This year has been a wild ride, let me tell you. Rachna and I had talked about wanting to self-publish, but it seemed easier said than done. And when we made it to DC Zine Fest, we had no choice but to create and print and staple and sew. Then we made it to Richmond Zine Fest, and we had to do it all over again.
To be honest, I brought my materials to work and started stitching my zines together at the office. I cut out squares for “TWINS” on my formica desk and left accidental scars from a new Xacto blade. I was staying up past one in the morning, only to wake up at 6 AM to get to work, and I cried as I listened to St. Vincent. I hated myself for doing this, but I hadn’t felt this excited in so long. Why else would they call it a labor of love?
Rachna fell asleep at her desk and would prop her head up with her hand. Since our desks face the wall, anyone who came in believed she was lost in thought instead of in her dreams. She’s pulled all-nighters to draw mini zines and her 30 comics, and she’s helped me cut and glue. We finished marketing projects during lunch and took photos with extra lights pulled from empty cubicles. I would adjust the light according to Rachna’s directions, and she would snap what she could on her phone. You would never know there was a 70-pound safe in the original photo of our first LC Press posts. We became cropping queens.
We made friends with other zinesters from fests we attended and met artists we admired from Instagram for real. We flipped through some zines at Small Press Expo and became good friends with Cam del Rosario. We even did a collab with him (which is AWESOME; shout out to “Living Space”, y’all). Honestly, it hurts that he lives in Louisville.
Every time the zine fest cycle begins, we feel anxious and excited, like when you’re going to Kindergarten for the first time. You wonder, will I make any friends? Will anyone like me? Will they like what I have to offer? It scares me every time, even though we’ve met some wonderful people. When potential buyers of your work approach your table and their faces change from delighted to horrified, it’s…well, it’s an experience.
Late Comeback was never about the money. And even though I say that, Rachna and I genuinely hope that LC Press will become so much more than just the two of us. Right now, it’s more important that we are seen, and we have been. Thank you so much for seeing us, for experiencing this with us. We’ll see you next year, with a new batch of zines.