• Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Self-Care for Zinesters

    Self-Care for Zinesters
    Maranda Elizabeth

    Self-Care for Zinesters is a black and white A6 size zines about self-care for zinesters at zine events, on the road, and at home.

    I feel a little weird reviewing this zine because I remember reading the related blog post (https://marandaelizabeth.com/2013/01/03/self-care-for-zinesters/) before I went to my very first zine fest, and it feels like reviewing something that’s famous. Alas, here we go.

    Self-Care for Zinesters opens with an intro by Maranda in which they talk about their labels (mental health, etc). I had just started thinking, “This is especially important in a zine like this so you know where they are coming from” and Maranda actually writes:

    “I’m prefacing all this with a bunch of labels I’ve applied to myself so you have an idea of where I’m coming from, and what my experiences might be like.”

    If that’s not a good start, I don’t know what is. Haha.

    Maranda goes on to discuss ‘zinester life’ and how many zinemakers feel overwhelmed and overstimulated at zine events (me, too!). From there, they go into self-care tips for zinesters on the road, at zine events, and zinesters at home. With tips like finding out what the coffee situation is and writing things down, I kept finding myself nodding along and thinking, “Yes! That’s so important!”

    I feel like the blog post came into my life at just the right time, and now this zine has done the same. The zine had more than I thought it would be, and many of the things – especially self-care at home – struck a chord with me.

    Writing for friendship was an especially sweet section in which Maranda writes about intimidation – a feeling many of us have felt even in the zine world with people who seem more ___ than you/your zines. Maranda recommended making friends with those who intimidate you. I actually ended up taking that advice and have been delighted with the friendships that have emerged.

    All up, this is a great zine, and I highly recommend it.

    PS. I hope no one is intimidated by me! You can always say hello.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Do-It-Yourself Care

    Do-It-Yourself Care
    Nina Echozina

    Do-It-Yourself Care is a full colour one-page mini-zine about accepting emotion and self-care.

    I think I’ve mentioned quite a few times now how much I like a self-care zine, and this one is certainly no exception. Starting off with a play on words in the title is a great way to get me smiling and grab my attention.

    The zine starts off with notes about the importance of self-care, allowing yourself to feel emotions, and acknowledging that what is relaxing for someone might not be relaxing for another (kudos for that!). From there, we get a list of things that help Nina.

    Nina’s list of ideas is a great one, including things like the joy of a blanket fort to folding zines. (Yay for mentioning zine-related activities in a self-care zine!) I enjoy discovering new-to-me things that work for other people.

    The aesthetic is absolutely lovely with a variety of colours and patterns. On top of that, Nina has excellent, oh so readable handwriting, and the zine unfolds to reveal an equally enjoyable to look at collage inside.

    This is one of those zines where I want to get a big stack of copies because I want to send this to so many people.

    Definitely grab a copy.

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini Zine Review: the little zine of mindfulness

    the little zine of mindfulness
    Amber is Blue

    The Little Zine of Mindfulness is an A7, full colour zine with tips for what you can try when you are depressed or dissociated.

    I like a good self-care zine, but there is something really nice about a self-care mini because it’s something that I can take along with me easily anywhere. A bit of confidence and calm in my pocket wherever I go.

    This mini-zine contains five useful tips – some even new to me despite all the self-care zines that I’ve read at this point. Each tip is framed in blue. I really liked this choice because I think that, along with each being on its own page, the ‘frame’ could be something to help the reader focus on one thing at a time (something I struggle with even at the best of times).

    While simple in its nature, I think this is another handy mini to add to your collection of self-care zines.

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini Zine Review: The Little Things

    The Little Things
    Lily C

    The Little Things is an A6 black print (mostly) on blue paper zine about mental health and self-care techniques.

    If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know I love a good self-care zine, and Lily really takes it to a new level in The Little Things.

    The zine starts off with an introduction to self-care and how a suggestion from a psychologist helped to create this visual self-care list. This isn’t a text-only list, however. Each self-care suggestion is given its own page, but more than that, they all come with a drawing as well to illustrate the list item.

    Lily’s art style is very realistic and detailed. There are so many little things that made me smile as I looked through. The Sailor Moon drawing in ‘Drawing for Myself’ and the roses on the teacup in ‘Drinking Tea’… The suggestions are good in and of themselves, but the art adds a different dimension. I feel calmer and in a nicer space just paging through and looking at the pictures.

