Author Archives: sexpertise

The Selection Process

Last week, we had the privilege of looking through all the awesome ‘zine submissions for our first-ever PPNNE ‘Zine Anthology! We were thrilled to read your courageous stories, look at your art, and even laugh at your funny, yet poignant comics (ah, the joys of a pap smear).

It’s amazing how the subject matter of sexual health—birth control, abortion, STDs, pleasure—brought out such different stories and points of view. It also showed us just how similar we all are. These similarities will tie the ‘zine anthology together in such a unique, interesting way…and we think it’s going to be rad!

For the zines we want to include in the anthology, we’ll be reaching out to zine artists very soon. Be on the lookout for our email.

In the meantime, check out some of the past episodes of ZINECORE radio. It features some of those zinesters and comic artists who will fill our pages. Hannah Neurotica will announce a brand spankin’ new ZINECORE Radio episode dedicated to this project very soon. To celebrate the completion of the anthology, she’ll feature live readings from the book. Sneak peak, anyone? You don’t want to miss it.

Until then…keep up your courage & creativity!


Selecting Zines for the Anthology

WOW! Time flies and our deadline has come and gone.* We are so excited to announce that on June 30th we will be sitting down with all your awesome zines and selecting the ones most fitting to include in our first ever PPNNE ‘Zine Anthology! 

It has been such a pleasure to see your work. We’ve loved your bravery, honesty, candor, and of course your humor! As a celebration of this project, we thought it would be fun to share a sample of your submitted work. Here’s a short comic strip by Miki Hickel about a speculum vacationing in many famous vaginal shaped locations! 

Mr. Speculum by Miki Hickel

**cough* If certain zines happen to land in our inbox before June 30th, we miiiiiight be able to add them into the submission pile 😉 *cough*

In the meantime, Hannah Neurotica will be hosting a new episode of ZINECORE Radio with special guest Nicole Miesnik Harris! Nicole is a fiction and non-fiction writer, long time zine artist, and owner/operator of Click Clack Distro. With roots in DIY punk culture, Nicole has been writing about the intersection of having a healthy lifestyle while also being a part of the punk culture. Tune into ZINECORE Radio to hear her live reading, hear her discuss zines, punk, health, and of course take your phone calls! 

Show time: Thursday 23rd at 8pm!
A live chat room will be open during the show so you can get interactive.

Interview with Zinester Jolie Noggle

Our Zine Anthology deadline is fast approaching, which means it’s time to get those last minute submissions in for publishing consideration! For those of you who are still anxious about your creative abilities, or just need that final push of zinespiration – take some zine making advice from punk rock zine creator Jolie Noggle!

Hannah Neurotica: What was it like making your very first zine?

Jolie Noggle: It was fun doing my own zine for the very first time, but also very frustrating because I didn’t think anyone would like it. I really wanted my friends to help me because I didn’t want to do it alone. No one was interested so I gave it up for awhile. I didn’t do a zine for years because I was too afraid and insecure to do one by myself. When I finally did do one, it was the greatest feeling in the world! It felt great to put together something of my very own and trade it for other zines and creations made by other girls! It was awesome!

Hannah: What are five tips you would give to someone who was intimidated by making their first zine?

Jolie: As I mentioned, it took me years to be brave enough to write my own zine! My first tip would be to NOT be afraid to say what you want and write about whatever is on your mind, because what you have to say is important!

Second, don’t listen to the haters! Not everyone is going to like your zine. This is easier said than done, but don’t take it to heart if someone criticizes your zine. It can be a learning experience….

Third, do your own thing! When I did my first zine, it wasn’t anything like other zines I had read, which made me self-conscious. Don’t try to make your zine like someone else’s…. you have your own style so do it how you want. Let your personality shine!

Fourth, even though I have been criticized for using shortened words in my zines, such as “yer” and “becos” I say screw proper grammar! Not everyone is good at spelling and it shouldn’t be an issue in a zine, but that’s just my opinion. If you are insecure about it, don’t even worry. It’s more about the material and the substance of the zine. I’m more focused on the writing or the story, not about how it’s spelled or if words are capitalized properly or if you used the correct punctuation.

 And, last but not least, don’t ever think your zine isn’t good enough! I must confess, I dealt with insecurities about people comparing my zine to theirs and I let it get to me for many years. It took awhile for me to overcome some of these fears. I think everyone is intimidated at first. It gets easier and you get more comfortable. It just takes time.

We Love Our Curve(s)!

Awesome journalist Rachel Shatto plugged our upcoming ‘zine anthology in the magnificent Curve Magazine and Curve Magazine Website!

For those who are unfamiliar, Curve is, “… the nation’s best-selling lesbian magazine.  Curve spotlights all that is fresh, funny, exciting, controversial and cutting-edge in our community. Curve brings you the latest in lesbian-related celebrity interviews, news, politics, pop culture, style, travel, social issues and entertainment.”

