Anxiety entertainment

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Since the mid-1980’s, Anxiety Press mastermind, J. Anxiety had dreams of a media empire. Jay was born Jason Robert Stewart on November 12, 1972 in Hamilton, Ontario. His flare for the media came at the age of 12 with a small group of “networks” in which he and his friends would audio tape themselves pretending to be celebrities. Beginning in 1985, Jay hosted an annual soap-box derby-like race known as cub-car. What was most interesting about this event wasn’t the races themselves, but the tabloid-like atmosphere resembling Jerry Springer-meets-WWF-meets-Nascar. The events were recorded on audio tape and still exist to this day! In the 1990’s Jay and company made the switch to video with a series of low-budget fictional films. Throughout this time Jay continued to write; mainly short stories. It was a move back to Hamilton, Ontario that really changed Jay’s outlook on things. He and fellow artist, Jon Kruithof formed the band, Anxiety. This is where Jay got his stage name. Jon was heavily involved with a new revolution that was beginning to gain in popularity. Self-produced publications known as “Zines” were popping up everywhere. Jay began to get involved with the scene too by writing for Jon’s publication, Diet Society. Soon thereafter, he decided to start his own publication. In early-1995, XYZed, distributed by Slash Distro. made its debut. The reception was at first, luke warm, but by issue 2 XYZed established itself in the zine scene. XYZed’s appeal was its unique articles, its incessant nit-picking of even the most minute or obscure details, and its old-school charm (it was originally processed solely on a manual typewriter). Later in ‘95 Jay launched his newest magazine, EXIT!, a literary zine featuring poetry, short stories, and more. It sold out at both the Canzine and Zine Scene small-press festivals. Unfortunately, Issue#3 of XYZed received some rather harsh reviews, causing the flow of mail to suddenly trickle off. By issue#5 though, the magazine was back on track. Each passing year, XYZed was well represented at the annual Canzine festival. In 1998 XYZed- The Audio Zine made its debut. It featured sound bites, live interviews (conducted at Canzine), stories, and music. In 1999, Jay decided to go back to school, enrolling in a freelance writing course. He produced his own comic, School Dayz detailing his own childhood. In early-2000 Jay reunited with Jon Kruithof for a brief reunion of their band, Anxiety. The final issue of EXIT! was also released that year, but for XYZed there was no end in sight. For issue #12 the publication became part of the newly formed, Anxiety Press. This issue also marked the beginning of a more high-tech computer processing for the magazine. But even with this new technology, Jay still thought the magazine needed a more personal touch. Issue#13 in 2001displayed a new look, a new address and a new attitude to great effect. The magazine still dove into the outer reaches of pop culture and obscure entertainment, but there was a more personal touch. Later that year Jay hooked up with an old friend after seven years. Jeremy Gull had been the drummer for Anxiety but lost touch with Jay in the years that followed his departure. When the two reunited, Jay asked Jeremy to write an article for XYZed. Jeremy’s very powerful and opinionated piece entitled, Is This Where You Thought You’d Be At This Point In Your Life? made its debut for issue#14. The piece was well-received and was a wonderful diversion from the core articles and reviews. In 2002 Anxiety Press finally made the jump to the Internet with a web page and e-mail address. Now in 2004, the newly named, Anxiety Entertainment has a total of three websites and XYZed is still going strong. In late-2004 it was announced that a new publication, Eighteen; a spin-off of the highly acclaimed XYZed #18. Eighteen's focus is horror films and fandom, featuring exclusive interviews with cast and crew from various horror franchises. Anxiety also distributes movies from the shot-on-video company, STV and music from Home Concert Records.