Back in the first post I said Malaise was “back” and that I was busy conceptualising just what form it would take moving forward. I stated with much confidence that it wouldn’t be making a print comeback, that the fanzine was dead.
I’m that kind of indecisive person who spends a lot of time reinventing to, I hope, not too much of my own detriment. Dwelling on this idea, what it could be, what it’s been, it’s become clear to me that there really is no other way I’d want to do it other than a physical print publication. Hand xeroxed, personally distributed and all.
Back when Malaise was already in print and I was just starting to collate the second issue, I made the decision that this was just not going to work if I did it all myself. Real DIY is an ethic, it’s a conscious decision where you dedicate your efforts to a quest in unlocking your potential, and I think if done correctly the potential of others. On top of a stressful relationship, studying to not be an animator and volunteering with ZICS, that conscious effort just got too much and I laid the tools down. Mostly, the reason it ended was because I lacked to time and therefore energy to put into producing a 36-page fanzine all by myself.
That was the low note, here’s the high.
I’m really excited to share this sort-of epiphany that with the help of my brother Liav Shalev, long time supporter and good photography guy, is starting to shape into a full on concept. Malaise will be a regular zine again. New foundation, new direction; same passion, same zero dollar cost.
The revised Malaise will be just one A3 sheet folded in half, two-sided print. The size is important for the same old reason which is that there are heaps of really good zines out there that have skating in them but we wanted to do something where the format follows the content and is truly a skate zine of skateboarders. I figured bigger was better and minimal was key. One sheet is easy enough to fold into your pocket, so you needn’t think twice about picking it up. And also if I’m going to be honest, there’s a lot less hairpulling pulling just two pages of content together under a bi-monthly/monthly (we’ll see how we go) deadline.
There’s heaps more in the works and heaps more that we have to do to build up momentum for a soft May release of the first issue. But as always I extend the offer to get involved in whatever way you feel you can! The zine will be free which means we’ll be doing all the work for free, so volunteering to help out is ace and I encourage it.
Lastly, I want to reiterate that at the heart of this idea is the need to coalesce skateboarders who produce creative work out of love, intrigue or labour. Because simply put, even in skateboarding creative work is undervalued. The new Malaise is heavy on the art side of things but I don’t want that to mean exclusive of filmmaking, writing, making music, the act of skateboarding itself. It’s a zine for those who are as much skaters as people.
I’m only just becoming aware of John Green as a skate filmmaker. I learned it was his filming that debuted the new Brisbane based bearing company Commodore in their very hype inducing “Hype Squad” edit just last week. One part founder and operator of Parliament skateshop, an underground haven dug out of 303 Adelaide St in the heart of the CBD, John’s made another debut under the exclusive release of Slam Magazine in their shop’s first full-length video.
We had a Brisbane times article surface recently about the city’s late lack of interest in skateboarding under the quote “Brisbane ‘sucks’ if you’re a skateboarder in 2017”. I gassed briefly about this with John in-store and while the sentiment is mostly true, these locals in Paradise sure make an exception to that rule.
For posterity, I’m reposting some select articles, interviews, and features from the first two issues of Malaise that were published in late 2014 and early 2015. Here’s Indigo giving a brief insight into herself as a mother and skateboarder. Indigo is also a bona-fide Dr. Nerd with accreditation in Sociology from University of Queensland and Griffith U and is a part of the Asian Australian Film Forum and Network. But skaters are dumb, right?
MY name is Indigo Willing, nickname ‘Indi’, and my locals in Brisvegas are Fairfield and Paddo. I’m 1001 years old, I’m a mum with a primary school-aged kid, and started skating two years ago.
It’s awesome how welcoming skaters in Brisbane have been, given I am different like that. And because I started skating super old I progress differently.
The guys and girls I see skating inspire me everyday to just do what I do and get in there. Whenever I roll, any troubles of the day also drift away. Life’s sometimes been hard for me, as it is for everyone. But when I’m skating I’m always laughing.
And I’m so grateful to say that because then my son is raised by a person who’s happiness, strength and courage is highly visible.
To show happiness is good; because I’m from a Vietnamese orphanage, have mixed heritage, and even though I was raised by a new Aussie family who never treated me differently, I lost my first family and am an orphan that way for life.
Being an outsider, you carry around a sense of loss and this deeper sadness, no matter how resilient and independent you also need to become along the way.
I like being resilient no matter what as it’s helped me achieve things like a PhD in Sociology – which surprised a lot of people given I was in trouble a lot and no-one had high hopes for Vietnamese people when I was growing up; gangs and heroin were the most noticeable element of our community.
