Last month I attended the Women of Color Zine Symposium in Portland, Oregon. As you may know, our collection development policy states our emphasis on zines by women of color, which is why it was important for me to zoom across the country for a two-day visit to the whitest city in America. It was great to connect with many email correspondents and Facebook friends like Cathy Camper, Emi Koyama, LaMesha Melton and Sugene Yang-Kelly and to meet a few new-to-me WOC zinesters.
These are the zines I bought:
All This Is Mine #17, by Sugene Yang-Kelly
Zines Y36a no. 17 2012
This is a crafty zine by a pregnant Korean-American librarian. Issue 17 focuses on craft projects, social networking, a trip to New York, and participating in The Sketchbook Project. Bonus: Sugene is responsible for this sticker:
Beloved Ones : Terms of Affection in the Arabic Language, by Cathy Khampoor and Timothy Batiuk
Zines F378h 2009
Also known as "Habibi Zine."
Cocoa Puss #5 : Bigger, Blacker, Harder, Faster, Deeper, by LaMesha Melton
Zines M458c no. 5
LaMesha is a graduate student and mother who discusses dieting, sex, dating, fashion, hair, sluttiness and the sacred whore.
Cutting : a Diary, by Mika
Zines K693c 2010
Mika frames the act of self-injury in terms of self-esteem and harm-reduction. She identifies herself as fat, Asian and as a sex worker.
Lost Dog, by Olivia Olivia
Zines O458d 2012
Olivia's minicomic hero is not afraid to tackle dogs and dog shit is rewarded with three wishes from a wizard.
Sucks to Be Brown in
Space Germany, by Olivia Olivia
Zines O458s 2012
In this political minicomic, Olivia looks at student loan debt and Hurricane Katrina. She also profiles potential suitors.
Sugar Needle #36 : Licorice is Sexy, by Corina Fastwolf and Phlox Icona
Zines F378s no. 36 2012
In this issue of the long-running candy review zine, Corina visits the Jelly Belly factory and a Sees candy store. She also interviews her partner and cover artist Matty Monaghan. Corina is another librarian zinester.
That's Our Girl, by LaMesha Melton
Zines M458t 2010?
LaMesha is still thinking about hair and body image issues. She's also sneaking onto military bases, eating nachos and writing a "Dear You" letter.
Understanding the Complexities of Sex Work/Trade and Trafficking : a Companion Reader to War on Terror & War on Trafficking, by Emi Koyama
Zines K693u 2011
It's also available via pdf. Here's the cover:
Unhealthy : on Coping with Pain in Socially Inappropriate Ways, by Mika
Zines K693p 2011
This thoughtful zine is probably not what you'll be expecting from the title, which passages like:
in a grand scheme of things, my life is almost entirely irrelevant. there are at least six billion people living on earth, and we are in no shortage of human beings. what i can accomplish in my lifetime, which is a flash in the context of geologic time, or even in the history of human civilization, is insignificant to the point of meaninglessness.
i find comfort in my own utter irrelevance. what i do in my life, or even whether i live or die, feels so unimportant in a grand scheme that i recognize it as nothing more than a waste of mental energy for me to even care about it.
I'm betting a lot of people will find Mika's sentiments depressive, but they make sense to me.
Women of Color [#1], How to Live in the City of Roses and Avoid the Pricks, compilation zine edited by Tonya L. Jones
Zines J66w no. 1 2011?
Women of Color #2 : Thoughts on Fashion and Art, compilation zine edited by Tonya L. Jones
Zines J66w no. 2 2011?
Women of Color #3 : Potpourri, compilation zine edited by Tonya L. Jones
Zines J66w no. 3 2012
I was excited to learn that WOC zine editor and symposium organizer is someone I bought a zine from at the Portland Zine Symposium in 2005. At the time she was new to zines and shocked by the whiteness of the scene. She's spent the intervening years doing something about it, by organizing workshops for women of color zinesters in PDX.
I also want to give Tonya and crew a shout-out because I managed to lose the copies I bought of Women of Color at the symposium, and they replaced them for free. Thanks Tonya and Cathy!
Workin' on It! We activate! We agitate! Womyn of Color, Occupy Wall Street and Beyond, #s  and 2.
Zines W669 no. 1 2012
Zines W669 no. 2 2012
The first issue includes a contribution from a Columbia student I hope to woo to the zine club next semester. She and other contributors discuss racism, sexism and harassment in the Occupy movement and mainstream feminism, Indigenous People's Day, and the earthquake in Japan.