Author Archives: dkr

Dear you who understand the importance of independent and mobile media projects…


so long zine mobile!

Dear community,

The trusty Astro Van that’s served as the Fly Away zine mobile has been handed off to the folks at SoMove, whose incredibly exciting and important tour starts N O W ! Not only will you want to keep up with them because of the critical and engaging work they’re doing, you’ll also want to keep up with them because there’s talk of transforming the van into a magical CAT VAN (!!!!)….

SoMove’s tour ends in mid-June at the always-inspiring Allied Media Conference in Detroit, at which point Noemi Martinez, longtime zine-maker and educator, will inherit the van and transform it into a bilingual mobile library/resource revolving around zines, writing, and self-publishing based in Southern Texas. It’s all so exciting, right?!?!?!!?!

If you’ve been moved or inspired by the Fly Away Zine Mobile’s work, or if you simply understand the importance of supporting independent and mobile media projects (especially in the face of increasing media commercialization and corporatization), WOULD YOU PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION to support the work of these exciting new visions?  While projects like these don’t require a ton of money to operate, fuel and vehicle repair/maintenance (and eventually vehicle replacement) can add up quickly. Any amount is valued and appreciated (Can you spare $5? $20? $100? $500?…); all donations will be split evenly between the two projects. If donating money isn’t available to you, would you consider sharing this message and/or spreading the word about these projects?  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

More updates as things happen…

Love and appreciation,

debbie/fly away zine mobile founder & caretaker

p.s. one more time!

The Future(s) of the Fly Away Zine Mobile

THANK YOU to everyone who proposed a new vision for the Fly Away Zine Mobile. It was an honor to read and imagine so many beautiful scenarios from people who share a passion for freely spreading the love and skills of zines and other do-it-yourself media.

THANK YOU to everyone who weighed in and helped direct the decision-making process–Adela Nieves, Celia Perez, Daiquiri Jones, Jenna Freedman, Marya Errin Jones, Miyuki Baker–your perspectives were invaluable and I appreciate you so much.

With apologies for the delay and gratitude for your patience, I’m thrilled to announce that the Fly Away Zine Mobile will live on in these magnificent ways:  From April to July, the Zine Mobile will support the inaugural tour of SoMove, a collective of independent historians, producers, journalists, activists, and artists who’ll be traveling across North America, documenting and sharing social movement oral histories and resources, and offering trainings in media/audio production. When SoMove’s inaugural tour ends in July, the Zine Mobile will go off to South Texas where, under the guidance of Noemi Martinez, it will travel the land between Texas and Mexico. Providing access to voices of immigrants and people of color, the project will evolve into a mobile bicultural and bilingual resource while conducting workshops, teach-ins and readings. While working with both SoMove and Noemi to determine the best place for the zines in the collection, I’ll also be working with Adela C. Licona and Jamie Lee on behalf of the Arizona Queer Archives, an emerging and nonconventional archive at the University of Arizona, who’ll be receiving zines relevant to their curatorial guidelines (which, similar to the Fly Away Zine Mobile’s, are intended to be queer[ed] themselves).

While passing on the vehicle and the zines, I’d also love to pass on some seed money to the two projects that’ll be utilizing the van, to go towards fuel, repairs/maintenance, and future vehicle expenses (which, at least for SoMove, will be happening in July). IF  YOU VALUE INDEPENDENT/MOBILE/DIY MEDIA AND CONTRIBUTING FINANCIALLY IS AVAILABLE TO YOU, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE; all money raised within the next month (by April 21st, 2014) will be split evenly between the two mobile projects (after that date, I’ll no longer be monitoring the website). Messages of support and encouragement are also always appreciated for this work; and/or, of course please watch for requests for support and participation from the respective projects. THANK YOU! 

Finally, there are two HONORABLE MENTIONS that I hope you’ll join me in supporting:

Pioneers Press and the Hard 50 Farm Zine Mobile! Pioneers Press is a family-run independent publisher and distributor based at the Hard 50 Farm in Kansas, focusing on sustainability, health/wellness, and food and farming politics. The folks behind Pioneers Press have been doing amazing independent publishing/distribution work for a long time now, and last year received a grant to start the Hard 50 Farm Zine Mobile, a trailer/tent zine gallery that displays literary and visual arts zines. PLEASE support their work in whatever ways they’re asking, look for them when they’re out on the road, and order zines through their catalog!

Green Branch! Green Branch is an emerging nonprofit social justice children’s library in Oakland, California. They’ve been operating out of a pop-up tent reliably and consistently for a while now and recently created an adorable fundraising video that details their hope and search for an Airstream trailer. Please help them get this!

Thanks, everyone, for reading, for supporting and participating, for everything.  Stay tuned for where you can continue to follow the Zine Mobile in its new evolution, and maybe I’ll see you again out there someday/somehow?

<3 d

It’s time to decide the future of the Fly Away Zine Mobile

Dear Fly Away Zine Mobile community and friends,

Half a year ago, as a step towards honoring a call to seek more stillness in my life (for my health and spirit), I sent an email soliciting ideas for the next phase of the zine mobile. The email sparked supportive and inspiring conversations, and I intended to follow up with more focus and specificity, but the overwhelm I’ve felt in some aspects of my life has left me moving slowly. Please accept my humble apology for this delay, which has left the zine mobile out of circulation for so long. And most of all, please accept the gratitude I have for all of you who have been a part (and might be a part going forward) of the zine mobile’s story.

Please share the call below if/as you are moved (friends, organizations, lists, etc.), but please do not email ideas or suggestions that require me to follow up, as I don’t have the energy to do that. (In other words, I ask that only those interested in taking on the zine mobile and/or collection themselves respond, rather than those with ideas for places to which I might want to reach out.)

While this is a call for new curator(s)/caretaker(s) to take on the next life of a project that I started, I am open to the zine mobile coming to an end if that is the future that awaits it; I just want to give folks the chance to breathe their own vision into it and be at its helm if they so desire.


debbie (zine mobile caretaker)


(Free to a good home! The zine mobile and its library – together or separate!)

After two years and 30,000 miles driving (in spurts) across North America, I’m looking to donate the Fly Away Zine Mobile to a new caretaking/curating individual or team. Read here to find out more about the zine mobile if you aren’t familiar with it and read below for more details on the possibility of handing off the zine mobile torch.

The priority is to pass the zine mobile along (whether it continues to go by that name or a name chosen by its new caretaker/s) to a person or people who will maintain its focus as a project somehow related to reading and writing (though ideas for a non-literary project will be considered as well, so if you have such a vision, please feel encouraged to respond).

There is flexibility around the zine mobile and zines staying together or separating. If you are envisioning a project involving the zine mobile that doesn’t focus on zines or the zine library, the zines can be donated elsewhere. Likewise, if you are envisioning a project that involves the zine library, the zine mobile can be donated elsewhere. There is also flexibility about utilizing the van as a mobile space or as a parked/unmoving space (reading room, museum, etc.)—particularly since it’s getting older and requires a lot of gas to keep running.

Up until this point, my priorities as a caretaker/curator have been to feature zines about healing/wellness, do-it-yourself/resource zines, and zines about prisons and/or by prisoners. You don’t need to feel beholden to curating and caretaking the zine mobile in the same manner and style that I did. I am receptive to (and excited about) other visions and ideas. I encourage you to use your imaginations in terms of moving forward – the shape of this moving forward is open and fluid.

My one request if the zine mobile does continue is that the future person or team maintains the commitment of keeping access to it free of charge — in the interest of getting information and materials into the hands of those that need it. (For example, allowing an opportunity for participants accessing the zine mobile to donate to the project is along the lines of the “keep it free” vision, while requiring money from people to participate is not.)

VEHICLE  DETAILS (a quick internet search of ‘Fly Away Zine Mobile’ will yield many photos)

1997 automatic chevy astro conversion midsize van (the size is midway between a mini van and a full-size van)

Please realize, since the vehicle is 16 years old, it has some quirks and weirdness one would expect for an aging vehicle; the bottom has rust from spending its first 13 years in Minnesota. It’s also not great on gas (16-17 miles to the gallon). That said, it’s received regular upkeep/maintenance and up until this point has been incredibly reliable, not presenting any major problems. Relatively speaking, it’s also low mileage (130,000). The inside is extremely cozy with lots of small wooden cabinets, track and overhead lighting, and a back couch that folds down for sleeping. When the zine mobile was circulating, the two middle seats were removed to make space for a small reading room. Those seats have been put back, so you can keep them in or remove them. With all chairs in place, it seats seven people with seatbelts.


I’m passing the zine mobile along for free, not selling it, though there will be a minimal cost for transferring the title/registration (I believe this will be about $150)

Main cost: insurance = about $400/year, depending on your driving record

Registration renewal/license tabs is about $50 a year

(Insurance and vehicle registration won’t apply if the zine mobile will be used in a parked/stationary way).

The zine mobile is currently located in Madison, Wisconsin. Arrangements could possibly made to get the vehicle somewhere else.


Is comprised of approximately 1,800 zines, broken down into these categories.

Please note the use of unconventional categorizing; most are categorized by topic, but some are categorized by size or format (e.g., little zines and newsprint). The zines have not been cataloged, and there is currently a backlog of uncategorized zines.

If you are interested, please email by February 1, 2014, with answers to the following questions:

1. Are you interested in the van and zines together or separate?

2. What is your vision for how you’d like to caretake/utilize/curate or otherwise use the zine mobile and/or the zine library? Please include whether you see the zine mobile circulating locally/nationally or parked/retired as a reading room/museum, etc., and whether you envision using the zine mobile in a shared manner (among several projects/curators) or if you anticipate using it for a singular project.

