Bacteria: Atomik inking of the inside souls
Ilias Apostolakis

One of the world’s best fanzines. No further explanation necessary.

Some of you might recall Viral Graphics that a couple of months ago had talked with OUGH! about their work. What many of you might not know is that BACTERIA, perhaps the first Greek book fanzine, or to be more precise the “illustration and screen printing fanzine” that was published by Viral Graphics, including works from illustrators/artists in hot demand currently on the underground circuits. Through 90 black-and-white pages –weighting at a hefty 130 grams- pro-printed and limited to 150 copies only, the other-worldly fabric of semantic observation through pencil not only stands tall, but leaves you jaw-dropped with the dark stories that these drawings tell. You’d like getting your hands on one copy? Too bad, but just four or five Greeks had this privilege: the orders placed from aborad were so many that it was sold-out on its first day of publication! While anxiously waiting for the second issue, we put Konstantinos Psychas and Alexandros Pyromallis against the wall, we turned on the questioner's lamp and we plunge ourselves deep inside the world of BACTERIA.

The final printing is impeccable. The “book feeling” conveys even more palpably the artwork featured in it. Do you agree?
Absolutely. We would like the texture and the quality to come as close as  possible to the one of a book, so that the art and the detail of the drawings come forward. We were having this sense of obligation, If you’d like, towards the artists that supported us in this endeavor, to be as representative as possible of their work and to let them be absolutely content with BACTERIA. Moreover, the first issue was in process for over a  year, so it would be unacceptable to have a bad end product.

The artists featured are highly distinguished and carefully selected. Many of which have taken commissions for the Greek underground music scene. Was this an act of symbolism so that all these artists would enjoy a thorough presentation, or will BACTERIA wander in other realms of art?
BACTERIA is covering the artistic part of music, mostly in the cases that it has something to do with analog illustration and the importance of artwok and the overall aesthetics of a record, of a band, and its implementation in the current music and artistic underground, but also the general field of illustration. All artists being featured are people that actively work with anything that we mentioned above. Moreover, we would like to have a platform, in our capacity as Viral, to expose our own designs which are not necessarily commissioned. 

I would classify BACTERIA in a league of world fame. That is because I can see a lot of artists from abroad being featured. Are there going to be more Greek artists in the future, or you make your selection with the sole criterion that that they are active and productive and not acting as big-shot artists that spend their days drinking spirits at joints (as far as the domestic artists are concerned)?
Another objective of BACTERIA was communicating and exchanging opinions and works with people whose work we enjoyed and felt that we are on the same wavelength.. Not including more Greeks in the first or the second issue was a coincidence and has nothing to do with whether they were coming from Greece or not, as long as their work was cool and being broadly compliant with the subject of BACTERIA.

How can one get a hold of the first issue now? Is any reprinting on schedule or is it impossible at the present?
BACTERIA’s first issue was sold out within hours and we decided that we would not reprint it and focus immediately on the next issue. We are already working on it, which is set to come out sometime in the coming Fall and we’re also thinking about, when we get to issue number three or four, to come up with a special edition that will include all previous issues since that point in time.  
The fanzine features a lot of the illustrating powerhouses such as Santos, Scrawled, Putrid and the demigod called Simon Fowler. Artists with their own distinct feel. We look forward to seeing more demigods featured in the coming issues?
The line-up for the second issue is already complete with some very powerful players which honored us with their participation. It will be a bit more diverse in its features this time.

In an age where all things are becoming digitized, is paper gaining a collectible edge?
Personally speaking, computers and the Web will never take the place of paper for any reason. Moreover, books and fanzines were always collectible. We would like to believe that most people have never thrown away neither. Even if you can’t keep it, you can give it to somebody.

Would you set apart some other Greek publications? If you think that there are any.
MOYNTZA is one of the best Greek fanzines content-wise printing-wise, aesthetics-wise, lay-out in general.

 

Too much talk is unnecessary. Thank you again for the honor of discussing with me. Conclude this word and opinion complex in any way you wish!!!
Thanks a lot for interviewing us and your interest in BACTERIA.

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