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American Samizdat: Rebel Scum Since 2001
OVO was not my first publication. I made my first collages around 1977, arranged them into a booklet around 1978, and had the idea that the booklet could be photocopied around 1979. Unfortunately my 8th grade teacher confiscated my 1979 zine before it could be published and no copies exist. My first zine that did make it to print (around 1981) was a series of one-page recommendations for books I liked, and art by myself and my friends and influences. Every zine I've published since follows that form.
I had already published two zines (ADD and Surreal Estates) by the time I was ready to publish OVO. OVO had three main influences in the first fourteen issues: Mike Gunderloy's Factsheet Five, Chris Gore's Film Threat, and V. Vale and Andrea Juno's Re/Search. Factsheet Five made hundreds of other zine publishers available to me. The sense that I was part of something larger than the small Southern town I lived in was quite a motivator to make zines and get them out into the world. Factsheet Five was my main motivator for the zines before OVO and for issues one, two and three of OVO. I made zines to get zines in trade.
Meeting Chris Gore, publisher of the movie review magazine Film Threat, was an inspiration for the next few issues of OVO. Although we only met once and only briefly, his account of expanding his work from a zine to a small magazine to a mass market magazine was an nspiration. I had seen through Chris' example that with dedication I could make OVO be whatever I wanted it to be. What did I want it to be? I knew I wanted it to be 'about' something. So OVO now needed to be about something and there was no limit to how big it could be.