David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/24/21 6:46 p.m.

As if I don't spend enough of my time writing and editing, for fun I make a zine. Just finished the fifth issue after a bit of a gap and did the Orlando Zine Fest this past weekend. (I was the token old guy.)

What's a zine? Generally a self-published, limited-run publication. It could be your inner-most thoughts, could be your favorite recipes. I don't think there's a wrong answer. Generally they use low-fi printing, although I admit that I get mine professionally done. At the end of the day, the price was very fair. 

I contributed to a BMX/skate zine while in high school (I know, you're shocked) and fell back into it a few years ago. I originally thought that mine was going to be a BMX/punk rock zine, but as they came together I realized it's more--something along the lines of capturing the DIY punk rock ethos. 

I admit, these have been some of the most challenging pieces I have ever written. Most of the people I have interviewed come from the world of BMX and music, but I don't want to rehash what's on their Wiki page. So we've talked about things like overcoming depression and self-harm or being homeless for some 20 years. But I've also written about making '80s synthpop music, writing a book about making spaces safer, and playing punk rock bass.

Part of my mission statement, however, is to help others create their own zine. Questions of how to start? Tips on printing? Wondering what it's all about? As the cool kids say, HMU.

So, some pics, and you can find mine on the FB and IG. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/24/21 6:48 p.m.

And the latest issue is at the printer, but I had some done at Office Depot for last week's zine fest. The show must go on, right? 

 

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
12/24/21 7:01 p.m.

Church used to put one out but I stopped buying it after five or six. Loved looking through it but it was to hard to get ahold of. Yours looks to have a good mix of subjects.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/24/21 7:11 p.m.

I've shared a link to this thread with a friend who's a excellent writer, subscriber, and Vans wearer who should totally produce one of these, but likely doesn't have the confidence in themselves to do so, in the hopes that they reach out to you for guidance in the craft. My confidence in their automotive writing ability is the same level that I had for GBodyman, who should also produce one of these. 

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
12/24/21 9:22 p.m.

Growing up with punk rock,, zines are something Ive always had around

Just read a copy of RazorCake the other day, got it from No Idea Rec down in Gainesville

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/24/21 10:15 p.m.

In reply to hybridmomentspass :

Cool. If we're talking Gainesville, Florida, there's a zine library there at the Civic Media Center. They should have my zines. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/24/21 10:16 p.m.

In reply to Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I don't want to say that the bar is low, but a zine doesn't have to be complicated. One my favorites in my collection is made from a piece of photocopier paper cut up into sixths and then stapled together with a single staple. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/24/21 10:22 p.m.

Found it--it was in my box o' zines. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
12/24/21 10:51 p.m.

Sub stack seems to be the new zine thing.  Though I am partial to the hard copy format. 
 

I am related to the writers/ owners of this one mentioned in this New Yorker article. 
 

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-elite-heat-of-blackbird-spyplane/amp

G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter)
G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/24/21 11:18 p.m.
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

I've shared a link to this thread with a friend who's a excellent writer, subscriber, and Vans wearer who should totally produce one of these, but likely doesn't have the confidence in themselves to do so, in the hopes that they reach out to you for guidance in the craft. My confidence in their automotive writing ability is the same level that I had for GBodyman, who should also produce one of these. 

Thanks Cap! Yep, since going freelance, one thing I've been looking at is limited-run print after I launch my website. I already have some awesome contributors on board for that and with a focus on print design from my J-school days, wrestling the bear of Adobe InDesign sounds fun.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
12/25/21 12:25 a.m.

Two friends and I published a gaming zine called Cryptic Runes some time around 1981. We put out a couple of issues on the librarian's IBM Selectric, with hand drawn art. We sold a few at cons.  It was fun.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/25/21 3:19 p.m.

In reply to Duke :

Dang, that sounds cool. Have any left? 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
12/25/21 4:58 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I don't think so, but I'll look! I did the cover and title copy with Letraset dry transfer lettering, the insides using 2 or 3 different type balls in the trusty Selectric.   D&D/fantasy articles got the fancy serif typeface, Traveler/sf stuff got Lucida, and general gaming articles got Courier.

Most of them ran 16-24 quarter pages, hand laid up for double sided copying, plus card stock covers.  I made a saddle stapler that would reach half a page in from the edge.

 

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
12/25/21 8:42 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to hybridmomentspass :

Cool. If we're talking Gainesville, Florida, there's a zine library there at the Civic Media Center. They should have my zines. 

Yes, out of Gainesville, though I am not there, order records from them for the past two decades or more

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
12/25/21 9:32 p.m.

I've mulled the idea of doing a simple zine with my photography, but it's never gotten past the planning to plan stage. I'd certainly be interested to hear about short print run costs, and what software (preferably open source) people are using for layout.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/30/21 11:56 a.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Yes, do it. I've seen others do photo zines/books, and they're way cool.

I'm using InDesign because it's what I know. Then I output pdf spreads. 

Mixam prints my zines, and I'm happy with the service, quality and price. Go to their site and scroll down for a price calculator: input number of pages, size, paper type, etc., etc., and you'll instantly see what it's going to cost. The site will even compute your shipping costs. 

I have my zines printed as stapled booklets: 80 lb. text paper for the inside 36 pages with an 80 lb. cover to create a 40-page book total. All paper is satin with matte lamination on the cover. I'm very happy with the final product--looks professional and has a nice heft to it.

My current issue got held up a tad, so I had some "proofs" printed locally at Office Depot for last week's zine fest--I knew I was cutting it too close. They came out okay but aren't the same. The Mixam copies just look really professional. Mixam also prints hardcover books.

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