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The Zine Scene

Zines are not easily defined. They can be a messy hodgepodge of personal thoughts or an expertly designed political treatise. They can fit easily into a pocket or take up an entire 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. They can be heavily collaged or minimalist; colored or black-and-white; handwritten or typed; stapled, sewn, or loose. The unifying thread is their outside-of-the-mainstream existence as independently written, produced, and distributed media that value freedom of expression and freedom from rules above all else.

– From The Sally Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture

A zine (ZEEN), in case you don’t know, is a handmade, self-published booklet, kind of like a mini magazine. Before blogs, Twitter, and the dawn of the tumblrverse, homemade zines were the ultimate format for independent self-expression, like little paper channels of underground culture & communication. People made zines to air out their rants and raves, lay out missives and manifestos, connect with other fans of favorite artists and bands, catalog current obsessions, and share ideas about everything under the sun. Then they’d make a bunch of copies and send their creations out into the world.

Zines are still around today, and they’re still really cool. Anyone can make one– all you need is paper, scissors, a glue stick, and a little creativity, and you can fill it with whatever you want: poetry, photographs, true stories, made-up stories, angry rants, recipes, song lyrics, comics, crafts, artwork, instructions, interviews with interesting strangers—seriously, anything goes. That’s what’s so cool about self-publishing—you hold all the power.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a whole collection of zines at the Main library, so drop in today and take a look, and be sure to check out the CLP blog devoted totally to zines. You can also find zines in local spots around Pittsburgh, or by perusing a list of distros (aka distributors).

This Saturday, July 21 (tomorrow!) is Zine Library Day 2012. CLP is celebrating by hosting an epic zine-making event at the Main library in which everyone will work together to create the biggest zine in the world. Seriously… it’s going to be really big. Anyone can participate, so get thee to the Main library this Saturday between 12 PM and 5 PM to check it out. Even if you’re not quite ready to make a contribution as an intrepid culture creator, it’s sure to be an awesome event to behold.

In the meantime, why not check out one of these books about the marvelous world of zines? You just may get inspired.

      

Free Comic Book Day 2008 – Saturday May 3rd, 2008

 

 

Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores.”

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From manga to horror, superhero comics to those wacky teens from Riverdale, Free Comic Book Day has what you need!  What a great way to get into comics, or — if you’ve fallen off the wagon — what a great time to get back in the habit!  Check out these local comic shops this Saturday to see what it’s all about:

Phantom of the Attic @ 406 South Craig St. in Oakland.  Open 10 AM to 7 PM on Saturday.

The Copacetic Comics Company @ 1505 Asbury Pl. in Sq. Hill.  Open 11 AM to 5 PM on Saturday.

Eide’s Entertainment @ 1121 Penn Avenue, Downtown.  Open 9:30 AM to  6:30 PM on Saturday.

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And remember, comics are always free at the library!  We’ve got thousands of graphic novels, manga and zines to choose from.  Stop by the teen desk and we’ll recommend something great.

– Corey W.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main – Teen

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