izm midweek 1

doris28When planning my reading for the week I forgot about today’s prompt so I’m re-reading the lovely Doris, which is one of my all-time favorite zines (I can push back habit #3 til Monday). Cindy was one of the first zinesters I traded with, which was almost 15 years ago! I feel a special connection to the zinesters that have continued to write for this long since our numbers are slowly declining. You’ll see as my reading list goes on that I have an affinity for older zines or titles that have been around for a while. I still read new zines and work from first time writers, but reading a zine from a decade ago has that feeling of catching up with an old high school friend. Its amazing to think that I’ve spent nearly half my life devoted to these endeavors.

If you aren’t familiar with Doris you need to get on that! Visit dorisdorisdoris.com

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90s front; back coverFor distro appreciation day I spent a little time working on my own. I updated some of the catalog, did some miscellaneous online work, bought some fancy vintage-inspired botanical stamps, and reorganized the stock. I got an order from Israel, which is awesome! I love to send and receive mail to other countries.

Stay tuned for some interesting new titles. I have two issues of Corner Store, Teach These Kids a Lesson, My Grandpa the Jazz Drummer, and my own reprints that I’ll be doing later this month. I have to redo Edith Knows Her Apples, 90’s Ladies of Inspiration – Television because the person printing it for me switched the pages around (so the only usable part are the covers). I’ve been meaning to make more On Becoming a Woman, too. I’ll also be working on at least one 24 hr zine this month (I have two in mind) so there will be plenty of new delights in time for tabling at the Portland Zine Symposium in early August. I’d like to pick up another title or two from some new-to-BOTS authors and/or pick up a newer issue of an older title so stay tuned for that. There’s a lot going on at this little distro, and though I took a bit of an unplanned hiatus when the old site went down I’m proud to say that I’ve been running this for a decade. It’s kind of out there to me, to think it’s gone on that long. I even uprooted from Seattle to Milwaukee in that time. I don’t self-advertise very well so I tend to only get it out at fests but I plan to make more of an online presence in the coming months. There are few of us left so I want new people to know that this option is still out there.

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I’ve always had a hard time with top tens, mostly just figuring out why one thing is better than another. This is more of a list, I suppose. It’s specific to why I enjoy being a part of the zine community.

  • connection to like-minded people across the country, the world
  • trades. totes trades.
  • getting mail!
  • the materiality – reading something I can hold in my hands (and has a semi-permanence to it)
  • when the layout is just as appealing as the text
  • not just meeting new folks but catching up with them years later. that feels so good.
  • taking the stuffiness and unattainability out of writing and publishing
  • the democratic appeal – anyone can do it! diy or die, dudes!
  • getting my work out in multiples – reaching an audience in a way that has historical roots and can go beyond my own circles of friends (in art and writing, two things I can’t stop creating)
  • brevity – I like that you can just get a taste of something. they’re articles, short stories, micro/flash creative non-fiction and sometimes they don’t even know it. you don’t often see that in a book.
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