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What are some of the ways you can tell if someone is new to the zine scene, or if they are a long-time zinester? (I ask in the spirit of good humor and silliness, not mean-spiritedness.)

My example: Old-timers put anti-alien stickers (like below) on their envelopes, because they've had dozens of them hanging around since the mid-90s and they want to be rid of them.

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Hi all!

I guess I am both. I am certainly new to this board, having only discovered its existence yesterday through a post on a Livejournal friend's blog.

But then I got to reading messages on the forum and guess what?? I recognized at least half of you people!! Even people who have changed pen names or zines, I know who you are, and chances are that if you arent entirely new to zines, we have exchanged zines or mail in the past 10 years.

You could also say that I am a real old-timer, because I did my first zine at age 8. It was basically just 8 or 10 pages of comix, random babbling and DIY crossword puzzles (that I made yes! yes!) that I copied for free at an uncle's office and distributed for free in the mailboxes in my neighbourhood. I also had a "paper recycling" project then -That was BEFORE blue or green recycling bins were in every house; this service did not exist in my city so I went door to door with 2 friends and we would collect newspapers and empty pasta and laundry boxes from people, load up my dad's car full of paper, and go dump that at the VIA paper recycling plant in Lévis...- and the "zine" (which I then called a "newspaper") was a great way to promote it and people really participated! We did this on Sundays and some weeks the whole trunk (of a big Buick!) was full!!!

There were several issues and then I when on a hiatus as my mom died and I went through a very rough childhood and adolescence.

The first ever zine from someone else than me that I ever came in contact with, was a music fanzine called "Succumbing To A Higher Power" about then-superstars of alt-rock canadian band MOIST. That was in 1997, in Edmonton. The zine was made by a girl named Erin and I wrote her a few years before losing touch. I was fascinated by the idea, and me who had already done a zine before, and was writing all the time (I wrote my first "novel" also at the age of 8, and have been writing ever since), I knew I just HAD to make a MOIST fanzine. (I had been a fan since 1994 and became a full-fledged groupie by 1996, following them all over Canada by bus, plane or train, and meeting with the bands 21 times, backstage or otherwise)

I was aware, though, that I wanted to speak about other stuff than just the band MOIST. So I did not call it after them. It was called "Ingleside News", as "Ingleside" is the name I gave my childhood house (yes, an in Anne of Green Gables's house too... I saw the name in the books and thought it fitting). This must be out of the only zines I history to actually have changed not only name, topic, but LANGUAGE through the years. Yes, the eternal dilemma of non-english-first-language-speakers... to write in english or in my mother tongue? To reach a larger audience or stay close to home? I started out in english, since everyone I saw at the show spoke english and the band did too. My first language is french, but I spoke english at 4 years old and I was fluent by adolescence.

After a few issues, and time passing by, the zine was less and less about the band MOIST and included more and more opinions and personal pieces in it. It then changed from being a fanzine, to a perzine. Issues #1 to 5 where all published in 1998, every two months from April to December. Then I had to work a full-time job while going to College and I went on a hiatus as I lost interest in the band and pretty much did not know what to write about anymore.

I did miss 'zining though. In 1999, I decided to pay out "Ingleside News" #6, but I did so in FRENCH. Issues 6 to 10 were EN FRANÇAIS, published from 1999 to 2002.

For Issue #11, I moved to Vancouver (I had lived there in 1997-98) with my cat Malenikiy -on the train, 5 day trip!- and found myself surrounded by english again and speaking it every day. I had a very limited audience for my french zines, which I most gave to friends except the occasional person from France or Quebec to see an ad of mine on the 'net or in Broken Pencil or Xerox Debt. I decided to go back to english but I did not want to give up the french. SO. For issues #11 to #15, the zine was published in BOTH LANGUAGES. I dont mean by that that it was a bilingual zine, with two languages in the same issue; I mean that I did the issue in french, and then, I TRANSLATED THE WHOLE THING. Since my zines are VERY TEXT HEAVY, 40 pages at font 8 or something, you can imagine how much WORK that was!! But it was useful because the english edition made my zine available to a lot of new people!

For issue #12, I moved back to Québec with my cat Malenikiy :) Issue #13, published in 2003, maked the 5th anniversary of the zine. It had a color centerfold with all the covers of the past issues and excerpts from the best articles in each one. Issues #14 and #15 got even more in the perzine vein, becoming less general, more organic and intimate.

Issue #16 was never published in english. Unfortunately, in April 2004, my cat Malenikiy -which was always by my side- died accidentally. I was flabbergasted. You might not understand it, but I literally wondered how I would keep living, if I was going to be able to smile again one day, etc. It was like a bomb. Devastating.

Finally, the only way I found to deal with my enormous loss, incomprehension, sadness,and grief, was... to make a zine about it. I write my diary everyday since I'm 15, so I decided to publish the issues from that dreadful day and from the 2 following months, until one day that I sorta started to feel better (though it too me 2 years and a half to completely get over it and be able to adopt another cat... his name is Aimé and he's awesome, just turned 3 years old!). The zine was in french, language in which I write my diary, and 180 pages long. It contained pages from Malenikiy's sterilization operation, which I had chronicled in #12, and a bit about the other cats I had known in my life. The issue is bound with a black silk ribbon and very, very thick.

Because it is a painful subject and 180 pages of it, I decided I would not delve into this again and re-awaken my pain by translating the whole thing. It took me over a year to complete and I worked on it almost every day in 2004-2005. I published it right after the first year anniversary of Malenikiy's death. I have given copies to friends who helped me then, and some people I knew who lost a pet or that I knew they would appreciate it. I have received tremendous support when my cat died. Lots of people in the zine community send me thoughts and words, because my cat was a big part of every issue of the zine. No surprising I have one called "Girl w/Cat" now!!

