Care is a disquieted state of mixed uncertainty, apprehension, and responsibility; a suffering of the mind; painstaking and watchful attention, maintenance, charge, and supervision. Self-care and first aid places these concerns towards oneself with a DIY mentality. Long-Arm Stapler First Aid brings together an assortment of zines and comics that address health-related issues ranging from mental to physical, personal to societal, and preventative to regenerative. These largely self-published works address, at times, incredibly personal experiences, usually with a large dose of wit.
Unlike a film or a painting, readers of zines and comics are able to engage with these works at their own pace, choosing when they are ready to confront the next page. Perhaps this is what allows authors to broach difficult, and often very personal, topics with great breadth of emotion, honesty, and clarity. Through the combination of words and images, artists are able to rely on multiple modes of communication to bring together the tangible and the cerebral. Often the very act of making a zine is considered a therapeutic caring action.
This exhibition of largely self-published works tackles self-care from many angles: health, grooming, food preparation, self-defense, coping strategies, defense mechanisms, mental or spiritual development and even soul enrichment. At their core these pieces suggest we must be our own advocates for our own health and well being.
Long Arm Stapler First Aid will also include a limited edition exhibition zine, compiled by Liz Mason, encompassing relevant self-care themes in zines and mini-comics such as: heal- ing, grief, fitness, and medical issues, and a limited edition screenprint by Ramsey Beyer, published by Spudnik Press.
In honor of self-publishing as a means to foster well-being, Spudnik Press is proud to host this exhibition featuring dozens of zine makers from across the country, including Edie Fake, Rinko Endo, Kathleen McIntyre, Ramsey Beyer, Liz Prince, Dina Kelberman, Sara McHenry, and more.
Liz Mason is the manager of Quimby’s, as well as the editor and publisher for Caboose.
*Image Credit to Dina Kelbermann
Neil Brideau is comics artist and comics sommelier at Quimby’s, as well as an organizer of CAKE, Chicago’s Alternative Comics Expo.