“Nicole Morning is a librarian and the author of Soft Animal, Tinderness, Maximum Fancy, n, and A Thing That Happened in 2020. She edits the ongoing zine series Basia Mille. Her writing has appeared in Nudie magazine, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Hello America audio compilations. Nicole’s zine Tinderness was awarded Best Litzine at Canzine 2020. Her most recent release is an audio recording of Soft Animal, available from Hello America Stereo Cassette. A book of her short stories and poems is forthcoming from Trident Press.”
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Nicole Morning. Mother, librarian, friend, lover, writer, recovering alcoholic. And of course, zinester!
What do zines mean to you?
Everything! Zines are art, resistance, anticapitalism, heart, community, healing.
How did you first get started with zines?
I’ve always loved making little books, since I was a child. I made my first zine in 2019, and I didn’t even think about it as a zine at the time. It was Soft Animal, and I just felt that I wanted to share the story, but I didn’t want it to be a PDF. The story needed a better container than a PDF. I had access to a really great printer and I thought I’d try out the booklet printing…it worked great and it made me happy. I had a long reach stapler from back in college when I’d tried to get an independent newspaper started (kind of a zine, that was too, I guess).
Tell us about your zines.
My zines are my heart. I write poems, short stories and memoir. Some of my zines are a combination of all those modes of writing. I do all the design, layout, stapling, and folding.
What resources do you use to create your zines?
I have an unreliable printer, long reach stapler, cardstock… sometimes I have them printed at the copy shop. I sometimes use Canva to make covers, sometimes cut and paste. I write everything in Google docs (mostly on my phone in spare moments!)
Tell us about your zine-making process.
Really depends on the zine! I’ve put out several comp zines and I’m working on a couple of collabs now. That process is usually slower. Most of my zines feel like…being pregnant. Writing and designing is often all consuming (difficult, as a single mom with a full-time job!) so I’ll usually spend all of my free time (not that I really ever have that haha) on the Creation. Sometimes I’ll stay up all night until it’s done. It’s usually very fast because I’m very focused (as much as possible with the demands of life). Later I’ll refine and change it, but that’s the general way. My fastest zine ever is A Thing That Happened in 2020, which … making it really helped me survive what seemed like a thing that was gonna break me.
Do you have any advice for newbie zine makers?
Just do it. Just try it out. Don’t worry about the finished product or what other people will think. Just make the thing that your heart tells you to make. The beautiful thing about a zine is that it can be anything you want it to be. It’s your world. Make it whatever you want it to be.
What is your favourite thing about zine culture?
I love how zine culture makes space for so much creativity and diversity, and makes space for connection and information outside the mainstream.
Do you have a favourite zine or zinester?
So many!! Julia Eff of Crapandemic. Billy McCall. Warglitter. Probably my all time favorite zine (makes my heart all weird just thinking about it) is Jeni Larson’s Zero Stars.
Why do you make zines?
I think the main thing about my zines is that they are containers for the big feelings and experiences that are too big to hold inside me. So I make them for myself, to be able to heal and function. I share them because of the added benefits of connecting with others, and possibly adding something beautiful or helpful to the world.
Do you have any events, zine fairs, zine launches, or anything else exciting that you would like to tell us about?
I’m so so excited about my collaboration with Nicole Schlosser. She’s illustrating a short story I wrote called Kentucky Meat Shower, 1876, which is based on true events.
You can check out Nicole Morning by visiting them on their socials…