Zine 101: What Is A Zine?
Lately I have been focusing my energy on making my own zines. What are zines you ask? Well, the term 'zine' is short for 'magazine'. It is the very literally interpretation of the word, being a short magazine. Zine's are usually self-published collection of work. Thsi work can be photographs, poetry, short stories, artwork, mixed media... Anything you can imagine can go in your zine. And that's the best part! A zine is ther perfect place to be yourself and put in whatever you want. There are no rules to a zine!
I was walking down one of the streets in my parents' suburb a few weeks ago and saw a bundle of zines stapled to a fence. They were about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the rights we neglect to give Indigenous peoples in our capitlist societal system. It was some pretty heavy-hitting stuff! I remember being astonished and impressed and of course I took one. It was rained on and rippled and sandy to the touch, and that's what made it beautiful. Zines are imperfect and home made things. They are meant to be whatever you intend them to be and the functionality of them is extremely diverse.
Zines don't only have to be about ideas and politics, though. Just like and magazine, it can be published for any reason to share information about anything! Zines have been a part of Punk culture since the beginning; it is one of the purest forms of 'Do It Yourself' . Before there was pinterest, tumblr, or even the internet, people were sharing information and ideologies throught what we now call 'zine culture'.
Zine culture appears to be coming back in recent years as the internet has grown and the sharing of information is reaching and all time climax. As much as you can learn anything from the internet, the nostalgia of being able to hold information in your hands and flip through pages someone else put together has gripped my generation. We run on nostalgia.
I began making my own zines at the beginning of this year, at first it was just collections of my artwork and sketches I wanted to publish together, but I have most recently finished a themed art zine rather than just a collection. I created a zine based on some of my struggles with my mental health. I have also been working on and animal comic strip zine that may never be finished, but who knows. I believe publishing a zine is a very special thing. It can be a very intimate and private accomplishment, or something you can share with the world. The sky is the limit!
Now that you know something about what a zine is, I will be writing about how you can make your own! Have I made it sound cool enough?