Where did the idea for 24 Hour Zine Thing come from?
Julie (rockscissorspaper.org/) was inspired by the 24 Hour Comics project created by Scott McCloud, and started the 24 Hour Zine Thing in 2005. The 24 Hour Comics project originated when Scott McCloud challenged his friend Steve Bissette to create a 24 page comic in one day, and “to seal the deal”, agreed to create one too. Julie, who had an interest in zines and had created zines of her own, took Scott’s idea and changed it to an annual, month-long event that challenged participants to create a 24 page zine.
How many submissions do you typically receive? Where do people send in zines from?
Zines have been sent in from all over the world! Within the past two years there seems to be a growing interest in the project in Australia, and the Facebook page seems particularly popular in Canada. I think that it helps that International Zine Month also takes place during the month of July, so the two events kind of go hand-in-hand. Usually about 10-15 completed zines come in each year, but last year 24 wonderful zines landed in my mailbox!
Do participants usually have a background in making zines? Any first-timers?
Background experience varies between participants. Pretty much an equal amount of veterans and first-timers participate each year, and it is always nice to see someone inspired to create their first zine due to the 24 Hour Zine Thing project. Part of the rules is to make the project challenging for yourself, which means that if this is your first time, it will be a challenge, and if you have a history of making zines, then the format or concept or some other aspect of the zine should be challenging.
Where can I find examples of previous submissions?
The “Reviews” page has pictures of the covers of all of the submissions from previous years. Click on the cover of the zine you would like to view, and it will take you to a review and scans of the inside of the zine.
I hear themes are banned. Does that make things more challenging?
Technically themes aren’t banned, but the rules do state that participants cannot have the theme or content selected before starting their zine. Participants absolutely must start completely from scratch “ at the beginning of their 24 hour zine-making period, they are not allowed to have any written content, which includes trying to remember the perfect wording for lines in their head, and they also are not allowed to create split zines or compilation zines (pretty much your zine has to be completely, 100% your own work).
One of the things that I hear the most is that for the first hour or two (or three or four), some participants find themselves just sitting there staring at blank sheets of paper. I suggest getting together with a few friends who are also planning to complete the challenge and make it into a party. Even though you are not allowed to work with another person on a 24 hour zine, you don’t have to go through the experience alone!
Are people surprised by what they can achieve in such a short time?
Yes! That just might be one of the greatest things about this project. Some participants focus more on content and come out with amazingly insightful zines produced in only 24 hours. Others focus more on the design and look of the zine, and produce little handheld works of art in one day!
Can you name any of your favourite efforts to date?
Ohh that’s a tough one. I don’t want to pick favorites, but I do have to say that some elements of zines have stuck out to me. Throughout the years, I have only seen one zine that was created while travelling “ Rick Silva’s Caravan #10.5 (2007). I’m also really into art, so A Brief History of Bones (2008) by Emilie and Journey to Create (2010) by Brenda caught my eye immediately. Emilie’s zine features beautiful black and white collaged clip art, and Brenda’s zine had tons of handmade touches and objects stuck inside that make the zine really interactive.
What is the best way to prepare for the experience?
I would absolutely suggest heading over to the 24 Hour Zine Thing website (24hourzines.com) and looking at the Calendar for events happening near you. Many events provide snacks, supplies, coffee, and the opportunity to participate in the event while meeting a ton of people who share common interests! It definitely beats trying to stay awake and focused on making your zine for 24 hours by yourself. Some events in the past have even set up live feeds so that people around the world could tune in to the event, talk to and ask the event participants questions while creating their own zines.
How much coffee can participants reasonably be expected to drink?
That’s a tough question. I’d average it out to about a cup for every hour (because even if you don’t start out drinking coffee, you will not be able to get enough of it around hour 22 or 23). 24 cups in 24 hours?
How can anybody reading this get involved?
The first step would be to head over to the 24 Hour Zine Thing website and click on the “Sign Up” link. Complete the form, and then start trying to find a free 24 hour period on your calendar to dedicate to creating your zine!