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.
So I did! Here it is: it is 32 quarter-size pages of goodness, about 5K new words. I found myself meditating on women who were older, as well as a few punk-y icons I don’t think get written up often. And I wrote about women whose style doesn’t directly reflect or influence my own, but who are magical and glamorous to me anyway. I tried to write a mix of women I never thought I’d write about to challenge myself, women I genuinely admire to bring electricity and passion into my thought process, and women who continue to fascinate me with their personal and professional journeys in life.
Anyway, I’m offering this free to people who buy/bought my book, up until Labor Day. If this is you, you can just forward me, via e-mail at kat (dot) asharya (at) gmail (dot) com, the Amazon e-receipt, as well as your mailing address, and I’ll be sure to send you a copy Labor Day weekend.
And just for kicks: I’m giving away one copy of my book and zine to a reader on this blog! Just comment below and let me know a tiny morsel about who your favorite style icon is and why– just be sure to enter your e-mail address when you do. If you are shy or WordPress comments give you hell (I’m really sorry, but WP sometimes eludes even my canniest PHP ninja skills), feel free to e-mail me the info at kat (dot) asharya (at) gmail (dot) com with “giveaway” in the subject line. (This giveaway will be open up until Labor Day, September 2.)
For those who haven’t bought my book and don’t want to — but want to get the zine as a kind of sample (which is totes cool and understandable) — I’ll offer the zine for sale at a standalone thingie after Labor Day, once I’ve worked out the PayPal shizzit and feel ready I can deal with the photocopying/stapling/mailing journey that doing a zine entails. (Sigh, to live right down the street from a post office like I used to!) I might try to offer it as a “digital single” for Kindle, since I’m all multimedia that way. But again, to quote Kanye West, “IT’S A PROCESS.” I’ll keep y’all in the loop.
But it sure is nice to have a lil’ paper copy — it’s nice to have a little something to read at the cafe, on the train, by the pool, wherever. I like the idea of a reading companion, and I hope you find it in your heart to welcome my growing number of reading companions into your harem/stable/collection!