Dangerous Compassions

how I make zines

Today I laid out Please Pass the Plants #2: vegan cookzine for disabled eating.  It comes out 12 years after the first one, I’m estimating.  At least ten years.
what I have cooking on the stove
I like it because I really love these recipes, and the drawings have heart as well.  The ways it surprises me are delightful.  Things I didn’t expect to find their way in.
It was on the backburner for a long time, almost done for quite a while, as my mom was dying then died, and I grieved hard.  Slowly some projects that got stuck then are getting unstuck and dancing out.
Kind of it was ready, but I felt it lacked something.  Suddenly one night, it hit me–my pesto recipe.  That would be the perfect finishing touch, pushing it from good to really, really worthwhile.
There are some cool essays too, about disabled eating, making beans as an empowered adult, how to make smoothies, tea from garden and store.  Cool condiments, and eating foods others discard, especially radish greens and beet greens.
how I make zines
A good friend said they would like to see how I make zines, so I wrote a short explanation in an email.  Here I tease it out a bit.  So thank you, loved friend, for the encouragement for this blog post.
How I make zines includes cut and paste with actual scissors and gluestick.  That’s from stubbornness but also comfort of the whole process.  It’s effective.  I could figure out how to lay it out more modernly, but I enjoy this way.
Binding takes a long time, so maybe one day I’ll bind differently.  But the string is a colorful touch, showing the love that goes into it all.
how from the beginning
I use googledocs.  Write the whole thing, sometimes over the course of years.
Then I ask Ming to proofread it–I send him a link to the googledoc, and he reads it, sometimes finding a few typos.  He gives me feedback, sometimes in the form of tears.  He likes my writing.  I ask him, “Did anything surprise you?” and, “What was your favorite part?”
I set the margins to the size I want, and print a test page to make sure I got it right.  Ask Ming to put in the good toner cartridge.
I print out the pages, then trim them to size with the paper cutter.  Paste with gluestick the words and art.  Well, doing the art is often a big hurdle.  I do it myself nowadays, or ask someone else, who might take a while.
Number the pages, decide how many copies I want to make.  Then I go to FedEx which has the best machines to make the machinable original.  Their machines produce almost zero shadow; shadow can be a problem, with the cut and paste style.
Then we go to L&K, the local Korean printshop we like.  They make copies; they go down to six cents a page, with enough quantity.  We learned how to say thank you in Korean, to thank them, which makes them smile.
gam sab ni da
Then I fold and Ming pokes holes with the powerful antler-handled awl.  Then I bind them with string, give to friends, and mail them out.
It’s a lot to do.  But I like the way.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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