These vending machines don’t pop out any candy, but thanks to an enterprising Calgarian, the “Zine Machine” provides something equally as sweet.
Karlene Nicolajsen is one of the founders of Small Ghosts — an independent press that is literally run out of a closet.
Nicolajsen said since high school she’s been producing zines, which are do-it-yourself, small circulation, pamphlet-style printings that have a wide variety of content.
She said after coming across a larger electronic zine vending machine in Montreal, she decided to bring something similar to Calgary and his since refurbished two old vending machines for the production of locally-made zines.
“The Zine Machine is sort of to get more distribution for people making zines in Calgary, and also to have them available and stumbled upon by people who don’t really know what they are,” she said.
The vending machines take four quarters for a zine, and the content in each machine varies from poetry, to fiction, to collage art and everything in between. They focus specifically on content produced in Canada and in Calgary.
“Definitely when people come across it, they’re a little surprised,” said Nicolajsen
Sandy Davies of Shelf Life Books on 4th St S.W., where Zine Machine #2 is currently housed, said the project has generated a lot of interest from their customers.
“We’ve got nothing but positive comments,” she said. “You come upon it and it’s like a little magical, make-you-happy kind of thing.”
Nicolajsen said they plan to rotate the machines around the city every few months, and are currently seeking a new home for Zine Machine #1.
For more information on the Zine Machine, visit zinemachine.ca.