I made a zine

I've been wanting to make a zine for awhile now. Especially when I came across Bubble Sort Zines and Julia Evan's Wizard Zines collection ranging from command line, linux, networking, http, bit and latest one is "How containers work". I missed a zine workshop by Grrrlzine when they visited Dublin last year as part of the Irish Literature Festival.

Ever so eager, I wanted to run a zine-making workshop as part of LoveLaceSpace but timing didn't work out....

Until a recent email from Science Gallery Dublin and it had a How to Maker a Zine in its newsletter. It was a Friday and I though... "Huh, why not!! πŸ€”πŸ˜ŽπŸ’ͺ"

My first attempt

  • A sheet of A4 plain white paper
  • Scissors
  • A HB Pencil
  • Markers

Followed the instructions (click on the pic in the Science Gallery post πŸ‘†), that's where the scissors comes in, just for a quick snip.

Now for the content... what to do!? πŸ€”

πŸ’‘ I know, it'll be a perfect companion for my Maker project, "Print your own adventure game".

You've got 8 pages (teeny ones at that πŸ˜†), so this what I decided on:-

  • Front: Title and simple image so people know what this zine is about
  • Page 2 - 3: Requirements for the project (this is high level, I didn't include wires, power, thermal paper)
  • Page 4 - 5: What I used for coding: Circuit Python, I included Python because it's good for general references outside of coding the thermal printer and arcade buttons, plus I'm a bit rusty so I was looking up docs a lot. I used Mu Editor because it works and nicer than the other editors on the Raspberry Pi (Modal 3 and 4), and it comes as default on the Raspberry Pi, so no need to install an editor.
  • Page 6 -7: Brief overview of playing the game. πŸ”˜πŸ‘ΎπŸ–¨
  • Page 8: End of the zine, my personal contact dets.

Making a Zine

Making a Zine

Making a Zine

πŸ‘† The finished 1st attempt before I coloured it in.

Making a Zine

πŸ‘† This is after I used markers and coloured it in.

Before I coloured it in, I inked it with a black pen (muji oil-based, 0.5mm). I wasn't very happy with the results. They were cheapo markers from LIDL (I think), and wasn't very clean, erasing the pencil marks left it really grubby.

Next - let's digitise it!

πŸ€” So I thought what if I scanned it in and then re-ink and colour it digitially on my iPad Pro with Procreate. My recent foray back in to drawing and use the iPad with Procreate properly instead of watching videos/movies got my artsy creative brain ticking.

So that's what I did:-

  • Scanned unfolded zine (I was delighted it was all on one side, that makes life easier)
  • Saved to my Dropbox (shared with iPad handily enough)
  • Opened Procreate on iPad and started a brand new project and imported the scanned images, inked all the outlines, then created the necessary layers for inking and colouring.

Making a Zine - Phase 2 - digitise it

  • Exported the digitally inked/coloured copy back to Dropbox in PDF.
  • Back to my laptop and printed it out, and created the zine again.

Now at this point, I thought it's all done and dusted. First of all, it was not quite centred and it was all a little off after folding the zine, things were not where they seemed or cut off.

Making a Zine - Phase 2 - digitise it

  • Tried printing with no margins - erm, that made it worse and not any better
  • Opened up Sketch on my laptop and imported the PDF and centred it and exported the PDF (different name) and printed it out with the printer's default settings.

It was much better this time after folding it. It's a bit of trial and error.

Making a Zine - Phase 2 - digitise it

Making a Zine - Phase 2 - digitise it

Now I was not happy with just the flat colours, why not add a tiny bit more details to bring out the chunky headings on each page.

Finally, let's add a little more detail digitally

Making a zine - final

I'm super pleased with the results. I'm still learning to finish details, so it's not for this zine as I don't want it to look perfect, I'll leave that to my next digitial painting project.

Making a zine - final

Making a zine - final

Making a zine - final

Making a zine - final

Making a zine - final

Here's my final demo of the finished zine:

Making a zine - final

Do you have a zine to share?

Anyone who makes zines out there? Do share! You can tweet @DublinMaker and @whykay with #DublinMaker #ShareYourMakes.

Finally, I hope everyone is safe and well in this extraordinary time, let's keep making, sharing and connected!

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