“Mick Moran creates Imposter Monster Zines! Mick (they/them) is a fat, white, genderqueer, disabled zinester in Brooklyn, NY. They’re also a radical full-spectrum doula and the editor of The Doula Project’s zine, DIY Doula: Self-Care for Before, During, & After Your Abortion. Mick mostly makes zines about different forms of self-advocacy. They love hand lettering, playing the ukulele, and giant salads.”
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Mick (they/them) is a fat, white, genderqueer, disabled zinester in Brooklyn, NY. They’re also a radical full-spectrum doula and the editor of The Doula Project’s zine, DIY Doula: Self-Care for Before, During, & After Your Abortion. Mick loves hand lettering, playing the ukulele, and giant salads.
What do zines mean to you?
There are two things that I think are super important about zines. One is that they are a way of creating your own media without any gatekeeping from traditional publishing. And I think that’s super important, especially for a lot of the topics that don’t always get attention from mass media. The other thing I love about zines is their handmade aesthetic. It’s ok if they’re not perfect or polished! That’s so liberating to me.
How did you first get started with zines?
I grew up in the New Jersey punk scene, and obviously I ran into a lot of fanzines and political zines there, but I didn’t deep dive into making my own until much later in life. I felt like, as a doula, I had learned a lot about things like self-advocacy, and zines were a great way to share that.
Tell us about your zines.
Most of them feature hand lettering because I love typography! I wrote a workbook zine about impostor syndrome, and a zine about going to the doctor while fat, since so many times I’ve been to the doctor and haven’t received holistic or patient-centered care. I’ve been told my weight was the problem when I was there for something like strep throat. And I’ve made a few zines about disability, and one that I wrote during the height of COVID in NYC about end-of-life planning. I’m in the process of making a zine of affirmations for trans folks.
What resources do you use to create your zines?
A lot of the content comes from my life and experiences. Tools wise, I want to shout out Affinity software. I’m not affiliated with them, but they’re a cheap alternative to Adobe software, which is so expensive! More zinesters who can’t afford Adobe should know about them.
Tell us about your zine-making process.
I will scribble notes on my phone in the middle of the night, or after an experience I had. I keep a huge doc of zine content that I will probably never get all the way through. These days, most of my hand lettering is done digitally on an iPad with Procreate, and then I’ll drop those pages into Affinity to lay them out and print them. Sometimes I do some collaging as well, either by hand or digitally, especially to create interesting backgrounds for pages that have a lot of type. I have way too much scrapbooking paper and way too many piles of old magazines for this. Pre-covid, I always printed at the library. Since covid, I’ve started offering digital zines, as well as screen reader versions for people who are blind or otherwise don’t find print media accessible.
Do you have any advice for newbie zine makers?
What I mentioned above about how it doesn’t have to be perfect! When I was working on the zine with The Doula Project, some of the contributors would tell me, oh, I can’t draw at all. And I encouraged them to be experimental and they came back with these really beautiful pages. Zines are a great way to stretch yourself and try something new.
What is your favourite thing about zine culture?
I love how collaborative it can be, and how supportive people are of each other. It’s not this highly competitive thing. It even lives outside of capitalism a lot of times, with folks trading zines, giving them away, teaching skillshares or workshops, etc. It’s really lovely.
Do you have a favourite zine or zinester?
That’s hard! I have so many I love. I find zines that have unusual formats really inspiring. And I love the really tiny ones! I have a couple that look like they could be a newspaper in a dollhouse.
Why do you make zines?
This goes back to what zines mean to me. I went to art school, but I’m not doing what I thought I would when I got my degree. I was quite hard on myself when I was in school, and I like that zines are forgiving. I also have gotten some really lovely feedback from folks about my zines. One person said they were able to go to the doctor for the first time in years with the help of the tips in one of my zines. It’s pretty meaningful that something I made is helping folks.
Do you have any events, zine fairs, zine launches, or anything else exciting that you would like to tell us about?
Since I’m disabled, I can never pinpoint exactly when I’ll finish a project, or if I’ll be able to turn up to one event or another. But I keep folks posted on my instagram (@micklikestype) when I’m up to something new!
You can check out Imposter Monster Zines by visiting them on their socials…