Behind the zines
Margarita Buenaventura (The Philippine Star) - September 2, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - There are many of us who are quite unfamiliar with the concept of a zine. First of all, its pronunciation is confusing — does it rhyme with “mine” or is it closer to Zayn, our favorite ex-member of One Direction? Neither, actually. It sounds just like the other half of “magazine,” and it’s what you call any self-published work in small circulation made for various reasons. It started out being reproduced very cheaply in print format, but today it can go digital. Zines can look similar to traditional magazines, but others can be full of comics, fanfiction, poetry, and even the occasional playlist.

There’s never a more exciting time to learn how to make a zine now, just because of the wealth of information made available to us. With just an Internet connection and a bold imagination, we can publish ourselves however we want, wherever we want. That’s what made Young STAR decide to host a zine-making workshop at the 2016 Philippine Readers and Writers Festival. Presented by National Book Store, the workshop was held last Aug. 26 at the Raffles Hotel in Makati.

We invited three of our close collaborators to share their own experiences in making zines. Our columnist Gaby Gloria, who’s also the editor in chief of online magazine The Thing, talked about how to turn ideas into a working concept for a zine. “Anything can be an idea,” Gaby encouraged the audience, sharing how even one’s love for tapa is a pretty valid reason to make a zine.

 

 

 

 

Comic book artist and illustrator Mich Cervantes discussed her own experiences in making comics, and the kinds of zines she has created, most of which come from her personal experiences. While sharing with the audience copies of her own favorite zines — one of which is by two artists who build on just one drawing, page after page — she also talked about how finding peers and friends who share the same interests really helped her introduce her work to more people.

Young STAR art director Maine Manalansan actually got her start in making zines in college. She’s the editor of Stache, a bimonthly publication she worked on with her friends in between homework. One of the things that Stache became known for was it was a good place for young creatives to hone their craft, and the importance of collaboration. During the talk, she discussed some elements of design, and how zines are the best way to know the rules and bend them.

And perhaps our favorite part of the whole workshop was when we actually got to work on making zines of our own. National Book Store provided all the attendees with materials like old magazines, bond paper, scissors and colored pens, while the speakers guided them in folding up the paper to make multiple pages. (It’s tough, but we got it eventually.) We loved seeing people get creative with topics like self-care and cramming for a next-day deadline. We wouldn’t be surprised if a whole lot more zines pop up sometime soon — trust us, they’re a whole lot of fun to make.

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