Get to Know the Trumbullplex Zine Library

We’re proud to introduce a post by guest blogger Ethan Cronkite. A member of the Trumbullplex Zine Library, he’ll be on hand with his fellow zine lovers during DUCF to teach you a little bit about a familiar art form. Take a look and get excited.

Hundreds of zines. Recline on a comfortable couch and look through them. This one was written in a lonely bedroom in Toronto. That one was assembled in a bustling copy shop in Milwaukee. These were shelved in a vegetarian grocery store in Pontiac. Those were filed in an anarchist book shop in the Cass Corridor. All of them – and hundreds more – have made their way to the Trumbullplex, a housing collective and theater in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood. And now the Trumbullplex Zine Library shares them with you by bringing a Zine Lounge to the 5th annual Detroit Urban Craft Fair.

In the Lounge, you’ll find a few hundred highlights from the Library’s collection of zines: handmade publications that are especially beautiful, interesting or representative of their genre. You’ll also find inviting furniture and a soothing atmosphere. It’s an opportunity to escape from the hectic holiday season, and to explore a lost world of independent print. If you find yourself inspired by the zines’ DIY ethos, you’re encouraged to join members of the Zine Library collective in the Craft Fair’s Make n’ Take area, where they’ll help you practice zine-making skills such as collage and bookbinding.

If DUCF whets your appetite for reading and making zines, you’ll be glad to know that the Zine Library will soon have a permanent home in the Trumbullplex theater. With its copy machine and other zine-making resources, this unique two-story building-within-a-building will serve as a center for those who wish to print their own publications. Its shelves will organize and preserve thousands of zines. And its loft will serve as a cozy refuge for readers.

The Trumbullplex Zine Library is a tribute to the memory of Dave Kujawa. As co-founder of the Idle Kids infoshop, Dave helped gather the zines that now form the core of the Trumbullplex collection. As an active and generous neighbor, he helped feed the feral spirit of Trumbull Avenue. And his relaxed but defiant advocacy for independent media, egalitarian community, and DIY creativity helped set the rhythm that moves the Zine Library.

Relaxed but defiant. That’s the beat you’ll feel as you settle into the Lounge and leaf through a zine. In an era when information floats invisibly through the air, the stubborn zine flaunts its physicality. It’s a rough little bundle of folded paper, smudged toner, and crooked staples, put together by one pair of hands, and passed slowly through countless others, until it finally finds its way to yours. Like the blog you’re reading, a zine is a way to spread information. And like the craft you’re knitting, it’s a tangible object, sharing the solid space where we live. Out of time and in your face, the zine is a lovable troublemaker. And like many a lovable troublemaker, it’s waiting to get to know you better at DUCF 5.