With roots in the modernist literary movement of Paris and New York in the 1920s and 1930s, zines have historically been associated with underground, self-published booklets with a generally small circulation. The term has also garnered political attributes when punk and feminist zine production rose to prominence in the 1970s -1990s.
Folks who attend the The RY Zine Workshop will be given the chance to explore the different stories and ideas that they can share through comics and zines and a chance to make their own minizines.
Sam Orchard explains: “we’ll be talking about our experiences making zines. Ash is going to give a 101 on illustration, and I’m gonna give a 101 on storytelling. We’ll also be sharing our favourite zines, talking about what makes a zine, and the different ways you can put them together. It’s going to be a practical workshop, so we want people to be prepared to come up with ideas and stories that they want to share – and to work to put together a zine!”
Sam says that he got into making zines about ten years ago. “I made a minicomic zine to give to my friend as a way to come out to her. I was so afraid of saying it out loud, and I knew that I’d chicken out, so I put together a 10 page zine and gave it to her. Since then it’s just been a fun way to put short stories and ideas together, and to share them with other people.”
Ash is more new to the format. “I got into making zines about a year ago,” he says. “I got into them because they’re a really open format that can be about anything and everything. I had a collection of drawings of transmen I had done over a period of a few months. Turning those drawings into a publication seemed to be the best way to share them with others.”
Sam and Ash are aiming to foster the growing interest in zine production in young art circles in New Zealand.
“I really love the fact that self-publication allows you to control all aspects of the final product,” Ash explains. “You get to pick the papers, fonts, materials and production methods you want to employ in order to create your own unique zine which is super fun!”
“Everything is welcome in a zine,” Sam says. “Whether it’s a fanzine about your favourite band, or a collection of deep philosophical essays and thoughts. I also like that because zines small, and done with love, it means that it’s perfect for telling stories about identities, and most of zine culture is super queer friendly.
“We want people to get inspired and get creative about stories and ideas that they wanna talk about. We’re hoping that people will come away with a zine they can take home to photocopy and share around.”
Fancy getting some tips from these two crazy talented individuals? Pop over here and invite your friends along. If you’re one of those people who like to come EXTRA prepared, here’s a little rundown of how to make a Zine from Rookie Magazine.