This is the "All about Zines @ VPL" page of the "Zines @ VPL" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Zines @ VPL   Tags: alternative_publishing, diy, zines  

A guide to all things zines at VPL (and a little beyond).
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

All about Zines @ VPL Print Page

Zines @ VPL


What's a zine?

zine also 'zine, n.

(pronounced zeen, like bean; derived from magazine)

 Zines are handmade, underground publications that resemble little magazines or chapbooks. They are most often a labour of love, inspired by a need to communicate and connect with like-minded folks, or as an avenue for disseminating art or political ideas. Zines are produced from a desire for self-expression not for financial gain, true to the DIY ethic. They can be fiction or non-fiction, cover any subject and are most often written from a personal standpoint. They are usually self-published in small print runs by photocopying , using basic binding techniques (stales, string, or elastics) and come in many shapes and sizes.

The Zine Scene: Vancouver Library Starts Alternative Magazine Collection


A few good zines

Cover Art
The Best We Could Do - Thi Bui
Call Number: Family
Publication Date: 2011
The first chapter of a forthcoming (2017) graphic novel. And Intimate and poignant portrayal of one family's journey from war-torn Vietnam.

Cover Art
Cometbus - Aaron Cometbus
Call Number: punk
Cometbus, a drummer and lyricist started his zine at 13. His musings include personal vignettes which illustrate his love for punk rock and the hobo/crust lifestyle. A classic.

Cover Art
Fat is Beautiful - Crystal Hartman
Call Number: mind & body
Publication Date: 2006
This meticulously researched zine on fat acceptance and sizeism provides a plethora of scholarly and commonsense information disputing the popular claim that thinness=healthy and fatness=unhealthy.

Cover Art
Hairstory - Youth Point media
Call Number: race
Publication Date: 2012
A zine about hair.

Cover Art
People Who Eat Alone - Josue Menjivar
Call Number: art & craft
Publication Date: 2009
Menjivar's beautiful illustrations capture the variety of emotions one feels when eating alone, and by doing so, draws our attention to themes of isolation and loneliness.

Cover Art
Race Revolt - Humaira Saeed
Call Number: race
Publication Date: 2009
Race Revolt started in 2007 as an intervention into the silences around race in the queer, feminist and activist communities. Many of the voices in the ‘zine can be located within these concerns.

Cover Art
Shortandqueer - Kelly
Call Number: gender
Publication Date: 2004
As casual and intimate as a good friend, these zines give a glimpse into Kelly's challenges and support system, including transitioning to living as a man, coming out, and dealing with issues of gender identity.

Cover Art
Stoked on Spokes - Generic, Juls
Call Number: bikes
A collaborative project between Pedal Play & the Purple Thistle Centre. An anthology zine comprised of several voices describing bike culture in Vancouver in 2005.

Cover Art
Work, Dirt and Money - Robertson, Cole
Call Number: work
A delight to read, accessible, informative, interesting with a mix of voices and perspectives in the world of tree planting. Outstanding and highly recommended.

Cover Art
Walk to Work - Turner, Jason
Call Number: comic
Lovely little comic zine about the things that happen on the way to work. Jason Turner is a published comic artist whose graphic novel "True Loves" made it onto Vancouver Public Library's One Book One Vancouver short list for 2007.

Cover Art
When Language Runs Dry: A Zine for People with Chronic Pain and Their Allies - Claire Barrera
Call Number: mind & body
Publication Date: 2008
Many mainstream resources on this topic are very clinical, too general, or impersonal. This is a collection of writing from people living with chronic pain voicing their struggles.

Cover Art
WWTTD? What Would Tintin Do? : One Nervous Bachelor's Quest to Draw Life Lessons and Universal Truths from the Adventures of Tintin - Ianto Ware
Call Number: comic
Publication Date: 2008
Dr. Ware applies the question, "What would Tintin do?" at every fork in the road and every step in his path through life. You don't need to be a Tintin fan to appreciate this witty and insightful zine.






Profile Image
Vancouver Public Library

Contact Information

Search the Catalogue

  • Zines
    Check out the left hand navigation bar for ways to sort and limit the results of your search.

Zine Categories for Browsing

Our circulating zine collection is found on Level 3 of the Central Library. Currently it is a browsing collection within each category (not in title or author order).They can be borrowed just like a book.

  1. ART & CRAFT (artist books, crafts, fine arts, art crit., photography, performance, film etc.)
  2. BIKES (cycling, bike culture, motorcycles, bike repair)
  3. CLASS (class struggle, money, housing, poverty, capitalism, economic inequality, gentrification)
  4. COMIC (minicomics, cartooning, graphic novels)
  5. COMPILATION (anthologies with no dominant theme)
  6. EDUCATION (teaching, subbing, unschooling, alternative education, libraries)
  7. ENVIRONMENT (issues, sustainability, ecology, urbanism)
  8. FAMILY (parenting including gay parenting, adoption, divorce, weddings)
  9. FOOD (cooking, foraging, food politics, food gardening, veganism)
  10. GENDER (women’s studies & feminism, gender studies, transgender issues, gender performance)
  11. HISTORY (general discussions excluding political discussions, historical narratives)
  12. INDIGENOUS (Aboriginal, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, anti-colonialism and decolonization)
  13. LEGAL ISSUES (prisons and prisoners, law, know your rights)
  14. LITERARY (poetry, literature, short stories, fiction, language, lit crit)
  15. MIND & BODY (both physical and mental, psychology, self-help, dis/ability, addiction)
  16. MUSIC (music reviews, band zines)
  17. PERSONAL (personal narratives, memoirs, journals, life writing, anecdotes, ‘perzines’)
  18. PHILOSOPHY (pure philosophy, some religion/theology, political theory)
  19. POLITICS (macro, micro, movements, resistance, government)
  20. PUNK (punk culture, punk houses, discussions/critiques of punk living)
  21. RACE (racism discussions, anti-racism, white privilege, media analysis)
  22. RELATIONSHIPS (all relationship zines not associated with family, such as: love, friendship, dating)
  23. SCIENCE (applied, pure, technology, computers)
  24. SEXUALITY (lesbianism, gay rights, bisexuality, identity politics, queer theory, sex, sexual activity)
  25. TRAVEL (adventure stories, travelogues, travel guides, travel narratives)
  26. WORK (occupations [i.e. food service, trucking, sex trade, etc.], labour stories, unionism)
  27. ZINES (zine reviews, how to make zines, zine history, zine librarianship)

Donating Zines

If you would like to donate your zine or your zine collection to the Vancouver Public Library, please refer to our Donations policy.

The Library reserves the right to decide the disposition of all gifts received. All donated material is reviewed according to the same selection criteria applied to purchased materials. Processing costs and space for housing are considerations.

All gifts become the property of the Vancouver Public Library.

Material that is not needed for the Collection may be sold for the benefit of the Library.

Please note: we do not have facilities to preserve personal zine collections for archival purposes. Email if you have any questions. Drop off your zines at any branch of VPL Attn: Zine Committee.


I read zines


Loading  Loading...