Fat Unicorn Makes Zines

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Fat-Positive Songs

Wondering what song you heard in the workshop? Wondering what songs were intended for play (if a song didn’t get played, there just wasn’t enough time to play it – there’s over seven hours of fatness!)?

When making a ‘zine, I’ve always found it inspirational to listen to music I thought it would be awesome to play a list of fat-positive songs during the fat queer/trans* ‘zinemaking techniques workshop I coordinated at NOLOSE 2011.

Without further ado:

Big and Chunky – will.i.am
Make Your Own Kind of Music – Cass Elliot
Make Your Own Kind of Music (Remix of Cass Elliot) – Mathieu Bouthier & The Muttonheads
Fat Girl – Creamy Goodness
Fat Boys – Fat Boys
Pop Goes the World – Gossip
Big Girls Don’t Cry – Edie & The Eggs (Edith Massey)
Middle of the Sea – Stacy Bias
Lulu’s Back in Town – Fats Waller
The Fat Man – Fats Domino
Fat Bottom Girls – Vitamin String Quartet
Big Red Caboose – Kristie Agee & Big Potential
That What Makes My Baby Fat – Faye Adams & Joe Morris Blues Cavalcade
I Don’t Want To Get Thin – Sophie Tucker
Happy Being Fat (Featuring Little Eva) – Big Dee Irwin & The Diamonds
Jolly Fat Man – Tony Sacco
normal is – arjuna greist
I Wrote the Book – Beth Ditto
Don Juan Highway – Creamy Goodness
Lost Control – Tricrotic
Where You Is – Fat Daddy Holmes
The Ones Who Love You – Toshi Reagon
Fat Bottomed Girls – Queen
Scooter Phat Ft. God-Des – Nedra Johnson
Baby Phat (ft. Devin The Dude) – De La Soul
Big Girl Things – Angela
Sista Big Bones Anthony Hamilton
I’m Super – Big Gay Al
Video – India.Arie
Curvy Girls – The Jolly Rogers
You Are What You Love – Austin J. Austin
Three Hundred Pounds of Joy – Howlin’ Wolf
A Big Butter and Egg Man – Louis Armstrong
Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) – MIKA
Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others – The Smiths
Switcheroo (Live at MWCAC) – Creamy Goodness
King Size Papa Julia Lee
Toast – Creamy Goodness
F**k Machine – Nicky Click
Vallejo Bridge – Creamy Goodness
Panini Puakea – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Kindness – Toshi Reagon
Fat Bottomed Girls (Glee Cast Version) – Glee Cast
I’m The Fat Man – John Greer & His Rhythm Rockers
Thick Girls – 2nd II None
Big Girls Are Best – U2
Bearded Clam – Fatty & The Hamslappers
It Takes A Great Big Woman – Lynne Jordan & The Shivers
Drop That Booty – Nicky Click vs. Timezone LaFontaine
Big Bottom – Spinal Tap
Perfect 10 – The Beautiful South
You’re the One for Me, Fatty – Morrissey
Just What I Needed – Toshi Reagon
Heavy Women – Ray Schinnery
Passion (Ragga Remix) – Cardenia
All For Me – Cass Elliot
Just Enough – Toshi Reagon
Big Love – Toshi Reagon
Girl For All Seasons – Northern State
Hey, Fat Girl – Rosco Gordon
Fat Meat Is Good Meat – Kristie Agee & Big Potential
Colors – Toshi Reagon
Meat On Their Bones – Kristie Agee & Big Potential
Thick Girls – Terrell Carter
A Huggin’ and a Chalkin’ – Hoagy Carmichael
Fat Man Louie & The Fat Men
My Big Fat Baby Sonny Hall & Echoes
Different (Craiguito Remix) – Cass Elliot
Little Bitty Man – Lou Walker
Fat Boys (A Love Song) Uncle Bonsai
I Got the Feeling – Two Tons O’ Fun
Feel It (Phunkk Mob Remix) – Two Tons O’ Fun
It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
Big Fat Mama – Chuck Higgins
Another Fat Song – Uncle Bonsai
Suffragette City – David Bowie
Big Fat Blonde – The Rainmakers
Dare to Be Fat – Root Boy Slim
They Call Me Big Mama – Big Mama Thornton
Big Legged Woman – Jimmy “Mr. Blues” Williams
Masturbation Song – Stacy Bias
Big Fat Mama – King Perry
Fat Mama Blues – Stomp Gordon
Big Leg Mama – Van Walls & The Rockets
Fat Fat Fat – Don McKinnon
Not A Girl – Nomy Lamm
I Hate/I Love – Toshi Reagon
Fatty Patty – Lee Pickett & The Screamers
I Need a Miracle – Grateful Dead
Roly Poly – Joey Dee & The Starliters
Big Fat Mama – Gene Phillips & His Rhythm Aces
Big Fat Mamas Are Back in Style Again – Bull Moose Jackson
Coney Island Washboard Woman – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Spit – KISS
Tubby Tilly – Larry Verne
Skin & Bone – The Kinks
Miracle – Nomy Lamm
Fit, Fat and Fine – Candye Kane
Unskinny Bop – Poison
Fatty Hattie – Ray Gerdsen
Whole Lotta Rosie – AC/DC
Egyptian-Ella – Willie “The Lion” Smith
High Femme Girlfriend (featuring Cindy Wonderful) – Nicky Click
I’m the Toughest Girl Alive – Candye Kane
Dimestore Diamond – Gossip
Fat Mama – Ronnie Molleen
That Big Fat Mama – Paul “Georgia Boy” Kimble
Kana’i Aupuni – Kamakawiwo’ole
La ‘Elima – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Big Legged Mamas Are Back In Style Again – Taj Mahal
Big-Boned Gal (Remix) – k.d. lang
Fat Gal – Merle Travis
Chunky People – Hargus “Pig” Robbins
Now That We Found Love – Heavy D & The Boyz
Big Huge World – Tricrotic
Dressed In Black – Gossip
Cruel Intentions (feat. Beth Ditto) – Simian Mobile Disco
I Like ‘Em Fat Like That – Louis Jordan
Heavy Cross – Gossip
Fat Gal – Otis Redding
Whole Lotta Rosie – Alexx & the Moonshiners
Big Leg Mama – James Freeman
Big Poppa – Notorious B.I.G.
Whole Lotta Rosie – Mandowar
Belly Up – Nomy Lamm
Set Adrift On Memory Bliss (Radio Edit) – P.M. Dawn
Get On the Floor and Dance – Nicky Click


