Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Urge to Zine

The urge to zine again is slowly starting to take hold of me. I don't know exactly when it started, but slowly the urge to put out a zine of my own has been building and building. The more I think about it, the more I convince myself that I should give it a go. But what to zine about? The answer to that question, and best part of the whole process, of course, is "anything I want." Should I include original fiction, some recipes and the occasional random knitting pattern? Why not! But I'm plagued with some self-doubt. What's the real reason I want to do a zine? It sure as hell isn't the money. I doubt I'd even have a readership. Is it fame? Glory? Indie, alternascene cred? Yes. I've created the term "alternascene." Deal. I don't have anything in particular to write about. And the "personal zine," well, I don't want to get too personal, though, compared to a lot of zines out there written by people who've suffered truly traumatic events in their lives, mine would be a fluff piece.

Would people really want to know what I'm reading, listening to? I like to read about places people live; anecdotes about their hometowns and what's going on. It's sort of like travelling and meeting (strange) new people without leaving my chair. Should I create a nice looking zine in Quark with the neatest illustrations I can manage, or type it in Courier, cut it all up and make it look messy.

Thinking about it waaaay too much. But the reality is, I'm almost 100% sure I've already made my decision. I'll be digging out my Lefty scissors and glue stick later tonight.

Top Five Things I Should Do Tonight Instead of Playing The Sims 2

(In interchangeable order)

1. Clean my apt/bedroom
2. Watch Dancing With The Stars Finale
3. Work on graphics and site to get robotgirlie.com really up and running
4. Start zine (see above)
5. Read something.

What's robotgirlie Reading Now?

Doris: 1991 - 2001

This is an anthology of Cindy Ovenrack Crabb's Doris zine that compiles 10 years of issues into one softcover book. Recreating her line drawings and manual paste-ups, it's a gut-wrenchingly honest read. Cindy invites her readers to share in both the good and the bad events in her life. At times beautiful and poetic prose contrasts sharply with grammatical and spelling errors as Doris types out her hopes, fears, and dreams in one long stream-of-conciousness. Moving often across the country, often squatting or living outdoors, her main desire is simply to keep her tenuous grip on everything she holds dear: her sister, her dog, friends, her projects, her self-esteem, and a place to belong.

She takes joy in finding items left on the curb that can be turned into a makeshift writing desk. She writes at length about family dysfunction. Within the stark cut-and-paste pages of Doris, Cindy does brilliantly what most people can never achieve: She bares it all, body and soul, leaving herself equally open for condemnation as well as praise. But she's not afraid to do it. This book will be with me long after I've turned the last page.


Nowhere Girl said...

Wow, where did you find this Doris anthology?

Leebot said...

I bought it at an indie book/zine store in my town: http://www.feedyourheadbooks.com

If she doesn't have it on her site she may do mail order if you call her. But it's also available through the publishers: