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What are some of the ways you can tell if someone is new to the zine scene, or if they are a long-time zinester? (I ask in the spirit of good humor and silliness, not mean-spiritedness.)

My example: Old-timers put anti-alien stickers (like below) on their envelopes, because they've had dozens of them hanging around since the mid-90s and they want to be rid of them.

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heather said in her original post: "'newbies' are the only people, in my experience, that order or trade zines." that read to me as an attempt at a statement of fact based on personal experience. my personal experience, as a non-newbie who continues to trade & order zines on a regular basis, is different & i figured i would share. the goal is not to "persecute" or "repress voices". this issue of feeling insecure about trading with old-timers, or feeling intimidated by them, or maybe feeling a smidgen jealous sometimes because it seems like they are taken more seriously sometimes, etc etc, is an issue that has plagued new zinesters since the beginning of zines. it's not specific to the current dynamic of people making zines in 2009. the only way to escape it is to perservere, keep making zines, & someday you too will be an old-timer & people will be intimidated by you, whether you like it or not.

anyway. on with the fun. this was supposed to be a fun thread.
This entire thread makes me feel old... But then again I am getting up in years! When I first started making zines there was no internet, or even computers to make layouts. Every word was typed or written out manually and every image was drawn or cut-n-pasted by hand. Of course many are still made that way today, but back then they ALL were! I miss those simpler days, but I still get the same feeling I did back then when I get a new zine from someone I didn't know before.

I recently completed the masters for my latest mini (my first perzine ever) and will take it to be printed soon! I'd do it today, but I'm not up to it at the moment. And I'm due in surgery tomorrow, so it may be the weekend or early next week before I can get around again. But when I get the final product I'll be sending copies out to everyone on my mailing list. I don't expect anything in trade, but L.O.C.'s are always welcome!

In thinking back, I've been doing this for 26 years! But I'm still a newbie to everyone I haven't met before. We all start somewhere, and start with each other all the time. Take it one day at a time, but start every day anew! If I can teach someone something about zining today that would be great, but if I learn something about it that would be even better. Because somewhere down the road I might pass that information along to another newbie. That's what it's really all about.
ciaraxyerra said:
this issue of feeling insecure about trading with old-timers, or feeling intimidated by them, or maybe feeling a smidgen jealous sometimes because it seems like they are taken more seriously sometimes, etc etc, is an issue that has plagued new zinesters since the beginning of zines.


I don't really feel this way, and I did not mean to imply in my posts that I do. So I suppose I will once again apologize for being misleading about my feelings and for causing confusion. I don't feel intimidated or jealous of anyone, especially zinesters that I don't know. I don't feel insecure about trading with them, I just don't usually see as many posts for trades on lj or wmz or in mrr or whatever for old timers, so the option is not presented.

I feel that I have tried not to use specific names because I feel that it singles people out, which can feel bad. But ciara, you keep specifically addressing things I say, so I would like to point out that I have my opinions, and you have yours, and that I don't think we are really going to agree. I don't think your wrong, I don't think I'm wrong, I just think we have different views based on different experiences. When you post I automatically get defensive, perhaps because you are being a tad condisending, perhaps because I'm being paranoid. So I just want to say I'm sorry if I come off defensive and curt.

This topic was supposed to be fun, but it was also for the most part "old timers" posting on here. As a newbie, I feel differently, and I figured it was okay to say something since the post didn't mention it was a positive attitude post only.

Sorry if I'm coming off rude, I'm just kind of tired of feeling like I have to keep checking this to defend myself. I don't want to piss of a bunch of people I don't know.
ciaraxyerra said:
heather said in her original post: "'newbies' are the only people, in my experience, that order or trade zines." that read to me as an attempt at a statement of fact based on personal experience. my personal experience, as a non-newbie who continues to trade & order zines on a regular basis, is different & i figured i would share. the goal is not to "persecute" or "repress voices". this issue of feeling insecure about trading with old-timers, or feeling intimidated by them, or maybe feeling a smidgen jealous sometimes because it seems like they are taken more seriously sometimes, etc etc, is an issue that has plagued new zinesters since the beginning of zines. it's not specific to the current dynamic of people making zines in 2009. the only way to escape it is to perservere, keep making zines, & someday you too will be an old-timer & people will be intimidated by you, whether you like it or not.
anyway. on with the fun. this was supposed to be a fun thread.

