Getting to Know Phoenix’s Zine Scene with Charissa Lucille of Wasted Ink Zine Distro

Bryce BozadjianApril 30, 2016
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“I felt sort of trapped within the inverted pyramid and I really wanted to write about topics I was passionate about, like feminism,” Lucille, 25, says.

Thus she began her journey into the realm of zines.

Zines take all sorts of shapes and sizes, and can feature poetry, art, articles, comics and photography, or a niche topic, like Lucille’s Fem Static Zine, an all-inclusive fourth-wave feminist publication she started in her senior year of college.

“There’s no right or wrong way to make them,” Lucille says. She also works at Tempe Camera and is a self-taught photographer, specializing in portrait and creative photography.

You don’t need much become a zinester – just an idea and a photocopier, if you choose to mass-produce. Personal zines – per-zines – about mental illness, vacation or heartbreak are also welcome.

“You have to be a little bit crazy and passionate to make zines,” Lucille says.

Zines, which range in price from 20 cents to $20, can be very cheaply made or produced in as high quality as a full-color book. They are sold in coffee shops, bookstores and libraries; Lucille likes to hide hers between books at a bookstore.

Photo courtesy Charissa LucilleFem Static Zine started with just her and one other person, and has evolved into a 25-contributor collaboration, with a new issue released every quarter. She has sold more than 500 copies and given away about 200.

Born in Pennsylvania, Lucille moved around a lot before ending up in Arizona, where she’s lived for the past 10 years.

Zines traditionally represented marginalized voices not heard in mainstream media. Popular in the ’70s and ’80s, zines were the perfect outlet for punk music lovers and rebellious niche groups. Now, there is a zine for every taste, whether it is art, politics, humor, science fiction or LGBTQA issues.

“I do think there are zines for everyone,” Lucille says. “If you come in and say, ‘I’m into horses, God and freckles,’ I’m like. ‘I gotchu, I got this.’”

Lucille and 11-year zine veteran Marna Kay own Wasted Ink Zine Distro, a zine distribution shop in Tempe. Opened in December 2015, the shop boasts more than 500 titles featuring more than 150 zine vendors both local and international.

Their distro holds zine nights with readings, and Lucille and Kay are planning Phoenix’s first zine festival, PHX Zine Fest, happening in October 2016.