Things in Zine can get heavy!
As you may have noticed, our writers write about homelessness, addiction, confusion and loss.
Though their writing is often sad, they themselves are just as often full of joy and resilience. In The Zine Project, we believe that their writing—no matter how sad—is a product of this resiliency. Expression is hope.
With that said, there’s a real need sometimes for a little comic relief.
Zine Interns are required not only to make personal zines but also a group zine. The point of the group zine is for the interns to experience working as a team to create something. From our perspective as a prevocational program, this cooperative effort is an extremely valuable job skill.
Interns have to band together and decide a common theme—a process that sometimes can take longer than the actual writing.
While some groups delve deeper into the heavy themes—poverty, addiction, domestic violence— our October-December 2012 group decided to dedicate themselves to the story of a special little pastry we’ve all come to know and love:
Flying Toaster Strudel!
During our first brainstorming session, one of our interns shouted out the idea and it stuck.
“We were done writing about sad stuff,” said one.
“Yeah, my zine was filled with difficult, serious themes. And so I wanted to do something different.”
And different was what they did.
The group decided to create a comic zine about their original super hero.
And they had three weeks to do it.
This achieved another great professional skill—working under a deadline.
To meet their deadline, the ziners had to answer prompts about their hero, creating a wisdom figure, a sidekick, a nemesis, an origin, a final conflict, etc…
Each decision required them to listen to each other and compromise as they propelled their idea forward.
After the stories were made, the interns took ownership of a section of each story to draw and though each hand executed its lines differently, they all worked off sketches drawn by Sam, one of the interns. Sam’s sketches had a defined style that the rest of the interns followed to create continuity.
They were devoted to their twee aesthetic—creating cherubic looking characters and keeping swearing to a minimum. They discussed fonts and page order and, more often than not, made decisions unanimously after thoughtful processing.
On the final day of the project, their group zine was complete—much to the joy and hilarity of all who read it. Each of the five interns walked away with a united feeling of success and a confidence in their ability to be a part of a collaborative team.
Click here to check out the full version of the Adventures of Flying Toaster Strudel and admire our interns’ efforts creating and preparing themselves for employment.