Do you, like me, have a Kid Pix-shaped hole in your heart? Do you wish Blingee was still around? Has it been a long time since you’ve done something silly?
This is the beginning of my pitch for why everyone needs to make something on Electric Zine Maker, a colorful zine creation tool that’s currently in beta.
You might be wondering, what is a zine? Well, zines are self published magazines that are often distributed in small circulation and often have a homemade hand-printed aesthetic to them. They gained a lot of traction in alternative scenes during the 70s and 80s. Zines also have a long history of being used as political tools within feminist, queer, punk, and anti-establishment groups. Many zines are not for profit but are a way of connecting with people within a community.
Today a zine can be about anything! For example, I made a zine filled with Paper Mario toads in Electric Zine Maker. It was super fun and easy to use because the tool has premade layouts that make your zines easy to print. But Electric Zine Maker’s real attraction is its 90s aesthetic. The program looks like a 2000s clip art dream complete with Kid Pix style brushes to play with.
My Paper Mario toad fanzine, 100% Toads
But just because the tool is fun and colorful doesn’t mean it isn’t practical. It’s actually also the easiest tool I’ve ever used to format zines. Prior to finding Electric Zine Maker, I made zines in InDesign — but Electric Zine Maker is significantly easier to use and comes with instructions for printing and cutting physical zines as well.
Screenshot from Electric Zine Maker
I think everyone should make zines about their interests, whether those zines are about those silly little toads or Florence + Machine songs.
A Florence + the Machine zine made by my friend, Ana
Plus, using Electric Zine Maker brings back my memories of messing around in Kid Pix in our elementary school computer lab. With Kid Pix, you were never trying to make anything good; you were just making for the sake of making. In this high stress world we live in, I think there’s a lot of worth in creating something silly for the love of it without worrying about making something polished.
That’s what I get out of Electric Zine Maker: the ability to just create for the hell of it, and maybe that’s what a lot of us need right now.
Bonus Crone Zines!
Woodcut Hot or Not by CC