Aborting Mission Should Be Your Volition

Rock for Choice ad from the back cover of Teen Fag #2, 1993Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began we were thinking about trying to write a thing about zines that talk abut using herbs and DIY abortion. Then came the pandemic, and in the U.S., the confirmation of another anti-abortion supreme court justice, who, it’s speculated, will work to overturn the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized pregnancy termination.

We kind of hate that we have to write this at all, but the ongoing attacks on reproductive freedom and healthcare across the world make this necessary. Everybody should have access to the healthcare they need, full stop. This means being able to make informed choices about reproductive options including different methods of contraception, pregnancy and childbirth, and the ability to end a pregnancy as desired.

A couple of notes:

  1. The following links were not digitized by us at QZAP. Abortion and reproductive healthcare are absolutely queer and trans issues, but these zines are maybe outside of our collection policy scope. As such, they are not necessarily up to our standards for digitization, nor can we assure that the original creators permissions were sought before these were put online.
  2. These zines are intended to be informational and not “how-to” manuals. If you need to get an abortion or know someone who might, try contacting Planned Parenthood (in the U.S.) or The International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion (global)
  3. A lot of the research for this (short) list came from Jenna Freedman’s article Unreproductive: Zines on Herbal Abortion and Menstrual Extraction at Zinelibraries.info, which is focused library holdings, and the Let’s Talk About DIY Sexuality Zines handout (PDF) by Emily Bee that was prepared for the 2015 Milwaukee Zine Fest.

The Zines

It’s on Liebigstraße 34

liebig34 berlinWow! It's been almost a year since we've posted anything to the blog. And what a fucking year. As we're still in the midst of a global pandemic, we're not doing a whole lot these days. At least, not in person. Luckily, online events are a thing right now, and we're super happy to participate in them.

Coming up next week, we're co-sponsoring a film screening at the Northwest Film Forum of It’s on Liebigstraße 34.  The screening will include 3 films about the (in)famous feminist-queer squat Liebigstraße 34 in Berlin, Germany and how it was forcibly closed last autumn.

The screening is sliding scale from $0–$25 and will include a Q/A with the film-makers. The links above and below have info on how to get tickets.

It’s on Liebigstraße 34
Feb. 13 at 10am PST / 7pm CET
Northwest Film Forum (online)

Incidentially, we were asked to co-sponsor this by our long-time friend Elliat, who made the amazing doc Travel Queeries, which you can see here.

Queer Love Stories

QLS GRN blgIt seems like a lifetime ago, but it has really only been about two months since we partnered with our friends at the Milwaukee Zine Fest and The Milwaukee Rep to produce a zine from their Queer Love Stories event.  Just as things were ramping up here with the COVID-19 preperations and prior to the Safer At Home orders, we got copies of the community made QLS zine from our local.  That was three weeks ago (it's 13 April, 2020, a Monday, as we post this.) Since the production of this was funded through the partnership and our initial intent was to make them available during the Milwaukee Zine Fest, we thought we'd do that minus the fest. 

If you would like a copy, all you have to do is send us 3 First Class U.S. stamps.

Queer Love Stories c/o QZAP
2935 N. Fratney Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212

Please be sure to include your name and address.

If you are not in the U.S. and would like a copy, please contact us.

Please take care of each other.

Love,

QZAP

In The Maw of the Great White Rabbit

Panel from Howard Cruise's aclaimed graphic novel Stuck Rubber BabyWe honor the legacy of gay comics artist Howard Cruse, who died on November 26, 2019, and share our condolences with his husband, daughter, and chosen family. 

Howard's work began during a time of tremendous social change in the US in the early 1970s, when he utilized the energy of the underground comix movement to create gay characters and stories with love, laughter, and poignant drama. He was an early editor of Gay Comix, and his breakout work, Stuck Rubber Baby, explored queerness and racial justice through a Southern lens. Perhaps his most well known character, Wendel, represented a bit of Howard himself, with optimistic, simple charms.

Most importantly, Howard worked at a time where he established the frameworks of gay comic storytelling himself, truly a pioneer where few visual artists were creating work by, for, and about queer people. To meet him in person, you would encounter a gentle soul, a very kind and thoughtful human being, in some ways an 'anti-celebrity' of sorts. He was candid about how drug use sparked his creativity, and he told human stories in ways that made them universally relatable.

Thank you, Howard, for the path you created, the artists that you inspired to create their own queer work, and for leaving the world with a rich legacy of queer visual stories. Your memory is a blessing.