There’s something magical about picking up a freshly printed zine. Be it the smell of ink on the paper, the tactile nature of the pages, or simply the fact that it’s obvious an immense amount of love and care has gone into the small package you hold in your hands. In spite of the rise of digital, there are a slew of printed zines arriving on the shelves of independent bookshops, bars and cafes around Cape Town. Here are some worth seeking out:
Recipes for Self Love is a visually beautiful zine with an uplifting tone. Alison Rachel created this zine (along with a beautiful Instagram account) in order to help readers drown out the trolls and negative voices in the media and online worlds. Recipes for Self Love has a strong emphasis on providing an alternative voice to the sexism, racism and LGBT+phobic sentiment out there.
Any Body Zine is an uplifting zine about dance, movement and bodies. The three founders banded together in order to create a platform for engaging dialogue about these three topics. It’s a visually pleasing zine that exists online, on Instagram, and in print.
This mainly electronic, but sometimes print, zine is one of the country’s most decorated when it comes to awards. It’s a well-designed, thoughtful zine that cuts straight to the heart of what a good zine should be — honest, beautiful and insightful. It’s a non-profit venture run by writer Dave Mann and photographer Niamh Walsh-Vorster, and provides a valuable platform for local artists and writers to publish their work.
The Lake has been around for long enough now to be considered an established zine, and yet it hasn’t lost an ounce of freshness over the last 15 editions. It’s a free print zine, with strong online presence, that covers photography, art, lifestyle, fashion, music, and film. The articles are thoroughly researched, entertaining and always on point. The team takes no shortcuts on the photographic and design sides either, which ensures it’s always an engaging read.
BAEK is a zine that proves that with passion and determination, there’s no restriction on what you can make your zine about. This stunning food-focused zine takes recipes and baked goods to a new level, often with its tongue firmly in its cheek. It features a range of appealing recipes with incredible photos to match, which means that even if you’re not inclined to stick your fingers in the dough, you’ll find this a pleasing read. BAEK also has a blog to compliment the print version.
This zine by artist Sebastian Borckenhagen is a doodler’s dream. It’s a visual masterpiece crammed full of his vibrant drawings. Though on first glance the artwork may appear light-hearted, Borckenhagen’s illustrations almost always have a deeper meaning which makes his zines well worth engaging with. The zine is available in print version at the Book Lounge in Cape Town.
Prufrock is a zine that has built up a large following based almost entirely on its written content. They publish non-fiction, fiction and poetry in all of South Africa’s languages. Though they’ve been around for some time, a recent break in the printing schedule has had fans excited about the fresh print version to hit the shelves in the coming weeks.
Cape Town artist Hugh Upsher is a man in demand. His quirky drawings that somehow cut to the heart of real issues in the city, while never getting too serious, have popped up around the web in recent years. Fans of his work know that he also has one of Cape Town’s hottest zines, which comes out every couple of months. If you can’t wait that long, you can stay up to date with his work on the Bikini Shark Facebook page.
Even as one of the newer zines on the publishing block in Cape Town, Born Out Of Boredom (BOOB) has managed to garner a good following and lots of critical appreciation. The zine targets young South Africans who are “careless and laid-back” with a gritty zine that available in print, Instagram and Tumblr.