Although fanzines started in the Science fiction community. They really came into their own as they were adopted by music fans, most especially the punk rock DIY community and the development and mass distribution of the Copy machine. There are thousands of fanzines published currently, on an variety of topics: music, clothes, scene reports, the local music scene, etc. In the beginning, they started as humble black and white xerox things. Now they have progressed to full color slick items. Another branch is the ezine or electronic zine which is on the internet. Small Press

Zine comes from fanzine, i.e. DIY classically xerox cut and paste labor-of-love magazine quite often devoted to an obscure topic- the author's personal life, professional wrestling, some local punk band, thrifting, etc. In the US alone there are thousands of zines, distributed barter style through the mail and as e-zines. Vogue, Time and the like are not zines.

zines are like magazines, but made by amateurs. Alot of punks make zines. So basically, you manage to make content (interviews, stories, record reviews, or whatever you can think of), then you lay it out on paper, you try to find a friend with a xerox machine, and you copy your zine. Then you mail it to your friends, try to sell it to whoever would like a peek at your thoughts, and voila, you've got the grass roots response to shitty [mai

Zines had their heyday before the easy access to the internet, but many survive today. Some of the longest running zines are MaximumRocknroll, Cometbus,BenisDead,Guttersnipe. After a few years of what looked like potential zine-extinction, some very good ones (in some form or another), have been creeping onto the internet. One particularly hard reading one is the crash site, which you can get to from

Zines are basically broken into a few simple categories: 1. Music zines (probable the first, as "zines" comes form "fan-zines". 2. Personal zines. These are my favorite, Cometbus is a good example of this. 3. special interest zines, skate zines, locale-specific zines etc.

There are many more, but one of the most beautiful things about zines is that hardly anyone has figured out how to make any money off them. If you are in Portland, visit Reading Frenzy, in Seattle, HypnoVideo.

Contrary to popular belief "zine" is not so much a shortening of "magazine" but a shortening of "fanzine". Although we tend to think of zines and ezines as being largely devoted to indie bands, poetry, and artsie stuff, the original zine movement sprang from the world of Science Fiction.

Starting in the 1920s, the Golden Sci Fi era magazine Amazing Stories used to publish the full mailing addresses of people who wrote letters to the editor. This had the effect of allowing sci fi fans to write to each other, trading critiques about the stories published in the magazine and early "fan fiction".

This impromptu correspondence organized into a club called the Science Correspondence Club which incorporated letters and fan fiction into a newsletter called The Comet. This is the world's first official fanzine, first published in 1930. Many well know sci fi writers got their start in the fanzine realm first, the two most notable being Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein. (So take heart you little maladjusted security guards who work nights so you can write for your sci fi fanzine... you too can become the next Robert Heinlein ... or at least the next Ray Bradbury!) {errr say, sport, why did you hotlink Robert Heinlein and not Ray Bradbury? I mean Ray Bradbury only wrote--} (--I'M AWARE OF HIS WORK!)

World War II introduced not only technological innovations like the nuclear bomb and radar but it introduced the ultimate weapon into the world of military and government bureaucracy: the mimeograph. Like the photocopier of the '80s and your company's web server of today, hundreds of people started using their office mimeographs to crank out (literally) their own Sci Fi fanzines.

The '60s introduced North American society to radical politics. The counter culture adopted the skills learned by the sci fi fanzine publishers of the decades before to create their own fanzines. Major fanzines of the time were The East Village Other, Oracle (San Francisco), Fifth Estate (Detroit), and Seed (Chicago). Fanzines at this time were devoted to left wing politics, protest, and druggy talk.

With the punk movement in the '70s and '80, fanzines turned away from counter culture politics to straight out music rags.

In the '80s, a sci fi fan Mike Gunderloy was writing for a number of sci fi fanzines and began to notice fanzines were published on a broad range of topics. He began to voraciously read every fanzine he could lay his hands on. He soon started writing his friends, tipping them off to interesting fanzines to keep an eye out for. However, he soon grew weary of writing so many different letters to so many different friends. He decided to create his own quick 'n' dirty newsletter about fanzines. He called it "Factsheet Five".

Gunderloy noticed many of the fanzines in Factsheet Five could not exactly be called publications for fans. Is a person reading an amateur publication about death penalty politics a fan of the death penalty? No. He dubbed these small amateur publications simply "zines". And the name stuck.

In the '90s, the cost of newsprint and paper skyrocketed. Coincidently, the World Wide Web came into being roughly at the same time and the zine movement -- nearly ruined by a recession (no money... no job... no access to office photocopier... no zine) -- was saved. Many-a-destitute-yet-aspiring zine editor, left highly in debt by the recession and student loans taken out to ride out the recession, quickly discovered a) the net was cheap b) HTML was not a programming language after all. Why anyone could learn it!

Zines became ezines.

Zines are distinguished from professional magazines (or "prozines" as the sci fi fanzine writers of the '30s used to call them) by their lack of commercial intent and generally amateurish qualities (cheap paper, cheap art, cheap binding). Although with improved print technology today, some zines can be hard to distinguish from prozines based solely on production quality. Zines have limited distribution and a limited subscriber base. There is little separation between the zine's production team and the community that it serves. Your average guy spanking it to Playboy has little connection to the photographer/model involved. Zines tend to provide greater contact information regarding writers, artists, and letter to the editor writers.

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