Recently, I got the chance to explore a medium I’ve been interested in for a while — zines! The Facebook Analog Lab held a Zinefest last week, raising money for the Oakland Fire Department Relief Fund, helping those affected by the Ghostship warehouse fire.
I’ve been meaning to try to put together a zine for years — ever since my friends Alex Brown and Danee Pye made them for various creative projects. This gave me the perfect chance!
And I knew I wanted it to be about pencils and analog tools of creation. Although it’s a fantastic irony that it’s an analog throwback from blogs and podcasts and whatnot about analog tool, it’s with an authentic love and passion that this came about.
So here it is —the inaugural issue of Plumbago Magazine!
As I mention in the introduction:
In the late 1500s, residents of Cumbria, England stumbled across a massive tree that was overturned during a storm. The roots brought up soil with it, and beneath it, there was a strange, dark mineral. It felt a lot like a mineral they used at the time — *plumbago*, or dark lead. The used this new mineral to mark their flocks of sheep to identify them in the field.
Zines are a delightful anachronism, though maybe not totally useless. It’s a messy, raw, tactile, finite way to communicate, and in that mess, there’s also a richness to what it’s communicating. Much like pencils.
This issue is 22 pages full of amazing contributors — if you’re dialed into the pencil and stationery community, you might already be familiar with some of them:
- The cover features art by Luke Sinclair for his tattoo (and that art, freshly tattooed on his arm, inside
- “Confessions of a Pencil Lady” written by Caroline Weaver from CW Pencils
- A short review of the history of Mongol pencils by Caitlin Elgin from CW Pencils
- Short fiction from author Harry C. Marks
- A short essay by Toffer from Little Story Gallery
- Stationery art by Ana Reinert from The Well-Appointed Desk
- Calligraphy from Elaine Ku from Owl Ink
- A doodle by Jennifer Yin
- A typewritten letter of musings from Tj Cosgrove from Wood & Graphite
- Top 5 pencils from me, Tim and Johnny from The Erasable Podcast (and special guest Charlotte, age 6, Johnny’s daughter)
I tried to make this thing as authentically ziney as possible — no digital copy of the whole publication exists. This was put together with tape, staples and lots of photocopying.
Head over to the Plumbago page on the Erasable Podcast site for more information and to buy your own copy!
4 thoughts on “Introducing Plumbago Magazine: an analog companion to a digital publication about analog tools”
hi – any chance of shipping overseas? the checkout only offers US?
Hey Steve! Hmm, It *should* let you check out internationally! I have a couple orders to Germany and the UK. I’ll try to figure out why you may not be seeing that option.
Happy New Year, Andy!
My copy safely arrived. A good cause! You should sell it at that zine kiosk on Market St.
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