Welcome to the Olympia Zine Library

(Scroll down for newest posts)

Send your zines (individual copies for the stacks or your whole collection!) to:
Olympia Zine Library
211 E. 4th Ave
Olympia WA 98501

If you are seeking publication of a book or zine, please contact us at lastwordpress@gmail.com


An Interview with Mark Frauenfelder & Clara Sinclair - bOING bOING

Raw Material

Mark Frauenfelder & Carla Sinclair, bOING bOING

Ages: Mark, 36; Carla, ??
Selections: "I'll Say Anything," by David Pescovitz (page 97); "Emergency Personal Broadcast TV," by Bill Barker (page 147)
Recent review (from MMM): "I love this zine! I love the noise it makes in my head, the way it looks, the articles, the attitude, the design, but mainly the way that you can say the name over and over again and not get bored."
Sample: $5 from 11288 Ventura Blvd., #818, Studio City, CA 91604 (checks: Mark Frauenfelder)

When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?Mark: We launched bOING bOING in 1988. I was a mechanical engineer designed one of about 100 parts. It took months and months to design and test your assigned part. All the engineers knew each other by what parts they were designing. I was the motor guy. The engineer next to me was the flex lead guy. On Fridays we'd go to lunch with the actuator guy and the spacer ring guy and talk about sports and imported cars. I hate sports and I hate cars built after 1960, so even the meals were unsatisfying. I needed some kind of creative outlet, so Carla and I decided to start a zine. We decided to explore the coolest, wackiest stuff we could think of, and came up with the name bOING bOING. Bouncing through our crazy world.
Why publish a zine?Mark: I love zines because one person can be responsible for all 100 parts. There's no money in it, but it can lead to paying gigs if you're good.
boing boingCarla: We publish to get "for review" freebies like records and books in the mail. Also, if you're a publisher you don't have to kowtow to anyone. You never have to query. You can say what you want, and talk about stuff the mainstream publications avoid either out of fear or ignorance.
Have you ever published any other zines?Mark: Before we started bOING bOING, I did two issues of a mini-comic called Toilet Devil. I read an article about a gorilla they trained to use sign language. Whenever the gorilla was mad at one of the humans, she'd call them a toilet devil.
Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?Mark: Keep it small and you'll have more fun. Newsstand distribution is a drag. The freight is expensive, the sell-through rates are low, it is a chore doing the accounting, and distributors are famous for going out of business before they pay you. You'll probably lose money if you try it. Also, don't start a music zine. There are already ten thousand music zines out there. Nobody cares what you think about music anyway.
bOINGmanCarla: Don't get all caught up in mass-circulation and big-time advertisers. Of course if you're creating a magazine you have to play the game, but we're talking zines here. Our goal used to be to make bOING bOING slick and popular, but to do that we had to deal with tightwad distributors and write about stuff we weren't interested in to attract ads. It took all the zest out of zinemaking. It became more business than pleasure, and I was pulling out my hair. Now our goal is to just to have fun. As long as it keeps on giving me pleasure to create it, I'm in. We've cut WAY back on distribution (it's basically subscription-only now) and we throw away requests from advertisers. We went from a circulation of 100 up to 17,000, and then back down to several thousand. I guess we've come full circle.
What's your favorite part of doing a zine?Mark: Reading a great story submission and designing the zine.
Carla: Opening a box that's just come from the printers to see how the new issue looks.
In my other life, I'm an:Mark: freelance writer and illustrator. The stuff no one will pay me for goes into bOING bOING. And it's always the best stuff, natch.
Carla: writer and author. My books are Happy Mutant Handbook, Net Chick and my novel Signal to Noise.

Mark & Carla
David Pescovitz


Awesome places to buy zines on the internet

www.lastearthdistro.net - an impressive collection of underground, not-often-seen titles with an emphasis on how-to and clandestine information, along with radical politics

www.earthlightbooks.com - leftist politics, vintage pamphlets and western americana

www.lastwordbooks.org - a growing collection of titles being reprinted by Last Word Press, along with some other random stuff

www.akpress.org - Radical politics and anarchism

www.microcosmpubishing.com - Radical hipster-ish how-to, bike culture and sustainable city-living

www.buyolympia.com - Pacific Northwest/Olympia-ish zine titles and artists


The Book of Zines: Readings from the Fringe

A nice collection of zine related resources. Order copies from Olympia's radical independent bookstore Last Word Books (they house the Olympia 'Zine Library), or with Earthlight Books, an independent bookstore in Eastern, Washington.