Hannah Neurotica, who is heading up our zine anthology, was interviewed about life, sex and zines.  She has been tirelessly getting the word out about our anthology, and was featured in the Curve series “Top Ten Reasons We Love…”.  Check out the article here. We are very excited!

And don’t forget! The deadline for your zine submissions is right around the corner: June 1st!! It is not too late to be part of this incredibly fun and important project. Imagine how awesome and empowering it will be to hold the finished published product in your hands and see it in Planned Parenthood waiting rooms!

Interview with Zinester Brianna Stallings

Hannah Neurotica sat down with the poet, feminist activist, humor writer, and zinester Brianna Stallings for an interview about her experiences with reproductive health and zine making.

Hannah: How did you first discover zines?
Brianna: I discovered zines through music. The band Hole was like a gateway drug for me; it led to so many other things, including punk rock, Riot Grrrl and zines. By sophomore year of high school, I was skipping class to hang out in the drama department and read A Girl’s Guide to Taking over the World: Writings from the Girl Zine Revolution. I carried that book around with me everywhere.  

Hannah: What was it like making your very first zine?
Brianna: The first zine I ever made was called “Dolly Vashti.” I made it in my senior year of high school. It was chock full of stick figure doodles, collage art, and extraordinarily bad poetry. Things in it were both typed and handwritten. I compiled it both at home and at school, but copied the whole thing at school. Even though it was just a little thing distributed amongst friends, it felt liberating to share my work with people in that way, and to also think of myself as a part of something bigger than me. I was a zinester, like all the awesome people I’d been learning about. 

Hannah: How did you first discover Planned Parenthood?
Brianna: I had heard of Planned Parenthood in passing, but started actively using their services when I was in college, had no insurance, got pregnant and had an abortion. That was in December of 1999. 

Hannah: What was it like writing a zine about having an abortion? Why was the act of making a zine about that experience important for you?
Brianna: On the night that I sat down and wrote about my abortion, I didn’t know that it would result in a zine. All I knew was that I had been carrying around a lot of complex emotions as a result of the experience, and that they all finally needed to be addressed. It wasn’t until about a while later that I put it together as a zine.

Hannah: Has anyone contacted you or talked about abortion with you because of your zine?
Brianna: I have reached out to others with my zine after I discovered their stories. For example, I contacted Penny Lane, the director of the excellent documentary, “The Abortion Diaries.” It’s a really powerful direct film; I highly recommend it.

Hannah: If someone asked you how PP and zines could possibly go together what would you say?
Brianna: Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger. She wrote pamphlets about puberty and adolescent sexuality, as well as motherhood. She also created a magazine called “The Birth Control Review and Birth Control News,” which came out every month. She was a DIY maverick, much like the many people who share honest, painful, uncomfortable, and very necessary stories in the form of zines.

Hannah: What are five tips you would give to someone who was intimidated to make their first zine?
-Trust yourself.
-Learn, search and share.
-There is no right way.
-Say what you have to say because you absolutely have to say it.
-Know your history and then become part of it.

Hannah: Will you be submitting to the Planned Parenthood Zine Anthology?
Brianna: Absolutely! I think it’s important to continue to share my story, to encourage other people to share their stories about Planned Parenthood, and to keep supporting this vital organization.


Very cool magazine montage via Pony XPress

Sex has always been used in advertising. But the type of sex and the bodies used are far from the average American. What kind of message does that send us? This is how bodies look, this is what men and women should want, and we are a commodity. All of us are being told what to be turned on by and we don’t buy it!

Try this exercise.

Pretend you are holding a copy of Cosmo or any glossy magazine in your hands and all of the make-up ads, diet tips, and fashion spreads magically disappear: all you are left with is a booklet of blank white pages. What would you put on those pages if you had control? Articles on what real bodies look like? Honest articles about birth control? Real stories from both men and women about their sex lives?

PPNNE is asking you to put some blank pages together and share one of your own stories. Draw a comic! Share stories about what it was really like losing your virginity, your first erection, masturbation, anything! What thoughts come to mind when you think about getting a pap smear? Did you ever worry about STDs or have an experience with pregnancy?  Is sex something your family talked about? Let’s make real sex talk more accessible and open. Create your ‘zine and submit it to the PPNNE Zine Anthology.

Join Hannah Neurotica and Sage Adderley on a new episode of ZINECORE Radio for more inspiration!

Host: Hannah Neurotica and Sage Adderley
Date: Friday April 29, 2011
Time: 8pm EST

Want to learn about ‘zines hands-on? Check out Hannah Neurotica’s ‘Zine Making 101 Workshop.

When: Saturday April 23, 2011
Where:Keene, NH Public Library
When: 12:30 pm
The cost: FREE!

