International Zine Month

Zine Review: Rut Zine #78 by Toby Buckley

8 pages, A6.



This is a very lovely little zine that I own entirely by accident. I ordered one zine from Sticky Institute and they sent me that zine along with maybe 30 other free zines which took me quite some time to read through (to my great joy!)

This one has a helpful description on the back:

Rut Zine is a free weekly zine made at Sticky Institute in Melbourne, Australia by Bianca Martin.


For other great free zines:

These are some links that I haven't used yet because I am a massive procrastinator when it comes to things that will make me happy, but I’ll be darned if I’m not going to check them out as soon as I’ve finished writing this.

The contents of the zine are just the writer’s daily and weekly to-do lists and some discussion of the benefits of having that sort of routine. It’s written in a stream-of-consciousness type of way. And I don’t know why I find it so enjoyable – I have read this tiny zine multiple times. It makes me want to pin down my own to-do list, and take up Duolingo and start playing guitar again. I probably won’t do these things, but I probably would if I put them on a list. Most importantly, it makes clear how important it is to make sure you do all the little self-maintenance things that seem obvious but can easily fall by the wayside if you get out of the habit – things like updating your calendar, writing in a journal or brushing the cat.

I feel like I’d get along with the writer if I knew them personally, and ideally if I lived in Melbourne, Australia. I feel like everyone needs to come up with their own list, and like reading someone else’s list (like I got to when I read Rut Zine #78) makes it easier to see what items you need to add to your list and what items you’re already doing well with. It’s the sort of itemised life I can get behind, and the sort that goobers already tease me for having but here’s a writer that does it even better than me and gosh darn! I’m not alone!

It’s a really satisfying read. It makes it all so good and clear:

It kind of seems like a lot, but they’re all pretty easy things to do that don’t take a lot of time unless I feel like taking extra time on them. So I draw up this checklist into a graph every week and tick off my tasks as I do them every day and at the end of the week revise it and see if there’s anything I haven’t been doing regularly and if it has impacted on mu much, and if I find it’s a thing I’m consistently not doing I drop it from my daily list to my weekly list (more on that later).

Rut Zine is available from Small Zine Volcano (, but their system is that you select a price to pay and they cram as many zines as they can into the envelope so that it’ll cost that amount to post it. It’s a cool system, but means you can’t guarantee which issues you’ll get! Maybe if you email them and specifically request Rut Zine #78, they’ll be able to help you out. It’s worth the email.

#IZM2018: Some of My Favourite Zines by Toby Buckley

It's pretty difficult to rank zines against each other, because by their very nature they're all completely different, finished to different standards and talk about different things. In any case, I've selected three of my personal favourites and if you haven't read them you should find yourself a copy and get readin'! 

How I Lost My Queer Street Cred: A Personal Rant Zine about Trying to be Good with a Bad Brain

TW: Sexual abuse

I only got this zine last week, and only started reading it yesterday but it is so good. I love this zine's design, overall aesthetic and homemadeness, but more than that I love its contents. 

There are no bells and/or whistles to this zine, it's not pretending to be anything more than it is, and it's perfect. It speaks so honestly about the experience of struggling to fit in in queer circles when all that you are and all that you've been through fights against that. I've tried before to write about how challenging it is to be sex-positive when you've gone through sexual abuse and controlling relationships, but the words never came right. This zine puts it all perfectly. 

The key points this zine covers are: 

  • Too traumatised to be sex positive; 
  • Too anxious for the night clubs
  • Too depressed to be vegan
  • Too insecure to be polyamorous
  • Too male to be a good person

I really think this is a zine everyone should read, it explains so many things so well. 

Twitter: @gay_dungarees
Facebook: Gay Dungarees Art


Hatchette is a lovely little series of zines, and I love them because they're homemade and because their contents are fab and because the gal who puts them together is just the best. 

Their creator, Mot Collins, sent me them along with a few bee-illustrations when I put out a submission call for Bombinate Issue #1, and it was such a lovely gesture. What a fab person, I can't even begin to explain. 


Unpredictapple was put together by my lil brother Fionn, and is the first zine I ever read/owned/submitted to/got published in. It is about apples, and there's so much great stuff in it of so many different genres. It also has two little comics that are sort of separate because they're printed separately but they came all tucked in and are also about apples. 

