Hungry Ghost Press is a Boston based press that produces zines, apparel, tapes, art books, poster, patches, buttons, pins and about anything else that Chris Morrison can think of while trying to keep the DIY spirit alive. Almost everything is printed and made in house- from zines to the screen printed sweatshirts. Morrison is constantly collaborating with local, national, and international artists to create an unbelievably prolific field of work that includes Hungry Ghost, Lemonfolk literary zine, and Midnight Werewolf Records. I caught up with Morrison to talk about his current projects and the future of the local art scene. Be sure to check out Hungry Ghost Press at the Black Market this Sunday from 11-5.
How did Hungry Ghost Press get its start?
I started Hungry Ghost Press back in 2009 after I came back to Boston from Colorado. I saw that all my friends were making rad art and music and I just wanted to try and help get it out as much as possible. I did this off and on for a little while, I was releasing some anonymous zines and flyers like “Endquote” which ran for a few years. About 2 years ago I started getting more serious with it again and am now looking forward to what else will come of HGP!
Do you feature artists from just the New England area? Is there any kind of overall theme to the pieces you share?
I started out working with mainly Boston based artists, most of them friends or friends of friends. More recently I have been working with and releasing artists from all over the US and world. I do a lot of writing and art and like doing collaborations, split zines and projects with people. I made “Creeps of Power” with a artist I met who lives in Chicago, a split zine I just released called “Kaiju” is done with an artist from Tokyo and I have another zine called “Satan’s Club” which features artists from all over the world.
I couldn’t say there’s a main theme to anything I do or have released, however I tend to gravitate towards anything that has to do with zombies, aliens, Satan, porn, general nudity or sexuality, skulls and drugs. All those things are pretty rad.
What’s your relationship with LEMONFOLK and Midnight Werewolf Records?
LEMONFOLK is an open submission zine that I run with my friend Ally Rowell, it’s published and distributed under Hungry Ghost Press and started out with me and her. We both have always been into poetry and prose and lived in a house together and would spend a lot of time talking about writers we liked and reading each other pieces that we had been working on. We wanted to make a zine that was strictly about writing, so anyone could send in anything, notes, poetry, prose, short stories, scripts whatever, as long as it was written or typed. We let people submit anonymously or not, completely up to them. I’ve found that after years of running submission based zines that people get real anxious and insecure about their writing and sharing it with people, which is fine, it’s a very personal thing that you’re sharing with potentially a lot of people. I always thought that it was nice to let people get whatever they wanted off their chest or mind and really say what they want. We publish anything in the issues as long as it’s not outright offensive to anyone, however I would say there is trigger warning on the issues, some people decide to share some personal things that others may not be comfortable with.
MIDNIGHT WEREWOLF RECORDS is a Boston based DIY Record Label that I co-run with my friend Derek Desharnais of Sneeze. I was doing a lot of artwork for bands flyers and albums and had done some stuff for Sneeze when Derek asked if I wanted to help out with the label. I do a lot of illustrations and album layouts for bands and screen print posters, inserts and shirts for the bands and for the label. It’s a lot of fun, Derek and I have known each other for over 10 years and it’s been awesome to work with a guy so talented and get to see him grow with his bands and then get to help out all these other guys. Boston has a crazy awesome music scene that has changed a lot in the past few years, but is still killer. It’s amazing to get to do work for and with bands like Kal Marks, Forn, Lady Bones and Trach, I’ve known a lot of these dudes outside of music and have met even more great people inside of it. Doesn’t hurt either that you get to hear the albums first months before everyone else.
What would you want to see in the Boston art/creative scene that you don’t feel is happening right now?
I would really like to see more independent shops, galleries and pop up venues in and around Boston. I’m so happy that things like the Black Market, Allston Pop, Boston Zine fest and others exist because they really help independent brands, like Hungry Ghost Press. Boston is just so crazy expensive! I would love to open a store and let people do pop up events in it, put on shows and galleries at night and just create a solid tight knit community. Looking at stores like Orchard and their upstairs gallery, Vivant Vintage and running the new Allston Vintage Pop, Deep Thoughts and their shows and Store 54 and the awesome stuff he does, it’s inspiring and hopefully some day there will be more of that all around here.