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 www.flukefanzine.com. Send mail to: Matthew Thompson, PO Box 1547, Phoenix, AZ 85001.

IG / @FLUKE_FANZINE


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. 

NXOEED #1 review in MAXIMUMROCKNROLL #452























MRR review 

“Nxoeed” is visual artist James B. Hunt who is based in Phoenix, Arizona. His work includes creatures that look like something out of some wild alien B-movie. This zine includes posters, flyers, band logos and journal entries from a year in the life of Nxoeed. It even includes several pages of art you’re encouraged to cut out to make your own flyer, sticker or whatever you want. Maybe the inspiration you need to get out your scissors and glue stick and make your own zine. Nxoeed is certainly an artist worth checking out and this zine is a great introduction. Brought to you by Fluke Publishing.

Fluke issue 18 now available!

This issue focuses on outsider art and culture.
We caught up with filmmaker, photographer and cinematographer Bill Daniel—creator of the experimental documentary film Who is Bozo Texino?—and talked about zines, Aaron Cometbus and Bill's train-hopping adventures that eventually led to discovering the moniker writers of the US railways system.
Susan A. Phillips of Pitzer College and author of The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti has been researching graffiti since 1990. Susan shares with us her vast knowledge and discoveries, including graffiti dating back to the early 20th century by legendary hobo A-No. 1.
We welcome back Gary Floyd (Dicks, Sister Double Happiness), who was featured in Fluke 15 in 2018. I had two friends submit interviews with Gary, this is the second one. Gary talks about growing up in Gurdon, Arkansas, moving to Austin and forming the Dicks, and touring with Nirvana with Sister Double Happiness.
Sergej Vutuc—photographer, zine maker, skateboarder and musician now based in Paris, France—contributes his skateboarding photographs that are like none other.
buZ blurr of Colossus of Roads fame writes about connecting with Bill Daniel in the early '90s, during Bill's search for Bozo Texino. buZ also contributed art for this issue.
Linda Kite writes about her relationship with D Boon (Minutemen) and the Desolation Center shows around Los Angeles in the early to mid '80s.
Also in this issue you'll find more art and photographs as well as writings about skateboarding, music, art and friendship. It is my hope that this issue will inspire you to keep searching, keep creating and keep living through these troubled times.

NXOEED issue 1 review in Razorcake

Click here to purchase NXOEED issue 1 from Fluke Publishing: NXOEED 1






Fluke Publishing releases first issue: NXOEED #1, Spring 2020

A year in the life of visual artist James B. Hunt aka NXOEED. Posters he illustrated, band logos he created, altercations he had along the way, and tools for folks who want their poster made by James without actually having to pay him to do it! 

32 pages, 8.5x7 

Order here: NXOEED #1

Fluke 3 reprint!

For the first time since 1993, Fluke 3 is back in print. This issue has stories from the editor about the streets of early '90s Chicago (Wicker Park) and a "When I Was a Kid" installment. John Pugh writes about scars, Mark Howe writes about hip hop, Brian Kozlovsky talks about 8bark tour through New Mexico and Arizona. This issue closes with an interview with ceramic artist and Wicker Park resident Jon Hook.

It's a dollar! Click here: Fluke 3

Fluke issue 17 now available!

"It's been incredible to witness our work on MARCH be so widespread, relatively influential, and to play a role in the eternal battle to legitimize comics in the eyes of the broader public. But that legitimization has often come at the price of rejecting the mainstream superhero comics which shaped so many of us. Whenever I speak to crowds about MARCH, I feel it's important to note that my social conscience was birthed from a potent combination of thrash metal and Chris Claremont's long run writing X-MEN in the '70s and '80s - superhero comics provided that powerful lens by which to perceive racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and nationalism in the world around me, just as my world really started to open up in adolescence. The D.O.A. comics we published as young punk kids in the early '90s may have been dystopian guns-and-boobs superhero adventures, but we were making comics about resistance against totalitarianism, disinformation, and suppression. To me, there's no difference." - Nate Powell
This issue features interviews with Eisner Award-winning artist Nate Powell, Look Back Library's Kevin Marks and Tucson artist Danny Martin. Writings include "Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangster" by Matthew Thompson, "On Janguism" by John Pugh, "How We Got There From Here" by Anna Marie Armstrong, "Moon Over Millimillenary" by Mark Dober and "Punk Evolution: Beyond the Binary" by Jane Mabrysmith. Art by Laura Walden. Jessie Lynn McMains closes this one out with her poem, "Love Letter With Trains and Brautigan." This issue is packed tight with words and art. Thoughts and inspiration!
52 pages, half-size issue

