We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

Greetings from Brisbane, Australia.
I've a lot to learn about zines. I used to make versions 40 years ago when I was at college - poetry and art anthologies. I still feel 18 even though I'm nearly 60. Is it too late to start again? I understand that many zinesters abhor oldies - but I know there are a few 30 and 40+ here. I hope my presence doesn't offend, but I'd like to explore the concept more. I've read some zines and know most/many are about popular culture, rants, private thoughts and more, but there seems to be a lot of great poetry and art created, too.
I'm a published author and illustrator and spend a lot of time playing with letters, doing calligraphy and making artist's books that will never be seen by many people. I give talks about book creation and book history, and it's my passion to encourage young and old to be creative in whatever way they choose. I'd like to include producing zines. If more people made and swapped zines in friendship, the world would be a better place.
Here in Queensland, children are encouraged to make artist's books. It's on the high-school curriculum. They're required to make children's picture books, too. Perhaps zines should be included. Some zines seem like artist's books to me. I'm not sure how you distinguish the two.
In 2010, in Brisbane, there will be a large national conference of the Children's Book Council of Australia (Children includes teens and young adults) with the aim of stimulating the imagination of and providing useful information for attendees - in the main: school and public librarians, book sellers, publishers, academics, educators, authors and illustrators. I'm on the organising committee and responsible for the Illustrator's Cafe and an exhibition of designer bookbinding. I think zines and their production shouldbe be included. Do you think this is a good idea?
Do any of you produce zines that children (any age) enjoy? Do any of you have school aged children who produce zines?
Looking forward to 'meeting' all you wonderful creative people, if you'll have me here.
Have fun!
Peter Taylor
PS If anyone is curious, I've got stuff on www.myspace.com/writingforchildren including, in the videos section, a sequence I've made on encouraging creativity.
They're also on my website: www.writing-for-children.com

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Well, I'd like to welcome you here. But then I'm an old fart too.

My children do enjoy reading the zines that I have. They also like to create their own books, but so far we haven't made any copies of them to distribute. I'd like to make a Christmas zine with them, and as I type this, I'm also talking with my 7 year old about creating some content for it. (Right now, she's writing out some obscure Christmassy facts on flower shaped post it notes).
Thanks for your welcome.

My kids used to make replica newspapers with the year's memorable events, to send to overseas family and friends at Christmas. They included mock adverts that aslo reflected things that had happend, like "Warren's Bathroom Renovations - Liven up your bathroom with crooked mirrors and ill fitting cabinets", and movie reviews.
Peter :)
Hey Peter! I am a youngin(27 going on 21), who is old-school(I've been in and around zines for over a decade), and I totally welcome and respect older in years folk! I love it when people from all different backgrounds make and are into zines, the more diversity, the better! In Brisbane, I've brought zines at Rocking Horse records, and while there aren't that many, it might be a good place to get inspired! One of my friends is in art school in QLD and she was doing art books last time I was up there.

I also see that there are incredible differences, though, between zines that people have been taught to make and make for the purpose of being marked, and between ones which people make because they want to create. But I'd love to send you a zine that I did with the ABC's rollermache which was about encouraging creativity in youngins!

I run an australian zines email group: http://groups.google.com/group/zines-aus which you're welcome to join. I think it's mostly sydney, with some melbourne and some SA folk, but you're totally welcome to join and post and join in the discussion!!
Thanks so so much, Helen. I'll send you a message with an address. Thanks for the groups invite, too.
I wouldn't want schools to mark zines - just introduce the concept. My kids are 18 and 21 and have never seen any zines, as far as I know. A lot of zinesters want to change the world, and so they should. Me too. Schools preach literacy, but in high-school restrict creativity with words. I want kids to be freed to experiment with combining words, pictures, music ...whatever. Conceive stories as zines, wall-hangings, as a collection of scrolls, maybe written on pebbles or eggshells - without being judged. Experiment with letter-shapes which change form according to the music they're listening to. Write with letter colours, weights and sizes that reflect their intonation. Write about burning using letters in shades of red and orange that flicker, or about the sea using letters and words that ripple and crash. That's what literacy is, to me - truly entering the world of words and language and books and drama, songwriting and artistic expression of every kind. Exploring its totality, and making a response in a very personal way.
Better get my angst out in a zine soon.
Have a good weekend.
Peter :)
Christoph Meyer has a young son, and they've made a couple of really cute zines together.
Peter - what ageist bastards are you referring to who 'abhor oldies' ? As far as I'm concerned all welcome. But then I'm also the wrong side of 30 so maybe I'm offensively decrepit too...

My zines aren't really for children but one of the regular Attack!!!! contributors (namely Tor Freeman) is a professional children's illustrator, I really love featuring her stuff.
Mnay thanks, Jerianne and Wes. I've followed all those links. Your 'Attack!!!' looks great, Wes. I'll be in touch. Life's a bit crazy here and will be for the next week or two (at least).

Best wishes,

Peter :)
hi! my name is ramon, i live in rio de janeiro!
i llove ska music and weird things!
Thanks Peter. The postage does make individual copies and subscriptions quite expensive outside of the EU so if you're buying several back issues at once contact me separately and I'll see if I can get it down at all. Good luck for the next couple of crazy weeks!

Peter Taylor said:
Mnay thanks, Jerianne and Wes. I've followed all those links. Your 'Attack!!!' looks great, Wes. I'll be in touch. Life's a bit crazy here and will be for the next week or two (at least).

Best wishes,

Peter :)



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