Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Loserdom

For today's zine of the day I have the absolute pleasure of talking about one of the seminal zines in Irish history, the exemplary, Loserdom.

There are zines made in Ireland, and then there is Loserdom,  a D.I.Y. punk, political zine, made by the Loser Brothers - Anto and Eugene Dillon. 

Loserdom was first released in 1996 as a free sheet, and was given out at gigs and in record stores.  Around issue four it took it's classic format of featuring a cover, articles, interviews, reviews, and comics by Eugene. It was always closely aligned to the punk, DIY gig scene, and has remained that way to this day (issue 23). Albeit, featuring more on cycling now than was evident in the first few issues.

Both brothers have also released class solo zines. Eugene in the form of 'And they are saying', 'Open shirts and raised collars', and 'I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me to see me looking back from you'(to name but a few)  which we have a copy of in the Forgotten Zine Archive.

I really like Anto's 'Promise me skies' zine. It features stories of Anto traveling around Spain, living in Scotland and putting on gigs. It's really well written, very accessible. When you read it you think I could do that, and this is the case with Loserdom too. I think that is a testament to it's brilliance, and I wonder how many people have been inspired to make their own zines after reading it over the past 20 years.

If you haven't read Anto's thesis on the History of Irish zines, I really recommend doing so. As someone who also did a thesis on zines, it is essential reading, and is a brilliant record of a culture little known, or misrepresented in main stream publications. 

These men have done a lot for the zine/independent DIY community in Ireland. Even this very event 'Independents Day' was set up by Anto (along with Barry Lennon). I'm delighted that the Loser brothers have a table at this years event. 

Loserdom's almost 20 years old now, here's hoping we see another 20 more of it!

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