New Zines!

The most recent Zinefest to be held in Wellington was in October 2020, and once again it was a big one. It was held over two days, this time at the Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation, with different stallholders on both days. Most of our lending zine collection is bought at the Wellington Zinefests.

So where can you borrow our zines from? You can find them at three of our branches: Arapaki Manners Library, Newtown Library, and He Matapihi Molesworth Library at the National Library. Our zines are free to borrow for three weeks, and can be renewed for another three weeks.

Here are some selected zine highlights from the October 2020 Wellington Zinefest. These will be available for borrowing, so look out for them on our shelves.

Unsurprisingly, zines about quarantine and lockdown were a big theme this year: Miles Davitt created Quarantine Comix about the experience of being in quarantine in both Australia and New Zealand; Aotearoa: A Herd of 5 Million is exactly what its subtitle suggests: “a pictorial investigation into the collective consciousness of 21st century New Zealand (the farming colony)”; Humans in Lockdown is a satirical take on various personalities, and how they experienced lockdown, by Daniel Vernon; while Hamish Wilson’s An Airport Journal of remastered sketches has a section on Covid-19; lastly Els. continues her ongoing series Fancy Ladies Being Salty with a special lockdown edition as it applies to nineteenth century illustrations of fashion.

Another strong theme was zines about Wellington, and about birds in Wellington and New Zealand: Charlotte Page has written a small, short, black and white zine about being Gothic in Wellington, called Wellington Gothic; while David Coyle has written a collection of poems, a couple of which are devoted to Wellington, in Cuba Street and Other Poems. Catrina S. and James H. have collaborated on a tongue-in-cheek bird guide in their A Guide to Wellington Birds; while immigrant couple Zach Mandeville and Angelica Blevins have bravely created A Non-Native Guide to Native Birds.

Other themes include illustrated explorations of topics, such as death and sinning, by Davin Richardson in A Fright-ful Book About Death, and The Seven Deadly Sins respectively; and by Chantal Mcilraith in The Seven Deadly Stages of Procrastination. There were several delightful wordless, or nearly wordless, comics such as Moon Bandits, by Myrjam Van de Vijver, about an astronaut who finds that the moon is not as empty as she was expecting; and two about cats: Probable Claws by Chantal Mcilraith, about a very brave cat, and El Sueño del Gato by Abigail Sucsy, about what a cat gets up to at night while its person sleeps. There were also a couple of colouring-in books: Finding Karl by Eshant Gandhi, and Pigment of Your Imagination by Bhavya Ahuja.

Finally, we have a fanzine by Els. devoted to Carly Rae Jepson; Issue 4 of Overcommunicate, a “Magazine for LGBTQIA+ women, non-binary folk, gender diverse people, and friends”; Issue 73 of Incredibly Hot Sex With Hideous People by Bryce Galloway; a new instalment of Sock Review, this time reviewing the different options for supporting a broken ankle; and The Princess Bride told entirely in film stills and emojis by Willow Scarlett.

New locally made zine

The Archive is Alive: Exploring Aotearoa NZ’s Queer History is the latest zine added to our lending zine collection. Launched on Friday 2nd October 2020, it is a Wellington made zine based on the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ), and reflects on the importance of local queer history. The zine contributors explored the LAGANZ archives as a group, and photocopied posters, leaflets, and photos of queer history and culture in Aotearoa. It was made as a collaboration between LAGANZ and Wellington Zinefest, with support from the Alexander Turnbull Library and Wellington City Council Creative Communities. 

For more info and related content check out our database Archives of Sexuality & Gender, it spans the sixteenth to the twentieth century and is the largest digital collection of primary source materials relating to the history and study of sex, sexuality and gender. Highlights include New Zealand periodicals Pink Triangle and Out! New Zealand’s Alternative Lifestyle Magazine.

Zines come to Arapaki Manners Library

Our CBD branch, Arapaki Manners Library on 12 Manners Street, now has a zine collection! Zines are self-published and independently produced print publications. Zine (pronounced “zeen”) comes from the words “magazine” and “fanzine”. Zines come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be handwritten, or computer-printed, and are made by people of all ages. Zines come bound in different ways: some have bindings like books and even ISBN numbers, whereas others will be stitched or stapled together.

