You've probably heard about it by now, but the first issue of Cavs Zine will be available on Wednesday down by the Q on opening night. Copies will be distributed by Kirsten @sojournalista and also available at Nick's Sports Bar in Cleveland.
As a reminder, the contributors to this inaugural edition include national writer, author, and native Clevelander Scott Raab, Justin from Concede330, Alex from PodCAVS, Kirsten from Lebromageddon, Ben Cox from BenjaminCoxBlogspot.com, Scott Sargent from Waiting For Next Year, myself, as well as writer / managing editor of this project Jack from @WayneEmbrysKids on twitter.
The ridiculously awesome cover that Jack put together for the Cavs Zine is pictured below...
Earlier today I caught up with Jack to talk a bit more about the project, and our Q and A is as follows...
Stepien Rules: So what is this years Cavs Zine all about?
Jack @WayneEmbrysKids: First of all, I just want to say, if you’re reading this on StepienRules.com, you’ve found the best website on the internet for Cavs coverage, period. I would encourage you to check out the Wine and Gold Podcast with Brendan Bowers and Glenn Moore, which I like to listen to despite Glenn’s music selections.
Second, I want to say “get well” to Joe Tait, who’s going in for heart surgery this week. That guy is a living legend and Issue One of Cavs Zine is dedicated to him. I put him on the Mount Rushmore of Cleveland Sports. Due respect to Herb Score, Joe is far and away the greatest sports announcer in the history of Cleveland.
Cavs Zine is Do-It-Yourself 2010 Cavs media with contributions from some of my favorite writers who write about the Cavs designed by me for Cavs fans. It’s old school, photocopied, folded half size and stapled by me.
Stepien Rules: Where did you get the idea for it?
Jack @WayneEmbrysKids: A sports related zine is something I’ve wanted to do since the early 1990s. I wanted to be a journalist but I didn’t get into the OU Journalism program I applied for (my application short sightedly included this piece I wrote when Manny Ramirez got drafted which questioned the value of a college education for someone with talent and specialized skills) so I ended up doing some other stuff instead.
I’ve done punk rock music zines and written for zines all over the place in the past, interviewing bands and reviewing records – now a long time ago (think Mark Price 3 point contests). I’ve included sports sections (I covered Game 3 of the 1995 World Series for a zine and I wrote something about those “Albert Is God” signs you used to see), but never did something completely about sports, even though I obviously love the Cavs and very much love Cleveland Sports and Clevelanders.
So this is the first issue of Cavs Zine. As a Clevelander, authenticity is very important to me, so my idea was to translate awesome 2010 writers into a 1993 punk rock format with all its warts, including inevitable uncorrectable typos, font sizes and formatting issues. The message is part of the medium: Anyone can do this.
Stepien Rules: How was the response as far getting bloggers and writers to jump on board with it?
Jack @WaynesEmbrysKids: I read every blogger that writes about the Cavs that I have time for and can find, including the insane-o Lebron haters. Everyone I emailed about this asking if they wanted to be involved got back to me with incredible stuff. It was very tough not asking more people, but I’m hoping to do other issues so if anyone wants to write for me, I’m easy to find.
In part because of the newspaper strike of 1962, Cleveland was the first city to have trustworthy television news. I see the same trust developing in internet blogging sports news in Cleveland before it does in even markets, which puts a lot of pressure to perform on Cleveland bloggers who are largely writing as passionate fans as much as journalists. I’m constantly impressed by the quality of what I’m reading from Cleveland sports bloggers, particularly in comparison with many of their paid counterparts.
Stepien Rules: Why should it be a required read for all Cavs fans?
Jack @WayneEmbrysKids: It’s awesome. The roster of writers for this zine will flat out blow away anything. It puts the PD and the ABJ to shame (no offense to Jason Lloyd). People should be fighting over issue one to read Scott Raab’s article about what it’s like for a Cleveland team win a championship, the Bowers piece on JJ Hickson and the power and poetry of @The_Danny_Fairy. Also it comes with a free Craig Ehlo centerfold.
Stepien Rules: In reading through and editing together everyone's contributions, are there any general takeaways you had?
Jack @WayneEmbrysKids: Here’s the bottom line: Expectations are still high for Cleveland Cavaliers fans. This franchise will come back.
Also, as fans, we’re all in this together to the end no matter what. I suppose these are both pretty typical feelings for Clevelanders.
StepienRules: As a guy old enough to remember when that album came out, other than the fact it looks sweet, why "The Hickson"?
Jack @WayneEmbrysKids: I really wanted to use the “Doggystyle” cover as a template, which I frankly consider to be the most pure representation of “G-Funk”, but that cartoon on the album cover is way too weird and too hard to reimagine.
Actually, halfway though “The Hickson” Chronic cover I got ticked at myself when I remembered who Dr. Dre is now working with selling those headphones. To counter this, I entitled the article written by Scott Sargent of WaitingForNextYear.com (about GM Grant and Basketball Ops VP Griffin) after Eazy-E’s diss song at Dre for “Dre Day” (“Real Motherf***in’ G’s”).
I’ve always felt closer to West Coast because Bone Thugs was on Ruthless Records. There was also discussion about a cover showing JJ Hickson as a religious figure, but it was scrapped. So you see, an abundance of thought has gone into this.
Stepien Rules: How relevant would the Cavs Zine be at the All Star break this season for example? Meaning, is it just a season preview?
Jack @WayneEmbrysKids: My expectation is that Cavs Zine will be a go-to read for bathroom reading in-between quarters throughout the first half of the season. People are going to be interested in the Preseason Predictions sections by Kirsten Brownrigg and Alex Raffalli, which are more philosophical than predictive, and the Bowers cover story about JJ Hickson, but the historical section from RAW SPORTS – Concede330 about the Greatest Cavs of All Time (including an objective analysis of Lebron James) and the Joe Tait piece by Ben Cox are timeless.
Stepien Rules: How can people get a copy?
Jack @WayneEmbrysKids: Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go to Opening Day, but Kirsten Brownrigg (@sojournalista) will be at the game Wednesday filming a documentary and will have a bunch copies of it to give away free to anyone who wants one.
There will also be copies at Nick’s Sports Bar, in Cleveland, which readers may be familiar with. If anyone else wants one, let me know – I’m easy to find on Twitter @WayneEmbrysKids or through the podcast I do with Alex, @PodCAVS and I’ll find a way to get it in your hands.
Stepien Rules: Can we expect more Cavs Zines in the future?
@WayneEmbrysKids: Yes. Stay alert. And Go Cavs.