By: Jessie Monsivais Photos by: Lillian Reitz
The world of zine-making is endlessly vast. The self-publication, often with a small circulation, comes with a rich punk history and a capacity for spreading resources, helping to start movements, or creating subcultural communities. Our Coastal Bend community pulses with creativity and unique expression, from tattoo art to doll making. One local couple has made it their mission to reflect that diversity, and explore concepts other than what is popularly recognized.
Weird Corpus is a micro-zine focusing on local artists and companies that make Corpus a little bit different. The homegrown zine promotes the arts and culture scene, helping to exhibit the value of our unique and thriving community.
Soon-to-be-married, Johnny and Ema decided to take on this new project while both continuing in their full-time jobs. Johnny, a practicing attorney, and Ema, the Marketing Executive for The One Bride Guide, are responsible for the creation and distribution of the fresh local micro-zine. Inspired by a conversation with a friend whose daughter’s teacher was policing the student’s art, Weird Corpus set out to offer a platform to alternative local artists, entertainers, and more.
“That [conversation] inspired me to challenge local views on art,” says Ema. “What is art? Is it what you’ve been seeing, or is there a whole other world that exists? It’s our whole mission to find people that bigger entities might not consider art and allow them to showcase their talent.”
In the beginning, Johnny and Ema tested the waters with only 25 copies of Weird Corpus. After the first distribution, they soon discovered that Corpus was hungry for something different. Printings of the zine quickly increased from 200 to 300 copies. Weird Corpus also continues to grow in various forms, including a family-friendly oddities market with local artwork, food, and live entertainment.
“We have a limited number of issues in circulation on purpose. You can’t find it online or print it out yourself, because you have to be a part of our community,” says Ema. “Go to local businesses and pick it up for yourself and watch where we’re going to drop it off next.”
The 8×11 sheet of paper is engineered to fold so it operates as a mini-magazine. Ema says anyone can create a zine if you have access to a Xerox machine and a Sharpie.
“We get questions about how much it costs to be a part of Weird Corpus, but everything comes out of our pocket. There are no ads; it’s simply a way to keep an eye out for artists,” Ema continues.
In each issue, Weird Corpus recognizes a Local Weirdo, a title given to a local creative to celebrate their work by providing a look into who they are, where to find them, and how you can support them. Every issue of Weird Corpus includes a piece of their art for readers to collect and frame for their wall.
“They deserve the celebrity because of attention to detail in their work, or dedication to their craft, or what they provide to the community,” says Johnny.
Peeps to Creep offers Instagram content direction with active and engaging social media accounts from locals who provide a unique service, business, or perspective of the city.
“Follow these local creators, influencers, small business owners. Keep these creeps because they have something really neat, and have that in your feed,” says Ema.
New issues of Weird Corpus are released every ArtWalk, inside downtown places Johnny and Ema believe contribute to the community and project a certain vibe.
“We wanted to create a safe place for artists to feel weird,” says Johnny. “Weird Corpus showcases all the weird things that no one really talks about. We’re not trying to keep anything weird. It’s not a slogan. It’s just simply our zine title. We can coexist among other publications because what we provide is totally different. It’s a deep dive into the strange and unusual things we have here that are intriguing and interesting – the weird side of Corpus.”
Contact: weirdcorpus.com | @weirdcorpus