Terence Hannum Interviews Lala Art Books and Editions
Give us a brief history of art books and editions in your practice. When did you start publishing books and making editions, where are you based and what would you say are your guiding principles to making your publications?
I started making zines a few years ago, half because I was starting to make comics and half because I thought it would be a good way to meet people. I mostly make short comics and drawings. While I’m still fine-tuning my technique, formulating ways to work out my ideas, I feel like the best way to present that is in something cheap and almost throwaway like a self-published zine. I also like the social aspect- tabling at festivals, seeing people you never see – and having something physical there has also been something I think about when I make a book or zine.
For a few years I was putting out an annual zine series called Alien Invasion. The first few were mostly drawings and some text, for the last one in 2013 I decided to move fully into comics. I’ve made a few tiny sketchbook zines as well. More recently I’ve been working with different publishers doing short-run minicomics. An oversized newspaper story was put out by Floating World Comics (http://floatingworldcomics.com/), Sacred Prism (http://sacredprism.tumblr.com/) and Breakdown Press (http://www.breakdownpress.com/) have both published my comics using risograph and last year I did a full-color mini with Latvian publisher kuš! (http://www.komikss.lv/). I’ve also made some short comics for various anthologies. I’m in Brooklyn, NY.
You make publications and separate them into comics and zines, how do you determine which ideas become comics or which become zines?
I don’t really differentiate. If I printed it cheaply and stapled it together myself it’s a zine. Sometimes it’s a comics zine, sometimes it’s drawings or writing. If someone else publishes it, they call it whatever they want and I work within their format. I don’t think I’ve made any comics that don’t end up printed somewhere.
Why printed material? What is it about the physical over the digital? Do you ever augment your printed work with web based approaches (please provide us with links – if so)?
Personally I prefer to read comics on paper, there’s a richness and softness to the experience I don’t really get reading the same material on the internet. I do enjoy web-specific work but if it’s between reading a piece online or that same piece on paper, I prefer the latter.
The downside to working in print, especially zines and small editions, is you reach a much smaller audience–but it’s a different one than online. You can’t get random people stumbling over your work in a store online. I like that magic of finding something cool you would never have seen online, discovering new art away from anything you already know to look for.
Since my comics usually have small print-runs, I like to post my them in full on my website and tumblr once they’re out of print. I have a hard time making something digital-specific, I think because I make my art on paper and it looks best that way in its final presentation to me too.
What are you most looking forward to seeing at the Open Space Prints and Multiples Fair?
I liked all the sculpture and objects I saw when I went last year, looking forward to seeing more of that. Most of the events I go to are pretty strictly print work so it’s nice to see what else is out there.
Was there a specific artist or art publication that got you into creating or printing these yourself and starting a press? If so, what was it? Do you still have the publication?
One of the first zines I got was from Connor Willumsen (http://connorwillumsen.com/) in 2009, this wordless story about people in some sorta space suits I think, attached by a tube. The use of the page, the minimal printing (it was photocopied 5.5×8.5), I realized I could make something like that with what I had. Unfortunately I don’t have it anymore, I think I lent it to a friend who never gave it back. I put together my first comic zine about a year later. I really liked the idea of being able to make a object that was not precious, but still ephemeral and treasurable.
Will you be debuting a special edition or new publication at the fair? If so tell us about it.
I haven’t made any new comics lately but I will have the second printing of my comic Janus, originally published at the end of 2014 by Breakdown Press. I’m working on a small screen print that should be ready by PMF as well, a two-color portrait with shadows. I’d like to get more into making small prints, so this first one will be a toe dipping in the water for me.
More info: http://plslala.com/
Please check out Lala Art Books and Editions at the Open Space Publications and Multiples Fair, April 9th and 10th at the Baltimore Design School. Both Terence Hannum and BmoreArt will be participating in the PMF so please stop by and say hello.
Author Terence Hannum is a Baltimore based visual artist and musician who performs solo, with the avant-metal band Locrian (Relapse Records) and the dark synthpop duo The Holy Circle. Hannum is an Assitant Professor of Art at Stevenson University. He has had solo exhibitions at Guest Spot (Baltimore), Western Exhibitions (Chicago, IL), Stevenson University, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Gallery 400 at UIC (Chicago, IL). And in group shows at TSA (Brooklyn, NY), sophiajacob (Baltimore, MD), Allegra La Viola (NYC), City Ice Arts (Kansas City, MO) & Jonathan Ferrara Gallery (New Orleans, LA).