Work In Progress, Zines

Zine Chaos

Green Bean pages

I love the feeling of finishing a new zine for print. My desk is left strewn with papers: not blank ones, or pages of barely decipherable notes as usual, but of finished drawings. It’s very satisfying, especially if it’s been more than six months since I last finished one! Sometimes the theme of a Green Bean is all set before I make the first mark. Sometimes I just have a vague idea and the rest unfolds as I draw. This issue was definitely one of the latter.

Almost six months ago I moved from Bristol, my home for the preceding eleven years, to Devon. I knew I wanted to make a zine about that transition, and one of the reasons the zine took so long is because I don’t feel that transition happened fully until the last month or so. I was so caught up with travelling and promoting Lighter Than My Shadow and The Crystal Mirror, there was hardly any time for drawing, and even less for settling in to my new home.

But as I started to settle, drawings started to happen. Drawings of what I love about my new place, of what I miss about the old one. This new Green Bean has maps, comics and stories, as well as books reviews, a craft project and a recipe for macarons (oh yes). It’s at the printers now, and should be ready in the next week or so…

Drawing, Zines

What I’ve Been Reading Lately…

Books

Book Pile

Ever since the very first issue of the Green Bean, I’ve been drawing the stacks of books that accumulate on my desk and by my bedside as I buy, read and queue up more books than I any sensible person can store in a reasonably sized home. It’s one of my favourite tasks in making a new Green Bean and I often start a new issue with the book reviews. This stack will be featuring in a brand new issue coming up in early February.

Work In Progress, Zines

How A Green Bean Comes To Life IV

Untrimmed Green Beans

When I pick up Green Beans from the printers, they look a bit drab: my work isn’t quite done. Part of what I think people like about the Green Bean is its handmade feel, and a lot of that is down to the touches I add after the printers, when many people would consider it finished.

Trimming Green Beans

I am a pathological perfectionist. The first change I make to the freshly pressed Green Beans is to sharpen the crease with a (vegetarian) bone folder, then trim the three edges to make them flush. I do this by hand with a scalpel, and have a fine callus on my index finger from the 2000+ Green Beans that I’ve finished this way. One day, I will invest in a guillotine.

Green Bean Corners

After the trimming, I punch the corners. My Zutter heavy-duty lifetime-guaranteed corner-rounder has indeed lived up to its claim, and continues to plough through whole Green Beans in one clunk.

Colouring Green Beans

Next, the best bit! I pick from my generous supply of Neon Green Lyra Colour Giant pencils and colour the beans on the front by hand.

Signing Green Bean

Finally I sign and number the issue and send it on its merry way out into the world…