Zines in unconventional/unique format

Hi zinesters! I can’t believe it’s winter already, time passes so weirdly during the pandemic. In this new blog post, we are featuring zines in unconventional or unique format. Some time ago, I discovered there’s a mystery snack vending machine in Akihabara, Tokyo. The snacks are concealed with paper, the potential customer can read stories on the paper box and decide which box should they purchase. Those stories are most likely urban legends or confessions written by anonymous authors, some are wholesome, and some can send chills down your spine. So to me, this is like a mystery zine vending machine with snacks, which inspires me to look for more zines in unique format.

Here are the featured zines:

Crime Zine by Trevor Yardley-Jones

Trevor’s zine tells a story of a crime scene at an apartment, the reader can “unfold” the crime scene by opening the pop-up zine to study each room in the apartment and the floorplan layout. He also created different colour versions of this zine, which you can check out at his Behance portfolio.

Trevor is a illustrator from Montreal, Canada.

To see more works from Trevor, head over to his website:


& Instagram:


Sabrini the Teenage Witch by Jordan Reg. Aelick

Jordan is a huge fan of the original 90s show, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and so he created a Sabrina inspired zine. The zine is a scroll, which definitely gives us a magical witchy vibe! In this video, it shows how long the scroll is. It came with a red pouch/sleeve for the copy at The Beguiling bookstore. Sabrini the Teenage Witch tells the story of Sabrini in a modern and also relatable way, which includes her cellphone addiction, peer pressure at a party and encounter with a catcaller.

Jordan is a comix artist in Toronto, Canada. He is also a volunteer at Toronto Zine Library, and he is part of the Canada Comics Open Library‘s team.

To see more works from Jordan, head over to his website:


& Instagram:


Bottle Zines by Remi Germaine

One day, Remi found some tiny bottles at her old garage, she decided to use them for making zines. Each bottle contain a message with little charms. These Bottle Zines are cute and also mysterious! You can get a sneak peek on her IG Stories .

Remi is a letter writer, zine maker and illustrator from Utah, US.

To see more works from Remi, head over to her website:


& Instagram:


Unfolding the Saree by Mira Malhotra

Mira’s zine explores the concept of how Indian women in Saree are associated with modesty and tradition, and yet they also have been sexualized very often in pop culture. The zine is a scaled mini Saree in Pallu pattern hung on a mini wire hanger. It is printed on the Belapur colour paper with the one colour silk screen printing technique, which is a common printing technique in promotional flyers in India.

Mira is a visual artist, illustrator and graphic designer from Mumbai, India. She is the founder of Studio Kohl.

To see more works from Mira, head over to her website:


& Instagram:


I hope you all enjoyed these featured zines! I also would like to thank all the artists who allow me to share their work on the TZL blog.

If you’re curious about the Akihabara mysterious vending machine, you can watch Safiya Nygaard’s video about it, starting at 15:29.

Please let us know if you want a Part Two of unique/unconventional zines, you can leave a comment on our Instagram post.

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Throwback post to Maker Fest summer 2018

Hey zinesters! We hope you enjoyed Rotem’s previous blog post for the free zine tutorials. During the closure, we have been discussing through online meeting about hosting virtual events and collaborative zine making.

Due to the pause of in-person events and festivals, I decided to share a throwback post about our experience at the Maker Festival Toronto 2 years ago!

Maker Fest 2018 happened on July 7th and 8th at the Toronto Reference Library. It was a great event for makers to showcase their art, design, craft and technology to the public. TZL was tabling at the second floor, we set up a table for our zine collections and promotional materials and also a zine making station where the visitors could come and learn how to make a simple folded zine. 

 Maker Fest is a family friendly event, so we got various visitors, range from children, teenagers, young adults to parents and seniors. Some visitors were completely new to zine culture, we took this opportunity to introduce them about TZL and answered questions such as “What is a zine?” and “How to make a zine?”. Our staffs Jordan and Rotem have made and brought their zine making guides featuring methods of bindings (hand stitch/folding/stapling) and formatting zine layouts on photoshop at our table, which were very helpful for zine beginners. We have also shown our zine collections from TZL to the visitors, including comic zines, art zines, DIY theme zines. The garlic recipes zine by Tara Bursey and cut-out moon zine were extremely popular among the visitors, they were amazed by how the garlic recipes zine was made out of actual garlic paper (some people actually sniffed the zine because they were wondering if it still has the lingering garlic smell!), and how the tiny cut-out moon zine was delicately made. 

