Despite What You've Heard, Zines Aren't Dead
Liz Worth investigates the survival of zines and finds that they're more important than ever
Lots more. See it all here.
Two Eyes Are You Sleeping
Heather O'Neill's 1998 debut poetry collection Two Eyes Are You Sleeping changed my life. I had just read her short story "I Know Angelo," in Zoe Whittall's groundbreaking anthology Geeks, Misfits and Outlaws, and was knocked out by her combination of dark themes, fearless emotional depths, and beautiful, unusual imagery. Her only poetry book to date is full of the same elements, but with more introspection, relatable neurosis, and romance. In "Hepatitis in C Minor" she writes: "my heart was too... Read more.
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Back down in the States we visit with zinester mastermind Nicki Sabalu of DIY or Don’t We. Based in: Washington State, USA Bio: Sabalu is a hands-on zinester with a heavy focus on the influence of community: she created one of her first major zine projects, Crescent City Stories, after two months of volunteer work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Her current project, DIY or Don’t We?, gathers the voices of her fellow American zinesters, explores the influences of their webs of connectivity and speaks to ‘doing things together as friends, family, collectives, and communities.’ Both issues are best-sellers, and Sabalu is hard at work on Issue three. "I make zines because the world is full of stories, and the process of creating a zine can be a good way for me to challenge myself to articulate my own experiences and observations, and build up the courage to share them with others. I also make zines because I love reading them, and i... Read more.
July 28, 2011
Check out 'Drawn and Devoured,' a blog created by illustrator Katherine Verhoeven to showcase the menus of Toronto restaurants. She visits said restaurants, samples their food and drink, then creates a detailed write up replete with pretty pen and paint drawings. Recent reviews include Brockton General, Matahari Grill, and WVRST. Read more.
July 27, 2011
Back in Toronto, Broken Pencil asked Jeannie Phan, of the zine Hair is Dead, about the inspiriation behind her awe-inducing, Hayao Miyazaki-reminiscent artzines. Based in: Toronto, Ontario Bio: Jeannie Phan is a freelance illustrator currently finishing a Bachelor of Design at OCAD. “I make zines because I love the idea of spreading my art to people who will enjoy it in a way that is so personal and intimate. I love the crafting part of zine-making: from choosing the paper to meticulously assembling each zine by hand. Knowing someone will read and interact with my zines makes it extra exciting and I plan according to how each person will experience a creation I've done. It's something I'll never give up!” Read more.
July 27, 2011
Heading to the States, we visit zinester and We Make Zines creator Krissy Durden. Based in: Portland, Oregon Bio: Krissy has been making zines under the name PonyBoy Press since 1994. Her zines include Figure 8, Imaginary Life and Current Resident. In 2008 she created the zine community site We Make Zines and these days she seems to create about one zine per year. “I like making zines because with zines you can control the reader's breath. Like a poem you can break up lines and feed the reader the text and images in the way you want. You can arrange blank space, white space and images that will add to the readers experience, sometimes just subconsciously. I'm often inspired to make a zine not just because of what I want to say, but because of how I can present it. “As a collector of antique postcards, photographs and ephemera, zines also give me a place to share those long forgotten and unwanted images. Sometimes the old images in... Read more.
July 26, 2011
Toronto and Vancouver are ablaze with indie events this week. TORONTO: July 27, Zine Swap and Collaborative Workspace, Hart House Library, 7-9pm To celebrate International Zine Month Broken Pencil and Hart House library are holding a zine swap in the Reading Room at Hart House. Come trade and donate zines and work on your latest project. 7 Hart House Circle, Free. July 27, New and Lesser Known Work of ASM Koboyashi: Closing Night Outdoor Alleyway Screening at the Feminist Art Gallery (FAG), 64 Seaforth Avenue, Artist spaces FAG and LIFT co-present a screening, artist talk and discussion of new and more obscure work from ASM Koboyaski, marking the end of Kobayashi’s exhibition at FAG. July 28, Artist Talk – Tobaron Waxman, OCAD, 6:30 – 9:30 Celebrated queer artist Tobaron Waxman will give a talk at the Ontario College of Art & Design (100 McCaul St) in room 544 on Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 July 28, “Hands O... Read more.
