July is National Zine Month and the ideal time to make a zine (pronounced "zeen"). Hand-made and about anything you can imagine, zines allow you an uncensored voice. Yes, you control all aspects of the content, design and distribution.
Creating a basic zine is easy! Start with your idea, paper, a writing/drawing tool, and create. Once you have what you want to say down on paper, head over to a photocopier. My favorite how-to zine book, Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine?, steps you through the zine process from "Should I staple?" to "Where do I leave my zine for others to enjoy?"
While you may not aim for fame, a few experienced zinesters develop a following. Bust magazine began as a zine. The book Rookie Yearbook One is a collection of contributions, including e-zines, from the popular magazine Rookie. Zines also bring people together. In Hard Love, Marisol and John become friends over their love of zines.
Fortunately, Denver has a real zine library which includes over 10,000 zines from around the world. You can also find a rich zine community online: ZineWiki, Independent Publishing Resource Center, and We Make Zines.
My first zine was entitled "How not to clean your room." Those who read the zine enjoyed the manifesto with the exception of my parents which leads me to another important zine lesson: Zines are like opinions and everyone has one. So now that you know how to create a zine, what will you say?
I didn't know there was a zine library in Denver.
The Denver Zine Library turns 10 this December and we're excited to be able to provide access to 10,000 zines from all over the world. Our lending collection is managed by a dedicated group of volunteers and we're always looking for more folks to get involved. Be sure to check us out at 2727 W. 27th Ave in Denver (a few blocks east of 27th and Federal), open Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-3pm.