The Art of Zines

(Image By Giulia Bertelli, via

By Kayleigh Robinson




The production and sharing of zines has been going on for years. Traced back to the science fiction fanzines of the 1930s, the medium is largely focused around self-published, small-batch booklets containing anything from fan content, political dogmas, and personal stories. The 70s saw another boom in zine production, this time looking at Punk and Queer culture, creating something that explicitly went against societal norms.


Zines are often created by marginalized communities -- they are extremely cheap to create and easy to share with a large group of people. Everyone’s voice gets to be heard. 


So, how do you make a zine? Follow these 4 easy steps!


Have an idea


This is probably the most daunting, and least useful part of a tutorial. How can you just ‘have an idea’? First, you need to step back from it. Zines can be anything - there’s no singular topic that you HAVE to focus on. Really into mushrooms? Make a zine about mushrooms! Local history? Go to a library or historical society to get information and start working! There is no right or wrong way to go about making one, just do something that you connect with. Make a zine about making zines!

(Image by Daria Tumanova, via

Gather Materials


Once again, zines can be anything. Can’t draw? Doesn’t matter! Nothing has to be perfect. Terrible doodles can make meaningful work. Don’t want to rely on your horrible stick figures? Take photographs! Have no photographic skills?  Explore using photographs from magazines. Zines can also be text based - typed or hand-written, the possibilities are endless. 


Put it all Together


Zines range in quality from ‘scanned on the library photocopier’ to ‘printed at a professional print shop’. You need to do what’s best for you. The nature of zines means that in their base form, they are extremely accessible, not just to the reader, but to the maker as well. There is nothing wrong with using whatever public facilities you have access too -- that’s a route many publications take. You can chose to step it up, higher quality paper and full-colour images is one example, but don’t feel that they need to be these huge, perfect expressions of your art - anything goes. 


Share Them 


What is a zine if it's not shared publicly? 


You can sell them or give them out for free. A lot of independent comic shops are happy to take on small zine batches from you. You could leave them in public places, give them to museums, or create a .pdf to be shared digitally -- there is nothing holding you back from getting your message out there.  


And that’s how you make your zine! 


These little booklets are an amazing way to share your voice -- your message can be as big or as small as you like, not every zine needs to be a manifesto. The whole point of these objects is that they are giving you a way to connect to other people in an extremely accessible way.


Connect with your community! The possibilities are endless.

For more information visit Broken Pencil

For an article one the first Star Trek Fanzine, check out this!