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Behind Door #2: Introducing your second judge for the 2019 Zine Awards!

Back in 2017, when the BP Zine Awards was very young and consisted of only 5 categories, Jenn Woodall’s GIRLS was nominated for Best Art/Comic Zine. This year, we are proud to announce that Jenn will be joining our judges’ panel! Jenn is an award-winning illustrator, comics creator, and zinester based in Toronto. You likely know her for works such as the violent fantasy manga mash-up comic, Magical Beatdown, and the collection of two-toned risograph anxiety comics, Marie and Worrywart. Broken Pencil is thrilled to welcome her as a judge for the 2019 Zine Awards! Here’s a brief Q&A to help you get to know Jenn a little better:

What inspired you to start making zines? 

I started going to small comic/zine fests after I moved to Toronto to attend school. Prior to this, I didn’t know anything about zines or self-publishing, so it was pretty exciting to discover. I also had quite a few friends who had gotten into making comics and zines so I decided I wanted to try my hand at it as well.

What is your favourite part about making comics?

Making comics is pretty stressful so I honestly find a lot of the process to be intense. But I do really enjoy inking and colouring, they’re the least intensive part of the process for me. Scripting, thumbnailing and pencilling all take the most time and energy for me, so inks and colours feel like I’m over the jump of the project.

What kind of zines make you excited? What will you be looking for from this year’s submissions?

I really love comics and zines that discuss mental health, feminist/social issues or interesting personal stories. I also really enjoy when people pay attention to the colours and print-making methods of their projects. I’ve been a fan of risograph printing for a few years, or even just a limited use of colours for emphasis.

What are you reading right now?

I’ve been reading manga by Akiko Higashimura, such as Blank Canvas and Tokyo Tarareba Girls. I also read finished reading Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, Cannonball by Kelsey Wroten and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki.

 As a previous Zine Awards entrant, what was your experience was like with the Zine Awards?

My experience with the zine awards was extremely positive – I submitted my work two years ago and was very delighted to be nominated. I think often that creators can feel very alone due to the solitary nature of art-making and often we question where our art fits in or if it’s even relevant. And getting positive feedback from your community can really make you feel more at ease and assured in your artistic direction. I think this is part of the value of the zine awards but also, it shines a spotlight on talent from all over the map. Often, you’re exposed to new voices you never encountered before and it facilitates a feeling of community and belonging amongst fellow zinesters and artists. I’m very excited to discover a lot of new creators as a judge this year.