Carpal Tunnel Headache by Everett Gee

From 2010 to 2022, when he wasn't releasing comix or screen printing, Everett Gee was cranking out fliers left and right for punk shows—mostly in Little Rock, Arkansas and surrounding areas—amongst a thriving punk scene. When there was no show, he'd put together a fake flier for shits and grins (there's at least a couple of those in this zine). Carpal Tunnel Headache (Fliers From The Flu Factory)is a collection of most but not all the fliers Everett managed to not lose during this time.

92 pages, half size, offset print, $4.99. Buy *HERE*

Fluke #19.5: The First Two Years

In 1990 in Little Rock, Arkansas, local punk Steve Schmidt set out to be in a band (Chino Horde), host a punk rock radio show on KABF (Adios Amerika) and publish a fanzine (Plaid). While Chino Horde and Adios Amerika achieved greatness in Little Rock and abroad, Plaid never saw issue 1.

A year later, Jason White and Matthew Thompson stepped in to collaborate with Schmidt on Fluke issue 1, picking up where he left off with Plaid. Steve had interviews with Fugazi and Plaid Retina in the can, Jason interviewed Tim Lamb (of legendary '80s Little Rock punk fanzine Lighten Up) and Matthew submitted a few writings. They wrote dozens of punk and hip hop record reviews, shot photographs and sought contributors around town. 

There's content addressing the societal pressures of the Bible Belt onto the youth —— military recruiters to religious crusaders and anti-abortionists. While not at shows or skateboarding, the three high school friends created the design and layout at Kinko's in North Little Rock, where local punk and friend Colin Brooks worked. With a very nice "deal" on copies, Fluke 1 was born.

The following year, Fluke 2 was published soon after Steve moved to Eureka, California but eventually returning to Little Rock. Issue 2 featured touring bands, including interviews with Lungfish, Ben Sizemore (Econochrist), Bay Area bands Nuisance and Monsula, and Toronto's Phleg Camp.

As things progressed, Steve and Jason channeled their energy into Chino Horde while Matthew continued publishing Fluke. Issue 14 (2017) contains 40 show flyers from 1988-1992, all from the one punk club in town. The early '90s Little Rock scene was centered around these shows, with local sweethearts Trusty as the driving force. The show flyers are the centerpiece here, completing Fluke 19.5: The First Two Years.

Full size perfect bound book, offset print. 108 pages, $5.99. 

Buy *HERE*

NXOEED interview in Fluke 16: The Art of NXOEED

A few years back, I handed over my fanzine to my friend NXOEED, one of my favorite artists (and the best, most creative artist in Phoenix). Here's the interview with him. Buy it here for only $2.99: Fluke 16

Miscreant #0 now available

Buy it for $1.99 *here*!

Writer Eric Williamson and visual artist NXOEED were fifth graders when they met in 1983. Both fans of comic books, they began collaborating on superhero and sci-fi stories that were eventually collected and printed with the help of a copy machine in their neighborhood supermarket. Though they didn’t know it at the time, they had self-published their first zine.

The two reconnected at an art show in the fall of 2021, after decades of virtually no contact. The conversation picked up where it had left off all those years ago. It was suggested that they begin collaborating again, maybe on a new version of the old zine. Several weeks later, they were back to work.

Miscreant Issue Zero is a preview of a much larger publication still to come. 

What started at the kitchen table after school continues 40 years later at an art studio and a home office.

16 pages, comic size, offset print.

Municipal Threat Double Dose

Fluke Publishing is offering issues 1 and 2 of Brad Dwyer's (and company) Municipal Threat at a discounted price! 144 pages for $8, buy it *here*

Municipal Threat #1 is a 72-page fanzine that pays homage to the cult exploitation films and B-movies that invaded our youth through late night cable TV and VHS rentals. Featuring original comix, illustrations, and film reviews from a plethora of deranged artists and writers, these celluloid obsessed survivors of trash cinema have had their minds irrevocably twisted, and must be considered a Municipal Threat.

Municipal Threat #2 is also 72 pages. This issue features B-Movie inspired original comics and illustrations by a host of deranged contributors, in addition to reviews of cinematic triumphs and catastrophes. Also, an extended interview with film director JR Bookwalter, of THE DEAD NEXT DOOR and ROBOT NINJA fame!

Half size, offset print.


