The day was set back in 2011 at the Milwaukee Zine Library (un)Conferance, chosen because 21 looks a bit like a Z and an I, and July happens to be when the Portland Zine Symposium is held. Zine-related events are more often than not a thing to cherish, as the folk who make ‘em (myself included) tend to be a bit mousey (I go on about this a bit more in this podcast, where I was spruiking the last zine collection tour here). But if we’re all in the same space, all those hours spent typing and pasting and stapling and photocopying seem to come together in one carefully torn confetti strewn wonder, and we wander off afterwards with more plans for zines, gatherings, split-zines, bands, and all manner of extra-curricular creative endeavours.
Speaking in my official capacity as a representative of the State Library of Victoria’s Rare Printed Zine Collection (the biggest of its kind in the country) and as a board member at the Sticky Institute (a nearly 12-year-old hub of zine-love in Australia), not to mention as a zinester myself (I write anonymously, though the community is small – ask around, if you’re curious), the continuing passion and productivity of the local (and, let’s not forget, INTERnational) zine community gives me many reasons to keep bashing away at whatever it is that makes zines so special. It’s easy to give up hope in DIY endeavours, as the very nature of them means there’s frequently little infrastructure to support you along the way. It’s one way to view a contemporary existentialist approach – you have to give yourself meaning behind what you do, and trust that it will show in the way you present it to your peers. To ease this process, maybe you could even MAKE them with your peers (or at least in the company of them) – that sounds pretty inspired, eh?
Oh, hang on – here’s an idea:
Bring some friends down to the Library this Sunday (gimme a wave as you waltz past the Information Desk – it’s only polite), and find a spot to sit down and belt out your next creation of… anything, really. So long as it’s a zine. Which can be anything. (Confused yet?) Then, on the way out, show me what you’ve done during the day (or not… but if you’re feeling like sharing, I’m tall ‘n blonde – easy to spot), and be sure to pop your end product in at Sticky (all new Australian zines that Sticky receive wind up in our collection, ya see). That sounds like an EXCELLENT plan.