catching up to izm week 4

We’re nearing the end of this engagement but its been nice to be thrust back into keeping zines on the brain every day. I’ve been involved in zines for half my life, which is a pretty long time to hold onto a hobby (and really it’s more than that but you know what I mean). When I worked at the academic library for 5 years I was reading, researching, and organizing zines on the daily and though I was so immersed in them I rarely got the chance to run the distro, exchange letters, or read for myself. I’m a pretty introverted person but have been trying to reintroduce myself and get back to an involvement in the current zine scene over the last year. I missed that penpal connection that truly helped me through the hardest times in my life. I’ve always enjoyed prompts too, because motivating yourself to do anything every day can be much harder when you’re on your own schedule. I don’t run the distro for any financial gain. I work so hard for this because I am always striving to spread zines to others, whether they are my own or ones that have stood out to me. I’ve helped quite a few closing distros by accumulating their old stock so they won’t go to waste in someone’s basement or dusty shelf. I teach zines to kids and adults because I want to encourage anyone that’s willing to try it. Making something physical that you can hold in your hands is important to me, and empowering yourself to say what you’re thinking and expressing your creativity can not be underestimated.
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To recap, here’s what’s been going on:
15 – Leave a zine in public for someone else to find.
16 – Send your zine to a distro for distro consideration.
17 – Review a zine online or write a review of a zine to add to your zine.
18 – Order from a zine distro that you have never ordered from before.
19 – Zine Shop appreciation day! Stop by a shop that sells zines and buy some or consign your own.
20 – Free Zine Day! Give your zine away to someone!
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7/14   When it comes to zine crushes that’s a bit tougher. Overall I don’t really crush on zinesters, not in the way that I have a fascination with stand up comedians. There’s something about a person that can make me laugh so hard I cry, and it is an essential element in my attraction. I’ve crushed hard on independently publishing cartoonists and even went through a period where I dated quite a few of them and lived with another as a roommate. That little streak of fairly unlucky attempts at love would probably be pretty funny to read so who knows, maybe I’ll get into it a bit more in the future. Riverwest is already a bit of an incestual community (not literally of course but in terms of dating your friends, breaking up, and then dating their ex or whatever. You know what I mean) but there’s also a spring of talented comic artists in the neighborhood and the vicinity. It was the perfect combination for me. I’ve always had a little thing for Cometbus, which I’m sure many people could also attest to, but that’s compounded by the fact that I love almost every band he’s ever been in. Pinhead Gunpowder is my favorite and his copier style art is crush worthy to its own merit. Now I’ll get a little cheesy here but my spouse started making zines after we got together and it makes me really happy to be with someone that’s into this big part of my life. He contributed to zines in the past but it’s been great to see him take them on himself. I’ve only dated one other person that wrote a zine (his was short lived and produced after we dated, however we’re still good friends). Corey and I table at fests together and work on a zine called Corner Store (I take photos and he writes with a few friends). I’d like to work on another zine with him in the future.

7/15 was discussed in a previous post

7/16 I’ll be sending something Alex’s way. I’ve never submitted to Portland Button Works and even if its not accepted that’s ok too. It’s important to put yourself out there sometimes. I chose Alex/PBW because we’ve exchanged zines since I started and I want to support her adventures in running a brick and mortar shop. That’s a big risk and I wish her all the luck in it.

7/17 I’ll be “reviewing” Lady Teeth #2, though its mostly just a synopsis. I used to review for a number of on and offline publications so besides this write up I also went back and read some of them. I had forgotten how many places I used to write for. I kept a blog of the reviews and places they were published from 2003-2005. It read like a time capsule and reminded me of the Pander Message Boards, which I was a part of during that span of my life (and before and after that time, up until it closed).

7/18 Last week I ordered a big stack of zines from Taryn’s etsy shop as well as a few from Nicole of Click Clack, who will be closing her distro at the end of the month. I also took the time to add a bunch of new stock to this distro and updated the site quite a bit, so I’ve been keeping very busy throughout distr week.

7/19 I sell zines at these brick and mortar shops: Quimby’s in Chicago (the best thing ever), Woodland Pattern, and The People’s Books Co-op.  These are the only shops I’ve ever sent zines to but perhaps I’ll be able to add PBW to this list in the future.

7/20 Instead of just passing someone my zine I’m leaving two different ones at the Little Library I had previously mentioned. This covers leaving it in public and giving it to someone for free, I just thought they’d be best appreciated in the same venue. Perhaps someone will keep them for themselves, which is fine, but hopefully they’ll read and return so others can check them out. I’ve also given many of my zines to the UWM Special Collections, which was mentioned in my last post and leads us into next week’s festivities.

I’ll be posting about the final week and a half soon. Last weekend was a wash since I had family in from out of town, and this weekend will be a wash since I’ll be competing in a 24 hour bike race. I most likely will not be making a 24hr zine like I had originally wanted because with work picking up, that intense heat wave, and the small amount of time left I doubt I can find a whole free day to work on one. We’ll see.

Whew! So, have I covered everything up to that point?

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PS Lady Teeth #2 came in so feel free to order. I’ll be updating the catalog with it before I take off for Portland.

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