We had a lot of visitors at the zine making station, everyone was eager to learn and follow our zine folding demonstration carefully. They created contents with markers and magazine cut outs, they could also decorate the spines of their zines with colourful washi tapes. I remember some visitors created their first zines about fashion, Pokemon, traffic lights, which are so adorable and rad! 

There was a zinester who was extremely excited to stumble upon us, she has never heard of the TZL until she visited our table at Maker Fest, and she was just overwhelmed with joy when she found out about our space and appreciate we are working hard to preserve and promote zine culture in Toronto. We just want to say thank you to everyone who dropped by at our table, we are so grateful for your supports, and we hope you all have fun making and reading zines!

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Free online zines about making zines and webcomics!

Hello out there,

As you can imagine, things have slowed down at the TZL since we’ve been closed due to the pandemic and are adjusting to our lives now. We’re still catching up on zine library planning and emails, and in the meantime, we are hoping to post a bit more on here.

In this post, I’m sharing a few digital “how-to” zines for anyone interested in making zines or webcomics, looking for some templates and tips, or just some background info.

Intro to Zines, Maker Festival 2018

Intro to Zines is a zine we made for Maker Festival at the Toronto Reference Library in 2018. It includes a few zine templates and tips, a simple hand-sewn binding guide, and an intro to the history of zines. You can read it and download a copy over here.

How to Zine by Jordan Reg. Aelick

How to Zine is another zine the TZL brought to distribute at Maker Festival, with words and drawings by Jordan Reg. Aelick. It includes information on zine making such as useful items, inspiration, and other tips and tricks. You can read it over here. We also have another post coming up with a more detailed throwback to Maker Festival!

We Make Zines online resources from the Zines 101 guide:

How to Make This Very Zine is a zine you can assemble about making zines by Anne Elizabeth Moore : https://wemakezines.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/makezine.pdf

An 8 page blank mini zine template you can fill in: https://wemakezines.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Zine-template.pdf

Template for smaller single sheet zine with 16 pages: https://wemakezines.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/microminizine.pdf

Thepublicstudio.ca’s An Introduction to Zines: A zine on how to make a zine, including zine styles, genres, formats, design, typography, making a zine, and inspiration: https://wemakezines.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/DIY-No2-Zines-2.pdf

The Ins and Outs of Webcomics by Jey Pawlik

“The Ins and Outs of Webcomics” by Jey Pawlik is a comic zine which guides readers through the ins and outs of creating webcomics, including tips on tools, panels, dialogue, posting and promotion, printing, as well as other resources! The full pdf is available as a free download here: https://www.canadacomicsol.org/2020/03/30/the-ins-an-outs-of-webcomics-by-jey-pawlik-pdf-download/

Other resources:

QZAP (Queer Zine Archive Project) zine-making resources: https://www.qzap.org/v9/index.php/links/25-zine-making-resources

Get in touch with the TZL on social media or by email if you have suggestions for other resources we could share on here.

Hope you are all able to stay safe.

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Online Catalogue Under Maintenance

We are currently updating our Integrated Library System with a few improvements and it is temporarily unavailable. Please check back soon, and apologies for any inconvenience.
Stay safe and take care,
-The TZL

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Hey zine and zine library lovers,

Wanna show your local zine library some love? We’d love to see at our fundraiser taking place at Glad Day Bookstore on Saturday 4 August from 6-9PM. We’ll have a zine making station, artists, music, a raffle, good vibes, and good times. We’ll also be unveiling a ~secret~ project we’ve been hard at work on to improve the library – and we can’t wait to share it with you! More details to be revealed soon. In the meantime, put this in your calendar. Help the TZL keep zine culture alive!

Check out the facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/172097696996840/

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Maker Festival 2018

We’re continuing to branch out a little bit from our usual zine fair circuit. This weekend – July 7-8 – we’re excited to be a part of Maker Festival Toronto! We’ll have a host of things for you to check out: a sampling of zines from our collection to inspire you about the possibilities of what you can make, resources on how to get started making zines, and a whole table for folks to get started making zines of their own.

