It’s amazing what you can make from a sheet of paper, a pen and a pair of scissors. Throw in some old magazines, washi tape and some glue, and you have yourself a party.
Zines, pronounced ZEENS, but spelled zines as in magazine
Zines are home-made, DIY, self-published little booklets. They can be stapled or made from one sheet of paper, folded in such a way as to make six pages plus front and back covers. If you’re thrifty, you could make a 2 in 1 version by writing/printing on both sides of the paper, so you get to see one of the other zine depending on how you fold it.
They can be on any topic you like – art, politics, short stories, identity, what I did last summer, food, my so-called life, mental health, animals, the state of the nation – absolutely anything. They were pretty popular when I was a teenager back in the late 80s. I remember reading some feminist Riot Grrrl ones and a few band/gig review ones. Back then, there was no internet, so spreading the word to potential future members of your tribe was much more difficult than it is now.
I’m rubbish at drawing, which I why my zines are mostly made up of words cut from magazines. I’ve hit my stash of washi tape hard. I really enjoy the process of getting into the flow of creating. This is a slow craft. Old school analogue, even, yet so easily shared with others.
I’ve found this video on YouTube which shows how to make one. Honestly, they are so simple. No verbal instructions are necessary. Give it a go! Fun for all ages.
My newer zines are made from A3 paper. Once the zine is made, I shrink it on my home copier at 71% to make it A4-sized. Fortunately, I only have a black and white scanner/photocopier/printer combo, because a colour one could become quite and expensive habit! I must admit that I have made a few copies of each one, just in case I get invited to a zine fair at some point in the future (where I could sell or trade them) way off when we all start doing social things again.
This is one I made earlier, in its glorious natural state.
Regular readers may remember that I recently made a multi-page short story/poetry zine with a printed cover for a socially-distanced library event. I may make some more. They’re a whole lot easier and more fun to make than e-books. If/when I do any performance poetry/spoken work with an IRL audience (again at some hopeful time in the future, when life feels safer again) I will create a little zine to read my poem from while I’m onstage.
I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my world of what I’ve been up to lately!
Extra points for anyone who knows which magazines I’ve hacked up to obtain the cut-out words!
In the spirit of the culture of zines, below are a few that I’ve shared with other organisations. They are in convenient video format on YouTube.
I sent a few of my zines to Leicester Zine Library and they were kind enough to create a lovely Instagram post about them