Why You Must Make a Zine
By Nina Packebush
At one time in history women lived in tribes. We worked together, played together, cared for our children together, supported each other and loved each other. Now we are fragmented. How many women do you know that actually have a "tribe" of women that they can call upon to make soup when they are down, take the kids when they are filled with rage, or can just love and touch and talk to when they need it? We are isolated. Revolution will never happen, things will never change, if we continue to be fragmented, isolated and alone. That is where zines come in.
I make a zine and one of the best parts of that is doing zine swaps. I love to open my mailbox and find a zine that was put together by some woman somewhere. A zine put together by some woman that I don't even know, and most likely will never meet, but there is part of her right there in my mailbox. It amazes me when I hold a zine and think of some woman sitting down amid the chaos of kids and/or life and writing, drawing, photographing, cutting, gluing, stapling, folding, and mailing this little piece of her life. Every time I get a zine in the mail I connect with a woman somewhere.
I love reading about other women's lives, thoughts and ideas. I love hearing about what makes them tick, what they are passionate about and what makes them laugh. I enjoy reading online blogs, but zines are different. They are tangible.
I think every woman, everywhere, should make a zine. Seriously! Imagine if your 80-year-old grandma made a zine. Imagine if she took those old newspaper clippings, some random memories and a few photos and made a zine. Then imagine that teenage girl down the street writing down a few of her favorite song lyrics, some thoughts on life, added a few pictures from her favorite magazine or of her friends and made a zine. Now imagine your neighbor and your grandma swapping zines. Wouldn't that be cool? Wouldn't that move us one step closer to peace and the tribe of women? Wouldn't your grandma and your neighbor both learn something?
Now imagine every woman doing a zine on whatever interests her, be it poverty, music, birth, being a teen mama, motherhood, homeschooling, politics, spirituality, or just themselves. Imagine one woman documenting her battle with depression or cancer or divorce or miscarriage in a zine. You have to know that some other woman somewhere would find that a life saver.
Or imagine a woman creating a zine documenting her first year of motherhood or her senior year of high school or her struggle with coming out to her parents or dealing with her kid's ADHD. Imagine the networking that would take place! Imagine the support that would evolve.
So far I have learned something from every zine I have ever read. I have connected in some small way with every woman that has ever put pen to paper, stapled it and mailed it off to me. There are no rules with zines. They can be as long or as short as you want. They can be ¼ page pocket size or legal size folded in half. A zine can be written by just one person or many people. They can be full of photos, drawings, text, poetry, cartoons --anything! Anyone of any age can make a zine.
So think about it. Try making a little zine. Email me if you need inspiration or help.
My email is:
I am serious. I will help you. Or go to mamaphonic.com and check out the zine section. The women at mamaphonic are fabulous and will support you. Then send it to me and I will promote it and read it and love it. Even if your zine only reaches 10 women that is 10 women whose life you have touched. Do it!
Nina Packebush publishes the feminst homeschooling zine, The Edgy-catin' Mama. She loves zine swaps. She lives with her husband, three kids and collection of animals in Sultan Washington.