Clickable Heading MYRIAD

Vol 1 of My Zine

So I’m in college, and I’m currently taking this class called “Feminist Practices”. It’s been pretty cool. Anyway, my midterm was to create a lil mini zine online.

I’ve always thought that zines were so interesting. If you don’t know what they are, they’re basically little pamphlets or magazines that started gaining popularity during the third wave of feminism, around the 90’s. They were made in small batches, always independently published, and usually distributed amongst friends in the feminist movement. People would pass them along when they were done reading them, after finding them at basement shows or campus women’s bathrooms. They exploded in the 90s punk music scene . Originating in Olympia, Washington, The Riot Grrrl movement was one of the greatest explosions in the history of zine cultures. It was centered around bands like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and Heavens to Betsy, and zines like Jigsaw or Girl Germs. It started centered around sexism in male-dominated punk scenes and reclaiming femininity that could be at the same time girly and rebellious. The movement called “for the creation of female community, interrupting mainstream gender norms, identifying intersectional identities and moving seamlessly between tongue-in-cheek irony and hope” (Piepmeier in Girl Zines). 

Netflix actually came out with the movie Moxie (2021) about a girl in high school who creates a feminist zine if you feel like watching it. In my opinion, it’s kinda bad, kinda good, but pretty cute.

The guidelines for the midterm were pretty loose, so I kinda took an idea and ran with it. I was really into the whole process and ended up going way above and beyond the assignment. I created something I’m pretty proud of in the process.

One bit of reading I did that really influenced my zine was the book “Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism” by Alison Piepmeier. I was struck by the breadth of topics people covered in their zines. I knew I wanted to write about beauty for mine, but that topic is so broad. There’s so much to say about it and so many ways to approach it. I decided to, instead of honing in on one single topic or viewpoint, try to include lots of smaller bits to consider. I talk a little bit about social media, a little about money and capitalism, a little bit about the ‘ideal’ of whiteness, and more. I didn’t dive super deep into one thing, just tried to cover a lot of ground. I also pulled inspiration from the images of zines from the 90’s that were included. There was in particular a page from Evolution of a Race Riot by Mimi Nguyen that I loved, and used the design and the tone of her voice as inspiration for my own zine. I also took some inspo from the Riot Grrrl Manifesto by Bikini Kill. I’ve always loved it, and it was the general vibe I was going for.

I only needed to create an online zine for my midterm, but I really (at the cost of my sanity) wanted to commit. Though zines are still being made today in a more modern sense, I was too inspired by the og zines from the punk rock 90s and really wanted to stick to that vibe. (Also despite my two years of taking computer graphics classes in high school, I’m ass with graphics on computers). I decided to do it all physically by hand, and also to do the whole thing black and white to keep with the photocopied vibe. So I drove to Walgreens at 10pm and bought glue sticks for the first time since grade school, and ended up cutting and arranging and drawing and gluing until literally 4am. That being said, I kinda love the way it turned out.

Anyways, here it is. It’s far from perfect, but creating something is always a pretty cool feeling.