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To me, the Golden Age was when Factsheet 5 was being produced - the late 80s and early 90s. Was it the golden age because it was pre-internet, and was pretty much the only way to get media that was not conglomerate controlled (that and punk records, a different discussion perhaps). That said, there was some media attention to the zine scene - books were being written on them, and some zines made it to the "mainstream", for good or ill, including FF5.

Or was it my personal golden age because I was mid-late 20s; because I had just discovered them and so those zines being produced then were "mine"; or because I was living in Portland OR in '93-'94; or all those things.

Was that period the Golden Age of Zines? Or does everyone have their own personal Golden Age?

I apologize if this discussion has happened here before; I only scanned discussions going back to about June or so...

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you are alive
have arms/legs
R drug-free...of course
give a prayer of Thanksgiving dawn/dusk
THAT'S PRETTY GOLDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(for starters)

Marc Parker said:
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.
My golden age was the early 2000's. I was really young, probably 12 or 13 and had just discovered zines. The Pander boards were still up and I learned some invaluable stuff from the people on those boards and the zines they wrote. It really shaped me into who I am today and I am forever grateful.


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