Logan Kaufman was talking with a friend about things the Tri-Cities needs — more music venues, for example.
And an alternative community paper in the vein of Seattle’s The Stranger.
Kaufman didn’t sit on that last idea very long.
Within a matter of weeks, the co-owner of Adventures Underground in Richland had produced the first edition of Tumbleweird, a new ‘zine with the mission of “bettering the community through art, culture and positivity.”
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Tumbleweird debuted at the beginning of September.
It already has about a dozen contributors and a growing buzz in the community.
“I think what Logan’s doing is important and necessary,” said Davin Diaz, founder of DrewBoy Creative, which has a gallery at Confluent Space Tri-Cities in Richland.
“(The publication) is a platform for literary artists who — like some of my visual artists at DrewBoy — are looking for a home. I think Tumbleweird is very open, and the articles are amazing,” Diaz said.
Tumbleweird’s first two issues have been filled with clever, fun offerings — from “horrorscopes,” to original comics and art, to columns, to comic book reviews.
They also have pages and pages of local event listings.
David Spaulding, owner of Liberation Bike Shop, writes about cycling and bike culture for the ‘zine.
Publications like Tumbleweird are vital to communities such as the Tri-Cities, he said.
“We have a lot of different points of view here, but there aren’t many media that really represent them,” Spaulding said. “(It’s) the kind of thing you want to pull from the shelf and read — it’s something different.”
Tumbleweird isn’t a traditional paper, with just-the-facts news stories and the like.
It has edge, and it’s born of Kaufman’s liberal world view. He makes no apologies for that.
Logan Kaufman has said that he sees that project as a way to foster connections across the community, leading to more cool businesses, organizations and opportunities.
In the second issue, for example, Kaufman drank a bottle of wine and watched an ’80s horror film — rating both the flick and his hangover. The same issue also had a recipe for avocado-jalapeno poppers — aimed at helping with “veganizing your favorite munchies.”
Kaufman, 36, grew up in the Tri-Cities, graduating from Kennewick High School in 1999.
He studied fine art at Eastern Washington University. He eventually made his way back to the Tri-Cities, helping to start Adventures Underground.
The popular store, which sells books, comics, music, games and toys, has a devoted following. Recently, it held a massive sidewalk sale to make room for an arts collective and small business/nonprofit incubator, which will take over about 8,000 square feet of storage space upstairs.
Back Alley Arts Collective is expected to open soon.
Kaufman has said that he sees that project as a way to foster connections across the community, leading to more cool businesses, organizations and opportunities.
It’s the same with Tumbleweird.
“I want people to show up to art shows more, show up to concerts more. I want people to put on more concerts, to do more art,” Kaufman said. “I think one way to make that happen is to talk about it and let people know that they’re not alone. It’s the veritable waving of your freak flag.”
In Tumbleweird’s inaugural issue, he put it this way:
“I want to see Tumbleweird expand to be a connecting force in the Tri-Cities,” he wrote. “...There is power in finding community within a town that often doesn’t feel very inclusive. It frees you to keep looking at the world, challenging yourself and adapting your world view to a world that is always changing.”
Diaz, from DrewBoy Creative, noted that the Tri-Cities is experiencing a surge in arts and culture — and Tumbleweird is part of that.
“You have all this creative energy that was underneath the surface, but now is bubbling up over the surface. It’s spreading,” he said.
Spaulding also sees Tumbleweird as a force for connection and growth.
“Each piece we build on, like Tumbleweird, like the new art collective, like Confluent (makerspace) — that’s more ignition on the fire to do even more things,” Spaulding said.
Tumbleweird’s next issue is set to release this week.
Kaufman is looking for more contributors and advertisers for the paper. To connect with him, go to tumbleweird.org
The free paper is available at Adventures Underground, Confluent Space Tri-Cities, SCRAP Tri-Cities, Liberation Bike Shop and online at tumbleweird.org.