Next Stop Adventure author Matt Gauck is runnin’ a Kickstarter campaign to fund a bike trip to Alaska, which will be the basis for his next issue! We talked to Matt about all that and a bunch more. Check out Matt’s Kickstarter page right here.
Q: You’re Kickstartering a trip to Alaska/the next issue of your zine. Tell us how that works.
A: Well, I’ll be the first to admit it feels weird to kickstart something like this, but it came from joking with some friends about all the ridiculous things that might “work” as Kickstarter projects, and I submitted one – half for fun, and half because, if it DID work, it would be a great resource of names to actually get the zine to people that really wanted to read it. One of my main problems with zine writing is that I can’t bring myself to write if I don’t think it will be read by anyone, and there’s a sort of “built-in” readers list with Kickstarter. That, and I have this terrible feeling that in the next three years, kickstater is going to become “the norm” for means to start any creative project. I’m just making it work while it’s still new-ish. To be fair, if I had a means of “pre-selling” my zine, I would’ve just done that. Minus my own sizable distribution point, this is the next best option.
Q: For people who haven’t gotten a chance to read your zine, tell us about it…
A: It’s called Next Stop Adventure, and it’s basically a “good-natured, tongue-in-cheek, funny” travel zine, that typically centers on riding my bicycle for a really long distance. It’s a bike zine, for sure, but the stories are usually less about the biking, and more about the experiences that crossing a state at 18mph allows for. I’ve read a bunch of travel zines, and they never talked specifically about the stuff that I wanted to read, so I made a zine that did. Do you wash your clothes? What do you eat? What should a normal person expect when going on their first bike tour? I answer those questions with hilarious stories that end up with me on a rooftop, in a dumpster, or maybe even hiding in a covered slide at a Burger King. I aim for the first adjective used to describe the zine to be “inspiring.”
Q: How did you get into zine-makin’?
A: I used to draw for a bunch of punk zines in the North Carolina area back in high school (’96-’99) and that’s where self-publishing took its grip on me. As for writing my own, it wouldn’t happen until 2005, when I was back in school, and had just done a four-day bike trip across most of South Carolina, and the story was so funny that I was sick of emailing all my friends nearly-identical accounts of it. I decided it might have some kind of interested audience, so I made like 10 of them. I gave them all away, made a couple more, mailed those away to friends, and was all of the sudden getting a good response.
Q: What are some of the books/zines you’ve read lately?
A: I try to stagger my reading back and forth, usually “political then adventure.” I just finished You Can’t Win and I had been reading a Thor Heyerdahl book about crossing the Atlantic ocean on a raft made from reeds. Guerrilla USA is what I’m finishing up now – I got it from the library, it’s about the George Jackson Brigade, up in the NW back in ’70s. So crazy. Then I have a book on astral projection I’m really excited about. As for zines, I read one on UFOs the other day; One Way Ticket is always good, Bring on the Dancing Horses was great, I constantly re-read Big Hands, and I’ll leap on anything that’s traded to me. I finally finished Rod Coronado’s zines too, the Strong Hearts ones. Super good. OH and there’s a huge archive of impossible to find animal rights zines on some friends’ website conflictgypsy.com.
Q: What kind of zines would you say you gravitate towards?
A: I feel most compelled to read about bike touring ones, but they always fall short for me. I love reading about low-scale scams and crime stuff, and animal rights zines are always high on my list. On the other end, I can get into some comics occasionally, but usually just Ken Dahl’s stuff. I’m terrible at reading fiction. Non-fiction stories that sound like fiction are my favorite.
Q: Finally, if you had to get one zine’s title tattooed into your flesh what would it be?
A: HA! Well, as goofy as it sounds, I already have “next stop adventure” tattooed above my knees BUT if I was going beyond that one, I’d definitely say “Murder Can be Fun.” I wouldn’t get messed with when I’m camping on the side of the road.