To be real with you, I was looking forwards to the start of 2020. I was ready to sit down and start to take Dank Zine into new directions, take unknown risks, and explore ideas collaborating with new people to keep pushing what I could do. If I look past all the negative and full things that were Dank Zine 2020, I can say that 100% I hit all those goals though I don’t know if I have let that all soak in. 2020 feels like a massive blur with the ongoing lockdown, but somehow I managed to keep things moving despite the global changes.
One of the best things I don’t regret doing was reaching out to new creators and encouraging them to get on it. I think I connected more with people in the lockdown situation than I was doing IRL, if that makes any sense. I think part of that came with the fact that we were in a lockdown situation, and the chance that I would catch someone online was higher. I reached out to more artists, more content writers, and not only was I reaching out to collaborate with them, but I wanted them to keep going with it. The amazing thing was a lot of them did!
Now I look forwards to seeing new artwork popping up in my social feeds, and I’m subscribed to all new Patreons for retro game articles. I was someone’s small push in that dank direction, and take that as you will. I’m proud of that. Did I start a thing? Naw, I just doused it with gasoline and flicked a match into that. I’m excited to see what 2021 will bring for all these fresh content creators. I am also super proud of TangoBunny who just realized how awesome she was and started her own retro gaming Zine herself that you should totally pick up (I’m a backer!!) Here are some of the collaborations from 2020 that I was happy to feature in the Zine.
Dank Art 2020
Living in lockdown means a lot of downtimes. I have a very close circle of friends that I physically see or stay in touch with, limiting my physical adventures outside. There’s no game swap meets, no comic cons, no second-hand junk store diving, none of it. All I had to pass the time now was my art, and I put more investment into my love. Here is a collection of some of the pieces I was super proud of.
I had all these cool ideas where I would focus more on events, photography featuring cool looking arcades, and deep dives of old game systems. Those were the ideas that suffered the most since, well, COVID. Many in-person experiences were changing rapidly worldwide, and those ideas had to go back on the shelf. I plan to go back to some of these ideas when or if things go back to normal.
In the meantime, a lot of events are switching over to live streaming. Take, for example, GDQ’s new event format, which they tried out this past summer. Though it’s not the same as going to an event for the full experience, I am happy that people are starting to take more significant risks to keep things going. Not just that, online events are a way you can just take a break from the crazy brooding outside.
Hey, I got Partnered on Twitch
The other awesome thing about 2020 that happened was I got partnered on Twitch. I credit that mainly because I wasn’t working at all, and suddenly I had the time to share more time with people on the platform. I still don’t know how to feel about being partnered. I guess I am happy? I’m unsure if being partnered works into my whole Zine thing, but I did start to share making zines as part of my streaming schedule. I was impressed that people tuned in for those as I would have figured a crazy lady sitting at her desk doing graphic layout would be the most boring thing in the world, but it gave people an inside of how everything came together. It was cool to share that process.
Getting partnered this year led to me buying a whole new PC to just stream from as the iMac isn’t the way to go for games (it isn’t, folks). The PC opened up many doors for me exploring obscure games and discovering how I can create online wizardry using on the fly translators to help share these games with more people. Some of the more memorable games I played this year were War of the Dead for PC-88, looking at most Labirynth games, the very obscure and rare Moon light Saga game for MSX Turbo R, and playing thru the insane Police Quest 2 Anime remake for PC-98. I also finally finished an online playthru of Police Quest 3 after years of empty promises.
The other cool thing we started doing for the Dank community was starting up movie nights to enjoy a dank movie. That’s why you have seen a lot of old silly movie trailers on my stream. We watch the trailers and choose all the movies we watch to vote on and share watching them. It was a nice thing that we started doing since we all couldn’t go anywhere anyway.
I’m still not 100% clear on what I want for 2021 when it comes to my Dank Zine. I would love to keep building on it, adding more to the community and exploring all-new content ideas to help make the zine unique and desirable. It’s a tremendous amount of work, but I am happy to be proud that I did it and I am continually creating and pushing myself. I guess not many people are crazy enough to do what I do and for this long and this kind of consistency, but here I am, and I am looking forwards to keeping on keeping on in the years to follow.