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Meet Your Zine Maker #3: The La-La Theory

December 6, 2011

An ongoing series of Q&A segments with Brooklyn Zine Fest 2012 exhibitors.

The La-La Theory is the umbrella under which Katie Haegele publishes all her zines and books, including The La-La Theory itself, a zine about language. La-La issue #8 is about handwriting in the digital age.

 Katie’s other zines include Garden Club, a personal story illustrated by the comics artist Mardou; her poetry book Obsolete, which consists of poems inspired by dead words of English; Things I’ve Lost/Things I’ve Found, another personally revealing, funny little story with illustrations and screen-printed covers.  At the Brooklyn Zine Fest, she’ll also be peddling other paper goods, including envelopes made from hideous old cookbooks, and greeting cards with severely excellent 90s skateboarding motifs.

Your zine Obsolete is inspired by dead English words and the way we used to communicate with each other.  What are your thoughts on what appears to be renewed interest in zines?

The key is that, as digital becomes the default medium for communication, print objects become art or fetish objects. People treasure them and have a different relationship to them than they did when publishing in print – either traditionally or “radically” as a zine maker – was the only option.
I also think that the cult of the 80s is finally over and people have moved onto enjoying 90s nostalgia, which includes zines, especially riot grrrl stuff.
My third thought is that plenty of people have been making zines all along, and sometimes interest from the mainstream press distorts things like this and makes it seem like it’s a current trend in a way that it might be, yeah, but also might not be.


What is your favorite word that we no longer use?

There are lots of good ones. From the batch of 26 I used in Obsolete, I think my favorite one, the most memorable to me, is “murklins,” which means “in the dark.” I love words that sound like what they mean.

Tell us about a place in your neighborhood that inspires you.

There are four branch libraries within walking distance of me, and I am a connoisseur: I know which one has the best DVD selection, the coziest chairs for reading the paper, the best selection of weird old nonfiction books, and so on.
I love them all in different ways but one of them happens to be across the street from this colonial house museum that’s a hidden neighborhood gem; I’ve lived within a mile of it for years and only recently found out about it because the garden club I belong to tends the herb garden there.
This is my task now, overseeing this lovely garden, so I enjoy visiting the library, then darting across the scary-busy street to get to the garden that’s tucked away behind the old house.

Photo taken in the Anchor Archive Zine Library in Halifax.

Is there anything you’re planning/hoping to do while in Brooklyn?

Hm, good question. Any suggestions? I’ve never been to Word bookstore in Greenpoint but I’ve heard it’s good, so I’d be interested to visit there.

What do you like about attending or tabling at zine events?

The conversations!  I always meet interesting people who are excited to talk about books, ideas, music, art, and  their own projects.  It’s really invigorating and I always come away from these events with new ideas popping into my head, and sometimes even a new friend or two.

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