A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Team OBZ! We enter 2019 with some important and sad news: for various reasons, we have decided to discontinue running One Beat Zines as a distro and small press publisher.
Some of these reasons are practical: one of us has now moved to the other side of the country and it’s becoming more and more difficult to make OBZ work as the team effort it set out to be. Apart from that, we’ve also been horrendously busy with our day jobs, and those unfortunately have to take priority. We don’t like doing things by halves, and the amount of admin going into OBZ has quickly grown into a full-time job which neither of us has enough time for.
With that in mind, I had a sit down and a think about what we set out to do, how well we achieved this, and what is in store for us in the future. We have produced a number of anthologies we are extremely proud of, and sold new artists’ work in the UK and internationally. The success of our first anthology, Double Dare Ya, was a wonderful surprise – which we sadly haven’t quite been able to match with the ones that followed. It was very important to us that we start being able to pay our contributors, and we managed to fundraise this at least partly with our last anthology, Performance, in 2016. However, it became difficult to carry on doing this without putting in our own money and making losses, and since I had to shutter the shop while going through the process of moving to a new country we’ve lost momentum – which we never quite managed to pick up again. Additionally, my work circumstances have changed somewhat in the move, so I’m spending a lot more time on my illustration career, making it difficult to travel to zine fairs and give our products the time and attention I believe they truly deserve.
So, in the end, the decision to stop was difficult, but what we believe to be the right one. We’re proud of what we’ve done, but this is a good time to pack up, recoup our energy, and set our sights on new projects and collaborations for the future.
We’re eternally thankful to everyone who has helped us, contributed work, contributed zines, wrote us a nice review, sent the word out there, and supported us over the years. Both Sabba Khan and Jenny George have secured book contracts in the past year and we are extremely pleased and proud to have had a small hand in that. We would like to especially thank Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier for being such a vocal supporter of our output and for helping us champion burgeoning small press talent.
We’re keeping the website up, especially now that it has resources and details about our past publications. Over the next few months, I will endeavour to put up all our old publications as free downloads so that everyone can access them and see the work of the artists and writers whose work excited us and inspired us.
Sarah and I want to thank you all, and we wish you a better, stronger, and kinder new year.
Jules OBZ x