fiona avocado

Virginia Paine, interview by Fiona Avocado

Fiona Avocado: I’ve been summoned to talk to you about your comics and other things for Gridlords. I’m going to pretend we’re talking about comics and drinking beers on your porch at 11:30 at night. Because that’s what we sometimes do when we hang out.

Virginia Paine: For the sake of realism, I’m drinking a beer while answering.

Ok, so here goes.

Before I met you, I was a huge fan of Milkyboots, and still am. How did Milkyboots come about? What’s behind the name?

There were a bunch of reasons I started Milkyboots! The emotional reason is I had just gotten out of a controlling relationship and was trying to do a bunch of stuff I’d wanted to do for ages (like sleeping with ladies!). I’d always loved comics, especially autobio.

Another reason was that I was reading a bunch of webcomics — The Fart Party, Overcompensating — and had this switch flip in my brain. “I could do this!” it said. I started a blog and made little bad Photoshop comics about having conversations with my friend JWoolard, she being the straight man to my spazzed-out, over-excitable self. I’m going to go delete the archive now, btw. I don’t want anyone actually reading those, haha.

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LA Zine Fest 2014 was today and it was stunning! Astounding! Inspiring!

Over 150 exhibitors from all over the US and beyond turned the Helms Bakery parking lot into the Valhalla of zinedom.  The variety and craftsmanships of the zine on offer was truly impressive, only three years old, this zine fest is now drawing the very best graphic storytellers at the top of their game. There was a range of presses, artists, and print shops, from the very established, such as avant-garde publishers Giant Robot to quirky up-and-comer independents such as Fiona Avocado and Truckface. 

And, at 12:15 an extremely accomplished group of high school students from around LA read their poems, stories and zines, including two of my students and zine club members from the Santa Monica independent school at which I chair the publishing department.

They read impeccably well. With great confidence, bravado even, and I thought for a second how at 17 they would have put many much more accomplished writers to shame!

All in all an incredibly inspiring day. The zine movement reflects the best spirit of this age. Independent thought and and action sustained through creative community. And it all looks so good! This event was literally a riot of color, a blooming chaotic garden of artistic madness. If you missed it this year be sure to check it out in 2015. It’s a gateway into the thriving heart of the Los Angeles’s alternative art world.