Alex Wrekk/ Brainscan

brainscan 19Brainscan Zine #19

An introspective look at Alex Wrekk’s July of 2002; including writing on the planning of the Portland Zine Symposium, the IPRC’s high school zine camp, and the actual event of the Zine Symposium. A weekend full of houseguests, communication, connection and late night porch sessions. It also includes volunteering at the Rock ‘N’ Roll camp for girls where Alex helped teach workshops on zines. This zine also contains reflections on zine community involvement and evolution over the years, thoughts on the guerilla mental health awareness workshop at the Zine Symposium, and an update on Joe & Alex’s DIY wedding. It also includes a preview to Brainscan #20, a travel zine. This zine is surprisingly text heavy for Brainscan but still has high contrast cut and paste layout. Includes the text of very limited Brainscan 18.5.

64 pages, Black and white, offset printed, 6.5’x5″

21Brainscan Zine #21: Irreconcilable Differences

I haven’t made an issue Brainscan in four years and I hope that this zine helps to explain why. Brainscan 21 explores my recognition of being in an emotionally abusive relationship, the attempts on both parts to right wrongs, the failure to do so, and gathering the strength to take the next step.

What if your private life in your relationship is vastly different than what other people see? When do you know you are in an emotionally abusive relationship? How to you gain the strength to get out of it? What do you do when you know you can’t handle the burden alone? What do you do when you feel so alone and terrified of the consequences of leaving, when if it means losing friends, a home, a job and a way life that you love?

These are just some of the ideas explored in this zine through a three year personal narrative that also challenges you to examine your relationships with power, to identify how you express the power you have, and also how you relate to the power that of others possess. But most of all this, zine is about revelation, rebirth, and growth.

44 pages, half sized

brainscan 22Brainscan Zine #22 IUD: a practical body modification

Intra Uterine Devices (IUDs) are the most widely used form of reversible birth control in the world and the second most widely used form of birth control behind sterilization. IUDs are also the most effective form of birth control. When searching for a form of birth control for my partner and I found that the IUD made the most sense for us. Since being fitted for an IUD almost a year ago people have had lots of questions.

In typical Brainscan zine fashion, I’m writing about what’s going on in my life. This zine just happens to an informative look at the history and procedure in a clinical sense, as well as a person account from exploration to procedure to afterwards and I’m very happy with my decision!

If you or anyone you know have had an interest in IUDs this zine might answer some of your questions. 32 pages, 1/4 sized, affixed color covers, gocco printed envelopes. Numbered and limited to 1000.

23Brainscan Zine #23

Brainscan #23 contains a few stories taken from a one off zine I did as well as a few new stories. My favorite one is about a situation I was in while visiting NYC and met and Ex-Boyfriend and his wife…and hilarity ensues. Interspersed in the zine are “travel stories that didn’t really go as far as the travel written about” These are almost like postcards written about silly situations and fun, and not so fun times. Some of the stories included are about high school road trips and Salt Lake City urban legends, touring with a band, spending a summer using auto drive away to move other peoples’ cars, and both the Cut & Paste and Copy & Destroy zine tours in 2003.

The last two issues of Brainscan have been very focused on single subjects, but this one is about amusing stories and life experiences woven with my usual high contrast cut and past layout expressing the play between words and images… as some people call it, typical Brainscan zine. If you like Brainscan you will probably like it. 40 pages ¼ legal. This is the first printing and leftovers from the zine symposium, later versions will have a different into, but the content will remain the same.

brainscan 24 and 25Brainscan Zine #24 and #25

BRAINSCAN 25-This zine has been five start and stop years in the making. I finally finished it in October of 2009 at the Anchor Archive zine residency in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Brainscan 25 Chronicles my Saturn return as a love story, an ending, and a new beginning with someone from my past. The Saturn Return is the time between ages 27 and 30 when the planet Saturn is in the same place it was at your birth. It is usually seen as a harbinger of change and a test of character where individuals are forced to evaluate their life in relation to their values. Brainscan 25 documents my life between 2004 and 2006 which was full of upheaval and questioning my path and choices in life. The linear story is spliced with narrative flashbacks from 1996-1999 full of punk shows, travel stories and the difficulty of dealing with emotions and the insecurities of growing up. Text heavy with high contrast cut and paste layout and photocopier art.

