If Portland can be said to be "zine-crazed" (and it can), it follows that the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) is at the center of the city's homemade periodical frenzy. This little hole in the wall features computers for writing and graphic designing, four letterpresses, a Gocco printer, a mimeograph, workshops and other hands-on learning opportunities, and a sizable outreach program. And, as of this December, the IPRC has a new director: Justin Hocking, from the Big Apple. There, he did cool stuff like compile Soft Skull Press' Life and Limb, an anthology of writings about skateboarding, and edited books for the countercultural press Citadel. I caught up with him to find out what kind of cool stuff he's going to do in Portland.MERCURY: Do you concede that Portland's zine scene kicks New York's ass?
There's definitely kind of a zine thing in New York, but in Portland it just seems to be stronger and more vibrant. It's more of a cohesive community in Portland.What's going to happen at the IPRC under your regime?
I'm really excited about the outreach program. I want to continue bringing zines and zine-making workshops and classes to all sorts of venues, like public schools and treatment centers for kids with drug and alcohol problems. Physically, we're also looking for a new space that can accommodate the growth we'll see in the next few years.
That's actually part of what we do at the IPRC. We have a lot of computer equipment so people can do that sort of thing, and I'd like to see more workshops on building websites and blogs. But even with technology, people are always going to love the printed word.What zines are you reading right now?
I've always been a fan of Aaron Elliott's Cometbus, and I've been reading [Portlander and IPRC coworker] Nicole Georges' Invincible Summer. I also always go back to old issues of Dishwasher. It's this guy [Pete Jordan] who went around to all 50 states and washed dishes.