Okay, so I’ve been wanting to do this for almost two years now, and for whatever fucking reason I’m having SUCH a hard time figuring out the format. There are so many amazing zines that I’ve come across that are entirely FREE to download and read! And I think a lot of people don’t know how to find free zines (I certainly didn’t before I got heavy into the zine scene), and frankly even for those who know how to find them, it’s just so random which ones you end up finding. Plus it’s nice to have them all in one place so you can actually, you know, read and find and share them.
There’s a video game Youtuber I watch occasionally (Dan, or Nerd³) who did this video series where he’d share and play three games per week which were completely free to play, and I’ve wanted to model this series after him–picking out a few (three seems like a good number) zines each week to highlight that are completely free to read! But a video a week would just be too much for me to keep up with (especially in addition to all the other videos and stuff I’m working on), and I just couldn’t figure out how I wanted to do it if it wasn’t in a video.
Well, it’s just gotten ridiculous how in my head I’ve been about this. I’ve got this blog, I’m just going to start the Free Zine Friday series here so I can take some of my own advice, GTFOver myself and finally get some of these zines OUT THERE and READ! So without further ado, here are the first three, free, fabulous zines you should read!
by edward (catboyriot zines)
This zine is absolutely the best one to start this list because it is an absolute riot! It’s an explosion of color and love and energy about edward’s favorite animal, the Tiger! The whole thing is a super bright digital collage of everything from drawings to clipart to photos to anime screencaps to Animorphs covers and everything in-between. I am perpetually inspired by this zine. It is the best eyeburn I’ve ever seen. (You can see I left a comment on the download page… ten months ago).
16 pages, color, website here
This is an absolutely beautiful aro/ace zine about the beauty and value of a queerplatonic relationship. It’s a story in these stunning digital illustrations with poetic text overtop, plus these linocuts for the cover and back. It’s like a fairytale–it’s like if the Little Mermaid was actually sweet and good. One of the characters is a Selkie, and I always love when concepts of queerness are explored and represented through mythical creatures and magical bodies.
10 pages, color
by TransFighters, Oakland
Okay, so you know what I like about this zine? It’s real. It’s like real, actual, actionable advice that’s not written from the perspective of someone who doesn’t actually have to deal with violence or aggression. It gives advice for deescalation, ways to fend off or respond to harassment, and physical escape techniques that won’t get you in for assault, while recognizing that you can’t assume others will come to your aid in the way you might be able to if you were cis. It also covers deescalation and safety around intimate partners. This is absolutely must-have information for all trans women and allies, period. Please share this with someone–it could save their life.
40 pages, color
See you next week!