Savannah locals Clayton Walsh, Lomaho Kretzmann and Gordon Rabut. They produce the Savannah Fist, a limited-run serial zine that features drawings from Fist City along with contributions from guest artists and writers. The Savannah Fist has been dubbed “Savannah’s underground thrill rag,” and I couldn’t explain it better myself if I tried. The guys of Fist City are influenced by analog technology, lowbrow humor, freaks and weirdos, which all combine to produce a zine that’s often grotesque yet painfully funny. The collective most recently came out with Hidden Fist #1 — a limited-edition zine that is essentially a peek inside their personal sketchbooks.
The Clambake is a zine produced by former SCAD students Jen Paolini and Kat Weiss that “asks real people really dumb questions.” “Clambake” is an informal term that refers to a boisterous social gathering, and the Clambake zine perfectly embodies this sense of a light-hearted community get-together. Each issue is packed full of quirky illustrations and gut-busting interviews with musicians and visual artists. So far, Paolini and Weiss have published three issues, each with accompanying stickers of their ubiquitous clam, which has become a Clambake mascot of sorts. Each zine also features a “gabble-dooble” section, where guest artists are asked very important questions such as “backstreet boys or n-sync?” and then proceed to draw their answers. Also included are portraits of the interviewer, where the interviewees try their hand at drawing their interviewer, Paolini, and bonus illustrations from Weiss.
GOOD TIMES PRINT SHOP
Good Times Print Shop is the independent risograph printing press of Mackenzie Brookshire. Brookshire is a graduate of SCAD, but now resides in Atlanta where she creates colorful mini-zines in her studio “in support of fun times and fun work.” This lighthearted approach to zine-making is undoubtedly reflected in her work. “Volcano People” features adorable red and blue blob-like creatures dancing, performing backbends and headstands throughout its pages. The zine “Paper Layers” really utilizes the risograph printing technique; with the turn of each page a new brightly colored and expertly layered pattern appears.
Noice is a limited-edition photography zine from Bluffton, SC, right outside of Savannah. Noice was started by Colin Czerwinski and focuses on a straight-forward, minimal approach to photography. Each issue is based around a color theme with an occasional “special” issue. Noice’s most recent zine, “Nice Dude” is a raw documentation of Czerwinski’s travels across the US with the band Vesudeva. Noice’s next zine will be released at the end of the month with a color theme of ”yellow.” In addition to the zine, Noice has a dedicated social media following that is used to promote the work of other photographers, often having Instagram takeovers from guest contributors.
Founded in 2011 by a group of SCAD photography students, Aint-Bad is a bi-annual magazine and online platform for emerging photographers. Since it’s conception, Aint-Bad has grown tremendously into a magazine that is distributed both in the U.S. and internationally, and also has a burgeoning online presence with a dedicated following. With an aim “to engage a discussion about contemporary culture and human nature through thought-provoking imagery,” Aint-Bad works tirelessly to promote and foster emerging photographers and to encourage critical conversation. Each issue of Aint-Bad centers around a theme selected by the editorial staff. Past themes have included conceptions of the American South, the reality of personal and corporate consumption, and photography in the age of digital culture. Aint-Bad’s current issue is an “ode o the selfie” and features carefully curated pages of self-reflection in the photographic medium. In addition to their bi-annual magazine, Ain’t Bad has recently published limited-edition artists’ books from photographers Meg Griffiths, Zora J. Murff and Tommy Kha.
HOUSE OF HAYES
HXH Quarterly is an arts, music and culture publication by The House of Hayes, a sister team comprised of Maggie and Liz Hayes. Although Liz currently lives in New York, the sisters seamlessly collaborate on HXH to feature creative individuals who inspire them. Last May, the House of Hayes curated an exhibition entitled “First Class” to coincide with the release of their most recent quarterly publication. They totally transformed a deserted, graffiti-covered dairy into a fantastical wonderland of art, complete with a rope swing hanging from the rafters. HXH Quarterly is currently on it’s 4th issue, “Trip Out on This,” which features Savannah-based artist Emily Hadland, collage artist Dewey Saunders, Rexedog, Britt Andrews and Sarah Ruggieri, among others.
All images courtesy of Emma Hatch.