As part of CentralTrak’s current exhibition, The Zine Society Library the Dallas-based brothers and business partners Ean Schuessler and Erik Schuessler will speak about how making zines as teenagers evolved into a legitimate and respected profession. The designers currently operate Brainfood, a multimedia company with national accounts such as Ryder, Hughes Research Labs, Pepsico/Yum (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut), KB Home and Broadcast.com.
As children growing up in Kansas City, the Schuessler’s were inspired by their father who was a brilliant illustrator working for Hallmark Cards. He was assigned to the “contemporary cards” section, tasked with spoofing topical themes and counter-culture of the 60’s and 70’s.
After relocating to Dallas in the early 1980’s, the brothers attended Booker T magnet high school for the arts. Waiting for them was a first generation Macintosh computer and laser printer, which none of the school’s faculty or staff quite knew how to use. Ean and Erik hit the ground running and quickly took over the job of designing Booker T’s yearbook and school paper, saving the institution an expense they’d annually farmed out to another company. This early consumer computer technology available at Booker T clearly inspired the brothers. . Ean and Erik’s technological aptitudes and immense creative energies found an outlet in design and publishing.
At this early age, the two became underground publishers of their own comics, “propaganda” and other irreverent materials. The creative folly of making zines would lead them into their adult profession and livelihood, which now entails everything from app design and ecommerce to video and film production.