I’m early to some things, and late to others. I made my first zine in 2018 as a challenge from a coaching teacher. I gave myself a deadline: I would give myself only a couple hours to write the eight small pages and assemble the whole thing. It was weirdly thrilling to make, and share, something so decidedly imperfect.
In 2019 I did it again. This time, I made a different set of constraints for myself. I would produce one zine a month, send one to whoever wanted one, take whatever donations anyone wanted to offer. I would make six issues and then stop. I called it Crappy Zine Club.
Another constraint was that I really did not have time to do this. I did most of the work on it early in the morning before my family woke up and the day officially started. Knowing that it would be a limited time project helped me carve out the time I needed.
Each issue included a recipe, a personal narrative or two, and a long-form interview. Friends submitted photos, articles, and for one issue, a game that was created specifically for the page size. We scraped six issues together. The covers are below.
Six months after the project concluded, it occurred to me that stacking all of the issues together would comprise something the proper length of a book. So I bundled all of the digital files, designed a cover, and uploaded the whole thing to an on-demand publishing company. I sent books to contributors as a thanks for their time. And I had the satisfaction of looking at the thing, and thinking, indeed, that is a book. It will never be publicly available.