I have a fascination with zine culture, I love the low-tech ethos. I love the way that zines can cater to any proclivity: art, music, comics, poetry, diaristic writing; whatever. I like to think that I play with the whole spectrum of book arts, so dipping my toe into zine culture makes sense.
That being said, I rarely have time to indulge! I teach people how to make them, which keeps me feeling involved, and recently I decided to commit myself to one ‘regular’ zine rather than keep trying to make a few irregularly.
Being time-poor, I decided that if I want to make a zine regularly it needs to be fast and fun. So I use things I find in books and on the internet, and I digitally cut and paste, allowing myself to be reasonably clunky for the fun of it. I tend to make my zines in batches of two or three, every few months or so. The material pleasure of them comes after the printing, when I fold and cut (often using a pair of pinking shears for a playful vagina dentata effect, sometimes hand-tearing them to evoke a bit of eye-watering) and sticker and stamp the front cover.
I wanted to make something la feminista, addressing the way men’s bits aren’t featured in popular culture in the same way that women’s bits are. I called my zine ‘Crotch’, because once you say the word you just can’t help looking.
Download your own copies of Crotch! Click on the files below, print them out in colour, double-sided, and make sure that they are printing at 100% (many printers try to scale them down slightly) then fold them like this:
This is a page from one of my favorite book arts books: How to Make Books: Fold, Cut and Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book by Esther K. Smith of Purgatory Pie Press (US: Potter Craft, 2007).
Every issue has a centrefold, so make sure the centrefold is on the inside when you’re folding the page down.
Once you’ve printed, cut and folded, feel free to vajazzle the covers as much as you’d like!
A basic introduction to the crotch through history.
Vintage boy’s own crotch a-la Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories: the making of a generation.
Everyone knows these iconic budgie smugglers: let’s explore their relationship with Mr Rabid’s nearest and dearest.
Superhero undies! Let’s have a look at how superhero costumes change their attitudes about the crotch over time.
Star Wars undies! Was Darth Vader the only one packing? Maybe…
Bowie special: size never mattered, this is one superstar who always knew what to do with it.
The vegetable issue. Cucumbers wrapped in foil, strange fruit, you get the idea.
Some have lost their marbles, and others go and find them…
A non-definitive Summernats-style tribute to influential Canberra men, creative spaces and other Canberra institutions encountered over the last 30-odd years, made in response to Axon Journal’s Creative Cities issue.
Crotch analogue: reproducing three online male whinges about women,* handwritten in my best midnight bleary script and embellished with vintage Letraset rub-on text and stickers I saved from my old blank video cassettes. Also the centrefold is made from old stickers and a handscan. I made this issue fast, on impulse, and I don’t regret a moment of it.
* Two are real and one is almost real.
If you can’t print out your own copies, or can’t be bothered, you might be able to find them through Sticky Institute or the Canberra Zine Emporium zine machine (if I’ve managed to send them stock), or you can email me and I’ll send them to you for $2 each (plus postage, which is pretty cheap, as they fit happily into a letter envelope).