You are sitting on a couch at a gathering of some sort. A stranger comes up to you and a conversation is had. Suddenly, the stranger is leaning over and whispering in your ear, divulging details that are intimate for a first conversation.
This is how I feel whenever I read a ‘zine.
‘Zines are handmade or small-print run publications that can be made by anyone. Some are just zeroxed and stapled. For those who can do it, some are screen-printed, but I must stress, you don’t even have to be an artist to make a ‘zine.
For example, there is one ‘zine called ‘I love bad movies’ that is about just that: reviews of bad movies, or ‘so bad it’s good’ movies. There are ‘zines about herbal remedies, activism, and cool bands. ‘Zines can be about anything!
Isn’t this exciting?
The ‘zines pictured here are from a small comic shop in Williamsburg Brooklyn called Desert Island, but don’t let that scare you. I really feel that zines are not just for hipsters. Anyone can make one.
You’ll laugh when I tell you, but one of the best resources I have seen lately that describes how to make a ‘zine is the Adventure Time comic, volume 12. This is a comic that is from a show that was originally made for kids, but it has a pretty big adult following. For good reason, I could go on about that, but suffice it to say, I’m a big fan!
What tickles me is that a kid can pick up this comic and learn through a step-by-step visual process, how to put a little book together. That’s really cool! I wish I could put the comic up here, but I will give you a link to a site that has great information from one of most notable people in the ‘zine world:
As a final note, it can be really fun when you find ‘zine treasures. The one to the left in the image above was really exciting to find. Aaron Reiner is one of my favorite artists and writers and I never knew he did ‘zines before he was published! The owner at the shop told me it was really rare and somebody came in recently and sold him his collection because he was moving away.
I recommend his graphic novel called Spiralbound. It’s such a cute and endearing story with humanized animals. Its a story about being original and standing up for yourself. Good stuff!
So finally, one of the hardest things about zines is timing. Because of the nature of the publications, if you are collecting a series, it can be hard to find old issues. So, if there is something you really like: get on that person’s blog, tumblr, or whatever social media they have. That way you’ll know when you can get the next one.
Stuff I’m looking forward to:
Alabaster’s Mimi and the Wolves vol2
Coin op Box set re-release
I’ll update more on my ‘zine adventures as they come, including the process of making my own, a little art-book called ‘IllumiMates’. For more information, check out the Purple Lantern Studio Facebook page.