Alex Wrekk is the pen name of the creator of Brainscan Zine, and the book Stolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY resource for zines and zine culture as well as a zine resource website. Alex Wrekk is a founder and continued organizer for the Portland Zine Symposium, runs the online and brick and mortar zine and button shop Portland Button Works, founded July as International Zine Month, hosts Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast, is the captain of Etsy Team Zine, and sings for the zine themed band Copy Scams.
Wrekk was born in Houston, Texas, where she lived for the first nine years of life, and then moved to Greensboro, North Carolina with her family for 9 months. After that they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, when she was 10. Later in High School she started reading zines and thinking of creating her own. Alex left Salt Lake City for Portland, Oregon in 1999.
Wrekk was first introduced to free zines that she would pick up at record stores. In high school she had a boyfriend whose father collected zines. She would borrow zines from him. Alex got more involved with zines after meeting some kids in the midwest on a church youth trip in the mid '90's. Her early influences include zines like Bad Art, Then She Deflated and Shelf Life . From there she and her sister, Webly Bowles, created their first zine Fun in a Bucket in 1995 and were part of the small zine community in Salt Lake City, Utah along with such zines as Hat, Failed Jedi, Maybrick's Diary, Hemopheliac's Papercut, and Lunchroom. In 1997 Alex was the "merch girl" for the band Homesick and ran a small zine distro on the side to a largely disinterested crowd at shows where she carried local zines as well as out of state zines like Cometbus and A Punk Kid Walks Into A Bar.
For the most part Salt Lake City lacked interest, knowledge and respect of zines, although Salt Lake City was one of the first public libraries with a zine collection. Wrekk looked mainly to pen pals for other zines and inspiration. She later broke away from the silliness of Fun in a Bucket and started her own zine, Brainscan in 1997, that was more reflective and thoughtful than Fun in a Bucket.
In 1999 Alex moved to Portland, Oregon to be closer to where her sister, Webly, went to college. She also already knew some zine penpals like Antonio and Zack Hyde of Three Sheets to the Wind and Beer Powered Bicycle. In Portland Wrekk found and contributed to the zine community as a founder and continuing to organize the annual Portland Zine Symposium,volunteering at the Independent Publishing Resource Center and the creative reuse shop S.C.R.A.P.
Alex Wrekk met Joe Biel as a pen pal in the late '90s. Wrekk invited Biel to move to Portland when his house burned down. Wrekk started helping Biel with his record and zine distro, Microcosm Publishing, out of their home in 1999. In 2000 Alex acquired a " button machine and started to make custom buttons through Microcosm Publishing. After many years of free labor Alex was finally paid for her work at Microcosm in 2003. Over the years Microcosm grew and changed, in large part thanks to the original zines and books they were publishing, including Wrekk's own successful book Stolen Sharpie Revolution a DIY zine resource.
Alex left Microcosm Publishing and divorced Joe Biel in 2006. When she started making 1 inch and 1.25" custom buttons as well as her catalog buttons and magnets, zines, and craft roasted coffee through a new site at [Small World Buttons] and has an [Etsy Shop]].
In 2006 Alan Lastufka created a Wikipedia page for Alex Wrekk. After a few months the page for Alex Wrekk was declared not notable and was removed. This was the impetus for Alan to create ZineWiki as a way to document zine history. Since then a new page was created and has been declared notable. [Alex Wrekk on Wikipedia]
Currently Alex is working on the 5th printing of her book Stolen Sharpie Revolution has spear headed the campaign to make July International Zine Month and started a zine podcast with Marc Parker entitled Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast. The Current co-host of Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Pod cast is Derek Neuland whom Alex has opened Portland Button Works . Portland Button Works is an online and brick and mortar shop in Portland,Oregon that is a zine distro and zine store that also specializes in custom buttons.
Contributions to Other zines
- $100 & A T-Shirt DVD
- Coffeeshop Crushes
- Make Something book
- O #4
- You Can Work Any 100 Hours Per Week You Want (In Your Underwear)!!
- An audio chapter on the IPRC Audio Zine CD.
- Selections from "Brainscan #21" for the Zinester Podcasts series.
- An upcoming podcast with her sister Webly called "Born to Love Volcanoes"
- "She Handed Me Her Diary (video)" narrated with Alan Lastufka, available on YouTube.com
- Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast with Marc parker and Derek Neuland
- Singer for The Copy Scams, a zine themed band with Marc parker,Steve Larder, Giz medium and Paul Burke
- Fun in a Bucket (perzine) 1995-1998
- Brainscan (perzine) 1997-present (31 issues)
- I'm A Wrekk 1999
- Crossing the Rubicon 2001
- Fire Apparatus 2002
- Is it July yet? 2002 split zine with Eleanor Whitney of Indulgence zine
- Don't Send Me Flowers (split with Webly Bucket) 2002
- Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2002, 2003, 2005
- Birthdays & Christmas / Faking Distance (split with Korinna Irwin) 2004
- Nine Stories 2011
- Coachella adventure zines 2012
- 10 July 2012 2012
- Brainscan #8 with Big Surprise 1998
- Brainscan #9 with Touched by an Anvil and Ritalin Kid 1999
- Brainscan #11 with Eyecandy 2000
- Brainscan #14 with Three A.M. and Journalsong
- Brainscan #16 Cars in the Bike Lane with Joe Biel 2001
- Brainscan #17 with Rock Star With Words a one night split with Korinna Irwin 2001
- Timezones & Statelines with Alan Lastufka 2006
- Brainscan #29 with No More Coffee Zine with Ben Spies 2012
- Copy and Destroy Zine tour 2003
- Cut and Paste Zine Tour 2003
- Zines and Cake UK tour 2009
- Zines on Toast 2010
- Sinester Zinester UK tour 2012
- Alex Wrekk Wikipedia page
- Wrekk on MySpace
- Wrekk's Artist page on Microcosm
- Alex's Blog
- The Stolen Sharpie Revolution Blog
- Small World Buttons
- Alex's Etsy Site
- The International Zine Month Blog
- Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast
- The Copy Scams
- Alex Wrekk Does Stuff and things on facebook
- Portland Button Works
|Zines: Fun In A Bucket (1995-1998) • Brainscan (1997-current) • I'm A Wrekk (1999) • Crossing the Rubicon (2001) • Fire Apparatus (2002) • Is It July Yet? (split, 2002) • Don't Send Me Flowers (2002) • Stolen Sharpie Revolution (2002) • Birthdays & Christmas / Faking Distance (split, 2004) • Timezones & Statelines (split, 2006)|
|Contributions to other zines: Coffeeshop Crushes (????) • Make Something (book, ????) • O #4 (????) • Eyecandy (????) • You Can Work Any 100 Hours Per Week You Want (In Your Underwear)!! (2006)|
|Podcasts: Zinester Podcasts: Brainscan #21 (2006)|
|Audio CDs: IPRC Audio Zine ("Between the Lines", 2004)|
|Documentaries: $100 & A T-Shirt (DVD, 2004)|