Pocket Lint debuts ‘Dream Zine,’ talks past, present and future
Those with sharp eyes may have noticed loose stacks of a superbly decorated zine spread about in various parts of campus this week. That zine is of course the “Dream Zine,” the newest creation of student run lit journal Pocket Lint. I had the opportunity to talk with two of the members of Pocket Lint’s exec board — Mattie Ganson’18 and Kara Mattsen’19 — about their club and its productions.
Before diving into our discussion, however, some idea of the club’s endearing attitude can be found in the recent updates Ganson made to its constitution. It’s official name for example, is the formal “Pocket Lint: Beloit College’s Official Student Run Art and Literature Magazine.” However it “can also be referred to as ‘Moth Balls’ in a pinch,” or, alternately, ‘what’s that piece of shit lit mag called again?’”
Other highlights include the statements “lame shit and sloppy aesthetics can and will not be tolerated,” and “people who like Bukowski are permitted at Pocket Lint meetings only after an intense and completely secret vetting process.”
The current number of members who are fond of Charles Bukowski is unknown, but according to Mattsen, “there’s around 15 people that come to the decision meetings.” It’s at these meetings that anonymous works are voted in or out of the publication.
Editor-in-Chief Ganson herself has had a submission rejected by Pocket Lint, and emphasizes that a rejection “doesn’t mean that we don’t like you, or that you make bad work, it just wasn’t right for that zine.”
Ganson is constantly on the lookout for work to publish in Pocket Lint and her message to anyone on the fence about submitting is, of course, “Please submit! I need a shirt that just says ‘Submit to Pocket Lint’” she said, “because I feel like I’m a broken record.”
Both Ganson and Mattsen were enthusiastic about the importance of Pocket Lint being a place where students can see their work published in a public and physical format. It’s “more real in a way,” said Mattsen. “If you publish stuff online it’s hard to actually see that people are reading that.
“If it’s physically out there you know people are picking up these zines when they’re in Java or WAC and they’re actually reading your work,” continued Mattsen. “You can see that in the physical plane.”
Ganson calls the experience “validating. I remember being published,” she said, “and being so proud […] I think it’s so important that artists have a place to show off the things that they do.”
Of course, validation only goes so far, and if Ganson had an unlimited budget the first thing she would do is “pay [her] creators!” To show her appreciation, Ganson instead creates goodie bags for contributors to the zines. She finds the idea that artists should be content with being published without being imbursed “bogus. That’s a society that doesn’t value art.”
Pocket Lint has been helping Beloit value its students’ art since the late 90s, though it’s popularity has fluctuated within that time.
“A lot of past students seem a little surprised that it existed” said Ganson, and she hopes “that it’s raising its excellence and visibility now.”
She has also has “a lot of faith” in her editorial board, which consists of Mattsen and Annie Worford’19, to continue Pocket Lint’s rising excellence when she graduates. “They’re both really smart” she says, “and have got all their shit together.”
Turning away from the future and back to the present, Mattsen is excited about the expansions that are occurring this year within Pocket Lint. One of these expansions, she says, is a new “fund for people who want to publish their own zines.”
Student publications are currently a pretty hot topic on campus, as alt-right zine The Signal has been widely condemned by both faculty members and students. On the complete opposite end of the political spectrum is Turning the Tables, which Gansen calls “a sister organization.” She thinks it’s “important to get that activist word out and shut down fascism in all of its disgusting forms.”
She’s also really impressed with how quickly the far left zine The Spectre came out in response to The Signal, and thinks that their model is “really the best way to do it, to not feed into them but come back with really positive art and writing and information.”
Pocket Lint’s next project will be a zine whose theme is crying in public. This is excellent timing, as tearing up in public is certainly a side effect of reading the fantastic and moving content of the “Dream Zine,” which you can find in the library, Java Joint or wherever dreamy ephemera is nearest.