AUBURN GRESHAM — Anyone can learn how to make zines and connect with the paper-crafting community Sunday at the second annual Zine Camp.
Zines are mini-magazines that people usually create by hand by folding paper, filling the pages with their original drawings and writing, then photocopying their creations to share with others.
“Zines are an incredibly accessible way of expressing yourself, sharing your creativity and becoming part of a community,” said Cynthia Hanifin, the producer of Zine Club Chicago.
“The wonderful thing about zines is that there are no rules. What’s at the center of it, is making something personal that you can share with others. It’s about finding what’s universal in people’s individual stories and experiences.”
Zine Camp will take place on Sunday from 2 to 6:30 p.m. at Picnic Grove 5 in the Dan Ryan Woods, near 85th Street and Western Avenue. The free event is hosted by Zine Club, a group that meets monthly to discuss zine-making and is sponsored by Quimby’s Bookstore, 1854 W. North Ave.
Plenty of snacks and zine-making supplies will be available, but attendees can also bring pre-made zines to trade, lawn chairs, blankets and outdoor games to play together.
There will be a station where people can write letters to out-of-state members of Zine Club, as well as a workshop, led by Jude Bettridge, where attendees can learn unique methods for folding zines.
“Jude is a master of making zines that are folded and put together in really interesting ways,” Hanifin said. “They’re going to show us some ways to fold zines that might be new to even some of us veteran zine makers, but that are still accessible and easy to learn for folks who are brand new.”
Campers will close out the event with a sing-a-long, where Zine Club member Ayun Halliday will transform attendees’ complaints about zine-making into a song everyone can sing together.
“It’s going to be fun and cathartic, like a camp sing-along,” Hanifin said.
People can stop by and stay for as long as they’d like. The location is accessible, covered by an awning and close to public restrooms, Hanifin said.
Young people can come, but the event is geared toward adults 18 and older, so the activities and conversation might not always be kid-friendly, according to Zine Camp’s website.
“We’re going to try and keep it as fun and laid back as possible,” Hanifin said. “It’s an event that should be fun for anyone who has an interest in zines, paper arts and creativity.”
Zine Club was formed about five years ago. The group meets monthly to share snacks and discuss the challenges they’re having with their zines, the most efficient ways to put zines together and the best methods for printing and distributing zines, among other things.
“For example, we have a lot of in-depth discussions about our preferred staplers,” Hanifin said. “It’s a place where people can workshop ideas and talk through the struggles they’re having with their content or artwork.”
Quimby’s Bookstore, which sponsors the club, distributes zines created by anyone in the city.
Zines have a long history, rooted in traditions such as science-fiction fanzines of the ’50s and punk rock anarchist zines calling for rebellion, according to Quimby’s website. However, the store is currently seeing the highest volume of people consigning their zines since it opened in the ’90s, said Hanifin, who has worked at the store for the past two years.
“At the heart of zine-making is creating something with your hands that you can pass on and share with someone else,” Hanifin said. “There’s a special connection within that handmade object that I don’t find in any other form of communication.”
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