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issue 13
black tape for a blue girl interview
An April March interview
Black Planet interview
Straight Edge interview
Responsible Self Deliverance
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Black Planet interview via e-mail April 30, 1998
Black Planet's first issue came out about a month after the first QRD, we've been friends ever since.  I think they have the same secret reason they like aliens as I do, but I was afraid they'd give it away.  their zine died in late 1998.
QRD – do you think goths & gothic stuff should be taken seriously or with a sense of  humor?

Rhona – definitely a bit of both – there's a confusing start!  if you don't take yourself seriously then nobody else will but if you're too serious nobody will want to approach you.  I like to have a laugh & a bit of fun & so do all my friends, you can have a much better time that way.  at the Whitby goth festival one year, an elderly lady asked me about the bat gifts I make & asked me to explain Black Planet to her – someone who takes themselves too seriously would probably be offended at such a statement but I thought it was great & had a great time talking to her!

QRD – do you make enough money to cover printing costs?

Rhona – barely!   I've just had to put Black Planet's issue price up because paper has just gotten really expensive.  my printing consists of an ancient laser printer & a photocopier with an attitude problem but although it may be fun & games getting the issues printed it still works out miles cheaper than getting them printed professionally.

QRD – why did you decide you personally needed to do a zine?

Rhona – at the time Black Planet was created (3 years ago), there were zines that covered music & interviews & some poetry & fiction but not really anything else.  I wanted to create something that would appeal to everyone & something that could be considered as an "every day" magazine & that's why I like to cover the topics I do.  I'd love to do some American shopping guides/club guides, you know, something for Goths to take on holiday with them, but I doubt I'll be able to afford to do anything myself so you'll have to rally some contributors up!

QRD – what do you think about zombies?

Rhona – I've always been interested in that sort of thing & always fancied having a go at being a bocor & stealing someone's soul & make them go off & beat up all your enemies, but it must be awful for the zombie to be denied help from other spirits & be unable to move onto another plane of existence.  I've read a fair bit of Haitian folklore & find it fascinating – what makes Zombies really scary is that they actually can exist & are not just fiction.

QRD – how are you able to keep on your bi-monthly schedule & get thicker each issue?

Rhona – every issue time I have a panic & think "what the hell am I going to put in it this time?" but I usually come up with something new & the panic is all over.  I never dreamed Black Planet would get this far, but there are so many avenues to explore I shall be quite happy for another 19 issues I think!  contributions do help – it's nice to do the
majority of work myself but it's also nice to get somebody else's perspective occasionally.  with each new issue it doesn't always get more pages but the page count is pretty much the same.  it just depends what I have to put into it.  music companies tend to send info & new releases out every 3 months so one issue will be packed full of music reviews & the next will have hardly any, it's just how it works but we get there!  the bi-monthly schedule is sometimes too short for me & I have to rush to finish but it's my own fault for leaving things til the last minute!  I'd rather be bi-monthly than have 3 or 4 huge issues
each year, it's much kinder to the photocopier!

QRD – why did you decide to do interviews with random people instead of "famous" ones?

Rhona – I'd interview "famous" people if I had the time, but most people like that require things to be done at a certain time & a certain way so it's just awkward to work around.  we have done some "famous" interviews with Rosetta Stone & All Living Fear & The Voice which are all well known bands over here & I've got a few more lined up as well as a couple of authors.  it would be nice to get interviews with other celebs such as artists & maybe someone who runs a vampire society but it all takes time & I'm soooo busy with my career.  interviews have been scarce lately as I've been quite ill & as such unable to interview or devote as much time to Black Planet as I'd like.

QRD – what's your favorite Swans' song?

Rhona – sorry to disappoint you but they aren't widely known over here & to be honest I've never heard any of their material...sorry....

QRD – what do you think is the best article you've ever printed?

Rhona – the Rosetta Stone history & interview was pretty good & we sold a record number of copies because of it.  the erotica articles in issue 18 were a good move as they've opened up a completely new avenue of possibilities to explore & I've had interest from businesses in that field.  I love doing church & cemetery visits & getting lots of
lovely black & white photos.

QRD – who would you like to get your magazine that you don't think currently is?

Rhona – somebody really famous.  when I worked in a HD & Suzuki motorcycle shop I sold some bits to Dave Vanian & he agreed to have a look at Black Planet which I sent to him but I never heard back from him.  when I saw Madonna's "Frozen" video I thought "wow, she's gone goth, send her a Black Planet."  but it turns out she hasn't gone Goth at all but I'd love her to come to Britain & open my business when it opens because I specialize in Henna Body Art & she'd be a great advert!  Seriously though, I'd like to get some more interest in the US & Canada & that's why I said earlier I'd like to get more contributions from there.  Black Planet is already pretty worldwide but the US & Canada are a definite minority for readers of Black Planet.

QRD – any interesting dreams lately?

Rhona – um, I had one where I dreamt I went to Whitby for the Goth Festival & it was snowing & there were these policemen telling all the goths they had to wear white otherwise they'd get seen & captured (by what or whom I can't recall) & everyone was crying because they didn't want to wear white... strange.

QRD – do you think "goth" is becoming mainstream & losing its cult status?

Rhona – no, definitely not.  a few years ago I remember when suddenly black & silver ankhs were fashionable & goths everywhere broke out in nervous rashes but it didn't last long thankfully.  I don't know what it's like in the US but over here the goth scene is in more danger of becoming permanently divided & ridiculed because there is a massive amount of bitching going on between different 'classes' of goths.  some of the things that start arguments are so petty & it doesn't help when new zines dedicated purely to bitching & slagging everyone off start up.  I wish everyone would just accept that they are all GOTHS & get on with enjoying themselves.

QRD – anything else?

Rhona – just that I have always enjoyed QRD & I hope you'll be around for a long time – what a creep eh?!!!  seriously, QRD is a breath of fresh air & a world away from most goth zines – well done!