It’s going to be a lot of fun, and maybe a little jarring, being such a low-tech exhibit among all the robots. We’re looking forward to share our passion of making zines with other makers.

Come visit us at Maker Festival this weekend! Check out their website for more information and to see all the cool exhibits: http://makerfestival.ca/

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Punk Rock Flea Market!!!

Hey y’all,

The TZL is trying something a little different and tabling at the PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET at Lee’s Palace in Toronto. We’ll be there spreading the news about the library and all we do among a variety of wicked DIY crafts. Come by and say hi!

The Punk Rock Flea Market is free(!) and open from 11AM-5PM.

We’ll still have staffed hours today, and Lee’s Palace is just around the corner from the library – why not make Sunday a TZL double feature and check out both?

Check out the event and vendors list here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1790595167674373/

Support yr local DIY punk artisans!

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TZL at TCAF Zineland Terrace!

TCAF Zineland Terrace 2018

Hey zine pals,

Exciting news! Not only will the Toronto Comic Arts Fair be having a section just for zines and DIY publishing this year, but we’ll also be there tabling! Come check out all the great zines that will be on offer and support your local creators. We hope to see you there!

TCAF will be taking place Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13th from 11AM-5PM at the Toronto Reference Library.

  1. Check out the facebook event page for Zineland Terrace here.

Check out TCAF’s website here.

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Library Closure – Sunday, April 15th

Hey Zine Lovers,

Unfortunately, we will be closed on Sunday, April 15th during our usual staffed hours time. More opportunity to dig up those materials to return, dream up your own projects, or dive into that zine you just read again. We’re looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday, April 17th during our next staffed hours time slot!

Oh! And if you’re looking for a great way to go out on the town Sunday night, why not check out the Girls Rock Camp Adult Camp showcase at the Tranzac? Starts at 8PM. Check out the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/209336923163077/


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Guess what? We have some new additions!

There are some zine additions we are more than happy to share with you, zine friends! Check them out:

The Dirty North // Chrix Morix // Litzine // odd size
Dressed to Piss // Dongery // Art // half size
Vincent #7 Mind’s Eye // Comics // half size
Xoxomomomomi // Mo Chong // Comics // odd size
The Salo Cantos // Ezra Pound // Litzine // odd size
The International Culture Trade Network Thingy Bionic Arm // The International Culture Trade Network Thingy // Art // odd size
If Destroyed Still True #5 Eurovision 2010 Edition // Nine @ Jinxremoving // Perzine // half zine
Root //sjevans // Perzine // odd size
abandon fields & castles // jasper sebastian sturup // Art // odd size
The Children of Adam // The Emperor Menelik (The Second) // Litzine // odd size
big boots Pride // big boots //Litzine // odd size
Teeth Poems // Liisa Ladouceur // Litzine // odd size
Angelica A MADE UP STORY ABOUT A REAL CHAIR // em cameron // Litzine // odd size
hello // Elija // Art // odd size
rasavada #12 // rasavada // Art // odd size
rasavada #13 // rasavada // Art // odd size
big boots violence // big boots// Litzine // odd size
AQSA ZINE ISSUE #2 / FALL’09 love/sex/marriage immigration/migration // AQSA ZINE // Gender/Queer // half size
How to Raise a Parent // Carly Stasko // Art // half size
A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR YOUR BODY (AND MIND) // Julie Siebecker // Litzine // half size
rasavada #7 // rasavada // Art // odd size
Browncords #3// Patrick Kyle// Comics// odd size
Panda// Yvonne Ng// Comics// odd size
Bunny ears// Gary Wolfe// Comics// odd size
Jakob flies the plane// Elipso Calypso// comics// quarter size
Half-hearted platitudes #1// Joanne Huffa// comics// half size
Parodicz of Parables vol. 3// anonymous// perzine// quarter size
I hate fun// Norma Krautmeyer// gender queer// half size
Straint #4// Lane Van Ham// Fanzine// half size
Straint #5// Lane van Ham// Fanzine// half size
Straint #6// Lane van Ham// Fanzine// half-size
Straint #10// Lane van Ham// Fanzine// half-size
Trans talk// anonymous// gender/queer/ half-size
Dump the trump// Sharah Hutson and the Wooster Anti-racist collective// politics// odd size
Fuck Trump Club// anonymous// politics// odd size

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