The zines are free to borrow, and are issued for three weeks, just like books! Most of the zines in Arapaki’s collection are brand new, and were acquired at the Wellington Zinefest held in November of last year. Nearly all the zines are written by local New Zealand authors and produced in New Zealand.

Our zines are loosely categorised into 6 topics identified by coloured dots on the covers: Comics are orange; Literature, such as poems and stories are green; Personal zines, about the author and their life, are blue; Art zines featuring drawings, photography, etc, are yellow; DIY zines about how to make or do things are black; and lastly, zines about politics, history, and everything else are white.

We also have zine collections at our Newtown and He Matapihi Molesworth branches. So check them all out and get borrowing today!

Spanish zines!! –

We were recently donated a massive pile of zines, so to celebrate (and get them all processed) we had a tea party zine processing meeting.


We got soooo many cool new zines. We have a bunch of new favourites, which we’ll blog about real soon. But for now, I want to show you our brand new Spanish zines:


Thanks to this kind donation from a zine maker in Spain, we have now have some new zines in Español! If you’re a library regular, you’ll know that we have a lot of foreign language books – maybe we could start developing a foreign language zines collection, as well? Come check them out! Viva la library!*

*not accurate Spanish.

Khartoum Place – an interview with Frisson

How did you get into making zines?
I got into making zines years ago as a way to promote live music shows. I hand-drew the zines on A4 pages, photocopied them (black and white), and folded or cut and stapled them into tiny booklets. Sometimes I also gave them out in little goodie bags at the shows. This time around I got into zine-making for different reasons. I started writing short stories late last year, and after a couple of months went by without anyone publishing them I decided to start publishing them myself! These days I’m still illustrating the zines, but I’m getting them made through Blurb rather than having to do all that photocopying and stapling. Since I released my first zine I have had a story or two published, but I still intend to release a zine every 2 – 3 months, and I’m currently working on the illustrations for my second one.

Can you give us a short bio about you?
I studied creative writing at Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters. I love cats and coffee.

We have read the zine Khartoum Place and loved it. In your words could you please explain to us why you decided to make it and publish it?
Thank you! I have discovered that I really enjoy weaving local, historical elements into my stories. Khartoum Place is a dark but loveable little square in Auckland’s CBD. The square’s mural, an admittedly slightly homely but very historically important memorial to women’s suffrage, is constantly under threat from people who think it’s ugly and want to remove it. The idea of an art historian trying to save the mural, her career and her love affair came to me in a flash while I was waiting for someone to turn up to a work meeting one day.

Once it was out there, did you get any unexpected reactions?
I posted it off to what seemed to me to be New Zealand’s major libraries. I didn’t have any idea what to expect. I’m thrilled that the Wellington and Christchurch Libraries have been in touch, but I’m a bit disappointed in Auckland Library. I keep sneaking in to see if I can find it their zine collection, but I haven’t seen it in there so far…

I also started a Facebook page and a website, and I’ve have some really nice comments coming through from those.

You say your zines are a New Years resolution, can you tell us a little bit more about that?
I’d been writing stories for a while and not getting them published, and the news had broken about Sport losing it’s funding, and I literally woke up on New Year’s Day and thought “I’m going to start a new journal!” So I sat down and mapped out my first issue, and it looked great! But then I thought, ‘wait a minute, this is a lot of work on top of a full time job, and I’m putting myself in a curatorial role and not actually doing what I enjoy, which is writing stories and drawing pictures’. So I decided to start a series of zines under the name Frisson.

What’s on your zine to-do list?
I intend to release a new issue every 2 – 3 months. But most importantly I’d like to connect with other zine makers, so I’m looking forward to checking out a Zine Fest or two.

