“Tentaclerental is Ren Wednesday, a queer zine-maker, artist, carer, sometime podcaster, and fledgling drummer who lives in Glasgow and is acquiring hobbies at an alarming rate. Their published zines are both personal and fictional, and explore themes including queer identity and death and memory. They also enjoy drawing cats.”
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name’s Ren Wednesday, I’m a 30-something queer and non-binary artist and carer. I’ve only been making zines for a couple of years but I’m having a good time.
What do zines mean to you?
Zines to me mean queer self-expression, mischief, exploration, radical politics and cheap art.
How did you first get started with zines?
The first zines I read were vegan cooking zines in the mid-late 2000s. Making them myself took much longer because I had very little confidence in my abilities! Eventually, after a couple of years of submitting comics to the late TGC collective’s anthologies, I wanted to complete a medium-sized creative project of my own, so I made my first zine, High Precision Ghosts.
How would you build the perfect snowman?
Maybe I’d copy Calvin’s giant tentacled one from Calvin and Hobbes. That was pretty perfect.
Tell us about your zines.
My zines so far probably all fall into the broad category of storytelling. Some of them are literally fiction, but others are telling a story about my own life. My most recent one is called ‘It’s Certainly A Lovely Afternoon’, and it’s illustrating words spoken by my grandad, towards the end of his life when he had developed Alzheimer’s and was sitting looking out the window at the birds, and trees, and sunshine and narrating what he saw.
What resources do you use to create your zines? Tell us about your zine-making process.
My zine-making process varies, but I tend to draw or paint on paper, and then scan stuff in and add text digitally using Clip Studio Paint. One resource I’ve found super useful is the British Library’s open domain images Flickr account – they’ve scanned in thousands of photos and illustrations from old books, so they’re perfect for using in zines if you can’t/don’t want to draw.
Do you have any advice for newbie zine makers?
Invest in a long-armed stapler if you can!
Can you tell us your favourite cracker joke?
‘Why do robots have no brothers?’ ‘Because they all have trans-sisters’
What is your favourite thing about zine culture?
I like that zine culture encourages people to follow their heart and make weird, silly, niche or personal stuff, without worrying about whether there’s a market for it.
Do you have a favourite zine or zinester?
A zine I recently loved was Seleena Laverne Daye’s ‘What’s your flavour?’, which is about crisps.
Why do you make zines?
I find it really satisfying! I like working through an idea, drawing and writing and then having a physical object I’ve made to put on a shelf. It’s neat.
How are you celebrating the holiday season?
This holiday season I plan to eat lots of roast parsnips, hang out (remotely) with loved ones, and rewatch Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.
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