Off The Hook

I can’t believe it’s been four year since I released a new zine.

At the end of 2019 I started getting ready to launch not just one zine, but a collection of zines. I actually finished the entire Kickstarter for the project but still needed to shoot a video for it. I was going out to LA in January 2020, and I figured that would be a good time to shoot the video. I did shoot it, but when I got back I got really sick and then I got really busy and right as I was about to launch it, the pandemic happened and it seemed like an absolutely terrible time to ask people for money. 

The first zine in my series of zines was called Off The Hook and it was going to just be a fun zine of photos of people on their phone. It wasn’t deep, it had some fun photos and some nudity and some famous people and I figured it was a perfect way to kick off the zine series. I had the edit done and had started laying it out, but with Covid and BLM protests and an election and everything that came along with that, it just seemed like a uniquely terrible time to release a fun zine. 

As the years went on I kept opening the InDesign file and I would work on the zine a little bit. I was still shooting new stuff for it, and I would pull those images off to the side somewhere, but I just kept putting it off. About a year ago I started working on a new project, a new idea, a new art show, but I just couldn’t commit to it, because I couldn’t get Off The Hook out of my head.  Finally I just had to finish it. 

Off The Hook is not the zine it would have been in 2020, but when I finally got it in my hands the other day  I was so happy with how it turned out. It’s my biggest zine to date and even though it’s just photos of people on their phone, there are a lot of great shots in it and when you lay them out together, they work really well together. I am pretty proud of it and I hope you guys dig it. I also have a second zine that I published as a companion to it, but we will get to that in a minute…

Off The Hook is available in two editions. The regular edition is 44 pages and from an edition of 200 and features the iPhone lock screen style cover above designed by Barbie movie font/ titles designer Teddy Blanks.  The special edition zine features four extra pages and a wrap around variant cover, also designed by Teddy based on a sketch I made years ago when I first came up with the idea for Off The Hook. The special edition is signed and hand numbered out of 50 and comes with a signed 5″x7″ mini print of the image on the cover. The whole thing is polybagged and looks so clean. There is also a special edition bundle that comes with both the special edition AND an actual Instax signed by me and one of three adult film stars, Carter Cruise, Phoenix Marie or April O’Neil.

On top of the two different versions of Off The Hook, I also published my first zine from another artist. I have wanted to publish zines for other people for a long time. I wanted to focus on a mix of photographers I liked with other people who I thought really had something, even if they weren’t traditionally photographers. The fun of being a curator is trying to organize work so that it is greater than the sum of the parts, and I love the idea of taking work from someone who isn’t an “Artist” and trying to turn that into something special.

So when my girlfriend, Shannon McNair, started texting me photos of her nails next to things that happened to be the same color as her nails, I knew we were on to something. These photos were so much fun, and as she sent me more and more I knew I could make something fun out of them. I started saving them in a folder on my desktop because I knew they would make a good zine one day.

I wasn’t planning on releasing her nail zine at the same time as Off The Hook until I got around to picking the cover. I wanted to make the cover of Off The Hook about the concept and not about a specific person, so I was looking for an image all about the phone. I realized I had just the shot and it happened to be a photo of Shannon when we were on a vacation in Palm Springs. Her green hair and bikini matched her green phone case and was obscuring her face making it a perfect cover shot. 

Strangely enough when we were working on her future phone zine I realized the perfect cover for that was the only selfie in the collection when she was showing how her nails matched her phone and her hair. Suddenly the two zines worked perfectly together. I couldn’t believe it. I immediately laid out Nailed It in and afternoon. All we needed was an inside cover, which I shot myself, and I don’t want to give away, but I am really happy with the way it turned out. 

You can buy Nailed It on its own, or in a bundle with Off The Hook. But if you want one, hurry because we only made 50 and she took half of them to work to sell to her clients. 

Finally, I know how people feel about NFTs, so please feel free to ignore this part. I know a ton of people think they are stupid or a scam, before Ethereum moved to proof of stake people had environmental concerns and of course since the market crashed even people who were interested in the idea have decided they were Beanie Babies and moved on. 

As I have probably mentioned before, when I heard about NFTs I immediately got it. I thought the hype was silly and a lot of the art sucked but I am a collector at heart and I totally got the idea of paying for digital collectables. But more importantly I thought it was a great way to support artists. I love supporting my friends and artists and I love getting something in return. So when I heard about NFTs I immediately thought of them as a way to crowdfund and to support artists. In the process I found some amazing groups of people who deeply cared about art and photography. I have been to great events and art shows and had my work on two billboards, multiple group shows and a book through NFTs. I made some money which I then immediately spent on other artists. Now that things have all crashed down to earth I still have some JPGs I love, was able to support a bunch of artists and made some great friendships and I am not giving up on any of it just because things aren’t worth the money I didn’t think they were worth in the beginning. 

So long story short, you can get a copy of Off The Hook with an NFT.  I made an NFT edition of the cover. There are 20 of them, they are .0333 ETH and if you buy one I will send you a zine in the mail with free US postage. I also made a collection of 20 1/1 images from the zine which are more expensive, but come with the special edition as well as an 8″x12″ print of that photo. I don’t expect these to sell well, and I am totally fine with that. But if you are one of the few people who still care about digital collectibles just know that if you buy one, I promise to pay it forward and buy something from another artist. 

My motto is forever, Make Art, Sell Art, Buy Art. Thanks for your past and continued support.

Click here to buy Off The Hook. 

Off The Hook

Off The Hook Special Edition

Nailed It

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