Brainscan 25 is 80 pages, legal sized (8.5″x7″) transparency acetate and cardstock covers, and an envelope containing a 16 page epilogue.

BRAINSCAN 24 is a mini zine with answers to questions I’m frequently asked and random facts like how I was made in Canada, am left handed, and was the very first Aquacadet. 32 pages and 1/8th legal (3.5″ x 4.25″)

brainscan 25.5Brainscan zine #25.5

a 24 hour zine challege zine about post boxes

At the IPRC on July 11, 2010 the Portland Zine Symposium sponsored a 24 hour zine challenge. A 24 hour zine challenge is when you make a zine in 24 hours.

Well, this is the zine I made that night. You are not supposed to have any idea what you will put in your zine before you start so I had no idea what would come out of this. What did come out of those 24 hours, besides sleep deprivation delirium, was some photocopier artwork and stories about all the post boxes I have ever had. The count is 4 and each was a distinct time in my life that I wrote about including the secret admirer who wrote love notes to my boyfriend I shared the post box with and stories about long lost penpals.

32 pages 1/8th legal with black covers hand stamped in silver.

brainscan 26Brainscan Zine #26: What’s the Deal with you and Microocsm

I’m just going to say that this zine is not for everyone. 26 is my leave favorite number and I ended up writing about my least favorite topic that just will not go away!

In 2006 I wrote the zine Brainscan #21: Irreconcilable Differences. This zine was about my personal experience of realizing I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, finding the courage to move on and challenging other people to identify power and how they use in in all of their relationships. In Brainscan 21 I did not name name because I did no think it was useful, but in this zine I do. Several other people have approached me with issues they have had with the same person and I thought it might be helpful for people to hear a bit more of my story tying my personal experience with Joe to my business experience.

This zine is based on this blog post http://alexwrekk.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/so-whats-the-deal-with-you-and-microcosm/. People have kept asking me about it so I thought I would put it in zine format. The blog post is about my least favorite subject: my history with Microcsm Publishing, Joe Biel and his attempted and failed accountability processes plus input from a few other people. To lighten the load I also talk about some of the other stuff I have been involved with and things I’m looking forward to next year. 32 pages 1/4 sized and uncharacteristly text heavy. $2

Back cover illustration by Steve Larder

brainscan 27 and 28Brainscan Zine #27 AND #28

THIS IS A LISTING FOR 2 ZINES: Brainscan #27 and #28

This is a listing for both of the zines I have made in 2011. They were each released already but have been repackaged and reprinted.

Brainscan #27
A tiny zine that reads like a snapshot. 1/12 legal sized (3″x4″) 28 page mini zine, A single story wrapped in photocopier art. This zine takes place in an elevator between a 9th floor divorce lawyer and the ground and a bike ride home. It explores disappointments and the human inability to consider endings.

“We rode 9 stories down in silence like shedding 9,000 stories of our own”

Brainscan #28
1/6th legal (4.25″ square) 28 pages with color covers and color fold outs. This is my 24 hour zine for 2011. It was created in 24 hours at the Independent Publishing Resource Center. The theme was to answer the question “what do you do?” I explored the fact that most people want to know how you make money. I have a sort of strange income to some people so this will answer the question. I also talk about the cats that live in my house and how I have learned to love cats, even though I always thought I was a dog person. I also answer the question “how long have you and Paul been together?” in a fold out time line that includes color photos of us from years past.

This was originally sent to the people who sponsored me in the 24 hour zine challenge. also made 50 copies to trade at the Portland Zine Symposium. After the sleep deprivation of creating a 24 hour zine I wasn’t sure if wanted it to be an issue of Brainscan. I decided to go for it and after a bit of tweaking and reformatting I’m re-releasing it as Brainscan 28.

