Do­ing it for the Kids

out­lines her fa­vorite new pub­li­ca­tions by and for teens

Broken Pencil - - Table Of Contents - by Rachel Davies…

IN 2013 I WAS IN GRADE TEN, bored in the last stretch of school un­til sum­mer, and then I dis­cov­ered zines — specif­i­cally, self-pub­lished work from my favourite comic artist, Dash Shaw. Since I still had this view of artists as mon­u­men­tal crea­tures that I could never match up to, I ini­tially viewed zines as far out of my league — I be­gan col­lect­ing them, but I felt far from cre­atively ad­e­quate enough to make them. It was through Rookie Mag that I re­al­ized that zines were meant to be DIY and that teens (like me) were ca­pa­ble of mak­ing note­wor­thy work.

At first I started to make mini-zines with printed-out screen­shots from the late ‘90s an­i­mated TV show, Hey Arnold! and quotes from my favourite books. De­spite be­ing quiet in the hall­ways at school, I was loud on so­cial me­dia and this al­lowed for me to make quite a few friends on­line who I felt closer too than the ones I had in my home­town. Be­cause we were all shar­ing pho­tos and blurbs of our cre­ative work on so­cial me­dia, it only seemed nat­u­ral to col­lect these works in one on­line space.

It was then that I founded Pop Cul­ture Puke, a web­site and zine for teenage girls to share their emo­tions re­gard­ing ab­so­lutely any­thing. While I no longer edit the web­site (it was taken over by Molly Gore­lick and Kathryn Schultz) PCP still has the same mis­sion – to be a space for teen girls to ob­sess over all their ob­ses­sions, and es­pe­cially the ones that they are be­lit­tled for IRL. Fan­girl cul­ture, the pos­si­bil­ity of drop­ping out of col­lege, and Lou Reed's death are just a sam­ple of our cho­sen top­ics. See­ing these ob­ses­sions cel­e­brated by other teens has val­i­dated these ex­pe­ri­ences and made pub­lic cre­ativ­ity more in­trigu­ing. From my un­der­stand­ing, this is why most teen zines op­er­ate in groups now — in the on­line realm, a cu­rios­ity for cre­ativ­ity has bond­ing power.

Count­less teen zines with var­i­ous fo­cuses have cropped up re­cently, each of them with very per­sonal DIY ap­proaches. The ac­ces­si­bil­ity and user friend­li­ness of dig­i­tal zine-mak­ing pro­grams al­lows teens to fo­cus on what's re­ally im­por­tant — their own sto­ries. Here's a selec­tion of my fa­vorite zine­mak­ers cur­rently shar­ing their sto­ries on­line and in print.

il­lus­tra­tion by Navya Dasari

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