a place for zinesters - writers and readers
When I discovered zines in the early 90s, I'll always feel nostalgia for that time. And first reading Factsheet 5, overwhelming! But you know, I experienced that again the first time I attended the Portland Zine Symposium, 2003. And at this year's Symposium, when some kids I got into IPRC's zine camp were nearly manic with the potential and community they saw, my heart filled with so much pride. It happens a lot when teaching Zines 101 classes--like when a group of seven year olds made a zine on the spot about penguins, and then acted it out for me and their parents. The way they waddled around the room was just precious.
Everyone must have their own personal Golden Age. But to try and pinpoint my own, I'm not even sure it's arrived. Seeing Enter the Dragon with Doug Holland, making a shitty movie with Sky Ryan, moving to Portland sight unseen because I read about the IPRC in Thoughtworm (an interview with Greg Means) and then becoming the librarian myself a few years later. Really identifying with something I read in R. Lee's zine and knowing the interconnectedness of people everywhere, dating another zine person for the first time, wondering whatever happened to T.R. Miller and Luhey. I could go on and on (and kind of am). Any of these could be the apex of my involvement with this culture we all share, yet they span half of my life.
Not that I don't appreciate this topic (I believe it's the first I've commented on), but I don't understand looking toward the past for an era when zines were better, purer, more significant. Or even when there were more of them--who's to say. Every time I make a new issue, I know: this is what it's supposed to be like, this is why I'm here. Introduce someone to zines, watch them figure out layout and the copier, and I promise you'll be right there with them. It never ends.