Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Zine Dream Revisited

It would not be an exaggeration to say that in high school, my life revolved around the pages of Sassy Magazine. My best friend and I devoured every inch of Jane Pratt’s grrl power meets teen fashion publication each month. The magazine’s voice was fresh and unique. They criticized vapid celebs! They featured models with braces! They did stories about oppression of women in Iraq and animal testing! Sassy was beyond cool.

One of my favorite regular features was Zine of the Month, in which the mag would gush about an oh-so-cool zine they’d discovered and give instructions for how to get a copy. I sent away for a few that sounded interesting, marveling at the random, Xeroxed booklets I received that had somehow captured Sassy’s adoration. I didn’t really understand what zines were back then. This was before Urban Outfitters and American Apparel made hipster culture mainstream. Zines were from the true underground and I loved the idea of them.

My best friend and I spent many a day planning our own zine. It was going to be filled with our scintillating wit and unique perspective on the world. I would write pieces about recycling haters & the useless nature of 7th grade boys, emulating Sassy’s intelligently flippant tone, then share them with her during lunchtime editing sessions. I pictured us publishing the zine, getting chosen as Sassy’s Zine of the Month, and becoming instantly and irrevocably cool.

We never did publish our zine. I never became cool. But the dream lives on.

While taking a break from writing last night (procrastinating), I was surfing etsy and was surprised when I noticed a Zines section. People are still making these things! Quirky, low-frills, self-produced pages filled with original writing, art, or ramblings, copied and stapled together by hand. Some zines were fancy comic/art books, like the trendy cute Kewpie the Super Hero or the gorgeous White Rice Fish. Others were traditional word collage creations like Blank the Plague or independent music zines like Burnout.

Instantly my desire to publish my own zine came back in full force. The panic of “why would anyone want to read what I have to say?” has significantly subsided since high school, so this time around it might actually happen.

I brainstormed provocative, compelling topics that would inspire etsy buyers to pick me instead of a cool title like I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night. Here’s my short list for now – which one do you want to read?
  • What I Hate About My Friend Abigail* (*Her name has been changed, but this shit is real.)

  • Things I Didn't Understand About 80's TV

  • Diet Tips For The Lazy And Uncommitted

  • Snap Judgments About Guys Named James (Based On Experience)

  • Nerd Shame – Confessions of a Half-Way Geek

  • Freakishly Long Toes and Other Stories from my Childhood
Place your vote in the comments below and get ready to place your order!

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