“so it’s like this” is urbigfrog’s first zine and contains drawings and comics about QTPOC, intimacy, bodies and mental illness. This zine has been likened to “that burst of laughter that comes out of nowhere during a depressive episode”.
urbigfrog dropped out of a promising academic career in psychology because it scarcely acknowledges people with mental illness as people. Now they make art all about it for their fellow QTPOC.
WHY DID YOU START MAKING ZINES?
I was inspired to make a zine by reading very honest and thoughtful zines by fantastic Melbourne-based comic artists and zine makers that offered an outlet for my own parallel experiences. These inspired me to get back into drawing after many years of inactivity. I’ve never posted my art online and never intended to, but I thought zines were a worthwhile and very local way to share comics with others. I also have to give credit to my friend, Max, who not only help set up opportunities for me to create and launch my zine, but constantly encouraged me to fight harder for the art I want to make. Neither of us studied art but are both excited about entering the Melbourne comics scene.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF THE COMMUNITY?
I met local comic artists and zine makers through friends and at zine fairs, which has been a confronting way of bringing down those totally false mental and social barriers between the people you admire and the people you call your friends. It’s fun having that mad rush at zine fairs to see people you know/ whose zines you’ve admired… also as far as I’m aware there’s no beef in the zine scene. Or maybe there is and I have no idea👀
I’ve also had strangers DM me to say they connected with my zine, wanna start making zines or got my zine from a friend who got theirs from a friend, which brings me so much joy. It’s wild how zines are shared in such quiet ways. I guess when you grow up online you expect to immediately witness the spread and impact of people’s work.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE?
Don’t hold yourself to an impossible standard. Your first zine can be anything, but it isn’t anything until you actually make it. If constantly asking yourself “is this even good enough” is preventing you from doing it, then the problem might not be the work, you might just be psyching yourself out. Yes, it’s good enough. Also if you’re really struggling, collaborate with a friend. This is a good way to learn with/about another person, lighten the load and also refer to each other’s memories when you need help making another zine. Unless working together totally ruins your relationship, you have the convenience of asking each other – How do I format the pages again? What was the thing we used last time? Why make a zine?