Indigo Zine, since 1995
"A study in confessional perseverance."
- The Onion A.V. Club
"Fresh and fascinating.”
- Xerography Debt
“So honest it makes your teeth hurt.”
- University of Wisconsin Madison
What is a zine?
Zines (short for magazines) are inexpensively produced, self-published, underground publications. Zines are created out of love, not for profit or to make a living. The format and subject matter is as varied as the people who create them. If you want to buy zines, a good place to start is through publications that review the underground press, like Zine World. Another great resource for information is Zine Wiki.
How did Indigo get started?
The first time I heard the word “zine” was the summer of 1995. I had just completed my first year of high school and I was browsing a local record store when a small, photocopied flier caught my eye. The words “Bomb: A zine for everyone” were printed in marker over a background of pasted magazine clippings. I didn’t know what it meant, but I was intrigued, so I wrote to the address listed.
Soon after, I received a small photocopied booklet in the mail. It was made by a girl named Kristen Willoughby. Bomb (named after a Smiths lyric - "If it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together") was full of touching, intimate and funny stories about Kristen’s life. It included lists of “Right-Ons” (things she and her friends “liked, loved or swore by”) and a soundtrack (something I totally copied, and have included in every issue of Indigo). The layout was entirely handmade and printed on a Xerox machine. It was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen. Kristen and I started writing to each other, and became friends. She introduced me to a lot of things, but mainly to the world of zines. I started ordering zines by mail, and soon my desk was piled with them. I began toying with the idea of starting my own, and Kristen encouraged me to try it. And so, in the fall of 1995, I published the first issue of Indigo.
My life has never been the same since. Writing and publishing a zine has made me feel like I’m part of something greater than myself. Self-publishing is empowering. And participating in the underground publishing culture has created a feeling of community and belonging to which nothing can compare. I don't think I will ever stop self-publishing. It's become a part of my identity. I even have a tatoo of a book press!
What is Indigo about?
In the zine community, Indigo is known as a “perzine” or personal zine, meaning that most of the written pieces are true stories about my life. Writing about difficult situations helps me put things into perspective and get closure. When I finish a story, I often feel a huge sense of relief. I can move on and learn from my mistakes. Sometimes it’s challenging to find balance between exposing my raw emotions and protecting myself, but I think a lot of writers struggle with that.
How can I get a copy?
1. You can order online.
2. You can send cash, check (payable to Michelle Aiello) or stamps. Email me for my mailing address.
3. You can find it it at Quimby's Bookstore in Chicago.