SOLVE magazine Issue 03 2021 - Page 33


WANTED : A VacZine for our times

The ArtZine collection at the University of Portsmouth tells a compelling story of our changing times . As people grapple with the impacts of a pandemic , the immediacy and frankness of ArtZines is proving to be a creative , effective , mental health tool .

D r Jac Batey was never comfortable in the prescriptive world of commercial illustration . “ I couldn ’ t cope with being told what to draw ,” she says of her early career illustrating book covers and magazines .

She was also commuting an hourand-a-half each way by train to a second job , and one she loved : teaching at the University of Portsmouth . To pass the time she equipped herself with a bag of felt-tipped pens and paper and started drawing what was happening around her .
From overheard phone conversations to reimagined tabloid headlines , satirical scenes of everyday life began to fill her sketchbook – scenes that would become the genesis for her internationally celebrated zine , Future Fantasteek !, and motivate a shift in career focus that would see her create Zineopolis , the UK ’ s most significant collection of ArtZines .
Born in 2007 “ out of necessity ” to ensure her growing collection of works self-published by students , artists and colleagues didn ’ t “ disappear ”, Zineopolis is now home to thousands of eclectic artefacts by creators worldwide .
Cultural treasure Housed at the University of Portsmouth and in a blog online , the collection has been archived by the British Library and the Library of Congress in Washington DC in recognition of its significance as a cultural record and resource .
Zines are small ( usually A5 ) selfpublished magazines photocopied for limited print runs that cover a gamut of topics from food , football or music to politics , poetry or pop culture – whatever
ISSUE 03 / 2021