Meet Your Zine Maker #18: Dre Grigoropol
Q&A with a Brooklyn Zine Fest 2012 exhibitor.
Dre Grigoropol creates homemade comic books about living an anti-glamour lifestyle filled with hi jinks, mischief, and surprises. Story topics include movie theater etiquette, extreme rock-star idolization, conflicts with menacing fashionistas, and trying to stay true to oneself.
Dre’s work has been featured in the Dirty Diamonds anthology, the Secret Prison tabloid, Art House Co-op’s Sketchbook Project 2011, and the blog Covered. She also co-organizes the Philly Comix Jam, a monthly meeting for Philadelphia cartoonists.
How did you start making comics? What keeps you working in this medium?
When I was a little kid, I was already a big fan of comics with a large collection. I would draw all the time, and I would create comics too, which were very similar to those I do now. I like how I can take control of printing my work by going to print shops and making multiples of books. The alternative comics community keeps growing bigger, and there is a lot that I’m looking forward to in 2012.
Comics is the medium that seems most natural to me. I am enthusiastic about the straightforward communication that comics epitomize.
Read anything great recently?
Yes, I recently read the Whatcha’ Mean, What’s A Zine? guide to zines; I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in making zines and comics or/and teaching others how to make them. The book is by Mark Todd and Ester Pearl Watson, with many other amazing contributors.
Ester Pearl Watson has been one of my inspirations. I became familiar with her comic Tammy Pierce is Unlovable years ago through Bust, one of my favorite magazines. In Whatcha’ Mean, What’s A Zine?, there is an interview with Laurie Henzel, one of the co-founders of Bust, who describes how Bust started off as a zine. This book is a masterpiece.
How do you usually find zines and comics that interest you?
By looking around at festivals, book shops, the library, and searching the web. I know a lot of people who make comics too, many through the Philly Comix Jam, a monthly event I am currently an organizer of. I really recommend participating in a local get-together like a comix jam. If you don’t have one nearby, start one in your community.
What do you like about attending or tabling at zine events?
I find tabling at events like this to be thrilling. I need to expose my work to a real live audience who is interested in what I’m doing. I like traveling to other cities and meeting new people. You never know who you are going to meet, or what new opportunities will come your way because of participating in events like the Brooklyn Zine Fest.