Two ladies and a whole lotta wool
There is something delightful about the cut and paste of zines. As a form of arts or craft they are accessible and a great way of showcasing creativity as well as artistic skills.
Just lately we’ve been looking at a lot of zines, not least because we are both avid comic book and graphic novel readers, but also because zines just so nicely fit into the crafty universe.
This zine caught my eye during the [you might have guessed it] recent Pictoplasma Berlin exhibition. It’s a narrative driven zine, with some lovely cut-and-paste features (including a ripped cover revealing a beautiful drawing and a post-it-lift-the-flat page as well). It’s in the style of a mini-comic; and there is a short, beautifully drawn, perplexing story told:
Whilst this second one isn’t strictly a zine I still think it’s worthy of mention; it’s a frigging TWIN PEAKS COLOURING ZINE by Dama Damki who just about 100% rocks my world! Not only that, but the creator has gone to the trouble of adding “log” as a bookmark!! I’ve not yet coloured anything in (to be honest, I’m a little scared of doing a bad job and not doing it justice; it’s gonna have to be some sh*t hot colouring in for this one). Find out more the artist here:
If the above zine is a colouring-zine, and the one before is a comic zine then I’m going to call this one an “art zine”, that is to say a zine through which an artist’s work is showcased.
I bought these two zines in a little comic book shop in Berlin, both look to be screen printed and, whilst the Lasse & Russe zine could be said to have more of a narrative structure, the Endrju zine is firmly of the “showcasing art/prints” type. I’d love to know how you reproduce zines like this that have each page screen printed:
Finally, I want to highlight a zine that finished some years ago but that I would say was the heart-and-soul of zine production. Riot on the Rocks was a music zine produced by a friend of mine in Reading. ROTR embodied the “zine” of “magazine, with various features and writers contributing to each issue. ROTR was cut-and-paste was done really well, without making the final product look in any way diminished by its handmade heritage. You can still find some archive content from these zines on Myspace (!).
Yes that’s right, I’m going to mention Japan yet again in this blog! The reason being that the zines I came across there were just amazing, and one of the best books I bought on my trip brought them all together in one beautifully designed zine love in (and this is book two, which means there’s another book out there with just as much fun!)
Don’t let the title put you off, this is a lovely compilation of some of the most exciting and creative zines in Japan and provides a great insight into the world of their creators with interviews and amazing photography. There are even some helpful hints on putting together your own zine! Whilst it is in Japanese, there are so many inspiring images that I really don’t think you need to read Japanese to appreciate it.
Dolly Bird Girls putting together a zine
Weekend Never Dies zine
Apparently zines are fairly new to Japan but you really wouldn’t know it, they seem to have really taken off! There’s even a whole shop dedicated to them in the middle of Tokyo called Only Free Paper where you can pick up free zines or buy priced ones as well. Obviously I was super excited about this, especially as there were several cute craft titles. One of my favourites though had to be this cute illustrated map by Tokyo Strollove Laboratories.
Their website is definitely worth a visit if you want some zine inspiration!