buZ blurr article in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Wait of World
Surrealville, November 2018. Photo: Matthew Thompson

buZ blurr interview in Oxford American

Interview by Matt White and Matthew Thompson
Watt Towers, 2018. Photo: Matthew Thompson

Fluke issue 15 review in Thrasher Magazine (February 2019)


(RIP IN PEACE, JAKE PHELPS!)

"This is a killer zine originally from Arkansas but now by way of Arizona. It's got some great stuff as usual--interviews with Gary Floyd of the Dicks, photographer/adventurer Adam Smith, Mike Watt and Ian Mackaye, some ruminations on punk existence, some words from Arkansas native buZ blurr, an essay by D. Boon's widow, and more--love for the Minutemen and D. Boon run deep in this one. The writing and interviews are top notch and engrossing, and it's all in a tightly put together package. There is an online presence, but you can also send a few bucks to PO Box 1547, Phoenix, AZ, 85001 in order to keep the mailman employed and the physical connection real."






















FLUKE X NXOEED TOUR 2019

We are on tour! If you found a magazine on the street, thank you for picking it up and checking it out.  We have hit Southern California and the Bay Area, headed up to Portland and Seattle next. Also, Tucson, Little Rock, Chicago, Asheville and New York City are on the route, as well as other cities so stay tuned! **NXOEED** is where you can learn more about the artist from **Fluke 16**, he's rad and has art for sale. Follow him on Instagram at @nxoeed. I have back issues here: **Fluke Fanzine**. Please drop us a line if you are so inclined, thanks!

FLUKE FANZINE
POB 1547
PHOENIX, AZ 85001
matthew@flukefanzine.com

Fluke Retrospective @ Megaphone PHX 12/7 + 12/8


Fluke 16 - The Art of Nxoeed - out now!

The new issue is here! 28 pages of James B. Hunt's art and a 4 page interview of the artist. This is a look into the mind of one of my favorite artists anywhere. Click *here* to purchase!

Fluke #15 review in Razorcake issue 106!


Fluke is one of those zines that I wish was a hundred pages or more each issue. It really is one of the best out there. This issue is the “Lust for Life” issue, which as stated on the last page, is “about getting older yet still following one’s passion.” This issue has excellent interviews with Ian MacKaye, Gary Floyd, Mike Watt, and photographer Adam Smith, who has gone as far as living in his car to follow his passion through and get the photos. There’s also a story from Linda Kite about her time with D. Boon, Steve Hart of New Wave Chicken zine has a story about Tex the Magical Rooster, and more. Buy this for yourself and see. –Matt Average (PO Box 1547, Phoenix, AZ 85001)

Fluke #15 (not #4) review in Razorcake #106!

Fluke tabling at Tempe Art a Gogh Gogh on September 28th!

Zines! Bands! Art! Records! Stickers! Come out on September 28th, I'll be selling Fluke. Starts at 7pm at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe! 


Fluke #15 review in Razorcake #105!

Dudes, I fucked up big time. Fluke honcho Matthew Thompson nudged me a while back to submit something for his new issue, and I was like oh yeah, totally. And I forgot. Then a few months later the fifteenth installment of the venerable institution arrived, with great interviews with Mike Watt, Ian MacKaye, and Gary Floyd (by Erica Dawn Lyle of Scam zine, no less), Linda Kite’s print debut, and good writing by Jessie Lynn McMains. And I didn’t contribute anything. I could have been in there, elbow to elbow with all the heavy hitters: I coulda been a contender! But no! I blew a chance to be in the best issue of Fluke yet for no good reason. This is an egregious error on my part, one that will haunt me for the rest of my woebegone days. But don’t take my word for it: check the new ish and marvel at how awesome it is and ruefully shake your head at the bozo who dropped the ball. –Michael T. Fournier