Zines are self published materials with short print runs. Zines can be about anything from your favorite band to what you did on your summer vacation.
The world of Zine making is a largely underground. Zines are a perfect way to express ideas or feelings that are not fit for the main stream due to their personal content or unpopular ideas. Zines are the fastest way for writers and artists to produce self published works.
This guide seeks to give aspiring Zinesters not only tips to produce their first zine but gives some background on zine culture and how to get their zines out into the world.
Here is a 10 minute mini-documentary about zine making called Cut and Paste:
Step 1: A Quick History of Zines
The boom of self published materials can trace to pre-1960s science fiction fan mags or fanzines. These fanzines allowed amateurs as well as professionals to publish their own science fiction content and share it with one another.
In the 1960's and the increase of political activism we saw an increase in self published political papers. This tradition of political self publishing continues today.
Starting in the 70's there was an increase in zines coming out of the punk movement. These zines were much more harsh in looks then their predecessors and took on the photocopier as the holy grail of publishing capabilities. Earlier to publish most people had to know the basics of offset printing layout. With the utilizing cheap copy machines, people could have an idea, put together a booklet and pass it out the next day. This allowed the punk movement to spread ideas and to promote new kinds of music. These ideals pushed into the 80's and resulted in the zine culture we have today which involved thousands of different publications and whole festivals dedicated to the creation of zines. The zine movement was an important part of forwarding the riot grrl movement of the 1990's.