Zines are hand-made and self-published booklets with a history that connects them to other forms of DIY writing including pamphlets, chap books, and blogs. They are an incredibly accessible and flexible format, which allows for a range of stories and experiences and styles, and they have been an important space for feminist, queer, and other radical voices to find a platform. Anyone can make a zine – including you!
I have been reading zines and teaching them in my gender studies classes since the early 1990s. But I didn't make my own zines until 2016 at the age of 51. During a health crisis I started drawing and writing about my experiences and those early rough drawings turned into an ongoing art practice. My zines are a mix of personal and political, and address such topics as the aftermath of cancer treatment, living in the desert, social justice, and dogs. I combine simple line drawings with brief narrative and sometimes collage.
I tabled at my first zine fest in 2018 and I love interacting with people who read and buy my work. After years of attending zine events, it has been exciting to be on the other side of the table and I have felt so welcomed by the zine community. Even as I now create other kinds of art, making/selling/trading zines continues to be a central part of my practice and my understanding of myself as an artist.