mercredi 1 septembre 2010

Pimp my Zine

Dans le vaste et immense monde des périodiques imprimés, il y en a des petits, des épais, des grands, des fins, ceux en papier glossy, ceux en papier chiotte, ceux qu’on jette aussitôt et ceux qu’on garde méticuleusement, ceux qui appartiennent à des méchantes multi-nationales et ceux qui font indie un peu canaille cra-cra, ceux qu’on lit par habitude et puis ceux dont on attend chaque parution avec un brin d’impatience, d’inquiétude, d’angoisse, voire de peur-panique (parce que, hein, et si c’était le dernier pour toujours, le précédent ?) ... Parmi les magazines consacrés à l’art urbain, il y a un peu de tout ça aussi ... Mais il y a aussi le tout bonnement émouvant Very Nearly Almost (aka VNA) ! Nous avons demandé à George Macdonald, son créateur et éditeur, de nous en parler dans sa mother tongue native :

What is the added value of a print version over a digital format nowadays ?

I am a collector ... I collect things ! I don’t collect websites, digital images or PDF zines ! I like physical zines, magazines and books and so does everyone who works on VNA. It is a real piece of history and one day, when the internet melts down, you will all be happy you bought a copy of VNA ! Plus, independent publishing is dying out so quickly, so we should all be supporting small independent publishers ... It is important, you know.

Why have you been through various print formats and retail prices since 2006 ?

Well, when I first released issue 1 of VNA in september 2006, it was a black and white zine and it was free. The response was amazing and so, by issue 3, I got some printed and began to sell them in shops and galleries. Back then it was £ 2.00. So when I added some colour pages, the printing cost went up and so I started to charge £ 3.00 and then £ 3.50 when we got it printed on some nice paper from issue 7 onwards. Then, by issue 10, we increased the size to a little under A4 and had to up the price again. It has nothing to do with making money ... Because VNA doesn’t make money ! It is strictly to cover the printing costs.

What do you know about your readership ?

Our readership is pretty broad. Sure, people who are into street art and graffiti are into the magazine ... But now we are introducing more illustration, fine art, design, etc ... We are really reaching out to new readers and introducing them to street art and graffiti. I got lots of e-mails saying that VNA is inspiring to them and these people work in TV, music and advertising ... It is a great feeling to be inspiring people with our magazine.

How do you see stencils as a street art form versus graffs, tags and others ?

Stencils are just another way of getting up. I love the way a stencil can be really intricate and blow someone’s mind with various layers and colours ... But a single colour, simple stencil placed in a good spot can have just the same effect, if not bigger ! It is all about ideas and some people can portray ideas and style in a tag, paste-up or sticker ... Others chose stencils. Obviously, people like Banksy and Blek le Rat have spawned a lot of imitators, which is both good and bad ... But it is the idea that counts. I am impressed by people that have the balls to put their work up on the street in any way, shape or form. I am no art critic so we put in all types of street art in the magazine because it is up to the readers to judge whether they like it or not ...

Dans VNA, il y a des photos et des interviews d’artistes déjà famous et d’autres encore newcomers. Dans VNA, il y a surtout beaucoup d’amour et de passion pur-jus ! Nous n’avons pas demandé à George l’origine du nom qu’il a donné à son zine (heu, on aurait dû ?) mais entre nos mains, sous nos yeux et dans nos coeurs, une chose est sûre : avec son look and feel un peu néo-luddite borderline ultra-low tech (comme le street art, finalement), VNA ... C’est Vraiment Notre Ami !

VNA a aussi son site (aaah, quand même ... !) à (hééé, on échappe au ... !) et vous y apprendrez que le prochain numéro a du Roa dedans.

Copyright : Interview et photographie par Serge-Louis pour Brigadier Plipp.

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