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In Williamsburg, a New Zine Destination Snuggles Up With a Comics Store

(Flyer via Quimby's /Facebook)

(Flyer via Quimby’s /Facebook)

When Quimby’s opened up a few weeks back just off the Metropolitan stop, Williamsburg gained another hip little bookstore in an area where it sometimes feels like culture is on the way out. Thankfully, Quimby’s is the real deal, even if it’s a revival of a Chicago institution first opened by Steven Svymbersky in the ’90s.

But wait a minute, isn’t there already a specialty book store on the block? Yeah, there most definitely is: Desert Island, probably the best comic bookstore in the city, and maybe one of the most glorious shops dedicated solely to graphic novels and arty comics.

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Suffragette City Is A DIY Feminist Publication Serving Zine Realness With Magazine Style

Suffragette City Issue #1 (courtesy of Gwynn Galitzer)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (courtesy of Gwynn Galitzer)

It’s not just a Bowie song. Suffragette City, a new intersectional feminist zine, aims to marry the DIY spirit of zines with the production value of a full-fledged magazine. Spearheaded by editor-in-chief and graphic designer Gwynn Galitzer, Suffragette City smartly combines the best of two worlds, resulting in an independently-produced yearly publication that has entrancing visuals and spirited content, like essays on gender activism, interviews with witches, styled photo spreads, poetry, hand-drawn lettering, comics, and more.

As they gear up to release their second-ever issue, they’ve been throwing monthly fundraising shows that double as parties, and will launch a formal fundraising campaign soon. I sat down with Gwynn, fresh from organizing and styling the zine’s cover photoshoot featuring model Angel Rose, to find out what’s up and what’s next.

Zines are one of the few forms of print media that are relatively thriving at least on a local scale, thanks to shops like Molasses Books and Bluestockings, maker pop-up shops at places like Shwick and Catland, and events such as the Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair and Brooklyn Zine Fest.

Suffragette City Issue #1 (comic by Lucia Love)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (comic by Lucia Love)

  1. Magazines, on the other hand, are far less prevalent than they once were. Written media and photos within print publications have mostly moved to the internet, which doesn’t allow as much for glossy photo spreads and sharply designed editorial layouts.

“It’s a super DIY zine, but the production level is really high. We do all the fundraising and everything so we can print this in such a high caliber. I love print, I love working on paper, I love collage. I love having a tactile thing. There’s something about having your work physically printed. It communicates to someone else that someone has invested the money to physically publish your work,” she says. “[And] the work deserves it. It’s all done through fundraising, it’s all volunteer-based, it’s all advertisement-free, and it’s clearly expensive to make. ”

Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City‘s first issue, which was all about hair, came out in 2015. They printed 300 copies and had a kickoff event at Silent Barn, and now sell copies at Bluestockings. The second issue (the theme is Politics) is slated to run the week before Election Day in November. Naturally, there will be an appropriately-themed release party, also at Silent Barn.

The content and people in Suffragette City reflects Galitzer’s multifaceted community; she grew up in the city, studied Fine Arts at SVA, sings in a band, and has spent several years curating and producing art events throughout the city.

“I didn’t just grow up in the city, I went elementary school through college in a five-block radius in Chelsea. It’s a small town,” she says. “I have a lot of my childhood friends in this. [Design Director] Nicole Ruggiero and I [have been] best friends since we were 4 years old, as well as Harley Kinberg who is our illustrator. It’s the first time we’ve been working on a creative project together, it’s been really awesome.”

She got the idea for the zine from the monthly event she helps run with her boyfriend, a workshop-based reading and music series called Having A Whiskey Coke With You that’s now been running for five years.

“I noticed there was a lot of really powerful female-identifying readers, but the events were very male-heavy. Mostly because the reading scene is very male-dominated. I was talking to my boyfriend Jesse, saying that he should do a female-centric [event], and he was like, ‘I think you should do something.”

Suffragette City Issue #1 (painting by Katelan Foisey)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (painting by Katelan Foisey)

Since the reading series was already producing a monthly zine and she grew up doing “music and zines” all throughout high school, Galitzer figured this would be similar, made in the classic DIY Xeroxed style she was used to. She soon realized that the project was moving in a sleeker direction. “All the sudden it started snowballing, the quality of the work was going up and up and up. So I realized I needed to step this up more, I needed to make this high caliber.”

Galitzer works as a graphic designer and concentrated in printmaking at SVA, so she felt strongly that the quality of the publication needed to be up there with the pros. “We printed with one of the industry leaders in the city. Because I’m a graphic design nerd, I want everyone I know who does graphic design to look at it and go, yes, you did it right,” she says. “It was also investing in the people involved. I can’t have everyone put all this work in it and not make it the greatest thing I could possibly do. It felt necessary.”

