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Meet Charissa Lucille of Wasted Ink Zine Distro in Central Phoenix

Today we’d like to introduce you to Charissa Lucille.

Charissa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started my first zine during my last semester studying journalism and I realized there were no physical zine distribution stores in Phoenix. I felt the need to open the distro to provide a central hub for all things DIY and to promote self-publishing as a radical act. There are so many zine creators in Arizona and I felt like they deserve a store that sees their art as valid. I opened the first location of Wasted Ink Zine Distro in a small strip mall in Tempe Arizona and after being open for less than a year we were forced to move out because the building sold. We moved into an art enclave in Downtown Phoenix called The Hive. I settled in right away in our new colorful home at The Hive and Wasted Ink receives lots of foot traffic in the new location.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think the largest struggle has been experiencing exponential growth. When Wasted Ink Zine Distro opened, I was excited to work with 30 creators. Now, a few years later, I work with over 400 creators who are from Arizona, different states, as well as different countries. I also encounter an internal struggle with wanting to make zines my full time job rather than continuing to work full time in addition to running the zine distro. Having zines be my full-time gig is a long-term goal of mine.

Please tell us about Wasted Ink Zine Distro.
Wasted Ink Zine Distro houses hundreds of zines for sale in a physical store front along with an extensive read-only library. We distribute work for over 400 creators located in Arizona, different states, and different countries. We host publishing workshops and literary events for the community and take zines to table at almost every event we are invited to. Our goal is to teach as many people about self-publishing as possible while supporting the world wide zine community. We teach zine lectures in museums, colleges, schools and home schooling groups. We have time to talk about zines to anyone who is interested. We believe everyone’s voice and story matters and should be shared if possible. We believe alternative media provides a window into a more authentic reality people experience and we aim to support zines in any way possible. I think what sets us apart is our location in a red state. People who make zines here understand that publishing zines is a radical act.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I think one of my favorite memories from childhood was when I learned how to ride a bike. My bike had streamers. It was wonderful!


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Image Credit:

Charissa Lucille, Jose Romero

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