Zine club presents versatile art with ‘melting and warty’ undertones

Feminism. LGBT+. Racism. Education. These are just a few controversial topics represented in zines, or smaller magazines that are fanzines. The time zines began is controversial also, as some believe it began in the 1500s, but others believe actual zine-making started in the 1900s. Zines are definitely a recent art form, and students are bringing it to Lane, in the form of a club.

“Zines are pretty much a smaller version of comics and have a little more fluidity. They can be magazines and don’t necessarily have to follow a story,” said zine-maker Elena Sotos, Div. 760.  

According to numerous zine online-libraries, the Riot Zines of 1991 used zines to protest, as women published zines with a feminist approach to change the thoughts of their society. The creators of the Zine club here at Lane, Grace Coudal, Div. 779, and Eleanor McQueeny, Div. 766, aim to have a similar impact.

“I hope that people who don’t really feel like their voices are heard can join our club and realize that it’s just paper that you have the ability to do something with,” Coudal said. “That’s the best thing about the zine community. A lot of them are also young people and there is literally no judgement on what you write about. They just want to read what you have to say.”

Zine clubs are not often seen in CPS schools. However, McQueeny believes that, if embraced, zines will create a more open environment in all schools.

“I hope people take it seriously and see that it is fun when you become a part of this community,” McQueeny said. “It’s important for people to share their feelings and ideas on certain subjects through zines, and make it like an open discussion.”

McQueeny has never taken zine-making seriously, and attempted to make an actual zine, but created the club with her friend, Coudal, because they both sought something different from it.

“I started in 6th grade, because one of my teachers introduced it to us for anyone that wanted an outlet to be able to say whatever they wanted,” Coudal said. “The first time I realized I wanted to make zines was when I went to this festival and saw all these really passionate and kind of kooky people showing all their art and talking about really legitimate topics. We started it because I also wanted to reboot that creativeness in me.”

Other members joined for their own artistic purposes, and many bring their own talents to the table, as everyone said their preferences differ when attempting to make zines.

“I’ve always liked the drawing part of it, because I like comics,” Diedre Corrigan, Div. 655, said. “I love ink drawing, in particular. The expression with deep black and thick lines, I love that. Zine making is great, because you can do anything with it. You can take pictures and arrange them in certain ways. I’ve seen zines on how to make stuff, zines that are comics, monthly zines that are like little and artsy magazines, everything.”

“I stick to drawing. I have tried to do a little collage, but for me it just doesn’t look good. But for some people, they’re incredible with collages. I’ve never understood how that works, like getting a bunch of pictures, and combining them to look like something cool.”

Another approach is that of Sotos, who is also in the midst of gaining more knowledge on the zine community and personifying to prove a point.

“I’ve only made a couple of comics and I usually focus on making it abstract,” Sotos said. “I’ll take something that’s not really human, and I’ll put a story behind it. I did a story on keyboard pieces one time.”

Zine club has workshops every Monday, but the creators want to take it a step further with sharing the art created in the club.

“We want to have a Lane zine fest and we want everyone to sell their zines. We want people to feel confident about what they can bring to the table,” Coudal said.

Other members aim to sell their zines and share them outside the Lane borders, and Coudal and McQueeny are there to help them along the way.

“There’s a zine store called Quimby’s in Wicker Park, and if you get a consignment form, you can give them your zines, you can give them your art, and they will pay you,” Samuel Lisec, Div. 764, said. “There’s also Zine Fest in Chicago, where you can also sell your zines. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get a Zine Fest at Lane too.”

Along with discussing critical issues, members also want to do have silly zines, and anything that grabs Lane’s attention.

“I always like looking for stuff that’s different,” Corrigan said. “One of my favorite things is detail. It’s not necessarily pretty detail, either. I love ugly drawings too. Things that are melting and warty, they are just great. Generally, you go ‘Ew,’ when you look at them and I think you need a certain skill to do that, especially with line drawing.”

All in all, many are excited to welcome Zine club, and hope that people with various backgrounds and experiences to share can join, and succeed in representing what they desire.

“I think that zines allow a lot of people to have an outlet and express themselves,” Coudal said. “This includes racism, LGBTQ+, feminism, or their own struggles, and really anything that they can share by drawing or writing. They can bring it to people who are willing to read, and not just because they have to, but because they want to. The community is just that open.”

For more information on Zine Fests in Chicago, go to http://chicagozinefest.org/

And for more information on Zine club, email [email protected] or [email protected]