Interview with Zinester Sage Adderley

Hannah Neurotica sat down with Hard Knox creator Sage Adderley for an interview all about the zine world. The two also co-host ZINECORE RADIO.

I held Hard Knox before I ever met its creator. Hard Knox was the story of a woman’s experience with domestic violence. Her words were painful, familiar, courageous, and empowering.  I sought out the zinester immediately, leading me to one of my most wonderful friends – Ms. Sage Adderley.

Punk-rock, tattooed mother of three, Sage not only writes her own zines but for the last seven years has run one of the most successful zine distros around – Sweet Candy. I was happy as hell when she agreed to be my official ZINECORE Radio co-host this year.

Hannah Neurotica: How did you discover zines?

Sage Adderley: In 2004 I was taking a few writing courses and I became inspired to put together my own art and literary publication. I began searching information about independent publishing online and I came across a zine community on LiveJournal. I began following the community and ordering zines.

Hannah: When did you know zines were something you were passionate about?

Sage: Honestly, it was the first time I received a zine in the mail. I was in awe of the cut-and-paste layout and diary style writing. I was instantly hooked. I ordered more zines and then decided to write my first perzine, Tattooed Memoirs.

Hannah: Aside from making zines, you also run Sweet Candy Distro. Can you talk about it?

Sage: I opened up Sweet Candy Distro very soon after discovering zines. I can vividly remember having a burning to desire to distribute zines as far around the world as possible. That may sound silly, but I truly wanted to be a helpful part of the community.  

Hannah: The first zine of yours I ever read was Hard Knox. It had a huge impact on me and made me want to be more open with others about my own zines. Can you talk about Hard Knox for those who aren’t familiar? 

Sage: Hard Knox was a zine I wrote around 2004 or 2005 and it was very heavy regarding a violent relationship I was in. I never truly dealt with being in a domestic violent relationship. I left him and left those horrible memories behind, but in reality I truly only put a band-aid on my pain and trauma. I decided to write a zine and to this day, it was the most therapeutic thing I have ever done for myself. It was an intense release to write it and then to receive letters from people telling me about their experience with abuse.

Hannah: Let’s switch gears and talk about ZINECORE Radio. You have been amazing and so supportive of the PPNNE Zine Anthology and Speak Out/Open Mic episodes. How do you feel personally about the vote to defund Planned Parenthood?

Sage: I am sad and pissed off. It feels like the wheels are going in reverse; our society is going backwards. How can a place that does a ridiculous amount for people run the risk of being shut down because of the personal beliefs of some people in power?

I am moving to an area where Planned Parenthood will be the place to get my annual check-up, as well as birth control. Like millions of others without health coverage, I am really counting on staying healthy through Planned Parenthood. What is happening right now is a BIG deal.

Hannah: Zines can end up being very personal. Especially when talking about our experiences with sexuality, reproductive rights, sexual rights and health. Why are zines a good art form to express support for Planned Parenthood?

Sage: In the form of zines, a person can tell their story through art, photographs and even in a comic form. There are no boundaries. Stories can be told in whatever format the creator is most comfortable. Everyone’s experience is important and zines can show the variety of ways Planned Parenthood is helping.

Hannah: A lot of people say they want to submit to the PPNNE ‘Zine Anthology but don’t have any idea how to start or what to write about. What might you say to some of those out there who want to submit to this book but don’t know how to start?

Sage: Sometimes it is wonderful to just free write. You may find what naturally comes out is amazing and all you have to do is cut and paste it onto paper. Or it may at least kick you into gear and start churning ideas in your brain. I write zines like I am telling a story to a friend.

Hannah: So what are five tips you might give to those making zines?


-Don’t pressure yourself or force any writing—just be you!

– Remember your zine is for you. Write what is in your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

– Read zines. This is a great way to get a feel of what zines are about.

– Start off small so you don’t feel overwhelmed to fill every page.

– Experiment, there are no rules. Tear up magazines and maps (who cares if it is cliché, do it!) and have fun.

ZINECORE RADIO #21: I Stand with Planned Parenthood SPEAK OUT & OPEN MIC

Host: Hannah Neurotica with special co-host Sage Adderley of Sweet Candy Distro
Date: Thursday April 7, 2011
Time: 8pm EST
Call in #: (646) 478-4473
To sign up, contact

Zine Making 101–A Workshop with Hannah Neurotica

First, a big thank you to all of the wonderful callers from the past two ZINECORE RADIO shows! Your passionate views, personal stories, poetry, and thoughts on Planned Parenthood were much appreciated.

Now, down to business:

Hannah Neurotica (of huge ZINE fame and host of ZINECORE RADIO!) is hosting ZINE MAKING 101 Workshop in Keene, NH! Join her for an afternoon of DIY zine-art making. If you are new to Zines, come and learn. If you are a veteran/pro zine maker, come share your tricks!

