The most recent one is called High Mija. It’s a female stoner zine that incorporates culture and identity. The first issue is a combination of personal memories, family photos, recipes, and pop culture. The second one is a collaborative issue with submissions from Chicanas from across the US about our adolescent marijuana experiences. It will be released the day [of] fest.
Another one I’ll have is a reprint of the girl gang issue of my teen movie zine Desperate Youth. The third installment is still in the works I swear. I was hoping to have it completed but it’s not done yet. I reached out to the amazing Robin Eisenberg and has agreed to do the cover! I will definitely make merch with whatever she comes up with.
When did you make your first zine, and what was it about?
The first one I made was a mini-zine out of a folded sheet of paper. It was mostly images I gathered to go with a cassette I released for my solo noise project TAHNZZ. Once I had all my photos I think it took me all of ten minutes to put together. It’s the perfect size for anyone new to making them.
Name three influences in your life that have affected your work, or even how you work.
They can be summed up as feminism, culture, and my Nana. I give her credit anytime I make or do something creative. My Nana taught me about crafts, design, style, and being resourceful among other things. After I started making zines I went back to her scrapbooks and photo albums and realized that a lot of things she made for our family reunions look like a page from a zine and were made with a copier. I used a flyer she made for our first reunion as a page in High Mija. I like that I am able to incorporate her work with my own even if she is no longer with me.
What do you say when someone asks you, "What are zines?"
Something you publish yourself. They can be about anything and look like basically anything. They provide freedom and something that you can bring a lot of creativity and expression to. This week I saw a zine size I had never seen before, a triangle. I love what people come up with.
Do you have a zine crush? If so, are you willing to reveal the object of your zine affection?
I definitely do! I get really excited about all the women of color making radical zines right now. I am extremely inspired by the work of the women involved with St. Sucia, Chingozine, Cosmica, Ms Malcriada aka Suzy X, and CHIFLADAzine to name a few.
What's the most challenging thing about zine making? What do you enjoy most about the process?
I have so many ideas for zines. It can be hard to start and most of the time they aren’t fully fleshed out but I try and start anyway. If I’m committed to my idea they will eventually come together, and sometimes you just have to start small. I have limited access to a printer and copier but once that is worked out the process is fun for me. I like designing the layout and cut and pasting my way through the whole thing. If there is frustration it is usually at the copying end.
I’ve only been making zines for a couple of years but the medium really speaks to me. Now that I have found them I will continue to collect and make more. I have some personal zines in mind that will use the old family photos and documents I have to tell my family’s story and my own. The challenge for me is deciding what to work on and making sure I give some time to different projects. It took me a long time to figure out what I’m really interested in and good at. Now that I have I want to keep all those wheels turning.
Why are zines important? There is a long and short answer to this and I’ve learned more about their historical importance over time. Mostly I think they are a great way to share your story. There is not a lot of room for small ideas and voices, at least the world doesn’t make you feel like there is. It doesn’t seem like there is space for you to be heard too. Zines give you that space. Thanks, Tahnee!