Keen on Zines?

The cool kid on the publishing block is definitely the Zine (pronounced ‘zeen’) and our Wellington Community Assistant Pepper has just released her latest ‘Press Zine’ – making her one pretty cool lady!

Pepper, along with her partner Peter (wow that’s a lot of alliteration right there and some more is coming right up) are a collaborative collective called ‘Subterranean Mountaintop Seaside’, and their Zine is about doing a lot with a little.  

“Because we do so many things - writing, drawing, music, cooking, gardening, street art and graphic design – it had been hard to figure out how to present all the things we love and make it as a cohesive piece.

“We’re interested in showcasing the beauty of Wellington, New Zealand and the world, as well as suggesting little ways that people can enhance their daily lives without spending lots of money.

“We include recipes, diagrams, art, photography, bits of information, music and movie recommendations, and more!”

Now, attention those who haven’t read anything actually printed on paper since, well, a long time ago! Zines are publications that are generally made by amateur publishers and artists looking for an inexpensive and creative way to communicate with the world at large. According to Pepper they were traditionally hand-drawn, collaged, photocopied, and distributed amongst friends and mailed out to far-off fans. But with the advent of the internet (damn that thing has a lot to answer for), production of zine’s partially collapsed and they became less common in print, but the upside is that now they can be digitally available.

For Pepper and Peter, Press Zine was a natural choice because they wanted to do something unique that created a direct line with readers, which could be sold for as little as possible both online and via mail/shops. And also because they just enjoy making them!

“Zines are unrestricted by pre-existing notions concerning content. A zine can be about anything, and they have a very loose cultural value,” says Pepper.

“I like them because they free the creator up to be creative, instead of worrying about formatting, marketing and cost. They also create an intimate interaction with the reader, because there’s no middle man between you and them.”

Pepper thinks they are a great way to get something handmade into your life and have direct contact with artists.

“They can exist wherever there is access to a photocopier and there is also very little restriction, versus publishing a magazine or a book where you have to go through a more extensive production process and generally spend a lot of money and time dealing with other people.”

So what’s coming up next for Pepper, Peter and Press Zine? Their ultimate goal is to make it free, either through sponsorship or reader donations. And Pepper has her heart set on a few other changes.

“I think the next issue will be twice as big and in colour, based on how it’s been going. The Dojo’s sponsoring our printing, and that’s been a huge help!”

Buy Pepper & Peter’s Press Zine here ($2 for a hard copy or $1 for a digital PDF)