If zines are your thing, then meet Squelch Zines, curators of this year’s Zine Room that saw multitudes of submissions, the world over.

This year’s Singapore Art Book Fair was such a hit and we’re here to bring you our favourite bits and people from the festival. It is an understatement to say they’ve grown their roots wide and deep, not to mention, utterly indie.

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What is Squelch Zines in a nutshell and how did it come about?

Our first experience with zines was about seven years ago in school. That led us into experimenting more ways of making a zine. It was also one of the cheapest methods, so win-win for broke students. In between making and collecting zines, we realised that the zine scene in Singapore was very underground and undiscovered. We decided that maybe, we could try to create something that could help build a zine culture in Singapore. That dream was made real with the support from friends we made along the way. Five years on, Squelch Zines is growing bigger and funnier, with the team now made up of Janice, Nicholas, Alif, and Syukri.


Zines: Origins by Jun Jie

What’s your ethos?

What really pushes us every time to do what we do is the zine community itself. It is very motivating to witness how much Singapore’s zine culture has grown since we started Squelch Zines. We have the faith and the passion to pull together a strong zine family that we can all call ours. It is a big dream, but who is to say that it is not possible? Apart from this, we just want to have pure fun doing it at the same time. A zine culture is not a potential business model to drive profits, but a place where folks alike can come together to share, to inspire each other, be heard and most importantly, to be yourself.


Assholes To My Eyes by Ishibashi Chiharu – Harumaruchi, zine submission to SGABF 2018 Zine Library

Tell us about your participation in SGABF, what were you most excited about presenting at the fair?

The Zine Room!!! It was Reneé Ting, the festival director, who gave us this wonderful opportunity to curate the Zine Room for SGABF 2018. That was a dream of ours that came true, thanks to her! This sort of opportunity is rare for us, so the last thing we want was to disappoint people. It was ALL IN or don’t do at all. We were in such a “flow”, it was almost nothing could stop or fail us (say real one). We’ve really, really, REALLY put in all that we’ve got into the Zine Room.

Subject Matters, SBTG x Squelch Zines for SGABF 2018
We were excited about everything that was in the Zine Room! There were two parts: a spotlight for fifteen zine makers/zine collectives (8&Co., Charlene Man, Hinterland, Lai Yu Tong, Math Class Club, Mian Bao Tu Tu, Pearlyn Sim, Pocketoast, Post-Museum, Rock, Scissors, Books, Supponstar, Vanessa Lim, Wares, Wheniwasfour, Workshopafter11)  to exhibit and sell their amazing work, and a Zine Library that held more than 300 zine submissions from both local and international zinesters. 
Tears for Fears by Yolanda Poh, zine submission to SGABF 2018 Zine Library

Any future projects?

Yes! We are very honoured to be part of Singapore’s first Queer Zine Fest 2018! The festival will be held on the 14th July 2018, Saturday at Camp Kilo. It feels like this is gonna be a historical event, almost! Also, we are planning to have another open call to be part of a potential participation in Bandung Zine Fest that is happening at the end of the year. We are hoping to be able to represent Singapore’s zine community in Bandung, Indonesia.
I Can’t Wait To Consecrate This Wondrous Mess by Renetta

What is your ultimate dream project/ any dream collaborators? No holds barred.

Easy to say, very difficult to execute.
Bom/bom Zine by Don
Our ultimate dream goal is to open a physical zine store in Singapore. We want to have a place where collaborations between local and international zinesters and artists can happen; where sharing, buying, swapping of zines in one place is possible from zinesters all around the world; a library for people who want to explore the culture, or to just to read the zines. In a nutshell, we dream of it as a permanent space for the local zine community to share and connect with local and international zinesters.
Oops Zine by Kuncord