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In 2019, Sarah Mirk undertook the intimidating task of producing zines on a daily basis, posting the completed work on her Twitter page and using the hashtag #yearofzines on instagram.

Mirk’s zines are always well researched (with the citations included right on the page). The topics cover vary wildly, from a zine that considers the prospect of public transit going fare-free to one that highlights the invaluable services provided by libraries. History is another common theme, with examples like “20,000 Nazi Friends,” which chronicles a 1939 mass Nazi demonstration in New York City. Using the format of the zine allows Mirk to explore these serious topics in bite-size pages, making the heady topics covered more manageable than they might be otherwise.

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While many of the zines Mirk (a veteran of the Nib) has made have been explorations of serious topics, she has also made plenty that are more lighthearted, such as the highly relatable “I Get Crushes on Everyone,” the delightful “New Names for Vegetables,” or “Halloween Costumes I Have Known” (my favorite: the “very sad” sea otter costume she made herself at age 8).

Another frequent topic for the zines is practical advice. One zine offers survival advice to potential freelancers, and another offers tips for one’s first year as a vegan. Other entries are closer to diary comics, with stories about Mirk’s adventures or lists of her favorite books or snacks.

Challenging topics are never off-limits as subject matter for Mirk’s zines, and many of her recent entries have concerned life during the pandemic and the struggle to maintain hope as the bad news continues to accumulate.

In addition to posting each of them online, Mirk has also collected 100 of her favorite zines into a single book, which will be released on April 21st, 2020. You can purchase the book from her website if you’d like to directly support her work!

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