Whew! we have FINALLY finished processing the more than 100 zines we bought this year at the Wellington Zinefest. They are mainly titles from local zine authors/artists – and as usual, cover all subjects imaginable! (Do-it-yourself, arts, political ones, funny ones, comics etc…)
They make for great summer reading, so please come into the Central Library and check them out!
Statistical Analysis of The Things that happen but don’t make sense and everything else by Sarah McNeil
This zine is much more fun than taking a course in research methods or Statistics 101. Sarah has managed to find a very interesting use for statistics by collecting data on funny, mundane events and creating all sorts of graphs. In her zine you can find pie charts on “thoughts in thinking time”; as well as linear graphs of “uncomfortable ideas and feelings” set against “time looking at kittens behind the glass at the pet shop”. This zine is full of funny, cute and interesting diagrams and graphs.
Imaginary Lovers by Devon Smith
This zine is so romantic and funny! It is full of illustrations of people that Devon thinks are cool. All kinds of descriptions of imaginary lovers are included in this zine… but some of them are crossed out! I think I recognised one of them the other day… This zine deserves a “librarian’s choice” sticker ASAP!
Application Poems 2010-2011 by Alex Mitcalfe Wilson
This is another awesome zine from Alex Mitcalfe Wilson, a well-known multidisciplinary artist from Wellington. Alex’s anthology of poems is quite unusual and original. I really enjoyed the poems inspired by the World Press photo exhibition and one called “Empire”. These poems were originally submitted in applications for various writing programmes, and they are really good.
Cupcakemonsters 13 by Alex Mitcalfe Wilson
This is an upgraded/next-level-beats edition of the usual Cupcakemonsters. Alex has moved away from the usual dull winter-like colours to explore the contagious positivity of pastel colours. This pastel pink issue is bigger and feels nicer. This zine features three bands (Grouper, Martial Canterel & Captain Ahab) and it also comes with a really powerful poster of crystals.
Pernicious anaemia by Alex Mitcalfe Wilson
This zine is quite mysterious. The theme of the zine is black metal iconography and is full on scary logos and hilarious statements. There is a really funny list of Doom Band names. Come and check out this zine even if you are not into black metal.
Protroast5 by Ya-Wen Ho and Makyla Curtis
This zine has a lot of cool stories written by various story tellers from all around the world. Some of these stories are accompanied by illustrations. There are some beautiful poems and nice comics. I wonder how the editors manage to get artists from Russia and Japan to collaborate on this awesome zine? Quite impressive.
Red, yellow, blue repeat AND Blue bits by Anthony Zinonos
I have been following Anthony Zinonos’ art for years, and I am so happy that we have 2 of his zines. Red, yellow, blue repeat is full of beautiful abstract collages; while Blue bits is a bit more conceptual and funny. Both zines are gems, especially if you like collage-montage art and Anthony’s style.
Hi Ayano, thank you for letting us interview you. I have noticed that your zine was selected for Space Invaders (current NGA gallery exhibition), that is really impressive Ayano, congratulations! First of all, we would like to learn a little bit about you, what you like doing? What do you like learning about?
Hi Carla, and thanks. I’ve always liked drawing as a child as it’s something that I still do a bit of in my spare time. I am quite curious and like to learn about anything from why mozzie bites itch to Victorian architecture but at the moment I’m interested in Henri Matisse and plan to go the Matisse exhibition in Brisbane at the Gallery of Modern Art. I also really want to see Milford Sound and want to trek in that area too.
Most zine makers start making zines after finding zines they really like or after attending zine festivals. Was this the case for you? How did you first learn about zines? When did you become a zine maker?
My friend made his own little zine and stocked it at Sticky Institute in Melbourne. That was when I was first introduced to zines. I felt a handmade love and individual voice to the works there and naturally wondered if anybody would like my work as well.
Continue reading “An Audience with Ayano Takeuchi”
Hi Sarah, how are you today? Thank you for giving us the opportunity to contact you and ask you questions about your work. I have found your zine ½ at the library and it caught my attention because of how mysterious the cover looks. I soon realised it is a really well made zine with a lot of content.
Hi Carla, thanks! I first came across zines when my housemate brought some home from Sticky Institute, a zine distro in Melbourne. I really liked them, so I started visiting Sticky a lot, and reading lots of zines, then I thought it would be fun to make my own.
Why do you think zines are important and why do people need to keep making them?
I love that zines are completely non-commercial; people just make them for the joy of it. The writing can be terrible and it doesn’t matter. So to me that’s important. Having this accessible medium where people can express whatever they want and there’s no censorship, no editor, no sponsorship or commercial stakeholders… it doesn’t need to attract advertising. A zine can never be colonised by advertising because then it would cease to be a zine. People need to keep making zines so that we can share stories and ideas that aren’t found elsewhere.
Continue reading “An Audience with Sarah from 1/2”
Ayano Takeuchi is a really talented illustrator. She has made a cool zine about a character called Audrey and her doll . The adventures inside this zine are really beautiful and simple. What I love the most about this zine is the impressive cover illustration which is stamped in gold foil, it is so flash! Ayano has won many awards for her zine. Come to the library and check out her little zine, I am sure you will like it. Learn more about Anyano and her work here.
