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Is there an elitist-like/ discriminatory thing in the zine scene?

It's a weird thought but is anyone new in the whole zine scene finding it difficult to break through? It just seems like if you haven't been making zines for a long time or havent really espablished a concrete network or produced a well-know/widely read zine, it's difficult to get feedback and /or more readership.

SO i thought maybe it's a trend where you have to be "known" in the zine scene first before you get the desired feedback/ active participation of others OR maybe most of us zinesters are all more focused on our OWN works/craft/projects that we fail to actively particiapate in other projects etc.

I'm not really sure. what do you think?

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haha to the snap!

well, first of all, there *IS* a secret handshake, though i'm not supposed to tell you... but maybe some day i'll show you.

if i've ever come off as a smarty or elitist, then i apologize. but if the categories are n00b vs. old hat, then i'd be the old hat. but yeah, we're just talking about copies, people, we're not joining a gang or anything.

i can understand how it is to feel left out, though. I remember when i was first starting to meet people that did zines, they all knew each other and i was all by my lonesome. i was jealous of their friendships, and that i wasn't a part of it. i felt this way at my first few zinefests. but then when you go to your 5th, 6th, 17th fest, you realize that a lot of people use it as an old fashioned rendezous, a chance to see old friends once or twice a year. the getting left out thing is very rarely intentional. maybe the new people get a bit looked over because the old people (like me, i'm 29, damn!) are happy to see each other. that's all.

i have a friend who i recently gave my zine to. and he really liked it! he wanted to do one, but was like "yeah, but i'm not gay, i'm not punk, i'm not that exciting. I'm just a middle-aged husband with kids and a job" i can totally understand this mind-frame, because the only real elitism i see in the zine scene (a lot of times still accidental) can come off in that "oh, you aren't vegan-straight-edge-bike-riding-folk-punk? a white meat-eating upper class straight male might be an excellent writer, but would zinesters read it? probably not, based on content. that's not a good or bad thing, i'm just sayin.....

thoughts?
I don't know if 'elitism' is the right word for it - maybe more a sense of familiarity vs unfamiliarity? I can't imagine people deliberately looking down on you, but if they don't know your work, you wouldn't look as good as someone else who's work is known to be good. It's like having to earn your place instead of being given it off the bat.

Plus, when people hang around each other for a long time, they develop a common language together. Newcomers will naturally feel shut out because they're not on the same wavelength yet.

There's bound to be discrimination, but nothing beyond ordinary dynamics when you get a group of people together. At least I've not seen anything like that. :)

But weh - I don't know. I've not been on this site long. I've had a 2-3 year break since getting into zines, and never really got into the community thing. It does feel sometimes like there's a barrier, but I don't think that's anyone's fault. If nobody knows you, how will they know you've got something to say, or if it's any good?
Billy Da Bunny said:
... maybe the new people get a bit looked over because the old people (like me, i'm 29, damn!) are happy to see each other. that's all.

At 29 your life is just getting interesting, my friend! ;-)

i have a friend who i recently gave my zine to. and he really liked it! he wanted to do one, but was like "yeah, but i'm not gay, i'm not punk, i'm not that exciting. I'm just a middle-aged husband with kids and a job" i can totally understand this mind-frame, because the only real elitism i see in the zine scene (a lot of times still accidental) can come off in that "oh, you aren't vegan-straight-edge-bike-riding-folk-punk? a white meat-eating upper class straight male might be an excellent writer, but would zinesters read it? probably not, based on content. that's not a good or bad thing, i'm just sayin.....

I'll bite. I'd certainly be interested in reading this since it is a lifestyle that is a bit different from my own. And I'm always interested in some insight into other's lives. Heck, even folks that live exactly the way that I do could still interest me.


Your feeling is very common. I had it myself when I first started reading Factsheet 5, still do a little, and it's been often expressed by other newbies to me all the years I've been into zines. (I was a late-comer to zines at 33, in 1992, though I'd done and enjoyed some sporadical self-publishing via the xerox machine since I was 14.) I'm not necessarily saying it's a terrible thing, but intense, tribalistic feelings seem to develop among many subcultures in the zine scene, and I supsect, that they can generate some pretty strong us-and-them attitudes & behaviors. But---how much that is reality, and how much is perception, is an ongoing question in my mind. I don't *think* anybody's doing anything *deliberately* to exclude anyone else.

What are you beliefs? Ideals? Values? Objectives? Find zinesters with similar, contact them, and join the conversation. I realize, this might be hard. I do think people who aren't "cool", despite all the "anti-cool", "anti-fashion" postures, are often subtly ignored. I sometimes wonder if it's more how cool you groove at the party or mosh at the pit, rather than raise interesting and relevant questions. Maybe I'm exaggerating that a little ;}. I guess what you have to do is get down and start doing the hard, creative, and maybe thankless, work of doing your zine, keep a look out for open-minded and non-tribalistic people, and make efforts to get in touch with them (which I think may be harder than it used to be, do to a change in zine/papernet/ culture.

