Meet my zines

jessica lewis zines

I have been making and loving zines for about three and a half years now. They represent an amazing outlet for so many people to safely express themselves, and I’m constantly fascinated by that, besides the fact that you can do whatever you want with them.

In early 2011, a group of friends and I got together and tried to brainstorm for a new project, something that wasn’t a website. The end result was Static Zine. I run it along with Melody Lamb & Aviva Cohen. Since June that year, we have put out nine issues. It started out as a Toronto-focused zine, with writers from there, writing about topics in Toronto, but it has grown to be more open. Each issue has a different theme, and each page is made by a different person about that theme, whether it’s through writing, art, design or photography. This project will always be my baby. I love running it and seeing what else we can do with it. We’ve thrown parties and concerts, table at festivals (Canzine, Chicago Zine Fest, and this year Portland Zine Symposium, to name a few) and more. I’m always so proud of what our contributors come up with!

The issues that are still available to purchase are FanzinesElsewhere, The Future, Mental Health and Food.

I have also made a couple zines of doodles on random observations, overheard conversations and experiences, which are called Pocket Knife. They were really fun to make. There was no goal to them, just silliness. I’m not sure if I’ll ever make any more, as I haven’t really doodled like that since, but with zines there is always the option!

There’s also Spinning Stories, a collection of four short stories I wrote that were based on songs or albums. Writing fiction is something I definitely want to get into more in my life, I just haven’t yet, and I need to set aside some actual time to develop my style before I can feel like I can move forward. I’m not sure if I can ever manage to type another zine completely on a typewriter without infuriating everyone (including myself)!

My most personal zines are called The Pressure to be Happy. They are about my coming to terms with and understanding mental health issues along the lines of depression and anxiety. Writing these zines have become a very important part of my life in terms of acceptance and progress. They’re pieces of reflection and attempts at cheering myself up, all the while trying to connect with those out there who may feel similar to talk and with hopes we can all inspire each other in our self-care paths. I will likely continue making these, although I may change the format a bit, in terms of how I write them (more continual perzine of my life, less sectioned-updates). I hope to have a third issue out in time for July’s Portland Zine Symposium, which will be full of much happier stories! The second issue came out a few months ago.

I look forward to a future of zine-making, I hope it’s something I do for a long time. I’m always up for new zine projects and collaborations, so if you’re ever interested, don’t hesitate to contact me!

This entry was posted in Zines.