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The Joy of Print

December 1, 2011

We all know that print is supposedly going extinct. We’ve been told this from all sides. e-content and e-readers are supposed to take over books and magazines, and soon. I for one, don’t believe it. I remember when we were all told that offices would soon go paperless. With email and internet, the reasoning went, nobody would bother to print anything out, write anything down or send paper memos anymore. I’m currently on break at my office desk. It is positively adrift in paper. legal pads with phone records, catalogs from publishers, to do lists, notepads and business cards. Maybe I’m odd, but I don’t think so. Every desk in the building looks like mine.

My point is, paper is not going anywhere. Why would it? I don’t care how slick your e-reader is (and I like e-readers fine), it’s just not as sexy as a new magazine, or a newspaper that smells of fresh ink.

This debate is particularly interesting to me as I gear up to launch a print only zine. I’m suddenly particularly sensitive and attentive to news of print and print only media. I thought I’d share three of these with you.

This the Little Printer. It’s a very interesting concept. You use an app to subscribe to content from foursquare to news or images, and set a time for it’s “delivery”. Then you can push the button on the Little Printer, and it will print out a recipe size slip with all your desired news and updates in a tiny, customized newspaper of sorts.

This is Atlas Quarterly. It’s an upcoming magazine about small designers in America. It’s print only. Tucked between the pages, subscribers will receive a bit of something tangible, maybe some old ephemera, or a bit of vintage lace. I’ve found it next to impossible to get any information on them from the web, aside from the Etsy article that introduced them to me. It’s somehow fitting that their website is useless for anything other than ordering a copy. Makes me want to get one, just because it contains stuff I can’t see unless I order it.

This should be familiar to just about everyone. This is the New Yorker’s subscription page. Looks like your options are print plus digital. No “or.” There seems to be a way to subscribe on a reader app, but I actually had a hard time finding it on the site. Bold move. I love it.

Long live print!

P.S. please take a second to hop over and “like” Copy Break on Facebook.

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The Madness

November 29, 2011

This is a long winded, text heavy, melodramatic post. There. You’ve been warned.

Most of you know that a year ago I was in a really bad car accident. I suffered a bad concussion and woke up in the ICU, but went home the next day and back to work a week later. Every week afterward for awhile, I would look back and think “wow, I really wasn’t back to 100% last week. I did some really weird things. Glad I’m ok this week.” Then of course the next week the cycle would repeat. Eventually it became a monthly ritual. Every month thinking last month was the end of the mental fog, the verbal scramble, and the lapses of common sense.

I’m not sure I’m back yet, since I still struggle verbally at times and I still do really quirky things. The funny thing is, I know I did some of these things before, but trying to sort out what is normal for me and what is not is challenging.

I used to have nights where I would have The Madness. If you’re a creative type, you know what I mean. It’s a bizarre mixture of intense creativity and intense psychological, emotional, and spiritual burning and longing. An artist’s ecstasy, of sorts. Since the concussion, I haven’t really had many of them. It’s like my creativity took a break to give my brain a chance to heal. Like many other “normal” things, I didn’t realize that I was missing that part of me.

Until it came back.

Sunday night I was alone at home while hubs played some late night hockey. I was feeling really overwhelmed with the zine plans, because I really don’t know what I’m doing. I know why I’m doing it, and that’s all. I’ve been doing what I always do — live in the why, leave the what to experience and trial and error. Sunday night that suddenly seemed so foolish. I was pretty low. I sat down and wrote God a letter, then I put on one of my favorite albums. Slowly, subtly, I felt it soaking into my emotions. The Madness. It seeped into my plans, drowned out the music, spilled into the sketchbook. The Madness was back. I felt brave again. I’ll make it up as I go along. I’ll embrace the adventure.

Later, when The Madness was fading again, I looked down at the letter to God in my sketchbook. I had written about not feeling the spark that I felt “real” artists must have. I wondered (again) about why I think I should make art at all. I had signed it “Knowing You Will Answer.” I think He did.

P.S. Copy Break is live on facebook and gearing up for it’s Kickstarter campaign. Please go here and like us! Even better, post the link on your wall for your friends to see. We’re going to publish a zine, my friends!

I’m Still Here!