I don't know. A lot of the above may be 75 % perception---the thoughts of an aging, alienated dweeb ;}.
If there is a tendency toward elitism in the zine scene, a good counter to it, IS and WAS, the "big, inclusive, zine-review zine", a la Factsheet 5, Zine World, etc.

http://wemakezines.ning.com/forum/topics/the-big-inclusive-zinerevi...

I'm encouraged by the discussion we've had, and think some good steps have been made in reviving that.

Mike Gunderloy referred to it as the cross-pollination of ideas. Everybody in FS5 had their column-inch of fame. Don't get me wrong. I think small insular subcultures are absolutely necessary and vital to the zine scene. But when that's ALL there are, they just seem to degenerate into impenetrable little "mutual admiration societies". There needs to be an interplay between insiders and outsiders. That breaks ideological log jams----and it's FASCINATING.
s'funny because being an old fart and doing a review style zine mostly (instead of the cool perzine thing) i find that there is a strange 'discriminatory' thing going sometimes but not what you seem to have encountered. prob doesnt help that im white, heterosexual married male either :D... no punk points there! but honestly as others have already said, in any scene there are cliques and groups who discriminate/become elitist/think they are the keepers of the flame... just do what you do, do it well and you'll find an audience sooner or later.

and as for feedback - with email and chat on line etc no one writes letters much anymore (i'm guilty too) people just send a quick, "got yr zine, nice work" type o' message and then go back to scouring the net for music and porn.
"I feel bad for anyone who was introduced to zines through this site, 'coz they're missing out." I think Amber said that....

Seriously. Just, that is it in a nutshell.....
Can we please have a rational discussion without it devolving into personal attacks? Please?
Seconded.

I'd also like to mention that I'm not in any way blaming this on Krissy. This is a great site. (Thank you, Krissy!) It's the forum that's the problem, which really means it's the members.

Adrian Fynch said:
Can we please have a rational discussion without it devolving into personal attacks? Please?
I should say that KRISSY is not to blame and I was NEVER blaming her. She is awesome. I didn't word my post well. I wanted to say that its the DRAMA....krissy is not to blame for that.



Amber / Culture Slut said:
I never claimed to be breaking down any boundaries here, but I write a good zine and hundreds of other people seem to believe that, including you, according to your Etsy feedback. And although I'm not the biggest fan of Hannah's zines, what she is doing is pretty damn original in my eyes. Unless you can give me a list of other feminist horror zines that I haven't heard of yet.

I'm not arrogant, I'm honest. I'm generally a friendly and cheerful person, but like I said, this forum brings out the worst in everyone. Including myself. If I was really arrogant, I'd name the boring zines in question.

Mulnix said:
Hannah and Amber - I've read both of your zines and, while I thought they were good and readable and sometimes even entertaining, I wouldn't give you any awards for originality.


Maybe you should check your arrogance at the door before you start casting aspersions on what other people create...
Thank you Clem, your my grrrl <3

Clementine Cannibal said:
i don't know what your definition of 'original' is, but hannah writes the only zine out there that addresses women's role in the horror genre. i'd say that's pretty damn original. both amber and hannah are unique, talented grrrls who make original, thought-provoking zines. and that has nothing to do with how 'well known' they are or not. i think they are annoyed with this site for a lot of reasons, but i wouldn't call it arrogance.

Mulnix said:
Hannah and Amber - I've read both of your zines and, while I thought they were good and readable and sometimes even entertaining, I wouldn't give you any awards for originality.
Maybe you should check your arrogance at the door before you start casting aspersions on what other people create...
Thanks for the honesty about my zines Amber. Have you read them all or just one? Who is this person dissin on us? People are so friggin bizzaro. Hope your well, lady.

Amber / Culture Slut said:
I never claimed to be breaking down any boundaries here, but I write a good zine and hundreds of other people seem to believe that, including you, according to your Etsy feedback. And although I'm not the biggest fan of Hannah's zines, what she is doing is pretty damn original in my eyes. Unless you can give me a list of other feminist horror zines that I haven't heard of yet.

I'm not arrogant, I'm honest. I'm generally a friendly and cheerful person, but like I said, this forum brings out the worst in everyone. Including myself. If I was really arrogant, I'd name the boring zines in question. All I did was reply to the original poster's question. I must admit that I'm tired of people whining about their readership and how to expand it. Just keep writing. That's it. Write zines, write letters, write whatever the fuck you want. But be patient. People will notice, eventually.

Mulnix said:
Hannah and Amber - I've read both of your zines and, while I thought they were good and readable and sometimes even entertaining, I wouldn't give you any awards for originality. Maybe you should check your arrogance at the door before you start casting aspersions on what other people create...

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