The Book of Zines

Zine Archives
Back issues online....
Zine Libraries
Donate your collection...
How-to, distribution....
Makin' fun....
Legal Issues
Copyright, advice...
Usenet, web groups....
How-to, distributors....
Buy Zines
Online catalogs....
Zine Reviews
Sites that review zines....
Zine Help
Advice for print zines....
E-Zine Help
Tips and tricks online....
Zine Books
Anthologies and how-to....
Zine editors speak....
Two sides to every....
What's a Zine?
Good question.....
Book of Zines
Updates, excerpts....
Zine History
The wayback machine....
What editors read....
Conventions, potlucks....
E-zine links and zine info...
Articles & Essays
A little bit of everything....


Zines Matter (Still), an article from Bang Back: Print is Dead. Long Live Print!

Zines Matter (Still)

Make a zine in 2010.
Make a zine in 2010. It has been about 13 years since the zine scene was really “happening” nationwide, but the current artistic, cultural, and aesthetic landscape seems to be all about nostalgia and irony.
As a mode of participating in 2010, consider seeking out a typewriter, gluestick, sharpies, and a clip art book, putting on some floral-print Doc Martens and ripping a hole in the knee of your jeans, and then launch into making a zine.
“But now blogs are where I share and absorb knowledge,” you might be thinking. “My MacBook Pro doesn’t really go with my Floral Print Doc Martens.”
If you already write a blog but are interested in doing something different with your writing or your image-compiling abilities, consider making a cheaply producible, zine-style book anthology with visual art to compliment your writing. Or, conversely, if you make a photo blog, get a friend to write pieces to compliment your images. Bring it all to a different audience through turning it into a book.
If you spend a lot more of your time reading blogs than reading books, consider spending some time in the middle ground: zines!
The most direct way to becoming a zine appreciator– or “zinester”– is to make a zine yourself.
A simple, 5 step guide to swift zine making.

1. Ponder, then arrive at content.

Zines can be about anything, so a good way to find something interesting to write about is thinking such things as…
“What things do I know that hardly anybody else does? … “And would the world benefit from my sharing this knowledge?”
“What is is about modern writing and visual art that I don’t connect with? How do I already deal with that? How could I deal with that differently? Should I make something that I definitely would connect with, in order that a likeminded person might find and appreciate what I make?”
“Are there stories I always tell people around me, because they are just sooo entertaining and exciting that they demand repetition? Maybe I should write those down and even illustrate them!”
“Are there secrets I need to let out, but don’t know who to tell them to? Maybe I could publish them anonymously…”
“Am I frustrated that people seem like they would rather connect via profile pics and lists of favorite TV shows than by either conversing in person, by writing real letters, or by trading art directly or through the mail? Maybe its time to take a step back from the internet.”
Answers to these kinds of questions and conclusions to these kinds of thoughts can come to you through the process of making a zine!

2. Write things.

With a note book or your computer or scrap paper, just scroll down whatever starts to come out. Fiction, autobiography, biography, essays, poetry, incomprehensible stream of conciousness gobeldigook… Zines can run the whole gambit.  So just start and when you end up with plenty, edit down to the best “raw” material. Then edit that best material to make it consumable and comprehensive (or at least resemble digestable reading matter).

The typewriter battle station

3. Decide how you want it to look, then try to make it fit your vision.

Start by making a master copy, either analog or digital. Fold some pages into a booklet shape or create in InDesign document. Get it to “big white canvas” status.
Ponder what makes an amazing book in your estimation. Set your standards really high, but be okay with making a simplified version of your dream zine. Spend a moment thinking about readability and pacing.  Make some basic decisions like “every time there is new section, I’ll use this typeface and this border.”
Make your cover. Make early decisions about what paper it will be on, what information will be displayed, what image you’ll use.  If your cover is finished and looks incredible before you fill it with content, you have something to live up to, a natural precedent for quality.

