Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2: a DIY resource to zines and zine culture by Alex Wrekk has everything going against it. The size is unusual and, although it will fit easily in a purse or even a back pocket it doesn’t fit where most books eventually wind up—on a bookshelf. It’s too small and its peculiar size makes it stack up oddly with the rest of the books. Also, although this is a revised edition of an earlier version, there are so many mistakes—everything from spelling to grammar to syntax—that I often had to reread sentences just to make sure I wasn’t overlooking anything. And let me also mention that this book, which is about zine, has the look of a zine with the choppy layouts and the cut and paste appearance of pre-computer-era zines.
There. Now that I have that out of the way, here is what I love about this book:
- Because of its size, it looks like a zine.
- Because of the mistakes in the text, it feels like a zine.
- Because of the layout, it looks and feels like a zine.
- Because of the poor editing, it is a zine.
I love that the author dared to not correct the mistakes. I don’t know when page 56 was replaced by page 55 but it took me a minute to realize that I was rereading the previous page and then when I looked at the bottom for the page numbers and saw 55, 55, 57, I found myself pondering what information should have been on page 56.
It is this kind of quirky mystery that is almost inevitable with zines and which keeps the whole zine scene interesting. This book isn’t glossy, like some zine books, and most of the content is up to date (although the geocities links are obviously dated). Unfortunately, it is almost inevitable that some of the online resources would be in flux. Thankfully, Wrekk’s own links work and I think it’s safe to say that joining her ning community will keep you updated on the latest and greatest online resources out there.
The usual content is here—where and how to find inspiration, a brief history of zines, and how to create a zine (collating, copying, etc.). There is also a section on how to create your own distro, if you are so inclined. I am not but I still read the content out of curiosity and after reading her words of advice I am still not inclined to jump on the distribution band wagon. Wrekk also does what nobody else does and offers a word of warning and advice to those who are thinking of creating their own zines.
I can see why this spare volume is the zine text of choice for teachers. Definitely a book for newbies. Thankfully not as slick as another zine book I recently read.