NXOEED the zine is a repository of creatures and fonts that are hand-drawn by NXOEED the artist for creative punks who want to make stuff but aren't sure where to begin. The images inside are all yours to mess with. You can make buttons, logos, stickers, patches, posters, album covers and even other zines. All you really need is a pair of scissors, an X-acto knife, glue stick and a copy machine (and the zine, of course).

Buy it *here*

Fluke Publishing presents: Ape-Men of the Apocalypse #7

Brad Dwyer's Ape-Men of the Apocalypse #7 is out now!

After a large scale nuclear war, the future inhabitants of Earth have been warped and twisted. Roaming bands of mutant freaks and humanoid animals battle for survival amidst a desolate, dangerous landscape. Mostrooper Gammon, along with his sentient tumor, must navigate this treacherous world while on a secret mission, but the Ape-Men are hot on his trail! The B&W Comics Explosion lives on in this newest chapter of the Ape-Men of the Apocalypse saga!

24 pages, comic book size, offset print, full color cover. 

Buy it *here*

Slingshot features Fluke

Read the article *here*

Inside Fluke – a zine

By Carrion Baggage

In an interview in Sluice zine Matt Thompson is being given space to celebrate his own zine. Zines interviewing zines seems like a setup to a joke. But Matt is old and accomplished — he’s not taking his time here frivolously.

He describes making the first issue of Fluke with his friends as well as the second issue a year later. “1992 saw a huge influx of zines.” And for sure, the whole decade was like a wildfire cutting across the land. Thousands of people were motivated to get out their ideas, stories, personality and anything else they could onto paper. This spark reached Matt and Co. all the way to the remote flatlands & hills of Arkansas. The fact that numerous grassroots spaces like info shops self-identify as “zine libraries/making space” hints at the force at play. Given that was 30 years ago, there’s always an excuse why it’s not the same today. The internet. Deforestation. Ego Trips Are Bad for Children (and other living Beings too)

Fluke made only five issues during the ‘90s, when it seemed like everyone made a zine. It was later, when most people ran to video and web design, that he came back and intensified his efforts in publishing. Matt’s life was in disarray; a failed love relationship, struggles with addiction, becoming a parent and the general problems of life made him double down on what inspired him to act. The return to Fluke helped to signify the music he loved, the diaspora of Little Rock freaks and the uplifting of other creative projects from graffiti to underground film.

Matt recently came to the East Bay upon the release of Fluke #19 which is a beast of a new issue. It shows how sustained effort makes results. “I started this issue in December 2018. I did two issues since then as well as starting a publishing company where I published ten other zines. (Which includes works from Phoenix artist NXOEED, Hawaiian punker New Wave Chicken and fallen wild man Matt Limo Zine). “This has been something I’ve been working on in the background (the whole time).”

Matt is a tall guy with a large frame. Almost a mini giant. His speech is languid with hints of a Southern twang but not quite with the generic flourish you get with a speaker from the Mississippi or Texas. It’s a voice of a laborer who plows through tasks. His words are measured. “And then dealing with self doubt…dealing with any type of personal issues I may have had at the time. Those always come into play.”

Issue #19 has none of the dear diary personal demons of its maker often associated with ‘90s zines. The new issue is interviews with people who make Mail Art — that is art sent through the post office. A niche scene of creators not too far from the punk scene that he dedicated the previous eighteen issues. He describes the commonality being “People sharing ideas and art.” Many of those he interviewed first heard about Mail Art in the early 1970s in an article in Rolling Stone Magazine. It is an underground art movement who has slowly attracted new practitioners over time & space.

“They are strangers at first but become friends and form common bonds. They share couch space. They travel and do events across the country…and in the world.” This issue talks to people in San Francisco, Vancouver, Sweden & Japan. Some of whom felt their work at the time was outside the mainstream definition of “Fine Art” but are also content to be where they are.

“People tell me I have no audience for Mail Art — its not really gonna work out. There have been times I wanted to throw it in the trash and not even do it.”

