Raw Material

Flatter! CoverOffice Supplies
by Jaina Davis

I dare you to name one zine that is made without the use of a single office supply. Get that muddy leaf away from me! It can't be done, so obviously this is an important aspect for every one of us. It's also an individually unique experience. Go with your instincts, break the barriers. Meanwhile, here's a list including some of my own favorites, maybe some things you're not familiar with that could change your life!

Moistenerx: That's the name of the product. It resembles a large felt-tip pen, but holds water instead of ink. It saves your tongue from shrivelling when you have a lot of envelopes to stuff, and works better than any sponge get-up.

Non-repro pens and pencils: Their dreamy skyblue color can be sketched and scribbled all over a piece of paper (except that fax paper!) but won't show up in a photocopy or offset print! This is very handy for those that change their minds.

Gluestick vs. rubber cement vs. waxer: People get very defensive about their preference. Gluestick tends to tear the paper if you try to move something, and often gives out completely, but has an instant gratification convenience about it. The old-timer pros swear by rubber cement: easy cleanup, easy to rearrange the layout. Wax is preferred by righteous sensualists and hardcore fanatics. It takes the longest to set up, but is generally superior to anything else on earth. An inexpensive, handheld model can be found at finer supply stores.

Staplers: If you do your own folding and binding, it would be well worth it to invest in your own saddlestitch stapler, maybe with a friend or two. Once you experience the professional ease of this device, you'll be so happy you chose zinemaking as your profession. Longnecked staplers are cheaper, and a simple Swingline will do for general purpose.

Files: I work on 2 or 3 issues simultaneously, so I must file everything to maintain some sort of order and sanity. If you're not sure if this is your style, I recommend starting with a small accordian file and working your way up to a three-tired steel or oak cabinet.

Supply Stores: Keep an eye out at any place of business or yard sale for potential additions to your collection, but it is important to find at least one all-purpose, reliable supplier. Some prefer the superstores like Office Depot or Staples, some like the neighborhood dealer who will special order any doo-dad you desire. It's up to you, and what fun it is figuring it out!

Correction pens and Sharpies: This particular combo sends me right to heaven, but it has to be the right correction pen. The only one I can stand is made by Sanriox. It has a sturdy, metal tip and smooth flow, very easy to use. I prefer the finest pointed Sharpies. You can write with either one on the other, what bliss!!!

Bubble plastic: included here because I haven't met one person yet who can resist the lure of the staccato symphony it provides. try it when your stereo breaks down.

Scissors vs. utility blades: Another dispute that could start WWIII. Have a cutting party with friends to test out all the possibilities. For scissors I recommend Fiskarsx every time, and for Pete's sake - don't let anybody use them for anything else but cutting paper. A wench-who-shall-remain-nameless came into my room one day and started trimming her TOENAILS with my scissors!!! I still don't speak to her.

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