Arts student Lucas Glenn (front left) and science major Jeff Ellom (front right) have been working on a zine along with fine arts students Brit Bachman (back left) and Corie Waugh (back right).

A new zeal for the old-world ‘zine: DIY publishing goes back to basics in Kelowna

Even with the Xerox machine on the way out, today's artsies still eschew video, blogs and digital animation for the aesthetics of paper

  • Oct. 3, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Even with the Xerox machine on the way out, today’s artsy students still sometimes eschew video, blogs and digital animation for the aesthetic appeal of paper.

In a way, the Heartbreak issue of Kelowna’s new ‘zine is an environmental effort.

zinesSure, it’s producing a stack of paper in an era when waste reduction seems to involve a multifaceted vernacular of “-cycling” derivatives to make the old seem new again. By and large, the creative world is obsessed with the Internet and the idea of faxing someone feels synonymous with calling someone’s beeper.

And yet, a group of artsy UBCO students seem to revere the photocopier in the way a mimeograph might once have seemed kitsch or a nostalgic music fan might seek out an 8-track tape recorder and saved the machine from the trash.

“When I heard they were getting rid of the Xerox (in the Rotary Centre) I was like: ‘No, we could use that,'” says Brit Bachman, as the ‘zine enthusiasts open the doors on a fundraiser for their publishing efforts.

The students have been hard at work in studio space at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, shaping a publication reminiscent of the ’80s and ’90s pre-blog craze and The Capital News met with them as they held an evening fundraising event to cover paper costs.

Those who stop to read the little magazine won’t be heartbroken for having made the effort.

Chock-full of whimsical, funny commentaryzine on love, loss, and the space between, the vignettes this ‘zine contains should, at the very least, remind the world of days when a breakup might involve a note, not a never-ending battle of text or the dumping of a friend on Facebook.

While there are ‘zine libraries, a few professionalized publications and alternative bookstores that sell the generally booklet-size magazines, the movement is an intentionally do-it-yourself driven concept. From poems to fiction to citizen journalism, ‘zines present an alternate viewpoint to anything required to earn money—and they are done with creative flare.

“We would really love to participate in the ‘zine festivals and stuff. Maybe travel the world,” said Bachman with a big smile. This is her sixth and final year in university.

The first issue was entitled One11 and the second the True/False issue. Heartbreak is the third issue and includes a funny little note stating the theme had one contributor thinking about girls too much to make any art.

One page appears to offer an interesting illustration of a heart playing coy, composed of koi fish; but the very next page reveals the illustrator was actually referencing one of the more heartbreaking love stories of fall: the kokanee run.

Each fall, kokanee salmon return home to mate, then promptly die upon fulfilling their life’s purpose.

The ‘zines are on sale at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art.

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