Amazing Illustrated Zines for Every Mood and Obsession


If you’re anything like us, then sometimes one sketch from your favorite artist isn’t enough to satiate an illustration habit. Enter the hand-drawn zine, which has recently entered a period of renaissance inspired by nostalgia for the form’s pre-Internet heyday. Created by artists, crafters, and writers, this DIY platform allots plentiful, often themed, pages for solo artwork and collaborative efforts. We’ve scoured Etsy for a diverse array of amazing zines that tackle a myriad of topics — music, cinema, relationships, poetry, and even anxiety disorders — through art. Feast your eyes on hand-bound collections of watercolor, black ink, graphite, and collage art, and maybe even find your new favorite publication, after the jump.

Imaginary Lovers ($5, Etsy)

Have you ever made eyes at a stranger on the train or at the local coffee shop and briefly fantasized about what dating them would encompass? New Zealand-based artist Devon Smith transformed these passing daydreams into a sweet black-and-white zine by making portraits of strangers she found endearing and lending them imaginary characteristics.

The Film One ($9, Etsy)

Cinema aficionados with a taste for the arts rejoice, for this zine pays homage to the wonderful world of film through a collection of illustrations. The project required 26 artists to come together and create pieces that pay tribute to their all-time-favorite films through drawings and words, giving viewers a fresh glance at cinematic masterpieces like Annie Hall.

An Asteroid Descends On Mount Moldy (Free, via)

Prepare yourself for a mind-bending trip into the imagination of illustrator John Malta with this vibrantly-hued zine. You may have already spied his gig posters for The Beets or tucked inside the pages of lauded publications, but Malta’s latest endeavor comes in the form of a trippy, 28-page illustrated story. Set in a fantasy realm full of lizards, talking cacti, and villainous pyramid-faced creatures, the zine catapults readers into the adventures of troublemaking best friends Francis and Geronimo — a snake-charming street performer and his snake.

Wash Your Hands & Repeat Vol: 1 ($10, Etsy)

Influenced by their OCD and anxiety disorders, 30 illustrators from around the world joined forces to conjure up an artistic portrayal of the nervous feelings and thoughts surrounding mental illness that are generally kept hidden. The 70-page zine features illustrations encompassing the personal struggles and lighthearted moments an anxiety disorder brings forth.

I’ll Go Where You Go ($15, Etsy)

Along with boasting an impressive roster of clients — including Bat For Lashes and the Decemberists — Britain-born illustrator and animator Julia Pott also tries her hand at relationship-tinged zines. Reciting a tale of love gone awry, I’ll Go Where You Go features 20 multicolored images of exquisitely drawn woodland animals expressing break-ups, regretted make-ups, and other relationship dramas.

The Music One ($7, Etsy)

Commemorating adored solo acts and bands, this zine serves as an illustrated ode to musicians who have made us swoon over the years. A troupe of artists contributed to the project, which entails grayscale portraits of the music makers they hold dear and typewritten paeans to same.

Undead Threads ($16, Etsy)

What do zombies, high-fashion, and paper dolls have in common? They’ve all been illustrated by UK-based artist Andrea Kett in this Halloween-appropriate zine. Pastel-tinged drawings feature glamorous vampires, ghouls, and headless beings with a taste for brains and couture costumes inspired by the likes of Viktor and Rolf and Vivienne Westwood.

Little Epic ($10, Etsy)

Uniting artists, photographers, and poets from across the world, this shockingly cool illustrated series swirls together literature and visual arts, with a first issue dedicated to personal relationships and the inspiration that stems from them.

Gathering ($10, Etsy)

If you’ve ever wondered what a visual arts representation of living a bi-coastal lifestyle would entail, then look no further than Jacqueline Bos’ abstract art. The (currently) Portland-based illustrator created black-ink illustrations and colorful collages that pepper the 20-page zine over the period of a year, while she was commuting between Brooklyn and Portland. Bonus: for fans of The Golden Girls , Bos also illustrated a colorful tribute to Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia.

Woody and Me ($3, Etsy)

Idol worship is alive and well at this New York City-bred artist’s Etsy shop. After putting together a zine dedicated to the influence neurotic director/actor Woody Allen has on fans — full of black-and-white photography, personal writings, and illustrations — the artist’s forthcoming conceptual zine will pay homage to Beat writer William S. Burroughs.

Too Dark To See ($5, Etsy)

Evocative of a graphic novel, illustrator Julia Gfröre’s project piqued our interest with its a mystical, foreboding subject matter. The black-and-white, comic-style zine details the ruin of two lovers who are being tormented by evils within the shadows. But the story is not entirely grim, as Gfröre peppers the piece with comical scenes of the everyday, like the adventures that ensue in light of being employed as a food service worker.

Borrowed Suitcase ($5, Etsy)

Australian artist Mel Stringer orchestrated this playful zine by gathering 27 artists to put their spin on the simple theme of the suitcase. What the illustrators came up with is a series of interesting, on-the-go drawings that capture moments of packing and the panic of travel, and provide imaginary glimpses into strangers’ suitcases.

Yellow ($15, Etsy)

Experience a year in the mind of fine artist and illustrator Selena Wong in this imaginative zine. Throughout its 24 pages, Yellow catalogs whimsical drawings, sketches, and experiments that the Toronto-based artist created over a period of 365-days and is stuffed with abstract doodles and full-color illustrations in which forest creatures are a recurring theme.

Fuck You ($5, Etsy)

Broken-hearted? There’s a zine for that! Fueled by the heartache of her unraveled relationship, Brooklyn illustrator Kseniya Yarosh put ink to paper and created a zine following the artistically inspirational break-up. The result is 20 pages chock full of colorful vignettes and relatable drawings that record her love-hate feelings for her ex.