Celebrate International Zine Month

July is International Zine Month, and July 21 is International Zine Library Day. As explained by ZineWiki, a Zine (derived from magazine) is “an independently- or self-published booklet, often created by a single person.” With this broad term, we can see zines going as far back in time to Revolutionary War pamphleteers like Thomas Paine with his Common Sense and John Dickinson who penned Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, but the modern zines took off more with the wider distribution of magazines in the20th century, and became a way of sharing fan love, especially, but not specifically, of music performers.

ZinesDuring the 1990s, networks of zine publishers started to emerge, and since then many libraries have been curating zine collections. Having a zine collection in your library is a great way to bring local flavor to your collection as well as new voices. Some libraries allow their zines to circulate, while others find it best to have them as in-house reference, much like mainstream magazines. Whichever way a library chooses to circulates, allowing teen readers access to zines is a new chance at meaningful reader’s advisory opportunities and sparks for teen creativity.
Here are just a few resources that can help with starting and/or maintaining a library zine collection:

From A to Zine

Julie Bartel’s From A to Zine is a valuable resource for thinking about zine collections, and especially how to market them to teens in the library or through programming and outreach.

Zine Library is also a wealth of information. The have information on shelving options, categories, and you can access the Zine Librarians Code of Ethics. A couple of other online resources are the Barnard Zine Library, especially for a listing of zine libraries, and the portal Book of Zines. Many of these site have links to where zines can be purchased, as does The Stolen Sharpie Revolution.

Here are just a handful of recent zines that have strong teen appeal:

My Asian-American Female Role Model of the 90's   Falling Rock National Park   Ghost Guide by Rebecca Artemisa  how to publish poems  The Prince Zine  bright circle

Claudia Kishi; My Asian-American Female Role Model of the 90’s by Yumi Sakugawa

A fanzine at its best – growing up in the 1990’s, Yumi Sakugawa, a second-generation Japanese American, didn’t see herself represented in pop culture. But there was Claudia Kishi, the talented, confident, fashionista of Ann M. Martin’s book series, The Baby-sitters Club.

Falling Rock National Park by Josh Shalek

This black and white comic is set in a fictional National Park in the American southwest. Ernesto the lizard, Ranger Dee, and various other animal characters head into the Uncanny Valley, where everything gets weird. Continue reading Celebrate International Zine Month

Women in Comics: Love and Relationships

Happy Valentine's Day by Song Zheng. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Happy Valentine’s Day by Song Zheng. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

With Valentine’s Day (and Galentine’s Day) just around the corner, February seems like a good month to write a Women in Comics post about books that are focus on love and relationships. Whether this means romantic love (or the lack thereof) or strong friendships, many women have created comics that focus on real or fictional relationships. Check one out to get in the spirit of the season!Soppy CoverSoppy: A Love Story by Philippa Rice – In this volume, Rice tells the story of her relationship with her boyfriend through red, white and black images. Told through short standalone comics that form snapshots of their life together, the book alternates between funny, cute and poignant. The art style is a unique one that fits well with the stories Rice is telling and makes the book approachable to even those who do not frequently read comics. Continue reading Women in Comics: Love and Relationships

Is This the Real Life?: Graphic Novels

September brings a lot of things: cooler temperatures, pumpkin everything, the start of a new school year, Library Card Sign-up Month, and Banned Books Week, to name just a few. This year, Banned Books Week is focusing on comics and I thought I would share some contemporary, realistic graphic novels. What other recommendations do you have?

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Katie’s life was going pretty well– until it wasn’t. She soon discovers a way to do things over… and soon Katie can’t stop redoing anything that goes wrong.

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Rose and her family spend their summers at Awago Beach. This summer is different. Her parents won’t stop fighting and she and her friend get tangled up in some local drama. Continue reading Is This the Real Life?: Graphic Novels