Zines often cover “who cares” type of things and attempts to get the rest of us to. Fluke is one of the many publications taking cue from the zine Cometbus in content as well as form. The first issues of that zine championed local Berkeley bands. It quickly led to pages magnifying the hangouts, personalities and lifestyle of punks as well as the freaks around town. Cometbus came from & covered one of America’s most offbeat grassroots communities that was transformed by the 1960’s — as it went through a slow boil into a yuppie MK Ultra soup of today. It took the Bay Area funk, style and intelligence outside the imaginary bubble. It helped popularizeexploring new cities, dumpster diving and overdosing on coffee. It’s one thing to proclaim “revolution” and a whole ‘nother thing to demonstrate it. Cometbus turned forty in 2021, yet it continues to be in production. This whole time shifting focus and approach, yet keeping punk and a community freak vibe as foundation. It has inspired thousands of zine-writers to get to work. Often the zines are pale imitators, making the same things Cometbus writes about seem lifeless, dull and self indulgent. Ah ‘90s zines. Fluke started off looking like Cometbus but with issue #19 it is making a firm step up. The new issue shows how good it is to bust out of a niche scene playing with mirrors. It’s not just a zine interviewing zines or punks doing secret handshakes to other punks. 

“Gathering all the information, piecing it all together…It’s been a labor of love for me. I love to persevere and see it come to fruition. I love to prove my own self-doubt wrong. It came out way better than I imagined.”

The new issue is surprisingly handsome. Many pages are full color and on glossy paper. None of the interviews are overly long or repetitive. And the whole thing is priced in the $5 range — to counter the trend of everyone raising prices and lowering quality. A path that new zines seem to follow to only end up having their hard work be ignored.

In the tradition of the subject matter of Mail Art, each issue has a cool old stamp posted inside. But the fun of making a zine doesn’t end so easily. “This is just half-way through the process.” Meaning sending out orders, visiting stores that carry zines and other such tasks. At one point Matt endeavored to send out a piece of mail each day. Not just zines but letters, postcards — you know the things people do with their phones these days. This eventually lead to Matt’s adventure to find caches of unused stamps in the numerous estate sales on hand. An activity necessitated by the outrageous fee increases forwarded by the Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (everyone hiss). It’s a lot of work that only a few people appreciate.

Matt’s visit to the Bay Area brings to mind the historic visit of first wave English punk band The Clash. In between shows they were taken to Mt. Tamalpais. It is one of the Bay Area’s most distinctive landmarks whose shape is said to be that of a woman reclining. A Native American princess. Man what a way of first meeting California. In busted-ass homage Matt was taken to Indian Rock — a place he had never seen despite his love for the area. Outside of the North Berkeley Pegasus Books (where they refused to carry his or any zine on their shelf) — with it’s small town sleepy suburb thing going on it is a short but steep climb to reach. Another world is there above the trees and roofs. Line of sight to the Golden Gate Bridge, “the City”, Oakland…Richmond, Marin and the aforementioned Mt. Tam. It’s good to get a little high after a bunch of long days laboring over these art projects. And what a spot to contemplate this “civilization” that we fight for AND against everyday. It’s daunting to think sometimes where it’s all going — but a whole ‘nother thing to think how short of a time it’s been this way. All this human development….-barely 150 years. Often we hope for change to make improvements on our condition only to be met with the joke being on those who care.

With the advent of access to the cheaper technology of the last twenty five years, we had a short run where activist organizations were in full bloom against the big corporations (Anyone remember Indy Media?). Only for these last few years to see an explosion of small time thugs doing startup media and pushing the right wing opinion forever and ever Amen. The new indy media of today is funded by the Koch Brothers, Raytheon and Bayer.

The Clash made it to Mt. Tam from the dire conditions of 1970s England. Poverty. Racism. War. Perhaps society was really gonna collapse at the time. A toxic cocktail that a small group of friends transformed into something that helped them get out of the prison of their world and to the other side of the planet. In the process they reach millions of dissatisfied people who were ready to give up. Their music and the movement of the moment gave them a way outta no way. Though Fluke zine started as a small group like a band, it says much how one person continues to do it. Much like how Slingshot as one person (because let’s be real, presently it’s not really a collective) is able to make things happen and open doors for other people struggling. The threat of collapse is very much on people’s mind today.

-“Its funny doing a magazine-a always seems to drive itself. It directs me where it wants to go and I listen to it. It’s good to build something from the ground up. And now that it’s out it is half-way through the lifespan.”

