a place for zinesters - writers and readers
I started making zines when I was in high school and living outside Wilkes-Barre, PA. The first zine I created was called Soul Fish; I made my own t-shirts with the words inside the image of a fish, not even realizing the pretty famous band Phish had done the same thing. Whoops! My zine had a corny title, but I loved working on it. It was a 100% positive experience for me to discover this "alternative" culture whose attitudes encouraged creativity, self-expression, love of music, being clean (my particular group of friends were straight-edged), telling stories, questioning societal stigmas, and thoughtfulness. High school can be a rough time, but zine culture provided a boon of positivity. What a find!
Later, my zines included: Symmetrical Birthmark, La La Love You, Squeaky Clean, and another one whose title eludes me. I took some time off, but I'm once again making zines. To make a zine now, in consideration of the wide variety of publishing options: blogs, lit journals, chapbooks, Blurb and Lulu books, and etc, is, I think, to make an intentional choice about mode of expression, and what format best suits one's needs. I'm not suggesting zine making was a last ditch option in the 90's, but I'm curious about the lo-fi decision to publish on paper, and I'm especially curious about how electronic networking interacts with paper zine-making. Case in point: HU Queer Press!
Anyhoo, back to Alex. I created Alex as a way to explore gender ID, and what it's like to walk around in a gendered body. That zines are unprofessional seems integral to their ability to transmit a message--it's a place for exploration, a place to be daring, a place to work things out. I chose a zine over a blog because I prefer the codex format, and because I can utilize the margins. I also appreciate the ability to slow things down. You want a copy? I have to MAIL it to you. Let's not be hasty.
Here is where it lives online: www.sleepingcreatures.com/alex.html