The following articles were authored by jenna

Zines for Teens

This question comes up routinely on the ZineLibrarians list, and yet I’ve never seen a nice list.

If others will provide the titles (and annotations would be nice, too!) , I’ll be responsible for posting them here. Suggest something in the comments or email them to me.

I don’t work with pre-college teens and so don’t have a good sense of what is appropriate/will fly, but I’m suggesting a few zines anyway, just to get the list started.

  • 12 items or less : a grocery shopping zine edited by A.J. Michel
  • Adorn, by Bree Friend. The last issue I’ve seen is from 2006, and Bree is 22 and separated or divorced. Teens like to read about folks slightly older than themselves, right? Bree’s zines are very visual, and I gotta say cute. heartlikefoil@ hotmail
  • After School Special by Nia King
  • Art Freak by Carol Parks
  • Bad Grades by Carla Marie Yacenda
  • Beards? Beards!: and other matters pertaining to facial hair by Ingrid
  • Best Zine Ever edited by Greg Means. Zine reviews, many written by librarians.
  • Call & response by Gianni Simone
  • Caboose, #4 Ridiculous Issue by Liz Mason
  • Caesar by Jeff Sharp
  • Clutch by Clutch McBastard. Daily minicomic by a librarian. I don’t recall the language getting much worse than the author’s nom de plume.
  • Controller by Robin Enrico
  • Danger! Hole, by high school student Lucy in the Sky. Bravely feminist, riot grrrl oriented zine, with different themes each issue. grrrlriots8me @ hotmail
  • Diary of a mosquito abatement man by John Porcellino.
  • Do you work here? by Nathalie Wilson.
  • Don’t go where I can’t follow by Anders Nilsen with Cheryl Weaver.(Actually a book we have as a zine)
  • Doris 15: antidepression guide by Cindy Crabb.
  • Dropping out (for students), by Cavegirl is available for download from Crimethinc, and it’s just what it sounds like. It discusses dropping out of high school and how to get by. It’s about one person who couldn’t tolerate school, but it’s not especially disrespectful.
  • The Dvorak zine : changing the world one keyboard at a time by Alec Longstreth
  • The East Village Inky by Ayun Halliday. Handwritten and illustrated mamazine by a Brooklyn mom with two young kids and a Tony award winning spouse.
  • Empower : a young mama’s guide to taking control, by Allison Crews. This is the kind of stuff that is actually useful to a pregnant or parenting teen, because the people that wrote the articles have been there. allison @ girlmom .com (not sure if the link is still good. The copyright statement encourages copying and distribution, so write me if you want a copy.
  • Extranjero, # 5 : tales of life and travel by a big, dumb Yank & his Spanish wife by Kris and Lola.
  • The Fall by Stephanie Wu
  • Figure 8, by Krissy Durden. One of the best zines out there on fat acceptance and debunking bullshit about health risks and other issues. ponyboypress @ yahoo
  • First semester : chronicles of the classroom by Jeff Sharp
  • Flummery by Jeff Sharp
  • The Future Generation by China Martens. Anti-authoritarian parenting zine.
  • Girls are not chicks coloring book, and anything else by Jacinta Bunnell. These are great feminist, genderfucking zines and coloring books (that don’t use naughty words like genderfucking).
  • Glossolalia, by Sarah Contrary. Sarah is a mad bike enthusiast from PDX who does all these macho solo bike trips around the US and Europe, which is very inspirational. She’s also an excellent writer and artist, in her 20s. She writes about feminism and sex discrimination in a way that I hope teens will take to. enormajean @ hotmail
  • Gschwandtner, Design by A. Lucille Shanik.
  • Guardians of the Kingdom by Tom Gauld
  • Hello, my name is : a ‘zine about how people got their names by Cristina Montejo.
  • Here it is by Erin Tobey
  • Hey 4-Eyes edited by Robyn Chapman
  • Hunter & painter by Tom Gauld
  • In a Lonely place by Jeff Sharp
  • In which I think about drowning by Josie Whitmore
  • Infandum, #2 by Molly Lawless
  • Invincible Summer by Nicole Georges. Minicomics by queer, vegan, zine workshop leader, band member, animal lover, etc.
  • King-cat Comics by John Porcellino
  • Knit Knit edited by Luren Jenison, Concept by Sabrina
  • Kyle Bravo’s punk rock guide to saving money, fighting capitalism, & having fun while you’re at it by Kyle Bravo
  • La Primavera by Alexis Frederick-Frost. Actually a graphic novel, rather than a zine?