29Brainscan Zine #29 / No More Coffee zine #4 – a split zine
a fiction zine that pretends to be a perzine

Released at the 2012 Chicago Zine Fest

Brainscan #29 – Ben Spies (no more coffee zine) threw out the challenge of fiction to my land of perzines and this is the grim result. These three short stories are my stab at fiction wrapped in the usual high contrast cut and paste layout you would expect in and issue of Brainscan. One story is about leaving a hometown for greener pastures only to make a stop half way there to visit an old friend and includes thoughts and reflections about the past. The second story is about a weird housemate and his strange perception of the world through Woody Allen tinted glasses and odd notions about art. The third story is about weighing the value of our short lives against the rock wall embankment of a cemetery. I admit that the voice is similar to mine and the subject matter doesn’t stray too far from what you would expect to find in an issue of Brainscan, but it was a really fun experiment and I’m glad that Ben talked me into doing this split.

No More Coffee is a zine of fiction for people who stay up too late. Stories like these are how I get the black bile out of my system, so to speak. Alex and I agreed to do a fiction split not knowing how morose it would end up, but we’re on similar wavelengths, I guess. I’m still writing fiction because I love it and because I’m too scared to write about my own life, but even if these stories never happened, the people in them did. “Photographs of the Dead” is about what the residents of a suburban apartment complex doesn’t know about their neighbors. “Exit 121” is about an impetuous woman living at a truck stop. The untitled story is about Sunday breakfast at a diner.

44 pages, half sized, 2 color risograph printed card stock covers

il_570xN.411999788_216sBrainscan zine #30

Squeaking in at the end of 2012 makes this 30 issues in 15 years!

40 pages, 1/4 sized, 5 color risograph printed on recycled paper!

This zine started to be about how awesome 2012 was going to be until the end of my year was almost ruined. I started the zine with the realization that I had grown 2 inch in my 30s somehow and how growing older is great because you get to grow more into yourself, even if you didn’t know what you wanted to be when you grew up. I wrote a bit about growing up non-Mormon in Utah. I also write about how I am uncomfortable teaching and how maybe some people just aren’t meant to teach just like not everyone is meant to be self employed.

Due to a lot of circumstances and privileges in my life I am able to have a lot of adventures. Some of them are travel related and others are ridiculous projects I have been able to be a part of. In retrospect I outline some of my adventures fro each year starting in 2008. Some of the projects have included: traveling to France and the UK, traveling the east coast alone, going on a US zine tour with friends from the UK, attending lots of zine fests, starting a zine themed band called The Copy Scams, touring with the Copy Scams, starting a website for Stolen Sharpie Revolution, and starting a brick and mortar zine distro and button shop called Portland Button Works.

The end of the zine wraps up with the how my business partner left Portland and left me a giant mess to clean up when I got back from a long planned trip to the UK. But, I prevailed and overcame and now the distro and shop are stronger and better for it.

31Brainscan Zine #31

Brainscan zine #31 by Alex Wrekk
Color cardstock cover 20 pages 1/4 size with clipped corners

“I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon since 1999. I was 22 when I moved here and I turn 37 this summer. This city has seen me grow and change and become more myself. I’ve called other cities ‘home”. My first 10 years were spent in Texas, the next 12 in Utah. I’ve written about both Utah and Oregon as home, but something has changed recently.”

This zine was completed for the 2014 Chicago Zine Fest. It explores the concept of family, growing up and into ourselves and making our own home. I reflect on the years I have lived here and how me and the city of Portland have changed over the past 15 years and how running a brick and mortar shop that sells zines fits into that.

sharpieStolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture (5th edition 2015)   

This is the 5th and latest edition of this book and was printed December 2014

-Buy one copy or multiples for friends, stores, or distros
-Add a limited genuine custom Stolen Sharpie Revolution Sharpie marker (seen in the last photo)

Since 2002, Stolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture has been the go-to guide for all things zine-related. This little red book is stuffed with information about zines. Things you may know, stuff you don’t know and even stuff you didn’t know you didn’t know! Stolen Sharpie Revolution contains a cornucopia of information about zines and zine culture for everyone from the zine newbie to the experienced zinester to the academic researcher.

