Zines have been used as a form of expression for decades in counterculture. Used to shed light on communities that may not get attention in mainstream media yet are still impactful to small circulations of people. They are generally self-published and cost friendly which give a great deal of wiggle room for creativity. The range of topics in zines are endless and have moved from being strictly a physical entity to turning into online blogs instead, expanding people’s access to them. Malcriada Media, a two-person digital creator used their time during quarantine to create a zine highlighting roller-skating culture in Las Vegas. It is run by two local gals. Anny, who is a UNLV graduate with a degree in photography and Jennifer a local drummer in a band called The Social Set. The two are a powerhouse for feminism energy.
For just $10, people are able to buy the 206 zine while supplies last. Small post cards featuring the cover art, pins and stickers were also offered with each order, again while supplies last. Buyers can choose between having their physical copy with either a hot pink or navy-blue cover. Every page has a different theme, making each story pop but at the same time blending together seamlessly. One might say that would reflect the scene itself. It’s a blend of people from all walks of life that have this one thing in common and they just blend together naturally.
The zine consists of a good mix of short and long interviews. Those interviewed talked about their start in skating, what keeps them motivated and their overall goals. Accompanied by beautiful photography that highlights the energy of the local skate community. Instagram handles are added onto everyone’s personal page so that the reader will be able to find them on social media easily to follow along if they’re interested.
In an interview with co-creator Jennifer, she highlights the increased interest in roller-skating during recent times, “It’s becoming pretty often where I’m at a park and I meet a new skater.” This is said to be a trend that developed during the coronavirus quarantine due to skaters getting more attention of social media platforms like Tik Tok. This resulted in a frenzying of people buying skates all over the country.
One might think that the skate community is relatively small and perhaps just a current fad. However, in another interview, Phallon DeBase disagrees. The killing of George Floyd earlier this year sparked civil unrest throughout the country. As a result, hidden aggressions came to surface in many communities, including in the skate world. DeBase, also known as Sunny is the creator of the Black Skate Alliance, an online community providing visibility for black skaters. In the interview Sunny says, “I hate that they say it’s a revival. For us, it’s painful because as a community, it never dies. We have always been here.”
This year began with an inevitable standstill, one that was literally between life and death. Skating is a healthy and positive way to have some fun while being active. This of course has the potential to ease some of the stress that has been undoubtedly weighing on many shoulders during this seemingly endless pandemic.
In the introduction page of the zine Anny said, “Socially distanced skate sessions with a select few are what has been keeping me sane.”
Not only did the media group produce the zine itself but there is an accompanying skate video on YouTube that was filmed during its creation. During the duration of the video we see thirteen skaters going about their crazy antics. It is a collaborative video, consisting of film from six different people in the group.
The theme of community, friendship and growth is especially present in the final result of the zine. If there’s one thing you get after going through this forty-four page booklet is that there is a tight knit community of skaters here. Regardless of who you are or where you come from, picking up a sport like skating comes with a potential group of lifelong friends who will have your back. At least, that’s how Malcriada Media puts it.