CM: Tell us about your Siblings zine! What is a zine? Who are the artists?
Angela: Our zine is a collection of illustrations by different artists, all drawn around the theme of fictional siblings. The artists are a mixture of professionals and hobbyists, some of whom we’ve worked with before, and some who we’ve only gotten to know during this project.
Andy: A zine’s usually a small self publication of organized content, which can be almost anything from photography and literature to fanart.
What inspired the theme of your zine “Siblings”?
Angela: I don’t think sibling relationships are celebrated enough in fandom culture! A lot of fan attention is focused on romantic relationships, so I was really keen on celebrating something else that just as many people identified with.
Andy: What Angela said – as much as I adore shipping like the next person, it always made me sad to see non-romantic relationships glossed over. The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Harry Potter and the Avatar universe are prime examples – as I made my way through those fandoms, I noticed the huge focus towards shipping despite the sibling relationships being equally, if not more so, pivotal to the storyline. Whilst I’m not going to say one kind of relationship is more important than another, I just thought it’d be nice to bring the focus onto siblings for once.
Sibling relationships interest me a lot, too – they can encompass everything from jealousy, hatred, teamwork, rivalry, support and more! Whatever the nature of said relationship, there’s always a lot of history behind why it is the way it is (such as Thor/Loki and Zuko/Azula) and that’s something I enjoy exploring. A character’s backstory is important!
CM: Who are some of your favorite fictional siblings?
Angela: I adore the Weasleys! I always wanted to be a part of a large family like Ron’s, and the way they were written made me feel completely at home.
Andy: Holden and Phoebe Caulfield from J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. I could write an entire essay on why I love their relationship so much, but I’ll spare you my rambling, haha. I also love the Black sisters from Harry Potter (I wish the series was about them, tbh) and, on a totally indulgent level, Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin from Ouran High School Host Club. They’re ridiculous, but you have to love them.
CM: Do you have a memory with your own siblings that inspired you during this process?
Andy: For sure! It’s partly the reason why I wanted to make this book in the first place. My relationship with my brother has changed in many ways over time, but fundamentally he’s still one of my best friends and I love him to bits. We have so many in-jokes and banter. I couldn’t name one particular memory, but it’s more all the key moments and habits we’ve had growing up – be they good or bad. Family holidays and countless car journeys together account for a lot! You don’t necessarily realize it growing up, but now that I’m a young adult, I’m so grateful for all the fun we had over the years.
CM: Do you have a particular piece that you’re really excited about sharing, by you or another artist?
Angela: I really love Kiernan’s piece with the Simpson siblings. It’s bright and vibrant and a perfect interpretation of the theme!
Andy: All of them! Every piece is my favourite for one reason or another, be it the artists’ ability to tell a narrative or simply something more technical like their use of lines and colour. If I had to pick a couple of faves, I’d definitely say the opening spread by Linus just because it’s so poppy and bright, and Cynthia’s for its sheer beauty and simplicity. The closing illustration of the Osomatsu brothers is adorable too – I love Monica’s style so much.
CM: What forms or types of art are different contributors using?
Angela: Most of the pieces are digitally drawn and painted, although some artists have chosen to use traditional media too.
Andy: They’re all illustrations, but depending on the artist’s strengths there are pieces that are more comic/narrative based, and others that are more graphic/design focused.
CM: When do pre-orders close? Will the zine be available after pre-orders?
A: We’re planning to close them after July, and then do all the shipping in August.
CM: What do you hope your audience takes away from this project about the importance of siblings and/or art?
Angela: Really, I just want the readers to have fun with the book! The zine is about celebration of siblings, and I hope that readers are possibly inspired to create more fan works about their own favourite fictional siblings.
Andy: I’d like people to come away from it appreciating siblings relationships a bit more, whether it’s their own or in fiction.
Angela Tong is a 2nd year animation student from London, UK, specialising in Visual Development. When she’s not drawing, she can be found working with horses or watching reruns of the Last Airbender.
Andy Lee is a 2nd year uni student who draws a lot when she should be studying. If she’s not doing either of those things, she’s probably binge watching animated TV shows and anime.