My First Attempt At A Public Debut

After thinking about zines and early days of writing yesterday, I’ve been thinking about my public writing debut. Years before Fanboy Rampage!!! or professional (paid!) writing, or even Tears Before Bedtime – the blog that introduced me to my wife and brought me to America, fact fans – I wrote for the student newspaper of the university my art school was attached to. I can’t remember why I thought it was a good idea, or how it all came together; all of that has disappeared in the mists of my memory. All I remember was that Andy Barnett, my best friend and partner in many many crimes at the time, and I somehow ended up in the situation of writing multiple things for the monthly newspaper for a couple of years. There was a column that was pretty much a collection of odds-and-ends, a tongue-in-cheek horoscope column, a comic strip about some event or other that either Andy or myself had attended at some point in the previous month (Something very clearly indebted on my part to Kyle Baker and Evan Dorkin’s Critics At Large strip from Reflex magazine in the ’90s, looking back on it – Andy had never seen those strips, I don’t think? – Like, embarrassingly indebted) and a “How To Dance Like A Britpop Celebrity” guide, too. Looking back, a bunch of material to come up with on a regular basis, but I remember loving the whole thing, especially the knowledge that people read what we were doing. Weirder, people recognized Andy (and, very occasionally, myself) because of the self-portraits in the strips; it was like being a very minor celebrity, and very compelling for an early 20-something as I was then.

Somewhere, I’m sure, I have copies of this stuff. I should scan some in and put it up on here, to embarrass myself.