Plymouth Libraries and PZL are running a free drop-in workshop connected with the BBC celebration of literature ‘Novels that shaped our world’ on Wednesday 19th February 10am – 4pm.
Participants will create magazine pages about books which have been important to them in some way, and these will be combined into a collaborative zine which will be displayed and shared at Plymouth Libraries.
This is Kitty reporting on Plymouth Zine Library’s PAW event last month at The Clipper!
I arrived at the venue on Friday with a band of helpers to start setting up. The weather forecast for the weekend was terrible, with lots of rain and wind projected, both of which we experience a lot of in Plymouth! The Clipper is a mixed indoor and outdoor space, and I had booked quite a bit of the outdoor parts, so I was worried about how we were going to manage the space and keep everyone dry. Luckily Laura from Nudge Community (who run The Clipper) was a calming influence and between us we worked out a system of umbrellas and wind breaks as well as making some space inside a hallway for our stalls.
The Clipper building was once a pub and one of the spaces we had booked out at the very back must have originally been a sort of storage shed with stable doors. We arranged the insides to create a cosy reading nook with an armchair next to PZL’s collection of zines in shoeboxes, and pegged more zines up on string around the walls. Big yellow umbrellas sheltered the doorway and our tables for drop-in minizine making and badge-making, and we also hired a little candyfloss machine. We used sugar tinted with red food colouring to make candyfloss matching PAWs pink colour scheme, which was popular with visiting children as well as our stallers!
The zine fair was spread throughout the venue – we had stalls tucked into every available gap that wasn’t vulnerable to the rain, and more yellow umbrellas covering stalls outside. The zinesters who came with us were all brilliant, taking the unpredictable weather in their stride, and chatting away to customers and other visitors about their zines and other work. They had brought other cool things with them too, including badges, stickers, and prints, and more artists were also showing work at the same venue for PAW, including screenprints, paintings and letterpress posters (you can read about some of these on my art blog here and here). All combined together we created a fantastically eclectic space and the atmosphere was really energetic and exciting. Lots of people seemed to be exchanging their info and chatting away, and I think the weekend has led to the beginnings of new friendships and maybe even some potential collaborations..
A huge amount of people came to see us, and quite a few said they had read about the event in the PAW guide but had no idea what a zine was and wanted to find out. Taking part in a big arts festival like the Weekender is a great way to introduce a lot of new people to zines, which is one of the main goals I had when starting PZL. Other visitors had been given or bought a zine in the past and wanted to find out about the library and find new zines to read.
We got to meet even more zinesters who came along to chat about making zines, and some brought their own zines to trade or donate. Below are pictures of some of the zines the library was given. “Make-A-Monster” by Seren Krakens is an A4 zine with instructions and ideas for people to draw, cut out, and assemble different body parts to make their own Frankenstein’s Monster-esque creations. “Mamieland” and “An Awkward Arrempt at Flânerie” by Louie Morris are A5 photography zines documenting time spent in Normandy and Helsinki, and “Dark Thoughts Vol. 1” by Jakub Bachleda-Wala is an A5 landscape zine which combines photography and text to explore themes of death and fear.
We were visited by several other artists taking part in the Weekender, which was great as we got to talk about the different projects going on and find out about their work. Saturday was our busiest overall, but Sunday was more popular with families who wanted to try out zinemaking. The whole event was an incredible success, and I’m really glad that I didn’t get scared off by the weather and postpone! This was a big learning experience as the first zine fair I have organised for PZL, and I’d definitely like to put on more events like this in the future.
Our last interview this week is with Zero, a Plymouth-based illustrator who has contributed to collaborative fanzines and is planning her first solo zine!
Hi! Who are you? I’m Zero! Im from Plymouth and am currently an illustration student at uni. I attend lots of local cons with a table and do commissions.
How did you first come across zines? The internet! An artist I was following, can’t remember which one, had taken part in a zine and were advertising it on tumblr and it immediately peaked my interest so I spent several hours looking into them all.
Which zines have you contributed to, and how did you find out about them? Ross Zine-overse – based on Ross of the game grumps, i was told about it by the organiser at a con! The zine hopefully comes out before the end of the year, it’s a charity zine and you can check it out on Twitter @zineoverse.
Are you planning on making or contributing to any zines in the future? Yes! I’d love to make a zine of all my inktober art or at least the best ones from the month. I also 100% plan to join to contribute to more fandom zines as the experience has been super fun.
What do you like best about zines/DIY culture? I love how people come up with creative ways to set up layouts for their own zines or with collaborative zines how it showcases multiple artists work alongside each other on a subject they’re enthusiastic about.
Do you have a favourite zine/zinester to recommend? Hmmm none come to mind right now other than my pal @midnakit.
What other hobbies/interests do you have? I knit a sometimes but I’m primarily an artist so that’s my main hobby but I enjoy watching cartoons and anime like Steven Universe and BNHA.
Do you make/sell any other creative work? Mostly prints for now but I’m planning to branch out in to stickers and perhaps pins!
This interview is with Jenson AKA rocketjen! He is one of the young people participating in our Small Press project and is helping out with the Zine Library this weekend.
How did you first come across zines? My mum showed my sister and I how to make one around 6 years ago.
What was the first zine you made? What was the process like? I used a typewriter to write about obscure Monster Hunter trivia along with some jokes I had come up with. I read through the zine again today, for the first time in years. I remember piecing them together.
How has your process changed? I’m making my current zine with my computer rather than glue and paper. It’s far more flexible and you can use images from the internet and more fonts.
What are your current/most recent zines about? It’s a fanzine about Godzilla.
What do you like best about making zines/DIY culture? The satisfaction of seeing something you made physically.
What other hobbies/interests do you have? I collect Godzilla figures and G-films. I also play video games. I’m currently playing Minecraft, Geometry Dash and Gang Beasts a lot.
How can people get hold of your zines? Do you make/sell any other creative work? My sister sells some of them along with her own.