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Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine?

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  378 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
A zine is a handmade magazine or mini-comic about anything you can imagine: favorite bands, personal stories, subcultures, or collections. They contain diary entries, rants, interviews, and stories. They can be by one person or many, found in stores, traded at comic conventions, exchanged with friends, or given away for free. Zines are not a new idea: they’ve been around f ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 26th 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 651)
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Nov 19, 2008 Ciara rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: only the youngest & most sheltered of aspiring zinesters
Shelves: read-in-2007
in retrospect, i'm amazed that i had such high hopes for this book. not that my hopes were especially stratospheric, but that i had hopes at all is really kind of sad. i should have known from experience that books about zines are pretty much always a complete letdown, they miss the point, they contain ridiculous quantities of misinformation, & they seek to commercialize & trivialize a part of my life that is huge, important, & personal. i need to just stop reading books about zines. ...more
Jul 10, 2014 Kendra rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, crafts
I realize I am quite late to the party, but I am now in love with zines! I want to read them, make them, and give them away. I was prompted to start reading this book because I decided to change up the final project in a class I am teaching, so instead of annotated bibliographies -- zines! This book inspired me to not only learn how to make and teach the art of zines but also to brainstorm what zine projects I could still undertake this summer as fun side projects. Great instructions and ideas. ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
An amazing resource / motivation for starting a zine. Suggestions are given for zine topics, printing and binding techniques, and distribution. Wish there was a little more in terms of online resources (but I also recognize that it may be a conscious choice to leave this out).

This book is in my library's Juvenile nonfiction section, but it is more targeted toward adults. (All language is appropriate for children, but the details/depth of some topics, including copying and binding, might be too c
Marta Boksenbaum
Mar 17, 2012 Marta Boksenbaum rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen-lit
I couldn't get into this book. As a linear reader, I found this book extremely hard to read and it was obvious to me that I wouldn't much enjoy reading zines either. However, for a reader who likes unraveling each page full of handwriting and drawings that do not necessarily tell one cohesive story. I'm sure many readers would find this book informative and fun. I did like that it was written in the format of the genre it was describing, and includes very specific instructions on the constructio ...more
lucy by the sea
Apr 13, 2013 lucy by the sea rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fic
I found this pretty try hard and too hip. It's also really patronising and too comics focused. I'm looking for a good book on zine making and the zine scene for my 73yr old dad who wants to make a simple zine of his poetry, this isn't it.
Cindy Benabderrahman
Apr 21, 2009 Cindy Benabderrahman rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who get on my nerves asking me how to get their poetry published
In this book, someone hoping to learn the basics of zine-making can find lots of information. There are pages and pages artfully crafted with a vintage typewriter and lots of pens and markers by more than 20 contributors that presume to inform young zinesters. There is a section on the 200 year history of zines, another section about how to make your own zine. There are lists of ideas for young people who can't think of their own ideas. There are suggestions on how to use the copy machine
Jul 08, 2008 Esme rated it really liked it
I've been volunteering for the Girls Rock Camp Austin. The girls have been rocking AND rolling. It's been fantastic. One of my favorite things about camp is that the girls are exposed to a variety of workshops. My friend's Jess B. & Jessica Champion (the jessicas) created and ran the zine workshop. Today was Jess B.'s day and I helped her out and oh man it was so much fun! It was only an hour so we ran through a super fast "what's a zine" "why make a zine" "how to make a zine" then let the g ...more
This is a great book for anyone looking to make a zine. It also has some good general advice, like writing prompts, for others who want to make something for the world to see! The book made zine-making sound so fun that I am kind of considering making one at some point, but I've got so much on my plate already, I don't think I'll ever get around to it.

My trouble with this book is I kept reading it and thinking, I prefer my blog and my physical sketchbooks. The book addresses the zine-versus-blo
Robyn Groth
Jul 21, 2015 Robyn Groth rated it liked it
Shelves: writing, non-fiction, 2015
Great beginner book about zines. Talks about the history, distribution, copy machine tricks, sizes and formats, genres. Many reviewers seem upset that this book doesn't say much about the creative process, and that's true, but like I said, this is a beginner book. Often a person experiments with various forms and ideas before finding his voice. This book provides jumping off points for people who are ready to start exploring.
Ahmad Nizamuddin
Apr 22, 2012 Ahmad Nizamuddin rated it it was amazing
A book all about zine making and it's in a very fun way, the most fun I got so far. The layout is all either type-written look or hand-written look. The two authors started the book writing about how they got into zine-making and stated that they make this book that they wished they'd find when they first started their mini-comics. What's a zine? Why zine? History of zines? Materials exploration? What to write about? How to do an interview? How to do reviews? Possible zine formats? Experimenting ...more
Salah satu buku di koleksi perpus art & craft yang paling aku suka: Cara membuat zine, media yang di awal tahun 1990 banyak beredar di Bandung dan dibuat oleh komunitas. Dengan gaya manual: tulisan di buku ini menggunakan gaya tulisan tangan dan mesin ketik, juga layout kolase, buku sangat terasa menampilkan semangat zine sebagai media komunitas yang mandiri.

Penulisnya bener-bener memaparkan dari A sampai Z serba-serbi membuat zine. Dari mulai sejarahnya, semangatnya dan sampai ke hal teknis
Feb 29, 2016 Oneoddfrog rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Pretty stream of consciousness, but a fun resource for Indy zine making, and some nice tutorial/instruction material to get the ideas flowing.
Sue Smith
Apr 01, 2012 Sue Smith rated it really liked it
This is a great resource book for anyone who's interested in trying their hand at making their own zine. It definitely covers all the basics anyways and has lots of testimonials from lots of great people who have blazed the trails ahead of everyone else. I really liked the advice on folding so you know exactly where each page will be.