Zine Making 101 Workshop with Hannah Neurotica
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Keene Public Library, The Kay Fox Room
Keene, NH
Cost: FREE!

We hope you’ll leave the workshop feeling inspired and read to submit a piece for our PPNNE Zine Anthology project (hint, hint!).

You’ll start by sifting through a massive collection of zines. If you are new to the zine world, this is the best way to get a sense of not only what zines are, and how fun and accessible they can be. Once everyone has browsed, you will write prompts. (Don’t worry…you don’t have to share! This is just a fun way to get your creative juices flowing help you land on a topic for your own zine.) Finally, you will begin the hands-on process of zine creation. All participants will be encouraged to submit their finished zine to the PPNNE Zine Anthology.

Basic art supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own, including old magazines for cutting up. 

We also encourage you to bring the following (but are not required):

  • Yourself (ok, this one is required if you want to participate :))
  • A friend or family member.
  • Personal journals, photos, scrapbooks (make copies of original photos you will want to use), or any other inspirational piece.
  • Old magazines for cutting.

Questions? Email Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you and teaching you all about zines on April 23rd!

Stand with Planned Parenthood by getting creative!

As a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood and a feminist zine artist/activist, I have been given the rare and incredible opportunity to work with PPNNE on their very first ‘zine anthology. When we started this project I was already totally on board with the significance of putting together a book like this. But, the recent votes to defund Planned Parenthood have lit a new fire under me.  

For some women, the services Planned Parenthood provides, such as pap smears, cervical cancer screenings, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, breast exams, birth control, etc., is the ONLY form of health care they have. This legislation is the most dangerous assault in our history, and it cannot go unanswered.  Planned Parenthood and the three million women, men, and teens who are at risk of losing access to basic care need you to stand united with us.

Now is the time to open your mouth, whip out a pen, pound on your computer/typewriter/notebook, talk with your friends/family/communities, sign petitions, contact your local representatives, donate to the organization,  etc! We want your art, stories, comics, photographs, and anything that can be committed to paper for our zine anthology.  We can’t take this blow to our basic human rights without a fight.

In the previous post, I gave examples of what to make for this anthology—one of which was a RANT. I cannot think of a better time to rant and rave!

One of my favorite aspects of zine making is the acceptance of flaws; the idea that flaws are part of the art. Don’t be afraid to write sentences that run on. Don’t be embarrassed by improper grammar. Don’t feel caged by trying to be neat and tidy. We want an explosion of passion! Bring us your roaring voices!  No experience other then your own personal experiences/thoughts/observations required.

The PPNNE ZINE ANTHOLOGY is taking submissions from all over the country and beyond. Let’s take this opportunity and SPEAK OUT in a place where we know we will be heard. This book cannot be birthed into existence with your contributions. We want your submissions!

Come brainstorm and get inspired by on the next episode of ZINECORE RADIO.

ZINECORE RADIO #20: Planned Parenthood SPEAK OUT & Open Mic 
Date: March 10, 2011
Time: 8pm EST

Just like the last episode, a chat room will be open during the live show so you can take part in a conversation with other listeners and get interactive! If you would like to come on the show and vent, read from your zine, share a PP experience, please contact me and we will make it happen

There is no wrong way to make a zine

As promised, we want to send periodic updates to help inspire your ‘zines….

There is no wrong way to make a zine.

No, Seriously. Whether you decide to make things look intentionally messy or take a super neat approach to your project, there is no wrong way to make a zine.

You need some paper, something to put on the paper, and a photocopier to reproduce and share your work. The content can be newly written text, old diary entries, images, stories, collages, blog posts, etc.

Here are three ideas to help get you going. “Zinespiration” never hurts!

Ranting is a good thing!  It releases your anger, passion, rage…start writing and let your feelings pour out about anything. A crappy magazine article about body image, protestors at Planned Parenthood…it is all rant-worthy. We want the truth in our anthology–mistakes and all. Don’t worry about it being perfect.

If you talk with people in your life, you might hear stories about their experiences with Planned Parenthood over the years.  Connect with your mom /dad/grandparents/anyone who might such a story. Ask questions, record answers, paste the text (maybe add some photos?) and voila! Zine!

Alison Piepmeier of Girl Zines once said, “In a world where more and more of us spend all day at our computers, zines reconnect us to our bodies and to other human beings.”  This is especially true about zines based on interviews—you’ll connect with others by sharing their stories.

Journal Entries
Most Planned Parenthood health centers have a journal in the waiting room for patients to share their stories and experiences. The journal entries cover a broad range: happy, sad,  indifferent,  advice…. What would you write in a Planned Parenthood journal? If a person came into a Planned Parenthood for the first time, what would you want them to know? How was your first visit?

There are so many ideas for starting points. Have fun and share your results with us.