Tuesday, April 10, 2007


With its democratic approach, garage publishing has yeilded some inspiring, incredible results throught the years. Kelly shares some thoughts on those that moved her.


Before there were blogs there were 'zines. As a teenage rocker tucked away in the bowels of central New York I found myself isolated from the punk/hardcore subculture. Zines like Maximum Rock n' Roll and Punk Planet provided me with valued musical information needed to discover punk/ska/oi/rocksteady music, band tee shirts and pen pals (sometimes with the incarcerated). Within the larger and more widely distributed zines of MRR and Punk Planet, more obscure, smaller zines were reviewed and addresses provided for purchasing (most cost $1). Similar to how youths now use myspace.com to search for new, underground music and friends, zines provided a community for the pre-internet days.

Now older, wiser, less punk rock and living in the variety of NYC, I still look for zines to provide eccentric individual views of the world. Of course, there are as many varieties of zines as there are blogs. Here I'll feature my favorites which are mostly weird-o, arty, designerly zines.

Independent publishing house Nieves based in Zurich, Switzerland focuses on publishing Artist Books and Zines. Nieves features a wide variety of totally rad stuffs ranging from photography, drawing and type experiments. All zines catalogued provide a website linking to information about each artist which is helpful and even more inspiring. The image above is by Stefan Marx of Hamburg, Germany.

The newest zine onto the scene is 'The Artist's Guide to Making Money' compiled, designed and published by Matthew Cassity and Sam Spratlin. It's a refreshing look at money's effect on artists and writers; those typically horrible with finance. Artists were asked to submit works that responded to the idea of money. The front and back cover is a sampling of ads Matt and Sam sold to fund the project. More topic ideas in the works—all which ask Artists and Writers about things they most likely know nothing about are—The Artist's Guides to Luxury Hotels, Spirituality, Fine Dining, Historical Figures…the list goes on and on. $$$$$ Purchase the Artist's Guide here.

In support and in response to the social platform of a blog I would like to re-inspire people to consider creating zines. Forget the computer for awhile, maybe for a couple days. Take out a pen, scissor, glue stick and cut n' paste your way to your nearest photocopy machine! Vent your thoughts and submit it to the world. Well, maybe show it to a few people. Sure blogs can get your views out into the whole wide world in mere minutes but consider the importance of small numbers and handmade appeal. Lulu.com is a great source for all your self publishing needs. It's a bit classier than a rugged photocopy machine and you may choose from several sizes and bindings. Make it on the computer or not, whatever it takes get your crazy individualized ideas and images out there into the world via zine or blog. Think community people!

Note (according to wikipedia):
An abbreviation of the word fanzine, and originating from the word magazine—is most commonly a small circulation, non-commercial publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self published work of minority interest.


Anonymous said...

Who is this Kelly person. Some kind of super cool smartie?

Get Up Edina! said...

I, too, have seen the decline of zines and it's made me horribly sad. However, it does seem that all subcultural kids can communicate easily these days through various sites on the internet. I know a few people have created online zines to make things a little bit more accessible to people around the world. I started a zine aimed towards women who enjoy jamaican music (mainly those in the Rude Girl / Skinhead / Mod) scene), and I didn't think it would take off. It surprisingly has - and I don't have to take the risk of losing money on materials. The mix internet & subcultures can be a bad thing, but sometimes it can create good!!


ginny said...

Quimby's book store in Chigago has a zillion zines.
They have quite a few online too.