We’ve been known to turn to Joan LeMay’s magic for a midday mood boost (if you follow her on IG or are familiar with her work, you totally get why), and her new exploit is a case-in-point perfect pick-me-up. May we introduce you to Mug Club Fanzine—a collection of stories compiled by LeMay from scads of cool contributors dishing on their most beloved mugs, illustrated by LeMay’s paintings of the near-and-dear drinking vessels. Issue 1 features folks like Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, Derek Erdman, and 20x200 artist Jenny Kroik, and all proceeds will be donated to the Oregon Food Bank. (Each issue to follow will have a different charitable component.) The zines will be released tomorrow, 5/13, but you can pre-order yours now. Get one to send a friend while you’re at it. They’re just $7 a pop—a steal for this much mug-induced fun from a bunch of brilliant minds.
Once upon a time, LeMay was a fanzine fiend, fond of the power of the DIY, indie-produced publications to connect passionate people, foster self-expression, and celebrate interests outside the mainstream. Reporting from her studio space via video, she shared lots of interesting insights on the subject while cluing us into Mug Club. Catch the video on our Insta or below. (If you’re into this kind of content, follow us while you're at it.)
Mug Club is the first fanzine LeMay’s published in over two decades. As she mentions in the video, the current moment feels extra right for zine-making and sharing—a way to reach out and rustle up some sense of community when many of us are itching for collective energy. And mugs are mighty good subject matter. Like a lot of the subjects LeMay enjoys immortalizing in her art practice, mugs are mundane objects that offer an opportunity to tell people’s stories, to explore personal meaning. Think about your favorite mug. Maybe you use it everyday to convey your morning coffee, but a closer look calls up memories from your college days. Or maybe it cracked in a cross-country move but you can’t bring yourself to toss it. As LeMay puts it, mugs are just one example of pedestrian possessions with talismanic properties. In this weird time while many of us are hunkered down in our homes surrounded by our stuff, we just might start to see it all in a new light.
With art for everyone,
Mister Rogers Portrait II by Joan LeMay
Birth Control Portrait I by Joan LeMay