Zine Review: Real Life: A Magical Guide to Getting Off the Internet

Real Life: A Magical Guide to Getting Off the Internet
Maranda Elizabeth & Dave Cave

Real Life is a ¼ sized black and white zine about taking a look at how much you use the internet and how to step away when you’re using it too much.

“Take a deep lung-cleansing breath and take full ownership of your habit.” – Dave Cave

I really love when I read a zine at the right time in my life. This one comes with very good timing as I’ve grown unhappy with my recent habit of checking emails and such before I even get out of bed in the morning.

Real Life opens with introductions from Maranda and Dave, followed by a piece called ‘What Would You Rather Be Doing?’ that really sets the tone for this zine.

The thing that really struck me from the get go in Real Life was the levels of self-awareness and self-examination in this zine. They both look at the internet as it is: a multifaceted thing that gives us many things on many different levels. Coping, validation, both positive and negative impacts on mental health, and more.

I appreciated that Maranda and Dave, while definitely leaning away from internet usage, still accept its role in our lives in a modern world. It’s not a ‘burn your computers’ condemnation of the internet as a whole but rather a deep examination of what the internet gives us to get us to the point where we know we’d rather be doing something else but yet still don’t close down our computers.

Dave’s tips for breaking internet habits (especially lovely for the list-makers of the world) and Maranda’s ‘Try This’ suggestions are a bit intimidating to me to actually try. However, that just says that I am spending too much time online. Along with many, many questions with which you can examine your own reasons for using the internet and how much you use it, this zine could be a spectacular starting point if you want to check in with yourself regarding why and how much you use the internet.

I highly recommend this zine – even if you haven’t been questioning your internet usage. It can be good to examine that which we take for granted.


Zine Review: Coffee & People 1 & 2

Coffee & People 1 & 2
Craig Atkinson

Coffee & People 1 and 2 are black and white one-page-folded perzines with short life stories on cafes, coffee, people, and skateboarding.

I couldn’t tell you exactly what makes a title good or bad to me, but I really like the title of this zine series. It’s simple, nice, and definitely captures a ‘writerly’ vibe.

The first zine opens with setting the scene of sitting at the local cafe on a humid day. Craig, of course, writes it much more beautifully. He then takes us from a cafe in Japan to a cafe in London and a tale from days spent there. The second zine opens with a late night writing session and reflecting on how skateboarding remained a life constant in a young life that involved a lot of moving house and change.

I had to smile when I was reading these zines because I had just started thinking that Craig had a flair for writing when he mentioned in the zine that he is a writer. I’d love to read more of his descriptive writing.

There’s a special place in my zine-loving heart for short, slice of life stories. They encompass the little moments, the little things that so often have big, lingering impacts on who we are and how we think. I don’t always identify with things – the only thing I could do with a skateboard is hurt myself – but I liked reading about what it meant to Craig.

I quite liked these zines and am looking forward to reading more of Craig’s writing.

Your Zine Is Awesome – Stop the Negative Self-Talk (Repost)

I posted this one a year and some back, but I think it bears repeating.

Yep, your zine is awesome.

I know, I haven’t seen it, but I know it’s awesome. It’s not finished? That’s okay! You started, and that’s amazing. You haven’t started yet? That’s okay! You have a creative idea and/or urge. That in and of itself is wonderful.

Sticky Institute

I’ve said it plenty of times, and I’ll say it again: One of the beautiful things about zines is that they come in so many shapes and sizes, topics and types of materials, colours and cuts. The diversity is amazing, and I continue to be impressed by all the amazing things people think of and create.

Because of this, I feel sad when a creator calls their work ‘shit’ or says their zine isn’t very good. Especially when it’s in comparison to another zine.


Comparison in the zine world (and plenty of other things) is comparison that doesn’t need to happen – and definitely shouldn’t happen if you’re using it to be negative about what you create. Half-fold is no better or worse than a one-page mini. Stapling is no better or worse than sewing.

The only thing a zine needs to be true to is itself. Beer and Longing is gorgeous with its Japanese binding because it tied into the overall Japanese aesthetic and theme.

But that sort of binding, as beautiful as it is, would have been a bit strange on Instructions for surviving the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: In rhyming couplets because the beauty of that zine lies in its utterly appropriate simplicity.

And if absolutely nothing in your zine relates to the next bit because that’s the way you like it, that’s great, too.


I’m not here to be all fluffy lala about this. I struggle a lot with the concept that neither art nor human can be universally loved.

But I am here to tell you that whether someone likes your zine or not is a matter of opinion, not a matter of fact. Opinion is fluid and flexible – and heavily influenced by the world around us.


What I’m trying to say here is, in part, selfish. I have this strange affection for looking at the creations other people come up with. I want to know what people bring into the world when given the space and freedom to do so.

The last thing I ever want to see, hear, or read is anyone being negative about their own work, because negativity stops creativity. I don’t ever want to hear people talking about what they ‘should’ do with their work rather than what they want to do.

So Many Zines

Sure, who am I to say ‘I don’t want to see this’? No one other than a person who wants to see you create whatever you want to create regardless of what anyone else is creating.

Pursue your bliss.

After The Postbox: A Short Video Featuring #RealTioga

Hello zine friends! I don’t have any mail to share with you this week, so I thought I would make a short video with some old clips I had.

Just in case you were ever curious about what happens to your zines after they arrive in my post box. 😉



You Can Find Me At:

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Want to listen to the podcast? Find me at: https://shows.pippa.io/thezinecollector

Also on:
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My PO Box:

Jaime Nyx
PO Box 378
Murray Bridge, SA 5253

Call for Submissions: Plump the Post

Plump the Post! is a mail art project centering and celebrating fat queer and trans folks–and submissions are now wide
open! Please send plush postcards, packages, enveloped things, curiosities, and all other miscellany that can be mailed.

Plump the Post! welcomes drawings, photographs, scrawls, sketches, typographic art, scribbles, fiber art, self-portraits, collages, mixed media, sculpture, comics, abstract art, and any other mailed creation that reflects queer and trans fat liberation, however obliquely. Identifying as an artist is not required, being a “good” artist is not necessary, not one bit.

Submissions will be photographed and shared (with permission, attribution, and obscured addresses) via a social media gallery. In Fall 2018 participating mail artists will receive a zine anthology (physical copy) featuring all contributions.

Deadline: September 19, 2018

Email plumpthepost@gmail.com to get the address for mailing your work or to ask any questions. Please submit, please spread the word, and please plump the post!

This project was funded in part by a grant from
NOLOSE (www.nolose.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

[Image: Background is a colorful array of stamps, papers, pens on a tablecloth with astrological symbols. Illustration of a lilac envelope exploding with pink hearts in the lower right-hand corner. White foreground reads, “Fat Queer & Trans Mail Art/Plump the Post!/plumpthepost@gmail.com.” A constellation of decorative dots on the foreground and background.]