Friday, December 18, 2020

Zining 101: A Questionable Top 5 List of Tips

 I’ve been creating zines for 30 years, give or take. I’ve done lit-zines, mini-comics, micro-comics, micro-pulps, ashcans, chapbooks, and gaming zines. We can even count ‘zining in an APA, notably the Robert E. Howard United Press Association (or, “REHupa,” if you will). That’s a lot of self-expression, even for someone like me.

A zine page from Tales of the 
Elvis Clones. Warts and all.

When I got started, computers were a thing, but not ubiquitous. For me and my friends, making comics in central Texas, everything was still done with Bristol board, pencil, and India ink. We did paste-up with Xeroxes and glue sticks. I learned to letter comics with an Ames lettering guide. We used proportion wheels to calculate how much to reduce artwork for printing. All things that take microseconds to do in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and InDesign. It was a different world.

But only in terms of production. Today’s all-digital marketplace means that there are no limits to how a project can look; indeed, there are ‘zines being produced now that have production values equal to or greater than a number of game publishers and small press outfits.

Ah…but what if you can’t pull that off? What if you have zero design sense? What if you have little (or no) budget for stuff like art? Buck up, little camper. That shit didn’t stop me (or anyone else) from making cool stuff back in the day, and it shouldn’t stop you, either. I can’t solve every problem, but I do have some general advice that you may be useful to you.

And just for grins I'm including several pages from my early zining days, to better illustrate that anyone can do this. 

Zinequest 3 is upon us! Here Are Some Recommendations!

 Hey, Y'all, I know you're already aware of #Zinequest3 because I've been talking about it non-stop for a few weeks now. Well, G...