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Brackish

Brackish is a collaborative zine project made by Houston-based artists Katie Mulholland and Sarah Welch in 2015. Over a five month period Mulholland and Welch created a massive pile of ink drawings imaging the past, present, and sometimes invented future of the Houston landscape. They curated this drawing collection to compile the Brackish zine. Drawings of special interest were chosen to become risograph or letterpress prints paired alongside the book (see the Brackish Box Set link for more info). The book features local and invasive flora & fauna, architecture, interior spaces, city infrastructure, industry, and residential vignettes. Special attention is lavished on locations with ancient, sometimes futuristic presence. Think 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Jurassic Park.

  • Photo of "Brackish" boxed set with the box open and the zine cover with golden vines on a fence visible
  • "Brackish" boxed set showing custom letter B box and risograph zine cover with golden vines on a chain link fence
  • "Brackish" zine inner page detail showing a dystopian, overgrown astrodome filled with swampy plants
  • Detail of three prints including two toads in love, a dystopian astrodome, and an olympic clover hotel swimming pool
  • Letterpress print of a vine covered silhouette
  • "Brackish" boxed set items laid out, showing the zine, frog love print, swamp man print, astrodome print, and clover pool print
  • Endangered Houston Toad Couple risograph framed print showing two green frogs, one on the larger's back
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Cry Me a River Part I & II

"Cry Me a River" risograph comic front cover with two women performing a diy haircut

Cry Me a River is the second chapter of author and illustrator, Sarah Welch‘s Endless Monsoon saga. Originally planned as a single book, we decided to split the story in two parts because of the length.

In Chapter 2 of the Endless Monsoon story we find Jess re-settled, living temporarily with Angela, but still struggling to achieve stability in the murky environs that seem hell bent on breaking her spirit. The pair manage to make their own fun despite the circumstances.

  • "Cry Me a River" risograph comic inner detail of a plant in a sack and friends watching tv on the couch
  • "Cry Me a River" risograph comic inner detail two different bedroom scenes side by side
  • "Cry Me a River" risograph comic inner detail of two women sitting at a bus stop bench
  • "Cry Me a River" risograph comic inner detail of two friends sharing an umbrella on the street
  • "Cry Me a River" risograph comic inner detail oftwo women sitting on a porch talking about swamp mold
  • "Cry Me a River" risograph comic inner detail of streets, duplexs and apartments after rains in Houston

"Cry Me a River II" risograph zine front cover with a hatchback and text written in cracks of pavement
“Cry Me a River” part two by Sarah Welch

Why is Endless Monsoon Chapter 2 split into two parts you ask? Necessity. This chapter ran longer than all the others and we were forced to make two books because we did not own a stapler that could handle the overflowing volume of pages. Self-publishing is like that my friends. CMAR Part 2 picks up with a conflict for our dear protagonist that ends with a wild night in a warehouse turned punk venue.

  • "Cry Me a River II" risograph zine inner detail of faces and chuga chuga sound effect
  • "Cry Me a River II" risograph zine inner detail of a car being loaded and prepared for a move
  • "Cry Me a River II" risograph zine wrap around cover showing a hatchback, elephant ear foilage, and streetside curb
  • "Cry Me a River II" risograph zine inner detail of a house party punk show
  • "Cry Me a River II" risograph zine inner detail of mega bass car stereo button and tropical overpass scenery
  • "Cry Me a River II" risograph zine inner detail of palm tree scene and character leaving for work
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Endless Monsoon

For one of our first Risograph publications, we were excited to work with long time collaborator Sarah Welch.  Endless Monsoon represents a transition in Welch’s writing from pure autobiographical works to original narratives that swing between total invention and real life events.  Monsoon takes place in an embellished version of Houston, and chronicles episodes of isolation and adaptation in the face of constant change. This part alt comic, part artist zine features lush illustration and documentation-style photography set to a syrupy pacing.

Envisioned originally as an open-ended series, we are planning to continue this storyline until its natural conclusion, with approximately one volume released per year. Long live these young swamp residents.

For the printing, we began with a paper dummy to estimate the amount of margin creep that this 52 page book would exhibit– with book work, we always recommend trying to construct a dummy or mock of your project. If this step is skipped, it’s far too easy to end up with page layouts that fall off-center or too close to the margins once bindery work is completed. But from there, Sarah took her original water-color and inked page compositions and scanned them in to create a master file for the entire book. Along the way, we had to separate the green and black elements to prepare for this 2-color book, which is something that really helped to make the book a little more special than your standard black and white zine– not to mention that with Riso printing, we were able to add a splash of selective color at a price per sheet that was less than color xerox work.

Produced with an 80# Cover on French Paper’s Smart White, and innards produced on French Paper’s 70# Text Dur-O-Tone Newsprint White. Final book measures 8″ x 5.5″, and was entirely printed, bound, and green stapled by Mystic Multiples.