To create this list, I exhausted the resources in my own music collection, and then I relied heavily on Wayback Machined pages from the FaTGiRL website (which was at that time a subarea of the Fat!So? website)*, the Dimensions Magazine Mostly Fat-Friendly Lyric Archive, Nomy Lamm’s website, and Max Airborne’s website. A large trove of overwhelmingly-fat-positive, fat-related Blues songs exists at the unfortunately-named Doctor Fuckwit site. I also took songs from the top-5/10-songlists and comments made at the lovely Big Fat Deal Blog and the recent not-so-lovely-but-still-useful Gothamist post.

My criteria for inclusion are songs that are fat-positive in nature, that is to say, songs that are supportive of worth/health at every size, fatness, fat people, and/or a particular aspect of fat culture. I chose to place more emphasis on songs that have queer/trans* themes, and on music by queer/trans* people. The Dimensions Magazine folks asked folks to send in “songs that make you feel good about being fat,” and I liked that guideline, but I realize what makes one person feel good about being fat is different from what makes another person feel good about being fat (or any other body size/shape). I chose songs from a broad range of musical styles, from the early 20th century to the present year. Much like ‘zines themselves, songs about fatness are not new. I chose songs by fat artists that either focus on fat liberation, or reflect the amazing range and artistry of fierce, fearless fat musicians. Also: I included some fat musical artists who I have a giant crush on. I read all the lyrics available, listened to every song I could find (and some songs required a lot of hunting and digging to find), and made an individual assessment on whether I felt that each song/artist belonged in this list. And although I worked on this list for about a month, I certainly didn’t find (or have time to look for) “everything.” There are also a few songs and a few bands (like any recordings from Twisted Kishka, Obeast, Bucktooth Varmints, Barbara Millward’s “Food Police,” Arlis Tyner’s “Big Fat Woman,” the “By The Pound” album by Lardass, et cetera) that I would have liked to find and perhaps include, but which I couldn’t locate.