Back home where he lives now in Phoenix, Arizona— it is a life without much fanfare for the maker of a fanzine. Day job, kids, and, at best, trips to the post office downtown where he can then celebrate the day at his favorite cafe. As Matt is filling orders for zines he dreams out loud about future issues of Fluke. Is anyone else thinking positively about the future?
…Um, show not tell

2nd Edition of Fluke 19: the Mail Art issue

Buy it *here*

The second edition of Fluke 19 is now available, with a new cover and art inside. 

Fluke 19 is an exploration into the world of the pioneers of Mail Art. We traveled far and wide for interviews with buZ blurr, John Held, Jr, Anna Banana, Leslie Caldera, EF Higgins III, Ryosuke Cohen, Noriko Shimizu, Henry Denander and more. Bonus interview from 1977 with the Father of Mail Art, Ray Johnson. The stalwarts of Mail Art who have been active in the movement since the '70s and '80s are all here at your fingertips!

76 pages, half-size book

Fluke article in Phoenix New Times

See the article here: 

Matthew Thompson doesn't believe in being bored. “The world is full of boring people,” the publisher of FLUKE, a local punk zine, said. “My grandmother used to say if you’re bored, you’re boring.” 

He didn’t want to talk last week about what brought him to Phoenix from Little Rock, Arkansas, 21 years ago. “Let’s just say I needed a change of scenery. I needed some sunshine, and it turned out that Arizona has been really good to me. So I stayed.” 

He’d tried Chicago and Seattle in the early '90s. Living in the desert hadn’t crossed his mind. “Not in my wildest dreams,” was how he put it. “Arizona was never on my radar. But my mom moved here, and I came out for a visit and, I don’t know. Good things started happening.”

He began a career in communications (“I don’t like to talk about my job,” Thompson said. “I keep my public and work lives separate.”). He got married and started a family. He bought a house. And in 2001, he relaunched FLUKE, a punk rock fanzine he’d started in Little Rock with two high school friends, Jason White (now a touring guitarist for Green Day) and Steve Schmidt, whose idea it was. 

“Steve was working at an ice cream shop and this homeless guy would come in every day and write on this piece of paper,” Thompson recalled. “The guy was teaching himself to write, and that inspired Steve to get off his ass and create things. He started a band, he started a public access radio show, and then we started FLUKE.” 

The zine’s mail-art-themed 30th-anniversary issue has just dropped, chockablock with articles about renowned mail artists and glossy reprints of their work. Via post, it arrives in an elaborate mailer covered in colored stamps, a rubber-stamped Post-It stuck to its cover. 

In the '80s, fanzines were a necessary part of punk culture, Thompson said. Big-deal punk bands were touring, but not getting much media coverage. Thompson and his friends noticed. 

“We’d interview the punk bands when they came to Little Rock,” he said. “We had record reviews and stories and photography and journalism. Art. Friends would collaborate with articles about local things in the scene. Back then before the internet, a zine was a way to communicate with others outside your city.”

Unlike its grungy first issues, the newest FLUKE is perfect-bound and printed in full color. The zine’s early days were more primitive. Thompson and his friends knew a guy who worked at Kinko’s who’d print 100 copies for $10. “We just passed them out to our friends and sent them off to national publications for review. The response was always positive, so we kept going.” 

White and Schmidt left FLUKE after Issue Two to focus on their music careers, but Thompson kept on. He liked working behind the scenes. 

“I’m a big music fan, but I am bad at playing it,” he said. “I’ve tried, and it’s not my thing. So instead of playing I’m publishing FLUKE, and it’s in stores all over the country. It goes out all across the world. I’ve been getting orders from Asia, Australia, Canada. It’s my art. It’s what I do.” 

FLUKE is now an annual, which has freed up Thompson’s time for other projects. He started a publishing company last year to print a collection of posters by Phoenix's James B. Hunt, a sticker and flyer artist better known as NXOEED. He’s looking forward to publishing more of Hunt’s work and is already planning the next issue of FLUKE

“Zine culture is very much alive and well,” he said. “They’re way bigger now than they were in the '80s and '90s.” 

Thompson often hears how the punk underground is long gone, or that it’s not what it used to be. 

“Well, for somebody it is,” he said. “It’s just that we’re not supposed to know about it. It belongs to the younger people." 

He continued: "They’re still doing punk shows in the basement, still doing zines and making music and art. For each other. They don’t want us old fogeys to know about it. And that’s how it should be.”

