Zines can feature poetry, jokes, cartoons, collage, and artwork, essentially anything that can be put down on paper. Here are resources to help you learn more about zines and zinemaking, and ways you can get started on making your own.

Ōtautahi Zinefest is on Sunday 27 August 2023.

Zines at Christchurch City Libraries

The Zine Collection is a not for loan collection of New Zealand zines and small press comics on Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4, Tūranga. From the initial 200 zines in 2021, the collection has grown to more than 1000, and includes two small pop-up collections in community libraries. There are seven genre headings for this collection: Art, Comic, Literary, Personal, Political, Music and Miscellaneous.

In addition, there is small curated permanent collection of mainly Christchurch and Canterbury zines on Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2, Tūranga. The focus of this collection is to preserve examples of the genre for the future.


Pop up zine collections

There are small pop up collections of zines at Papanui and Upper Riccarton libraries.


Pop-up zine collection at Papanui Library

About Zines

Do you draw? Doodle? Write notes to friends? Glue stuff? Cut paper? You can make a zine!

Zines (pronounced zeens, not like lines) are self-published booklets, often circulated in small numbers. Traditionally, zines are cut-and-paste or hand-drawn then copied on a photocopier. Today, you can also find zines that are produced digitally and feature photos, typed text, and digitally produced artwork. Zine makers distribute their zines through music stores, online stores, art galleries, and at festivals and conventions.

What do you put in a zine?

Anything goes! Zines touch on music, politics, television, movies, work, food, whatever. You can get to know people pretty well through their zines because they are highly personal and whatever the creator wants it to be! Zines can feature poetry, jokes, cartoons, collage, and artwork, essentially anything that can be put down on paper. There are many kinds of zines out there! Like, fanzines - the name given to zines that are by fans about their fandom.

What are zines for?

In her book From A to Zine, Julie Bartel writes that zines are all completely individual. The only thing that zines have in common is that the existence is the result of passion rather than a desire for profit, she writes. And she adds that it is the offline nature of zines that makes them interesting:

Zines spring from the desire to create a tangible material object, and the physicality of zines is what differentiates them in essential ways from their electronic counterparts. Zines are about paper and glue, staples, thread, and ink, not about HTML tags, links and pop ups. Creating an artefact which can be passed from one person to the next, which can be sent through the mail (the regular mail), is part of the appeal.

Making a Zine

How to make a zine

A guide to ideating, publishing, and distributing a DIY zine, written by Rona Akbari and illustrated by Somnath Bhatt.

How To: Zines

Ariel explains what a zine is and the power of making a zine to get your voice heard.

How to make a zine from one piece of printer paper

Dillon shows you how to make an eight-page folded zine. This is the quickest and easiest way to get started making zines.

How to Make a Zine | Lollalane

YouTuber Lollalane demonstrates how to make a zine booklet with hand-stitched binding and films her creative process.

How to make a zine

Jordan Clark shows you how to make a folded zine and films her creative process. Her video inspired others in the journal/DIY/penpal community to create their own zines from their craft stashes.


Creative Corner | How to make your own quaran-zine

The Pitt News is partnering with student ambassadors from the Center for Creativity to bring you some simple crafts you can do at home. Caroline Kulczycky, the creator of the Feminist Math Zine, shares tips for putting together a simple zine.

Zine communities

There are zine-making communities throughout New Zealand. They often hold workshops and festivals where zine makers can come together to sell and trade their zines. You can follow and join them on Facebook and Instagram.

Zines in the news

More about Zinefest

See our zine pics and photos from Zinefest:

Zines at Tūranga


Ahead of the 2018 Christchurch Zinefest, Reuben Woods spoke to Alice Bush and Jane Maloney from Zinefest Christchurch and the CHCH/Ōtautahi Zine Library on the Watch this Space blog:

The rules?

In short, there are few rules for zines. Some would argue that there are none. Make one yourself or get your friends in on it!

  • Can I make a zine about my cat? YES!
  • Can I make a zine about that old guy who whistles in front of my house every night? YES!
  • Can I make a zine about my obsession with underwater basket weaving? YES!
  • Can I make a zine without words? YES!
  • Can I make a zine about anything and with any materials I like? YES! Pretty much.

Zinefest at Darkroom, St Asaph Street
Zinefest at Darkroom, St Asaph Street. Saturday 18 October 2014. Flickr 2014-10-18-IMG_2732

You get the idea. Now, go! Make zines!

Graphic novels and comics

Great stories and great art come together in a range of genres and styles, including biographies - for kids, teens or adults.
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