When I was in my teens, zines used to be a big deal. We would write them and exchange them and read them like crazy. I guess the most amazing things about them were putting yourself out there, get to know people who do the same and finding out you’re not alone. Later when online blogs and forums came into our lives, zines seem to kind of disappear, and what we shared became less thoughtful and sloppy. Today, I must say, I admire people who still make the time and give thought to making zines. My pen pal and a fellow crafter Hannah is one of them.
She mailed me a copy of the fifth issue of “Not Lonely” with her letter (cover photo above), and I read it in a matter of minutes, even before I started reading the letter itself. Even just by looking at the cover and flipping it over to see the back, you can tell she’s put a lot of thought and effort into it. It’s a 40-page zine, which starts with Hannah introducing herself to the readers a little bit, telling us what she’s been up to lately.
I very much enjoyed the two pieces, “Not Going Online” and “Not Proven.” In “Not Going Online,” Hannah takes us on a journey of her relationship with the Internet, from using school computers to Twitter. It’s something we don’t even think about anymore– I mean, do you remember what you used to do when you didn’t go online? I can only do it by squeezing my eyes and brain really tight. In addition to how far we’ve come with the Internet, her piece makes one think about whether or not we’re finding the balance between our “online” and “real” lives.
In “Not Proven,” Hannah talks about her struggle with mental health issues with a very insightful and honest voice. She talks about being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BDP), and how she was prescribed medication even though it wasn’t proven, hence the title. In addition to sharing information about her own experience and the diagnosis itself, she even shares links for further reading.
In her zine, she also shares a “guess the lyrics” game, which I very much enjoyed, 2 soup recipes for winter that I’m definitely going to try out, what she likes lately, a “thank yous” paragraph and how she made the zine. It was a delightful read, and I urge everyone to check it out, especially if you miss the days of communicating through paper and a personal touch.
You can get more information on her zine, including descriptions and reviews on her blog.
She also reviews zines and does interviews with other zine makers at Not Quite a Yes.
You can also find her on Twitter at hannahreads.
All the images I’ve used in this post belong to Hannah.]]>