What is The Runt? Even they’re not too sure. Is it a highly irregular publication of original art and literature? “Well, yes, we’re fairly sure about that.” Is it true that each issue focuses on a particular theme? “Again, yes, we know this much.” It’s thereafter that things get foggier. Is The Runt open to all contributors? “Hmm, yes and no; we welcome submissions from all and sundry, but lack both the money and the inclination to publish absolutely everything we receive.” But what else? What manner of beast is The Runt? Is it mystical? Is it logical? Nihilistic? Romantic? Nostalgic? Who knows…
What got you in to independent publishing?
For a lot of Runt members, the idea of making a regular publication appealed to us simply because it gave us an incentive to keep writing regularly. With constant distractions from Netflix and the Interwebs, it’s pretty easy to find your creativity stifled and forgotten about, like an orphaned panda bear. The Runt was a way around that. Not only do the deadlines prod us in the right direction, but the core group can discuss ideas. We encourage each other when we hit the inevitable wall, and critique each other if anyone gets too smug.
What do you make/publish?
We produce zines on an irregular basis which contain prose, poetry, art work, doodles and even dreams (Issue #7). Every issue we publish is anchored by a core theme, which we look at as a jumping off point as opposed to a restriction.
There’s nothing to stop a contributor writing about a zombie apocalypse in an issue focused on love, provided they emphasize that the zombies really, really love brains.
Who/what inspires you?
As mentioned, a big inspiration for many of our core members is the work of its other core members. In terms of more mainstream influences however, there are quite a few fans of Terry Pratchett in the group. Old sci-fi novels from the mid 20th century play a big role as well; this can be seen in both the Time and Space themed issues (Issues #3 and #6). The more childlike pieces would be strongly related to the works of Roald Dahl, and the style in which we present much of our work would be reminiscent of The RubberBandits. We’re also mad into the punk scene, yeah.
Who are your audience?
Who the Runt is aimed at is a bit of a mystery, even to its members. Obviously, we want to appeal to those who enjoy good literature/wordplay. We do our best to be different and unconventional. This often results in a rebellious tone in a lot of our work, whether it’s rebelling against convention, the Man or humorously shaped vegetables. The antiquated stereotype of the stuffy professor who writes novels is given a wide berth. We’re cool and we wear sunglasses sometimes. So there is a lot of comedy and fantasy in our work. In that way, the Runt is quite accessible to all who are willing to pick it up and give it a read.
Have you exhibited at the Dublin Zine Fair before? How did it go?
We exhibited at the zine fair in 2014, and it went very well. If you look at the Facebook page for this year’s zine fair, you can see our own Colm Kearns grinning manically back at you in the cover photo while he was selling last year. We liked you and ye liked us, so that is good. We’ve been meaning to talk to the people at the zine fair about our commission over the use of his image. We look forward to discussing finances on August 15th.
Tell us a joke!
What’s Stucco? It’s what happens when you step in Bubblegummo