Know Your Zine Writer – Max Michaels
Posted by Matthew Moyer on February 25, 2010
I’ve been defined by my peers as a “prolific outsider artist whose influence on the local Jax scene is unmistakable.” True or not, I first independently published MOVEMENT in the summer of 1992 with my own creative outline in mind, focusing on the music and arts scene. Close to two decades later I am still publishing the magazine with correspondents across the county and around the world. Publishing the magazine has led me into dozens of other projects including gallery exhibitions of my Rock and multimedia photography, club & nightlife promotions, music and talent management, and film production.
When and how did you first become involved with zines?
When I was 11 or 12 my father was the treasurer of a local credit union and he would to take me to his office with him when he had to go back to work at night and I’d get parked in the break room which had a copier. I would cut up magazines or type up articles and paste them into a handmade layout and recopy them into my own little magazines to hand out to my friends at school the next day. Later on in high school I focused on photography and continued to make little zines and comics. After graduating I got much more serious about publishing, it was in my blood, so I taught myself all I could and had some pretty tragic first experiences with a couple minor upstart local zines, none of whom were willing to cover subjects that held my (or anyone else’s) interest, either that or they could not hold themselves together. So I set out to create a vehicle for my vision that could accommodate a broader scope of artists than anything I had worked with prior. I relocated to Gainesville, which was only an hour from home and at the time had a much better music and club scene than Jax, where I met a great group of writers and club kids and started MOVEMENT. The rest is history.
You do all of the design, layout, distribution and editing yourself. What work goes into producing an issue?
I do the design and layout myself, but its all the writers, artists and sales team that make it happen. It’s very much a group effort, and producing an issue is fairly mechanical as long as their departments are functioning smoothly. Obviously advertising is the life blood of the industry, and though unfortunately its been a bit anemic as of late, signs have been showing promise for stabilization.
What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you because of Movement?
That I’ve been able to carry it on for close to two decades now! Who knew? Total shock to me, but a welcome one. I am completely and consistently humbled and overwhelmed by the vast talents that I have had the privilege to work with over the years. It’s made the lot of us a little family. I guess also becoming close with some of the artists I idolized in my youth is always a little strange to me, and embarrassing when they call my cell and their music is my call tone.
Though Movement does have a web presence, you’ve always been very adamant about giving the print edition priority. What’s your rationale?
There is no rationale involved at all. It is entirely foolish I’m sure, but I am a nostalgic artist and as we were one of the few pioneering publications to embrace the web early on, we will also champion the undeniable need for a quality street worthy underground zine that embraces and supports the independent artists who struggles every day to be heard in the shrinking print media pool or are left to drown in the information storm on the web.
What projects are you currently working on?
I will be expanding MOVEMENT Publishing projects this year beyond the magazine, aggressively publishing a few new series on our comic publishing imprint, as well as some biographic releases relating to our art and nightlife history in the city.