Interview with Kathy Moseley

The next Library Journal zine reviews column, due out on the internet in early September will review zines by people who came out of "retirement" to create a new zine after at least five years. For my 500 word introduction I interviewed each of the zine publishers reviewed. With only 500 words (and really that was probably too long), I couldn't include all of the great stuff each person had said. Therefore, I'm posting all of the interviews here. Third up is Kathy Moseley, who donated her zine collection to DePaul University and continues to add to her gift (finding aid pdf). She does the zine SemiBold.

What drew you back to print? What do you value about print/print culture?

I decided to make another issue of SemiBold because I had kind of a longish story to tell, and at that point I had barely started a blog, so I didn't really have an audience online yet. And I also missed the process of creating a zine — I'd always loved the design/layout/art aspects of it as well as the writing. I've kept a toe in the waters all along, doing the layout for Xerography Debt and occasionally writing some reviews. I'm really glad that people are continuing to make zines. With the ease of blogging and posting your every thought to the internet, it does take some extra effort and time (and expense) to produce a printed piece -- you really need to WANT to do it.

Do you have an online presence, as well? (blog, LiveJournal, Twitter, tumblr, flickr, etc.) If so, how does your zine content differ or overlap from what you publish online?

I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and I have a blog on Wordpress. I'm sure that's part of the reason I've neglected print for so long. I'm connected with so many of my friends (from the zine community and otherwise) via social networking that I feel less of a need to send out something in the mail in order to stay in touch with them. I regret that to a certain degree. I also let social networking (and the internet in general) absorb a lot of the time that I could be working on a zine if I was less of a procrastinator. I think of my zine as more of a "long-form" product. Facebook & Twitter aren't conducive to complex stories, and even though I have a blog, I haven't published much of substance on it yet. I still like the idea of a book-like thing that you can sit down and read without needing technology to do so.

Do you know about Revenge of Print 2011? If so, did it/will it inspire you to make a zine this year?

I am planning on creating something for "Revenge of Print," but I'm not sure what form it will take. It might be something that lives under a different name than "SemiBold." I have a few ideas.

How many pen pals do you have? How many did you have when you published your previous zine?

I guess I don't really have anyone that I would call a "pen pal" anymore. I'm connected to so many people on Facebook and Twitter that I feel like I'm "in touch" with them on a somewhat regular basis, (some more than others). When I first started my zine in the mid-90s, it was right around the time that most people were starting to use e-mail, so a lot of my correspondence was electronic even then. But I did have several paper mail correspondents aside from the people I traded zines with, and I still have many of those letters.

Did you choose to start over with a new title? Why/why not?

I considered it, because it had been so long since my last issue. But then I thought it might be better for the "name recognition" factor if I continued as SemiBold.

Do you ever regret something you said/drew in an earlier zine? Enough to want it removed from any libraries that hold it? Have any general thoughts on zine libraries?

I get a little cringe-y in retrospect about some of my writing and things that I might've said differently, but I don't know if I really regret anything that much — certainly not enough to pull copies from libraries! I love the idea of zine libraries, but I wonder how much they are utilized, and how many people even know they exist. I've been honored with my own "Kathy Moseley Zine Collection" at the DePaul University Library here in Chicago, which thrills me to no end. When my designated zine shelf at home gets too full, I box them up and send them to DePaul for posterity.