What’s a zine?
A zine – pronounced ‘zeen’, derived from ‘magazine’ – is a self-published booklet, usually created by a single person. Zines are usually created by physically cutting and gluing text and images together onto a master flat for photocopying, but some like to produce the master by typing and formatting pages on a computer. The end product is usually folded and stapled. Zines can be printed and bound in any way.

Part of my zine collection!

It’s a wonderful way of expressing yourself.
I love the sheer joy of creating something beautiful and personal that I can share with others.  I love to write, but there’s something about the prospect of writing to an audience that can really push you to think differently.  I believe that it’s important to keep writing and creating art, because for me the process of trying to get an idea down on paper is what it means to think clearly and critically.  I write a lot, because it’s my way of forcing out those half-formed thoughts in my mind; I’m thinking as I’m writing the words.  I think it’s important to have the experience of thinking through those bigger questions and issues, and the way I do that is through zines.  Canadian zinester Clementine Cannibal said that zines were all about survival.  I think they’re more than that – not only survival, but personal growth.

Tea, typing, and striped socks. I love those socks.

It allows you to get in touch with lots of like-minded people.
Many meaningful connections are often made between zinesters in the zine community, and most of my friends were either met through zines, or they are now into zines after reading mine.  It’s also great that so many of these zine friends will have much in common with you, in terms of interests as well as political beliefs and past experiences.  It’s so lovely to have that common ground and get the chance to speak to people who can understand how I’m feeling.

Bongo likes to read zines too.

Anyone can write one – why don’t you?
Most zinesters found it helpful to read a lot of zines and identify what it was that they liked about those zines, so they could attempt to make the kind of zine that they’d love to read too.  If you feel that you’d love to find a zine that talks about a certain thing that maybe hasn’t been covered in the way you want, then be the one to write that zine.  We all have to share our voices with the world and tell our stories.


Recommended Reading

A perzine created by Cindy Crabb from the US. It covered topics such as gender roles, sexual abuse, anarchism, and the author’s personal musings. 28 issues and an anthology have been released.

Telegram Ma’am
Written by Maranda Elizabeth from Canada, she writes about mental health, loneliness, nostalgia, adventures, bicycles, small towns, and finding a home.

Culture Slut
A queer feminist perzine written by Amber Forrester, Maranda’s twin sister. Amber also edits comp-zine “Fight Boredom”, and runs a distro of the same name.

Licking Stars off Ceilings
A riot grrrl perzine by musician and writer Clementine Cannibal, dealing with topics of sex, romance and being a girl in a boy’s world in an explicit and unapologetic way.

Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell!
Written by Tukru from England, this is a feminist perzine with lots of collage-style art and a diary-like feel.  Tukru also runs British distro “Vampire Sushi”.

A comp-zine published out of the US, issues discussed in Hoax include race, gender, sexuality, anarchism, class, body image, politics, health, social problems, and personal histories.

p.s. if you liked this, check out my zines on my shop page, or read more blog posts on the “zines” tag!

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