Though many of the people featured in Suffragette City are people Galitzer knows personally, this does not make for any sort of lapse in legitimacy. Joanne Petit-Frere, who created the wigs and hair sculptures featured in one of several beautiful photo spreads shot by Alannah Farrell, has done work for celebrity clients. “Joanne gets hired a lot for these big deal photoshoots and performers, she’s done hairpieces for Beyoncé and all these crazy music videos, but she doesn’t get billing for it. I thought it was important to give her some spotlight,” says Galitzer.

Suffragette City Issue #1 (hair by Joanne Petit-Frere, photo by Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (hair by Joanne Petit-Frere, photo by Alannah Farrell)

The Hair issue also features journalist and nightlife figure Gerry Visco (Galitzer calls her one of her best friends), “gender capitalist” androgynous model Rain Dove, and “masculine-of-center and/or genderqueer” activist Lucy Parks. Notably, Suffragette City features a diverse spread of minds and bodies often absent from the pages of glossy productions. “I’m very adamant that we are really an intersectional thing,” she says. “You can’t say you’re a feminist and not be intersectional. [It’s] definitely not all cis, heterosexual, white women. That’s also not representative of the people I know.” And it’s not just local; they put out a submission call via Twitter for their next issue and got a many responses, including someone currently living in the Philippines.

Suffragette City has been doing fundraising events monthly, and their next one is this Saturday. They’re starting at Williamsburg’s Two Boots Pizza for a “mini zine fair,” where they’ll also have handmade buttons featuring “strong female lead characters from the ‘90s with pizza.” After that, everyone will head over to the Gutter Bar for a rock show of female-fronted bands, including Galitzer’s own band, No Ice. She’s been committed to involving as many women as she can for these events. “If the venue has women on staff, I request they work that night,” she tells me.

mini zines (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

mini zines (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

“It’s not like I have investors or I personally have money. I don’t have any experience with how it’s supposed to work at a magazine. It’s just me. It’s literally run out of my living room,” she says, telling me for their last photoshoot they moved all the furniture in her house and shot everything in the zine in 17 hours. She rented a room for a shoot this time, for her sanity.

Despite the immense work it takes to put out a publication like this, Galitzer shows no signs of stopping, and is considering starting a podcast and making miniature zines with Nicole Ruggiero in addition to the big yearly publication.

“I want more than anything for someone to give it to a 16-year-old girl and have her be like, ‘Yeah!’ And then for her to make a zine,” she says, grinning. “Also, I would like to get enough funding to pay everyone involved. I’d like to raise enough money so that everyone that put in hard work can get paid for it. And it’s going to happen. I have faith. If not for this one, then the next one.”

Suffragette City’s latest fundraiser is happening Saturday, July 23 at The Gutter Bar, 200 N 12th Street, Williamsburg. 8pm. $8. More info here. Visit the zine’s website here.

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AdHoc Print Zine is Back, Reminding Us There’s Life Beyond the Screen

AdHoc Issue 12, cover design by A. Savage (Courtesy of AdHoc)

AdHoc Issue 12, cover design by A. Savage (Courtesy of AdHoc)

After a fitful start back in January 2013, the official zine for the roving “independent events collective” AdHoc went digital. In doing so, it joined countless more mini-publications that had chosen, either by design or by circumstance, to be available online only. But being relegated to an online existence wasn’t a great fit for the zine, especially considering that AdHoc already has a yin-yang sort of balance going on with a blog that feeds off the live music and in-person experiences they organize. “More and more I find myself experiencing life through a screen and it’s a terrible way to interact with the world,” AdHoc’s co-founder Ric Leichtung wrote to us in an email. “So much gets lost there.”

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Volvox, Divorce, The Dance Pit, Akanbi + Club Etiquette Issue 4 Release Party

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Whether it’s because of excessive boozing and very often drugging, lowered inhibitions or cover of night, maybe even social expectations or bro-on-bro insanity, the list goes on– people can act like total shitheads at shows, dance parties, clubs, and bars. Anuradha Golder knows this. She’s been partying for “a while now,” she laughed. “And I always thought, how can I make this better? How can I make this experience more enjoyable for myself?” Her zine, Club Etiquette, aims to answer those questions. Anuradha is dropping Issue No.4 at this dance party featuring sets by Akanbi, Divorce, and Volvox (acid house).

Read more on Club Etiquette here.

