Thursday, July 24, 2014

Zines- Collecting, Reading and Making Them

Zines from my personal collection

As mentioned in my previous post, I've been in a bit of a book reading slump. However, I have really been into zines. I've been reading the ones from my collection, and buying/trading some new ones. I've also been working on making some of my own. Typically, most people don't know what zines are. That's why I'm making this post- to tell you all about them!

Zines are basically self-published mini-magazines that can be made by anyone. They can be about anything, from diary entries to art to stories or photography. They are usually photocopied, but they can also be formatted on Photoshop programs. They are folded together like little booklets, and are usually distributed in small batches.

One of my favorite things about zines, is that they are a great form of artistic expression. Because anyone can make them, their quality varies from zine to zine. They are usually sold for a few bucks, or traded, or sometimes given away for free.
The first zine I ever made!
I've been making and collecting them since I was about 16. I discovered them in high school, through the internet, as I've found most things. I have made a variety of personal zines and art zines, in various sizes and styles.

Reading- When I first got into making zines, there were two books that inspired me to make my own.

The art and layout of this book is what first drew me to it. It is made quite like a zine, but in a more professional book form. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in zines. It includes everything you need to know to start out. Packed full of articles about why people make zines, and how to make them, this book is so full of useful information. I still reference this book, even if just for inspiration.

With lots of information about distros and zine resources, this tiny book is in the typical zine cut and paste style. Ignoring the spelling errors, this book has even more information than the first, including things not so obvious, such as prison pen pals and creative commons.

There are other books, and of course, lots of other zines that explain how to make them.

Collecting- Zines can be traded or purchased from their creators, as well as from zine distros. has a great zine section, which is also where I sell my zines.

a personal zine of mine

Online, there are also zine distros you can order from. Two of my favorites are Sweet Candy Distro and Portland Button Works. Though I've never been to one, there are also physical distros that you can go to. I've also heard that some small record shops and bookstores also carry zines, but they are few and far between unless you live in a popular city, like Portland.

Making-  Making zines is a lot of fun. Because you can make them about anything, they are diverse and for just about anyone. There are several simple templates for making them, but the most common is just folding a sheet of paper in half. You can fill your zine with art, writing, photography, or any combination of them. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

page layout

Zines are a great way to express your creativity. They usually aren't made for profit, but they can be sold. Trading zines is one of the most fun things to do, in my opinion. It gets your work out there, and you get to check out other people's as well.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Also, I am going to begin posting zine reviews on this blog as well, being that they are fairly similar to books. So look out for those! I hope you enjoyed this post, and were able to learn about something new, or be inspired to make your own zines!

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