THIS JUST IN: Lions, Tigers, and Pegacorns, Oh My!

Age of the Womanimal, published for the Garden of the Womanimal/Caroline Paquita exhibition at the Booklyn Art Gallery from April 12 – June 18, 2014.

By Yvette Yurubi, Research Assistant

In following this year’s #BeBoldForChange theme for International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight one of our more recent and unique acquisitions from Caroline Paquita and Pegacorn Press. Caroline and her collaborators have been publishing zines together since the mid-1990s. These works showcase femininity and sexuality in a raw and brazen way, and capture the female body in all of its many shapes, forms, and sizes, while also tackling the experience of being a woman in today’s society. The exaggerated, cartoon-like designs blend with their uninhibited approach to art and serve to capture women not at their most demure, but at their most feral and expressive, unencumbered by traditional gender roles and society’s seemingly impossible-to-achieve beauty standards. There is an elegant absurdity to her work that completely divorces the notion of being a woman from any regulatory definition and instead represents women as untamed, unapologetic, and unashamed of their own female form.

Garden of the Womanimal, published for an exhibition at the Booklyn Art Gallery from April 12 – June 18, 2014.

On the moniker of her independent press, Caroline states that Pegacorn has “embodied the wild spirit that I wanted the press to embrace – a feral beast, and one that wouldn’t just print and release ‘boring’ work by ‘socially acceptable’ people who have always had opportunities to have their work put out. I wanted artists to feel there were no restraints on what they wanted to put out with Pegacorn Press, and that they had the freedom to make whatever they wanted – that they could be as weird or as wild as they wanted.” Her run of Womanilistic, in particular, with its unhinged and frenetic art style, perfectly encapsulates the ideas of unabashed freedom that she wants to encourage. The style achieves this by using close-up ink drawings of the female anatomy and women wearing bestial features in a manner that is explicitly treated as empowering instead of insulting.

Taco Time, from Womanilistic #3

Several women’s issues are conveyed through abstract images in this set of zines. The themes range from body image to sexuality and gender inequality, taking an evocative stance that emboldens readers to not shy away from these topics but rather to lay them all out in the open for discussion. The resulting images and text elicit a dialogue about modern perceptions of gender and trying to transform the norm by rampaging through the idealistic and encouraging self-expression in an unrestricted sense. These zines also offer a welcome glimpse into the celebration of being a woman in a society where the definition is ever-changing and where barriers are constantly being shattered.

We invite you to come enjoy International Women’s Day every day with us here in the Special Collections Department. Located on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, the department is a place where anyone can learn more about women’s history by exploring our growing collection of feminist zines and artists’ books.



Notes from the Miami Zine Fair

By Jay Sylvestre, Special Collections Librarian

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Zine Fair attendees on the plaza at HistoryMiami

On Saturday, April 30, Special Collections and the UM Gender, Sexuality, and Visual Studies Collective shared a table at the 3rd annual Miami Zine Fair. The Zine Fair, organized by Exile Books and hosted by HistoryMiami, featured 140 tables of zine makers, artists, and poets. The event drew more than 1,500 people who came to purchase and swap zines, chat with their favorite zinesters, or simply learn more about zines.

 

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Special Collections Librarian Jay Sylvestre at the zine table.

Special Collections assembled a zine about zines that we called Zineology #1. With more than 6,000 zines in our collection we knew we couldn’t share details about each one so we decided to approach the collection thematically. Zineology highlighted several of our distinct zine collections along with zine subject areas like music, perzines (short for personal zines), gender and sexuality, science fiction, and Florida zines.

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The UM Gender, Sexuality, and Visual Studies Collective

The initial focus of the zine collection was on Florida or Florizines, but it quickly became clear that just as zines serve to subvert and expand the conversation, we knew we couldn’t limit the collection geographically. Florida zines will always be a particular focus, but the amount of variety in the eclectic world of zines requires that we collect zines about anything and everything from here, there, and everywhere.

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Zine artist and Special Collections Library Assistant David Rodriguez (right) recently donated this zine he presented at Zine Fair to our collection.

We met so many people at the Zine Fair that we ran out of business cards and gave away almost the entire first run of Zineology. We had countless conversations with people about the existence of our collection; many of whom had no idea that UM Special Collections has such an extensive zine collection. Participating in an event like the Zine Fair was the perfect venue to share this information. We lost track of how many new potential researchers we met, but we know that we’ve already been contacted by a few people from the fair about adding their zines to the collection.

If we met you on Saturday at the Zine Fair and you would like to add your zines to the collection please give us a call!

 

 

 

 

zineology

Stop by the Richter Library 8th floor and pick up a copy of Zineology #1 for detailed highlights of the zine collection.



Now Available: The Lenny Kaye Science Fiction Fanzine Collection

A small sample of zines from the collection.

A small sample of zines from the collection.

Sam #8

Sam #8

We are happy to announce the acquisition of the Lenny Kaye Science Fiction Fanzine collection at the Special Collections Department of the University of Miami Libraries. The Kaye collection constitutes a very rich and unique trove of science fiction fanzines from the 1940s to the 1970s, and represents a significant addition to our ever-growing zine holdings. The zines were originally collected by Lenny Kaye, who is best known as the guitarist for the Patti Smith Group, and for compiling the seminal 1960s garage rock collection Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era.

Science fiction fandom has been a significant source of published material, starting in the 20th century and continuing through today. The Lenny Kaye Science Fiction Fanzine collection documents the self-publishing activity of the sci-fi fandom community in the mid-20th century. Despite being primarily amateur publications, there is a significant sense of organization evident in the community. Many of the fanzines were published as part of amateur press associations, including the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA), and the Spectator Amateur Press Society (SAPS). The topics of the zines include reviews of science fiction literature and films, fanfiction, updates about conventions, and news and notes about different fan clubs dedicated to the genre. Some fanzines might veer off into the intensely personal, while others devolve into gossip about other fans or writers.

The National Fantasy Fan

The National Fantasy Fan

The collection includes important titles, such as Cry of the Nameless, JD-Argassy, and Yandro, and is truly international in scope: zines held include those produced in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Japan and several European countries.

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Yandro

 

 

 

 

The Special Collections Department at the University of Miami Libraries holds over 5,000 zines in six unique collections. In addition to science fiction, our zines also include punk rock fanzines, perzines, and independent publications covering a wide variety of other subjects, such as LGBT rights, environmentalism, art and poetry. We have a significant amount of zines from South Florida, as well as zines produced in countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.