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Split zine ideas, helful hints, suggestions and experiences!

I am working on my first split zine and would like to know all about your experiences of doing a split zine.

How did you work out who put it together?
The naming of the zine, (if it was different than the zines the zinesters did previously)
Did you make two (or more) master copies for all involved to make their own copies?
Or did you split the costs of printing?

How was the experience? Would you do it again? What prompted you to do a split zine?



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I have done several splits over the years and they have all been done different .Some have kept our own zine names, some have been been one shots. Some have been your typical one side for one zine and flip it over to read the other. Generally we had one master and then two flats so we could each make copies. Sometimes it is with a person who lives in the same town so you can just make copies together, sometimes not.

As for cost of printing we just had flats and whenever each person made copies they paid for it and each person distributed it to specific distros that we had figured out ahead of time.

I wanted to do splits to work on project with people whose work I liked and admired.... but sometimes it was just a spur of the moment things that we decided to do that say (about 3 out of the 6 or 7 splits I have done) I would totally do a split again with someone that I admire and would like to work with. Also remember that you art will be associated with each other for the length of your print run and beyond.
i've only done one split, & was with my live-in partner at the time. basically, he made his zine & i made my zine & i think we conferenced together to make sure they were about the same length, & we talked about some of the same topics because we lived together & talked all the time anyway & bounced ideas off each other, so of course the content wound up being similar. except that i am a writer & he is more of a visual artist (comics & photography), so i wrote more & he did more comics & photos. our zines wound up being really thick, so we copied them as separate zines & then packaged them together in an envelope, & that was the split part of it. we each used the names of our own zines (mine was "a renegade's handbook to love & sabotage" & his was "make waves") & we named the project itself something different ("bone dancers"). we had a joint bank account, so we just used our shared money to pay for copies, postage, etc etc. so my experience is probably atypical & not necessarily helpful...

however, i will warn you that sometimes splits can cause trouble. at the time that we did our split, we were both active zinesters & had been for several years, but i guess i was a lot more well-known, which we hadn't really realized until we did our split. people wrote a lot to me to order it, & hardly anyone wrote to him, even though we were both advertising it. i got tons of letters in response to it & he got hardly any. i was literally getting at least ten times the mail he got, & sometimes people would address the envelope to both of us but it would just be a letter to me inside, maybe with a scribbled "say hi to tom!" at the bottom. it was super discouraging for him & he actually quit doing zines after that, which is a shame, because his zines were pretty cool. we split up several years ago & haven't talked much since then, but everytime i have talked to him, he has been kind of bitter about zines, & i think our experience of doing a split is why. when we first started dating, we had met through zines & he was really into them.

so, be careful. it can be a fun experience, but sometimes there are long-term repercussions you never could have predicted.

I have done a split with "Fake Life" out of Talahassee and I'm in Austin. I just threw a bunch of shit at him through e-mails. The most difficult was me sizing the crap to send otherwise they handled the rest and the zine came out pretty solid.
thank you alex, ciaraxyerra and Jme Hash for all your comments, pointers and helpful hints! I am looking forward to doing my first split zine and will post info for those who want to check it out when it is complete. It looks like it will be a one shot collaboration. thanks again for all your insight!
i personally am starting to get discouraged from doing split zines but maybe its just the people i choose to make splits with? issue five of my zine, motor city kitty, is a "lost" issue because my friend was supposed to make the other half but never came through. i had finished my half and started working on the next issue already. i thought he'd eventually come through, thus why i didn't just number the next issue of my zine as #5 instead of #6. kinda confusing and dumb but whatever. and i never printed it on its own cuz...well, years later i don't like it so much and don't think i even have all the pages anymore?

the next issue of my zine is also supposed to be a split with "studmuffin" zine. i know the girl who writes it. she's from cleveland and i'm from kent so we bump into each other at shows and such from time to time. but we're experiencing some problems with trying to finish it. i think she and i maybe have different ideas of what a split zine is. i showed her my half in person, told her how many pages to aim for, and saved a few pages in the middle for our zines to kinda "collide" with she and i interviewing each other. but yea...i've had my half done since july and its still not done and i'm getting frustrated. ah!

haha- maybe if she doesn't come through i'll print that "lost" issue #5 as the other half.

so yea...just make sure communication is really clear and that you're both 100% committed to the project. as for your other questions- in both cases we were just going to keep our own zine names. and i sort of put myself in charge of compiling a master "flat" that i would then send the other zinester and they could copy as they pleased.

good luck! i'd love to hear how your experience with it goes.


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