    When I finished this zine, I realised how much I liked the details included in the introduction of how this zine came to be. Whether intended or not, this has inspired me to make a list of my own.

    If you’re interested in self-care and/or an artist you may not be familiar with, I recommend checking out this zine.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: A Guide to Self-Care

    A Guide to Self-Care
    Latibule Art
    Latibule Art

    A Guide to Self-Care is a full-colour A7-sized mini-zine of self-care activities.

    Self-care can come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes it means just doing something. In this little mini-zine, you will find ideas for solitary adventures that can easily be adapted to groups if you’d like.

    I like the adaptability of the activities in that way. For the most part, they are as ‘in’ or as ‘out and about’ as you’d like them to be (within the parameters of the activity itself).

    This is a lovely little zine for your pocket or wallet to give you ideas on days when thinking of something to do is difficult.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Burn-out

    Burn –out: A Mini-Zine About Burnout and Self Care
    Holly Casio

    Burn-out is a mini perzine on green paper about burnout and self-care. (Have to love the description right there on the cover!)

    There’s a certain irony in falling asleep because you’ve overdone it just as you’re about to read a zine about burnout. As a work-addicted stress bug, I’m always up for reading about things that’ll help me take better care of myself. This zine has the perzine appeal while also offering ideas on self-care.

    Holly hits the topic hard straight away with what burnout is like and how it happens. I appreciated how Holly distinguished right on the first page that it’s not about specific activities – it’s about doing too much for you. Full stop.

    “Ultimately [all tasks] are all still blocks in the massive Jenga tower of burnout I am building myself.”

    I had a lot of empathy for Holly when reading about guilt over how there are difficult things that would be easy or even trivial for other people. At the same time, I was impressed by the recognition that it takes time and energy to be a good friend, to be a good girlfriend, and to socialise – things we often overlook when looking for reasons for burnout.

    The action plan at the end of the zine is a good one, and one I plan to start implementing in my life. Though, as Holly says,

    “Self-care is dead easy on paper.”

    This zine is a short read but a valuable one – and one I appreciate. If you work a lot, too much, or think you may be anywhere near burning out, then pick up this zine.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Growing to Become Myself 2017

    Growing to Become Myself 2017
    Queer Marshmallow

    Today when I’m not feeling well on a dreary winter afternoon, I was in the mood to read a zine that would make me feel good. Growing to Become Myself 2017 delivered that.

    The first thing that really strikes me when I look at this mini-zine is the colour. With the title in pinks on top of a picture of green grass and purple and white flowers, it’s a very inviting zine. (Especially as I snuggle in my electric blanket and sigh about winter.) I feel like I can’t help but look inside.

    This use of colour is carried on inside with photos of flowers used at the backdrop for words and thoughts written on snippets of pastel coloured paper. It is handwritten rather than type, and I thank the zine maker for clear and readable handwriting.

    Growing to Become Myself 2017 is like a goals list combined with reminders on how to be more self-caring, gentle, and more positive about your life.

    The Focus on Healing page hit home the most with me with words about slow progress still being progress and not pushing oneself into doing more than one can. This is what I struggle with the most in my life (hello, my name is Nyx, and I’m a workaholic).

    The one niggle here is no contact details whatsoever. As always, I say this with a grain of salt because you never know if people leave off the details on purpose. However, I’m someone who always wants to know more and thus always notices when they’re not there.

    Growing to Become Myself 2017 is a very pretty zine that uses the title and theme of growth along with images of flowers to create a beautiful, gentle mini-zine. I quite enjoyed it and hope you will, too.

  • Calls for Submissions

    Call for Submissions: Whiskers on Kittens – Self-Care Zine


    Looking for submissions for a self-care/positivity zine about the little things that make blue days better. This can be things you do, things you wear, sensations, sounds, songs, etc, – anything that makes you feel safer, warmer, stronger, and a little bit better.

    I’m looking mostly for things that are short and sweet – art, poems, photos, etc – but feel free to submit short stories or essays if yr feeling loquacious. The final pages will be printed 4×4 in., b&w, so please make sure yr submissions are square (or let me know it’s okay to reformat).

    All contributors will receive a free copy of the zine, which has a tentative release date of June 5. Please send submissions to annnamaize@gmail.com by May 25. Let me know if you have any questions!

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