Once you get settled, please navigate to this site (diy.futureofwriting.com) and take this survey.
Zines: What are they?
A significant part of the first half of the course is dedicated to zines. As scholar Stephen Duncombe famously argued in his book Zines: Notes from Underground, it’s easier to hold, look at, and read zines than it is to describe them. In a moment I’ll distribute a zine to you, as you read it notice its
- Content — What is this zine about? Is it mostly made up of text, images, or something else? Who is the author (or who are the authors)?
- Materials — How big is it? What kind of paper is made from? What colors, fonts? How is it held together? Does the material enhance the content?
- Audience — Who would read this? Who would not?
- Process — What can you gather about how this zine was made from reading it or looking at it?
Where do you get zines?
So where do you get zines? I obtained some of the zines you just handled at various zines fests I attended in Buffalo or Chicago, received as a reviewer for the magazine Broken Pencil, or just them ordered online.
I’m asking you to order your own so we can share them in class on September 17. That means you need to go home tonight or tomorrow and order a few. Expect to spend about $7-10 on shipping and be sure to choose PRIORITY shipping if that’s an option. Order at least two. Here just a few places you might look:
- Quimby’s (Chicago) — Legendary indie bookstore and recently featured in the Netflix show Easy.
- Printed Matter (NYC) — Esteemed store that carries a lot of different stuff, including art books and zines.
- Etsy (all over the world) — Etsy probably has the best selection of all these options and although your money will go right to the authors, keep in mind that Etsy is a corporation and keep a portion of the sale.
- Atomic Books (Baltimore) — Another famous independent bookstore just down the road.
- Pioneers Press (Ann Arbor, MI) — Owned by my friend Jessie Duke. Not as much variety as the others above, but a solid amazing crew of writers, activists, and artists.
How do you make zines?
One easy method for making your first zine is through the mini-zine — a publication made out of a single sheet of paper. This Kickstarter video demonstrates:
We can start by making this template in class and looking at some examples. Once you see some and know how to put it together, you’ll use a range of tools to make your own zine, which you’ll share with the class on Thursday.
Homework for next class:
- Take this survey.
- Order your zines.
- Finish making your mini-zine.
- Read Ostertag’s introduction to People’s Movements, People’s Press: The Journalism of Social Justice Movements