International Zine Month Day 1 &2 Top 10 reasons why I love zines

Ok, I really wanna try to keep up with the blog again and what better way than to also keep up with International Zine Month?

Day 1: I posted in this thread on Wemakezines.

Day 2: Top 10 reasons I love zines

1. When I was a teenager growing up in Utah in the 90s zines showed me a different world outside the oppressive one I was living in and opened my eyes to new experiences and ways of living.

2. From that first moment of realizing “I can do this too!” Zines have given me an exhilarating sense of self expression on my own terms.

3. I could do something and be a part of a culture that wasn’t just forming bands and I didn’t need to find other people to work on a project.

4. Zines gave me a new name. True story! You didn’t really think my actual name was “Alex Wrekk” did you?

5. Zines fueled the love I already had for mail and postal goodness. When I was 19 my post box key was a prized possession that gave me access to a whole world.

6. Zines gave me something to do with my paper hoarding and office supply obsession.

7. Zines helped me get out of Utah. I moved to Portland in 1999 and most of the people I knew here knew me from zines. Zines automatically gave me friends in a new city.

8. Zines opened my eyes to new experiences from politics to the fascinating lives of people who were very different than me.

9. Zines give me more than just “tourism” as a reason to travel and they give me a place to stay when I get somewhere with the invaluable local eye view of a city. I have been to zines events in dozens of cities in 4 different countries sleeping on the floors of people that I only knew from paper. When I was 19 I wrote in a zine that I wanted to be able to know enough people through zines than I would always be able to find a place to stay across the country if I needed it. I think I’m pretty close to that. Conversely, I invite those people back to my city to share when they are in my town, The Portland Zine Symposium is a great reason to get people to visit me!

10. Zines have given me some of my very best friends. I even met my partner, Paul, through zines in a way when we traded zines at a show in 1997.  I feel like these connections through zines are some of the strongest and most lasting over the years. It’s good to see my friends grow up and grow more into themselves.


International Zine Month 2013!

Play along at home with Events and  31 Activities for 31 Days of International Zine Month!

When posting online about International Zine Month use the #IZM2013

31 Days of International Zine Month July 2013


1 – Sign up or sign in to and write about IZM and what you plans are to celebrate zines this month! Feel free to write about it on your personal site as well!

2 – Make a Top 10 list of reasons why your love zines, post them online if you would like.

3 – Zine Distro Appreciation Day! Order from a zine distro.

4 – Reread your favorite zines and remind yourself why you love them so much.

5 – Teach yourself a  new zine skill: learn how to book bind, make a 1 page zine, photocopier art, etc.

6 – Check out and add your zine or update existing entries.


ZINE EVENT 6 JULY – Kuala Lampur Zine Fest (Kuala Lampur, Malaysia)

ZINE EVENT 6 JULY –  Canberra Zine Emporium (Canberra, Australia)


7 – Make or decorate some envelopes or postcards to get ready for the week.

8- Make a little flyer for your zine to send out with orders and see if other people will trade for stacks of them so you can all promote each other.

(beginning of Ramadan, Muslim zine friends can pick back up on August 8th)

9 – Write a letter to a zine maker that you don’t know.

10 – Send a care package to a zine creator that you do know.

11 – Make some mail art!

12 – Send your zine out to be reviewed.

13 – Zine Trade Day! Ask someone if they would like to trade zines with you.

14 – ValenZINE’s Day! Write to your zine crush, or write to


ZINE EVENT 13-14 JULY – Zine Librarian (Un)Conference (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)



15 – Leave a zine in public for someone else to find.

15 – Promote a zine that you really like that is not your own.

16 – Send your zine to a distro for distro consideration.

17 – Review a zine online or write a review of a zine to add to your zine.

18 – Order from a zine distro that you have never ordered from before.

19 – Zine Shop appreciation day! Stop by a shop that sells zines and buy some zines or consign your zines.

20 – Free Zine Day! Give your zine away to someone!


ZINE EVENT 20 JULY –  DC Zine Fest (Washington, DC, USA)



21 – International Zine Library Day! Visit your local zine library!

22 – Send your zine to a zine library.

23 – Make a 1 page zine. Here are some instructions.

24 – Organize your zine collection.

25 – Teach a friend or family member about zines.

26- Submit something to a compilation zine.

27 – Organize a zine event! A zine reading or a zine fair or fest or even just for friends to get together and work on their zines.


27 – Tampa Zine Fest (Tampa, Florida, USA)

27 – Self Publishing Fair (Derby, UK)


28 – Cook with a recipe from a zine or cook zine!

29- Post a photo online of you with your zine or your zine collection.

30 – Read some zines! Lay in bed and read zines all day if you can!

31 – Log into WeMakeZine and write about your experience or write about it on your own blog.


