While most kids flock to the Internet, you might be surprised to see how some young people choose to communicate the old-fashioned way – on paper …
Nicole Georges, a confirmed ‘zine publisher, shows some of her work at the Woodstock Branch Library class.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Many young people are drawn toward Internet communications, with websites slicked up with modern computer technology. Yet, other kids are drawn toward a quainter form of publications. They call their printed publications ‘zines – short for magazines.
At Woodstock Branch Library, ‘zine expert Nicole Georges is holding a class.
“We’re learning about how to make our own ‘zine,” Georges tells us.
She says a ‘zine is a self-made publication. It is usually created by an individual, but sometimes is produced by a group.
They rarely make a profit, she says, “The key is passion. ‘Zines are created and produced purely out of passion for a particular topic. The subject matter can be about anything.”
In addition to sharing how-to tips, Georges brought supplies and many samples to share with the class.
Physically Georges tells us, they can take a variety of forms. Sample ‘zines she shows the class range from very simple looking pamphlets, to sophisticated, full-color artist’s books.
Although young, Georges says she learned how to make ‘zines 14 years ago. “I’ve learned how to create and distribute them through trial and error.” Today she teaches a five-step method for creating a ‘zine.
Here’s how to make a Zine:
- Write – “It all starts off with writing. What are your ideas? What can you write passionately about?” she asks the class. When writing a ‘zine, she suggests thinking about what images could go with the text.
- Illustrate – “Draw, take photos, or use historical photos to illustrate your ‘zine. But be sure to make sure you have permission to use others’ images,” Georges instructs.
- Layout – Make a mock-up of the ‘zine before you do your final artwork, she recommends.
- Duplicate – Copy your pages, fold them into a ‘zine and staple.
- Distribute – “Your most immediate audience is your friends. But, now there are plenty of places that offer ‘zines for sale. Check out the ‘zine website,” explains Georges.
“The best, and most important part of ‘zines – is you!” says Georges.
Don’t judge – write!
When we ask for her most important advice she gives to students, Georges thinks for a moment and says, “Most important thing is for students is to write for themselves and express themselves as much as possible. Don’t be afraid of doing it. Don’t be objective or inhibited. Write how you feel.
“The best part of ‘zines is … you!”
© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service