If I’ve started picking up pens and paper again, things must be strange…
In cases of flux, inertia and general lack-of-interest in, well, anything, a man in search of a quiet mind must find purpose. Many will see the opportunity to get those little jobs around the house done. The skirting that needs replacing. A fresh coat of paint in the living room. Maybe even a spot of gardening.
Ugh. No thanks. These things may be important and necessary but they ain’t exactly what I’d call fun. We can do better—at least up to the point where our conscience and/or better ‘alf take charge and point us chorewards.
In an attempt to follow my bliss a while, I’ve been inspired by writer and artist Austin Kleon, who has rediscovered the joy of the ‘zine.
What is a ‘zine? Well, it’s a home-made magazine. It can be about whatever you want, made however you want to make it. The simplest is the eight-page no-staple ‘zine, made out of a single page of cleverly folded A4. A pocket-sized hit of short sharp art. The 7 inch flexidisk of the publishing world.
Long-time members of The Readership will be well aware of my love of comics. Less well known is the fact that I used to write and draw them. I have drawers full of sketch and notebooks, roughed out ideas for strips and serials. None of which have ever seen the light of day. I am lazy and fickle, and life got in the way.
But an eight-page ‘zine is the perfect project to knock up in a quiet hour or so, and gets me back in the zone (if you’ll scuse the pun). A simple eight-page narrative is a good way to practice plot and story ideas, or even work on a character.
Here, then, is my first zine, based on the experience of being stuck at home. I give you, in all it’s hastily scrawled and working-visible glory… CORONA COMIX, starring my rabbity alter-ego, Conojito.
If you fancy trying one of these out, please share. I’d love to see them. Comics might just save us all!