#IZM2018: A Letter / by Toby Buckley

Dear Bombinate Readers, 

We're nearing the end of International Zine Month, and it's been absolutely fantastic. I'm itching to get started on #IZM2019. Today it's Day 30, and our challenge is to write a letter about how International Zine Month has gone for us. This is my letter. 

On Day 1, our challenge was to read a Canadian zine. I didn't have a Canadian zine, so I spent some time searching around on the Internet and came across Static Zine. Issue #10 of this zine arrived in my mailbox a few days later. It's beautiful and I love it. 

The next day, our challenge was to re-read an old favourite, so I revisited AppleCoreThing's Unpredictapple zine. I've written about this zine in my post about favourite zines. It's super good and high in vitamins. 

On Day 4, we were challenged to read American zines, and once again I did not have an appropriate zine. Thankfully, Sea Green Zines had written a post for the day and recommended "This Asian American Life", so I ordered that and once again did not regret it. 

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On Day 5 I wrote a review of "Vanishing Nature" and on Day 6 I started colouring in some of Ren's "Queer Porn Colouring Book". 

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I hadn't reviewed anything in over a year and hadn't done colouring in for a whole lot longer than that, so they were both fun and surprising activities. Then I wrote a letter to a fellow zinester, Mot Collins. She got the letter a while back. Hooray! I also wrote a lil postcard to Sadhbh, who made "Not Butchers" zine. 

I got to explore ZineWiki, which I hadn't known existed. Bombinate now has a tiny listing there

Day 15 was Free Zine Day, so I gave out 5 free zines. I was really surprised and pleased about how eager people were to get their hands on a zine! 

Then I got to make a list of all the reasons I love zines, which was good fun and made me fall in love with the medium a little more. And I had to make a flyer for Bombinate, which meant fiddling around on a free designing software which is always fun. 

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I tried to set up a zine trade with another zine-maker, but they never got back to me. Instead I traded my copy of "Vanishing Nature" for Conor's copy of Charlot Kristensen's "Black Women in History". Then I sent a few issues of Bombinate to Pen Fight Distro and Edinburgh Zine Library for consideration.  

For Day 24, the challenge was to teach ourselves a new skill, so I learned how to use Issuu and made Issue #1 of Bombinate available online. Then I organised all the zines I could find in my room (pretty sure there are some missing though, hmm!) 

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Finally, for Day 29, our challenge was to take a photo of ourselves with all of our zines: 

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International Zine month was such good fun, and really made me do stuff I wouldn't have considered otherwise. If you have a zine, I'd really recommend getting involved next year. And if you missed this year, why not just do it a month late? It's zine culture – nobody's judging, we're all just rooting for you! 

I hope you've all had a fantastic July and continue to have a wonderful 2018. 

I'll see you next year.

All my love,
Toby Buckley x