GET TO KNOW YOUR VENDOR: Fair Dig Press.
Fair Dig Press is a very interesting name, how did it come about?
Thank you, I’m glad it sparks interest! Back when I played music in Phoenix, my photographer friend Jenny Hunter took some publicity photos of me outside an abandoned house. I found a shovel on the ground and posed with it over my shoulder, with one of my lyrics in mind about shovels and holes in the desert in mind. (My songs were… dark.) So I kept that motif in mind when I was trying to come up with a label to slap on my next creative endeavor. I researched idioms and found that “fair dig” is Irish slang for a fight or for a fair punch (like, the opposite of a cheap shot). Since my first zine was about learning to cagefight - or trying to learn before getting injured - it seemed like an appropriate fit. And then when I decided to expand my publishing ambitions beyond just my own writing, and start putting out authors, I decided to keep the name attached to it.
Is Fair Dig the first and only zine you have created? If so when and how did it come about?
It is the first I created, though not the first I’ve written for. I wrote submissions for other zines for a while, and did interviews for an alt-comedy zine called MODEST PROPOSAL. I read a lot more zines than I actually wrote for, but a few years back I got involved in promoting L.A. Zine Fest through my podcast Shakeytown Radio, and started volunteering for them. I was inspired to start writing my own zine, and used the story of my fight training to launch FAIR DIG. Since then, I’ve also put out a photography and prose collection called COUCHED and a split with MEND MY DRESS writer Neely Bat Chestnut called… DIG MY DRESS. (Get it?!) I also published Aurora Lady’s DON’T HIDE BEHIND YOUR SKIRT, though my role was as an editor and publisher. It’s all her great writing and art design.
Is there a definitive moment where you decide on what you should and shouldn’t share with the world, or does it take some serious pondering?
This has been and continues to be very difficult to negotiate. It’s been a problem ever since I started performing music, and only got worse in zines, because I could at least hide meanings in song lyrics. I can do that somewhat with poetry and prose, but perzines put everything out there, even if you assign real-life people pseudonyms or gloss over identifying details. That only protects the person from the reading audience who doesn’t know them, it doesn’t protect you from the person you’re writing about recognizing themselves in the text! So I have to consult certain trusted people in my life and have them rein me in. Honestly, it’s why there aren’t more issues of FAIR DIG. I had planned for it to be quarterly. I’ve put out two issues. I’ve published other stuff since, but not a FAIR DIG #3, because I’m wondering how much of the last year of my life to reveal. Still pondering…
Listening to your podcast reading of “Guillermo”, you mentioned taking up weight training after leaving Jiu-Jitsu school. Has anything crazy happened with that?
Nothing crazy, just the occasional injury. My gym and my coaches take very good care of us, but I’m in my mid-30s with no real athletic background, so when I exert myself too far, my body pays for it. I think the strangest thing for me has been gaining 50 pounds (it’s been during my wife’s pregnancy so I’m blaming it on Couvade syndrome) and losing the momentum I had going in my CrossFit classes. I’ll write about that in FAIR DIG #3, and hopefully FAIR DIG #4 will chronicle my return to “fighting shape” (so to speak).
Is there anything you’d like I.E. Zine Fest attendees to know before hitting up your booth?
That I won’t be there! I’m sorry to miss them. I will have a newborn son in my arms or on the way, so my dear friend Tori Holder will be representing Fair Dig Press, and selling her own great work at the same table. (Hopefully, she’ll have BOWERBIRD available, which has a scene in it that takes place during the events of mine and Neely’s split DIG MY DRESS.) Also, that each of my zines are written to be enjoyed on their own, but there is definitely a through-line in my work. I consider FAIR DIG #1 and #2 a two-part story, but it ends on a cliffhanger that I think COUCHED and DIG MY DRESS kind of fill in. And if you can only buy one thing and want to know what “the best” zine Fair Dig Press has put out, then that is far and away Aurora Lady’s DON’T HIDE BEHIND YOUR SKIRT. I am really proud of having published her story, and that she was the first author that the press worked with. (But not the last…)