Interview with IZM Founder Alex Wrekk

Alex Wrekk:

An interview with me for International Zine Month. wheee!

Originally posted on Zine Nation:

In commemoration of International Zine Month 2015, we did a quick email interview with founder Alex Wrekk. Besides being the original force behind IZM, Alex is a well-known and well regarded zinester who publishes Stolen Sharpie Revolution: A DIY Zine Resource, and Brainscan Zine. Alex also organizes the Portland Zine Symposium, and runs Portland Button Works & Zine Distro.

How did the idea of International Zine Month come about in the first place?
It was kind of a joke. There are all these celebrations like May 4 (Star Wars May the 4th be with you) or World Goth Day or Donut day. Why not a zine month? I looked into how to do and you could actually petition the government of the US to declare a day, go the DIY route and just say it and hope everyone else gets excited and follows along! That’s what I did and…

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The 2015 LA zine fest was a blast, our DIY Buffy the Vampire Slayer tour was pretty rad, and pdxcarpet is a thing

Did you know the Portland airport carpet is a thing? It’s totally a thing. It’s a thing on Instagram so it must be a thing! I may not have been born in Oregon but my mother swears that the raised me to be an Oregon girl and I’ve been coming to the Portland airport since I was an infant to visit family right up to my 21st birthday trip (it was all about the craft beer!) I moved here in 1999 when I was 22. The Portland airport carpet has been a staple since 1987 when I was 10 years old. I was an angsty teen dressed in a Vision Street Wear or oversized Cure shirt and attempting to drown out the word with my headphones while being dragged away from a Utah summer with friends to hang out at my grandparents or cousin’s houses. I walked on that ugly obnoxiously bright carpet saturated in late 80s jewel tones. I think it was one of the first airports that had carpet and they didn’t allow chewing gum so that the carpet wouldn’t get ruined. That always reminded me of the Shonen Knife songs about no chewing gum in Singapore.

Anyway, since they have decided to update the ugly carpet people have been taking photos of their feet at the airport and tagging it on instagram with #pdxcarlet Let’s make no mistakes, the carpet is old and gross but I can’t help join in the celebration of my favorite city and my favorite airport, and my home. So, here’s my feet on the way to L.A.

L.A. Where it was going to be 85+ degrees and I left Portland in a heavy coat and leggings under everything where it was probably in the high 40s.


I got in pretty early in the morning and my lovely host, Amber, was working but my buddy Jonas was in town so I went to go hang out with him. The house he was staying at had a tangerine tree in the front yard. I utilized his tall-ness to grab one for my shortness. It was perfect. I don’t know why I’m always mesmerized by the fact that you can just grow citrus and avocados in California, but I am.


What’s a trip to the California coast without a photo of the sun setting into the ocean?


On Saturday Jonas, Amber and I had planned a DIY tour of Buffy the Vampire Slayer filming locations!

Our first stop was the house used as Spike, Drusilla, and Spike’s house. It’s a Frank Lloyd House called the Ennis House:


The next stop was an apartment building that served as the Hyperion Hotel in Angel. We could only get into the courtyard.


Next up! A cemetery that some of the scenes were filmed at. Most cemetery scenes were filmed on set, but this was a pretty cool cemetery.


Amber and Did a silly most crypt scene


After that we headed to Torrance to Buffy’s house! 1630 Revello Drive is not actually on Revello drive. The yard had more foliage than expected. There were bushes of lavender lining the walk and we loitered around outside like Spike.


And also took a selfie with the Summer’s residence.


After that we found Sunnydale High, which was actually Torrance High. We were excited and when we walked up there was a guy there who asked me “Are you also here to take a photo of Sunnydale High?”


It was a very “California” high school with lots of separate buildings and court yards to wander around in, not contained at all.


The famous court yard!


those damn stairs


It was super fun! I suggest you make your own tour if you get a chance.

The next day was the L.A. Zine fest Here’s the Portland Button Works table


Here is a portion of ONE of the TWO rooms


Here’s me with the rad shirt my friend Jonas gave me


Prepanel photo with Kelli (That Girl) Aurora Lady, me, and our moderator Joshua James of Antiquated Future distro


here’s me on a panel with some awesome zine friends  talking about perzines and what and how you choose to tell personal stories.


