International Zine Mon Day 3, 4, and 5

Alright! For the Activity of IZM Day 3 I ordered a zine from Doris Press.

Yesterday the task was to re-read your favorite zines. It seem easy enough, right? I spent the day at the shop pressing buttons and came home and made some food. The Paul and I started going through boxes of old zines. I just kept thinking about a line I wrote for a Copy Scams song:

“My favorite zines are by my friends

and I’ve got room for more of them”

My favorite zines have always been by my friends, or people who became my friends through penpals and travels. So many connections as I dug through boxes stopping to think about the connections to each person. Some I haven’t seen in year, but the feeling was visceral. I could recall exactly how I felt when I retrieved a zine from my mail box of cracked the cover while sitting on the bus.

I’m missing a lot of the “popular” zines. I lost my zine collection in my divorce, but I complained about it publicly enough so that a version of my zine collection was sent back to me.  It was missing old issues of Cometbus, Doris, Burn Collector, etc. But that’s ok. I still had Lunchroom, Paul’s zine that I got from him at a show in 1997, and Maybrick’s Diary and all sorts of mid-90s zines from Salt lake City. Plus, I got back a lot of the zines from my personal penpals. Some of them I lost touch with like nicole from Voice of One from Hamilton, Ontario and Tim from Hello Nothing from Winter Springs, Florida who had the same birthday as me. I wonder where they are?

I took this photo on my table this morning after we sat around reading zines and listening to records last night. I love zines and rereading my favorites reminds me why!zinespread

International Zine Month Day 5: teach yourself a new skill

So, I feel pretty confident in a lot of the zine skills I have. However, I did buy a table top photocopier that arrived last week. I’m finishing up a huge button order and I haven’t let myself play with my new toy yet. I hope to get that order wrapped up today so I can see what it’s got in the way of making some fun photocopier art!

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.


Please help the Portland Zine Symposium andsponsor me in the 24 Hour Zine Challenge!

The Portland Zine Symposium is hosting their 4th annual 24 Hour Zine challenge. This awesome event is a fundraiser for PZS and works like a charity walk. You sponsor a participant (or participants!) and you only have to pay-up if the participant/s finish the challenge! If you sponsor someone for at least $10 you will even receive the zine the participant makes!

I have taken part in this event for the past two years and have finished both times.  I will be participating again in the 24 Hour Zine Challenge that  will be held at the new spacious Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, Oregon on 21 July. I would love love love it if you could help out the Portland Zine Symposium and sponsor me, Alex Wrekk, in the 24 hour zine challenge. There will also be live cams to watch our sleep deprived scribbling….and also so that you can laugh at us.

So, go here and send and e-mail pledging to sponsor me for this year!

Happy International Zine Month! Day 4

Are you playing along at home with the 31 activities? Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Day 1 – I posted on the We Make Zines post about IZM.

Day 2 – I sent twitter message to a couple distro.

Day 3 – I organized zines in the Portland Button Works shop. My own zines are a disaster!

Day 4 – I’m not sure what zine skill I’m going to teach myself! Maybe I should see it as ‘teach yourself a new skill from a zine” So it could be a bit of a DIY challege? If that’s the case then I’m going to curl up with my copy of Advanced Brains and teach myself the rules to this role playing game that puts punks vs. Zombies! We are going to have a test play of the game in the shop in a few weeks and I’m stoked! I think I’m going to play a skate punk.

This afternoon I’m leaving for the Riverhouse to see my mom and enjoy the sun that seems to be crawling out from behind the Oregon clouds. I’ll be bringing some new zines for the challenge tomorrow: Day 5 – Check out a different type of zine than you normally read. I’ll also be bringing some of my favorite zines to re-read for the Day 6 activity. I’ll be away from the PBW shop for 2 days.  TWO DAYS! I haven’t had two days off since we have opened the shop. I’m stoked!

I’m hoping to get away from the 4th of July fireworks and being able to sit in the woods, stare at the river, maybe doing some swimming and craft beer drinking.