a place for zinesters - writers and readers
It more than helped - there was not the explosion of zines before that time, and there has not been since the internet . That technological time of copiers and desktop publsihing was in between publishing the old way, and the proliferation of the net. History of that golden age will show that it was a golden age of literature unmatched before or since.
This site here is the remnants of that time. It was not just writing, it was the first golden age of writing, illustrating, book making, with certain zinester ideas and practices that were new to publishing. That specific type of publishing was never done before, and hasn't been matched since with the same intensity and dedication. It's like Impressionist painters. They arose at a certain time, peaked and then were gone, and art changed. Zines of this time were not books, they were something new. You can't compare them to publishing before - because that was nothing like it, or publishing now because that was nothing like it. It was a rare golden age of art. Zines were very much a reaction to the technology of that specific window of time.
Decided to do my weekly blog on this issue
I agree with Mr. Dawson, too. Cheap xerox copies and Factsheet Five were the main reasons for the zine revolution and not the personal computers. In my opinion, PCs had a negative effect in traditional cut n' paste zines. Ofcourse new technologies made publishing easier and more people got involved. But "more" is not the point.
I recall two subcultures that are mostly connected to zines as we know them, punk (late '70s) and riot grrrl (early '90s). I don't think there was even one good punk or riot grrrl zine made with a computer.
Macs were the first computers to offer desktop layout software like PageMaker. I'd say that the somewhat affordable availability of that kind of software timed exactly with the Zine Explosion.
The Mac seems likely involved with the fancier side of zining -- especially with the font-play it allowed -- which was a spur to the whole scene.
I doubt the scene would've exploded like it did if the layouts had stuck with the "punk" look and technology of typewriters, scissors, glue, crookedness.
My recollection is that even word processing software was much more powerful for the Mac at that point.
Right around 1989 I wanted to make a zine (and some books) and studied what was available and there was only ONE option at that point and that was the Mac. The PC was WAY FAR behind.
When I got rolling with that setup and kicked out my first zine issue, I immediately discovered Factsheet Five. Zining then was on a steep upwards ramp-up, with Tower throwing open the doors, which peaked maybe 5 years later.
Cheap xerox (and cheap webpress!) and simple/cheap bulk postage practices also were huge factors. Again, these factors didn't relate to the most common neighborhood class-mates-only zines printed by the dozen, but they allowed the *high end* to even be possible -- but more than that they let the gungho zinesters flourish.
So I agree with Tom.
I wonder if the disagreers were there at the time, zining, and base their views on actual before/after experience.
Does anyone know what the histories/overviews of zining -- a couple are out there -- say? Maybe they can help enlighten us.
Too bad I just returned my library copy of "Smoking Typewriters." Certainly the underground press was big in the 60's-70's. The mimeograph machine made the early phase possible. Cheap postage and cheap webpress were key back then. This book has a second-to-last chapter on Zining. I'd be curious as to what the Authorities on the History of the Scene would say kicked off the zine explosion. Cheap xerox certainly was a factor. But DTP seems bigger to me. And the Mac was the first truly potently viable DTP setup.