Burgundy Bug’s Zine Portfolio
The Burgundy ZineLaunched in Dec. 2018, The Burgundy Zine is a blog that releases bi-monthly compilations of the blog content throughout the month in the form of a themed digital zine. The content is a blend of articles by burgundy bug and guest contributors from around the globe. Each issue of The Burgundy Zine is available for free online and may be downloaded as PDF.
A Bit of Context...Initially, The Burgundy Zine was intended to be a 15-page monthly publication. However, the community quickly grew and prompted burgundy bug to transition the publication to a bi-monthly format in 2020.
The Burgundy Zine #17: Fall Into Science
“There are few things in this world that I love more than science, art, and autumn. From the mosaic colors that line the mountainous horizons of Pennsylvania’s windy backroads to cool weather, knee-high boots, blazers, pumpkins, and Halloween, what’s not to love about the season?
Meanwhile, science is at the core of The Burgundy Zine’s foundation. When I’m not plowing through research papers, I’m either doodling or daydreaming about the day in which I finally get to do some research myself.
Needless to say, this current theme is a bit of a self-indulgent one. In honor of going back to school this fall to pursue my Health Sciences degree, and in honor of all things autumn, our community has curated a niche blend of content to encompass both halves of this issue’s topic.
In a time where experts around the globe are encouraging you to “LISTEN TO SCIENCE,” we encourage you to fall into the subject with us.
Stay safe, stay healthy — and for the sake of students, teachers, and humanity as a whole, don’t forget to wear your mask.”
The Burgundy Zine #16: Skin Care, Self Care
“Self care has seemingly invaded every corner of our existence: it has penetrated our timelines, inboxes, and advertisements.
Yet, self care is a delicate, unique process that must be tailored to into how to relates to every individual’s life.
Furthermore, self care has found itself diluted by an air of toxic positivity that leaves many rolling their eyes at the very mention it.
For this issue of The Burgundy Zine, we wanted to tackle self care from multiple angles. Throughout our digital magazine, you will find yourself enriched by articles about self care from personal, medical, and artistic perspectives.
We also wanted to sprinkle in self care, as the summer sun can wreak havoc on your precious dermis.
Stay safe, stay healthy — and for the sake of humanity, don’t forget to wear your mask.”
Editor’s notes: I had a lot of fun with the artwork and graphic design throughout this issue, and I feel it’s particularly apparent in the poetry section. I’ve always struggled with laying out poetry in The Burgundy Zine… Even after releasing an entire “Art and Poetry” issue. I want it to be engaging, graphic, and clear.
Layering a the poetry on a translucent block overlays a stock photo truly encompassed all of those values, in my opinion.
This issue also had over 90 contributors, which is just mindblowing. I can’t thank everyone enough.
The Burgundy Zine #15: Go Green
“‘When you were growing up, did you ever think you’d witness a pandemic and climate change?’ I asked my mother a few weeks ago.
‘No,’ she replied. ‘I figured it would happen in the very distant future. Nobody took climate change seriously when I was your age. Did you think you’d see it in your lifetime?’
‘When I was in elementary school, I figured the arctic would melt in my lifetime, but not until I was very, very old,’ I replied, staring at the ceiling. ‘I didn’t think sea levels would begin to rise until I was already a grandmother.’
News flash: sea levels are rising, polar bears are dying – and this is just the tip of the ice berg.
Throughout this issue, we highlight various environmental issues facing our generation and pay homage to mother Earth, who has continuously given us her all and asks for nothing in return.
Perhaps we should all take a page out of Earth’s book every once in awhile.”
Editor’s notes: Scrolling through this issue a week prior to the release, you’d have thought it would’ve taken at least another month to complete… When I had everything wrapped up and ready to go a whole day before the release, I was flabbergasted.
Spring 2020 has been a blur for all of us, to say the least. Quarantine fugue has taken ahold of souls across the globe. Additionally, I went through quite a few huge transitions during this time period; some were exhilarating, others were heartwrenching. At one point, I remember questioning whether I’d be able to pull myself together and produce another zine by May.
