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Meet Your Zine Maker #28: Partyka

January 31, 2012

Partyka is a collective of five cartoonists/illustrators based in Philadelphia and New York: Sean McCarthy, Sally Madden, Matt Wiegle, John Mejias, and Shawn Cheng. They self-publish comics and prints that have been featured in Best American Comics 2007, 2008, & 2011; Fredericks Freiser Gallery; and the 2011 Desert Island Whitney Zine Party. In keeping with their collaborative spirit, each member of Partyka tackled a different question in this lively Q&A.


Partyka regularly features a guest artist who joins the club for a month.  How does this revolving spot in the roster change the group as a whole?

Matt: Guest artists have been a good way to keep in touch with fellow artists and to see them make things that we might not normally see them make, like Joey Weiser’s Gamera-as-Snoopy drawing, or Sally Madden’s drawing of a bunch of cats eating me for dinner. That one went over so well that she joined Partyka and she and I got married.

What is the best part of working with the other artists in the Partyka collective?

Sally: The other members of the collective are some of the most dependable people I get to work with—we can count on one another for an honest (but so very polite) critique to improve our various projects. The diversity of our individual styles provides enough illusion of a lack of competition but with a similar enough sensibility that we can enjoy each other’s work without secret evil thoughts. I’m by far the least worldly member of the collective, but the best thing about being the only woman is that you don’t need to be the cleverest, just the prettiest.


With members in both cities, how do you settle the inevitable “Philadelphia vs. New York” arguments?

Sean: I grew up in Texas, so the New York/Philly rivalry has always seemed about as absurd to me as the Harvard/Yale rivalry—aren’t we talking about basically the same kind of people in both places? That said, I choose to live in New York, but I respect Philly for inspiring Eraserhead, hosting the Peter Saul retrospective when New York failed to rise to the occasion, and being home to Jack’s Delicatessen.


What new zines will Partyka have on hand at the Brooklyn Zine Fest?

Shawn: We’ll have a few new zines at the fest, including an assortment of hand-printed woodcut zines from John and possibly a 2nd issue of Filebox from Sean and Let’s All Go to the Pants Farm from Matt.

Partyka recently tabled at the Desert Island Zine Party in the Whitney Museum [organized by Desert Island, the Williamsburg comic shop / BZF 2012 tabler].  What other museum/cultural institution/public space would you like to take over?

John: Partyka will attend any and all good places that will have us. From a Museum to your Aunt Helen’s kitchen we will set up a table of books with a fantastic tablecloth. No venue is too big or too small to exchange art and ideas.


“Meet Your Zine Maker:” Q&A segments with Brooklyn Zine Fest 2012 exhibitors.

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