What would you say to other zine makers?
I wasn’t sure how people would react to the fact that I got my zines made through Blurb rather than laboriously hand-crafting each one. That kind of carry-on was fine for me back when I was working part time in vintage stores and playing in bands. Now that I’m a wage slave getting up at 5.30am in the morning in order to find the time to write stories, I highly recommend outsourcing the production side (unless of course that’s your passion).

Do you have any music/zines/blogs recommendations?
Yes, I really like the New Zealand zine review. They’ve introduced me to all sorts of amazing things.

I’ve also found your blog really helpful. My next zine will have an ISBN number!

Fresh Zine Times

#zinefest Woah, it’s a blog in two halves! At the top is Wellington Zinefest build-up news and a bit further down are some sweet new zines from the zines-stand.

Make Time To Make Zines
Make Time To Make Zines #2:
Friday the 25th October, 6-8pm Matchbox and Wellington Zinefest present an anti-procrastination workshop to get your Zines happening. Read more.

Hand-crafted reviews for your zine-reading pleasure:The Play-Along-Songbook
The Play-Along-Songbook: Number One: Wellington:
“Just like having famous friends this Play-Along-Songbook lets you pretend-jam with very real Wellington musicians. Some of the muso’s on the bill are Seth Frightening, Wet Wings, & party all star Disasteradio. Bop bop diddy bop.” (Staff review)

Headphones With No Music

Headphones With No Music: “Real-life observations from aboard Wellington’s public transport system. Experience the journey and the weirdness. Companion tumblr.” (Staff review)

Hoarding Since The 90'sHoarding Since The 90’s: “A pocket-sized flashback of 90’s pop culture icons. It features bugs bunny doing the splits, and a jigglypuff playing pika-chu boo. Sweet!” (Staff review)



Hey hey!! If you’ve been into central library lately, you may have noticed that our zines have moved – they’re now parked straight in front of the arts, music and literature desk on the first floor!! So we decided it was time to give our display a wee facelift, befitting its sweet new central locale.


We also have some rad new zines:

photo_1Riff Raff no.07, edited by Emily Jane Russell
This zine focuses on supporting and documenting emerging artists in the Waikato.  It is soooo beautifully put together and is full of glorious things – gorgeous pictures and photographs, and this issue also features boutique jewellery, a children’s clothing range and an illustrator, amongst other pretty things. So if you are from the Waikato, or are a crafter, or simply enjoy looking at beautiful, locally-made things – check out this zine!! You will love!

photo_2extra curricular 12, edited by Ellie Smith
The latest edition of extra curricular has just hit my hot little hands and I am in Love!! Yes, with a capital L! Full of the usual extra curricular deliciousness, I recommend you have a (long, slow) read.

Check out the newness!! Also, remember that we accept zine donations. If you have made your own zine and would like to contribute it to the WCL zine collection, drop it off at the arts, music and literature desk at central and we’ll add it to the collection. Promise!

Zines time

Somewhat embarrassingly, this is our first post this year on the zines blog. Hmm. But anyways! Please don’t consider this to be a lack of enthusiam; in fact, quite the opposite! We have been slogging away and have finally finished processing the hoard of sweet local zines we nabbed at the most recent ZineFest. So far, these have been my faves:

Twin Lullaby by Charlotte Forrester
This wee zine is sooo beautifully put together. (Okay, I admit it – am a total sucker for pieces of paper tied together with string. Swoon!) It’s essentially a poem in five verses, and is accompanied by beautiful watercolour art works. There is also a really sweet touch on the final page – check it out.

Not Afraid of Ruins #3 by Nausea Nissenbaum
This zine is a kind of travel diary with a difference. I love hearing people’s travel stories – I especially love hearing about far-flung countries I’ve never ventured to, and possibly never will. If this sounds like your bag, I definitely recommend this zine. You can read about loads of different European locales, and it also has other random bits and pieces, like book recommendations! Get in.

Extra Curricular issue 11, edited by Ellie Smith
I can’t help but continue the Extra Curricular love. It’s just so cool. And pretty! Beautifully put-together. This issue is dedicated to new beginnings, and introduces a host of interesting folk who have, in some way, had exactly that. This issue also has tips for crafters who are pondering starting a business from their hobby or passion. As per, this edition is crammed with other interesting bits and is an exceedingly pleasant way to kill a couple of hours! Tea and cake to accompany, optional.

