Zines I Made in 2010
What follows is a retrospective of the zines I made in 2010. As usual at the start of it I thought I wouldn’t make many this year – let’s face it, I’ve made a lot of zines in my life. Another common misconception I have is that I had much more energy for zine making and writing in general back in the long ago times when I was new to it, which I don’t think is correct either. Also, when I look in the mirror I see a kind of svelte ghost lady with a cigarette holder dangling from one elegant hand and a Pomeranian under her arm and I think that’s me.
The year started hopefully, with wishes and also a rather overgrown garden, covered in dandelion clocks. Trying to remember what I wrote about the one thing that stuck in my mind was the family we saw at the 9pm Darling Harbour fireworks last New Year’s Eve, who have plastic maces studded with lights. There’s still tomorrow for me to find one of these for my new year’s festivities.
Next came the I am a Camera for 2010, a long story about living in the suburbs, that I wrote over the summer. This is probably the least popular cover I have ever put on a zine. I thought everyone would know the lovable shipping container crocodile, but it turns out that they don’t. I should have screenprinted a hand-drawn bird on it, that would have got people’s attention. Though maybe if it was drawn by someone else.
The bunny, for example, was much more popular. One girl at a zine fair asked me if I’d drawn it, and I said yes, if my name was Beatrix Potter. It’s from a story called A Fierce Bad Rabbit. I liked making the wish map for the previous Disposable Camera and so I decided to make another map this time. It turned into a map of my thoughts, which is a genie-land with arrows going everywhere. The story in the zine explains this map a bit, and also references this article about Sydney’s rabbit population. It upset me at the time, but I still notice rabbits all over the place so maybe they are ineradicable.
The next thing that happened was that I became obsessed with ferns. It had to happen, really, I’m a fan of Victoriana and also like gardening, it was only so long before I could be seen at the nursery seriously contemplating a Davillia Pyxidata. The zine describes the pteriodomania (fern madness) that descended upon the English in the mid 19th century and the pteriodomania that descended upon me in the early 21st century.
I went ice skating at the Macquarie Ice Rink during my lunch break and wrote this zine about this and my memories of the place from when I was a child. It’s a small zine in the same kind of vein as my June Graveyard zine from 2009 – in that it investigates a particular place. It was fun to ice skate again, though I am as bad at it as ever. Thanks to my friends who came with me! Otherwise I would have sat upstairs overlooking the ice rink watching other people skate instead.
So many people have asked me about this zine of mine, Vinnies, that I decided to reprint it. I made it in 1999, and it is an account of my travels to every St Vincent de Paul op shop that existed then in Sydney. That’s 69 stores. I kept the original zine the same and added a couple of pages of extra information. It’s the longest zine I’ve ever made, at 72 pages, and also the most popular. I’d like to re-do it, and was going to in 2009, with a ten years on edition. Maybe I do have less energy than I did in 1999 after all. The thing I’m more scared about is how much more stuff I’d end up with. I already risk death under an avalanche of op shop junk.
From a giant zine about op shops to a tiny zine about op shops, this one documents the Newcastle op shopping rampage Simon and I went on as research for the op shop hop I did as part of TINA this year. We were sandbagged by plastic bags of stuff when we came home on the train and thought it was all so interesting that we should make a zine out of it. We are unstoppable op shoppers, honestly our house is like a huge sponge for things. I thought for a while about blogging all the things we buy, but it would be way too much work.
This zine might have been tiny but it inspired the keynote address at the Australian Print Symposium in Canberra in October, or at least the title thereof.
Finally, I became overwhelmed by my memories of Annandale and wrote a zine about the time before I made zines, and drew a map of all my Annandale memories. Someone wise suggested I do the whole inner west, or even the whole of Sydney, which is a good idea, I could be like Sufjan Stevens and do a zine for every Sydney suburb, though there are 637 of them. That’s more than three times the number of countries in the world, though I’m more likely to go around Sydney than around the world…
That’s all for this year. Thank you to all my readers, to those who wrote me letters and emails and sent me their zines, and the people who came up and talked to me or bought zines at zine fairs, who stocked my zine at their store or distro, who organised the zine fairs I had stalls at, those who helped me with writing, printing and ideas, my friends near and far and those who just quietly read my stories. Thank you!
What’s going to happen in 2011? Well more zines, no doubt, and in February I’ll be at the Festival of the Typewriter in Melbourne in February, and at the Format Festival in Adelaide with a 70s installation extravaganza. More details about these soon and I will see you on the other side. x x V.