We found Esther’s mini zine, Overheard-drawn recently at Vic, which was a very happy surprise! Obviously we think visiting our zine collection is the best way to get your zine fix, but second to that is randomly finding free zines around the place. Anyway, Carla recently spoke to Esther about the inspiration behind Overheard-drawn, so keep reading if you want to know more…
Hi Esther! Your zine is really cool, I like the fact that it feels a bit teen like and is really amusing. How did you come up with the idea of making “overheard-drawn”? Is it your first zine?
Oh thank you. I wanted it to be a bit fun and amusing. It is my first zine and the idea came from a previous studio project which i wanted to re-do. Using the zine format seemed a lot more appropriate for the subject matter of which I was drawing things I overheard and integrating them with the text of the quotes.
How and why did you choose the theme for “overheard-drawn”?
The idea started with eavesdropping and the random parts of sentences that you hear that are a lot of the time nonsense and amusing, and I wanted to illustrate those parts. With the zine I used the Victoria University’s overheard @ vic Facebook page to get the quotes and illustrated the ones that stood out to me, and half of them appeared in the next weeks Salient ‘overheard’ section as well. Using the quotes from Vic meant that I distributed the zine there too and when I get the time the 2nd edition will be put out there too! I’m planning to have a ‘do it yourself’ section in the next one so that people can have space to illustrate what they have ‘overheard’ and then leave for others to find. Continue reading “An Audience With…Esther From Overheard-Drawn”
Alex is the author of the zine Her Suit (see our review here). We had the chance recently to interview her about her zine and her life.
Hi Alex! Thank you so much for letting us interview you. After talking to you in person I noticed that you’ve got a very international accent, where do you come from originally?
My mum’s from Australia and my dad’s from Cyprus and I hold both passports. I don’t really feel like either place is home though. I’ve moved around a lot. I’ve lived in Sydney, Jakarta, Cairo, Singapore, Dunedin, Melbourne and Wellington. I went to international schools and I think that gave me a bit of an American twang, too.
You mentioned you lived in Jakarta, how do you think this experience shaped you? Do you feel a special connection to Jakarta? Why?
Well, the expatriate community kept quite separate from the local community, so even though I was there for eight years I still feel like I never really got to know Jakarta. Living there made me very aware of my material privilege. There was a lot of poverty.
Continue reading “An Audience With… Alex Papanastasiou”
I randomly found this zine on a table at Victoria University and I instantly felt lucky! This little zine is full of phrases overheard at work, school and other shared spaces. Every phrase is reinterpreted with a cool illustration. My favourite one is “Lady Gaga is like a male David Bowie” and l love the illustration that shows David Bowie transforming into Lady Gaga. I think this zine is really cool because it is nice to look at, has a young-urban touch, is very NZ specific and really funny.
Her Suit is a zine about hair. From what I understand Alex Papanastasiou has used this zine as an opportunity to share and liberate her good and bad hair-related experiences. I really like this zine because it is so personal, I also love her blog. Alex tells us about the comments she has received about her hair, some of them are quite funny while others are quite heartbreaking. I think this zine is really valuable because it challenges our preconception of beauty. It’s in our zine collection now – come and check it out and see how you feel after reading it. (Carlita)
Alex is the author of the zines: hetic lifestyle, thermodynamics and cupcakemonsters. When we analyse the issue stats (which being good zine librarians we do from time to time), Alex’s zines always come out near the top. So even though we have interviewed Alex once before, it was a long long time ago so we thought we best do it again.
Many zine makers start making zines because someone else encouraged them to do so, would you say this was true in your case? How did you get into zines? Were your first attempts similar to CupcakeMonsters?
The first proto-zines I made were little comics about skateboarding. My mum had an amzing collection of independent comics and small press publications from the 60s to the 90s and I spent hours reading them as a kid and then trying to make my own. They were all one-offs and I never really shared them with many people. My first attempt at a recognisable zine was with my girlfriend, in sixth form. It was called Print and was all about the music we were into. That was inspired by Blink, from A Low Hum, showing me some of his old zines from before the magazine went professional. I started Cupcakemonsters in seventh form and my other zines flowed on from that, with each encompassing different aspects of my interests that didn’t sit well within the music zine format.
CupcakeMonsters is an awesome name for a zine. Where does the title come from? What does it mean to you?
The name came about through a word association exercise. I’m not that personally attached to it to be honest- it’s just been around for so long that it’s impossible to change. I’m very cheerfully resigned to using it for the rest of my zine-life, though.
I’ve noticed that your zines reflect a lot of thinking and planning. How long does it take you to put a zine together? Where and when do you usually make them? Do you have a studio in town? Do you personally find the process of making them enjoyable or a bit overwhelming?
It takes an age. Mostly in finding enough people I want to write about and then emailing back and forth, over a period of weeks to put the interviews together. The actual design and production is comparatively rapid. I’ve set the design in stone now, which simplifies things- I used to go nuts thinking of new things to do but now I always use hand cut layouts, typeset in Lucida Console on black backgrounds. It’s very nice and simple. I do manage to speed things up by doing almost all of the content myself. I enjoy all the work but I do find it quite intense. I’m a very driven person, though and I do think I thrive on stress more I’d like to admit.
Continue reading “An Audience With…Alex Mitcalfe Wilson”