Volume I of Mum’s Garage brings you the first official Sunday AM Dork Rock Gospel…
When one of our first contributors submitted their bio for the Chaos On Earth issue, I swapped out the respectable visage for another photo. Cara Winsor Hehir: half-naked and submerged in winter’s water. She’s wielding an ax, which she has just used to chop a hole in the ice. A sad thing happened after I attached this photo to Quilted Flesh, an excellent work that we’d admired for weeks. Suddenly, someone had some misguided counsel: while this was a “neat piece,” the contributor herself was not cool enough for Cream Scene.
Cream Scene “cool” is definitely an ax-wielding woman lowering her fat ass into an icy hole.
What isn’t cool is ageism, fatphobia and self-hatred. We had this conversation 20 minutes after the ax-wielder’s piece went live and low stats were presented as proof. By the end of the week, she’d axed her way to the peak and was crouching at the top of the heap, raking in the big views. The artist is a Canadian comedian with a cultish following, so that’s part of it, but also the piece is awesome. It’s completely unique and I’ve never seen anything like it, but that’s not why I published it. The whole thing was a favor to me / Cream Scene.
I was starting a magazine, with intentions to launch in 3 weeks, and I had nothing, so my friend brought her fat ass to the cause. 75% of our first issue is our friends, just pitching in. We got enormously lucky with that first issue, but most of that is due to our circle of wondrous weirdos. Katy and I are both active members in the #bodypos community, which is how we met, many moons ago. We have managed to make peace with our so-called flaws. We embraced big bums and stretch marks, so we’re not worried about the occasional typo.
Supposedly, this attitude was gonna be the death of us.
We weren’t gonna be cool.
None of the other kids would want to play with us.
Writers wouldn’t submit their work to such a disreputable publication. It was “mum’s garage.” While I’d never heard that term before, I am a writer and a lover of language, so I knew enough to be scuffed. Mum’s garbage. It felt like a dig at my appearance and general agedness, but worse, there was this suggestion that Cream Scene was junky and overflowing from stacked milk crates.
Katy is another elder, so she hadn’t heard the term, but when I blubbered to Marz – “They c-c-called me m-m-mum’s garage” – there was a moment of uh-oh recognition. Oh. Ohhhhhhh. Marz said, “But why are we hating on mums and their garages?” As Marz sees it, Cream Scene SHOULD be like the wild hoard of some kinky old mum, where we might unearth anything at anytime. The more we talked about this fictional mum, and her nutter garage, the funnier it was to us. We imagined all the things the old broad must have in her garage.
Mum has fuzzy handcuffs, magic 8 balls and a stack of Sassy Magazines. She has hungry hungry hippos, but they’ve lost all their marbles. She has lava lamps, vintage frocks and photos of Dad tied up in knots.
Not drugs. Mum has taken all the drugs.
She has the corpse of a mouse in a tiny casket. She has a sheath of love letters. She has the mixtape her skater boyfriend gave her in 8th grade and when she listened to The Misfits, she felt like a proper misfit.
When she listened to Danzig – the dork – she felt dangerous.
Let’s see, what else do we have in the old garage? There’s a goddamn gorgeous contributor’s page, with artists from all over the world. All ages. All bodies. Male, female, non-binary, queer, trans. Fine arts and AI, poetry and fiction, sex toy reviews and comics – all of these things manage to respectfully co-exist.
Cream Scene is a growing band of weirdos, including new copy editors. The team is currently cuddling on plaid couches, eating melon balls and reading submissions. Despite predictions, we do get great writing. In our Valentine’s issue, our second issue, editors of other publications submitted work to our Editor’s Lineup. Marz, our prose editor, publishes the highly respected German lit-mag Open Sewers, and Marz was correct when they said we can’t hate on kinky mums and their junky garages.
Out of my hurt feelings, we found the name for our interim “catch all.” Themeless and lawless, we might find anything in Mum’s Garage.
This volume developed its own themes. We’ll get some Willy Wonka fashion from Sara, Cream Scene icon, as we explore cartoons, anime and AI. We’ll meditate on art and the role of the artist. We’ll talk to Ferg Cooper, B Shawn Cox and Julia Licht. Our art cover is by Sue Zola, who began her career in Austin where she’d stay up all night, in her garage, turning blank canvases into giant works of glitter art. That’s the kinda magic that happens in the garage of our imaginary Mum. Long may she live!
Ya want a popsicle? We unearthed the old popsickle molds and a jug of soviet-era vodka. Katy is rolling a joint. It might have more glitter than weed. Just slip your wrists into these fuzzy handcuffs. Maybe we’ll get lucky and find the key.
About the Artist
Sue Zola used to use the lyrics from a Kanye West song as her artist statement…but now she can’t cuz Kanye is fucking whackadoo. Poopy-di scoop. Scoop-diddy-whoop. Whoop-di-scoop-di-poop. Poop-di-scoopty. Scoopty-whoop. Whoopity-scoop, whoop-poop. Poop-diddy, whoop-scoop. Poop, poop. Scoop-diddy-whoop. Whoop-diddy-scoop. Whoop-diddy-scoop, poop.
About the Author
Dia VanGunten explores overlaps between genres, between poetry and prose, between the real and the magical. Her current fiction project is Pink Zombie Rose.
Dia is the founder of Cream Scene Carnival and the OG carnie.
About Cara Winsor Hehir
Cara Winsor Hehir lives a creative life. Her office is a bog, her boardroom is a stage. Her kitchen table her easel. She is learning to be an intersectional feminist and an accountable human, and messes up all the time. Cara works as a comedian, singer/songwriter, and visual artist. You can find her most days zooming around on her big, green bike. Or a home with her kevie, two tall teens, and a pissy tomcat.