Call for Submissions: Umbrella 2 (PCOS Zine)

Call for zine submissions! Comics, essays, memoir-esque pieces, etc welcome with the newest zine about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome


Zine Review: Thoughts of a Queer Marshmallow #3

Thoughts of a Queer Marshmallow #3
Queer Marshmallow
Queer Marshmallow

Thoughts of a Queer Marshmallow is a quarter-sized full-colour perzine about processing thoughts on past relationships (both with self and with others) and changing from those childhood dysfunctional behaviours.

Aesthetically, Thoughts of a Queer Marshmallow is a pretty chunky, text-heavy zine. I like how QM used different washi tapes on the bottom of most pages as well as to separate sections. It made the ‘heaviness’ of the text a little lighter – especially because it’s printed in colour.

This zine isn’t a zine to be taken on or read lightly. There is a lot contained within about about abusive relationships – familial and romantic – nightmares, and self harm. I found myself remembering a lot about the abuse I dealt with in my childhood thanks to a number of things that I had in common with QM.

I did admire how QM’s self reflection included the ability to be honest about their own past toxic/bad behaviours and how that impacted others. It’s all too easy to sugarcoat one’s own role in things, but QM doesn’t. It’s all right in there with everything else.

There were a couple things that were confusing for me in this zine. One was a sudden change of tone at the end that felt aggressive and without warning. I was most of the way down the page before I realised that it was a letter to someone.

The other thing I make note of because I think it’s a good point for zinemakers: With acronyms, spell it out at least once before using it full time. Even if you think people know that CW is ‘content warning’ (I figured that out), you can never be sure who your reader is. I had never for the life of me heard QPP before and had to stop reading to look it up. (Queer Platonic Partner) And if your reader has to look it up, you can’t guarantee they’ll find YOUR meaning for the acronym.

Thoughts of a Queer Marshmallow 3 is a relaxed pace zine filled with the inner thoughts of someone processing the ramifications of abuse. If you can take the prodding to your own history, then this zine could be a good example of starting the path of healing.

Zine Review: Intimacies Volume 1

Intimacies Volume 1
Dara Idris

Intimacies Volume 1 is a black and white half-fold zine about a personal journey with physical intimacy, sex, and expectations told through a collection of short essays.

By and large, I experience zines within the realms of zines that tell me things and zines that share things with me. It’s a delicate distinction and one that may only make sense to me (and I love both types). The difference is telling zines come across as ‘this is an experience, and this is what I take from it’ whereas sharing zines run more along the lines of ‘this is an experience – make what you will of it’.

With the exception of the introduction, Intimacies Volume 1 is a zine that shared experiences.

Over the course of various short pieces, Dara shares experiences from the view of someone who desires things like physical intimacy but questions those desires and the timeline in which to have them imposed by the world and society. Through these experiences you get a picture of what it’s like from the view of someone who explores everything from sex fantasies to the gravity of one’s first kiss – all with the same thought and respect.

Aesthetically, this is a text-heavy zine, with essays broken up by quotes in larger fonts and ‘new section’ tables of contents. I feel like this is a zine you need to sit down and devote your full attention to.

The writing can get a bit confusing as people are named as letters, and the only people who seem to be consistent are Dara and ‘you’. I did get confused in the first piece as to who was speaking with whom and who Dara really was in the context of that piece.

The ‘background’ details got confusing for me at other times, too, but at those points I was so engaged on the thoughts about sex and intimacy being written about that it didn’t stop me.

This zine also had single lines that really stuck out to me:

‘And who knows what I want, except me?’
‘…we were taught to take care of so much, not least our bodies which were never, ever ours.’

Though the first line in the copyright note on the back was more about the laugh it gave me:

‘Don’t be a dick is a good rule, isn’t it!’

By and large, the writing is incredibly vulnerable and open about such intimate things like sexual fantasy and self-pleasure that it gives the zine as a whole its own kind of beauty. It’s a zine of exploring thoughts but not presenting you with conclusions.

If you think that sounds like the zine for you, then check out Intimacies Volume 1.

#ZineWriMo Day 16: Write/Draw With Something New

Hello, zine friends, and welcome to the second half of the month! For today’s activity we have…

Try Something New: Write/Draw with Something New

Of course, by new, I mean new-to-you. If you’ve never painted with water colours or never written with a fountain pen. Pastels, paints, gel pens, watercolour pencils, so on and so forth.

