Zines I Love From Bitch's Feminist Library

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I wish there was a feminist-focused library where I can peruse shelves of books devoted subjects like the queer history and Indigenous rights to poetry and memoirs?” Bitch Media's Portland headquarters is home to a lending library that's open to the public. The collection includes more than 3,000 books, hundreds of back issues of magazines like Ms. and Sassy, and zines that covers topics ranging from Lindsay Lohan to worker's rights. 

As the development and outreach intern this summer, I've been busy sorting, cataloging, and reorganizing the library. 

I wanted to share some of my favorite zines I shelved this summer. Here are six titles I've loved to discover this summer. Happy reading! 

Self-Help Advice from the Wise Men of Tinder by Nic

In the introduction, writer Nic states that the zine is “dedicated to the hundreds, if not thousand, of upstanding young kiwi blokes on Tinder.” Hilarious drawings of men from the dating app are paired with bizarre quotes from their biographies. A standout is an illustration of a man in a large sun hat holding a fish with the quote “lifes a bit ov a laugh get pissed every chance possible.”

Mystery Meat by Phoebe Carse

This colorful 2013 zine by teenager Phoebe Carse is a glossy collection full of vibrant and otherworldly artwork. Angsty, creepy, and cute, Carse’s illustrations and photographs will transport you into her fantastical world.

Mellow Yellow by Hanna Ho

This compilation zine contains articles by Asian people on internalized racism, the importance of ancestry, and gender identity. New Zealand-based author Hannah Ho reviews her family history and grapples with issues of assimilation and colonization. This zine is captivating, informative, and thought provoking.

Happy Birthday Lindsay Lohan 2011-2014 by Claire Harris

In honor of actress Lindsay Lohan’s 29th birthday, author Claire Harris watched Lohan’s entire filmography. The ordeal lasted more than 29 hours and culminated in this hilarious chronicle of her viewing experience. Harris has been celebrating Lohan’s birthday in this fashion since 2011.

No Compromise in the Defense of Leisure: Adventures in Un/Employment by La Piña 

This zine explores crying at work, the cultural stigma concerning unemployment, and internships. La Piña juxtaposes their instructive and personal essays with charming comics and illustrations. Although much of the content in this zine is educational, La Piña skillfully intersperses humor and personal anecdotes that add intimate elements to a historically formal and distanced topic.

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Annie Murphy

In this beautiful homage to the late River Phoenix, Annie Murphy traces the life of the actor and Annie's own teenaged fascination with the actor. Looping cursive handwriting on lined paper, a symbol commonly associated with youth, is paired with harrowing ink drawings. Annie paints a dreary and personalized picture of adolescent obsession, drug use, and a life cut short. 

The Bitch Media lending library is open from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM by appointment only. Please email library@b-word.org or call 503-282-5699 to arrange a visit. You can browse all the titles in the library online

by Emma May
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Emma May is a former Bitch intern and junior at Barnard College studying Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. They like pop punk, zines and comics.

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