Episode 112: Ayun Halliday
I’m fairly certain the phrase “mommy blog” is tossed around once or twice over the course this interview. I only mention it here as I’m sure it sends up a few red flags, though undeservedly so. For starters, there’s the fact that The East Village Inky predates the phenomenon by at least a decade or so. Ayun Halliday has been producing the pocket-sized, photocopied zine for over 20 years now, having just released issue 55 when we sat down for a chat a local watering hole following the Brooklyn Zine Fest. The series is a breezy and largely lighthearted first-hand account of two artists raising children in the city, told through a series of stories, mini-comics and whatever other assorted odds and ends Halliday opts to include. The Inky also manages to avoid most of the preachy and rose-colored trappings of its successors, which are no doubt a large part of what’s made the long-running zine beloved even amongst childless readers. Despite living in the same metropolitan area, I’ve had a surprising amount of trouble tracking Halliday down — due, perhaps, to a busy schedule of work related and artistic pursuits, travel and the whole raising two children thing. When we final sat down in the backyard of a Brooklyn bar, I’m happy we were finally able to make it happen. It’s a wide ranging and fascinating conversation about child-rearing, artistic ambition and the give and take between the two.