a place for zinesters - writers and readers
Technically I don't understand why the whole thing needs to be so complicated. Marc Parker's already doing Zine Thug on-line and although I'd like to see it a little more space-economical in it's printable version, lay-out-wise it'd be perfectly satisfactory. I might consider having Zine World's rule of requiring physical addresses for all zines & other items (tapes, etc.), but I've sort of been pounded into submission about not being such an old-school fuss-budget about that. Further, just make it INCLUSIVE, and voila, that's all I'm asking. (I used to think it was fun ordering the zines with terrible reviews). Maybe some distro run by somebody with good printer skills could offer it via physical mail and just print it out as requested, or a few copies at a time.
Papernet Gazet already exists, and it has a zine section, and the zinester even helps out by typing in his or her own entry. I guess the second issue is late because Heath's been busy, but maybe if he had a little help? (Don't ask me for that, I'm an internet-imbecile.)
build it and they will come
All inclusive is great, but don't let that be a hurdle. Also - there are too many definitions of what is a zine now. It used to be all physical, but now you have the online components as well... don't even get me started on blogs. What's really happening is that the D.I.Y. "BE THE MEDIA" attitude has actually permeated throughout popular culture. I live in Chicago and recently encountered a homeless man on State Street who had his own "TV station" and was uploading videos he was shooting on his phone to youtube. But I guess we can assume that we are only talking about zines in print (?) - Whats more interesting these days is whats happening with Zine Libraries. In some ways, these libraries, which have grown in number and strength have taken much of the need for "the big inclusive zine review zine" out of the equation. More and more people are participating in zine archiving and preservation. Zines are being housed and made available to the public.
All this aside, however, I can see the value in a centralized printed document (maybe that comes out annually?) that serves the zine review function, however, I do think it is totally a waste and an environmental conundrum to give print space to any and all zine reviews for zines which come down the pipes, not in 2010 and beyond. Instead, the digital version of the publication can be a place to archive ALL the reviews and the (yearly?) printed version can be a place to showcase a finite number of zines from the total received. This way everyone wins and costs are cut, space is saved, and money can go into other areas such as advertising, higher quality production, (paying people?), etc...
Oh and don't forget about MRR which always has been reviewing zines now monthly for close to almost 3 decades without stopping.
This is Davida from XD here.
Let me explain part of XD's rational behind the reviews we run - 1) I don't have the time or energy to print hostile or negative reviews. I always found that a waste of time and money (paper and postage are too expensive) within the DIY realm. I also know of a few people who disappeared from zinedom after receiving bad reviews and I think that does the community a disservice. I am very supportive of critical reviews that provide feedback and are honest. I am also careful when I send zines out to the reviewers to try and send zines I think the reviewer might like or at least be able to review critically.
2) Duplicate reviews - yes, the same zines receive multiple reviews. Often people send zines to several reviewers and the reviewers independently decide to review that zine. When I receive all the reviews I don't want to start picking and choosing whose reviews get cut and which get run.
3) XD ran like clockwork at least three times a year for approximately 8-9 years, despite a FT job, a kid, cancer, and more. I started seeing everything drying up around issue #24 and migrated the reviews online. Joe contacted me and we came up with a way to revive XD starting with #25. We are now aiming for every 6 months and I already have the schedule set for the next two issues.
4) Managing a review zine with a large staff of reviewers is laborious and there are always problems - zines going out for review go missing, reviewers flake (taking zines with them), orders go missing, and you have to pull everything together with just volunteer support. That said, the core XD reviewers are fantastic. They have been with the zine going on a decade now. They meet the deadlines and produce the artwork to help the community. Everyone pitches in to help in his or her own way.
I just don't see something like F5 being relevant these days. Reviews were short, there was no internet to speak of, and the audience was desperate for information it couldn't find elsewhere.
There are ways to support review zines (reviews, columns, postage $, even just letting people know we are here and need fresh zines to review), but I usually only see that work being done by a few when in fact ANY zinester could help. Fact of the matter is, I started XD in 1999 because I was tired of all the bitching and decided to just do something about the void left by other review zines disappearing. ZW was actually on a bit of a hiatus back then before Jerianne took over. I didn't set out to become F5, ZG, or ZW, that was never a goal, but I decided I could help - even if just a little.
I didn't know Zine World was gone. *Sob*