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Where have they gone: The evolution of the zine

Some zines are still produced in print and are circulated among small communities today. Still other zines such as the popular music zine Maximumrocknroll have migrated online (and are now known as e–zines). A few former Riot Grrrl zines such as Bust and Bitch have become professional, print magazines. Still other zines have evolved into highly intricate artist’s books.

Youth culture and self–publishing continues to thrive in a variety of ways online. New technologies and new ways to network online have emerged to serve some of the purposes of zines. Blogs, for example, allow writers to self–publish on almost any subject, reaching a potentially wide audience. Bloggers can quickly and easily link to other blogs, generating virtual communities of likeminded writers similar to the communities that nurtured printed zines. Amateur comic artists are able to publish their work online as web comics rather than distributing their work via underground zine networks. Online journals, photo sharing sites and social networks allow personal expression to flourish and be shared in much the same spirit as the zines of the past.

Kaya Oakes

Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2009.

The do–it–yourself ethos that has been a hallmark of zine culture from its earliest days is alive and well in today’s indie movement. This book documents the various embodiments of today’s indie movement and connects those principles to the punk subculture, zines, and the Riot Grrrl movement.

Kristine Blair, Radhika Gajjala and Christine Tulley (Eds.)

Webbing Cyberfeminist Practice: Communities, Pedagogies and Social Action. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press, 2009.

Personal zines, in which an author shared his or her private musings and stories, were undoubtedly one of the most popular types of zines. Numerous personal zines emerged from the Riot Grrrl movement, reflecting young women’s desire to share life experiences with one another. This volume documents women’s use of online spaces such as online fora, diaries and blogs for similar sharing and empowerment.

Jonathan Alexander

Digital Youth: Emerging Literacies on the World Wide Web. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press, 2006.

Zines once provided a valuable means for youth to reach out to others who shared the same ideas through creative writing and art. Youth–driven communities of creative and productive self–exploration are alive and well in the online world today. This volume details youth writings, youth activism, and communities online and connects these trends to the DIY culture of the past.

Teal Triggs

Fanzines: the DIY Revolution. San Francisco, Calif: Chronicle Books, 2010.

This visual collection of zines from the library’s Folio Collection showcases highlights of zines from their earliest days through today. Several excellent examples of zines which have migrated online and now are produced as e–zines are included.

Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle

Axe Cop. Milwaukie, Or.: Dark Horse Books, 2010.

For many years, zines published and promoted underground comics. However, since the advent of the internet, comics that might not have otherwise been accepted by mainstream media can now be found online in the form of web comics. Axe Cop is a print example of a successful web comic. Axe Cop stories are written by five–year–old Malachai, and illustrated by older brother Ethan.

Shu Ung and Joseph Magliaro (Eds.)

By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.

This volume documents a growing number of contemporary artists that embrace the DIY ethos by integrating handicrafts into their artwork. Included in this album are contemporary zines which have evolved into artist books.

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