Build Coffee—opened this summer by two former South Side Weekly editors—is a coffee shop and bookstore directly next door to the Weekly office in the Experimental Station. They stock a mix of used and new books, including a wall of mostly-local zines, chapbooks, comics, and artist books. The following pages, chosen with great neighborly affection, are excerpts from some of their favorite Chicago presses and artists on those shelves: Bigmouth Comix, Let It Sink, 7Vientos, Half Letter Press, Low Key Label, and Brown & Proud Press.
F.E.M.M.E. is named for an imaginary group of radical feminists called the Federation of Enthusiastic Misandrists & Miscellaneous Emasculators; I’ve been making a series of zines under the F.E.M.M.E. banner since 2011. Each issue has a loose theme that emerges as I am putting it together, and while each issue varies a bit tonally, stylistically, or both, F.E.M.M.E. generally features writing and images on queer identity-making.
In late 2015, when Sarah Gonzalez and Rich Gutierrez had just finished their zine, Knowing Your Worth, they told an interviewer that they “wanted to capture the experiences of people of color that are sacred and familiar, to make them visible, and open the possibilities of relating to others’ stories.” The two had long observed that, as people of color, their friends and students often felt their own stories and experiences seemed worthless or unimportant. The project became an attempt to counteract those emotions and instead create a space for lesser-heard voices to be noticed and appreciated.
The Sick Muse is a (sort of) monthly zine by and for DIY (“do it yourself”) artists and musicians in Chicago. The Sick Muse makes accessible the lyrics that are often lost to overworked PAs and noisy crowds, and gets inside the minds of Chicago’s creators.