By Jonathan Farrell
The wind, the ocean, the sand and, of course, the fog – those are what most people think of when the Sunset District comes to mind. For some people who don’t like chilly weather, especially in July, it is a negative. But, for artists like those who contribute to “The B0ardside” magazine (the creators call it a “zine”), the Sunset is a haven for the arts. To them it is home.
“The B0ardside” (with a zero instead of the letter “o”) is a quarterly magazine produced entirely by local Sunset District and westside artists. The creators describes the zine as “Art and Culture from the Edge of the World.” The publication made its debut in October of 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The B0ardside” is a collaborative effort of artists spearheaded by artists Thorsten Sideb0ard, Douglas Gorney, Thomas Beutel and Brent Willson. The publication gets its unusual spelling from Thorsten Sideb0ard, who specializes in comic book art and live-coded algorithmic music. He thought using a zero instead of a letter in the title would be eye-catching and make the publication distinctive, just as the Sunset District is distinctive.
And, since the City’s west side has Ocean Beach as its backdrop, the name of the publication represents the beach culture.
“It’s a nod to the ocean, to the many surfers, skateboarders, myself being among them, and various people who are drawn to Ocean Beach for one reason or another,” Sideb0ard said.
Douglas Gorney is the popular Sunset artist, illustrator and founder of the group “Sunset Sketchers,” a collection of local artists who meet on weekends at different neighborhood locations to capture the area with their artists’ tools and creative imaginations. Two issues of the zine have been published.
“We are working on a third issue,” Gorney said. “Each one takes about a month and a half to put together. That includes reviewing submissions, writing, drawing, etc. “
Like Sideb0ard and Willson, Gorney envisions the zine as an extension and part of a larger collaborative. This includes performances in a space at 43rd Avenue and Moraga Street which aims to be presented in conjunction with the publication.
“It is something we hope will continue to grow and evolve,” Gorney said
“People can pick up old issues of the zine, along the new Issue #3, at the next show we’re having at the B0ardside space, Return of the Wild: The Art of Entropy.,” he said. (Entropy is the alias of Outer Sunset multimedia artist Bianca Nandzik.) The event takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20, from noon to 4 p.m. each day.
“The B0ardside” zine does not just have poetry, essays or prose. It also has illustrations, comics, art, photography and even music expressed in sheet-music format, so that readers can see the notes and play it for themselves on a piano or other musical instrument.
“Creative artists have thrived in San Francisco for as long as the City has boomed, busted, burned down and then reborn,” Sideb0ard said.
Whether it was writers from the Gilded Age, beatnik poets, hippies of the psychedelic sound of the 1960s or the music of the 1980s and ’90s, San Francisco was and still is a magnet for the arts.
“B0ardside is a new collective born of the ‘Outside Lands,’ giving voice to diverse artists working in the liminal quiet of the far avenues, and celebrating the rising Bohemia of post-COVID-19 San Francisco,” Sideb0ard said.
In this high-tech age of the digital revolution and glossy sophistication, Gorney and his fellow artists are proud of the zine, even with its “homemade, edgy look,” as he described it.
So far, 30 to 40 pages is all that the B0ardside can handle for now.
“Saddle-stitching is what limits the length of each issue to 30-40 pages. That said, it feels like a comfortable length for the format and for our editorial/creative focus. At least for now. Who knows, we could grow into a 100-plus-page glossy magazine someday!” Gorney said.
“We focus on quality content and we want it to have finesse, especially in this high-tech digital age, where desktop publishing is an art form in and of itself,” Gorney said.
While the publication is striving to reflect the edgy spirit and diversity of the artist community in the Sunset and the west side, Gorney said the publication is for everyone.
“We are family-friendly,” Gorney said.
Limited quantities of issue #2 are available at Mollusk Surf Shop, 4500 Irving St. For more information about “The B0ardside” quarterly zine, go to http://theb0ardside.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.