Devin N Morris’s Marketplace Guide For Booty Bass Boom
Devin N Morris is a visual artist, writer, and founder of 3 Dot Zine—a print publication and platform that centers queer, POC, and female bodies. In addition to running his zine, Morris also organizes the Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair, which will take place in Harlem early next spring, and brings together other progressive zines from around the country under one roof.
Morris, who started out as a fashion buyer in his mid-20s, says that this background—addressing how women see themselves in both their clothed and naked bodies—informed how he makes artwork and zines today: “I try to see or understand what’s exposed—and what’s hidden.”
Morris believes that trust is an inherent value to the zine and self-publishing scene. “I think we’re seeing a great exchange of trust right now in the community,” he says. “I love that once you create a zine, whether it filled with personal dialogue or have more curated features and design, the makers are taking a risk and just believing that their effort will find an audience—another participant.”
At zine fairs, he continues, readers are given a rare opportunity for direct interaction. “One can identify with their media and directly speak to the artist, writer, thinker, concerned body who made it,” he says. “These books talk, or at least encourage interaction.”
Ultimately, Morris believes this cycle of interaction between black, PoC and female bodies is a source of socio-political power that can affect change. “Voices thrive when given a microphone, a podium, and a friend—to hug, and to further discuss your concerns.”
Below, Morris highlights a few of the zines, artists, and collectives he’s bringing together for the next BOOM BK event on Thursday, December 21, which will feature both a zine marketplace and DJ sets from Uniiqu3, Mighty Mark, and more.
Name of zine: True Laurels
Founder(s): Lawrence Burney
Active since: 2011 (blog), 2013 (zine)
Coolest thing about it: True Laurels does what more local publications could stand to do: more readily highlight local artists. True Laurel provides a spotlight into the underground music culture of Baltimore that is often hindered due to lack of spaces to commune. The features and diaries from artists, Baltimore-based and beyond, provide wonderful insights into the minds of young artists and exposes great emerging talents.
Name of zine: Roundtable Journal
Founder(s): A group of London and NYC-based young women who decided to create the sort of publication they wanted to read.
Active since: 2017
Coolest thing about it: Roundtable is a biannual print journal and blog exploring self, art, politics, womanism and more, all told through an intelligent, authentic voice. What I’m most taken by is the range and distance this journal travels to feature the perspectives of women artists, thinkers, and doers. I learned of the publication through one of its founders I met in NY. I’m very happy to see this publication move from online to publishing their first print edition with Tony Gum on the cover—fabulous.
Name of Artist: RAFIA
About: Rafia is a Brooklyn-based visual artist working in photography, graphic design and drawing who has been making work for quite some time.
Coolest thing about her work: Rafia creates trinkets for black healing. Her keychains, stickers and printed ephemera are emboldened with statements like “Pay Black Time” (which is also an initiative the artist started to get black people fed), and images of the artist herself heightened with graphic illustrations and witty commentary. Rafia does something I love: give serious statements and concerns a fun twist through her art making. I’m excited to see what she’ll create for the fair. Rafia also has a solo show opening on the 16th at Housing Gallery in Brooklyn.
Name of Brand: L’Enchanteur
Founder(s): The creative fruit of identical twin designers, Dynasty & Soull Ogun, L’Enchanteur is a Brooklyn-based luxury concept brand inspired by the sciences, color theory, numerology, religion, mythologies, magic, and fairy tales.
Coolest thing about it: L’Enchateur is truly an enchanting project. I call it that because I believe Soull and Dynasty can accomplish anything through their hands. What I’m really excited about is their jewelry, silk durags, inventive hats and many little trinkets. I’m so happy they’ll be taking part in the fair.
Name of Collective: Yellow Jackets Collective
Founder(s): YJC is a Brooklyn-based intersectional collective of queer Asian-American femmes collaborating towards futures that center marginalized bodies.
Coolest thing about it: YJC bring the best zines and printed materials! At the last fair, they introduced me to Hue Zine, and I know they’ll have a wondrous assortment of treasures for BOOM. I love that YJC is willing to showcase works by zinemakers who may not be at zine fairs because they only have one publication, or the maker doesn’t have enough time to table.