* You don’t need to spell out every detail or make it lengthy; in fact, as a general guideline, aim for somewhere around 350 words or less).

After receiving replies, I’ll form a small committee with some folks who’ve been involved with the zine mobile who will discuss and decide its fate. I aim for the committee to reach this decision by mid-February.

I look forward to hearing from you!

In collaboration,

debbie (zine mobile caretaker)


Please help the zine mobile get back on the road!

Please help the zine mobile get back on the road!

Dear beloved community: After a few months of rest and regrouping, it’s time for the zine mobile to get back in action!  AND WE HUMBLY REQUEST YOUR SUPPORT TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

What we need more than anything is GAS IN THE TANK AND SOME ROUTINE MECHANICAL MAINTENANCE. If you you have $5, $10, $20, or even $50 or $100 to help support the work of this free traveling library and resource/reading room, please CLICK HERE TO DONATE! Donors of all levels will receive our heartfelt gratitude and a copy of Jenna Freedman’s zine chronicling the zine mobile’s inaugural journey!  If a financial contribution isn’t available to you (and even if it is), please consider spreading the word! We also love encouragements and general positive energy our way…

Where are we headed?  We’re hoping to make it to Chicago for an impromptu appearance at Zine Fest this weekend (if there’s parking!), and soon after we’ll be headed to San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico!

More info coming soon. Thank you so much for your support of the work we do!

(Photo by E. Bartholomew)

in sadness & celebration

Reposted from Zine World, with huge thanks to all who helped keep it going for over 15 years —


After much consideration I have decided to stop publishing Zine World.

I announced in November my intent to step down ad publisher and head editor of ZW. At that time I had hoped to create a new editorial team to relaunch the zine. A few people stepped forward; unfortunately, we haven’t been able to gain traction, and I can no longer continue as the zine’s leader. My life has changed over the past few years, and I can no longer give the zine the time and energy it deserves.

Zine World #31, released last summer, is our final issue. I will issue refunds to current subscribers, until funds run out. I have several dozen zines on hand that were sent in for review. If you want your zine(s) back, please email me at no later than January 31 to make arrangements. Otherwise, the zines will be donated to one or more zine libraries.

I plan to keep the website active to continue providing resource listings for the zine community.  I also plan to continue publishing and reading zines, so maybe I’ll see you around the mailbox.

I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of the volunteers and readers who have shown support to ZW during the past 15+ years. Zine World would not have lasted as long as it did if not for you. Although I am sad to see Zine World end, I am glad that a decade and a half after Doug Holland started ZW, zine publishing is still going strong, with tons of creative, vibrant, and meaningful publications.


in sadness & celebration

love this!!

Needing Kid Friendly Zines, Please

reposting a request for kid-friendly zines! 


I’m going to be teaching zine-making classes at the library to kids and teens. I need some kid friendly zines to show as examples. I will buy any kid-friendly/appropriate zine until I get a decent zine library showcasing different types of zines.

Please send links to my ask box about your zine, and photos would be great, too. I need them soon, the first class is February 23rd.

Please signal boost. It’s fer the kiddos!

Is the zine made by Fyn Stec available for sale?

hello and thanks for your question : ) the zine mobile is a circulating library, so anything can be checked out. the check-out policy is loose — many of the non-resource zines can be kept if someone finds something they’d like to keep! let us know if you wanna check it out and we’ll get it in the mail!

Happy 3rd Anniversary to the POC Zine Project!!

One of the most inspiring zine projects around — read more at Color Lines (text pasted and copied below):


In the beginning, Daniela Capistrano had no idea zines weren’t just for people of color.

“In the late ’90s, when I was a teenager, I met a Mexican lesbian punk,” she says. “She was the first lesbian I ever met, and she had a bunch of zines in her studio. Almost all of them were by people of color. Since I had never encountered zines before, I thought that zines were mostly a POC thing.

“At that point I didn’t know anything about riot grrrl, I didn’t know much about punk culture; I was really naïve. As I became more involved in DIY-punk-feminist communities — not only making my own zines, but trading with people and trying to be a part of zine communities — white folks with a lot of privilege issues made it really difficult for me to be a part of those communities.”

Zines (the word comes from ‘magazines’) can be thought of both as the punk ethos’ no-budget answer to the publishing industry — and, also, as a form of shareable ‘viral content’ that predates online social media by decades. Often accomplished with little more than a typewriter or computer, scissors, a glue stick, and a copy machine, zines open self-publishing to everyone.

