A Quick Guide to Zines

The word zine, deceptively pronounced zeen, is an abbreviation for magazine or fanzine. Most of the time this word is used to describe a magical type of non-commercial, self-published booklet of original or appropriated text and images ( NOTE: zines are usually reproduced using a photocopier (just in case you didn’t know)!

Zines are usually thought to explore topics that are “too controversial” for mainstream media, and are often presented in an offbeat and unconventional design (but remember they don’t have to be). The amazing thing about them is that they can be absolutely anything – the versatility is insane. Zines can include poetry, stories, information, drawings, basically whatever you like.

Want to know what else is really rad? EVERY SINGLE zine is different, and they usually are an insight into a person, whether it be about their political and cultural beliefs, a documentation of pigeons seen on a trip to Europe (yup, found that beauty this weekend), or perhaps even a glimpse into their thoughts or day-to-day life.

As you can probably see by now zines are pretty sick and just when you thought they couldn’t get any better, i’m about to tell you the best part… Okay, so due to the rise of the punk subculture in the ‘70s,  a newfound interest in self publication was ignited – this gave a rise to the popularity of zines, yup this was there time to shine. Zines begun to be used heaps to promote the alternative music scene (which received almost no attention from the press) and were so important for the growth and publicity of movement involving Riot Grrrl and Queercore bands. And from there, the “zine industry” flourished into an obscure network exploring a wide variety of interests and aesthetics.

There are even zine libraries, I guess it’d be kinda like your average library -but cooler!  These gems exists in coffee house basements, bookstore rooms and collage campus all over the world.

If I were you, i’d definitely give zine making a try. Zines are super easy to make, and all you need is to grab some paper, a pen and a pair of trusty scissors and let loose. Once you’ve completed your creation, you should photocopy a few for your friends and family or trade Zines with fellow makers. I’d definitely recommend heading down to your local digital printing company or professional printing service place to get you’re zine photocopied and out into the world ASAP.