Excellent reference pages at the back for where to send your zines to sell, but if you're Canadian you'll have to find another source. Some mention of one or two sp
Printable Tire
Embarrassing title aside, this book is awesome. I wished it existed when I was in high school. I can't figure out the book's demographic audience- it seems to be geared toward high schoolers, and indeed I found it in the young adult section of the public library, yet at least 50% of the stuff in here I don't think even I have the technical know-how to do, let alone the average high-schooler. But that's just good motivation to try it, I guess, and everything is explained in a pretty simple and en ...more
Esther Pearl Watson reminds me how to make a no-staple mini-zine.
Aug 20, 2011 Noelle rated it really liked it
As a complete novice, I really enjoyed this book. If you are already into zines, I can see how it might not be great -- it lays out instructions for making a zine, which seems counter to the independent, trial-and-error spirit of the zine world. I did pick up some good tips from the book, but it's main value for me was just that it was creatively inspiring, and I really enjoyed the insights and visual contributions of various zine and mini-comic creators. Also, I now have a crush on Anders Nilse ...more
Sep 12, 2015 Tiny rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who is creative and has a special interest for Zines!
Recommended to Tiny by: Librarian
Great book! Filled with so many creative ideas to do when making a zine from: coming up with ideas to make it about to actually constructing the zine. Step by Step instructions that are included are so easy to follow. This book is a MUST read for anyone who is interested in zines and the making of them. I've gotten so many ideas just with this book on -not only different ideas to write/ draw about but also different ways to display my ideas and make my zine more interesting. :D
Jan 06, 2008 billy rated it really liked it
This book jumped out at me on a YA display end at the library when I was going to pick up King Dork. I thought that it was going to be a super cheesy, but it turned out to have really practical advice and a bunch of cool people giving input like Eric Nakamura (Giant Robot), Debbie Stoller (Bust), Bwana Spoons, and Salee Oh. If you ever wanna make a zine, I will happily be yr partner.
Jan 02, 2014 Josh rated it really liked it
Anecdotes, practical tips (production, distribution, etc.), and resource links/addresses. All done up in layout derived from hand-made publications! (The layout bit slowed me down in reading while making it more fun by forcing me to experience a little of what is discussed within the book.)
I like Esther Pearl Watson, but I'll stick to her comics.
This should be called Watcha Mean, What's a Mini-Comic?
The layout is so chaotic I felt like I was developing ADD just trying to read this book. Decent resource for young beginners (especially those interested in mini-comics), but I'm not a young beginner, so...
Apr 08, 2008 AnnaBnana rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-info
Are kids still into zines? I think adults who want to think they're cool want kids to be into zines, when really they're more into the electronic stuff. I probably wouldn't recommend this book unless the reader was really asking for this kind of content or had some kind of project to do (there's a good how-to section).
May 31, 2007 Snarky's rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: DIYers, Zinesters, Radical non-bathing types
I love this book. By far it's my favorite of the "how-to" zine books. It feel like a zine and again, I love how accessible it feels. I am so big into things being accessible for everyone. I hate snotty shit. I like the idea that a girl in bumfuck nowhere can pick up this book and start making zines and changing people's lives.
Jun 14, 2007 Shanna rated it liked it
Shelves: zines
Really great information about the technical side of zines. If you know a lot about zines already, though, you're not going to hear anything new.
I really love Watson's "Unlovable" comic and was maybe expecting something more like that. That's my fault.
Really great for teens and those unfamiliar with zines.
Chris Hays
Jul 08, 2010 Chris Hays rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
If you are interested in the specific task of creating mini-comics, magazines, or other random printed material for more than one person than this book might be for you. If you prefer to work on-line or do not want to spend your time in the world of zines do not bother.
Jun 24, 2013 Riley rated it liked it
This book is definitely helpful for anyone looking for more information about making a zine. It focuses on comic scenes and the layout can make it a bit difficult to follow. I'm not upset I purchased it but if I had to buy it again I would probably go with a different choice.
Jan 12, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it
Huh. Interesting reviews. I didn't notice a bias toward comics at all--maybe because I'm a comics glutton? I thought this was a really fun intro to zines and minicomics, very encouraging. I loved the look of each page and the mix of formats. I can see re-reading for inspiration.
Apr 17, 2015 Dana rated it it was amazing
cute, clear, and an absolute delight to read.
May 16, 2010 Satia rated it liked it
Not a bad book albeit not very inspiring. More about the technical side of putting together a zine rather than about how to create the content. For more:
Oct 19, 2007 Emily rated it really liked it
This book is awesome. It has a huge resource section with lots of templates and "how-to" guides for different aspects of zine making. Also applicable for people interested in book making jusssssst in general.
Oct 12, 2012 Birdie rated it really liked it
Deep down I have old punk roots and a love for zine culture. This book explains the history of the art, the technical aspects of zine printing and inspires creating the perfect zine.
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Share This Book

“Zines are not a new idea. They have been around under different names (ChapBooks, Pamphlets, Flyers). People with independent ideas have been getting their word out since there were printing presses.” 1 likes
“The most common kind of zine is the personal zine, created by individuals reflecting on their everyday lives-confessional, sometimes mundane, containing even scandalous writings.” 1 likes
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