ARTIST PROFILE: JOHN AKRE
What inspired you to start making zines?
I took a comic book making class at MCAD with my girlfriend Beth a couple years ago. Ryan Kelly taught the class. Once I started making comics, I was hooked.
What is your creative process like?
It’s like a garden that starts with good intentions and nice orderly rows of seeds. But sometime in June or so the weeds start taking over, and I never seem to be able to catch up with them. Sometimes I forget which things are weeds and which things are the plants that I wanted to grow, but maybe that doesn’t really matter. Sometimes the weeds grow up to be animated cartoons, sometimes they become mini-comics.
Which part of TCZF are you most excited about?
Getting a chance to walk the rows of vendors and see what amazing things people are making. Building up the courage to actually talk to people is stressful, but once the words start to come out it is usually quite exciting.
Who are some of your favorite fellow zine writers?
Favorites include Beth Peloff, Matt Reints (he took the same comics class I did), Will Dinski, Mark Ehling, Mike Toft, and everybody else I have met at past zinefests.
Do you have any plans for your zine-related future? If so, what are they?
I will be unleashing the first couple mini-comics in what promises to be a long series about my addiction to 8mm film and video at this zinefest. I am also organizing a small animation festival that will be on Thursday September 13 at the Ritz Theater. It is called MinnAnimate, and more info can be found here.
Anything else we should know about you?
I make wine from grapes I grow in my backyard.
John’s website is right here!