Five Amazing Zines From the Denver Zine Library

Categories: Literature

Billy McKay, Invisible Robot Fish
The Denver Zine Library will be celebrating its seventh grand reopening this Saturday.
Somewhere between the first time a cave man chiseled an idea into stone and an early adopter tweeted a phrase in 140 characters, the zine was born. Zines are self-published magazines, often hand-drawn, collaged, typed on old-fashioned typewriters or scrawled in Sharpie, pen and pencil. The contents vary: Some are political, others are surreal, personal or instructional. If somebody has conceived of an idea, there's probably a zine about it somewhere.

See also: Kelly Shortandqueer on zines, storytelling and his transgender insurance-claim victory

Unlike the click-and-read blog and widely available books, magazines and papers, zines can be hard to find. Often they are shared within a community amongst friends, distributed at shows, punk houses and art events or exchanged through the mail -- snail mail, that is.

At Denver's Zine Library, one of our initial MasterMind winners ten years ago, zines are lovingly maintained in a collection with over 15,000-plus titles. Here are five of our picks from the DZL collection.

Jesse Reklaw, Mime Compliant 11: Read
Mime Compliant 11: Read
Jesse Reklaw created this black-and-white comic, published in October 2002, about the imaginative possibilities triggered by reading. In this wordless zine, a string of weirdos go to the library, check out books and lose themselves in the pages. As the characters read, they morph into fabulously weird, emotionally charged, fantastical creatures whose normalcy will be forever compromised by the written word.

Dylan Scholinski, Freedom of Depression: 9 Ways to Commit Suicide
Freedom of Depression: 9 Ways to Commit Suicide
Painter Dylan Scholinski's The Last Time I Wore a Dress is a nonfiction memoir chronicling his experience, at fifteen, of coming into his gender identity in the grip of a mental hospital. While working on the book, he created a series of glib artworks offering viewers nine ways to kill themselves and collected those in this zine. His preferred tools include guns, plastic bags, skyscrapers, razor blades and syringes; Scholinski describes the perks and drawbacks of each way out. Laughter saved him from suicide, Scholinski writes, and he hopes his morbid humor will help his readers, too.

Read on for the rest of the picks from the Denver Zine Library.

Location Info


Denver Zine Library

2400 Curtis St., Denver, CO

Category: General

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