Nowhere Land by Stolen
As the first page of this zine states, eveything in it is stolen from facebook. While I’m not totally down with the method, I have to say, it has made for a pretty sweet zine! It is entirely made up of images, some kinda banal and some kinda awesome. Definitely worth a flick.

We also have loads of sweet new international zines. I have been enjoying these:

thisisportlandThis is Portland by Alexander Barrett
This zine is fun, and, not surprisingly, is aaaaall about Portland. Loaded with interesting points and things you learn about a city only by living there, it has made me want to visit! With its manky weather, famous food, abundance of coffee and a multitude of bands, it actually sounds kinda similar to Wellington… This may or may not be true… anyone out there that’s travelled both cities and knows? (image supplied by

Barefoot and in the Kitchen by Ashley Rowe
Vegan recipe book! Zine style! What’s not to like? “With an emphasis on demystifying veganism and taking the intimidation out of cooking”, it helps makes cooking easy and way more fun. The Beaver Casablancas recipe is a highlight. (image supplied by

Fix your Clothes by Naleigh Briggs
I love a practical zine (that’s not to say that I dislike impractical ones – keep ’em coming!) and this one is awesome. The cover is super cute, as are the text and the illustrations inside. And best of all, it contains information we all need! Step-by-step instructions accompanied by clear illustrations, you’ll be darning your own socks in no time. Booya! (image supplied by

New zines – Carla’s picks

Beloved by e.s. Fletschinger

Beloved is a comic’s zine about a grandpa who has just lost his partner. He’s sad and lonely, and getting used to his new life. This zine is really nice because it feels so real. It is a bit sad, but it does have a happy ending. Make sure you come to the library and check it out. It’s quite touching.

A rough guide to bicycle maintenance.

This is the famous DIY Portland based  zine on how to take care of your bike. The zine introduces you to bike-shop-politics, bike parts identification, how to fix a flat, an intro to the tools you will need, brake basics and further literature on repairs and maintenance. This zine is awesome because it is super useful! If you learn some new tips on how to fix your bike you can save lots of cash.

Obsessive consumption: what did you buy today? by Kate Bingaman Burt.

Kate is a really talented illustrator besides being an obsessive consumer. In this cute little zine you will fine drawings of Kate’s daily new acquisitions. This zine is cute funny. You can check out her drawing style here.

zines blogzzzz

New zines – Vita’s picks

If you’re looking for some whimsical ephemera to help wile away the holiday hours, we have HEAPS of new zines, including Wellington Zinefest purchases, on display in the zine collection on the first floor at WCL.  Here are some of my picks from the newbies…

bookofpoetryBook of Poetry and Short Stories by Zora Patrick. 
This was Wellington Zinefest 2011’s ‘Best of Fest’ winner, and as part of the erudite panel of judges for that award I’m possibly slightly biased, but I cannot say enough about how awesome this little zine is.  At just 11 years old, Zora has created a piece of self-published art that is funny, philosophical, original, weird, a little bit poignant, and downright lovingly crafted and beautiful.  Pretty much everything a zine should be, in my opinion. 

theyearimetelvis1984: The Year I Met Elvis – An Exhibition About Growing Up in the 80s by Sally Papps et al. 
Zine/catalogue of an exhibition by Sally Papps, Elvis is a memoir of teenage life in Nelson/Golden Bay in the 80s. A cute work of local history and a wonderful slice-of-life ethos.

dailysecretionDaily Secretion: Third Emission by Hannah Salmon. 
As delightfully transgressive and bad-taste pioneering as ever, the third installment of Daily Secretion answers all your questions on topics such as Paul Henry and thantophobia (fear of death or dying). The perfect Christmas present for grandma. 

whereyouatbroWhere You at, Bro? by David Merritt. 
David Merritt’s self-published travelling poetic ramblings are bite-sized but sturdily built.  While this is my favourite of his latest offerings, grab a few at a time – they are genuinely inspirational for writing, roadtrips and general Kerouac-esque badassness.