Nevertheless, I picked myself up by my tendrils and let my workaholic tendencies take the wheel. I absolutely adore how this issue of The BZ came to fruition, not to stroke my own ego. It flows wonderfully, the design is consistent, and the content from our guest contributors is absolutely incredible. I feel so blessed to have such a positive outlet to redirect my energy and focus toward.
The Burgundy Zine #14: Healing
“‘Healing’ in itself is a versatile word. It may refer to the physical or mental health, personal or spiritual growth, or the literal process of healing.
Healing is a very sensitive topic near and dear to our hearts. While we are self-proclaimed science nerds, fascinated by health and medicine, many of us have dealt with our own healing journeys.
Throughout this issue, you will find articles on recent clinical trials, health advice, and personal stories of healing.
We hope to deliver this topic with as much sensitivity as it merits.”
Editor’s notes: To date, this is the largest issue of The Burgundy Zine: 164 pages (with smaller type setting) and a total of 75 content creators contributed to this issue. This is the first bi-monthly issue of The Burgundy Zine, and it’s also the first zine to have an entire character centered around its theme, the “Blue Girl.”
The cover is another highlight of this zine, as it embodies a heavy hand of symbolism that’s left for the reader to interpret; perhaps the eye represents “awakening,” perhaps the blue girl represents rising from your healing journey, perhaps the mushrooms represent connectedness or abundance, perhaps the hands are a reference to a higher being.
Or, perhaps it’s just a “trippy cover.”
In any case, creating The BZ #14 was a tremendous and enriching experience that’ll forever stand out in my heart. Everyone was such a pleasure to work with throughout this issue and it finally encouraged me to open up a bit about a topic that I’ve been meaning to discuss publicly since The BZ #8: my own “healing journey.”
The Burgundy Zine #13: Dawn of a New Decade
“The theme for Jan. 2020, the thirteenth issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘Dawn of a New Decade.’
The 2010s were a whirlwind for all of us: from technological, cultural, and political shifts to the shifts taking place in our own personal journeys.
With the turn of this new decade, let’s take a moment to reflect on what has shaped us over the last 10 years and how we’ve grown stronger individually and collectively.
Editor’s notes: Yeah, remember when 2020 first started and everyone was so eager to kick off the new decade? Little did we know what was waiting for us. All in all, this is is the last issue of The Burgundy Zine before the transition into a bi-monthly format. It’s also the last issue to feature an 18-pt typesetting for every article – a design choice I finally realized wasn’t necessary after printing out a few test pages (I had used 18-pt because it was easier to work with a larger font in Pages. Plus, I figured it a larger font would make it a bit more optimized for reading on a screen, but a 12-pt font actually makes the digital zine experience more enjoyable, in my opinion, because the text isn’t JUMPING AT YOUR FACE).
The BZ #13 features some New Year inspiration as well as personal reflections on what the 2010s meant for our community. This is yet another theme that connected me with some truly brilliant writers and musicians!
The Burgundy Zine #12: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Craftmas
“The theme for Dec. 2019, the twelfth issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘Craftmas.’
Ah, yes. The air is heavy with the scent of the holiday season; chestnuts roasting on an open fire, sweaty customers packed into shopping lines, and fresh ink on glossy rectangles.
Yet, we often leave the personally enriching and economical route unexplored: DIY. Creativity is an ocean, all you have to do is cast your line to make for a memorable time.”
Editor’s notes: Although I haven’t been allotted with as much time to scrapbook as I used to, I absolutely love crafting. Few things in life make me happier than giving out handcrafted cards and stickers!
The BZ #12 takes a very lighthearted approach to the holiday season, featuring articles on DIY gingerbread houses, snowman gift bags, handpainted seashells, stickers, and photographs of Longwood Garden’s infamous Christmas display.
The Burgundy Zine #11: History and Holidays
“The theme for Nov. 2019, the eleventh issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘History and Holidays.’
With the holidays rapidly approaching, further punctuating the eclipse of this decade, we wanted to pay homage to history while getting our readers in the holiday spirit.
