Top 12 Zines of 2012

In the twelve months of its existence, Zine Project Seattle and its amazing homeless youth interns have churned out twenty seven zines!

It’s been a fruitful year and we wanted to share with you some of our favorites of 2012. These twelve are dense with eye popping imagery and soul stirring words. Happy reading! 

Click on each image to check out actual zine pages filled with original writing and artwork from youth on the streets:

  • A Day in the Shoes of Love, Family and Life by Michelle
A Day in the Shoes of Love, Family and Life
A Day in the Shoes of Love, Family and Life, $7.
(Click on image for a sneak peek.)

Complete with lush visuals and poems rushing with emotions and profundity, A Day is a must-read zine on the difficulties of coming of age. The author recounts her experiences with love, family and life with a devastating honesty, an inspiring optimism and a unique symbol set. As the zine’s pages turn, read how this young woman finds perspective on herself, the world and others.

  • Loved, Lost, Lived by Kristin
Loved Lost Lived Cover
Loved, Lost, Lived: Full Color $7
(Click image for a sneak peek)

This Zine is called Loved, Lost and Lived. It goes through a plethora of different emotions of a girl and the life that she has lived so far. From beginning to end there are many issues that are brought up. It shows a struggle to let go, and the release into happiness.

  • Bitter-Sweet ConfusionBy Natalie
Bitter-Sweet  by Natalie
Bitter-Sweet by Natalie
Full color $7

This zine is a collection of poems and pieces of original art created by a homeless youth . She interprets her battles, and personal struggles, including her determination to be free and sober. She puts interpretive twists on her travels and experiences. Read more to get the full experience.

  • Apocalypse Yesterday by Jan 2012 Interns
    Zine Project Seattle, Apocalypse Yesterday, Zine sample
    Apocalypse Yesterday, $7, full color

    Nov 2011-Jan 2012 interns band together in this Zine Project Seattle version of a post apocalyptic world. Apocalypse Yesterday contains imaginative group writings about hypothetical happenings in the wake of chaos, as well as individual perspectives trying to cope with catastrophe. For these young, homeless writers, their apocalypse forms a fitting metaphor for the re-envisioning of citizenship, leadership and group identity in the face of marginalization and disaster. A must read.

  • Killing Your Dreams by Sam
    Killling Your Dreams Cover Pic
    Killing Your Dreams, $7 Full Color
    (Click image for a sneak peek)

    In this zine, there are poems, illustrations, watercolor paintings, and a short story, centered around the author’s thoughts, fears, and preoccupations. With spare but tremulous prose, the author communicates a sadness and confusion, all the while coaxing the reader along with unique, art-mag quality layouts.

  • Dirty, Ratty Converse, by Jack
Zine Project Seattle
Dirty Ratty Converse: $7, full color

With titles like “F*** You June Cleever”, “I am the Monster in the Mirror”, and “God the Devil and Me”, this collection of original poetry and artwork represents an authentic, cynical, insightful and hilarious chronicle of identity, and womanhood.

  • Unhinged by Justin
    Unhinged cover
    Unhinged, $3

    Unhinged is a Zine about addiction, hope, cynicism, and the struggle for a junkie to learn what it means to become a man. Harrowing, honest, and unapologetic, this writer invites you on a journey, written in a minimalist “to the point” style, into the psyche of a troubled yet hopeful young man. What is optimism and where does the healing begin? Find out in Unhinged!

  • Culture Our Way: a zine on Pop, Culture and the People’s Response By Jan-March 2012 Interns
    Culture Our Way
    Culture Our Way, $7 Full Color

    Jan-March 2012 Ziners observe, satirize, and reflect upon major elements in American pop culture. Topics include cell phones, teen pregnancy, entertainment, advertizing, etc..Through original artwork poetry, prose and artwork, these youth authors move from passive receivers of pop messaging to perceptive critics, ultimately attempting to reclaim the culture. Read it to see if they succeed.

  • The Forest in my Brain by anonymous
The Forest in my Brain by anonymous

The forest in my brain is collection of struggles and accomplishments in the form poetry and art work. In this zine the author deals with issues of gender identity and belonging. Enjoy your time in the forest!

  • The Book of Life, From a Homeless Seattle Youth by Josh
    The Book of Life, from a Homeless Seattle Youth by Josh

    In The Book of Life, From a Homeless Seattle Youth, the author expresses his love and hatred for the wild things life has to offer – in his own original and magical form. Start with a violence laced upbringing in the first page, and watch the author’s journey through unsafe waters and weary personalities until the end, where all of life comes together in a beautiful and rugged climax of experience, knowledge and wisdom that may only have been learned with an open mind. This Zine includes non-fiction personal horror stories, delightfully colored illustrations of the world around us, and many wise words that are geared to inspire and introduce the reader to an enjoyable, manageable life that he or she is in full control of. Step into the life of a homeless, queer youth who has an abundance of things to say!

  • Broken by Michael
Broken, $7
Click image for a sneak peek

Broken is written by a young man who details his aversion to the modern Republican Party, despite being a registered member.  In his writings, the author covers everything from the United States federal budget to the partisan gridlock of the GOP that has strangled Congress. Further highlighting the plights of the Republican Party, the writer emphasizes the extremism that has taken a hold in American “conservatism” and what his personal opinion is of this. Despite this, his love for his country is vibrantly apparent and obvious in each page. Compassion, compromise and civility have long since been key factors in politics, and, unfortunately, those attributes have become lost in modern times.  Read this or else.

