HFZF Interviews with Zinesters – Hamilton Zine Club

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Tell us a little about yourself and your zine/project/distro.

Hamilton Zine Club (HZC) began with a bunch of zine­ enthusiasts and a challenge: make a zine every month for the entire year of 2013!  As a group, we gathered together at the end of each month to show­-and­-tell­-and­-swap (!) our zine creations.  Essentially, over the course of the year, we created a totally unique zine culture of our very own.  Pretty cool, right?

 How did you start making zines? Who/what influenced you?

HZC was composed of some folks that had made zines before, but the majority of us, though we eagerly collected zines, we’d never made them ourselves.  As the year went on, we inspired and encouraged each other to have fun and to stay creative.  So — ((please, forgive the egotistical nature of this response – ha!)) — there were plenty of brave zinester role-models among us, and largely, we all became each others’ biggest fans.  Perhaps the most inspiring were the first-time zinesters, whom we called ‘zine-virgins.’  ❤

What does it mean to make feminist zines/do feminist diy publishing?

…..dunno!  In our very own (rather insular) Zine Club culture, there seemed to be a huge appreciation and respect for folks sharing really personal experiences.  Feminist zine culture, (I think), celebrates fierce openness and honesty, and what’s equally important is hearing each other.  We all know that there needs to be way more space for women and trans* folks to be heard, and it’s no small thing to create those spaces, and to make them feel good and safe.  Perhaps a feminist zine culture can help create that space.  And if and when that happens, it should be celebrated!

Tell us about a feminist who inspires you to keep working on your zines/projects.

Well, one stand-out bad-ass mega-babe Zine Club celebrity is Chandel f-word Mcauley.  ((Dear, Chandel: I hope you don’t mind being singled out like this, but you’re just too dang inspiring!))   Chandel was, (and continues to be), incredibly inspiring to all of us Zine Clubers.  Chandel has an amazing kind of writing style called: I’m just going to get right down to the guts of everything, and I’ll probably make you cry, and if you care about proper spelling and grammar, then just go right ahead and check your privilege, and then also, suck it!!

p.s. One time, Chandel made a zine about confessing crush-feelings, and guess what happened?  Her zine inspired 5 actual real-life crush-confessions!  True story!

What excites you about Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair or the idea of feminist zine fairs in general?

What feels most exciting about the fair is that we, Hamilton Zine Club, will be putting together a workshop!!! Yay!!  We’re really looking forward to swapping stories with other zinesters.  Also, we have a pretty special thing planned for the workshop — a shadow puppet show!  The puppet show will be full of cute, funny-looking vampire animals and silly monsters.  This puppet show will likely be really really adorable, so you should probably come see!  The workshop+puppet show starts at 10am — see ya at the fair!

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