Zine Philosophy

Spreading the word

 

The concept of 1234V was born out of a desire to share the beloved task of writing, editing, and production of a genuine artifact between two friends. While zines and zine-making have been part of our collective cultural landscape, and are objects we’ve both enjoyed reading and collecting over the years, this particular project takes the concept back to its genesis in self-publishing–the democracy of the printed word. The history of zines and fanzines goes back to the early ’30s when science fiction fans were sharing stories among their underground literary community. Though zine-making has gone through many phases and covered many genres, the concept has generally remained the same: sharing stories. 1234V just happens to deliver stories of the womanly nether regions to its readership.

Why female genitalia? A fair question that deserves an answer. As folks with lady parts, we realized a while ago that vaginas and topics related to said body part are a source of endless inspiration. The symbolism, the mystique, the sexuality of the vagina is fascinating and deserves to be written about. The beauty of zines, outside of the more specific fanzines, are their storytelling nature. The ability to write down an experience, however inspiring, hilarious or shameful, and have a reader relate is something special. Although feminism remains an important ideology and movement, stories about things that go into and come out of a woman’s vagina transcend politics and sexual orientation.

Girls talk. A lot. And sometimes we talk about the nitty gritty of what goes on down south. These explicit details of our bodily functions, sexual encounters, and so much more, have caused both women and men to perk up and say, “Me too!” This is an important part of 1234V; we relish the common experiences in the still-taboo world of the vagina.

As word of our “vajournal” started to spread, we found a lot of people eager to write about things that they’d experienced, vaginally speaking. So we accepted submissions, from any gender, that came from a genuine and honest perspective. We asked people to write like their belligerent selves, as if they were at a bar with their friends shouting their exploits out over the DJ for the whole table to hear. And so far, the response has been humbling; we’ve received stories of sad, awkward prepubescent moments… comic strips with a twinkle in their eye… sci-fi that would make a stripper blush… it’s all very delightful.

After the launch of our first issue a couple of years ago, a close male friend approached us and said he had no idea women talked like that. Crass. Free of self-consciousness. Honest. Hearing the stories read out loud, the room erupting in laughter and recoiling in disgust, was a new experience for him. That moment represents part of the experience of this zine. It’s about sharing the stories, in your best storytelling voice, and sharing them with everyone you know.

For us, the creators of this zine, life is very public. We work in radio, publishing, and are both musicians. There aren’t a lot of secrets when it comes to our lives, and it’s something that can bring both happiness, and sometimes embarrassment. But it also makes life less lonely. At a small Christmas party, after telling a woman about 1234V, she shared how she struggled with the change in her vagina after the birth of her children. Her husband shared this adjustment period, and when we invited her to write about it she was more than happy to, especially when we told her that a few other women were talking about writing on this very topic. It’s not that women have never talked about their stretched out labias before; it’s more that putting it down into honest, explicit words, and sharing it with others brings some sort of satisfaction for people. It certainly does for us.

44

17 Responses to “Zine Philosophy”

  1. Hi just stumbled upon your website from Yahoo after I entered in, “brokenpencil » Blog Archive » Zine Philosophy” or perhaps something similar (can’t quite remember exactly). Anyways, I’m relieved I found it because your subject material is exactly what I’m searching for (writing a university paper) and I hope you don’t mind if I gather some information from here and I will of course credit you as the source. Thanks.

  2. I just saved brokenpencil » Blog Archive » Zine Philosophy on Digg, hope this helps get you more traffic. Right with this write-up, I really think this website requires a lot more consideration. I’ll probably be returning again to read more, thank you for the posting it is fantastic

  3. Significantly, this publish is admittedly the sweetest on this notable topic. I harmonise together with your conclusions and can thirstily look forward to your incoming updates. Saying thanks is not going to just be ample, for the outstanding clarity in your writing. I will straight seize your rss feed to remain knowledgeable of any updates. Admirable work and much success in your small business dealings!  Please excuse my poor English as it is not my first tongue.

  4. You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

  5. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem together with your site in web explorer, could test this¡K IE still is the marketplace leader and a big section of folks will pass over your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  6. horoskopy says:

    Thanks for another great post. Where else could anyone get that type of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  7. I enjoy you because of all of the hard work on this site. Ellie delights in doing investigations and it’s easy to see why. My spouse and i notice all concerning the powerful mode you present advantageous steps by means of this website and welcome participation from other people about this idea while our own child is always becoming educated a lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the new year. You’re doing a great job.

  8. On this quite topic, I try update my blogs almost like I’m speaking to somebody or talking to that reader directly as I consider it helps engage men and women a whole lot more than writing content formally especially when my own blog is based around the goings ons, day-to-day thoughts and research about this somewhat controversial concern. I discovered that I nonetheless want to use far more with the strategies you’ve mentioned in this posting.

  9. Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your website is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across. What a great website.

x
4
Posts Remaining