Updated: Jul 15, 2021
Release the writer/comic artist in you and create your very own mini comicZine. 'Zines' (pronounced “zeens,” shortened from the word “magazines”) are mini pamphlets or magazines. They are super easy and inexpensive to make – and whether you want your Zine to be a 'how to guide', serious commentary on social issues or just a whimsical collection of cartoons; creating and distributing a Zine is a great way to jumpstart your creativity.
The world of zine-making is endlessly vast. If you're just getting started, here's a fun-little guide—complete with illustrations by our creator, Cindy Cheung — to help you out.
1. Decide what your zine is going to be about
Your zine doesn’t have to be the most brilliant publication ever, or even the piece of work you’re proudest of. Just make something that reflects how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking about at the moment. I’ve made zines about health and wellbeing, my favourite foods and local eats, or simply comics and short stories for kids.
Zines can take a while to make, so make sure you pick an idea that you can get enthused by!
I created the Bear Friends short story as a comicZine telling Alice and Bazza Bear's picnic day out. Download our FREE Zine here! Your Zine can be absolutely anything – just make sure it's about something you enjoy sharing (this makes it easier to write and more fun to illustrate! :)
2. Remember to format your pages correctly
If you’re creating a physical master copy of your zine, remember that each folded piece of paper is four different pages of your Zine — and they are not all consecutive! The first page will be on the same piece of paper as the last page, for instance. (See the illustration below.) For that reason, all folded zines must have a page count that’s divisible by four. After you’ve decided the number of pages your booklet will have, fold your Zine and number the pages and mark upward arrows to help you to keep track of what direction the text and images should be in. That way, you won’t get confused.
If you’re working digitally (like I did with Bear Friends), you can create each page individually and save as a normal PDF. Your pages should each be 74 x 105 mm (portrait) – I made mine using an A4 sheet.
Create Copies of your Zine.
After you finish the artwork of your Zine, you may decide that you’d like to have more than one copy! To begin to photocopy your zine, fold out the zine into a flat page, then place this page on a scanner. You may want to make one test copy to make sure that the zine is copying correctly before you print several copies. After you have finished printing and making copies of your zines, go out and distribute them!
Share your Zines with neighbours and friends, family and the world! — or just keep it for yourself and feel proud that you made your own tiny book, out of your own big ideas.
Be Your Own Storyteller
Remember, this is not meant to be a stressful work project, it’s something for you to enjoy, delve into something you'll enjoy and be proud of and show the world!