1) they feel good in my hands 

2) zines about sobriety make me feel less alone in a city & culture that can be isolating. zines have given me a place to write about my sobriety, mental health, and share my story with others - as well as hear the story of folks in the same boat! 

3) they’ve introduced me to the best people 

4) sending & making mail is a real blast! 

5) writing to pen pals!

6) whenever someone is like “it’s hard to teach” “how do i get sober” “what is mental illness” “how can i find support for ____” i can reach to my bookshelf and say HEY i’ve got a zine for that!

7) zines make me use my hands. if i’m using my hands i’m using the rest of me. 

8) the learning! i am always learning and sharing and being passed down to and passing along and so on and so forth 

9) it expands what i “think” i am good at. with a BFA in dance i think, welp, thats what im good at thats what i’ll do. zines changed the course for me because it showed me i can be good at whatever i want to try my best at. with a gluestick, old magazines, typewriter, scissors, and a copy machine…there you go 

10) i can hardly imagine a life without them. sort of sounds like a cheesy moment, but it’s true. have company opens next weekend! a real shop to buy zines in grand rapids, mi! it’s sort of surreal, but i couldn’t feel more grateful or more excited. 


Part of my zine collection - the task for Day 24 of International Zine Month was to organise your zine collection, but that was too daunting a task, I just took a photo of it! Mine are all jumbled up in no particular order apart from size. It makes it hard to find particular ones but when I do look through them, I make plenty of rediscoveries.

TODAY: 24 hour zine challenge!

I DID IT!!! It was definitely a challenge in that creating content quickly can be hard for me.  I over analyse it or feel like there has to be some message or purpose to what I’m going to be putting out there.  The project really let me experiment with some stream of consciousness writing, drawing, and crafting.  It only took me about 8 hours to make (I included the covers in the 24 pages, is that cheating?).  I really surprised myself! The time constraint was not the challenging part as much as the creating.  At times some things i made felt forced…so I threw them out.  I will be scanning and copying it in the near future, I look forward to sharing this zine since it is so different from my others…titled “dreams-solitude-memories”

International Zine Month Day 2: Top 10 reasons why I love zines

1. When I was a teenager growing up in Utah in the 90s zines showed me a different world outside the oppressive one I was living in and opened my eyes to new experiences and ways of living.

2. From that first moment of realizing “I can do this too!” Zines have given me an exhilarating sense of self expression on my own terms.

3. I could do something and be a part of a culture that wasn’t just forming bands and I didn’t need to find other people to work on a project.

4. Zines gave me a new name. True story! You didn’t really think my actual name was “Alex Wrekk” did you?

5. Zines fueled the love I already had for mail and postal goodness. When I was 19 my post box key was a prized possession that gave me access to a whole world.

6. Zines gave me something to do with my paper hoarding and office supply obsession.

7. Zines helped me get out of Utah. I moved to Portland in 1999 and most of the people I knew here knew me from zines. Zines automatically gave me friends in a new city.

8. Zines opened my eyes to new experiences from politics to the fascinating lives of people who were very different than me.

9. Zines give me more than just “tourism” as a reason to travel and they give me a place to stay when I get somewhere with the invaluable local eye view of a city. I have been to zines events in dozens of cities in 4 different countries sleeping on the floors of people that I only knew from paper. When I was 19 I wrote in a zine that I wanted to be able to know enough people through zines than I would always be able to find a place to stay across the country if I needed it. I think I’m pretty close to that. Conversely, I invite those people back to my city to share when they are in my town, The Portland Zine Symposium is a great reason to get people to visit me!

10. Zines have given me some of my very best friends. I even met my partner, Paul, through zines in a way when we traded zines at a show in 1997.  I feel like these connections through zines are some of the strongest and most lasting over the years. It’s good to see my friends grow up and grow more into themselves.