What is a zine? A zine comes in many shapes and forms. At its essence, it is a completely self-created, self-published and self-distributed “magazine” that can contain your own original writings, artwork, photographs, essays and more.
I learned a great deal about zine culture when I befriended zine maven and creative inspirer Ann Matsushima. As the editor-in-chief of Eyeball Burp Publications, Ann has already published three volumes of her original zine “Eyeball Burp” and is already accumulating material from other local artists and writers for volume number four. Just last month, I had the crazy opportunity to tag along with her to an annual zine convention in Sacramento, California called Indy Euphoria, where I met many other dedicated zine-makers and zine junkies.
At Indy Euphoria, I eagerly absorbed comic zines, a fan zine dedicated to Lady Gaga, essay compilation zines that gathered one author’s passion in weird and obscure news items from the past 100 years, and many more. There is something inherently satisfying about having a tangible handmade object to hold in your hands, all made from one artist’s labor of love.
Zines are the ultimate creative empowerment of self-expression. If you are itching to share your own unique and individual stories, insights, polemics, comics and opinions with the rest of the world, you don’t have to wait for a big-name publisher to accept your manuscript or publish your article in the newspaper. With some computer paper, a long-hand stapler, a few other basic supplies and some patience, anyone can make their own zine and begin distributing to friends, family and strangers right away.
Check out Ann’s video tutorial for making a basic zine and examples of what zines can look like.
Here’s to more people feeling empowered to share their stories and dreams with the rest of the world.
Want to learn more about making and sharing your own original zine? Check out the following resources pulled from around the ‘net to learn more about getting your feet wet in the ever-growing, ever-evolving fascinating zine culture of sharing stories and ideas with others.
How To Make A Zine from Zinebook.com
How To Make a Chapbook: An Illustrated Step-by-Step Guide. What is a chapbook? A chapbook is essentially a zine, but usually refers to a collection of original writing. Chapbooks are a great way for aspiring writers, poets and essayists to get their writing out there to interested folk.
Grrrl Zines a Go-Go A Zine-making workshop for women based in San Diego, California, with emphasis on the empowerment of teenage girls through the production of zines and artist books.
Sparkplug Comic Books A Portland-based publishing company that publishes independent comics and distributes zines.
Zine Resources from UndergroundPress.org
Zines That Review Zines from LeekingInc.com
Listen to my interview with Jeff Simpson, the inspirer behind the video. Jeff Simpson is the recipient of the 5K grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project, and his project is to create a free online magazine about literature, music and the arts called “Fiddleback.”