When I finished studying, which was in-part to honour my Vietnamese ancestors and their sacrifices for my new life, I still worked very hard.
But you can also burn out, so I made time to start skateboarding, and life just throws the right people in your path sometimes.
The first person to teach me to stand on a board was my neighbour Evie Ryder who is a girl-skater who kills it. She was a finalist in the Girls Skate Australia skate comp in 2014, and was featured in an exhibition at Love Love Studio recently called ‘Play Free’.
The first time I learned to drop-in was at a skate workshop run by Pat “Patty G” Gemzik and with some of Brisbane’s best skaters. Since then, I’ve continued to meet some of the most courageous and soulful people ever through skateboarding. All ages, genders and life stories.
My young son doesn’t skate yet, but he’s into art and is growing up surrounded by a lot of awesome skater friends, including a number of girl skaters from Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
I love that it’s natural for him to see females changing skate trucks at home, getting immediately up from a slam and going for the same trick until they get it, or watching our skate videos and seeing us being very happy, supportive and strong.
This is way better than seeing his mum sitting around obsessed by mainstream TV and magazines about starving, plastic bodied celebrities wearing $400 socks with $4000 handbags, or failing to know how to respect other females for anything beyond how they look or who they date.
A skateboard is not influenced by that crap and doesn’t care where you’re from, how you look, or what you earn.
To any soul-crushingly rare few who knew of Malaise in the past as a “SKATE/PUNK” fanzine which, tragically, self-immolated leaving a carcass shaped smear under a hastily written sign that read “TO BE CONTINUED” about who-cares shy of mid-2015, your prayers have been answered!
Risen once more from the ashes, reborn and eager tick off, with much procrastination, those items on your long list of disappointments is the new unimproved Malaise Fanzine!
And first on the list is a real band-aid.
Malaise the fanzine is no-more; long live Malaise Fanzine!
I’m paraphrasing the fact that, due to much deliberation, I’ve decided to make something of Malaise once again but dramatically revert on what it is and does. I always had fuck-off-high expectations for the zine that fell out of fruition for reasons outlined long ago.
But these expectations I was once throwing around, that never formed anything other than a page blurb on the old wordpress site, never left my brain. I’ve had the time to reflect and form these things into actual ideas, plot out where and what I can do to get them each rolling. I’m keen to tell you more later down the track.
So what’s new and different?
MF is no longer a print publication. There’s no use organising a newsletter-style skateboarding zine about your local scene when we have online groups for that who can report on these things much faster than the written-to-print turnaround, simply because its the actual people doing these things also doing the reporting. Social media: journalism’s double-edged sword. Then there are the general environmental concerns, like, “is this dumb zine going anywhere to justify the paper and ink that made it?” and “I could add another 40 pages of content to this issue but should I?”
In order to ~flourish~ as an idea, I thought malaise needed to move its shit 100% online, so here’s where it’s set up base camp
Also new is the whole direction of content. Malaise was originally this angst-ridden, uber-serious, fanzine that tried to capture a ridiculously niche subset of skaters and try to cover 30+ pages on just that every two months. It only survived two issues. And while there’s nothing wrong with celebrating your scene, however small, Malaise ended up having most of the celebrating by itself, in the corner of the diner with a balloon sticky taped to the table. It was dismal.
In the interest of remaining an amalgam of skateboarding and skateboarding stuff, but also trying not to be so serious, I tried to unpack the “fan” in fanzine. Once you self-criticise and knock down the tunnel you see yourself and other skaters through, it’s mind-blowing just how diverse, globally, we all are. We’re all different people with different shit going on outside of skating, yet this one thing can bring us together. You don’t need a blog to teach you that, just roll at a park for a few hours and meet the folks who stop by. Malaise shouldn’t have a “locals only, kooks fuck off” mentality getting in the way of that, or at least not in places that it isn’t useful.
For the mean time, as these new ideas start to take shape, this blog is mostly going to publish crap-posts from me under the moniker Booji Boi Skates. These are your op-eds, me talking about stuff I’ve encountered that centres around my experience skating. Updates every Monday.
Here, as I leave, take ‘PADDO’ by Mitch Owens with a side of Marina Julia comics to go.
Paddo is the beating heart of Brisbane skateboarding and Julia’s comics give me energy. Sneak in some of her (I’m fully assuming) Hardy Boys inspired ‘The House on The Cliff‘ on tapastic if you can too, I’m loving it so far.
Add a recent Aaron Brown throwaway edit for taste. This rules.