We wish you a bountiful Thanksgiving and a very merry holiday season.
Editor’s notes: I’ll be honest. The October issue spilling into November did evoke a bit of fear in me: What if it doesn’t live up to the hype of The Burgundy Zine #10? Is it too much work to release two zines in one month when I’m also juggling work, finals, and testing out of two college courses? Am I truly well-versed enough in history to create a history-themed zine?
Not only did this zine still come out on time, I still aced all my finals, tested out of two college courses, and graduated with two Associate’s degrees shortly after this issue was released. In terms of content, this theme connected me with so many talented and intriguing history bloggers. I truly love the outcome of The BZ #11 with all of my heart and the cover cracks me up every time I see it.
The BZ #11 features history-related articles, such as: a tour through the Newsuem (shortly before it closed its doors permanently), a very educated perspective on sex throughout history, enchanting articles about historical sites, all with holiday-inspired content woven throughout the zine.
The Burgundy Zine #10: Spooky Psychology
“The theme for Oct. 2019, the tenth issue of The Burgundy Zine is, ‘Spooky Psychology.’
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week, Oct. 6 through Oct. 12, and in the spirit of Halloween, we decided to blend horror and anxiety through our exploration of cognitive sciences.
In this issue, we explore dreaming, neurochemistry, and animal psychology. We also cover various Halloween-inspired topics to maintain a sense of lighthearted equilibrium.
Editor’s notes: Real talk? This issue still haunts my nightmares. There had been so much anticipation leading up this issue, from being a topic that I’ve studied extensively throughout college to the sheer number of people who came together and contributed to The Burgundy Zine #10. The BZ #10 reignited my love for science and played a major role in redirecting me back onto my course to a degree in health sciences. This is also the first issue where I had access to the full Adobe Suite (and it made a tremendous difference).
But alas. On Oct. 27, one day before the zine’s release, Adobe InDesign crashed… I spent days trying to recover the file – even during my business trip to Washington D.C., I was troubleshooting every which way in a futile attempt to salvage the data lost.
Right when I thought all hope was lost, Adobe’s amazing customer data recovery department was able to retrieve the file. It took some back and forth correspondence. At first, they thought it wouldn’t be possible to recover, but somehow, by the grace of all that is good in this world, they managed to pull it off (hence the November release date for the October zine).
The Burgundy Zine #9: Back to School
“The theme for Sept. 2019, the ninth issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘Back to School.’
I know, I know. How the hell is someone who was homeschooled supposed to release a whole magazine about going to school?
Well, I was only homeschooled from ages 12 to 16, graduated, and began college on the cusp of 17. Sure, I didn’t get a traditional high school experience, but I’ve always had a passion for learning, which only further fueled my non-traditional academic pursuits.”
Editor’s notes: This is the last issue of The Burgundy Zine that was created using Pages, a free macOS application. After playing around with a variety of different layouts, and due to all the graphic design I was doing at my former day-job, I knew it was time for a switch to something with a few more bells and whistles. Still, I remember feeling so proud of how the graphics and photo stories panned out in this issue.
The BZ #9 features a compilation of education-related articles, including: school safety, college advice, essay writing tips, back to school fashion, saving money on school supplies, and homeschool resources.
The Burgundy Zine #8: Reflections
“The theme for Aug. 2019, the eighth issue of The Burgundy Zine is, ‘Reflections.’
I had originally intended on doing an entire issue of our ‘What in the World of Burgundy Bug’ section in the spirit of my birthday month.
However, I wanted a theme everyone could participate in – after all, our guest content is what makes The Burgundy Zine what it is.
I decided upon the theme of ‘Reflections,’ encouraging fellow bloggers to reflect upon their experiences with me.”
Editor’s notes: August 2019 was a very introspective time period for me – in part, due to my ‘birthday month,’ but I was also entering the last semester of college, and “Reflections” seemed to neatly bundle up all of those feelings in one comprehensive zine. Plus, it was a much-more open-ended topic than simply doing an entire month of “What in the World of Burgundy Bug.”
