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Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!



From the Farther Trees: A Magazine of Fantasy is a bimonthly 'zine of all-new fantasy fiction. My partner and I just edited and published the first issue.

What's a zine? I'd loosely define a zine as a self-published or small-press magazine, often with an alternative or DIY aesthetic. I associate them with genre fiction, fandom, and poor quality photocopies, but lots of people nowadays turn them into serious art pieces, printed in professional quality on glossy paper. There are also lots of online zines, or e-zines, which can run the gamut from professionally-paying fiction markets to blogs that will print literally anything, so long as you don't expect to get paid for it.

You can find some quality fiction and poetry in e-zines, but it all depends on the editorial staff and their standards. One of my personal favorites is Prismatica Magazine. (I'm not affiliated with them or receiving anything from them -- I just really like them.)

I've been writing and publishing zines for almost twenty years, off and on. My first zine was pure old school: hand-written and hand-drawn, filled with diatribes against Dubya Bush and the military industrial complex, photocopied at a Staples back when Staples let you print things on the honor system. That was a great way to print twenty copies and only pay for one, but they don't let you do that anymore. I traded various issues of that zine with people in a zine community on LiveJournal, and left a handful at a coffee shop in North Carolina. Those were the days.

My next zine was exclusively online, filled with speculative fiction from amateur writers. I published some great stories from authors all around the world, some of whom went on to be pros, and I commissioned some amazing cover art. Uploading pdfs, though, isn't nearly as satisfying as physical zine-making. The fact that I didn't charge anything for the pdfs also made that project short-lived.

This new zine draws together my favorite elements from both approaches: I did the cover myself, with papercraft and paint; my partner did some sketches for the interior; we're publishing seven all-new stories from legit fantasy writers; and the zine is a physical, tangible item, not just some internet ephemera that will disappear in a year. We're thinking about calling up local alternative bookshops to see if they're interested in selling some.

For now, you can buy it through our Etsy shop!

Who else here makes or reads zines? I've begun collecting any old-school zines I find in comic book shops and used bookstores, but I'm out of touch with the present day zine-making community and don't know a lot beyond my own experiences. Let's trade zines!

Time Cowboy fucked around with this message at 15:42 on Aug 6, 2020

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BleedingPhoenix
Jun 3, 2019

The Flames of Disaster are closer than you may think.


I've never heard of the term zines, but I really like this concept. Awesome work on the cover by the way.

I remember trying to get a magazine started when I was around nine years old. I wanted it to be a weekly paper, and I wanted it to have stories, articles, pictures, the works. I got exhausted pretty quickly, tho, because no one else was interested and I tried to hand-write and hand-draw the whole thing on my own. It was still fun, at least when looking back at that time.

I guess that would be a zine that I was trying to make, right? I hope I'm understanding it correctly; the night is starting to get to my head.

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

Thank you! That sounds like an adorable zine of sorts to me. Do you remember anything about the stories, articles, and pictures you created?

BleedingPhoenix
Jun 3, 2019

The Flames of Disaster are closer than you may think.


Time Cowboy posted:

Thank you! That sounds like an adorable zine of sorts to me. Do you remember anything about the stories, articles, and pictures you created?

I don't remember specific details, but I drew a lot of inspiration from magazines we were getting at the time. We'd get animal magazines like Ranger Rick, and I was really into biology back then, so I did articles talking about interesting animals. Stories would often be short little poems or three-paragraph adventures, none of which I fully remember. I know I got crazy with drawings, though; I'd draw huge stick figure battles in comic book format, where two armies would do battle until only one side was left. I really liked drawing floating islands, too, so I'd draw fantasy environments with floating islands in the sky.

I'd never really thought about it for a while, and this thread reminded me. I think I'd have much better luck nowadays than back then, probably because of age and technology making everything easier to print.

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

BleedingPhoenix posted:

I'd never really thought about it for a while, and this thread reminded me. I think I'd have much better luck nowadays than back then, probably because of age and technology making everything easier to print.

Printers don't seem to have improved much in the last seventeen years, at least not in my price range. Originally I had wanted to print From the Farther Trees statement-sized (5.5" x 8.5"), but our printer did some wild things with paper that size, so I had to reformat the entire first issue to make it letter-sized. In the future I want to figure out how to solve this problem. A statement-sized 'zine just feels more polished.

Spanish Inquisition
Oct 26, 2006
LISTEN TO THIS SHITTY SONG BY MY SHITTY BAND! used tire.mp3


Time Cowboy your zine looks wonderful! What did you use for the binding, washi tape?

I've been calling what I make "zines," but I guess they're more like mock-ups for a zine? I've made a ton of one-off single page zines, but I haven't made the jump to reproduction yet. I feel way more comfortable with traditional media, and am kind of intimidated by the process.

What is the process like for you? Do you make your illustrations in black and white and scan them in? How much editing do you do on a computer? I have a loose background in graphic design, so my instinct would be to use InDesign or something to lay it out, but I know that's not the traditional DIY route.

I'm not involved in the local zine scene at all, but it's something I'm curious about! In fact, last year I was going to base a whole project around zines, but I abandoned it. Here's a silly little youtube video I made about zines, even though I don't know poo poo about them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEFaY5Y5xJo

I'm glad you made this thread, it makes me want to get back into it! I just scanned in a bunch of stuff I made, so I'll post a couple here once I figure out the best way to format them.

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

Itís fancy paper from an art supply store, which we cut and mod-podged to the spine to hide the staples and firm up the binding.

Iíve never used InDesignódidnít know it existed, actually. I still use Word to lay out the text and interior illustrations, despite the limitations of Word.

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Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

Our second issue just came out! Seven all-new stories and poems from an international cast of authors (many of them have won awards!), plus original fantasy art!



Please buy a copy so we can keep paying our authors!

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