I really love this zine. It gave me the courage to do zine stuff. 

Twitter: @AppleCoreThing 

Blog by Tobert Buckley

#IZM2018: Why I Love Zines by Toby Buckley

Monday, 16th July 2018. 

It's Day 16 of International Zine Month, and today's task is to make a list of reasons you love zines. Let's do this! 

10 Things I Love about Zines

By Toby John Buckley, age 22 and a half. 

  1. Anyone can make a zine! You don't need an MFA or a whole lot of money, all you really need is paper, pens and ideas. I love zines because they bring art and creativity back to what I think it should be: A way for everyone, regardless of circumstances, to express themselves and make themselves heard. 
  2. There are LOADS of different types of zines - perzines, fanzines, infozines, submission-run zines. You name it, there's a zine about it. 
  3. Zines are GAY. Not every zine is run by queer people or deals with queer themes, but definitely the majority of zines I come across are made by members of the queer community and other marginalised groups. Which reminds me...
  4. The zine-community is fantastic. Everyone is so supportive of each other, and so enthusiastic about the littlest things. 
  5. Somehow, nobody really agrees on how "zine" is pronounced. I always thought it had to be pronounced like ~ZEEN~ because it's short for "magazine", but so many people pronounce it like ~zyne~ and I find that hilarious and wonderful. 
  6. Zines are political AF. Because their production is so casual, they don't have to worry about trying to be centrist for the sake of not offending people. Even the least political zines are pretty political. The first zine I read was about apples but so much of it was about abortion. It's great. 
  7. Zines all look different. Some zines are a single piece of paper all folded up, and some are big thicc booklets, and all zines are beautiful. 
  8. Zines mean you don't have to stop doing dumb arts and crafts when you leave primary school. You can make something that doesn't really serve a purpose or sell for big bucks! 
  9. Zine events are freer than a lot of literary events, and don't have to follow this set formula for formal readings. Bring felt-tip pens! Bring your dogs! Bring your gran! 
  10. Zines can have a message, or they can just exist for the sake of existing. They're a wonderfully free medium, and I love them almost as much as I love bees. 


Zine Review: Vanishing Nature by Jacek Matysiak by Toby Buckley

Thursday, 5th July 2018


It's Day 5 of International Zine Month, and today's task is to Review a zine online or write a review to share. So without further ado... 

VANISHING NATURE by Jacek Matysiak



Depicted in a series of landscape illustrations, this book plays a homage to the region I grew up in and serves as a serious reminder to how quickly our beautiful nature is disappearing.

Item Description

Produced on good quality paper with texture. 210x148mm. €12.


Sometimes we all need a bit of a rude awakening. Vanishing Nature provides just that through its tranquil landscape illustrations interspersed with warnings about what’s happening to nature as a result of our own actions. The realities of climate change can be a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s a necessary one.

The beauty of Jacek Matysiak’s writing is that it doesn’t get caught up too much in the statistics, and the spooky hypotheticals about things that will happen long after this generation is dead. The writer knows that as much as we all care about the world and the future, we care about ourselves more. The illustrations of the impact we’re having on the environment are more solid than that. These are things that are happening right now, changes that have occurred within our lifetimes.

This book doesn’t deal with what will happen if the oil runs out or what will happen if the ozone layer disappears or what the world will look like in 100 years if we don’t stop this. It deals with something easier to picture: a summer with too many flies, less snow in the winter, a lake that’s been poisoned and dredged to destruction in the last 20 years.

And then you have the backgrounds, illustrations and designs. Each double-page spread is another beautiful scene of a meadow, a forest, a marsh or a lake. The animals in the images are just going about their business, as they should be able to do. And there’s the odd house, church and fence here and there, because the message isn’t that people are bad and evil and the world will never be good with us here. The message is that we can do better, that we must do better. The booklet acts as an advertisement for being a decent, environmentally conscious human being.

Vanishing Nature is a gorgeous little book, easily one of the loveliest items at the Belfast Zine Market. The contents are attractive and informative, but the book as an object is just as pleasurable as the book as a reading experience. It’s printed in rich, eye-catching colours and on strong textured paper. It’s the sort of book I’d give my mam.

You can get a copy of Vanishing Nature from Jacek Matysiak through their Etsy store, TheOrangeNestShop.

Review by T.J. Buckley 🐝x