David Gilbert doesn’t answer to the Man.
“I’m not really that crazy about being told what to do,” the 20-year-old CSU sophomore said. “I always liked the saying ‘ask forgiveness, not permission.'”
When creative writing major wanted to get involved with a literary and arts publication late last year, it was no surprise that instead of asking anyone permission, he started a publication himself: WOLF BOY.
WOLF BOY is a free, small-run “zine” composed mostly of local literature and visual art, but including a few hilarious found love letters, photos of local graffiti, several curse words and drug references and profane comics by Collegian cartoonist Ian Brown that would never be allowed to run in the Collegian.
Issue #4 is out this week and available in Matter Bookstore or from Gilbert himself, who, proper zine publisher that he is, says he’s happy to hand deliver or mail a copy of WOLF BOY to anyone who’s interested.
“A zine (pronounced “zeen,” like “magazine”) is a self-published, small circulation, non-commercial booklet or magazine, usually produced by one person or a few individuals,” according to the Web site of Zine World, a worldwide zine review. “Zines are publications done for the love of doing them, not to make a profit or a living.”
Gilbert’s logic was that there was a massive reserve of art produced by his peers, but rarely shared with the world.
“WOLF BOY was created to be an outlet for all the creativity that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day,” Gilbert said. “There’s this silent group of creative people who have something to say. And then all their pieces of creative output are just dying a quiet death.”
Gilbert’s definition of art is very inclusive. WOLF BOY has published sheet music, a detailed account of an acid trip and a cartoon mocking American terrorism hysteria called “How to Make a Pipe Bomb,” as well as many short stories, poems, cartoons, paintings, photos and rants.
“WOLF BOY will consider any form of content submitted,” the submission guidelines state, “as long as it’s two-dimensional in format.”
CSU poetry Professor Dan Beachy-Quick admires Gilbert’s chutzpah.
“The implications of such an act — printing anything someone feels compelled to create — is inspiring in its egalitarianism, if somewhat dangerous editorially,” Beachy-Quick said. “But outweighing that risk is the simple ethic of providing a forum for creative expression, regardless of what the expression is. ‘Let the reader judge’ seems to be the hidden motto. Trusting people to decide for themselves the merit of something — well, that’s also ennobling in its way.”
CSU student and regular WOLF BOY contributor Tegan Waters agrees.
“A lot of people might be offended by what’s in WOLF BOY, but I think it shows that [Gilbert] has a really broad view of what can be considered literature. It’s really freeing for any writer.”
And Gilbert is filling a big void in Fort Collins, said CSU English major Matthew Sage, a local artist and musician.
“We’ve been needing a good zine in this town for awhile,” he said. “The only other journals like this only come out once a year or are all fancy or owned by the school. They can’t just print whatever they want like WOLF BOY can. [WOLF BOY] is pretty awesome because I can get my stuff published and in someone’s hand for free.”
Printing WOLF BOY has cost Gilbert money every issue. “I’m paying for some of it out of my pocket,” Gilbert said. “Some of it I’m printing on friends’ printers. I’ll probably have to start charging for it eventually.”
But Gilbert refuses to pay the printing costs through advertising or grants.
“I’m seeking no advertising and no affiliation, because the second I do that, I have someone to answer to. And once that happens, censorship isn’t that far behind.”
To submit material or get a copy, go to www.wolfboy.org join their Facebook group www.facebook.com/peolpe/Wolf_Boy/659589415 or email Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer David Boerner can be reached at email@example.com.