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Zinesters in LCF Special Collections #19

Written by Justyna Burzynska
Published date 01 May 2018

Name and location.
I’m Monica Gallagher from Baltimore, Maryland, in the States!

How long have you been making zines for?
I started when I was in high school, so about 20 years? Eek. I’m old.

What do you like to create zines about?
Typically autobiographical stories of past experiences, which hopefully people can relate to – body image, relationship problems, self defense, etc! The smaller, more creative format of zines lends itself really well to sharing more intimate, personal stories.

What is your favourite zine/comic/book?
Picking just one is really difficult!! A comic that influenced me a lot was Ranma 1/2 by Rumiko Takahashi – it was fun, romantic, slapstick, action, and most importantly the characters all grew and changed. And it was just a super fun read that was well crafted.

Tell us a bit more about your creative process..
I have kind of a looong process, which I need to speed up a bit! I start by writing down ideas and dialogue, then thumbnail sketch visual ideas, pencil and ink by hand, and color and letter in Photoshop on the computer.
What does it feel like to have your zine in the London College of Fashion Library’s Special Collections?
It feels amazing! I love how comics can connect readers and creators all over the world – they’re such a dynamic, universal medium.

What influenced Boobage?
I created Boobage at a time in my life when I both wanted to feel better about my body (and all its imagined shortcomings) as well as reach out to anyone else with similar body issues to tell them they weren’t alone. It’s become my most popular book and it’s introduced me to many wonderful people, so it worked!

What one piece of advice would you give UAL students about zine making?
Just keep doing it – keep writing, keep drawing, keep producing whatever your process. You can overanalyze it later – for now, just put stuff down and watch how much you learn and improve!