  • Ladyfriend : for ladies and all their friends, by Christa. Each issue has a different theme. Check the website and decide for yourself how teen friendly you think they’ll be.
  • A late freeze by Danica Novgorodoff (an awesome comic but has a drawing of a bear giving birth – just FYI in case your community says “NO!” to bear genitalia)
  • Laundry basket, April 2002 : tales of washday woe : come clean with us and let us dye for you.
  • Long tail kitty : outer space by Lark Pien.
  • Lower East Side librarian winter solstice shout out by Jenna Freedman. Personal zine by NYC librarian. Book and zine reviews, journal entries essays about jobs, activism, and in recent issues, married life.
  • Leeking Ink by Davida Gypsy Breier. Personal zine by now 30something zine mainstay.
  • List, by Ramsey Beyer. Her zines are comprised of her own lists, as well as those contributed by others or that she just finds in the street. Ramsey is a straightedge vegan punk art student, who doesn’t have a potty mouth. The illustrations are great and the list style makes it super accessible. ramseybeyer @ gmail
  • Make something an anthology of Portland zinesters edited by Greig Means.
  • Maria of Montmartre by Alexis Frederick-Frost.
  • The monkey & the crab by Sara Edward-Corbett and Shawn Cheng
  • The most romantic wedding in human history by Christoph Meyer
  • My brain hurts by Liz Baillie
  • On being jealous of invertabrates, volumes 1 and 3 by Jess S. One cel minicomics. Adorable.
  • On subbing : the first four years by Dave. About being a substitute teacher’s assistant working with special needs kids. PDX punk rock vegan straightedge.
  • Ouija interviews by Sarah Becan. (very dark but not worse than a lot of YA fiction)
  • Out of water / by Matthew Bernier
  • Peko peko, #1, winter 2001 : a zine about food
  • Personal charm : a collection of comics by zine queen Missy Kulik ; edited by Jordan Weeks
  • Phase 7 by Alec Longstreth
  • Platform : notes from the underground by Elizabeth Genco
  • Potluck, April 2004 : a cooking compilation A.J. Michel
  • Positive consumption Jenny Ferretti
  • Regina Rich middle school detective, issue #1 : the missing money!
  • Scars Alex Longstreth
  • Scout, #6 : food and cooking issue
  • Scratch, queer youth peer education. Issues 4 and 5 available for download via QZAP.
  • Scrappy, #1 : a crafty zine for scrappy people / Niku
  • Secret mystery love shoes, #3 Androo Robinson and Maria Goodman
  • Shut eye by Sarah Becan, based on a story by David Becan
  • Sidewalk bump 1 and 2 ed by Dan Moynihan
  • Simple Routines by JP Coovert
  • Skate tough you little girls by Celia C. Perez is a fanzine about women’s skateboarding. Should be accessible to all teen readers. perezeeb @ yahoo
  • Slave to the needles
  • Squarecat comics, vol. 1 / by Jennifer Omand.
  • Stolen sharpie revolution : a diy zine resource ed Alex Wrekk. Pretty much the go to guide for zine making and zine community and resources info.
  • A strange day Damon Hurd & Tatiana Gill.
  • Sugar Needle by Corina Fastwolf and Icona Phlox. An adorable hand colored in short fanzine about candy. Distro’d by Microcosm.
  • Support. “This is a zine about supporting people who have been sexually abused”–Intro. Edited by Cindy of Doris zine fame.
  • Sweet treats, #1, September, 2004 : a collection of vegan desserts
  • Time enough at last : a reading log, by A.J. Michel. Book recommendations from prolific zine publisher and MLS holder.
  • The true heart Hilary Florido.
  • True swamp : underwoods and overtime [written and drawn by Jon Lewis].
  • Turtle, keep it steady by Joseph Lambert
  • The waiting sun : a happy town tale words and pictures by Justin Madson
  • Walk to work by Jason Turner
  • What did you buy today?? : daily drawings of purchases, May 2006 Kate Bingaman
  • Wive’s Tales, by Britton. Women’s health, reproduction, STDs, all that good stuff (including some things that might get you in trouble but really really should be available to young women). This zine has been widely reproduced, so shouldn’t be too hard to find.
  • Xerography Debt ed by Davida Gypsy Breier. Zine review zine.
  • Zine World edited by Jerianne. Zine review zine with extra zine scene content.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but will resume going through the Barnard catalog when I can keep my eyes open. posted by Jenna 2/14/2008

Integrated Milo and Miriam’s suggestions 2/15/2008.

