Popcorn Droppers

The second issue of Physical Impossibility #2: Popcorn Droppers, Glasgow’s only cult movie zine launches on 25 February at the Saramago Bar during the Glasgow Film Festival. Popcorn Droppers explores the world of the too-weird-to-live movie, from Nick Cave’s Gladiator 2 to Salvador Dali’s script for the Marx Brothers, with contributions from an international array of writers and artists. The issue features new writing by Ryan Balmer, Craig McClure, Paul McGarvey & Harriet Warman, original illustrations by Laura Aitchison, Ciara Dunne, Stephen Kelly, Jack Somerville & ID Stewart and special guest contributions from Matt Carman and Kseniya Yarosh, creators of the Brooklyn-based I Love Bad Movies zine. Here, founder Sean Welsh tells a bit more about the creation of the zine:

I started the zine last year as a new outlet for my writing about movies and for the work of local artists, partly to promote those things and partly as an end in itself. Primarily, the writing was a continuation of my blog, which has a tendency towards cult cinema, but generally has a pretty wide remit. Writing for the blog, I try to find things or at least angles on things that haven’t been picked up and covered to death elsewhere.That tallies quite well with being a film geek with a collector’s mentality – I like to discover awesome new films, directors, genres and then just gorge on them. I also tend towards longer articles as opposed to reviews, top fives or opinion pieces, and that form isn’t necessarily a great fit for the blog format. So, in lieu of a book deal or permanent contract with a major print publication, it seemed like a productive idea to explore a different medium.

The illustrators (incredibly talented folks like Laura Aitchison, Ryan Bharaj, Ciara Veronica Dunne, Russell Elder, Victoria Firth, Sarah Amy Fishlock, Stephen Kelly, Jon Paul Milne, Erin McGrath, Claudia Nova, Jack Somerville and ID Stewart), generally have a connection to Glasgow or Scotland, whether they live here or have lived here, though the content is international. From #2, I’ve also invited other writers to contribute (including Craig McClure, Paul McGarvey and Harriet Warman), and we now have a few amazing international contributors (Ryan Balmer in Berlin, Matt Carman and Kseniya Yarosh, creators of the I Love Bad Movies zine, in Brooklyn). The zine’s available online here and has been stocked across Glasgow and New York. The second issue is going to be more widely available across the UK and Germany too. The response has been amazing so far, from contributors, stockists and readers, so that’s been really heartening.

The zine is curated/edited by me – I pick a theme (#1 was The Films of Larry Cohen, #2 is Popcorn Droppers) and then invite people to contribute based on that – basically they choose films from a list until the list is exhausted. Contributors have the option to pitch different ideas though, and once they’ve made their selection, I’m not prescriptive about the content. That means the artists and writers have free range to interpret the brief within the technical restrictions. Practically that means we have a mix of styles and media on one side and a range of creative, academic and journalistic writing on the other. It’s going to remain curated, because I think open submissions are sometimes a bit unfair not to say exploitative, but I’m always interested to hear from anyone that’s interested in contributing.

Coming up, issues 3 and 4 are in the pre-production phase – one will focus on a single director and the other will be a general theme along the lines of Popcorn Droppers. We had a screening at the launch for number one that was really well received, and though we’re not doing that for the latest issue (because none of the films in question were ever actually made), I’d definitely like to do that again, potentially even more regularly. I’d also like to explore partnerships with venues and institutions for more screenings and events locally, and try to make sure the zine is as widely available as possible. I’d also like to explore funding, because, like lots of similar endeavours, the zine is currently not-for-profit (though all proceeds from print sales go directly to the individual artists). However, if anyone would like to sponsor it (or an eccentric millionaire wishes to make a substantial cash donation), all offers will be considered!

Physical Impossibility #2: Popcorn Droppers launches during the Glasgow Film Festival on 25 February at the Saramago Bar at the CCA.

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