New Zines chosen by Carla

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.

imaginaryImaginary 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 poemsApplication 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.

cupcake13Cupcakemonsters 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 anaemiaPernicious 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.

postroastProtroast5 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.

Trends for Winter!

Some Vanity Fair sass-bots can spot cool from a whole season away, but librarians are usually slower on the uptake.  In the spirit of staying on-trend, this month’s zine round-up is brought to you in the form of an arbitrary list of things I currently enjoy that maybe you will like too.

1.  Actually caring about stuff

Ambivalence is pasOut of Ordersé – just take a look at  these beautiful people who recently marched through the streets of Wellington for Queer the Night, a protest against street-violence against queers and a call to end all forms of discrimination against the queer community.  If that’s not enough to get your fists raised, have a read of Out of Order: Queer and Trans Youth Resistance! by Sarah Tea-Rex (ed.)  This little Canadian gem is probably my favourite queer-themed zine in our collection.  As well as being an introduction to queer and trans liberation, it has some really well written interviews and personal stories.

2. Zines as History

We see all different kinds of zines come into the collection, but the typampersande of zines that I enjoy most are the ones that give windows of insight into the author’s personal history – like Ampersand After Ampersand no. 3 by Amanda.  This issue of Ampersand is about author’s experience with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.)  In most forms of media, our history is created for us and taught to us,  and our autonomy to decide what is “historical,” “important” or “newsworthy” is appropriated from us.  Every zine we make, every story we tell about ourselves is a political act; our personal and collective experiences exist outside ourselves in forms that are more difficult to erase or silence.

3.  Wintry Adventures

Swaddle yourself in scarves and fight the urge to hibernate.  Fill a thermos with plunger coffee and find a good hill for mud-sliding.  Read the most recent issue of I am Camera (in Dunedin), in which our favourite Aussie zinester Vanessa i-am-a-cameraBerry stomps around Dunedin in hopes of finding the last ghosts of the Flying Nun era.  While the success of her quest is limited, in Dunedin is an ode to treasure-hunting and cold-weather travelling – definitely a hot pastime for the cool months.

Miscellaneous goings-up: crock pots, spooning, ginger crunch

Will never make this list: Flannel sheets, sorry.

New Zine Alert – Permanent Vacation!

Permanent Vacation Zine

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over.  Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

So begins Permanent Vacation, the latest project from Kerry Ann Lee and a whole swag of other Wellington zine scene veterans.  I’ve had this zine sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks now, and it’s quickly become my favourite new zine to flick through over my mid-afternoon coffee and chocolate shortbread from Nikau cafe.

Permanent Vacation is like a coffee table book in zine form – big and shiny, full of both style and substance – the kind of treat you want to keep on hand to curl up with at whim.  With beautiful photos from exciting places like Tokyo and Upper Hutt, travel writing from Milford Sound, art inspired by the TradeMe discussion forums, musings on punk music and vernacular architecture – Permanent Vacation will transport you to a pretty place from your office desk or armchair.


I went to my first Richter City roller derby bout last year and it was amazing! So you can imagine my excitment when I spied a roller derby zine to add to our collection.

by Helen Nash, Poison Arrow and Sky RockitRollerama by Helen Nash, Poison Arrow and Sky Rockit is a zine from the UK roller derby scene but it has a global focus with articles about roller derby leagues in the US, Australia and Middle East. It also has a good mix of serious and fun articles, for example a piece on the growing number of skaters dropping their derby names (Helen Wheels, Dee Dee Capitator, Acid Reign) in favour of skating under their real names; roller derby etiquette and how watching The Breakfast Club can improve your game. For sure there is a lot packed into this zine for skater girls but also heaps to interest those of us who are most happy cheering from the sideline.

Issue one of Rollerama is out on the shelves now. Does anyone know of any other cool roller derby zines? Is there a Wellington roller derby zine? ‘cos if there is we would love to get our greedy hands on it!