Now here’s something that brings me back. Way back into my teens – Newsletters! I have been subscribed to Nyx’s ‘The Zine Collector‘ Podcast for a while now, and through her video reviews, I came across The Homebody Herald, a newsletter that is reminiscent of my days making weekly newsletters for the Boys and Girls Club in my hometown, only they were less personal.
I was fascinated to find that people still make newsletters – PHYSICAL newsletters! Something tangible instead of opening another e-mail, where I can accidentally delete it thinking it’s junk. The Homebody Herald isn’t junk. it is wonderful. I knew nothing of Juli when I subscribed, but I was curious to see how folks make newsletters these days. In Nyx’s review, the edition she received was mostly typed, but as I’ve been subscribed for several months now, Juli has been producing them with mainly handwriting.
So as I said, I knew nothing about the editor going into this newsletter, but for a dollar a month, I wasn’t worried about having buyer’s remorse. I learned that Juli lives in Utah and is working toward a Ph.D in History (I think?), and she loves her cat Scooby, her fiance Dan and their home, where she plants a variety of flowers and plants around the garden. Occasionally, she travels for school (and I think for work? I don’t remember). When I first read about her travels, I was thinking “Doesn’t ‘homebody’ mean a person who likes to stay at home, especially one who is perceived as unadventurous?”, which is a description I could identify with. According to UrbanDictionary, it means “A person who enjoys the warmth and simple pleasures of being at home”, which is a perspective I never had.
The Homebody Herald is usually a one-page, double sided newsletter sprinkled with clip art and annotations. There are recurring segments like “Letter From The Editor” and “Dumb Good News”, which is kind of a Quality of Life list, and of course “Big Life Updates”. From time to time, she’ll spotlight and even include other people’s newsletters. Recently, I learned there are a plethora of folks who also make newsletters. This makes me happy!
For the price of a sip of coffee, you can get The Homebody Herald here.
For the past several days, I’ve been feeling lethargic, so I haven’t been doing anything that involved zines, or much of anything, really. I couldn’t complete my zine within 24 hours. The zine that I did end up making, I decided to split into two separate issues. Issue #3 of Zotte Park might be a short one, but it involves a continuation of a story from issue #2.
July 5 – Review a zine: post online or print in your zine.
I received my zines from Feral Publication, plus a couple of extras. I thoroughly enjoyed everything I read. Sad Songs For Clerks #1 and 2 are 8-page mini zines in the design of an audio cassette. These comics contain a story of Richard’s experience working in a coffee shop. The scenarios portrayed in this zine are very familiar to me, as I also worked in coffee shops. I laughed, and I’m anxious to get the third installment.
July 6 – Zine Pride Day! Explore LGBTQIA zines! Buy, share, and read zines by people of marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities.
As a white cisgendered male, I may never fully relate to marginalised groups. There have been times when I’ve been mistaken for a woman and called names when my interests and behaviours didn’t match those who harassed me. To be fair (or unfair, really), in my teens and 20’s, I have had my share of harassing and judging people with sexual and gender identities that were not my own. I am not proud of that, and I had grown since.
I recommend Adelaide Barton‘s zines Non Monogomy 101 and Claiming BiSexuality. Her no-nonsense essays and art are very informative and thought-provoking. I found that I’m heterosexual, but I’m also Gray-Asexual (experiencing occasional but limited sexual attraction).
I also relate to DemiSexuality, which is similar to Gray-Asexual and can be explained here.
Many thanks to Alex Wrekk for pioneering International Zine Month!
It is (or was an hour or so ago) Independence Day here in the United States of America. Today’s International Zine Month prompt is:
July 4 – AmeriZine Day! Explore marginalized voices in America. Buy, share, and read zines about racial justice and zines written by people of color.
At the beginning of this month, I came across Richard Larios of Feral Publication. He lives in California, but he is from a Central American country called Nicaragua. With that in mind, I went and ordered Sad Song For Clerks, Tape #1 and Tape #2, a mini zine with a cassette drawn on the cover. It contains short comedic comics about life as a clerk in a coffee shop. I’m looking forward to reading these zines, especially since I used to be a clerk in a coffee shop.
Feral Publication: Etsy Store | Website | YouTube Channel
Many thanks to Alex Wrekk!
Day Two! Sure, this blog is going up a bit late, but let’s get to it.
July 2nd – Zine Rewind! Re-read your favorite zines and remind yourself why you love them.
I think the last time I was very active in the zine community, was when Kate Berwanger published The Radical Uprise #30: Write More Letters (April 2013). She wrote prose and praise about the tangibility and art form that is the handwritten letter, while giving tips and providing information about envelope and weight requirements provided by the United States Postal Service. At the end of the zine, we were treated to reader submissions on the topic, which was a nice touch.
