Rather than just re-reading my favourite zines I thought it would make sense to share them. In no particular order (because I clearly don’t understand Top 10 lists), here are my favourite zines right now.
1) Artificial Womb Issue #1
Okay, this is cheating a bit because it’s my zine – but I am seriously in love with this zine right now. I love the poems and the comics, the articles and the general content. Every time I pick it up I just can’t believe people gave me money to find things I like and put it into a magazine. It’s everything I want to read, in the order I want to read it, with the type of layout I find most pleasing. So, yeah, sorry not sorry.
2) TYCI Issue #32
I think TYCI collective are super cool. They’ve given me permission to stock this zine (and others of theirs, but this is the only one I’ve printed up so far) on the distro. So I’m not going to say too much about this issue – just order it and I’ll get it sent out to you!
3) She Used To Think The Moon Followed Her: a zine about domestic violence
This is a perzine about a little girl who learns a hard lesson about who you can and can’t trust to take care of you. I wish this zine was available in every primary school as a way to broach the subject of domestic violence with young children.
4) Opinionated Nobody #4
Another perzine (personal zine) this one details the author’s journey through a breakdown, recovery and the beginnings of an MA in creative writing. Reading it I see a lot of my own life – the same anti-depressant drugs, the same school experiences, the same zine fairs even. It helps me feel less alone.
5) Marching Stars Zine Distro: the zine 2007 – 2015
For the same reason I really loved reading Marching Stars’ zine about the story of their distro. I ordered from Marching Stars while I was thinking about setting up Artificial Womb and this zine came with the order. I loved it! Reading about how Lizzy discovered zines, set up the distro and took it around the country gave me the confidence to take WOM outside Scotland and to start my own distro. I hope one day I can inspire others in the same way.
6) Dundee University Feminist Society Zine: First Issue
The result of my first zine workshop I made a number of mistakes, including letting people use sellotape, but the finished zine was a wonderful expression of all the energy we had at the Dundee University Feminist Society in the year I was vice-president.
7) On Not Being Queer
I was the editor of the Deviance section of The Skinny, a free cultural magazine based in Scotland, from 2011-2014. The person I took over from, Nine, was several years older than me and an inspiring figure. We met up about a year after I started editing the section and Nine gave me a book of queer real-life stories and this zine, which Nine had made. I’m still intimidated and inspired and encouraged every time I look at it.
This is a zine that I don’t have a copy of anymore, but it was a collection of personal stories about rape & sexual assault compiled by the Edinburgh University Feminist Society.
9) Yuck N Yum
I don’t have any copies of Yuck N Yum either and I’m not sure I can call it a favourite (some of the issues I didn’t like very much), but it was certainly important to me as a zinester. It was around when I was at art college in Dundee and I spent years trying to get published in it. It was so achingly cool. I wanted to be cool too. Watching them from the outside helped me understand how (and how not to) publish and promote a zine. I found a copy in the Salford Zine Library the other day. I will never be good enough.
10) SPUD No.1 and No.3
Some of the art scene folks involved with Yuck N Yum have been running a zine-a-day zine called SPUD during a print festival that’s happening here in Dundee. They literally got a wheelbarrow of potatoes and encouraged people to make prints with them. That is the essence of zines. DIY to the max. LOVE IT.
So there we go. Now, I better leave because I’m supposed to be in Glasgow in an hour and a half and I’m pretty sure it takes longer than that to drive there from Dundee.