July 26, 2011
This Wednesday (July 27th) Broken Pencil and Hart House Library are holding a Zine Swap in honour of the last week of International Zine Month. Hosted in the Reading Room at Hart House (7 Hart House Circle), we're encouraging zine makers and non-zine makers alike to come out, meet new people, talk about zines, check out some of the zines Broken Pencil and Hart House Library's zine collection have on hand, and work on a new project. Zine makers, bring your zines for trading (and for donating to Hart House Library's budding zine collection).We will have zine-making stations where you can work on new creations or finish up projects in progress. There will also be a speed dating-style meet and greet where attendees will get a chance to meet each other at lightening speeds. In the spirit of international zine month and Revenge of Print, this night will be about making things, talking about making things and meeting new people. Event details: Wednesday, ... Read more.
July 25, 2011
Next up, we ask Kitchener’s own Andrea Manica about the inspiration behind her prolific and award-winning zine-making. Based in: Toronto, ON Bio: Andrea Manica currently lives in Toronto, where she bakes vegan treats and creates wise-and-whimsical zines and illustrations. Andrea teams up with zinester/Broken Pencil contributor Harley R. Pageot to create Summer Tears, an award- winning minicomic about, in Manica’s words, ‘heartbreak and hope.’ "I make zines out of habit and compulsion! I want to take my love of crafts and books and drawing and share it, hopefully inspiring someone along the way. Zines are a great way of getting your work out into the world. I haven't completed a zine as of late, though I'm working on Summer Tears #2, a continuation of the mini comic I started with my friend Harley last year. We plan to put out six issues - and I've got to get in gear if I want to have them all done before six years go by! So many... Read more.
July 22, 2011
Toronto's kinda freaking out right now. We've long been anticipating a list of potential cuts throughout the city as proposed by KPMG, a consulting firm the city hired to suggest money saving measures for Toronto. On that list of fears was the Toronto Public Library system, which many were suspecting to hit the chopping block with suggestions of privatization and branch closures, particularly after Mayor Rob Ford's brother (councillor Doug Ford) famously complained, “I’ve got more libraries in my area than I have Tim Hortons.” A group called Our Public Library (sponsored by the Toronto Public Library Workers Union) started Project Rescue, a petition and awareness campaign to save the library from privatization which, according to the most recent tally, has racked up over 15,000 electronic signatures so far. Yesterday the final consultants report on city services came out and, sure enough, the library is on the laundry list of things that could pote... Read more.
July 22, 2011
Next, we shift our focus to the West Coast, and ask Aaron Moran of Smoke Signals Press why he makes his breathtaking art zines. Based in: Vancouver, BC Bio: Aaron Moran, the man behind self-publishing collective Smoke Signals Press, creates heartstoppingly beautiful art zines. An accomplished visual artist who has conducted shows in Vancouver, Moran’s work spans an impressive range of mediums, from print-making to digital art (check it out! http://badgeometry.tumblr.com/) “I make zines because I think they are one of the best ways to compile ideas, drawings, words, and other random visual explorations that might not fit ‘neatly’ into my art practice. It seems that there is a lot of pressure in the arts to find your niche and stick with that idea until you ride it into the ground - and then what? For me, zines are an escape from that way of thinking. While I explore certain themes in my non-zine work, they are certainly not the only ideas I w... Read more.
July 20, 2011
This evening, Book Madam blogger Julie Wilson and a panel of all-star authors, illustrators and essayists will challenge perceptions around non-fiction writing. Panellists include illustrator Sarah Leavitt (creator of the graphic novel Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer's, My Mother and Me), Andrew Westoll, (author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary on the recovery of a resilient family of chimpanzees) and Stacey May Fowles (author of Be Good and Fear of Fighting). Julie Wilson, the literary voyeur behind the fictional biographies on SeenReading.com, will moderate as well as participate. Throughout the evening, the panellists will tackle the conception of truth in non-fiction. What urges the reader to sniff out autobiographical bogosity in memoirs; who dictates that non-fiction be a chronological assortment of checkable facts and why do some readers feel compelled to believe every single word? Stop by tonight to discuss. You Think You Know Me, But You Have No Idea Featu... Read more.
July 19, 2011