Saturday, February 27, 2010
I came across Interrobang, a bi-monthly zine created by Sarah Marshall and Lou Horvath, about a month ago while browsing through Etsy. When I read that they were taking poetry and short story submissions, I decided to give a shot. After exchanging a few emails with Sarah, it was decided that one of my short stories, Porcelain Girl, would be featured in issue five!
To learn more about Interrobang's creators and the zine itself, read the interview below.
What is Interrobang Magazine?
Interrobang is a self-published, bi-monthly online and print magazine that features poetry, short stories, art, and music.
Lou: In the title page for each zine, it says that Interrobang is a magazine established by Lou and Sarah. Sarah's choice of "established" is apt. One of its meanings is: "to introduce and cause to grow and multiply." That seems like a way forward.
When did Interrobang Magazine begin?
We began to work on the first issue in the summer of 2009.
What is some background information of the zine's creators?
Sarah: I am currently a senior in high school and will be moving to New York City in the fall to attend Parsons the New School for Design. At the time that Interrobang was established, I was primarily interested in fine art photography, which I had been doing for about three years. The zine has since piqued my interest in experimenting with other forms of art, including collage, mixed media work, and drawing.
Lou: Bachelor's degree in History, Master's in Counseling Psychology, recently retired after 15 years evaluating the work potential of people with disabilities. Lived, wrote, did odd jobs in Pittsburgh, California, the New York North Country, DelMarVa peninsula, Manhattan (1971-1989). Currently residing in hometown with 14 year-old son, Dante.
Published poems, prose, some collages and criticism in magazines such as: The Paris Review (first poem, 1972), Sun and Moon (Sun and Moon also published a chapbook of poems, VU), Telephone, Benzene, Smegma, Nice, La Bas, Truce, Ararat, Arete, Konglomerati, The Pittsburgh Quarterly (Print, and On-line, which serialized my novel, The Vulture and the Mother).
Why did you choose the name "Interrobang?"
Many different names were considered, but "Interrobang" seemed to work best. An interrobang is a punctuation mark that combines an exclamation point with a question mark. This symbol is used on the first page and back cover of every issue.
What is the process of developing and publishing a zine?
Sarah: We work on our projects individually and then decide what we feel should be included in the issue. When our ideas are in place, I begin to design the page layouts. We e-mail the spreads back and forth, offering feedback to one another, until the pages are complete. The issue is printed in relatively small quantities, and then bound, using either a sewing machine or binding it by hand. The zine is then listed on etsy and copies are distributed to a local bookstore. Recently we have created an online edition of Interrobang, so the final process of publishing an issue is uploading it to issuu.com and posting it to our blog.
Lou: Sarah is the driving force of Interrobang. Since she is the visual artist, she is the eye of the zine and gives it its look. She came up with the current format and she even has sewn the pages of the zine together with thread provided by her grandmother. With the introduction of the music playlists in issue two, she has provided our readers with a unique and interesting feature.
Where or from what do you gather inspiration for each issue?
Sarah: I generally don't obtain direct inspiration from anything in particular. Usually the inspiration stems from the medium itself when I'm creating work for the zine. Most of the processes (collage and mixed media) are new to me, so I really just experimenting most of the time.
Do you have any long term goals for Interrobang Magazine?
Lou: We haven't talked at all, about a "philosophy" of the zine. It's always been about the mutual admiration of each other’s work. We use what each of us comes up with, if we agree on it (including poems by Betsy Sherrier in issues one and two). I have had the opportunity of contributing poems, prose, translations from the Russian language, a chronology of my novel, The Vulture and the Mother. Currently working on a short story, Peck Slip Blues, which will be serialized beginning in I5. In future issues I’d like to turn a critical eye toward literature for which I have a high regard. With issue five, we will welcome two new writers (new for us) to the zine. I look forward to reading many more submissions as we continue.
Sarah: Interrobang has been a very interesting, rewarding project that I truly enjoy. I hope to continue to publish the zine for quite some time. It would be really great to continue to feature contributions from talented writers and artists and increase our readership with every issue as well.
How can you win?
Simply leave a comment below. If you don't have a blog then please leave an email address so you can be contacted if you are the winner. This giveaway is open to international readers.
To gain an extra entry, blog/tweet about this giveaway. Leave a link in a comment.
The giveaway will run for two weeks and a winner will be chosen randomly March 13th.
And remember to visit Interrobang's blog and Etsy shop to show your support for independent artists.
P.S. I also encourage you to visit Sarah's photostream. Aside from being a huge driving force behind the zine, she is also a very talented photographer.