Alex’s life revolves around making things; primarily zines, custom pinback buttons (badges), vegan food, travel plans, and space for a cat in her bed.
Alex Wrekk moved from Salt Lake City, Utah to Portland, Oregon in 1999 and has been creating the zine Brainscan since 1997. Alex is also the author of the seminal book about zines, Stolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture which was first printed in 2002 and is now in it’s 5th edition.
Alex has been making custom pinback buttons since 2000 under various business names. In 2012 Alex opened Portland Button Works and zine distro, an online and brick and mortar shop in Portland, Oregon selling zines and books and making custom buttons, bottle openers, and magnets in various sizes as well as an Etsy shop with the same name.
When Alex isn’t doing zine things she is doing other zine things like organizing the Portland Zine Symposium, establishing July as International Zine Month, commiserating with Zine Event Organizers around the world, updating the zine event listings on StolenSharpieRevolution.org, hosting the podcast Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast, fidgeting with her Risograph printer, reading from her zines out loud on zine tours or singing in a zine themed pop-punk band called The Copy Scams.
Alex desparately wishes someone would fix her horrendously outdated wikipedia page.
In the past Alex has been an open hours shift volunteer at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) taught workshops about zines at the Rock N’ Roll Camp For Girls and various schools, universities and zine events across the US and even in Canada, the UK and France. I moved to Portland from Salt Lake City, Utah in 1999 and started making custom buttons in 2000 while I was working for Microcosm Publishing. I left Microcosm in 2006 due to personal reasons and started making my own designs as well as custom buttons under the name Small World Buttons and eventually settled on Portland Button Works and Zine Distro.
i just published my first zine today! hot off the xerox! you’re right – publishing is just such a rush…
i first got into zines after reading a mini-review of stolen sharpie revolution in some 1998 issue of GL magazine..:). zine-making looked like fun, and i have this great love for doodling, crafty-projects, and gluesticks – i’ve been hooked ever since! so thanks and right on! – you really started something!
im jay from the Phils. just surf in! now i know who’s behind the stolen sharpie! ive heard alot about it but i havent read one. hope u reprint it soon, anyway, can we trade zines? i love to read Brainscan. keep up the good work
Hello Jay, Thanks for stopping by. I have finished Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2! it is available several places. I hope you pick one up! Feel free to e-mail me about a zine trade for Brainscan firstname.lastname@example.org
I just started looking into local (Portland) zines. Is there a list of them that take submissions? I don’t see anything like a call for stories on your site, so I am guessing you don’t, but do you know who does? I have something coming out in the next Alltopia. Its the first zine I’ve read.
I’m mainly a visual artist, but have been told my writing is good, so I am looking for feedback and exposure. I love your writing on this site (and the coffee sounds good)!
I don’t really know of any local zines that take submissions besides Stumptown Underground. It is monthly and has themes. You might want to check that out. They also include visual art and comics too.
Hey alex! love your blog! Can i send you zine, just for fun! 🙂
sure! Go ahead and send it to the Portland Button Works shop.