Alex Wrekk is the pen name of the creator of Brainscan, and the book Stolen Sharpie Revolution: a DIY resource for zines and zine culture as well as the 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.
Stolen Sharpie Revolution
Stolen Sharpie Revolution was originally published in 2002 by Microcosm Publishing. It was a 96-page pamphlet explaining how to create a zine. It resurged a mini-trend in fanzine books, and more general DIY books from Microcosm Publishing. The first edition contained information that was taken out by the next printing about postal scams and how to obtain free photocopying. Two subsequent editions were published by Microcosm in 2003 and 2004, reaching 128 and 160 pages, respectively.
The fourth edition of Stolen Sharpie Revolution was published by Lunchroom Publishing in 2009, after Wrekk left Microcosm Publishing for personal reasons. It was printed by 1984 Printing, a women-owned and operated printing press based in Oakland, California. The new edition was 144 pages, with more content written by Alex Wrekk. It contains hints on zine layout, guides to book binding and paper making, resources to find zines, information about zine libraries, and how and where to get zines distributed.
Alex Wrekk has been writing Brainscan since 1997, and has published 33+ issues of the zine as of March 2014. It is, broadly speaking, a perzine detailing aspects of Wrekk's daily life or significant events that have happened to her. Most personal of all was perhaps Brainscan issue 21, which detailed a relationship, which Wrekk was in for a number of years.
Lectures and organizing
After the launch of Stolen Sharpie Revolution's second edition Alex Wrekk was invited to Europe to give her views on zines and zine culture in the USA. She spoke at the London Zine Symposium in May 2009, as well as the Fanzinothèque of Poitiers, France.
Alex Wrekk teaches classes at the Portland's IPRC, Independent Publishing Resource Center, a resource center for zine creation, book binding and printing.
Alex Wrekk has performed her stories with Portland artists Shawn Granton and Erica Schreiner. She regularly holds readings in Portland and around the world, sometimes accompanied by music played by her partner, Paul Burke.