So I took part in a zine swap a few weeks back as a way of distributing my work, hopefully collect some feedback, but also to have a look at what others are creating. I have fairly little experience of the zine world, so felt right to get to know the community better by taking part.
I received these zines today and have sat down to read through them, but also see how they’re made and how this relates to their content.
Gurt Noodle, Issue 1, October 2017 – Kitty McEwan @midnakit
I already followed Kitty on Instagram, so was really nice to get one of her zines in the post. She lives locally, so hopefully will be able to do more swaps in the future outside of zine swap. Gurt Noodle is a cute A6 zine, printed in black and white, white paper with a pastel green paper cover and staple bound. The contents really speaks to the incentives of zines; she’s put whatever she likes in it. It is highly illustrative, with drawings of favourite shows, movies and games. It also came with a cute little button badge.
I really enjoyed reading through this, these pages especially, as they’re from one of my favourite episodes of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. This zine also suggests other zines to look at, most of which I’m familiar with but will definitely look into the others suggested. A fun little zine.
The Fly Journal Collectif Libre, Issue 11, February 2018, La Mouche
Unfortunately for me, this zine is entirely in French, so I will have to really sit down and translate it if possible. It is available to view online though in issuu, so may be able to use some software to translate for me.
From the website given on the back of the zine, I can see that this issue is about fear, which makes a lot of sense from the illustrations. This zine is a collection of submissions from several artists and writers around this theme. With 40 pages, it’s a thicker zine with more content, sized A5, staple bound and printed in black and white.
I really liked the illustrations, although I’m finding it difficult to see who has drawn what, possibly the language barrier. I have seen a few zines where there are a number of contributors, and has got me thinking about how it would be interesting to create a collaborative zine, with others suffering with invisible illness. I have been thinking about my voice, and how it could just as easily be someone else’s voice. My experiences aren’t particularly out of the ordinary and what I have created so far has been relatable to so many other sufferers. I could curate a zine of these experiences and it would remain cohesive, multiple voices as one voice.
Letters to Our Parents: A Zine for Coming Out as Trans, compiled by Cassolotl, October 2017
This zine is different to the others in that it is very text heavy. It is a compilation of letters from trans people to their parents. Some of these letters were sent, some are waiting to be sent, where as others are what they wish they could’ve sent or written. The content is raw and emotional, but a real beautiful read. For someone who has never experienced these feelings, it is a real insight into what its like.
In terms of the construction, its an A5 zine, black and white printed and hand saddle stitched together with cotton thread. I personally really like the hand bound aspect, as it is in keeping with the personal content.
Bedtime Stories- Mattias Gunnarsson, 2018
This zines hosts a collection of drawings done by Mattias Gunnarson. In A5 format, staple bound with colour front cover, the contents is black and white on recycled paper.
The pages are like a patchwork of drawings, line work and sketches that often depict collections, with or without relation to each other. It’s really nice to look through these pages; its almost like finding something new every time. This has inspired me to keep a diary or regular sketchbook.
I know I need to draw more regularly. Because of my condition, this isn’t always possible and can use up a lot of energy. I plan to make a small sketchbook that I can input things into daily or as regularly as I can, keeping it small so its less intimidating and I can input things quickly and with mobility. I won’t give myself any rules as to the subject or materials I use, but am interested to see what I gravitate towards and whether it could develop a series of work. I have purchased a book binding kit, so once this comes, I can make a start on making my own mini sketch books to take around with me.
This could even develop into a larger collaborative project. I could make sketchbooks for other sufferers to fill, with only a few pages to reduce the pressure, which can host anything they feel relates to their illness. No limits. Could be a really interesting project.
Overall, I am really happy I took part in the zine swap, as it has given me the opportunity to not only distribute my work but also see what other people in the community are doing, connect with them and how they work. It has also given me ideas for future projects.
McEwan, K. (2017) Gurt Noodle: Issue 1. Plymouth: n.p October 2017. Print.