We asked readers and contributors: What do you love about Tumbleweird?
And… WOW. We got back some spectacular answers. (We’re not crying, YOU’RE crying!)
I never miss the book reviews. Such great recommendations!! Please never stop. The poems are also fun to read. Artist interviews, too. And I value calendars of local events.
Some excellent journalism and out-of-the-norm stories and features.
Local talent makes it more honest.
I love reading the contributions of the creative writers and artists of the Tri-Cities. The interviews introduce me to some of the fascinating residents here. Columnists like Ted Miller consistently offer well-reasoned fact-based food for thought on issues that matter. And a reader recently told me that she actually looks forward to reading my own contributions. Yay!
Tumbleweird is unapologetically ... weird. I, myself, am weird and have always attempted to be unapologetically so (though my W/L ratio for that could be debated), and to have a place to create with other unapologetically weird people is not just refreshing but necessary. Your devotion to diversity and inclusivity, your commitment to the freedom to express so long as it harm none, and your kindness. There are truly good people working to make Tumbleweird that oasis for us weirdos out here in the desert. I'm so glad it exists, and feel very privileged to get to be a part of it.
Tumbleweird is one of the few local organizations pulling the Tri-Cities toward progress and a more welcoming society. It gives a place for the misfits to hang out, and have a forum away from the right-wing gaslighting that's been so prevalent in this area.
The people, the local perspective, the comics, the crossword puzzle, the art. 💕
Having the Tumbleweird to both read and contribute to has been one of the best parts about coming back to my hometown after so long gone. Fun stuff like restaurant bathroom reviews, serious stuff about DUIs and addiction, important stuff like getting the word out about the nonprofit I started to help cook for those in need, and like the one about trying to keep a small but important farmers market going through hard times.
The paper is always there as an outlet for things that are important to each of us and getting to read what’s important to others is an even cooler experience that I think sometimes gets taken for granted. Informative boardgame reviews, amazing art and beautiful poetry, introspective opinion pieces, and just keeping up with what’s going on in the area — each month is a treat and another reason for me to get down to Adventures Underground and look at boardgames I want to buy (but then probably wouldn’t play enough of since I already have too many at home). I met genuinely cool people in my day-to-day that contribute to Tumbleweird, and there’s always a fun connection when someone knows my work because they read about it in the paper.
So many talented folks are all around us, and thanks to this paper, we get glimpses into their lives and perspectives. These last few years have been particularly bad for most in ways maybe we never had to experience before, and feeling even a small sense of community involvement has been a key part in keeping me going. Thanks to everyone that keeps this thing going, from the contributors I admire to the subscribers that keep it free for those who can’t afford it and the staff that always helps me with my final edits. You are all great and I look forward to seeing more of everyone’s unique talents and interesting activities.
I love that people who are generally marginalized can have a voice; they can share their stories and their art in a judgment-free community newspaper. Thank you for providing this space. I'm proud of my small monthly donation to such a worthy endeavor.
One of the original founders of Tumbleweird is the husband of a good friend of mine. When they were launching the zine, she asked if I would like to contribute. They were specifically looking for some regular features to coexist with the creative focus on art and poetry. After thinking about it, I asked if they would like movie reviews and the answer was a resounding “yes.”
I already watch a ton of movies, so it wasn’t difficult to write reviews of them for Tumbleweird. Over the years, I have found my obligation to write reviews keeps my focus on movies even when life gets in the way, as it does. It’s been a consistent mental refuge during personal crises, the pandemic, and family health issues. But being a part of Tumbleweird helped me figure out that movies help me process my emotions about whatever I’m facing in life — something I think great movies, art, and poetry probably do for many people.
I’ve been openly welcomed into this Tumbleweird community by the creative folks that produce it. It’s helped me to find my people here in the Tri-Cities. I’m incredibly grateful for the original opportunity to contribute to this creative community and the continued opportunity to do so.
Tumbleweird’s origin story
An interview with Henry Hopscotch, Tumbleweird cofounder and OG editor
Tell us the story of how Tumbleweird was born!
Logan and I had a tradition of meeting at my house, getting high on pot, and hanging out on Sunday afternoons. On one such Sunday in August 2016, he shared that he’d had an idea for a community zine and had come up with a great name for it: Tumbleweird. I agreed that it was a fantastic name. He had ideas for the sorts of things that would go in it and various acquaintances who might want to write or contribute art.
I had recently begun learning Adobe InDesign, a desktop publishing program. (This had to do with migrating from a similar app I relied on at my day job, Adobe LiveCycle Designer, but that’s not important.) I was in love with what this software let me do. I could design forms with levels of detail and precision previously unknown. So hearing Logan’s ideas, I said I’d be excited to do layout for something like that. And I could help with some of the admin stuff. The project snowballed from there.
Logan had lots of interesting contacts from his job at Adventures Underground and submissions seemed to come easily. Looking back through old records, the earliest, documented Tumbleweird thing I can find is a page I prepped in InDesign featuring an article by my spouse (then boyfriend) titled “Tuesdays”. The second-oldest artifact is a domain registration receipt for tumbleweird.org.
The first issue of Tumbleweird was printed September 6, 2016. It was basically a half-sheet pamphlet, black and white, stapled, with ten interior pages. Logan and I picked up the first run of 300 copies from B&B Express Printing in Kennewick where we each paid half.
What do you think are the most important things Tumbleweird does for the Tri-Cities community?
A quick disclaimer: My opinion on this shouldn’t matter much. Periodicals are living things and the preferences of past editors are probably best kept in the past. That said, I think Tumbelweird is important for the Tri-Cities because it helps celebrate and connect parts of this community that the locally-dominant conservative culture tends to ignore or suppress.
I also think it’s important that it exists in a printed form because it imbues a kind of permanence that can’t be achieved through other media. That permanence lets it reach places it otherwise might not, and establishes a verifiable record which is important for Tumbleweird’s journalistic endeavors.
Any dreams for the future of Tumbleweird?
I hope it continues to exist for as long as possible as an independent publication. I think it’s in great hands.
Henry Hopscotch likes maps and has a blog: luxabsio.space