But because zine culture is so closely correlated with punk, a predominantly white subculture that’s more inclusive in theory than in practice, zine communities in many cities are also predominantly white. As a punk of color growing up in Boston, zines gave me a place to process what it meant to be mixed race when I knew few other mixed people. Through zines, I was able to connect with other mixed folks struggling in isolation. But finding zines by other mixed writers was not initially easy; though Boston had a zine library, its ‘race’ section was limited, and most of the zines in it were by white folks, oddly enough.

That’s why Daniela Capistrano founded the POC Zine Project, which celebrated its three year anniversary this week. “The mission of the POC Zine Project is to make zines by people of color easy to find, distribute and share,” she says, “but behind that we’re about liberation, and we’re about revolution, we’re about connecting people of color and helping them feel empowered to share their stories.”

Capistrano, a queer Chicana self-taught media professional, has worked at MTV News and Current TV. Having worked her way up from the world of unpaid internships, she’s now supporting other writers of color with her time, love, and money: curating traveling zine exhibitions, establishing an archive of zines by people of color, and providing grants, tools and events to POC zinesters. I sat down with Daniela shortly after the conclusion of the POC Zine Project’s 2012 ‘Meet Me at the Race Riot’ tour to find out what role zines can play in increasing people of color’s political power.

“In each of the fourteen cities, we kept hearing similar messages,” she says. “‘This needed to happen,’ and ‘I’ve been looking for something like this.’ What they’re talking about isn’t about the zines, it’s about community. It’s about finding spaces where you don’t feel silenced, where your thoughts and feelings matter.

“Sharing your thoughts in writing, and the process of even writing it down, is so cathartic and so healing. Making zines is kind of like giving art therapy to yourself for free if you can’t afford a therapist.”

Capistrano isn’t the only one working to give zinesters of color the legitimacy that they deserve. Last year, the University of Arizona’s Dr. Adela C. Licona published Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric, the first and only book about zines by people of color. As a queer first-generation Chicana educator in a state where Ethnic Studies has been banned, Dr. Licona has a special appreciation for the significance of people of color’s stories.

“The more I come to deeply understand the crisis in education,” she says, “the more I come to be inspired by what I see in paper zines. In a way, what goes on technologically can’t compare to the potential of paper zines to circulate and fall into the hands of people for whom they may not be exclusively written. I think zines circulate purposely, and also in kind of serendipitous ways.” Though most major US cities now have a zine library, zines still spread primarily from friend to friend within anarchist, punk, and DIY communities, but sometimes they end up in unexpected places. Lately, due to increased interest from the academy, more and more zines have been ending up at universities.

“I stumbled upon zines by zinesters of color while I was at the Duke University archive,” Licona says, “and they resonated with me so powerfully. I was in my mid-thirties and I was reading zines by really young people, as well as people my age and older. The power in them struck me and I thought, ‘Why have I not heard these voices before?’

“Before I knew it, I was reading through stacks of zines by feminists and queers of color and realizing they were doing so much of what I valued, which is speaking up and out: telling our stories, knowing that we have a right to be heard, a right — and a responsibility, in a way.”

Licona’s dissertation, recently published by SUNY Press, uses zines by people of color to shed light on why ‘progressive’ movements are often not as inclusive as they’d like to believe. Since it’s a long way from your average basement punk show to the archives at Duke University, I asked Licona why she felt that it was important to bring knowledge from these sweaty basements to the academy. “The knowledge from those sweaty basements is the stuff that you can’t create in the academy,” she says. “The way that I use the privilege of formal education is to use the classroom space to value what I think are de-legitimized voices that are excluded or considered ‘not knowing.’”

After connecting through this interview, Capistrano and Licona have plans to collaborate on POC Zine Project’s upcoming Legacy Series, a mapping project celebrating independent publications by people of color from the 1700s through the 1990s.

Capistrano says she was partly inspired to start the POC Zine Project by coming across the online Queer Zine Archive Project. And while the POC Zine Project is making it so you don’t have to ‘know somebody’ to find zines by people of color, the site is explicit that it’s not there to be a vending machine for tokens; white allies who write in looking for submissions or signal-boosts are asked to show that they’re serious about the work of inclusion.

And beyond the site, archive, and upcoming new tours, Capistrano has greater ambitions. “I would really like to start a residency for women of color who want to self-publish and need the resources to do that — where they can get away from their lives, but in a way that’s practical,” she says. “It’s not just enough to offer someone a residency. If they have kids, who’s going to watch them, how are they going to pay for a sitter? How are they going to fly there? How are they going to eat? I want to be able to address those needs, and one day I will do that.”

“Never underestimate the power of your words and of your ideas and what happens when you share them,” concludes Capistrano. “You have all these great ideas. Write them down and share them with the world, and you never know what could happen.”

Nia King is’s new media intern. A filmmaker and illustrator, her zine How I Became an Ex-Punk was recently published in Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory.


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