Zine Librarians Meet-up at ALA Midwinter 2008

Saturday, January 12 at 11am

Meet at the registration area in the Philadelphia Convention Center

Look for me and my bluish hair (this is what I look like {when someone else has done my hair and make-up}


Zine Reviews: another list?

No one probably really cares about seeing the answers to this one, but I said there were seven questions, so if I only published six, you’d all be wondering what the last one was.

Q. Would it be too annoying if I set up another discussion list for this discussion?


  • Maybe you can create a second Yahoo group where these things can be discussed–someone isn’t sure about a topic, get other opinions.
  • I think it would be good to keep the discussions we have available. I’ll want to come back to some of the details later.
  • Another discussion list for this would be fine.
  • No, I think another list would be fine.
  • I would be fine with another discussion list.
  • I’d prefer not to have another discussion list, but I’m not going to drop out if you make one :)


In thinking about what zine reviews in a major library publication would look like, I posed several questions to a group of potential zine reviewers. This is #7 of 7.
(people who contributed, let me know if you want me to remove your comment–or to cite it with your name)

Zine Reviews: other thoughts

Sorry for the vague title, but that’s how I phrased it in my original email. This question followed the one about bad reviews if that helps.

What are your other thoughts on this?

  • Mostly I’d use zine reviews to find out the general topic of the zine, if it’s YA or Adult (and any specific things that make it such), and if it’s not something I can Google, how to get it.
  • Here’s a few thoughts & questions about the review column: What is the goal of this column? Is it to introduce zines as a material worth purchasing to all librarians? Or to help libraries with active zine collections further develop and refine their collections? Could make a difference in whether we do multiple reviewers with no specific topic or if we do a themed column each time. …
  • Are we going to categorize zines and have a lexicon of what the terms mean? I wrote “personal zine” but I know some people use “perzine” and I don’t know that LJ reader will know what any of that means.
  • Also, I think in addition to reviews it would be very helpful to eventually include some background and history on zines, how libraries can work with distros, successful zine programs etc.
  • Also, if the zinester has a website or has produced other zines under a different name or title, that information could be linked with the review somehow.
  • Do we want to include information that isn’t on the zine itself, like people’s last names (if available) or the page count?
  • About word count – I review for Library Journal already and I have to say I often have an extreme struggle trying to write a meaningful review in only 175 words. If there is a need to make zine reviews shorter, I really think it would be better to set a word count of 100-150 words. My concern is that it is quite difficult to succinctly describe contents and provide an evaluation in less than about 100 words.


In thinking about what zine reviews in a major library publication would look like, I posed several questions to a group of potential zine reviewers. This is #6 of 7.
(people who contributed, let me know if you want me to remove your comment–or to cite it with your name)

Zine Reviews: Bad Reviews

Q: Should we run bad reviews, or only good ones?


  • I say we skip bad reviews. I never bother writing down even the titles of zines I read that I don’t think I’d write up for BZE–just seems like a waste of space when there’s good stuff out there that can be highlighted.
  • I would think that we’d want to review zines that librarians are likely to purchase. If there’s a popular zine that isn’t very good, we’d want to address it. I’m assuming that in the beginning, the column will be more of an introduction to standardly available zines – for some reason that’s my logic. We’d want to start providing fodder for libraries.
  • In general, I’m in favor of posting the occasional bad review, but I wonder if we shouldn’t because we’re trying to encourage building zine collections, or at least not yet.
  • I think running bad reviews is okay if the reviews are critical and not just, “This zine was a boring pile of crap.” (God knows there are a lot of lousy zines out there, so this may be difficult to do.)
  • As for bad reviews vs good reviews: Are we going to accept submitted materials for review? Or are we only going to review what we bring to the table? If it’s the latter, that seems more likely that by default we will only present good reviews. Personally, as you might know from Zine World, I think bad reviews deserve to be published, too. So I would leave it open to include “not recommended” reviews. Again, it comes back to the question of what is the goal for this column.
  • Only good ones unless a magazine tries to pass itself off as a zine to try to encourage libraries to order it (a la the crappy “graphic novels” I see coming through the library system)
  • Since there are so many good zines, and in the spirit of the DIY supportive community, it would be nice to see more good reviews than bad. I think a time for a bad review would be when companies are trying to sneak their advertizing into zinester’s hands by producing an ad in the form of a zine…
  • We should run reviews based on content, which means sometimes bad reviews, sometimes good reviews with reservations, sometimes actual good reviews.
  • Maybe not at this point, if part of our goal is to attract librarians to an entire format of reading material.