On the bigger scale of things, it’s about getting you a safe step outside of your comfort zone to enjoy having a to at something new.

Now this is the embarrassing part where I tell you what I intended to do and why I didn’t… 😦

I have used watercolours before (in school art class when I was about seven), but what I wanted to do is get one of these cool pallet things and a water brush pen (I’ve definitely never used one of those) to have a go at some writing and some painting.

Don’t they look cool?

So that was my intention for today… but then the combination of time, money, shipping times, my foggy memory, so on and so forth. Yeah. All the excuses.

I am sorry. I’ve played with all of the various art supplies I do have, so it wouldn’t be new. I do hope you had a chance to try out something new today or, at least, have some fun zine time.

If you did, let me know in the comments.

#ZineWriMo Day 14 – Create a Zinemaker Travel Kit

Hello, zine friends. It’s day 14 of ZineWriMo, and that means it’s time to…

Create a Zinemaker Travel Kit

How you choose to interpret this is, of course, up to you. You may want to make a small kit for a friend or load up a full project bag so you can zine while you’re out on an adventure.

Me? I went with ‘day trip’. Haha.

This is a present from last year that proved incredibly valuable during the house move. I had everything from a box cutter to medicine scripts in this thing, and it was great to have it all in one spot. It comes with two zippered pockets.

This is the first compartment. This is meant to be for organising cables and such, but it’s perfect for my various pens and pencils. The little net zippered pocket holds my two-sided tape, super glue, ruler, and – because I forgot to take it out after I de-moving-bagged it – a lighter.

The second pocket doesn’t hold much at the moment – mostly because I’m not going out a lot. A full sized pair of scissors fits in here perfectly. At the moment, I keep spare paper for notes, mini-zine blanks, and my A5 clipboard.

If I didn’t have this, I would very likely have stuck with my old method of travel creation – a big pencil bag with whatever supplies fit and mini-zine blanks.

Do you have a travel bag for creating on the go? Tell me about it in the comments. 🙂

#ZineWriMo Day 13 – Make Something for YOU

Hello, zine friends, and welcome to day 13 of ZineWriMo. November is already flying by for me. Maybe that’s just the way of things come this time of year.

The idea behind today’s to-do came from a quote I read ages ago. It’s been too long to get it exactly right, but it came down to the idea that you need to make things that are for your own pleasure and enjoyment. If you keep making things solely for others, you may lose that spark that gives you joy in creating.

I didn’t have the energy to create anything as such today, unfortunately. Instead of gifting myself creating something for me, I gifted myself with a day to relax a bit.

Dreadfully boring, I’m afraid.

How about you? Did you make anything for you today? Do something else nice for yourself? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Mail Monday – Glorious Pins Edition

It’s Happy Mail Monday, and oh what a happy Monday it is! So much fun mail. 🙂

Pins, glorious pins from Sober Bob! We made a trade, but Bob had to wait for the pins to come in. Obviously, they’ve arrived! I’m so excited. I’ve had eyes for the ‘prepared for nothing’ pin since I first saw it.

Yay for trades, and yay (and thank you) for Sober Bob!

Issues 3 and 4 of Lost Projects Zine came as a complete surprise – and came with a sticker and pin!

If you’re not familiar, Lost Projects zine is:

This zine is about those lost things, that snarl at you across time and space… the ones that you don’t or won’t let go… those that skew memories and alter self-image and friendliness sharing…

I love the whole concept of this zine, and I am absolutely thrilled they thought to send me copies of their zine. I’m eager to dig in – and to submit work to future issues!

Thank you, Lost Projects!

Latibule Art got in contact with me after reading Don’t Call Me Cupcake 1. We ended up sorting out a big ol’ zine trade (lifeblood of the zine community!), and Latibule included some extras as well!

Check out those art skills! Colour me envious. 🙂

Check out that pin! And what a lovely message on it, too.

Thank you, Latibule Art (not sure it’s okay to share the legal name, so playing it safe)!

This is a zine from across the big oceans blue from @Cavedweller71. It seems to be a very personal zine, so I’m playing it safe and keeping most of it covered. I apologise if that riles anybody. I want to share all my mail no matter what, so there we go.

Anyway, thank you to Andrew (aka cavedweller) for sending your zine and such a lovely note to go along with it. 🙂

What a wonderful week for me and my post box. I am always stunned and grateful for the generosity of everyone who sends me zines and other goodies. ^_^

That’s me for the moment. I’ll be back soon with ZineWriMo day 13.