Before I blogged — even before 2003, when I started NOGOODFORME.com — I did zines. I did “personal zines,” where I wrote about my life, music, fashion, feminism and other gorgeous subjects, and then cut-and-paste them with lots of very French New Wave-inspired graphics into higgledy-piggledy yet earnest little handmade books that I Xeroxed at Kinkos. And the funny thing is that I sold, traded and sent off a ton of them, and got many in return, and made a lot of truly great friends in the process — friends I still have today, for which I’m eternally grateful. Zines are a beautiful part of my past, and I’m so thankful that I participated in a form of media that showed me the power of connection and community, and the pleasures of DIY.
While I love the ease of blogs and electronic media — and I really think the Interwebs is the essential connective tissue for media and communication in the future — there is just something irreplaceable about the physical object that you read, whether it’s books, zines or magazines. Holding something in your hand makes it more beloved to me. I can love a person’s blog or site, but it’s when I truly can live with something — throwing a zine in a bag, settling down with a book and a cup of coffee in a cafe or at my breakfast table — that it becomes beloved to me, something I cherish and treasure in a way that just doesn’t quite exist with virtual media.
Given my feelings, it’s kind of a surprise that it took me so long to make a zine again. (Well, in my defense, I was making movies and writing novels!) I think maybe my last zine was in the early aughts? Like, 2002? I don’t even know! But, well, after I published All Things Glorious and True, I realized that I had more to say on the subject of style icons — I had a few more ladies I was thinking about and wanted to write about. I had gone through the book and added new material, expanding and cleaned up old stuff and wrote commentary on nearly every single piece — but I had left the style icons section pretty as-is. But of course when I got done with the whole shebang, my mind suddenly got re-inspired. I was like, Ugh, what do I do with all this extra thinking and writing? It didn’t fit here; I could do a new book edition, but that was a pain. And then I thought, Kat, just do a zine.