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March 27, 2019

Weezine Omnibus

As I thoroughly documented in my book Weezer Fan: Phase 7 #017-#019, I have been a superfan of the band Weezer since their early days, and have even been lucky enough to create some official merch for them, including tour posters and T-shirt designs.

I joined the weezer fan club in 1996, which was originally run by sisters Mykel and Carli Allan. One of the coolest things about the fan club was that a couple of times a year Mykel and Carli would mail out issues of the weezer fan club zine, weezine. Not only were these packed with tons of fun information about the band, upcoming releases, dispatches from the tour (the original Karl's Corner!), and drawings/photos from various fan club members, it was also my first exposure to self-published zine culture!

Over the years, I managed to assemble a complete run of the zines by taking advantage of occasional offers to sell off remaining copies of back issues, offered by Karl Koch when he took over fan club operations after Mykel and Carli tragically died in a car crash while on tour with the band in the summer of 1997.

In 2014, the weezer fan club was relaunched, just before the release of the band's ninth studio album Everything Will Be Alright In The End. I (of course) joined the current iteration of the fan club, which mostly takes place in a private Facebook group. It was really fun to reconnect with the fan community of this band that I love! One day however, a strange thing happened... 

Someone had the idea to start a document trying to list all of our fan club numbers. "Old" members like myself got to keep our original numbers, with new 2014 members picking up with new numbers where the old numbers left off, somewhere in the 4000s.  I jumped into the document and filled in "0001 - Mykel Allan" and "0002 - Carli Allan" because, as all old fan club members know, Mykel and Carli were the very first weezer fans, and had these most-holy of numbers on their cards.  A new member made a comment to the effect of "Whoa, whoa! Who filled in #1 and #2? Is that a joke? Who are these people?" and it hit me that a lot of the new people had no idea about the history of the fan club that they were now a part of.

I pitched the idea of creating a print-on-demand, perfect bound book that would collect all of the original weezines to Karl, and he immediately okayed the project, and offered to help out anywhere he could. In the end, the book was over 300 pages, and it not only reprinted all of the zines, but also included scans of the original fan club application form, press packets, signed 8" x 10" photos of the band, lyric sheets, stickers, and photos of the various "secret surprises" sent out over the years.

Above you can see the cover design, which utilizes classic "Weezer Blue" along with all of the cover images. Karl gave me the official weezer font, which I used throughout the design of the book. I had to reformat a few spreads from the zines to fit the 5.5" x 8.5" format (some of the later issues were printed on 11" x 17" paper that folded down to standard half-letter zine size) and I meticulously went through and tried to present the best possible image quality, where my copies of the zines had either not great printing, or had been damaged in the mail.

Below you can see a preview video that I created to give fan club members an idea of what the Weezine Omnibus looks/feels like. This book is only available to current members of the Weezer Fan Club! You can currently sign up to join the fan club, which just launched a cool new app with lots of neat features. The omnibus can be found in the fan club members-only shop in the app, and it costs $15.

If you can believe it, this is only the beginning of this rad project! In part two I'll give you a look at the Weezine Omnibus: Deluxe Edition!

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