Fluke #19 is an exploration into the world of the pioneers of Mail Art. We traveled far and wide for interviews with buZ blurr, John Held, Jr, Anna Banana, Leslie Caldera, EF Higgins III, Ryosuke Cohen, Noriko Shimizu, Henry Denander and more. Bonus interview from 1977 with the Father of Mail Art, Ray Johnson. The stalwarts of Mail Art who have been active in the movement since the '70s and '80s are all here at your fingertips!

76 pages, half-size book. Buy here: Fluke 19 | The Mail Art Issue


Fluke Publishing presents NXOEED POSTER MORGUE

Visual artist NXOEED is a one-person street team. For decades, he's been hand-drawing his show posters, reproducing them and posting them around town, all on his own. This is a collection of his most recent black-and-white works, drawn between 2014 and 2021. Future volumes will go further back in time.

68 pages, digest

Buy here: NXOEED

Fluke Publishing presents "Off Into Nowhere": The Limo Zine Anthology

"Off Into Nowhere": The Limo Zine Anthology

The commemorative issue of the late great Matt Limo's legendary '90s Limo Zine. This tome collects all three issues published by a young Limo, as well as a new story he wrote not long before his untimely passing in April 2021. 104 pages of travel, adventure and friendship. It's only $2 because that's how Matt would want it! 

Foreword by Catherine McRae and afterword by Bennie Blanco.

Fluke article in The Idle Class Magazine

 Letters to Friends + Strangers

Zine culture goes back decades, if not centuries. One could argue that Thomas Payne’s Common Sense was an early example of zine. In the 20th century, they grew out of early sci-fi fandom and eventually spread to topics like feminism, horror stories, and, most notably, music. Early music zines like Crawdaddy! and Mojo Navigator Rock and Roll News sprang up in California. Punk rock’s DIY aesthetic was a perfect fit for zines. British fanzines like Sniffin’ Glue and Bondage spread the word to the world of what was happening in the UK punk scene. Throughout the 1980s, zines spread across other genres such as hardcore and even mainstream rock with multiple Bruce Springsteen fanzines popping up. So, as Little Rock’s DIY and music scene grew during the ’80s and early ’90s, the emergence of zines was a natural progression of the cultural development happening.

One such zine was Fluke. Created by Steve Schmidt, Jason White and Matthew Thompson in North Little Rock. Its origin was a bit serendipitous according to Thompson. Schmidt had graduated high school and was living with his mom and working at TCBY Frozen Yogurt in Lakewood. A homeless man would come in and write the numbers one through twenty-seven on a piece of paper, continuously. At the time, Schmidt figured the man was teaching himself to count, which inspired Schmidt to take action in his own life. He soon began hosting a punk rock radio show on KABF, joined the band Chino Horde and started a fanzine. 

In the summer of 1991, the trio launched Fluke 1. Schmidt interviewed touring bands Fugazi and Plaid Retina, who performed at what is now Vino’s on 7th in Chester in Little Rock. White interviewed Tim Lamb, who published a Little Rock fanzine called Lighten Up in the ’80s. Thompson was taking a writing course at UALR and one of his assignments was to write a letter to the editor of the Arkansas Gazette. His letter addressed the correlation between violence on television and society. It was printed in the paper so he included that in the first issue, as well as other writings, photography and record reviews. Their friend Colin Brooks worked at Kinko’s on JFK and McCain in North Little Rock and he assisted them with printing the first two issues. 

Growing up, Thompson says zines were crucial to the community.

“I think zines touch people on an intimate level because it is a personal piece of literature and art and people feel connected to that.” He added, “They played a vital role in the scene. Fanzines were the glue that held it all together. They offered information, opinions, insight, journalism, art and dialogue between friends. By 1992, there was an influx of local zines in Little Rock. It seemed like everyone and their dog did a zine.”

For Thompson, zines gave him a way to contribute to the scene as a creator. He took what he learned in high school journalism classes and applied to Fluke. He believes the punk rock bible Maximumrocknroll—which began in the Bay Area in 1982—and Ahoalton—a zine on punk rock and Native American culture by Little Rock native Mark Dober—were among the first zines he ever encountered. He would read reviews of other zines in the back pages of Maximumrocknroll and order them. Some of Thompson’s favorite Little Rock zines of the late Eighties/Nineties include Jeremy Brasher’s Risk, which touched on train-hopping; Theo Witsell’s Spectacle; Jim Thompson’s Handout; and Sam Caplan’s Tracks n Macks

Thompson cites John Pugh’s Eyepoke and Get Lost as his absolute favorites of mid ’90s Little Rock zines. Thompson said, “John was everywhere––in the streets, at the shows, at the punk houses, copy shops, traveling, and documenting it all[…]There were a lot of great Little Rock zines in the early ’90s and a lot of not so great ones, too. That didn’t really matter, though. It was something to create and engage your friends with.”

