Here’s an excerpt from my latest IndieReader article: “A to Zine: A Guide to Understanding Zines.”
“Remember the 90s? Boy bands, baggy jeans, real telephones, and the explosion of zines? Before the Internet became mainstream, zines were popular. These independent, often hand-made publications, cover all topics ranging from music to politics to personal life, and everything in between.
What Makes a Zine a Zine?
Zines don’t have a clear-cut definition, and the answer varies depending on who you ask.
“I guess what makes a zine a zine,” editor of Broken Pencil Magazine Lindsay Gibb said, “is the independence of it. It’s the fact that nobody is mandating what’s inside of it.”
Zines can be made by one person or a group of people, she said. Sometimes they have a theme and calls for submissions. For example, Gibb said Static Zine, a zine from Toronto run by three women, always has a theme and a call for people to contribute—the most recent issue was about mental health. In that way, Gibb said the zine is run like a magazine.
“But at the same time I don’t see them making edits to the work of the people […] They give the person a certain amount of space and they let them do what they want,” she said.
Another type of zine is a perzine, Gibb said, which is about someone’s personal life.
“There’s no rules,” she said.”
Read the full article here.