Help Decide the Topic of My First Zine!


Here’s your chance to influence the future.

Yesterday I created my first mock-up of a zine (cover shown at left), partially to start utilizing the InDesign classes I took at the IPRC this winter, and partially to build my portfolio up a bit for future endeavors.

Here’s where you come in, friend. I’ve come up with a few topics, but can’t decide which I should tackle as my first project. What would you prefer to read?

Walking tour of Chinatown, for a friend’s newsstand currently in development.
In the Kitchen, a zine of thoughts about food and cooking, recipes, photos, etc.
WWII Japanese internment camps. A lesser-known topic, but important. I have some good photos of the three I’ve visited, and there are plenty of public domain images available that Ansel Adams took for the United States government.
Bikes! Bikes are well-covered in the zine world and in Portland, so it would probably need to be more specific. Like doing bike moves, how to choose a bike, stories of people’s individual bikes, or something like that.

Leave a comment below with your vote and thoughts. Next week I will take a look at the responses, and start moving forward with my planned production schedule. Thanks, friend!



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5 responses to “Help Decide the Topic of My First Zine!

  1. @fool

    i’d be most interested in..ok, any of them except the internment camps. not that i wouldn’t still read that one, but i wouldn’t read that one if it weren’t by you =)

    what speaks to you most? i’ve found that art only comes if you like it, myself…

  2. krondaadair

    Mmmmm, food.

  3. Hi! I’m melina, found your blog through I’m a new reader but I hope my vote still counts! With Local and Organic the RAAGGEE right now -and hopefully for always- zines/blogs/shows/books about food are always fun and useful. I think you could go that route and include farmer’s markets, and healthy on a budget.

  4. pragmaticattic

    Food, of course! (and thanks for visiting my site).
    Although, I have to say there are a lot of food sites, and I am not sure how much there is out there on internment camps. Sound like a more important topic.

  5. Thanks for your comments, everyone! I also collected feedback from people via a Facebook post.

    The feedback wasn’t pointing me in any direction at first (“I don’t know, they all sound interesting!”). Then I had a burst of inspiration around noon last Friday, and mostly decided the answer then. I even secured an advisor for the project and started my visioning and brainstorming.

    And of course, that’s when all the comments here started becoming clearer, telling me that despite the large existing market, people are really interested in FOOD. So I pledge to make that my second project!

    In the meantime though, I highly recommend following Orangette, Vegan Ice Cream, and Pragmatic Attic!

    Alas, I am evading the question burning in your mind: what’s it going to be?

    My first project is going to be a zine that’s a walking tour of the Chinatown neighborhood in Portland. Eventually it will be sold at a tourist-oriented news stand called The Welcome Mat–which, whenever it finally opens, will be across the street from Pioneer Courthouse Square.

    Chinatown is very historically and culturally significant to Portland, and has undergone a lot of rebirths over the years. Most people don’t realize that Chinatown was originally Japantown, until 1942 when the Japanese were all forced to sell all their belongings and shipped off to internment camps by order of the US government. I used to work in Chinatown and still visit often, and when I brainstormed all the cool potential walking tour sites in the area, I realized that I was going to make some hard decisions, since I’m envisioning an eight page booklet!

    However, I promise that I will get to all topics on the list eventually. Everyone seems to say that getting started is the hardest part, so once I get going, watch out!

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