Zines

Short essays about trying to make a living from writing words. Comic nightmares from the world of freelance writing, night school, weekly papers, and cities of books.

Paper airplane examples throughout. 32 pages, cut half-letter size.

This issue of the long-running Basic Paper Airplane zine series focuses on interviews—what it means to create that space and all the ways they can succeed or fail. Ten interviews with writers, artists, and musicians that delve into the creative process, identity, family, image, myth, and obsession.

Interviews with: musician Owen Ashworth (Advance Base/Casiotone for the Painfully Alone), essayist Elena Passarello (Animals Strike Curious Poses), poet Casey Fuller (A Fort Made of Doors), musician Erika M. Anderson (EMA), filmmaker/installation artist Vanessa Renwick, musician Karl Blau, children's book writer/illustrator Kate Berube (Hannah and Sugar), writer/musician/multimedia artist Dao Strom (We Were Meant to be a Gentle People), poet A.M. O'Malley (Expecting Something Else), and oral historian Audrey Petty (High Rise Stories).

40 pages, half-letter size. Risograph covers by C. Stone and Anthony Michael at Montavilla Press.

A zine in tribute to a maligned beauty of pop culture's past: the compact cassette tape. Twenty writers, musicians, DJs, label owners, publishers, and comic artists tell stories of how cassette tapes have affected their lives, for better or worse. 

Within: the art of the mixtape, the importance of the boombox, the intimacy of the Walkman. Plus tales of recording with cassettes, performing with cassettes, releasing cassettes, falling in love with cassettes. Nostalgia, subversion, frustration, possibility.

Contributions from: Andrew Barton, Ariel Birks, Karleigh Frisbie Brogan, Aaron Burch, Laura Daegling, Tim Devin, Fukumup, Aaron Gilbreath, Cynthia Carmina Gómez, Jack Lewis, Chask'e Lindgren, Pat Maley, Jason Martin, Sara Renberg, Kevin Sampsell, Gina Sarti, Christopher Sutton, Tucker Theodore, and Alexis Wolf.

Cover art by Rachel Lee-Carman. Risograph-printed throughout by Whatnow Press. 60 pages, half-letter size. 

Last copy! The first issue of Behind the Wheel is one of those instant zine classics that only come along every so often. Kelly Dessaint becomes a Lyft driver in a rapidly changing San Francisco and chaos ensues. Dessaint, an old-school zine curmudgeon of the highest order, is the perfect guide for this journey—never bought in, ever out of place, always questioning. 

Within: learning the ropes, techwads, cops, required fist bumps, class war.

60 pages, half-letter size. Complete with maps and photos and Lyft feedback. Part of the Piltdownlad​ zine series.

In the second issue of Behind the Wheel, Kelly Dessaint, in addition to doing Lyft, becomes an Uber driver and brings us behind the scenes of the so-called sharing economy—in all its less-than-glamorous glory.

Within: sex clubs, tech bros, bottled water entitlement, a thousand iPhones, plus $500 and a taco. 

60 pages, half-letter size. Part of the Piltdownlad​ zine series.

Behind the Wheel #3 documents Kelly Dessaint's transition from driving Uber and Lyft to becoming a certified taxi cabi driver. Collected from his San Francisco Examiner column, along with new material, this issue is perfect for anyone wondering about the economic and social consequences of rideshare services. 

Within: pukers, erotic massage parlors, infiltrating a tech conference, life as a vice chauffeur, and the cabbie enigma. Not for the faint of heart.

60 pages, half-letter size. Part of the Piltdownlad​ zine series.

This long-awaited new issue of Behind the Wheel comes a few years into Kelly's stint as a licensed cab drive, and he's in full politicized grumpy cabbie mode for this one. A continuation of his look at an ever-changing San Francisco and a nuanced take-down of Uber and Lyft, this issue of Behind the Wheel looks at the realities and logistics of surviving and supporting a family as a driver for hire. As Kelly writes, "Driving a taxi has become a form of resistance—a refusal to accept this notion that the world is supposed to be a particular way."

60 pages, half-letter size. Part of the Piltdownlad​ zine series.

The best zine about zines around. Within: Sarah Mirk's joy-inducing stories about her Year of Zines project. Corinne Halbert's "Zany Zinetiquette" comics. Gianni Simone's stories of how his early 2000s zines led to becoming a freelance writer in Japan. Ed Kemp and Mark Cunning's home copier treatises. Todd Taylor's personal history of Razorcake frugality. Liz Mason's hilarious Quimby's "Zine Data Mining." Brian Polk's brilliant imagined zines.

Not to mention words and pictures from zine superstars like: Anna Jo Beck, Nyx, Jenna Freedman, Mike Faloon, Johnnie B. Baker, and Ed Tillman.

Cover art by Sarah Mirk. 40 pages, half-letter size.

Each issue of Behind the Zines is such a joy to read and warms my heart so much. Zine lifers, independent publishers, and artists of all stripes gather together to tell stories that never otherwise get told. (Like, in this issue, Todd Taylor of Razorcake's journey into a warehouse postal audit with rejected snake meat and live chickens.)

This issue's highlight: an essay from our own Gina Sarti about the ten-year anniversary of her ridiculously popular zine Shit's Fucked: A Positivity Guide. It's the rare story of making tons of lovely connections by way of a small zine that randomly went viral on Reddit a decade ago and never stopped.

Close-second highlight: Jonathan Valelly's deep-dive into the Broken Pencil Zine Awards—a massive, wonderful operation (that old-school zinesters love to hate on).

There's also: zine tattoos, first-time zinesters, postal bliss, experimental hip-hop collective zines, the pandemic zine fest scene, the most unwanted zine, anarchist zine printing, retro zine reviews, and an interview with Jolie Ruin (of The Escapist Artist).

32 pages, half-letter size. 

 

Behind the Zines is a zine about zines. Think of it as a small-scale Broken Pencil or Xerography Debt, a biannual publication that puts a spotlight on what's going on in the zine community. In this issue: scene reports, zine fest travels, zine spreadsheets, zine reluctance, and zine reviews. It asks how personal is too personal, and includes an interview with Kara Comegys of the zine Clumsy, discussing zines, sexual assault, and using art to heal. It also has the results of a zine survey, so there's even zine pie charts, statistics, and graphs.

Contributors include: Billy McCall (Proof I Exist), Jess Hogan (Neither/Nor Distro), Jake McWilliams (Making Edible Playdough is Hegemonic), Kelly Shortandqueer (Shortandqueer zine), Keith Helt (Flotation Device), Anna Jo Beck (Biff Boff Bam Sock), Ed Tillman, Ed Chops (The Word Distro), Frederick Moe (Tin Can Telephone), Jessica Mills, Giz, and Kari Tervo (Shards Of Glass In Your Eye!).

40 pages, half-letter size.