NORFOLK — A recent report found that copies of the photo zine, Put It All On Red, are still available despite initial claims 18 months ago that the print run would sell out in a matter of minutes.
“We were originally only going to print like 50 copies but I accidentally added another zero when I sent the files to the printer,” said publisher of the zine, Dean Weems. “I tried lowering the price, offering bulk pricing, I even signed a couple copies, but it didn’t boost sales at all. We didn’t even come close to getting rid of the original 50, so this is really just a huge fuck up on my part. I really need this issue to sell because I was planning on financing the next two issues with the profits.”
The zine, which features 35mm photographs from Weems’ family vacation to Atlantic City, has had very little success selling on his web store. However, a recent zine fair where Weems rented a table has helped move some of his product.
“The only reason I bought a copy was because Dean had a stack of singles and I needed change for a $20 to catch the bus home,” said John Boosie. “I haven’t really checked it out yet. He gave me four copies for the price of one. This paper is pretty glossy so I might use a few of them as coasters in my new apartment.”
Despite the small increase in sales at the zine fair, the project has proved to be a money pit for investors.
“I told him I’d give him $100 if he cleaned out the garage, and he kept going on and on about needing money for some book he’s making,” said Weems’ mother and the zine’s key investor, Cindy Weems, who was furious to see what her money had gotten her. “Then he had the nerve to ask for $300 more and didn’t even offer me a free copy. He made me pay $10 for blurry photos of me and my husband at the craps table.”
A box of zines thought to have been sold was found in the trunk of Weems’ 2003 Volkswagen Jetta, bringing the total number of copies available to 473.