  • I Never Thought By Ester
    I Never Thought
    I Never Thought By Ester
    Full Color: $7

    “I Never Thought…” is a collection of poems by a young Ukrainian teenage girl who was sexually exploited in Seattle. The poems are a collage of past experiences (tragedy, fights, abuse, and hurt) versus the life she is living now (going to school, goals for future life, and family.) From poems that might shed a tear or two to poems that will make you laugh, this collection will move you. 


First Breathe

By Michelle

First breathe.
Realize what it is. You are making yourself
 feel the way you are feeling.
And why?
This suffocation inside you that’s got you perplexed
 it’s got you in chains.
Name one thing
you are doing right at the moment,
listen to the beat
of your pounding heart screaming
its madness like its performing.
Wake up.
Visualize the decisions that keep you chained to a bed,
a thought, a memory that strings itself closer the more you want it to fade .

You’ve stayed in your box for too long-
That masking tape ain’t no stronger than you are .
Whatever the reason or for whoever your frustrated at, remember..
give them time and give yourself patience.
It makes sense that everything seems pretty fucked up at the moment.
In case you haven’t realized it,
you are a human
living in this world that is as dark as a basement.
First breathe
Then talk to yourself about it.
Find it
 and do something POSITIVE with it.

My Hands

The water master. by Peter

The water master. by Peter

My Hands

My hands are formless like water
How they move is a mystery to Me.
My Hands can flow like a calm water, or come crashing down like a violent torrent.
My Hands can flow like water
because My Hands are water.
I am water.
I am shapeless like water,
while at the same time, I have a shape.
I am the master of water.
I am the master over myself.

My Body Is A Temple

Temple by Shyla

My body is like a temple– when you look at me you know I’m not simple. I’m hard to get–can’t even touch me with a 10 foot pole.

My soul is the inside of the temple–warm and cold at the same time, but still my soul works day and night to change inside.

My soul is empty with plenty of room to make it full. My body so strong you couldn’t knock me down with a push or pull

I been through a lot, that’s why I have all these marks. It’s clear that in my life I’ve fought and yet I’m still beautiful especially to those that know my history and to others, how I became me is mystery.

My body is a temple–hard on the outside, cold on the inside but still such a beautiful sight.

My body is a temple. My creators worked hard–it was far from simple.


By Juan

Anger Collage by Juan

Anger Collage by Juan


Anger looks like a tall dark humanoid figure

 with no face or features.

 This anger is not man or women,

 cat or dog;

Nor is it a figment of my imagination,

It follows me like a bad habit.

Like a shadow trailing me

as I walk down the vacant road of redemption

  as it attempts to over come me.

Anger taste like warm blood at the bottom of your lip

as I try to be the victor of this


Tread softly….

Know who’s behind you.

Know how to laugh

 because all this is nothing more

 than an emotion.



Everyone says family over everything! Family first.

Yeah first to

 Lie to you

 Steal from you

Hurt you

Bash you

Abandon you

Beat you

Leave you

 So why family first?

“Keep your family close and your enemies close”

Family is just some people you share some blood with.

The say “blood is thicker than water”

But water is genuine opposed to them.

Water can cleanse you, it can wash

Off the dirt and the hurt

from a days work.

Water can hydrate and lift you

Like you walked up a big hill

And you can’t breath

Until you’ve taken a gulp.

My Dad and step-mom are like water to me.

 I’m so used to negative people,

When I get around anyone positive again,

I feel good.

When I’m driving around in their car

I feel safe, knowing I don’t have to worry about anything.

My Wrap-around team are like water to me.

Because I am so used to being stuck on the negative things

 about my life, they help me come to terms

that I am a working person-in-progress

trying to do all things right.

They help me with that ,

not by telling me that but showing me.

Blood or not blood

These people are water to me,

they’re what I need to survive.

Tie-Dye and Messiness

By Natalie

Tie-Dye and Messiness painting by Natalie

Tie-Dye and Messiness painting by Natalie

My hands are stained with color,

Dry because I’ve had to wash them repeatedly like a chore.

The colors distract me.

Purple drips from my hands and bleeds

on everything if I’m not cautious.

Blue floats like a thick mist of emotion

for you.

Blue for me is dark and light depending on time of day.

In the morning blue is shut out by closed curtains,

At night blue is drained from the sky by a hungry sun.


My arms are stained with colors,

The colors of beads—green, blue and yellow

And black and red and orange,

All saying joy.

I express myself through bright colors

Instead of yesterday’s darkness.


My heart is stained with colors.

The colors of the rainbow.

Orange standing for sexuality.

I dream of coy fish swimming

In a bayou of giant trailers on stilts

And people racing by

On makeshift lawnmowers and jet skies

While the fish swam through, not caring.


My brain is stained with colors.

It’s like a stained glass window.

of bright, resilient colors

Outlined by a thick, black confusion.

A jumbled mesh trying to make an image.


My soul is stained with colors.

Yellow and white like a small candle

Trying to shine bright

In too much wind

I keep shining though, getting bigger,

Making new colors,

waxes of unimaginable colors

a tie-dye mess drips from my soul spreading


I Am

By Chevonna 

I am like a fly in the world

Just wondering, floating, and flying around.

Looking for food, shelter, and comfort.

Throughout it all, I might get

 Smashed, stuck or simply keep going.


I am like the girl at the bar

That’s been there a little too long

 But I just can’t get enough.

Can I get a refill?

I am like a river

Polluted with all the things

People are putting in my head—this and that

The chemicals of lies, the toxins of negativity.


I am like the world

Some people want to build me up

To make it better,

Some people want to tear me down.


I am like Helen Keller,

In reality I’m blind

But on the inside,

I can see.


I’m like

The girl that has been through some

And has some more to go

But I see the light

And I will go on.