high plains stamp of approval: super friends zine (giveaway closed)

Hi there, and happy Saturday.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Harold, creator of a super awesome zine, with a super awesome name, “Super Friends.”

I’ll admit, I went on quite a bit of a wild goose chase trying to track this fella down in order to interview him for the blog. I’ve been loving his zine ever since I found it at Zinefest last month, and, as a matter-of-fact, so have all of my house guests. I swear, no one can help themselves from picking it up off the coffee table once they take a seat on my couch! It’s irresistible!

Representing just a portion of his collection of photos and notes found while working at a Twin Cities-area thrift store, the 54-page publication is packed with LOL-worthy photos, poignant love notes, unfinished stories and all sorts of other random, found awesomeness. Every time I page through it, I’m comforted (and oddly validated), knowing that someone else has a similar (if not greater) appreciation for discarded photos and random ephemera.

Anyway, after a couple of dead-ends, and a handful of emails, I finally got a chance to talk with Harold about how he got started collecting found photos, his motivation for putting the pub together and to see if he has plans for “Super Friends II.” I hope you enjoy our little Q & A!

Me: So, we can’t get specific about where you work. But, it is a thrift store, right? What do you do there?

Harold: I work at a thrift store in the Twin Cities area.  I have a wide variety of responsibilities, but I mostly deal with the heavy lifting and truck unloading the no one else wants to deal with.

Me: How did you get started collecting strangers’ photos and notes?

Harold: The collection started when a coworker would find weird photos and write notes on the back to me as if the person in the photo was writing to me.  I started calling them my super friends because it was like I already knew these people and they were friends of mine.

Me:  How do you find these items? In albums? Tucked into pages of books? Pockets?

Harold: When people donate stuff, it’s usually in a cardboard box or a plastic bag.  Usually photos will be in albums, envelopes, or just loose in a box.  I’ll find some when I’m emptying the garbage as well.

Me: What makes something a “keeper?”

Harold: When I started collecting, I would save pretty much any photos that I found.  Now I have high standards of what’s worth keeping.  You gotta go through the checklist.  Is there a nipple showing?  Are they wearing an adult diaper?  The funnier the better.

Me: There are quite a few websites dedicated to showcasing hilarious photos similar to what you’ve found. Have you ever thought of starting a blog or website with your finds? Do you have any photo sites you like to visit?

Harold: I like Awkward Family Photos and Found Magazine (Dirty Found in particular) but I’ve never really had any plans to make a website.  Maybe when I have more free time in the future.

Me: How big is your collection of found stuff? Do you organize it in any particular way?

Harold: Right now I have two photo albums of my favorite pictures, a folder stuffed with notes and drawings, a couple diaries, and a plastic bag of photos that I don’t consider album worthy.

Me: Do you have plans to make a “Super Friends II?” Please say yes.

Harold: I don’t have any plans to make a second “Super Friends.”  I wanted to make one big zine with all my favorite photos rather than two or three smaller issues.

Me: What other zines/projects do you work on?

Harold: My friend Adam and I have been making a variety of zines over the past eleven years, starting with a skateboarding magazine in high school.  Nowadays the zines I make are mostly humor-related.  Outside of zines I do a lot of painting and T-shirt printing.

Me: Where can people get “Super Friends?”

Harold: The zine isn’t for sale at any stores.  I will have a table of zines and other goods at the Walker Art Center for the mnartists.org Field Day on August 19th.  Other than that, people can email me if they are interested in getting a copy (subtitlespub@yahoo.com).

And now, another giveaway!

Oh-so-generously, Harold’s offered up two copies of “Super Friends” to High Plains readers. Awesome, right? All you have to do is leave a comment and you’ll automatically be entered to win. I’ll be picking the two lucky winners Thursday night, and will announce the winners on Friday!

Good luck, friends! Hope y’all have had super weekends so far.