In thinking about what zine reviews in a major library publication would look like, I posed several questions to a group of potential zine reviewers. This is #5 of 7.
(people who contributed, let me know if you want me to remove your comment–or to cite it with your name)

Zine Reviews: Other Elements

Q: What are the other elements that should be present in each review?


  • Are we going to be able to include one or more cover images, like they do with books? If so, how are we going to manage that?
  • Is the zine of regional or local interest only? Does it speak from or to a particular identifiable community? Does it provide information not available in materials in other formats? How is it regarded in the zine community? Does the reviewer judge that the zine is especially useful for particular, established patron needs/interests?
  • Do we want to come up with general types of zines (such as perzine, music zine, art zine, etc.) to make it easier for librarians to distinguish between overarching types of zines that are out there? Size might also be something we want to include, considering a 1/4pg. zine might be harder to display than a full page or half page zine.


In thinking about what zine reviews in a major library publication would look like, I posed several questions to a group of potential zine reviewers. This is #4 of 7.
(people who contributed, let me know if you want me to remove your comment–or to cite it with your name)

Meeting at ALA Midwinter


  • 1pm
  • 2pm
  • 3pm
  • 4pm
  • 5pm Jenna
  • 6pm Jenna



  • 10am Jenna
  • 11am Jenna
  • 12pm Jenna
  • 1pm
  • 2pm
  • 3pm
  • 4pm Jenna
  • 5pm Jenna
  • 6pm



  • 10am Jenna
  • 11am Jenna
  • 12pm
  • 1pm
  • 2pm
  • 3pm Jenna
  • 4pm Jenna
  • 5pm Jenna
  • 6pm Jenna



  • 10am Jenna
  • 11am Jenna
  • 12pm Jenna
  • 1pm Jenna
  • 2pm


Feel free to add in additional slots or annotate (e.g. “available at 3:30). Or just post to the comments.

Library Journal to feature zine reviews!

In case anyone’s been wondering what all this talk of zine reviews is all about, here it is:

Beginning with the March 1, 2008 issue, Library Journal will feature a zine review four times a year. Jenna Freedman, the Zine Librarian at Barnard College will edit the column, which will be handled at LJ by magazine reviews editor Anna Katterjohn.

Freedman’s plan for the column is to alternate columns with multiple reviewers–in the style of Library Journal‘s regular book reviews with guest contributed themed columns more similar to this one on graphic novels. Over twenty zine librarians and other library workers, zine publishers, zine fest organizers, the editor of a successful zine review zine, a professional writer, and general zineophiles from all over the country, representing academic, public, and school librarians serving all populations are on the roster of reviewers.

Many of us zine librarian types are ecstatic to see zines’ presence in libraries aided and legitimized by their appearance as a regular feature in an important library publication–one with nearly 20,000 paid subscribers (per Ulrich’s).

Stay tuned to the Library Journal blog for a more formal announcement, in February 2008, or so.

Zine Reviews: ordering info

Q: How should we list ordering info for each zine? Just give the publisher’s info? Distros? All, or just the main one? Do we include zines even if they have no online purchasing option?