The name had been changed to "Orange & Blue" starting Issue #14, when it got more perzine-y, because I felt "Ingleside" was kinda cold and "News" did not reflect what the zine was about anymore. It was a perzine. I then had a thing for the color Orange and its complement, Blue, so I found it fitting. Issues #14 and #15 were english only with some french mixed in. (No translation)

After this, I felt I had to start the zine anew out of respect for Malenikiy. It felt sacrilege to keep the same name as if nothing had happened, so "Orange & Blue" was over.

In the fall of 2005, I put out "The Happy Loner" #1. I had been categorized as a "loner" in a negative way for a long time, and was disagreably annoyed by it. I LIKE doing things alone. I like having me time. Yes I go out alone. To movies, to have a drink, to the restaurant. I am not going to stay home and not do anything just because there are no friends available!! I have always been independent, going on cross-country travels by myself at age 17, to places I had never been where I did not know one soul. I have never understood this belief that seems firmly rooted in people that if you are alone, there must be something wrong with you, or you must be unhappy and sad, or something. When people in a group see a lonely person in a room, they act as if that person was disadvantaged, they ask you "are you alone?" as if asking "are you sick?". It gets on my nerves A LOT. So I put out this zine in celebration of Loner-ness. And it was a huge success!! This one was english only, as I was tired of the impossible traduction job. Again, each issue is about 40 pages so....

The last HL I put out was #3, in fall 2006. I also but out 2 one-shots, "Meetings" (about how I met 3 friends) and "I Used to be a MOIST Girl" (about my 3-week train trip across Canada following the band in January 1997, 76 pages). Because I hadnt translated O&B #16, I had no english piece about the passing of Malenikiy. But I wanted to share it with people, especially those who had expressed support to me. So I made a shorter, 40 page version about it not with diary entries but rather writing new texts about my grieving process. I was nearing its end and almost ready to get a new kitten, but I still felt pangs of guilt whenever I saw or touched another cat. I expressed this in the zine, in the model of an oratorio (funeral prayer), with chapter titles such as : Dies Irae, Lacrimosa, Requiem, Libera Me... I am very proud of that zine. I meant to publish #2 before getting a kitten and about getting a kitten, and then to continue with more issues, but I havent had time yet - I still want to do it though!! My cat is a big part of my list as in, my cat takes the bus, walks on a leash and comes to friend's houses and even the movies with me!! So he's more than just a furball on the couch. Hopefully, I can find time to do that in 2010.

In 2006, I decided to be a bit more local by creating another zine, in french this time, about local events, music, movies, society. I called it "Arcane" and put out Issue #1 in the spring of 2006. Issue #2 came out in winter 2007, Issue #3 summer 2008, and I'm working on issue #4 right now. I am hoping to become a member of an artists' collective in town where I could have access to copy machines for much less than a copy shop charges, thus I could make more copies and, ideally, put out 4 issues a year, and have a color cover. I will know in the coming weeks if they accepted my request. I've been busy surviving.

From April 2005 to 2007, I had a relationship with an alcoholic man. There was love, but it became abusive. It took its toll, I left him, and afterwards I went through a major depression and had to take meds and couldnt work much, so I didnt have the enrgy or money to put out zines. I feel like I've been out of the loop for a while so it feels so great to come back and find out that so many of you are STILL THERE! And to discover great new zinesters aswell!! I'm looking for a job and rest assured that I am so looking forward to trading zines with you all!! I miss zines! I wasnt able to trade or buy some much lately so I come back here and there are tons I'd like to read. So when I get a job and money again, I'll order a big bunch!! So yeah in the past years, I have put out a few zines, but irregularly and not as often as I wished. I did not publis any zine in 2009 yet. But I dont plan in letting a year pass without zining!

I am currently working on Issue #4 of "Arcane", to be published for December 19 for a zine and crafts fest here in town.

I'm sorry this has turned into such a LONG post, but since I just came back after all these years, I wanted to make an "introductory" post of some sort, and this topic just happened to make me write it, I'm sorry if I went a bit off topic here! I'll look on the board if there indeed is an "Introductory Post" thread....

But that's it! I'll be turning 33 in january, so I have been maing zines for close to 25 years. And I'm not about to stop!

Oh yeah- you may not recognize my moniker *Iza Straightshooter* - which I started using in 2005 when putting out The Happy Loner. It,s a nickname that friends gave me because apparently if my words were bullets they would all be dead. I am very straightforward, and consider this a quality, not a flaw. I'm very proud of how I've become because I wasnt always like this and I had to work very hard to build my temper, because I was fucked up when I was younger and I had to "unprogram myself", "unbrainwash myself" and ask myself what was important to me and what did I believe in, etc. You probably knew me under my birth name of Isabelle Bourret. I changed the Isa to Iza because the sharp Z is a lot more me than the wiggly, weak S. I wanted my name to represent me, it's very important.

So that's it! I will stop babbling away :)
I,m real glad to be back in the scene!!!!
That is so true.... I almost always type 'yr' instead of 'your'.... it has been a hard habit to break!

NicoleIntrovert said:
Dear god... i haven't seen one of those stickers in ages but i had so many of them! - Just had to add. I will have to think of some zine quirks from yesteryear.

The one i can think of is that some of us who spawned from Riot Grrrl still use "yr" instead of "your". I got out of the habit only a couple years ago, but i notice some seasoned old school zinesters still do it.

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