Last month, Ami Greko and Rachel Fershleiser announced a fundraiser for Stock Tips, a zine that they were putting together that explores the world of soup. As both are friends of mine, I was immediately interested; as I now have the zine in my hands, I can also say that it’s a fine overview of soups. The title can be taken literally–there are, in fact, tips for making stock–but there are also recipes in abundance, trivia, and essays. (The more literary-minded should note that there are contributions from Alexander Chee, Kate Christensen, and Jami Attenberg, among others.) But beyond the “good people making a zine about an interesting topic” angle, I also wanted to look into perennial questions: why this form; how the fundraiser affected the making of the zine, and more. I talked with Ami via email to learn more; I should also mention here that there will be a release party at Housing Works on March 10th.
First and foremost: where did the idea to do a soup-focused zine come from?
We both came to the project with “expertise”–Rachel had created a popular tag for soup on Tumblr called “Stock Tips” (which delightfully started crowding out actual-money stock tips) and I’d been bumming around South America mailing everyone back home zine missives.
It is also important to note that Rachel also owned about a zillion zines and I own about 100 soup cookbooks, so we both seriously loved both parts of the equation.
Both of you are heavily involved in the digital side of things; what about this project lends itself to the format you chose for it?
It’s funny you ask that–a lot of people have been asking where we see Stock Tips fitting into the larger feminist zine tradition, which of course we are extremely enthusiastic about, but if you want to get serious about it what we’ve created here is more of an old-fashioned fanzine. I like the idea that we were so excited to talk about soup that we didn’t want to waste too much time with page layouts or printers and just wanted to GET YOU THE RECIPES.
The other funny thing about making a zine with funds from Kickstarter is that there was no end to the number of dudes who messaged us to suggest that we consider printing the zine in digital. All well-meaning gentlemen, I’m sure, but sort of hilarious when considering that even a cursory read of our description would make it clear we had heard of digital publishing.
How did you go about selecting the writers for it?
Through Stock Tips Rachel had a good sense of who out of our writer friends like to cook. We also wanted people with a good sense of humor since we were going to be gluing their writing to a piece of paper and photocopying it in black and white.
Do you anticipate this as a one-off project, or will we see Stock Tips issue two before long?
This is an unfair question to ask two NYC ladies in possession of 700 envelopes that need to be carried to the post office. It would be fun to do another if there are more recipes from our friends next winter.
(Incidentally, I tried to get Rachel excited about starting a food tag on Tumblr for the summer called ‘Salad Days,’ but she said “bleh salads.” So if anyone other there has an summer passion for greens, let me know.)
When printing it, did you limit yourselves to the number of Kickstarter backers, or will there be copies available for sale?
Our backers are going to get the first run of copies, which should be in the mail the week of February 24th. We did print a few extra for the event we’re going to do at Housing Works bookstore in Manhattan. The copies will be donated, so all of the proceeds will go to Housing Works (which is a great organization).