4. Assemble and place images.

First thing, look around your dwelling for interesting images – find books, newspapers, photos, magazines, record covers, food packaging – you will now start building a collection of good clip art. Photocopy or scan everything interesting that you can find. Make drawings or prints of these images.
Legend has it that “copy of a copy = awful,” but often in zine-making this process is what cleans up the design and makes images more striking. Paste lines disappear, shading becomes more muted, and absolute blacks pop. Copy your black and white images, reducing them if necessary to a size that will fit the pages of your zine.
Go outside your immediate surroundings to find more. Go to the library and check out old periodicals, books with chapter heading illustrations, and photography anthologies. Almost all photo books from before 1975 contain photographs that have enough contrast that they look as good or better when photocopied, especially if they end up on nice paper. Look deeper, through your own archives or your friends’. Sometimes that picture you took for a final project in photography class in high school has a home after all.
Cut the images out into little pieces of paper and store them in a manilla envelope for use when you are putting together the master copy of your zine.
Place your images in a pleasing manner throughout your master copy. If some will be direct illustrations for text content, leave room.

Tools of the trade

5. Place text, organize, decorate, and produce.

Write your text out by hand, type it on a typewriter, or print it off the computer and cut it out. Place it attractively amongst your images. Consider beginning, middle, and end; just the way you would if you were writing a short story or a play. Pacing of the zine as a whole is extremely important.
Flip through the master copy and just contemplate at how it looks.  Don’t read the text, just see how it appears on the page. Follow the stream of images when you flip through it quickly. Imagine yourself being a stranger picking up and only giving it 30 seconds of their attention. Will they see something that will make them stop, focus their eyes, and start to read?
Read the content, in detail, as if you are already won over as a reader. Does it live up to your imagined expectations? Edit as necessary from here, and then start producing.

Editor’s note: This is post one in a series of three. This article will continue with Andrew’s next post. Topics to be addressed include: zines in the digital age, low- or no-cost methods of production, and recommendations for further reading.
This entry was posted in Print Matters and tagged . Bookmark the permalinkPost a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


Zine Resources, Courtesy of Underground Press.org

We think that one of the best ways to support the zine community is by sharing information. That’s why we’ve gathered this collection of resources, including selections from Zine World and links to other sources. Help us keep these resources current; send updates to wordofmouth@undergroundpress.org.

U.S. Postal Rate Chart (rates effective April 2011, PDF)
The Zinester’s Guide to U.S. Mail — This guide covers the various options zine publishers can use for mailing with the U.S. and internationally, including detailed information about First Class, Media Mail, Parcel Post, and Bound Printed Matter. (PDF, updated Sept. 2008)
How to Pick What Zine Library to Donate To? by Jenna Freedman, reference & zine librarian at Barnard College.
Zines 101: A Quick Guide to Zines is a 2-page sheet with the basics on how to make a zine, where to find zines, layout templates, and what to do with your zine once it’s finished.(PDF)
Bringing Zines to the Community by Hannah D. Forman: a column about organizing a zine workshop, with tips on how to lead your own workshop.
Throwing off the Shackles: How to Break Free of Microsoftby Jerianne and Denny. — Do you consider yourself anti-corporate? Then why are you using Microsoft products when there are lots of great alternatives?
Other Zine Review Zines – Zine World is not the definitive word on anything, so don’t just take our word for it. There are plenty of other fine publications out there to send your zines/comics for review and to scope for new zines. These are the ones we know of.
Where to find zines – Looking for someplace local where you can sit and read or purchase zines? Check out our lists of Zine Libraries and Infoshops and Distros and Stores.
Other Resources – These are a few online resources we recommend for more information about zines, publishing, etc.:
OtherLinks to zine websites, small press publishers, postal information, news sites, and more.
AddressChanges – Us underground press types are always on the go. Here’s where some of us went.


Show Me the MONEY! A blog on money, thieving politicians, thieving corporations, the thieving rich; their toady's the media, religion, the military and all other brutal, vicious, thieving authoritarianism!

My favorite economics 'zine ever! (click here or on the Pyramid of Capitalism Poster to buy a copy from Last Word Books & Press!)

"Amaze your friends by sharing this site! Let them see for themselves the cravenness of our rulers and masters! Allow them to be astonished at the crooked, underhanded dealings of those who have no respect for you, them or the environment! Thrill them with stories of corporate and political chicanery. Shock them with the unearthed dealings of the lying, thieving rich and their groveling, boot-licking politicians. Have them experience the WONDERFUL consequences of a "FREE MARKET" controlled by bloodsucking vampires and ghouls!"

How Much?????

About T-Bone

My Photo
I am a left-libertarian socialist; a communitarian and syndicalist, with little time for right-libertarians, anarcho-capitalists and right or left-wing authoritarians. This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law.