i really hate to say this because, like heather, i do not wish to offend, and i certainly would hate to start a "beef" with someone who does something that i really respect and admire, so i'd like to say right off that that is not my intent.

however, i am a bit taken aback by the total presumptuousness of some of these statements, and by the slightly condescending tone with which they were delivered. heather didn't say that she was intimidated by, insecure about, or even jealous of old-school zinesters at all. she initially said that in her experience newbies were the only people that traded zines. as in - in her life, the zine trades that she had received had come from newbies. i really don't see how that's debatable or offensive or even wrong. it's a fact that that was how she experienced things, and of course that's a solid basis from which to form an opinion. done. she later said that she felt distanced from the community because of some of her experiences, and that some peoples' reactions made it feel as though her opinions were being taken too personally and that it made her feel unwelcome in participating in certain aspects of the community. i certainly think that her one statement about newbies and trades was dissected just a little too much, which indeed could make one feel as though their opinion was not being valued.

one could have read her post, thought, "hmmm, my experience is contrary to that, here's my unique perspective on that very same issue," and really just left it at that, but it wasn't necessary to negate the opinions of others by implying that they're wrong or off-base, or even by intimating that heather is insecure or not active enough in the community. i think it's comments like that that can really keep someone from feeling included, especially after that person had essentially resolved that issue of inclusiveness/exclusivity through other, more positive and accepting comments that were later posted. i've certainly seen this happen enough on these discussion boards to know that they can often go too far, and i think this is quite a good example of that. and yes, of course, it can be argued that i have gone too far on a tangent when the discussion started so very far away, but i also think it's important to voice my feelings about behaviors that i think are passive aggressive and unhelpful, whether intentionally so or not.
hey coco, to clarify, i didn't say that heather isn't active enough in the community. i don't think it's my place to judge that at all. but from the ensuing comments, where she wrote about feeling like her contributions sometimes weren't as respected as those of old-timers, & some of the other remarks from folks about sucky first zines & stuff like that...a lot of that kind of feeling comes from feeling insecure or intimidated or whatever. most people posting here probably, at some point or another, had some zinester they really wanted to trade with, or just send a zine to, but they wondered what the zinester would think. is the zine good enough? do they already get swamped with zines because they are so awesome & brilliant? etc etc. i don't think it's a bad thing to feel insecure or intimidated or whatever. it's not, like, a personal moral failing. it's just a fact of life that comes along with getting involved with a new community & meeting new people.

uh...i think we are getting kind of far away from the spirit in which this thread was started, so i guess i'd recommend reading my last post on the subject in a resigned tone of voice, rather than what i guess you were reading it in...maybe a scornful, judgmental one? i definitely do not feel scornful of heather's remarks. i felt that, whatever her personal experience may be, it didn't reflect a larger reality, & to be frank, i felt it was insulting to old-timers to suggest (implicitly) that we just sit around swapping zines back & forth & ignore newcomers. i have been running my zine distro for six years now. how could my catalogue grow if i didn't take chances on folks who are new to zines? i have even carried people's very first ever zines before!

i'm not sure how discussion can function here if the educator/enemy dynamic is going to be out in full force.
ciara, thank you for writing back. really what i didn't want to happen (and i see that you or no other wants this either) was for this thread to turn into the old clementine zine thread from a few months back. i can appreciate the difference that honest and open communication can make, and i'm glad that instead of taking a purely defensive stance, we're all starting to reap the benefits of a somewhat cohesive and supportive community.

just a few points of clarification and this whole tangent can probably be laid to rest-
the part about heather not being active enough in the community, i actually had zac's comment in mind when i mentioned that. it was a careless inclusion, in retrospect, because most of my response was pointed to say the least. zac's comment rubbed me wrong only because i felt it implied that heather wasn't participating or doing what normal zinesters do- which is write zines, trade zines, and really just get 'em into the hands of other people. i know heather has been making zines longer than i have, and at @ cafe's and zine sympo meetings she always brought stacks (or even full boxes!) of free copies of her zines, which i believe is completely in the true spirit of zining and can only promote community. she also started a zine library at a local cafe and fliered around town to get the word out (thereby making zines a visible presence beyond letters and emails, which is what we'd been doing before). i've seen a lot of zinesters talk about getting things started (including myself), but heather seems to really be someone that got her shit together and made it happen. although she may not have an active presence on the internet, she certainly was vital in getting the sacramento zine scene off the ground, which is why i just couldn't see her comments as the insecure ramblings of a "newbie" zinester who couldn't bother to send zines out to older folks because she's jealous or intimidated.

