From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 6 Up–Some of the biggest names in zine publishing have united to create a fun, informative introduction to the art form in the format of a zine itself. True to its title, it begins by defining terms: a zine is a mini-magazine or homemade comic about any topic of the creator's choice, designed for maximum creativity and expression. The authors present a history of self-publishing and a treatise on Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and William Blake as the first pre-zinesters. Other topics include ideas for zine subjects; copying, binding, and printing tips, including easy-to-understand silk-screening and gocco instruction; and even a review of staplers, all while maintaining a fresh and inspirational tone. Other useful sections are an interview with BUST magazine founder Laurie Henzel, an original zinester, and guidelines on beating writer's block and disciplining oneself to work on a zine. The book presents a convincing argument for zines over blogs as a better outlet for personal creativity. The authors include tips for a cooperative zine among friends and fellow artists, how to distribute a publication and create contacts, advice on pricing supplies, mail, and invoices. The book also includes a brief list of resources, zine libraries, and a glossary. Throughout, technical terms are deftly used and advice is dispensed in an accessible, rousing format that includes comics, drawings, and cut-and-paste zine techniques. This well-designed and entertaining resource is sure to find an audience among hip, artistic, and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.–Jane Cronkhite, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH
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Gr. 9-12. Magazine self-publishing seems a bit old-fashioned in the era of the blog, but teen DIY-ers with a subversive streak may well come away from this paean to zining fired up about a "world where the weird, absurd, and unique is appreciated." Watson and Todd, the cocreators of the YA poetry anthology The Pain Tree (2000), have sewn together entries from 21 zinesters, many in graphic-novel format, that touch upon the personal reasons they do what they do and offer practical advice on topics such as brainstorming content and marketing a finished product. Some of the book's more obsessive elements (a double-page analysis of staplers) may represent more information than newcomers want or need, and the smudged, often difficult-to-read pages--with text either handwritten or banged out on an old typewriter--is faithful to zines' low-budget trappings to a fault. But the zinesters' giddy enthusiasm is infectious, and many YAs (as well as college art students) will respond to the subculture's irrepressible indie spirit. Jennifer Mattson
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