Fluke has brought many memories for Thompson over the years. The highlight has been “being able to connect with people I admire and am inspired by.” He befriended musician Mike Watt, Arkansas artist buZ blurr, and musician and zine creator Aaron Cometbus. He met Arkansas expatriate musicians like Tav Falco and Gary Floyd. He handed copies of the magazine to rock legends Iggy Pop and Keith Morris. Last year, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore even ordered several issues. These, of course, are not the only reasons he has kept the zine going for all these years.

“It energizes me. People interest me. It’s a fanzine, a zine for fans. I’m a fan of music, art, writing, photography, ideas. It’s something I am passionate about,” Thompson said. “Flukeconnects me to the world. I took two long breaks––seven and four years––battling addiction and then piecing my life back together. Fluke has given me purpose in life.”

Many Fluke contributors have gone on to do big things. Fluke co-founder White has toured the world as a guitarist for Green Day for over 20 years now. Brooks played in Dan Zanes and Friends, whose album Catch That Train! won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Musical Album for Children. buZ blurr’s art has been shown in major art exhibits and museums worldwide, most recently in SFMOMA and Beyond the Streets in Los Angeles. Nate Powell’s 2008 graphic novel Swallow Me Whole won an Ignatz Award and Eisner Award for Best Original Graphic Novel. He also won a National Book Award for his illustration work for the March graphic novel by the late, great Rep. John Lewis. 

Powell has collaborated with Fluke for 15 years, but he first became a fan in 1992 when he picked up Fluke #2 along with some other local zines. The DIY movement inspired Powell to collaborate with his friends Mike Lierly and Nathan Wilson to self-publish their own comics. In 2006, Powell and Thompson reconnected when Powell contributed illustrations for the booklet accompanying the documentary, Towncraft, about the Little Rock music scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s That was immediately followed by Powell’s cover art for Fluke #7, and they have been regular collaborators since then, roughly once a year. Powell cites Fluke and zine culture as having a major influence on his career to come.

“Zines were one of the most accessible forms of self-expression for teenagers in the 1990’s underground, and there were at least a dozen zines being published by young people in the Little Rock area,” Powell said. “D.O.A., the dystopian superhero comic we self-published starting in 1992, was made possible by the proof-of-concept established through other kids’ zines, and by 1994, I was making more personal zines of my own, eventually folding comics back into the zine content later in the ’90s and ultimately arriving at my current mode of full personal and political expression through my comics.”

Fluke also provided a way for people to stay plugged into their hometown scene in the days before social media and widespread Internet use. Cora Crary, a Little Rock native who left for the Pacific Northwest in the early ’90s, used the zine as a means of connection.

“I left Little Rock in the fall of 1990 and other than living in town for a few months in 1992 and 1994 I wasn’t really around, so for me Fluke contributed to my understanding of what was happening in Little Rock,” Crary said. “That said, Fluke came about at a time in the scene where everyone had zines, since especially if you weren’t in a band, a zine was essentially a calling card, as well as an excuse to ask your geeky questions of the creators you followed. Fluke has persisted all these decades and has provided a through line connecting the Little Rock scene that we grew up in with all the new and adjacent projects made or inspired by those in the scene.”

Over the years, production has evolved. Instead of printing and assembling the zine at a copy shop, Thompson now has a printer who prints and collates Fluke. Instead of printing 100 or so copies, he now prints 1,000 or more and sells them in stores around the country and even abroad. He has slowly but surely built up a distribution network across the country by taking the time to develop personal relationships with people and stores. Some stores have sold Fluke since its inception, but Thompson is always looking for more outlets worldwide to carry the zine. 

Last year, he started Fluke Publishing––printing and distributing magazines created by friends. 

Powell credits Fluke’s longevity to Thompson’s growth as a creative and a person.

