What is a zine, you might ask? The word “zine” comes from magazine, and they started to get popular in the 1960s. They’re also known as fanzines, minis, minicomics, and many other names.
The ‘rules’ for making a zine are as follows:
You can make it using simple methods – drawing, painting, collage, or whatever other materials you can get your hands on!
You can photocopy as many copies as you want!
You can then sell/trade/gift them! (or build your own fortress of zines)
There are no rules!
Zines can be about literally anything. Maybe you would make a zine about objects that begin with the letter B, or how much you love Clippy, or how many times you’ve seen a yellow car drive past your window. Zines can also be sketchbooks, journals, or, most importantly – comics!
At DCCS, we most often make our zines using a single sheet of A4 paper and a pair of scissors. Following the steps below, we can turn it into an 8-page book!
You can also use different sizes of paper! An A3 sheet will give you more space to draw (but will be harder to photocopy), while an A5 sheet would give you less space to draw (but you could make more copies).
Below are a couple of templates for you to use – one with the folding instructions, and another with some drawing prompts. Go make some zines!
Here at DCCS, we follow the ABCD of drawing – Any Body Can Draw! All you need is something to draw with, and something to draw on. Do you need to already be a master comics artist like Jack Kirby, Bill Watterson, or Uderzo (RIP)? No! Every great artist started somewhere. So, without further ado…
Can’t find a ruler? You can make one by folding a piece of paper lengthways 3 or 4 times. This happens in workshops more often than you might think.
You can use basic shapes and lines to make all kinds of characters!
Here’s a challenge – think about what your character is feeling. Are they happy, sad, confused? How can different facial features help to emphasise their personality? Have a go at making:
An evil character
A stylish alien character*
If you need some inspiration, you can use our selection of facial features below!
*Maybe your alien could have multiple eyes/noses/mouths!
The above images are from Dundee Comic Creative Space’s ‘Let’s Make Comics’. Artwork by Rebecca Horner.
In our second Book Week Scotland post, DCCS artist Elliot Balson tells us what he has been reading lately.
“My pick is Head Lopper by Andrew MacLean. It’s a Mignola-esque fantasy set in the Highlands, featuring a stoic warrior called Norgal, or Headlopper, and his companion – the decapitated head of a witch. It’s a fun tale, with gorgeous visuals, with equal touches of Hellboy, Adventure Time, and The Witcher.”
Watch Ian Kennedy create comics illustrations in his signature pen, ink and acrylics technique, honed over his 50 year career.
Educated in Dundee, Ian started work as a trainee illustrator in the D. C. Thomson & Co Art Department in 1949 – he recalls that his first published work was inking the black squares in the weekly Sunday Post crossword!
Over his career he has worked on a host of characters and publications, from 1950’s war comics such as Thriller Picture Library and Air Ace to IPC’s 2000AD and Starlord. Ian is highly regarded in comics circles, by fellow professionals and fans alike, and we’re delighted he’ll be sharing his expertise as part of the festival.
(There will be another opportunity to attend this masterclass with Ian on Saturday 22nd, 5pm)
Here it is at last! The first volume of strips produced by our young comics creators. Contained within these 70 pages are strips created by 25 different creators during our after school Comics Club. The cover logo is by Declan Aland.
Click the link below to download the pdf file (file size is approx. 8MB)