Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Broken Pencil hits 20 years


issue60_coverBroken Pencil has been the most visible guide to alternative culture in Canada for the last 20 years. It’s interesting that it while it came of age in the nascent days of the Internet, when just getting on a computer network required money and some degree of technical savvy, it survived the later proliferation of digital media through sheer bloody-mindedness.

Now, 20 years into its mission, Broken Pencil founder Hal Niedzviecki is the subject of an interview in the Toronto Star about zines, zine-making and the shift back to paper for today’s creatives.

Though I’ve always been a digital guy, I have to admit I’m intrigued by the idea of making a zine. I know the “proper” (pronounced: “hipster”) way to create a zine is to type everything out by hand, cut it up, glue it together and xerox it on the sly, but I happen to know how to use Indesign, and I have to justify my ongoing subscription to the Adobe Creative Suite.

he next question is…what should the zine be about? It has to be a subject I hold near and dear to my heart, and if Radio Free Skaro is any indication, giving my theoretical zine a sci-fi bent is probably the smartest bet. I’ll also be joining a fanzine tradition that’s almost a century old, and possibly even giving friends a place to put some of their writing and artwork.

I even have a title in mind, a suitably nerdy one to fit my view of the world. Now all I have to do is write, draw design and lay out a multi page document. Easy.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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