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Portland Zine Symposium / Exhibitor Interviews  / PZS Exhibitor: Aaron Brassea

PZS Exhibitor: Aaron Brassea

Where do you live?

Northeast Portland. Eastside!

If this is your first time tabling at Portland Zine Symposium, what excites you most about Portland and its zine community?

This is my… eighth time tabling I think? The best part of Zine Symposium for me is always meeting new creators and finding new work to enjoy, along with catching up with people I’ve met at previous shows.

Share with us an image of you creating and/or your creative space. What is your zine-making process?

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My zines are mostly comics. The writing process can vary from project to project. Recently I’ve been working with a co-writer, Kevin Spenst, who I just found out will be joining me at Zine Symposium this year. Usually one of us will come up with a silly idea, then one of us will write a script for the idea. We’ll bounce it back and forth a few times until we think it’s perfect.

I’ll usually pencil the comics in front of my computer, using Google image search for references, and using a Fantagraphics Popeye book as a desk. I ink at my drawing table, then move back to the computer to scan, clean up the line art, and add gray tones.

How do you keep inspired?

Having a co-writer helps stay inspired, because we’re always working to make each other laugh. Deadlines help too. We post a page a week to make sure things keep moving.

If you could give your 16th year old teen self a zine, which one would it be?

I think I would have to go with something by Sam Szabo, probably Space Opera. His writing and art are both silly, breezy, and deceptively simple. The perfect combination to make someone not only think “I could do that,” but also “I want to do that.”

What are you working on for this year’s Portland Zine Symposium? Share with us some photos of your new work!

I’ll have two new issues of AP US History this year. Previous issues have been a grab bag of random comics, but the new ones are each themed and sort of tell a story over the course of twenty self-contained one page comics. Volume 4 goes through the history of Gandhi’s classic rivalry with Hitler. Volume 5 is Freudian Time Slips, which of course follows Sigmund Freud (along with his sidekick Albert Einstein) as he leaps… errr… slips through time when he misspeaks.