What’s a zine fest without some games of Mystery Sharpie Knuckle Tattoo games! This one was my favorite with Adam Gnade from Pioneers Press.


Photobooths with friends is another staples of zine fests!


And then I headed back to Portland where the weather was unseasonably nice! I didn’t even have to wear the leggings I brought as part of my carry on!


Two more zine things!

I just supported the Olympia Zine Fest’s Indiegogo campaign! You should do that too. You can get a table at a discount!

Also, The Chicago Zine Fest will be in May this year and we just signed up! Tables went quickly but we made the cut!

Hello February!

There’s only a few days left of the Stolen Sharpie Revolution blog tour! Go here and read along or register to win a free copy!

This month I hope to get review copies of SSR out as well as out to libraries and also to distros for consideration. I’m also excited about going to the L.A. Zine Fest! I’ll be on a panel about per-zines with some awesome folks.

Personally, I’m excited about garden planning! I’ve already bought some seeds and some new gloves.  I also bought tickets to see Dead Milkmen in March Jesus and Mary Chain in May in Seattle. It’s like two side of my punk/goth jr. high coin. This spring will be magical!

Stolen Sharpie Revolution is on tour! A blog tour!


Hey! I’m going on a blog tour with the Stolen Sharpie Revolution book! There will be reviews, interviews, and giveaways! Please check out these blogs on these dates for more info!

Stolen Sharpie Revolution (5th edition!) Is back from the printer!


After a successfully funded kickstarter the new edition of Stolen Sharpie Revolution has returned from the printer! It is available direct from the Portland Button Works Etsy shop and the Portland Button Works website as well as Pioneers Press, Powell’s Books, and More distros and stores to follow soon! If you are interested in carrying Stolen Sharpie revolution get in touch: for wholesale pricing.

If you are in the UK or Europe and would like to save on postage, consider ordering from Steve Larder in the UK.

Stolen Sharpie Revolution
a DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture
Author Alex Wrekk
with contributions by Sugene Mine, Jerianne Thompson, Sage Adderley, Jenna Freedman and illustrations by Steve Larder
Format 4.25” x 5.5” paperback
Pages 152
Price $8.00
ISBN 9780981794112

Since 2002, Stolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture has been the go-to guide for all things zine-related. This little red book is stuffed with information about zines. Things you may know, stuff you don’t know and even stuff you didn’t know you didn’t know! Stolen Sharpie Revolution contains a cornucopia of information about zines and zine culture for everyone from the zine newbie to the experienced zinester to the academic researcher.

Stolen Sharpie Revolution consists of thoughtful lists and step-by-step how-to guides on everything from definitions of a “zine,” where to find zines, why they are important, how to make them and how to participate in zine culture. This book has everything you need to get started creating your own zine, or to figure out what to do with the zine you just made.

Stolen Sharpie Revolution serves as both an introduction into the wide world of zine culture and as a guide to taking the next step to become a part of it.

*Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * *

There are HOURS left to support the Stolen Sharpie Revolution Kickstater!


The Stolen Sharpie Revolution Kickstarter ends today, September 30, at about 8PM! That means that as of now you have about 10 hours to back the kickstarter. If you do not back the kickstarter and pre-order a copy of Stolen Sharpie Revolution they will not be available for purchase until late November or early December, so act now!

Yesterday I got the final files to the printer, ordered the custom Sharpie markers  (they will look like the image above printed on the barrel minus the red) got the t-shirt design off to the printer, and finished the survey that will go out to the backers. I’M SO EXCITED!

Thank you everyone that has backed this project and made it a success. It has been a rough 30 days and I’m glad it is over, but I’m stoked that we made it happen!

If you have not backed the Stolen Sharpie Revolution Kickstarter, here’s you last chance!

Stolen Sharpie Revolution Kickstarter has less than 60 hours left!


Stolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY Resource for zines and zine culture (5th Edition) Kickstarter is less than 60 hours to completion! 

We have made our $6,000 goal with 4 days to spare! I’m not feeling completely proactive about setting a stretch goal, but here’s the thing. As of now There is enough for all the rewards and to print 4,000 copies of the 5th Edition of Stolen Sharpie Revolution.

