In 2008 Portland-based zinester Alex Wrekk established International Zine Month during the month of July. In honor of International Zine Month, ComicsVerse is featuring a Zine of the Week for the month of July to help you learn about zines, find new zines, and explore zine events. This week is STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION.

What is a Zine?

It seems only appropriate to kick off International Zine Month with a tribute to Wrekk’s work. Thus, Zine of the Week #1 is Wrekk’s informational zine, STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION. Wreck’s work helpfully starts with a definition.

Zines, pronounced “zeens,” are self-produced, typically non-commercial publications often featuring comics, written manifestos, clip art, and unique bindings.  Wreck states that zines’ “contents can be anything you would like.” Indeed, zines take on many different subjects and forms, frequently using mixed media and photocopies. On Wrekk’s STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION website, she suggests that readers investigate the zine wiki for more information and resources. 

STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION 2
Image from STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION 2 A DIY RESOURCE TO ZINES AND ZINE CULTURE by Alex Wrekk.

STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION not only defines the term “zine,” it also embodies its subject matter. The first incarnation of it was a DIY Zine Resource in 2001, chock full of cut-and-paste advice for cutting-and-pasting your very own zine.

Since then, Wreckk released STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION 2: A DIY RESOURCE FOR ZINES AND ZINE CULTURE expanding on the original edition. Wrekk includes instructions for making your own zine, as well as ways to find your zine community.

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Zine of the Week #1: A Revolution

STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION contains everything a zine enthusiast may need to make a zine. But zine revolutions do not exist in a vacuum. For this reason, Wrekk includes information about zine culture – such as the importance of trading zines –  as well as how to participate in fests or gatherings.

Zine festivals, collaborations, and other events (often in libraries) promote creative engagement within the zine community. Zines developed from an underground punk culture that became popular in the 1970s and 80s. Many zines still maintain their political edge, giving artists a chance to highlight their own voices and experiences and share them with others. Just as the flexible medium evolves, the world of zine makers has expanded and shifted to be more inclusive. 

STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION
Image from STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION

Importantly, Wrekk’s zine celebrates the grungy punk side of zines while making zines and zine culture accessible to everyone. The zine addresses everyone from first timers to seasoned zine makers. As Wrekk writes in STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION 2, zines are “made by a diverse spectrum of people throughout the world from all ages and walks of life.” Indeed, STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION embraces the diversity found in zine culture. As a result, in 2010 STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION even featured on Bitch Media’s gift guide for teenage girls

Wrekk diligently updates the evolving resources featured in the zine, which is sure to have many future iterations. Because zine resources frequently change, Wrekk maintains a list of resources on the STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION website. The site guides zinesters through events, activities and new approaches to zine making.

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STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION’s Guide To International Zine Month 2018

STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION’s site produced an International Zine Month activity guide to encourage zine readers and creators to embrace zine culture this year. The day-by-day guide includes writing a letter to a zine penpal (July 9th) and Zine Library Day! (July 21st).

Wrekk also encourages readers to participate in the 24 Hour Zine Thing for extra credit.

International Zine Month 2018
Image from STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION.

If you feel like getting out your long-arm stapler, scissors, and glue sticks, July is the month for you! If you’re looking for some guidance on how to start your own zine, or if you just want some new inspiration, make sure you check out this zine!

STOLEN SHARPIE REVOLUTION is available here. Don’t miss next week’s Zine of the Week: QUEERS READ THIS! And other LGBTQ+ Zines. 

One Comment

  1. Jennifer Dunford

    August 4, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Erm, you’ve managed to conflate Stolen Sharpie Revolution the publication (originally a zine then (re)published in updated editions as a book) and Stolen Sharpie Revolution the spin off website. Also Alex Wreck didn’t just produce a 2018 guide for International Zine Month, she created it.

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