ZINE FEST 31 JULY – 1 August San Francisco Zine Fest (San Francisco, California, USA)


-Read a zine everyday

-do a 24 hour zine (sign up here

-post your progress online on your blog or on We Make Zines

-Attend a zine event

-Draw a comic each day and release them at the end of the month

Here’s the activity poster for 2013 International Zine Month! Print off your own copy here, get one free with orders from Portland Button Works, or send a stamp or IRC to:

International Zine Month

c/o Portland Button Works

1322 North Killingsworth

Portland, Oregon USA



Hello again

Hello again

I’m not giving up on this blog. Stay tuned for more!

New Zine: Brainscan #30 – 30 issues in 15 years!

Brainscan Zine #30!

Growing (literally and figuratively) taking on adventurous tasks year by year from travel to zine tours to event organizing, teaching (or not teaching), and opening and transitioning Portland Button Works zine distro and button shop in Portland, Oregon.

40 pages, 1/4 sized, 5 color Risograph printed on recycled paper

available in my Etsy shop and Portland Button Works distro and brick and mortar shop in Portland, Oregon

Or stick $4 US ($5 rest of the world) postage paid and send it to:

Alex Wrekk

c/o Portland Button Works

1322 North Killingsworth

Portland, Oregon 97217 USA

Or PayPal $4 to brainscanzineATgmailDOTcom

My Year in zines: 2012

I don’t really use thins space anymore but I thought I would round out the year with this post.

2012 was a ridiculously active zine year for me. It started with creating the site to be a companion to my book. The site includes a Zine Event listing calendar. In February I attended the first L.A. Zine fest and it was great! In March I attended the Chicago Zine Fest and it was really fun. We even had a Zine Organizer’s Event where we met with other zine event organizers to talk shop and I released my very first fiction zines (Brainscan #29) as a split with No More Coffee #4. In April I helped the fine folks at Zine Works run zine workshops at Coachella. I made some really great friends and got to see some great bands for free.

In May I opened a brick and mortar storefront and online shop in Portland, Oregon called Portland Button Works and zine distro. July was International Zine Month and I created a poster of events to do for each day of the month.and participated in the 24 hour zine thing. August had the Portland Zine Symposium that I helped organize and I hosted a bunch of guest at my house. In September I quit volunteering at the Independent Publishing Resource Centerafter over a decade of volunteering because I just didn’t have any more time for it after opening the Portland Button Works shop.

October and November were big months. I had been saving for a UK trip for a few years and somehow we had also planned for The Copy Scams, our zine themed pop-punk band, to record and tour. We wrote 3 new songs that we hope to release next year. I got to hang out with a lot of my awesome Uk friends and attend the Leeds Zine Fair and the SE London Zine Fest. I kept a bit of a travelogue on tumblr and put out issue #7 ofNobody Cares About You Stupid Zine Podcast, it’s all about trading zine.

So, now it is December and I did a bit of updating to the Etsy Team Zine and my own Etsy shop and changing it over to a Portland Button Works shop. I’m also offering free shipping Sunday and Monday  in my Etsy shop when you use the discount code: POSTMAN. I also hope to work on my new zine this week. It’s all typed up and I just need to do layout. I also just signed up for the 2013 Chicago Zine Fest! Hope to see you there.

blog graveyard

I sometimes feel like I’m leaving a trail of dead blogs in a blog graveyard. I think my first entry here discussed this a bit. First it was Diaryland, then it was livejournal,then it was here. But, I think the life of this blog may be over. I’m moving on to tumblr. It has the built in scrolling ability of things I choose to look at like like livejournal and the reblogable aspect of facebook. It has some problems but I’m finding it fun, and it has lots of prett and funny things to look at.

So, if you would like to folloe me, here is where I have gone:

I also have another tumblr, but you can find that yourself.

So, until we meet again,

Alex Wrekk

Tomorrow is International Zine Library Day also, the Portland Zine Symposium 24 Hour Zine Challenge starts tomorrow!

Tomorrow is International Zine Library Day! What are you going to do to celebrate?

Tomorrow at 10 am I will be at the IPRC to spend 24 hours making a new zine! I don’t know what the new zine will be about yet, but I hope it will be awesome! the past two years have been really successful. If you would like to be the first to get your hand on the new issue of my zine you can sponsor me for $10 or more. The money goes to the Portland Zine Symposium to help it continue to be an awesome zine event!

Come on, $10 (or more!) will get you:

*my new zine

*button of new design

*31 Days of International Zine Month poster.

*a copy of my 1 page mini zine/com (that’s right! I attempt to draw stuff!)  made about the stuff that happened on July 10th when I worked a 10 hour shift at Portland Button Works.

Speaking of Portland Button Works, we are having a sale for International Zine Month from now until the rest of July! Use the Coupon code: IZM2012 for 10% off! We’d love for your to use it on zines, but it is good for anything in


here’s the zine I made in 2010 at the 24 hour zine challenge. it was about all the postboxes  have ever had.

The cover is so-not my style at all- but I do like it. The new copier at the IPRC does color copies at a reasonable price. I cut all these irises out of an old iris catalog from the 60s. I’m not used to working in color so this was fun. The insert is also in color.