one more point, ciara, is that i completely agree with you that this thread has digressed for far too long. i only felt the need to speak up by about the third time you posted, revisiting the same exact sentence that heather had brought up with increasing animosity, so it seemed. it felt clear that you were taking it very personally and that, coupled with your remarks about insecurity and jealousy, made me feel that you had crossed the line to passive-aggressive personal attack. i understand now that that was not the case, and it's nice to have stepped out into open ground of solid support and understanding*.

i think i've contributed enough to this thread. new-school and old-school zinesters alike can benefit from some good ol' discussion about the way the community works. this thread has been challenging and enlightening!
-coco

*i don't think that most zinesters aren't supportive or understanding, but i have seen small issues turn into disgusting displays of racism, sexism, and other -isms elsewhere on this site, and it's refreshing to be reminded that issues can be resolved without the use of childish, offensive banter (check any of the recent threads being posted on and you'll know what i'm talking about).
Heather said:
Once again, I apologize for coming off weird, I didn't think I was stating my opinion as empirical fact. I feel that the response to my comment has been fairly negative, and in a way I feel like my voice in this zine "community" is being repressed because some people simply disagree. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with what I say, go for it, but an important part of community is making sure people feel that they have a voice and can speak out, as opposed to making them feel silenced if they have something to say that isn't the easily accepted norm. And when someone says something that may irk or offend you (not offend you as in call you a name...know what I mean?), I feel it's important to at least listen and try to see where they are coming from. To disagree but still incorporate their imput and feelings.

Agreed. And, as a "crotchety old timer" I thought this thread was supposed to be kinda funny and pointing out trends, no reason to take it too seriously. I definitely agree zinesters from my era pine away about the '90s zine explosion and these days are often out of touch with the current crop of zines and don't order a lot of zines. Ciara is an exception, not the rule, she reads and orders waaaaaay more zines then most of her peers, which I think is awesome. But when you've read 3,000 zines, you just don't get that spark from them that you did when you'd only read a few dozen or a few hundred, so you read and order them less. Same thing with punk rock shows, when you first get into punk you go to shows 4-5 nights a week, ten or twenty years later there isn't the same energy in it after 3,000 shows, so people go to live shows way less. I leaned that way myself with zines for a while until I started really ordering and reading zines again a few years ago. And I'll always bore people with back in the day stories--that's what oldsters are supposed to do while newbies roll their eyes!
and there's nothing
like being

miss con screwed!!

Zac said:
Coco Negro said:
> the part about heather not being active enough in the community, i actually had zac's comment in mind when i mentioned that. it was a careless inclusion, in retrospect, because most of my response was pointed to say the least. zac's comment rubbed me wrong only because i felt it implied that heather wasn't participating or doing what normal zinesters do
Really? I was just trying to be helpful to Heather, my main point is that she ought to send her zine to her friends that don't read zines, I've done that and get some miraculous results. I actually agreed with most of what she said, sorry I was misconstrued.
Heather, I think the only thing wrong with your statement is your advance apologizing for hurting people's feelings. Stand strong; speak proudly!

All this shit is so funny. I'm stuck in the middle (heyo heyo), b/w old & new. I remember covering stamps with a thin coat of school glue so the receiving zinester could reuse 'em. I designed my two last zines with MS Publisher.
it's all good zac. i understand your intention, i just was a little heated over the general response to heathers statements.

Zac said:
Coco Negro said:
> the part about heather not being active enough in the community, i actually had zac's comment in mind when i mentioned that. it was a careless inclusion, in retrospect, because most of my response was pointed to say the least. zac's comment rubbed me wrong only because i felt it implied that heather wasn't participating or doing what normal zinesters do
Really? I was just trying to be helpful to Heather, my main point is that she ought to send her zine to her friends that don't read zines, I've done that and get some miraculous results. I actually agreed with most of what she said, sorry I was misconstrued.
LOL! On other forums, OT means off-topic

tim scannell said:
old-timers...OT...have been 2 the mt. & seen the
burnin' bush

newbies R here 4 a wee while...then graduate from HS
and move on to am/id or barista...ization...then get
ha-ha tattoos and metal posts in their faces arms tits
major/minor labia e t c e t e r ah!
tim
wa
O-T...original TREE in the
original GARDEN.
Newbies want to know what "copy and destroy" is all about.

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