Nicholas, whose day job is in Collection Care at the NSW State Library, is an enthusiastic promoter of the zine which can be constructed from as little as an A4 sheet of paper and a biro. The zine, he says, is “a cheap way of getting your thoughts out there” and “connecting with people”. Nicholas’s own work, for instance, Vampire Robot-Monsters and Fairy Princess Dinosaurs,while delicious fun, also offer an astute cultural observation.
Self-publishing has a long history. The contemporary zine originates in the 1920s “fanzine”, publications for sci-fi fans, and small-publication promotion of punk rock in the 1970s. This DIY approach was given a tremendous boost by the advent of the photocopier and has not been outmoded by Internet opportunities as yet. In practice, zinsters may avoid IT, sticking to glue, scissors and typewriters.
Under Nicholas’s expert tuition, the participants learned to measure out and then fold their A4 sheet of paper in the correct order. Almost miraculously a neat booklet with lovely little blank pages appeared in their hands, and they could begin on their own creative journey. Additionally, Nicholas showed the participants how to make a simple book from A4 pages folded in half and sewn down the centre with a needle and strong cotton. Both ideas could form the basis for charming gifts.
Participants had the chance to test their zine appeal at the Waterloo Zine Fair on Sunday November 23, from 11am to 12pm at Waterloo Library, 770 Elizabeth Street. Such events give the zinsters opportunity to trade or sell (usually between $1 to $3) their creations, and display their work to the public.
Jovana Terzic, who had a stall at the Zine Fair, publishes a popular series called Psycho Cat, and her etsy site is well worth a visit (www.etsy.com/au/shop/AnimalBro). Jovana is concentrating on increasing the sophistication of her productions. She plans to introduce techniques to participants of the local Saturday Art Class at South Sydney Uniting Church (56a Raglan Street, Waterloo).