If we can hit $7,000 we can print 5,000 copies! Can we do it? I’ve added 10 more 10 packs for schools, distros, stores, or for you to give away as gifts! There are still some t-shirts and Sharpie rewards. Also, if you would like to add to a level you have already committed to, you can change it and when I sent the survey at the end of the campaign you can just note that you’d like to add a Little Free Library patron reward for $25 or an extra copy of the book for $15.

So, we have less than 60 hours! Can we make it happen?

in zines we trust,

Alex Wrekk

There are mere days left for you to support the Stolen Sharpie Revolution Kickstarter!


Happy Autumnal Equinox!


This is just a quick note to remind you of the Stolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture (5th edition) Kickstarter that is going on now!


Since 2002 Stolen Sharpie Revolution has been the go-to resource for zines and zine culture. With over 21,000 copies in print, this book is poised to break the quarter-hundred-thousand copy barrier at least BUT I NEED YOUR HELP!


Depending on when you are reading this there is either 9 or 8 days left to go and we are still short over $2,000 out of the $6,000 we need. So, if you were considering backing this project, THE TIME IS NOW! You can get yourself some fun rewards including an actual Sharpie Marker with “Stolen Sharpie Revolution” printed on it, a Stolen Sharpie Revolution T-shirt, all 5 editions of Stolen Sharpie Revolution, or get a pack of 10 for your store, distro, class or gift for friends, or have me do the layout for your zine! Maybe you already backed the kickstarter and are getting a copy of the book. Why not raise your donation level by $25 and donate a copy of Stolen Sharpie Revolution in your name to one of the many Little Free Libraries in Portland.


If you haven’t had a chance to check out the updates I suggest you do so. You can see some of progress and some photos of page layout, some early milestones and backers of the projects will see exactly how many gluesticks and rolls of double sided tape the layout took!


If you were thinking that you would just buy a copy of SSR later you might want to reconsider that as these will not be available to buy until AFTER the kickstarter rewards have been sent out. We are estimating that copies will not be available until late November. So, if you want to get a copy of the new edition of Stolen Sharpie Revolution you MUST act now and support the Kickstarter!


One more big announcement: The iconic covers of Stolen Sharpie Revolution will be receiving a bit of an update! My buddy Steve Larder, illustrator and author of Rum Lad zine has agreed to drawn me a new spiffy looking Sharpie marker for the cover! I’m so excited because I just I love Steve’s artwork. You should check it out as well.


Ok, that’s about it for now. Thanks for sticking with me and let’s get the Stolen Sharpie Revolution kickstarter to it’s close!


in zines we trust,

Alex Wrekk

Stolen Sharpie Revolution (5th edition) Kickstarter Update!

We have 18 days to go and I wanted to post a little run down of the progress.

So, I’m going to make this chronological list of notable things so far:

  • Day 3: The Stolen Sharpie Revolution Kickstarter became a “Staff Pick” on Kickstarter AND we hit the first $1,000. Stoked!
  • Day 7: We hit 25% of our total total and I started using doubled sided tape instead of glue sticks.
  • Day 8: We hit 33% of our goal and I launched a tumblr giveaway. Check it out on tumblr and feel free to reblog for a chance to win a copy of the book and some other goodies.
  • Day 10: I finished with all of the content layout! The page count for the 5th edition of Stolen Sharpie Revolution will either be 152 or 160 pages depending on a few things that are yet to be determined.
  • Day 12: We reached 100 backers!

I’m hoping to break the half-way point: $3,000 or more this weekend. I’d love it if you could help me reach that goal!

Check out the kickstarter here.

in zines we trust,

Alex Wrekk


Stolen Sharpie Revoltion (5th Edition) Kickstarter Campaign! We’re a Staff Pick!


I am launching a kickstarter to print the 5th edition of the book Stolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY resource for zines and zine culture and I need your help! SSR has been the go-to guide for all things zine-related for over a decade and we want to keep it going for many more! This little red book is bursting with all things ZINE: things you may know, stuff you don’t know and even stuff you didn’t know you didn’t know! Stolen Sharpie Revolution is a cornucopia of information about zines and zine culture. It’s for everyone from the zine newbie to the experienced zinester to the academic researcher. It is beloved by zinesters everywhere and has even been used in university classrooms as a basic text for understanding zines.

With over 21,000 copies in print, this book is poised to break the quarter-hundred-thousand copy barrier at least BUT I NEED YOUR HELP! Help fund this kickstarter by pre-ordering a book or, get yourself a fun reward.