In July of 2013, Kate published The Radical Uprise #31: Takes One To Get One. This was a follow-up to her previous issue, stating that she started to receive more mail because of it. She then continued to mention the benefits of the handwritten letter and how it connects us in a way that glowing screens cannot. She also divulges the secret to receiving letters, which was written in plain sight. This issue also had reader submissions advocating for good old-fashioned snail mail. It was a call to action. These zines are well written and are packaged in the most decorative of envelopes!
I was inspired, invigorated, even. I remembered having Pen Pals back in the mid-to-late 1990’s, and I wanted to explore that again. So, I asked my friends and subscribers on YouTube if they were interested and a couple have responded, and I still write to one of them today. As I was re-reading these zines, a folded letter fell out of Takes One To Get One. It was from Kate thanking me for my interest in the letter-writing zines and continued to write about her adventures around town, while responding to the letter I had sent her. It was a candid and intimate (not in a sexual way) piece of interaction that we got to share.
I’m going to write to my Pen Pal this week, but first I will extend an invitation to anyone who is interested in being Pen Pals. Kindly deliver to: Stephen J. Lazotte PO Box 383 Manchester, NH 03105 USA. I’ll see you at the mailbox!
Again, many thanks to Alex Wrekk for pioneering International Zine Month, and thanks to Kate for being a radical-but-not-so-radical voice in the zine community. The Papernet thrives!
Tomorrow/Today (July 3rd) I will not blog because I’m using the day to make my 24 Hour Zine Thing! See you on the other side haha!
So here we are. It is International Zine Month throughout July, and it is about time to get active in the Papernet once again! I will be posting here daily about the various activities and prompts on the IZM calendar. Today’s prompt: July 1 – CanaZine Day! Buy, read, or share zines from Canada for Canada Day! Big thanks to Alex Wrekk!
I have a Facebook page for my would-be compilation zine Confessions of a Type 40. I haven’t been working toward completing that zine because I haven’t garnered enough contributions for a full issue, so it fell by the wayside. Recently, I received a message from a Zinester named Crash Reynolds, asking if there is a date set for the first issue of CoaT40. I was floored, thinking “Wait, somebody is actually interested in a Doctor Who fanzine!?”. She was interested, which was why she asked. She admitted she just didn’t have anything to contribute to it.
I admitted that because nobody really shown interest, I didn’t try too hard to get the zine off the ground. I want to change that, but CoaT40 is a topic for another post.
So we traded zines, and I look forward to going to the Post Office this Wednesday to see if it’s there. Since Crash is from Canada, I bought some postcards from her Etsy Store.
Here are other Zinesters participating or talking about #IZM2019:
FERAL PUBLICATION: YouTube Channel | Etsy
JAIME NYX / SEA GREEN ZINES: YouTube Channel | Website
I recently found footage of my attempt at making my 24-Hour Zine Thing zine, which ended up becoming “Zotte Park #2”. I don’t remember filming the process, but I found the footage and edited it into a video (see below). The video ends with me being exhausted, realising that I wouldn’t complete the zine on time, and that I had a lot more left to write. I think I stopped recording at this point because it would be a lot of footage to comb through if I were to film until completion. I managed to get the issue done, however. If you’re new to this blog, you can purchase the zine here or here from Antiquated Future.
One of the activities in celebration of July’s International Zine Month was to order from a distro I haven’t order from before. Since I had recently discovered Sea Green Zines‘ podcast “The Zine Collector”, I figured I look at her catalogue.
One of the zines that appealed to me was “Dear Anonymous: A Zine of the Unspoken”. The contents are exactly as implied on the cover. Within is a curation of letters from various folks, anonymous writer to anonymous and oblivious recipient. They are handwritten by the editor, copied from the original submissions, and each letter is designed according to the subject matter.
These letters are well articulated by the contributors. Even submitted anonymously, the writers are able to convey their emotions and thoughts in powerful ways.
I enjoyed this issue very much, and recommend it. I gravitated toward it initially because the title reminded me of an old, similar project I wanted to do but never did.
“Dear Anonymous: A Zine of the Unspoken” is digest-sized (half-sized), 20 pages and bound with string. If you would like to order a copy, please check out the Sea Green Zines Etsy Shop!
*This post will appear in the review zine One Minute Zine Reviews issue 9*
Last month for International Zine Month, I took a day and started to make a zine from scratch for the 24-Hour Zine Thing. It was a challenge for Zinesters to make a 24-page zine within 24 hours. The 24 hours turned into about 60, so in one sense I failed, but in a better sense, I had fun and rekindled that creative spark within, so I win!
So without further ado, I decided to open up shop on this site for my zines. I had some technical difficulties with the shipping rates, but everything should be set! It’s just a basic little shop. So far there are two issues of my perzine Zotte Park. It’s a pretty cut and dry retail routine. Add item to cart, calculate shipping, check out, done.
I’m very excited to share my zines with you!
In celebration of American diversity, I discovered and ordered a zine from Cristy C. Road, a Cuban-American artist. I apologize for the delayed posting.
Cristy C. Road
Zinester Trading Cards by Billy McCall