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Club Etiquette Zine Calls Out Dweebs and Creeps on the Scene

Club Etiquette Vol. 3

Club Etiquette Vol. 3

Whether it’s because of excessive boozing and very often drugging, lowered inhibitions or cover of night, maybe even social expectations or bro-on-bro insanity, the list goes on– people can act like total shitheads at shows, dance parties, clubs, and bars.

Anuradha Golder knows this. She’s been partying for “a while now,” she laughed. “And I always thought, how can I make this better? How can I make this experience more enjoyable for myself?” Her zine, Club Etiquette, aims to answer those questions. Issue No. 3, which dropped in October, looks specifically at sexual harassment. “I understood the zine was eventually going to comment on bigger issues, but it got there pretty quickly,” Anuradha explained.

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Open Wide for Mouthfeel, a Queer-Punk-Food Mag That Goes Deeper

inside Mouthfeel issue #1

inside Mouthfeel issue #1

When first you glance at Mouthfeel and prepare to take it all in, you might think: it couldn’t get more niche than this. And in some ways, you might be right. A food magazine dedicated to queer identity and hardcore punk complete with recipes and sexy photos of dudes? Huh. That’s a first. But even if you’re not a pansexual chef who fronts a band called the Putrid Ooze Squad in whatever spare time you’ve got after prepping kohlrabi espuma all day, this magazine will probably be quite attractive to you.

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Mammoth Brooklyn Zine Fest to Spotlight 150 Zinesters and Black Lives Matter Movement

(Poster by Deth P. Son)

(Poster by Deth P. Son)

The fourth annual Brooklyn Zine Fest is happening this weekend (Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26) and we’re getting super excited to check out what more than 150 zine crafters will be hawking at the Brooklyn Historical Society as well as a brand new panel series which looks to be interesting and varied, just how we like our zines.

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A Zine Fest, a Torture Talk, and Mommy’s Dating Life in Graphic Novel Form

From zines to graphic novels, poetry to ethical treatises on torture, this week’s talks and readings have you covered.

Friday, July 25

pete copyPete’s Mini Zine Fest 2014
If you love zines and alcoholic beverages and eclectic chit-chat, then this is the event for you. This weekend, Pete’s Candy Store will yet again be hosting “the longest running zine fest in Brooklyn.” On Friday, the Fest kicks off with a reading to celebrate the latest issue of We’ll Never Have Paris, a zine of nonfiction memoir that’s been around since 2007. Curator and editor Andria Alefhi will be reading from the issue, as will other contributors. The festival proper will be held on Saturday, bringing together an array of zinesters, comic artists, publishers, and “amazing delicious snacks.”
7-8:30pm (also Saturday, 2pm-7pm), Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St, Brooklyn), FREE. 

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Celebrate Bloomsday and Friday the 13th With These Talks and Readings

friday
Who ever said that writing, at its best, is a lonely life? We’ve got your weekly round-up of bibliovents that prove once in a while writers do actually jerk themselves away from their laptops to good effect. On the books this week are a wide variety of events, from a reading where you can get tattooed while soaking up some Alt-Lit vibes, to a panel discussion of the King of Pop led by his brave biographer.
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These Brooklyn Literary Zine Publishers Take a Page From the Net

Gabby Bess at her workspace (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Gabby Bess at her workspace (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Two new issues of established zines from Brooklyn-based writers and curators of the printed word are out and available as of the past few weeks. These aren’t your traditional, black-and-white Xerox zines of yore: their creators, Kristen Felicetti and Gabby Bess, are steeped in net culture and cross pollinate with others in the very with-it Alt Lit scene.
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Check Out Kathleen Hanna’s Anti-Evan Dando Zine, Plus an Excerpt From Bamboo Girl

evandando001This week is your last chance to see The Punk Singer on the big screen, and you should definitely, definitely catch this cool doc about Kathleen Hanna – one of the most visible and outspoken figures of the Riot Grrl movement – before it leaves IFC Center and Nitehawk on Thursday.

The film’s archival footage of Hanna’s band Bikini Kill – not to mention its interviews with Kim Gordon, Hanna’s bandmates in Le Tigre and her husband Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys – filled us with so much nostalgia for the ‘90s (when Courtney Love was so, so much nuttier than she is now) that we were inspired to check out the Riot Grrrl Collection at NYU’s Fales Library.
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See and Be Seen, and See Some Zines, at the 8-Ball Fair This Weekend

The first zine fair. (Photo courtesy of 8-Ball)

The first zine fair. (Photo courtesy of 8-Ball)

Lele Saveri is a busy, mustacheoed man: he helped open MuddGuts in November, just extended The Newsstand’s run into January and this Sunday he’ll put on the fourth installment of the 8-Ball Zine Fair.
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