“I think it’s essential that zinemakers grow older with their publications, allowing shifts in their own personal interests to coexist with a sense of continuity,” Powell said. “Fluke excels in this by focusing on musicians and artists who have grown and evolved alongside their creations, and Matthew takes care to highlight this in a very open, sincere way.”

Crary sees the zine as an inspiration. She said, “Zines have an intimacy and immediacy to them. Publishing and communications have changed dramatically since the first Fluke was released, but the format remains as relevant as ever […] Fluke has been a love letter to a scene that taught us all that if you don’t see what you’re looking for, then maybe it’s time you make it yourself.”

In late 2019, Thompson curated the “Fluke Life” art show in North Little Rock. Gen X’ers, Millennials and Gen Z’ers packed into Dedicated Visual Art Studio & Gallery in North Little Rock. Patrons browsed through reprints of back issues and bid on skate decks painted by Arkansas artists like Milkdadd, Olivia Trimble and Michael Shaeffer. 

“When I was approached to create a deck, it was a no-brainer,” Shaeffer said. “Fluke has been such a huge part of Central Arkansas culture for as far back as I have lived here. It has always been a zine that would celebrate not only interesting music and art on a national level, but also celebrate cool things happening in the area.”

The skate decks were manufactured about a mile down the road from where the show was held. Paige Hearn, who has made skate decks in Levy since the ’80s, provided the boards. Gallery owner Jose Hernandez helped recruit artists from across the state. The age range of the artists ran the gamut with buZ blurr and Kuhl Brown being the oldest—in their 70s and 80s, respectively—and the youngest was Thompson’s daughter, who was 13 at the time. She was the only artist not from Arkansas, but he made an exception.

Thompson said, “It came together seamlessly, really. Everyone was, pardon the pun, on board to be a part of the show. It was absolutely incredible and overwhelming, the place was packed inside and out for the whole night. It felt like a homecoming of sorts, so many friends I’ve had for decades showed up, as well as people I’d never met. Jason [White] was in town for the holiday so he showed up, too. It was one of the best nights of my life, honestly. I hope to do another one in November, if things calm down with the virus.” 

The future of Fluke looks bright. Thompson plans to continue publishing the zine to grow his audience and will even release a book of his own this year. His love of zines has not wavered even as the magazine enters its 30th year. 

“I found Fluke to be a project that propels me.” He added, “I love how the magazine drives itself and I’m just along for the ride. One idea building on another. I enjoy collaborating with others. Once it is created, I love sending it out into the world––through mail order and to shops that sell zines. Secretly, my magazines are actually letters to friends and strangers.”

If fans would like to order copies, please visit Send mail to: Matthew Thompson, PO Box 1547, Phoenix, AZ 85001.


MNRL CVLT FIELD REPORT #1 review in Tales From the Middle 8

 Tales From the Middle 8

Issue 1 of this new zine from NXOEED through Fluke Publishing is good fun. The MNRL CVLT Field Report has a new collection of NXOEED art and is also a curious list of locations you can seek out to mine for rocks. Almost like a personal journal, or instructions between a group of close friends. 

I’m reminded, as far as the content goes, of Public Collectors publications, this feels like something they would have also jumped at the chance to print; the playful cataloguing of information that many would consider throw away or too niche, the stuff zine readers love. As NXOEED says: “This zine exists because it’s exactly what I would have wanted someone else to write.”

It's a curious document of course, lists often are, but the intro and notes are eccentric and so warmly penned that you can't help but smile as you go through each page, each location and description of what you might find there. The latitude and longitude of the location is followed by a description of the stones available there and also a little anecdote, for example "This place gives me the creeps, but its fun..." I haven't read anything quite like it, which is what makes this little zine so interesting.

You can pick the zine up from Fluke Publishing

Fluke #18 review in MAXIMUMROCKNROLL #452

MRR review

Fluke fanzine has been publishing for close to 30 years, though in fits and spurts, with the last five years or so being particularly active. Fluke has a knack for finding interesting and often outsider artists to interview and this issue is no different. Susan A. Phillips is a professor at Pitzer College and provides her insights on the history and importance of graffiti in the Los Angeles region. Everett Gee is an artist currently based in St. Louis, though he spent some time in Little Rock (Fluke’s original home base). Bill Daniel is a photographer and filmmaker who has documented the world of rail car monikers, though the interview focuses on fanzines. Gary Floyd needs no introduction. All this plus art from Nxoeed, photography, an essay on skateboarding and more.