I absolutely adore the content from our guest contributors featured throughout this issue. To this day, I’m very touched by the articles like, “Returning to Syria.”
The Burgundy Zine #7: Art & Poetry
“The theme for July 2019, the seventh issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘Art and Poetry.’
Early on, we knew we wanted to do an art and poetry issue and decided July would be best. That was in February.
We started reaching out to our favorite artists and poets around the cusp of June and July while new writers, artists, and musicians alike contacted us with unbelievable content each day.
Needless to say, we were blown away by the amount of talent everyone who contributed to this issue has.”
Editor’s notes: My day trips into the city were another driving force of inspiration for this zine. I took every opportunity that presented itself to me to spend from morning ’till night venturing from one bookstore and café to another until I’d eventually retire home with more books than I could carry. Additionally, I had my eyes diligently on the lookout for every “pay-what-you-wish” admission to museums and galleries throughout the city. When I wasn’t bookstore, café, or museum hopping, I was sitting in the park or riding the EL, writing poetry in my pocket journals or reading.
The BZ #7 features my own poetry and artwork, as well as the poetry and art from many talented creators across the internet. This issue was truly a delight to craft and still stands out as a favorite of mine.
The Burgundy Zine #6: Summer
“The theme for June 2019, the sixth issue of The Burgundy Zine is, ‘Summer.'”
Editor’s notes: With the semester wrapping up and my very first SEPTA card in hand, I was determined to take my freedom for a stroll and frolic as far away as a subway or a bus could take me during this seemingly fleeting period of liberation. In a way, I suppose I wanted this issue of the zine to reflect the awe and wonder of being a young adult through its colorful visuals and content.
The BZ #6 features articles about summer skincare, fashion, keeping cool, and the environment. I had also scored an interview with the NOAA for this issue, which, you know damn well I humble-bragged about for at least two or three months.
Burgundy bug fun fact: From here on out, I vowed to make each issue even more graphic driven than the last, and I felt it really started to show by the Sept. 2019 issue.
The Burgundy Zine #5: Be Present – Culture
“The theme for May 2019, the fifth issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘Be Present – Culture.'”
Editor’s notes: After a trip to New York, I thought it would be interesting to explore culture through the perspectives of interviewees and guest contributors. The BZ #5 features articles on the culture of Philadelphia, cannabis culture, and various subgenres of internet culture.
The Burgundy Zine #4: Cannabis
“The theme for April 2019, the fourth issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘cannabis.'”
Editor’s notes: My partner and I used to run a series called “Strain of the Week,” in which we would both review the same strain of cannabis purchased from a medical marijuana dispensary in PA. Although the series has been on hiatus since fall 2019, many readers still find The Burgundy Zine through our previous reviews and we still receive emails about it on a regular basis.
Naturally, it felt like a zine celebrating the infamous “4/20” was in order.
In addition to our reviews, The BZ #4 features a guide for patients looking to get their medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania, the history of cannabis use, and coverage of local cannabis-related events.
The Burgundy Zine #3: Grow
“The theme for March 2019, the third issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘Grow.'”
Editor’s notes: The BZ #3 features a blend of nature-inspired articles and lifestyle articles. Burgundy Bug fun fact: I was so inspired after working on this issue that I briefly considered minoring in ecology.
The Burgundy Zine #2: Fashioning Passions
“The theme for February 2019, the second issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘Fashioning Passions.'”
Editor’s notes: By the second issue, The Burgundy Zine had already gone beyond its intention of a “15-page” format. Granted, the type-setting is quite large, but alas.
The BZ #2 features articles about the neuroscience behind falling in love, date ideas for when you’re “broke AF,” and guest contributor articles about their passions, which include traveling, sewing, and performing, to name a few.
The Burgundy Zine #1: More Money, First Issues
“The theme for January 2019, the very first issue of The Burgundy Zine, is ‘More Money, First Issues.'”
Editor’s notes: The BZ #1 centers itself around financial advice geared towards college students, although it could be applied to anyone. Additionally, this issue features articles about New Year’s Resolutions and photo stories.