An Introduction to Slimeball Zine

A slight break from style theme posts today.. I thought I would share with you all my experience co-creating and co-running an independent zine!

Slimeball Zine was dreamt up by myself and the wonderful Charli (of ValentineXO). We realised that we like a lot of the same things, we like to draw, write and be creative just for the sake of it and we like to share fun stuff with the world! 

The concept behind Slimeball Zine is that we wanted to create a fully independent publication that was completely free, unpretentious, inclusive and really good fun. Our choice to set a theme each month was brought about to provide inspiration for any creative types to base submissions around and also to ensure some variety in our issues. 

Me and Charli meet every Thursday evening to plan, draw, cut, stick and more for each months issue! We never wanted to rely on computers too much in the creation of each issue so you will usually find us slumped over the table physically writing out our editors letter or drawing little pictures to decorate the pages. There is something incredibly satisfying about making things with your hands and getting stuck in. When I draw, or type something on my typewriter, or cut out bits from magazines to collage together, or take photos for Slimeball, I feel part of a movement (okay maybe a movement of two for now) with the intention of getting back to true creativity, the bit in our brains that say ‘pick up the crayon and scribble’ when we are kids.

We work super hard on each issue and we do hope that shows! Details for how to be involved are at the end of my post, but for now.. onto the zine!

We launched with the ‘Teen Angst’ issue..

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We figured a launch issue about the awkwardness of your teenage years was perfect, and we brought it out in September which coincides perfectly with ‘back 2 skool’ vibes and fresh starts. Included in this issue were angsty playlists and film suggestions, reviews, an article, plenty of art and illustration, DIY tutorials, collages and more. This issue set the tone for what we wanted Slimeball to be about. There’s no minimalist pages, no posey posh paper and probably plenty of mistakes. It’s honest, it’s creative and it exists because we just wanted it to!

 

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We’re suckers for any kind of seasonal event so out October issue was obviously going to be vaguely Halloween themed! Charli did an AMAZING job of the cover, dragging Buffy back from the 90’s and planting her as our star! We had submissions for the first time in this one as we had invited all creative types to submit work! There were more tutorials, a whole story and photos too!

 

We decided to go with ‘Voyeurism’ as our November theme. This wasn’t a mistake, as we had some submissions which were great.. But this was definitely a pointer that we maybe shouldn’t make our themes so vague or cryptic. The issue itself was great but it didn’t seem to grab as much attention as previous months..

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I drew the cover for November, which I was happy with, and it made me want to draw more! As time goes on and we produce more issues, It’s becoming obvious that working on Slimeball has really encouraged the creative side of me to make stuff without needing a real reason, and without having to justify my creative choices through a sketchbook full of mistakes or a 1000 word essay, like you would if you were in school!

 

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December was all about things that make us feel good. We wanted the issue to be about ‘Comfort and Joy’, extending beyond Christmas too! We had a DIY den building article, a feel-good film list and a Yorkshire Pudding how-to! 

 

We decided to have a break in January, as things were manic after Christmas. We needed to wind down and plan.. We decided that our February issue would celebrate things that come in pairs and settled on the theme of ‘Just the Two of Us’. Choosing a theme is something we do quite impulsively. We try not to think too much about it as I wouldn’t want to find myself expecting certain types of submissions because I’ve chosen a very specific theme, but then also we don’t want the problem of too vague a theme cropping up again. I always love hearing feedback from people, so if you feel like you have come up with a killer theme for us don’t be shy to let us know!!

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To date, February is the latest issue we have created.. I drew this cover too, and thought the image of Sid and Nancy says so much about partnerships and pairings, the fun and spontaneity but also the destructive element that can sometimes arise too from being bound and linked to a person.

You may have noticed that the covers alternate in style, we take it in turns to create the front covers with me thinking up the September, November and February ones so far and Charli making the amazing October and December covers! I’m super excited to see Charli’s ‘Out of This World’ cover for March!

The latest (Just the Two of Us) issue has lots of submissions, which we love to see. The future of Slimeball now is in the submissions. It is a platform for all you creative people to make some art in any form to be shared! 

If you would like to be involved and be a Slimekid, please ‘like’ our page on facebook, which should appear if you search for ‘Slimeball Zine’. We would urge you to try get your hands on a copy too! Each month we only print 100 copies so the key is to get in there quick! Slimeball is stocked in Travelling Man, Pop Boutique, Mad Elizabeth, OK Comics, Birds Yard and Black Crown Tattoo in Leeds for free, but we are happy to post issues within the UK for 50p (just to cover postage!) and for a little bit more we will even send them to exotic lands!