My standards for fat-positive, fat-friendly, or fat liberation songs for this list may be different from yours. Creating a playlist sometimes implies an unexamined approach to its contents, so it may appear that this is the case, but I hope not. For instance, just because the original Queen version “Fat Bottomed Girls” is on this list, it doesn’t mean I am comfortable with the racist lyric, “heap big woman”** (which is also just one reason I did not include “Ms. Fat Booty” by Mos Def). Including “Big Poppa” by Notorious B.I.G. doesn’t mean I am comfortable with sexist language. Though there are some cases where I didn’t include a possibly fat-positive song because an artist also created fatphobic media (as in the case of Adam Ant/Adam and the Ants, with an unreleased song called Fat Fun that is so tasteless, it taints my view of their size-friendly “Five Guns West” and “Prince Charming”). Or because I included songs where fat people are portrayed as being jolly, jiggly, eating, compartmentalized into individual body parts, or as food-metaphor-like creatures with superhuman strength, it doesn’t mean that I think stereotypes are okay (don’t get me started on South Park). And lastly, there are otherwise lovely songs that include jabs at people who are not fat, and this isn’t cool with me, either.

We have to start somewhere, though. Let’s open a dialogue between the fat-related media that exists, and the fat-related media we wish existed. Let’s talk about imagery, words, ideas, and other things we want to reclaim, and let’s talk about the things we do not to reclaim. What are the holes and detriments to the existing body of work?

In addition, the songs that were more than a little ambiguous or straight-up fatphobic (like these) went into another playlist that I’ll post here, later on. What songs would go on either of YOUR lists (or on a fat-ambiguous list)?

(PS, you can listen to or download the audio for the Fat Unicorn ‘Zinemaking Techniques Workshop instructions and resource guide list HERE.)

* In addition, the songs at the Waybacked FaTGiRL link were “initially compiled from a discussion on the soc.support.fat-acceptance newsgroup.” One thing that shocked me when I visited this group is that it is still in use today…but not for its original purpose. Soc.support.fat-acceptance is currently a posting wonderland of racist, fatphobic, homophobic bigotry. I wonder when the shift occurred?

** The Glee cast recording version of “Fat Bottomed Girls” includes a changed lyric, “hey big woman.” And the Vitamin String Quartet version is (as expected) 100% instrumental. Score.

Audio of the Fat Unicorn ‘Zinemaking Techniques Workshop Guide

Here’s the full audio of the Fat Unicorn ‘Zinemaking Techniques Workshop techniques and resource guide:

Fat Unicorn ‘Zinemaking Techniques Workshop on Vocaroo

Apparently, Vocaroo deletes audio recordings automatically after two months, so if anyone else has any great ideas as to where I can host this after September 3rd, 2011, please let me know.

This workshop was presented on July 8th at NOLOSE 2011.

Some ‘Zine Resources to Get You Started

Listen to or download the audio for this list HERE.


The Book of Zines: Reading from the Fringe, edited by Chip Rowe (printed: Owl Books, 1996)
“The zine and e-zine resource guide,” now online. A highly-referenced print and online clearinghouse for zine-related media and information links, from creation and distribution to legal issues, catalogs, archives, libraries, reviews, recommendations, events, and lots more.

Broken Pencil: The Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts
Canadian online and print magazine with excellent articles. See the Events section below, too.

Microcosm Publishing
Well-recommended online community, store, distributor, and collection of links.

Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture, edited by Stephen Duncombe
A Haymarket Series release from the mid-1990s, described as being scholarly/academic in nature.

Zine Wiki
The independent media Wikipedia.

Zine World (print and online Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press)
A “source for reviews and information about zines, comics, self-published books, chapbooks, and other DIY stuff. [A]n extensive guide to zine culture.” They also maintain a Prisoner Subscription Fund.


Bildwechsel(Hamburg, Germany)
From their website, “bildwechsel is an umbrella organisation for women, and their communities, who are involved in media, culture and art. recognising and celebrating the diverse and changing communities we live and work within we use the term woman+ – to reflect our inclusiveness to those that support us and work alongside us. with its main base in hamburg, bildwechsel acts as a platform and as an infrastructure to: support and develop their own work, projects, ideas; find out about the work of others; make connections; develop new initiatives; and build up archival collections that represent their work.”

Papercut Zine Library
A zine library in Somerville (near Boston), Massachusetts, USA with over 14,000 pieces of media, including other forms of media and indie media.

