When I was first getting into zining in the 1990s, all the bands sending me stuff to review would have a blurb from babysue in their press kits. Little did I know how little I know after all this time.
Websites: babysue.com, donw7.bandcamp.com/album/elemen-opee-elpee
QRD – How long has babysue been going now?
S – The first comic strips appeared in LMNOP concert programs in 1984 (free at shows). The first entire mini-comic named after the character (The babysue Book) was published in 1985.
QRD – What’s the secret to keeping going so consistently while others have given up or become incredibly sporadic?
S – It’s probably just because I enjoy it.
QRD – Is the babysue character original or a piece of found art?
S – It is original. In 1983 & 1984 I was drawing different comic strips with different characters in each one & a friend suggested that I create an ongoing character. The first babysue strip was drawn on the spot in about two minutes -- just an impulse scribble. A few folks liked it so I just kept doing it over & over...& over...& over & over & over....& over...
QRD – Do you think staying in Tennessee instead of moving to a major metro area kept you from getting jaded about music?
S – Could be. If I ever get jaded & burned out then that will be the time to stop.
QRD – How much have you done as far as being in bands or running a label?
S – Created various one-man bands in high school & recorded a whole slew of cassette tapes under different band names (all of which are completely horrible) before I could play real instruments. Started out playing things from the kitchen & stretched rubber bands around boxes & things to create sound -- overdubbing from one portable cassette recorder to another. After learning to play real instruments I played in a couple of local bands for a brief period. Then in 1981 created LMNOP which spun off the babysue label (which was/is used to issue vinyl & CDs).
QRD – Was the switch from a physical zine to a webzine hard for you?
S – Did both for many years (hard copy & websites), then just did websites for a few years, now doing both again (hard copy & websites). Adapting to the internet was a natural progression in many ways. The only hard part was figuring out how to do html coding. When I started the website there were no software programs to create them -- you had to do it all with coding. I finally decided that I missed having physical mini-comics to give away, so in 2014 I started producing tiny mini-comics again.
QRD – Do you miss the camaraderie of the 1990s zine culture?
S – Sure, partly because things were a lot simpler then & people seemed to be more approachable. Now it seems as if the internet & social media have caused people to become more separated from one another in real terms. Everyone now has ten bands, twenty web sites, thirty blogs, & uses fifty different screen names. & now that everything costs almost nothing to produce (magazines, recordings, photographs, web sites, television shows, full-length motion pictures, etc.), most everyone seems to be overproducing. The great part is that there’s more great stuff being created now than ever before. But the bad part is that the overabundance of everything makes it almost impossible for anything to get noticed because everything tends to get lost in the shuffle of too much stuff.
QRD – How much of the material you receive for review do you actually get a chance to check out?
S – Most stuff...try to check out as much as possible, at least partially. Can’t listen to everything, but like hearing at least a snippet of most things if at all possible.
QRD – What is your preferred format for listening to music?
S – CDs, MP3s, vinyl, downloads, streams, & live performances.
QRD – Is there a reason for your semi-anonymity?
S – Yes. Got a taste of name & face recognition many years ago & didn’t care for it. So the focus was changed so that the emphasis was on what I do rather than who I am.
QRD – Your website is super 1990s, which I think is awesome. Do you ever debate updating it?
S – Yes & no...no & yes. Not interested in keeping up with the latest web software (obviously)...may update the overall look at some point. But then again maybe not...? More interested in creating content than making things look super slick & current.
QRD – Do you review elsewhere or just on babysue?
S – Just on babysue.com & LMNOP.com.
QRD – Do you try to knock out a review every single day or do you do them in batches?
S – Sometimes one at a time & sometimes in batches...depends on the mood & the types of submissions that come in.
QRD – How much do you listen to music other than for reviews?
S – A lot. Music makes life more entertaining & interesting. Really like listening to stuff while driving, exercising, & sleeping.
QRD – Anything else?
S – The world is whatever we think it is. Unless we don’t think it is anything at all. In that case it isn’t really anything.