Anyone who has ever run a zine distro knows it’s a complicated and often thankless labour of love. For Nyky Gomez, founder of the Brown Recluse Zine Distro, this situation was no different. Based in Seattle, Gomez founded the distro in 2013 in response to a lack of representation and support for zines created by people of colour. Since then the distro has grown exponentially with a huge and diverse catalogue, and Gomez has traveled the country to table and speak about the distro.
Now, however, she is stepping back from the distro operations, handing the reigns over to co-organizer Rufino Aguada who has moved operations to his home based in Olympia, WA. “I travel frequently, run a separate business and have super full life in general,” Gomez explains over email. “In short, the distro was taking a backseat and was not reaching its potential.” She’s now looking forward to working on her own creative projects, reading zines for pleasure (what a concept!) and managing Safe Night Access Project Seattle, a sex worker-led peer outreach project aimed at providing harm reduction support.
She reflects warmly on the many life-changing opportunities that came with managing the distro, especially 2013’s POC Zine Project tour: “I met some truly brilliant artists: Cristy C. Road, Mimi Thi Nguyen, Toi Scott, people who I consider my family now, “ she says. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have taken part in such a beautiful, messy, honest human as fuck experience.”