To submit to Slimeball be sure to keep your eye on the Facebook page as that’s how we communicate to the Slimekids.. We are also on twitter too @slimeballzine. Once you know what the theme is and the deadline date you can get busy creating whatever it is you create which could be (but is not limited to) poetry, art, illustration, tutorials, articles, photos, collage, prose, stories, lists, reviews and whatever else you can think of!! We then ask that whatever you create be viewable in Black and White and make sense in A6 format. We don’t mind shrinking down A4 or A5 pieces on our copier, but please don’t write tiny or put teeny details in the original bigger drawing as this will get lost when we shrink it!

Once we receive submissions we decide which ones go in the issue based on whether they have the Slimeball feel to them. We are working on a way to showcase any submissions that we unfortunately don’t have room for in the zine by putting them online. We are also working on ways we can show off the work of video makers and other digital format artists online too!

All submissions must be sent to slimeballzine@gmail.com and we would love it if you could say whether you would like to be credited or not! You always get a copy posted to you if you submit too so please include your address in the email!

I hope I have given you a little glimpse inside what goes on at Slimeball HQ. We love the response we get from people who have experienced our little zine. Please.. spread the word and be a Slimekid 4 Life!

Kate xx

PS: March’s theme is ‘Out of This World’!

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Sometimes I Think Things: The ‘P’ Word

Occasionally, I like to write serious things.. that are maybe a little bit challenging, funny, thought provoking etc (or maybe I THINK they are!) 

I thought I would share this article I wrote a while back as it is about being yourself, both in personality and style. It’s just a short one, it’s not fancy!

I originally wrote this piece for the zine I co-edit with my good friend Charli of Ruby Valentine. Our zine is called ‘Slimeball’ and is totally free. We explore monthly themes through creativity and regularly accept submissions from others. We love seeing how everyone else interprets the themes! 

If you would like any current/ back issues of Slimeball or if you would like to submit work please get in touch with us via our facebook page!

Here’s my article: The ‘P’ Word

The dreaded four words of my teenage years, the sentence which often solidified feelings of being misunderstood.

IT’S JUST A ‘PHASE’.

It’s the kind of comment that’s made by a parent in front of family friends at some kind of awkwardly enforced get-together, a comment which serves more to make the parent feel better than to actually explain anything. During my teens this little gem was whipped out to laugh away various risky subjects such as whichever bright colour I had chosen to dye my hair that week, why I insisted on wearing neon trousers or why I was being a complete bitch to my little brother.

I always felt like the ‘phase’ bomb was a way of making excuses for what I now know just to be teenage curiosity. Parents eager to tell the world I wouldn’t be like this forever.. it’s a temporary thing, i’m not a delinquent just yet.

Whenever ‘It’s Just A Phase’ was used, It would only serve to make me more determined to be that way forever, just to show them. Often I would verbally respond ‘We’ll see about that’ and argue that it would last. I wanted to be forever the rebel girl, with my ripped fishnets, terrible punk band, green hair and sulky face.

When I hit my twenties, I realised somewhere along the lines my aesthetic didn’t fit. I had morphed for years, moving organically from the 70’s tribute punk, to a less high maintenance punk look, to a jeans and t-shirt student, then a faux rockabilly style influenced only by a desire to be ‘cool’ before finally settling into this very eclectic mix of 1960’s vintage and ridiculous Harajuku inspired fashion, which is totally cool with me.

In that moment of realisation I also felt a swell of pride. Sure, the way I look might have changed, but my pride came from knowing that really… none of it was a ‘phase’. It was all me, It IS all me,and I still FEEL the same, I’d still describe myself as a rebellious individual, someone who challenges life, expectations and confines. I am still determined to ‘show them’, whoever ‘they’ present themselves to be.

What outwardly may be seen as others as a ‘phase’, I believe was integral to shaping me as a person. I look back and think, ‘But it was only my appearance’. I become genuinely baffled by the ‘phase’ excuse and why it even needed to be said. If a young person doesn’t experiment, or experience, or express then what kind of person will they grown into? And why are some appearances seen as ‘the norm’ while others have to be explained away with the P-word? Would it not be healthier to encourage transitions between styles, subcultures and interests instead of pigeon-holing everything into a ‘phase’ just for five minutes of a vague, self indulgent but totally imaginary, ‘grown up’ feeling?

Because finally, and this is another epiphany I have had in my twenties, let’s face it. Nobody ‘grows up’. We just get taller, sometimes fatter, and maybe a little better informed. Inside we are the same being as that teenager who was eternally jumping from one thing to another. That continuity of our personality and self is why really, there were never any ‘phases’.

© Kate Rosanne Johnson 2012

 

Kate xx