Queer Zine Archive Project
Scan or mail in your ‘zines of your own creation, or other queercentric ‘zines.

Rock Paper Scissors Zine Library (Oakland, California, USA)
A zine library with over 2,500 items in it – in this very workshop city!

Buying/Finding & Selling

365 Zines A Year
This blog reviews zines and minicomics every single day.

Alpacha Distro
Located inside Forte Fanfulla in Rome, Italy, Alpacha is a shop for DIY media and more.

Atomic Books
Online and brick-and-mortar shop featuring “’literary finds for mutated minds” in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Over 1,200 zine product listings on their website.

New York City, USA feminist bookstore, fair trade café, activist center

City Lights
This bookstore in San Francisco, California, USA has a nice selection of zines.

Factsheet Five
Long-running, onetime print and now online guide to ‘zines, indie media, and DIY culture.

Food For Thought
Not-for-profit workers’ collective bookstore in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.

Grrrl Zine Network
Grrrl, Lady, Queer, and Trans Folk Zines. You can quickly view the site in at least 15 languages.

Pride & Joy
Shop in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA focused on serving bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, and trans* communities with books, indie media, gifts, and events.

Punks is Hippies
Online DIY punk zine archive. Good tagging by era, name, and other criteria.

Quimby’s (Quimby’s Queer Store)
Online and brick-and-mortar store with tons of zines and indie media in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Red Emma’s
Leftie/Communist collective bookstore and coffeehouse in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Renegade Handmade
An online and brick-and-mortar shop in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Spill the Zines!
A collaborative UK zine review blog with a good links section.

Sticky Institute
An online resource with a brick-and-mortar shop in Victoria, Australia.

Stolen Sharpie Revolution by Alex Wrekk
A zine guide to making zines.

Sweet Candy Distro
Tattooed-mama-owned online and brick-and-mortar distro in Olympia, Washington (formerly of Georgia), USA.

Underground Press’s list of stores and distros
This list includes not only stores and distributors that carry Underground Press, but those stores and distros recommended by UP readers.

U.S.S. Catastrophe
Online distro/shop for mini/self-published comics. Links to creators’ blogs and shops, also.

Wooden Shoe Books and Records, Inc.
All-volunteer, anarchist collective in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


“Canada’s Largest Zine Fair and Festival of Alternative Culture.” There’s an annual one in Toronto and now there’s another in Vancouver. Organized by Broken Pencil.

London Zine Symposium
As in other cities around the world, this London, UK zine symposium happens annually.

Portland Zine Symposium
The Portland Zine Symposium is a free, two-day conference and social gathering in Oregon, USA, celebrating independent publishing.

Small Press Expo (SPX)
A weekend of comic arts, cartooning, graphic novels, and other related independent media that takes place in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Small Press Book Fair
Dozens of these happen in locations all over North America and throughout the world.

Zine World’s Upcoming Events list
Changes periodically, and encourages folks to contact event organizers before ANY event.


Fanzines: The DIY Revolution by Teal Triggs (Chronicle Press, 2010)
This book is huge in format, length, and scope of the zines it discusses in its several articles and numerous short blurbs. The book is comprised mostly of scans of the zines’ covers themselves. Chapter Four (called “Girl Power and Personal Politics 1990-1997”) contains cover images from fat activist zines like FaT GiRL (“a zine for fat dykes and the women who want them”), Fat!So? (“for people who don’t apologize for their size”), and Unskinny Bop (which “aimed to honor the work of fat people in popular music”). Be even more aware that Triggs occasionally uses language like “overweight.” Extensive bibliography, including lots of books, articles, and ‘zines. Be aware also of the site fanzinesbytealtriggs.weebly.com, which claims that “Unfortunately, a great deal of the artwork contained within [Fanzine] was included without the permission of the original artists, and in some cases, mis-credited or not credited at all. Teal herself has refused to answer many of the emails sent to her in regards to this matter, and has ignored calls for apologies and / or compensation. To make matters worse, much of the information provided in her essays is blatantly untrue.” I wonder if the FaT GiRL collective, Marilyn Wann, Charlotte Cooper, et al, are even aware of the fact that their ‘zines are in this book…


The Decorated Journal, by Gwen Diehn (Lark Books, 2005)
It’s a book of finished inspirational examples and breakdowns of artistic techniques and materials for making “expressive journal pages” that can also be useful for zinemakers. I really like their pages on materials, which are well-designed and comprehensive. The related link is a link to a book review by Kirsty Hall.

