Sarah Matheson Harris

Zine Makers



subculture documentary

Through exploring the subculture of zine-makers, I found that above all else, zines offer an unregulated form of creative self-expression. While they can be sold or traded, zines most importantly serve as a creative exercise for their makers. My documentary includes interviews with four zine-makers, as well as footage from the 2018 Richmond Zine Fest.

** Zine (pronounced zeen, like magazine) = a small, self-published collection of thoughts, feelings, designs, etc.


research & findings



Brian @BrianMcDinosaur
Carson & Landri

Meet the four zine-makers that I interviewed over the course of four months. Because zines can come from any source or creator, I tried to show diversity in the types of publications to showcase. Brian’s zines are self-published and focus on his own photography. He’s also an AVID collector of other people’s zines. Carson & Landri create their own zines under the same handle, GrlPwrHaus, and showcase their personal queer experiences to inspire others. James works with other artists under the collection, Clown Kisses Press, and has the most involved printing process of the four interviewees.

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Zines started emerging in popularity around 1970s-80s through the underground punk scene. Used to disseminate information about concerts and social movements, zines became the forefront of the 90s feminist punk movement, Riot Grrrl. The movement celebrated and encouraged women to rebel against the male-dominated punk scene of the past and to have their voices heard. I highly suggest reading more about this topic. It’s pretty cool.



Similar to its history, the zine community still works to emphasize diverse experiences and makers. It’s an incredibly inclusive community where they work to lift each other up and showcase people from backgrounds different than their own. Racial, sexual orientation, and gender diversity are celebrated and emphasized.

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Zines are made for the purpose of their creators. While they may be sold or traded, they most importantly provide a platform of unregulated self-expression. There are no restrictions to what can be included in a zine. This freedom allows the maker to creatively express themselves without the fear of pleasing others. It’s a creative exercise with endless possibilities.


documentary (10 min)


i made a zine!


To clarify, I made a zine about zines as a way to educate my classmates about zines….should I say “zine” again? I drew/wrote the original and then ran it through a copy machine a couple times, folded it like a booklet, and handed them out. Easy.