Today we have an itty bitty – or rather, teenie weenie – zine of photographs featuring writing and writing spaces.
It could be a bit of narcisissm on my part (I write fiction), but I absolutely love seeing others’ writing processes and spaces. (To the point I actually started a blog where authors showed off and talked about their writing spaces.) I could stare at this collection of tiny black and white photos for ages thinking about the way people write, what they use to write, and the spaces they occupy.
This zine gave me the ‘why I love zines’ feelings with the intro:
“I don’t know why I feel the need to photograph the writing experience but I do.”
Isn’t that lovely? Jessica felt compelled and did – because you can with zines whenever you feel the urge. Beautiful!
This is a very specific topic sort of zine, so I think you’ll know whether you’re interested from the get go. I for one, will be opening its pages again to ponder writing spaces and places…
Review a zine online or write a review to share
Hello zine friends! Well, anyone who has had a peek around this site knows that reviewing a zine isn’t exactly a new activity for me. 😉 Check out the zine review index if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to for the past few years.
That’s why I figured I would share the love by sharing your reviews! I know, not that exciting, but if you share the link(s) for your review(s) below – regardless of whether it’s your first or your fiftieth – then I will share them in various spaces and places so your thoughts will be amplified.
You never know when a little will go along way, and zines could always use a little more love. 🙂
Put those links in the comments if you have them, and have a wonderful day!
Other Zinesters Joining In (Let me know if you are, and I’ll add you to the list!):
Play along with 31 Days of International Zine Month Activities here!
Ground is the first zine in a sweet comic series about love, life, and working in a coffee shop. (Spoilers: I love it.)
I couldn’t help but be taken in by the physical qualities of this zine straight away. The cover is made of what looks like recycled paper (I’m pretty sure it is…) and is bound by string wound through triangular-shaped holes in the spine. The square you see on the cover in the picture above isn’t something stuck onto the cover but is actually a square cut into the cover.
I could get into the possible thematic implications of cutting the square into the cover to reveal some of the first page, but then I begin to wonder if I’m getting a little deep into it right from the get to.
With such pleasant expectations set up by the physical side of the zine, I began to wonder what I would find inside…
The humour in Ground is a ‘softer’ humour that I enjoyed. There were little things that made me smile and care about the characters as well as things that felt like ‘inside’ jokes for working in a coffee shop but that I still understood. (‘Can I just have a normal coffee?’ made me smile.)
The art in Ground is lovely with attention to detail and a lot of soft lines involved. You are introduced to the characters involved by getting a peek into the work lockers. I’m a bit of a nosey nelly, and I really liked that choice for introductions. I also enjoyed how Lee used both single panels as well as single pictures over multiple panels.[Picture shared with permission from Lee Taylor]
(Just looking at that pour makes me want a coffee.)
While it’s definitely a beginning – a chapter one, if you will – I like that it didn’t just cut off in the middle of things. There’s certainly more story implied, but this first zine has a beginning, middle and end. I definitely want to read more, but I’m not left feeling rudely interrupted. At the same time, everything is set up for a series ahead.
All up, this is a lovely zine, and I already know that I want the whole series from start to finish. I recommend checking it out.
PS. I try to regard a zine in and of itself. That being said, this zine did come with a loyalty card on which you can stick letters that you collect by buying the Ground series zines. I really love this idea in and of itself, but the fact that it ties into the coffee shop theme makes it even more fun.
Side Project #5
Samantha EE, Teresa Watts, Sabrina Wong, Sophie Raynor, Evelyn Paolino
Side Project is a series about DIY and living creatively. In this issue, there are artist interviews, how-to instructions for a couple crafty projects, and various articles. This zine is the magazine that I always wanted to read growing up.
At $10, Side Project is definitely in the higher price range for a zine. However, for the price, you are getting a full colour, 46 page zine printed on nice paper. Aesthetically, it’s a very pretty zine. Everything is very neat, colourful, nicely laid out, and readable. It’s chock full of information and is a zine you can sit and pour over for hours.
In layout and feel, it’s very much a magazine. Those can be fighting words in the zine arena, but with ‘a zine for creatives’ on the cover but ‘mag’ in the URL, I don’t think the Side Project team is going to take it badly. I think they understand that they walk an interesting line.
Side Project puts me in a very strange space that I’ve never been in before. On one hand, it’s a zine. On the other hand, it’s almost not. It’s so perfectly well put together and perfectly created that it almost throws me a bit. There is often a sort of grit – a misprint here or a wonky staple there – and handmade feel to zines that Side Project doesn’t have because of its production.