Start Your Own Zine by Veronika Kalmar (Hyperion, 1997)
Though outdated in certain respects (this was before the blog boom, for example), this book is still very useful, and covers everything from budgeting to excellent grammar, in simple language and with accompanying glossaries. Its author, Veronika Kalmar, is a professional writer and former zinemaker. This book is also referenced here.

Bookbinding for Book Artists by Keith Smith (Keith A. Smith Books, 1998)
This book was recommended by Gwen Diehn in The Decorated Journal.

Whatcha Mean, What’s A Zine? by Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson (Graphia, 2006)
A collaborative book (featuring pieces from about two dozen “creators of indie comics and magazines”), Whatcha Mean is a book about making zines and mini-comics, and has great sections on bindings, photocopier tricks, and Great Moments in Zine History. Nice, concise resource section. The link above is to a review of this book by Amy of Pikaland.

Making Books, with Luther H. Evans, PhD and the Library of Congress

Encyclopedia Brittanica Films Inc.’s old collaborative film has been showcased by user Ziptrivia, and is a fascinating, unintentially funny movie about how much labor (and sexism/racism) it took to create a book back in 1947. There are tons of ‘zinemaking, bookmaking, and other DIY craft videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and other sites. Note: Publicly-available closed-captioning of YouTube videos (a project by Google engineer Ken Harrenstien) started in March of 2010, so even if a video wasn’t actively captioned to begin with, as a viewer you can sometimes press a button and get a rough CC translation, or as a video maker, you can use YouTube’s native tools to create a closed caption, or you can use a free online tool called CaptionTube to create and edit closed captions in multiple languages, and then to export those created captions so you can upload them to your YouTube account.

The Xeric Foundation
The Xeric Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation established by Peter Laird, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Since 1992, they’ve awarded over two million dollars to comic-book creators and non-profit orgs. Apply for grants so you can fund your indie publications/creations!

Zine Scene by Francesca Lia Block and Hillary Carlip (Girl Press, 1998)
The illustrated DIY guide to zines and zinemaking. The links above are to a review by Rambles, and to both authors’ websites.


‘Zine by Pagan Kennedy (St. Martin’s Griffin, 1995)
Pagan Kennedy reprints and rehashes the six years she spent (1988-1994) creating Pagan’s Head.

Online Communities & Resources
(Things change fast on the Internet, so just search, click links, and fall down your own rabbit holes!)

LiveJournal (search for communities and individual users via “Interests”)
http://zinesters.livejournal.com/ is just ONE good example of an active ‘zine group on LJ.

WMZ (We Make Zines)
Amazing resource place for zinesters, both writers and readers alike.

Great ‘zine podcast.

Alt.zines (you can read it through Google Groups)

Yahoo groups (email and online forums; there are other sites, too)

MySpace and other social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, Etsy, etc)


A source for thermographic (heat transfer) foil. We used a silver-backed color called SP-158-8 in a July 8th zine techniques workshop.

Dover Publications
Great source of inexpensive books/DVDs of copyright-free clip art, and if you sign up for their sampler email, you’ll get free samples regularly.

Staple-free stapler
They kind of weave sheets of paper together in one spot, without needing any staples. This looks cool and saves metal. There are way cheaper ones, by far, but this one is neat because you can “staple” up to seven sheets of paper. Keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to use this kind of “stapler” to “staple” the middle of a ‘zine, only the corner – but who knows? Experimentation station!

Flexcon is a company that makes sticky media, like industrial-use stickers. They used to let teachers (and maybe other creative folks) visit their building in Spencer, MA, USA and pick up scraps of stuff from a special overstock area: letters, shiny things, sheets and rolls of stuff to cut out, trace, color, and STICK. I imagine other industrial sticker-y (and other relevant production) places exist, and doing research to locate and contact them could reap excellent benefits for your material inventory!

Fat, Queer & Trans* ‘Zine of Note for 2011

A Queer and Trans Fat Activist Timeline, by Charlotte Cooper 2011
This zine explores and reproduces in print the fat activism timeline created by participants in Charlotte Cooper’s workshop at NOLOSE 2010. The print run has sold out, but the zine can be downloaded in visual and audio formats at her fat activist blog at the link above.