Zines are not a new idea. They have been around under different names (ChapBooks, Pamphlets, Flyers). People with independent ideas have been getting their word out since there were printing presses. ~~ Mark Todd
We have all thumbed through, or picked up, or sat down to peruse a zine – whether or not we know that that unprepossessing “pamphlet” we picked up at the bookstore was a “zine.”
The tome might have been hand lettered, hot off the laser printer, stapled or hand sewn. What makes it a zine is that it’s the original work of a zine creator who had ideas or images to share. Most important, as Mark Todd notes, zines – by whatever name – have flourished alongside mainstream press for centuries. Consider the impact of Thomas Paine’s pamphleteering…..
The roots of zines are often traced to the sci fi community that flourished in the 1920’s and later. The format was later adopted by the punk generation. Clearly, the options exploded as technology reshaped the options for production and distribution!
For over a decade the Twin Cities Zine Fest has flourished as a celebration and showcase of the local zine scene. Final preparations are in high gear for the 2016 Twin Cities Zine Fest set for Saturday, September 24. The day-long (11 AM-5 PM) event will gather fans and producers who will meet, greet and explore a unique exhibit of zines on display at the Walker Community United Methodist Church, 3104 16th Avenue South in Minneapolis. (https://www.facebook.com/Walker-Community-United-Methodist-Church-104999572876362/)
Zines are now so mainstream that there is actually a ZineWiki where fans will find – or may submit – articles on what’s happening in the Zine World. Check this entry for a good intro to the land of zines. (http://zinewiki.com/Maximum_Rock_’N’_Roll)
For another good backgrounder go to the article on “Fan Zines” written by Susan Leem, then an intern at the Utne Reader. Leem’s excellent essay was published in Do It Green! Minnesota (http://www.doitgreen.org) Don’t miss it!
Follow ZineFest 2016 on social media – and check online for the great promotional materials you’ll want to post in your local bookstore, library, and coffee shop!