Friday, July 11, 2014

Zine Workshop

People always ask me if there are zine workshops. Seeing as how July is International Zine Month, I'm doing one on (this) sunday (July 13th) at 1pm at the Chi Prc. Discussion, instruction, demo, then talk about selling it. Boom.

This workshop is in conjunction with Quimby's Bookstore teaming up with The Chicago Publishers Resource Center (CHIPRC) to bring you zine-y activity. CHIPRC will be hosting zine events during the month.

In this is a monthly hands-on workshop offered by CHIPRC, learn a bit about zines and the local self-publishing community. Discussion, instruction, demo, then talk about selling it.

$3 donation. All skill levels and ages welcome!

The Chicago Publishers Resource Center (CHIPRC), at 858 N. Ashland Avenue, strives to build community and foster creativity by providing access to the space, education, and resources necessary to create and self-publish literary and visual work. And of course, if you make a zine there, you can always come consign it at Quimby’s! Join and support the center, and as a member you will receive discounts for using equipment, workshop registration and more. Or become a CHIPRC volunteer and give back even more. Their summer calendar features drawing activities, discussion, open studio and more! More info at

More info:

Event post on Facebook   and/or

Also, I'll be leading a zine reading club at the ChiPRC on July 24th!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

IZM Day 9: Write a Letter to a Zinester You Don't Know

July is International Zine Month! I'm doing a few of the ideas for selected days. Day 9 was to write a letter to a zinester you don't know. I was chuckling to myself while I did this example, standing in a towel with a toothbrush in my mouth. How hilarious would it be to receive this as a letter? There's something about this type of repurposing that gets to the heart of my sense of humor. It's like the slobs invading the snobs' party.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Internat'l Zine Month Day #7 Make envelopes for postal week

July is International Zine Month! I'm doing a few of the ideas for selected days. July 7th's suggested idea is to make some envelopes or postcards for international zine week. The very first edition of Stolen Sharpie Revolution had some envelope templates, for different size envelopes. Well, being that I have a job where I can take home old magazines, I use those for making envelopes. Scissors and glue stick are my main friends in this endeavor, although I did photocopy the templates in different sizes, then put those templates on cardboard so that I have cardboard templates I can just traace around, then cut, then fold, then glue. Voila! It's a lot cheaper and more fun when you're sending zines in the mail. I've made them as gifts for people too. I found some cheapo blank white stickers at American Science and Surplus, which I can use for the labels for mailing address and return address. I also like to buy old records and repurpose the lyric sheets to make envelopes, while the record sleeve I use for mailing (or putting in frames and displaying on the wall). Then with the record I heat it for a minute or two in the oven and then mold onto the inside of a glass bowl. Then when the vinyl dries I have a record bowl. I knew Bob Seger was good for something. And it isn't music.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

International Zine Month 2014!

July is International Zine Month! I'm picking some days and attempting to actually follow through on some of the suggested ideas for selected days.

We'll be blogging about it on the Quimby's Bookstore Quimblog too. We're going to do a window installation at Quimby's for July too. I'm looking forward to it!

July 1st's activity is "Make a Top 10 list of reasons why your love zines!"
Well OK then! In no particular order:
1. Zines are not usually done for financial profit, so there isn't a lot of advertising.
2. Since zines aren't published by big fancy magazine publishers, the writer is usually also the editor and publisher, so that means there is less interference from someone with a mainstreamy agenda.
3. Everything looks cool when laid out in scrappy black and white cut-and-paste style.
4. Zines are usually less expensive then magazines.
5. Zines can focus on charmingly specialized topics, like dishwashing, pirate radio, or how to make a haunted house.
6. When you meet other people who are into reading or publishing zines, they are usually really cool people.
7. As a zine publisher, you can publish as often or as little as you like, which I like to think of as the "I'll put out another issue when I'm damn good and ready" publishing schedule.
8. When you meet someone new you can school them in everything they need to know about you if you just hand them your zines and say, "Read these."
9. There is no intermediary editor! What you say goes!
10. If you publish a zine you can trade with other zine publishers for theirs, and it's a great way to make friends.

More about International Zine Month at

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dance Dance Party Party Update Update

A month (or is it two? or three? I can't remember) I took over as one of the "den mothers" at the Chicago chapter of Dance Dance Party Party (DDPP). It's this one hour dance party for ladies only. No boys, no booze, no judgement. You dance around however you want, a different woman DJs every class, and it's the best workout ever. It's $5 a class. You come in your workout gear, the lights go dim (except for some disco lights), and you just dance, like the way you dance when you're a little kid with your friends. There aren't any instructors or rules. There's a warm up song, a cool down song, and there's music to dance to in-between. And that's it. It's on wednesdays, 7-8pm and on sundays 4-5pm at the Perceptual Motion Dance Studio at 4057 N. Damen.

Being a "den mother" for DDPP means I help with organizing, blog posts, setting-up-style duties, organizer-y type of stuff etc. I DJ under the mixmaster moniker MC Escher. Here's a link I put up on the DDPP blog to a spot where you can download my most recent mix. I think it makes for a perfectly timed workout, whether you're dancing around, going running, or whatever it is that you do (if you do). I do also have some links to a few previous mixes here on my website at

*Note! During the summer, the sunday sessions go from being every sunday to every other sunday, so check the DDPP social networking platforms for updates.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chicago Zine Fest 2014 Panel Transcript

For transcript of the panel, see
I moderated a panel at the 2014 Chicago Zine Fest called “In it for the Long Haul: A Discussion on Longevity in Zines with Cindy Crabb, Tomas Moniz, and Alex Wrekk. Moderated by Quimby’s Bookstore’s Liz Mason.” Alex does Brainscan zine, Tomas Moniz does Rad Dad zine, and Cindy Crabb does Doris zine. Of course, they do so much more as well, but that’s just a quick overview. The transcript was done via Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART). So speakers’ names are not noted in the transcripts, and there are a parts missing if the sound wasn’t picked up clearly. Also, there are full on technology translation mistakes. But in spite of all this, I think the transcript is enlightening and entertaining because these folks have a lot to say. I had fun doing the panel and loved talking to these thoughtful, creative artists. Click here to read the transcript.

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Discussion With Jenette Kahn at the Chicago Humanties Festival

I was the interlocutor for a discussion with Janette Kahn at the 2013 Chicago Humanities Festival this past fall, in one of the auditoriums at the Art Institute of Chicago. She was super gracious, totally charming, and of course extremely articulate. Now she produces movies, but she was only in her late twenties when she took over as publisher for DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman). She was with DC for 27 years! And as a woman in comics, I can appreciate how difficult that must have been, especially because she started there in the 70s. Ms. Kahn was one of the founding forces behind DC's imprint Vertigo (known for cool series like Sandman, V For Vendetta, The Invisibles and others) and was also a real advocate for creators rights. In addition to all this, before she was at DC, she knew all about publishing because she started the magazines Dynamite and Kids, which as a zine publisher and purveyor I can also appreciate.


P.S. A good site to read about the struggles of gender in the comics industry, I suggest checking out