That’s by no means at all a bad thing – please don’t take me wrong in that. And I certainly don’t mean to say that all zines have misprints or wonky staples. I only mean to say that Side Project is certainly different to my usual zine read.
In many ways the magazine-like qualities work very much in its favour. The combination of the aesthetic with pieces about creatives who live in Australia and sell on Etsy was really inspiring. It made me feel like homegrown creators can get the real recognition they deserve. I loved reading about talented people I could identify with as a creator and enjoyed articles on subjects I give a damn about.
On that note, my favourite piece of the entire zine was definitely the piece on Imposter Syndrome. I didn’t know that the feelings I hold all the time actually had a name and that other people feel them, too. I like that they didn’t just write about it but also added on some tips for making your imposter feelings work in your favour.
All up, this zine is gorgeous to look at and enjoyable to read. I can think of a few DIY friends I’d like to get copies for. DIY, Etsy sellers, and other creatives will enjoy it.
Keith Conlon’s Unauthorised Guide to North Adelaide Establishments
IG: @rebeccasheeeedy @mildscribbling
Keith Conlon’s Unauthorised Guide to North Adelaide Establishments is an illustrated review zine highlighting the pros and cons of some of North Adelaide’s eating establishments.
I must admit to a bit of fangirl glee when I saw this zine because not only do I love Rebecca Sheedy’s art but because (knock on wood) I’ll be moving not too far from Adealide later this year and am quite eager to collect recommendations.
This zine is everything I want in a review – it lists the good, the neutral, and the bad concisely, and it’s illustrated. (I would absolutely love to see more illustrated review zines. It adds a whole new level to the whole thing.) Rebecca’s use of detail suits this so well – even down to the pro/neutral/con circles being coloured in with green/orange/red.
I literally (and yes, I know how to use that word properly) laughed out loud when I realised that the overall ‘out of five’ rating for each establishment was made up of Keith Conlon heads. I found myself hoping that Keith had or would soon come across this zine and be as delighted with it as I am.
I am also now tempted to rate things ‘out of five zine ninjas’.
The thing I wasn’t expecting and thus appreciated all the more was the humour in the review of the Royal Oak Hotel. I really don’t want to spoil it, though, so I’ll merely say thanks for the smile.
Alas, baked goods are my siren’s call, so I will be trying Bakery on O’Connell when I’m in the area.
If you’re dismissing this zine because you’re not and will likely never be in Adelaide, then definitely check out Rebecca’s other zines.
Text by Misha (email@example.com)
Illustration by Babs (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Atomic entanglement. I bet you never thought you’d read those words in a zine.
Let’s Communicate! is about – you guessed it: communication. From the atomic to the cosmic, there are levels of communication you may have never known about and amazing questions humanity has yet to answer about how it all works.
Aethetically, this zine is absolutely lovely. It has a smooth, thicker cover with adorable little cell-like creatures decorating the inside front and the back. This zine is full colour, but I love the focus on blue. It’s calming and inviting. The art is a fun mic of adorable and childlike with other parts being skilled and precise.
I think what I love the most about this zine (beyond how lovely it looks and feels) is that I get this feeling of pure passion and awe from the writing. The person who wrote this is truly amazed by this universe of ours, and that feeling really comes through. While I have always had a passing interest in physics, reading about this kind of stuff in this form had me even more interested.
You might not think a science-y zine is for you, but I still recommend giving this zine a shot. It’s lovely to look and and brings up a lot of interesting things to think about.
It makes me wish for a part two!
*Special note: You might want to double-check the emails if you can because I’m not 100% sure that I’ve read them correctly on the zine.
BFFL is a zine by Izzy Leslie all about her friendship with her friends Sam and Annie.
BFFL made me miss the closeness I had with my female friends when I was younger. Izzy talks about how their friendship came to be as well as the facets of that friendship such as secrecy and intimacy. I was surprised and a little sad about how much I had forgotten, and it was lovely to read about it when written by someone who seems to hold nothing back.
Aesthetically, this zine is very impressive. It’s 16 (front and back, covers included) glossy, full-colour pages. I feel like those choices really suited the topic and energy of this zine.
I think you’ll have a fair idea of your interest in this zine from the first sentence of review. I’m glad this zine exists because I think it’s a great example of how a zine doesn’t necessarily need to be shouting at the world. It can be about that something special for you. It can be about your friends, for your friends.
One more beautiful thing about zines.