intro to zines

poster with bright colors and clip art featuring answers to "What's a zine?" and "what's in a zine?"

Photo courtesy Kelly Wooten

So, what is a zine?? There’s no official definition, but most will agree it’s a self-published work that has a limited print run (which can range from ten copies to around 5,000 copies). Zines are usually created with the intention not to profit monetarily but to share one’s thoughts, feelings, creativity, experience, and/or knowledge with others. Zines are part of a DIY (do it yourself) culture which often includes people from marginalized communities or those who don’t have access to more mainstream publishing options.

Intro to zines workshops, books, and other resources:

stolen-sharpie-revolution-cover

Our most recommended go-to guide for all things zine is Alex Wrekk’s Stolen Sharpie Revolution. Now in its fifth edition, it’s an essential resource for the nitty-gritty of how to make a great-looking zine, where to find zines, zine history, and lots more.

MetaZine by Davida Gypsy Breier

MetaZine: The History and a How-To of Zines presentation from Davida Gypsy Breier

History of Zines presentation by Rachael Kaun for Aunty Mabel’s Zine Distro

What’s So Great About Zines? List

Whatcha mean, what’s a zine? : the art of making zines and minicomics book by Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson

Zine-making resources: 

There are lots of information online about how to make a zine, but here are some of our favorites:

Guides for making single-page mini zines:

  • Anne Elizabeth Moore’s “How to Make This Very Zine” is a single-page eight-fold set of instructions for making a single-page zine yourself. It is available in eight languages: Arabic, English, Greek, German, Georgian, Khmer, Russian and Spanish. Find the link to download all eight versions at Moore’s website.
  • Jenna Brager’s quick guide to making a one-page mini zine is available at the Sassyfrass Circus blog.
  • Zinester Celia Pérez created a kid-friendly guide to creating a one-page mini zine for Brightly.
  • The Experiment With Nature project out of Oregon has a very detailed photo guide to making a one-page mini zine.
  • To get a little fancier with your mini zine, this photo tutorial from Anatomic Air Press is for creating a 16-page zine out of one piece of paper.

More information on creating zines:

  • Find adorably illustrated zine-making guides in both English and Spanish by Puerto Rican artist Rosa Colón Guerra at her Soda Pop Comics shop (and chip a few dollars to help her continue her work!).
  • An activist design studio, thepublicstudio.ca, put together a 17-page pdf zine on how to make a zine for further information. This tutorial goes beyond the single-sheet zine and discusses design aspects.

how to make a zine video from nicki sabalu on Vimeo