November 25, 2011

Yes, I’m still alive. I still sketch in the big sketchbook. I even still have plenty of things to say. I’m just trying to finish up my full time job so I can transition into part time. I have all sorts of adventures planned for the New Year, and hope you all will join me in the fun.

Meanwhile, I sat down at my worktable this morning and worked on the logo for the zine, which I’ll convert to vector and all that design-y jazz on Monday.

Click HERE to go like us on Facebook!

Thanks for your understanding, your patience, and your support!

Zine Excitement!

September 18, 2011

Lined up (so far) for the first issue of Copy Break:

  • An indie film maker
  • An innovative musician
  • A crazy Italian
  • A tea barista with awesome fashion sense

Are you excited yet? You should be!

What’s a Zine, Anyhow?

September 11, 2011

A zine (/ˈziːn/ zeen; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulation publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self-published work of minority interest usually reproduced via photocopier. (via wikipedia)

What does that mean, exactly? Ask 10 zinesters what zines are all about and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Like many somewhat underground movements, this one is best defined by what it is not. A zine doesn’t typically make the creator any money. They’re not usually on a regular schedule. They’re not generally laid out on a computer. They’re almost never in color. Did you notice all the qualifying words? typically, usually, generally, almost. For every generalization about zines, there are a hundred exceptions. That’s what makes them so individual and hard to classify.

I’m at the beginning of an experiment. I’ve never held a zine in my hands. I’ve never talked to anyone who has made one. I’m not sure what it’s even like to read one. And I intend to keep it that way until after I’ve made my own. Why? I want my zine to be my zine.

I often find myself making things that fit into the mold of what I think that genre is supposed to be like. For years I made artists books that were like the artists books I had seen in shows. I dressed like all the other 20 somethings on the streets. I have a hard time being original once I’ve seen what’s out there.

Many of the original zinesters were making zines before they even knew that’s what they were called, or even that anyone else was doing it. There wasn’t a norm, a genre, or any idea of what a “typical” zine was like. The result was a movement that began through creativity and originality.

I’m attempting to recreate that by refusing to do my homework before I produce my first zine. Of course I can’t go back in time and pretend I don’t know what a zine is, but I can create my own style before I get any ideas about what “everyone” defines as a “good” zine.

Can’t wait to show you my progress.

Image is courtesy of artnoose. She breaks the copy machine status quo and makes zines on a letterpress. Please go check her out here.

Zine Dreams

July 18, 2011

Click the picture to go to Alex Wrekk’s Etsy shop and buy your own copy. (I wasn’t paid to say that)

My copy of Stolen Sharpie Revolution arrived, and I read it cover to cover in one sitting (the above picture was taken at work on a break, but I actually read it that night at home, curled up in bed.) Now I’m spinning with zine ideas. Only problem is, I have two ideas and I want to do them both! I guess it’s a good thing that zines don’t come out on any sort of schedule. Here’s the ideas:

Idea #1 (I’ll announce the name later): A zine celebrating uniqueness and personality. Sounds trite, I know. I just love people who are themselves, regardless of social norm or peer pressure. This zine may start out 1/4 size, and will feature tons of friend input. I have these crazy friends, see…

Idea #2 — The [Somewhat] Underground Guide to Reformed Thinking. This one is a bit ambitious, I think. Whoever heard of an Orthodox Zine? Is that an oxymoron? I’m all about bizarre juxtaposition. Reformed Christian thought is a fascinating topic for me and my husband. We also have some crazy friends of this persuasion who could perhaps be manipulated into participating. This one would have to be 1/2 size right off the bat (like I said, long winded…). I have a list of somewhat offbeat reformed thinkers that I would send the first issue to. This zine might have limited appeal, but you have to do what you love, right?

So what do you think? Should I pick one or push myself into an overachieving daze?

I did something this morning I’ve been thinking about for a long time. It has nothing to do with my hair. I’ve been wanting to make my own zine and couldn’t think of a good topic. Well, I think I have my topic but now I need to know a bit more about zines. So I spent $8.50 (incl. shipping) this morning on a book I’ve been eyeing for months over a year. I know, I know — I had to agonize over a book that costs less than 10 bucks? Oh well, that’s how I am sometimes. I can’t wait for it to come in the mail!

Click the picture to visit Alex Wrekk’s Etsy shop.