Any zine you like

A zine is exactly what it sounds like: a mini magazine. They’re published by the creators, who’re sometimes cartoonists or other artists, sometimes just people compiling doodles.

Laura Bidegain posts her doodles on the wall during the Doodle Jam workshop at the Minneapolis Zine Fest on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Image by Max Ostenso

Laura Bidegain posts her doodles on the wall during the Doodle Jam workshop at the Minneapolis Zine Fest on Saturday, Sept. 30.

by Haley Bennett

The 13th Annual Twin Cities Zine Fest took place Saturday at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts on Washington Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis.

Three of the five event organizers — Aaron King, Katrina Kubeczko and Fiona Avocado — shed some light on the zine scene.

“Zines have been around for a long time. They’re the pre-blog, pre-Tumblr way of sharing your interests,” Kubeczko said.

“Stuff like this is very much about the moment; it taps into what people are thinking,” King said.

Zines are a casual and simple way to share your current fascinations. 

 “I was in high school in the late ’90s,” King said. “When I was a freshman, a senior who was from a punk band was like, ‘You’re weird. I’m going to help you.’ I was from a town of 500 people and I didn’t have the Internet. But he had punk review zines.”

“My latest zine is about worms,” Kubeczko said. “When I was younger, I used to take dead worms and make jewelry out of them. I drew about that.”

One of the featured artists, Christi Furnas, has a zine called “Crazy Like a Fox: Adventures in Schizophrenia.” The story follows Fox, the protagonist, through a simple, sad and humorous downward spiral as a manic episode takes over. While Fox’s tale isn’t autobiographical, Furnas has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and drawing helps her manage it. “When I’m not creating, I lose my sense of meaning,” she said.

Among the zines at Lilly Richard’s table was one called “Many,” which was filled with the various ways in which men have addressed her and her friends. “They’re men we know, or men on the street,” Richard said.

A notable line from “Many” comes from one of Richard’s experiences at a stand-up show she attended in college. “I told the organizer of the show that rape jokes weren’t okay,” Richard said. “And he told me, ‘You need to have a sense of humor.’ So that stood out to me.”

She started making zines after an internship with Uncivilized Books in Northeast Minneapolis. “I’d been drawing comics off and on and posting them on my website for a few years, and then I did this internship. It was cool to hold a comic I’d made for the first time and have it be a completed project. Then I got more interested in creating printed things.”

This year, the organizers of the Twin Cities Zine Fest received between 150 and 200 submissions. From those submissions, they featured 90.

“I think there were people who were worried that the internet would be the death of this kind of thing, but that’s obviously not the case. This zine fest is probably the biggest that we’ve ever had,” King said. “Files get corrupted. Computers break. Sites get bought and sold. But books are surprisingly resistant, except against fire.”