Stolen Sharpie Revolution consists of thoughtful lists and step-by-step how-to guides on everything from definitions of a “zine,” where to find zines, why they are important, how to make them and how to participate in zine culture. This book has everything you need to get started creating your own zine, or to figure out what to do with the zine you just made.

Stolen Sharpie Revolution serves as both an introduction into the wide world of zine culture and as a guide to taking the next step to become a part of it.

il_570xN.494708151_er1aTRAVELSCAN – a Brainscan 24 hour zine

“There is a lot of privilege in being able to have adventures”

This is my 24 hour zine for 2013! It’s all about traveling: How to save money for travel, how to find cheap tickets through patience and flexibility, how to find veggie friendly food, packing, getting around a new city, where to stay, where to go, how to be a good houseguest.

Other random bits include: some of my travel stores, awesome travel deals I have found, and the kale salad receipe that I keep in my notebooks to make for my hosts when I travel.



philosophactivism collectionPHILOSOPHACTIVISM e-zine collection

A written journey into social change, this collection contains reflections on social justice and commentary on Voice, Power and reclamation for marginalized communities/ the global MAJORITY.

(email/message me for separate copies of either Philosophactivism 1 or 2)

1. Overworked and Underpaid…what else is new?
2. Environmental Racism
3.Food. Justice. Part 1: The Color of Food Justice
4. Food Justice Part 2: Queering Justice
5. The thing about poverty
6. No, thank you to your “table” OR Not interested in sitting at your table
7. Visionaries don’t need to dream
8. The Master’s Tools…
9. I’m not doing this for my health
10. POC Anti -racist organizing and burnout
11. Thoughts from a QPOC going into 2012
12. Occupy Oakland
13. Throwing Stones at the windows of Ivory Tower
(and bringing knowledge to the People for $Free.99)
14. On Being Bilingual
15. Only tell me of the possibilities, please
16. Oppression and Organizing Against Obliviousness

Philosophactivism 2: Queerbomb 2014 Edition
This volume of Philosophactivism was written specifically for the radical queer pride event Queerbomb, held annually in Austin,TX.


1. Another Brown(less) Queerbomb
2. Oppression and Austin: Drag Performance, Racism, Misogyny, Transphobia
3. TDOR Speech 2013: Trans Day of Remembrance/ Reclamation /Resistance
4. Farmer’s Markets, Classism/Racism, and moving from Acknowledgment into Action
5. Fed up in Austin
6. On Gentrification
7. The State of Women of Color
8. A Note on my perceived anger and bitterness. Silence, Release, Conviction and Standing in my Power…


Amber Dearest / Fight Boredom Distro


the Federation of Enthusiastic Misandrists & Miscellaneous Emasculatorsa serial zine

Memento Mori: An Archive, 2011.

In Search of Lost…, 2013.

I Shot James Franco, 2015.



Culture SlutCulture Slut #25

I pulled an all-nighter and finished my latest zine. Culture Slut #25 is about heartbreak, Patti Smith, quitting drinking, participating in research studies for cash, an obsession with knuckle tattoos, and life in Montréal.

Cut-and-paste, quarter-size, 30 pages. Please read it in a safe space; I had a rough year.

The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes #1002

This is the zine that I completed as artist-in-residence at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s a quarter-size perzine, mostly typewritten, with a few handwritten phrases and sparse cut-and-paste details. I’ve written about accepting loneliness as an inevitability and staying sober in a world that seems to want me drunk or dead. Excerpt:

“The heaviness on my chest, the fluttering in my tummy… they are always going to be there. It is time to stop searching for the remedy and to finally accept them as a part of me. I want to embrace my sadness without letting it keep me in bed for days on end. And if my anxiety keeps me locked in my apartment, I’d like to invite someone else over.”

Read in a safe place, take care, and write me a letter. ♥


and still I riseAnd Still I Rise

a Zine About Domestic Violence by Caitlin Grusauskas December 2003