  • I think attempts should be made to contact the zine writers and find out their preference. Someone may prefer to not be contacted directly and have folks order through a specific distro. I think that’s what GReg usually does with BZE–he asks what contact info should be included. I would include zines with no online purchasing option, but would include the individual’s email and recommend buyers contact the person first just so there’s some communication there.
  • Can we assume that if there’s web presence for a zine, searching for the name would bring up whatever distros have it? I think providing access to non-online-purchased zines is important. My thought is that there’s good stuff out there, and the inconvenience of snail mail payments isn’t a big deal, esp. if we’re working with a non-invoiced, petty cash kind of system.Maybe as we review we’ll find that we’re not reviewing non-online-available zines, and it’s a nonissue?
  • As far as publisher info, we should give the publisher’s contact info and the largest distro that distributes it (assuming you can find that out).
  • If we do a themed column, with one editor instead of multiple reviewers, it would be nice if the theme were posted to the reviewer list to give suggestions of titles. With zines, it’s all about word of mouth, and it’s easy to be ignorant of specific zine titles. I mean, if no one has ever sent you a copy of Fertile Ground and you’ve never seen it publicized and it’s not for sale by any distros, how would you know about it? But I know about it and I could suggest it and include contact info for you, if you wanted to consider it. Know what I mean?
  • Listing ordering info… that is a bit tricky. Trickier because libraries all handle how they order and pay for zines differently and sometimes they have to be creative. I do think it is important to list the publisher’s contact information (whether mail, email, or online). As a zine publisher, I would much rather a library order my zines directly from me than from a distro, if we can work out the payment, because I get a bigger cut of the money *and* then I know my zine is kept at XZY library. And certainly a library can contact the publisher and say “I’m not allowed to buy directly from publishers, only distros. Can you tell me which distros sell your zine?” … On the other hand, I know that a lot of libraries do all or most of their buying from distros, because it is easier to deal with the payments. But that’s a bit sticky, too, because multiple distros may carry the same zine, and we shouldn’t show favoritism to particular distros. I don’t think we should necessarily funnel all the zine business to Microcosm. And because This Distro may go out of stock of Any Title but That Distro, which we didn’t list, still has copies. It would be nice if we could include a list of recommended distros with the first column, or maybe a URL in the closing paragraph for a webpage that has recommended distros. Or something. I’m not really sure what the best way to handle that is! … And if we list both the publisher info and the distro, how are we going to do that succinctly? Because by the time you include a zine’s mailing address and website and one distro name and website, for each zine you review, that’s eating up a lot of space.
  • However it is possible to get the zine, whether it is ordered directly from the publisher or if it is available through a distro
  • I think we should list as much ordering info as possible.. distros go out of business, people move, websites go unattended…And if there is no online purchasing info, I don’t think that should be to the writer’s disadvantage. Some people still aren’t in the digital age.
  • I don’t think we’ll have a problem with zines having too many distros to list! I’d say list the publishers info first, then distro info if available, and be as complete as possible. Yes, we should include zines even if they have no online purchasing option – in fact this might give rise to an article or two about the practical side of purchasing zines for libraries!

In thinking about what zine reviews in a major library publication would look like, I posed several questions to a group of potential zine reviewers. This is #3 of 7.
(people who contributed, let me know if you want me to remove your comment–or to cite it with your name)

Zine Reviews: recommendations by type of library/user

Q: Typically reviews say for what type of library they recommend the material (e.g. public, large academic, anywhere the author has a following, etc.). I assume we’ll do that, but where it gets sticky is when we start specifying age groups. How do you think that should be handled?


  • Reviewers should indicate when there’s information that may be considered “mature” / not suitable for individuals younger than x.
  • From a public librarian’s perspective (and I do assume that this is where the age question really comes into play) I would say that in my small library, I would definitely not have a j collection. Not enough appropriate zines to make a robust collection, and children aren’t know for their ability to handle anything less than library bound materials. That being said, I would probably do the same thing I’ve done with graphic novels- have both YA and adult sections. In that case, the age thing comes down to ‘is it ok for someone age 13 or 14?’ If it’s not, it goes in the adult section. I like this because more adult content is available to teens, but they knowingly get it from the adult section.
  • I wonder if we could not specifically mention age groups, but just say in the review if it would be appropriate/of interest to teenagers? I have a Library Journal graphic novel column in front of me, and it seems like that’s how these are. “Recommended for teens and adults” or “Not inappropriate for teens but more likely to appeal to adults” and similar.
  • I am ambivalent about age groups. I am more inclined towards describing the content and allowing people to make their own decisions.
  • I do think it would be a good idea to specify, like LJ does, what type of library or collection the material is appropriate (or recommended) for. Much like they do with the graphic novels: appropriate for teens, adults only, appropriate for all ages, for feminism collections, etc. All other zine review publications (mine included) are written for zine readers, not librarians. So as a librarian, you read between the lines and make a guess as to whether the zine is appropriate for your collection. I think that’s one thing I’ve heard zine librarians want – to know whether a particular title is teen-friendly or not, for example.
  • Not sure, but I think the answer is along the lines that zines are for libraries that carry small press periodicals, local authors or have existing zine collections.
  • As for specifying age groups, it’s hard to determine really… The nice thing about zines is that a 49 year old can appreciate and identify in some ways with a teenager’s zine. So maybe we should mention specific ages if the zine mentions them, is written by a teenager specifically, or has porno or something 12 year olds probably shouldn’t be seeing.
  • Does the journal have standards for identifying age groups for items they already review? If so, use these. If not, then perhaps seek advice from a publication that regularly reviews childrens and ya materials? Or give the recommendations for age in terms of interest rather than “appropriateness.”

In thinking about what zine reviews in a major library publication would look like, I posed several questions to a group of potential zine reviewers. This is #2 of 7.
(people who contributed, let me know if you want me to remove your comment–or to cite it with your name)