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My name is Dan, I’m a student at Temple University in Philadelphia. I’m taking a class called Youth Cultures and I’m doing my final research project on Zines. I chose this topic because it is something that has always interested me but I never knew much about. It also is allowing me to create a project outside of the traditional research paper boundaries. Part of the requirement is to get insight into our topic from people who participate in the culture. I want to pose a few questions for people to answer and words to define. Feel free to answer as many or as little as you want. Any sort of feedback is greatly appreciated (negativity is not).

Define these terms in your own words (or what they mean to you):

Zine
Zinester
Distro
DIY

What sort of content does your zine contain?
How do you make your zine (your methods, your tools)?
Why do you make zines, how did you get introduced to zines?
Do you distribute your zine? If so, How do you?
Is there anything you do that makes your zine unique or special from other zines?
Do you categorize yourself as a zinester? Why or why not?
What do you like to see in other people’s zines?
What is a zine’s goal?
Tell me about your zine.
Any suggestions for my zine or my research project?

Thank you in advance for those who participate in this survey!

Tags: project, research, temple, zine

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thank you!

any other takers?
Hi Dan,

I think if you read through the discussions and look in the groups you will find the answers to these questions in a much more complete way. I don't think you are going to get a lot of people who want to just answer these kind of definitions when we all define these things so many times over and over for different reasons. Well, at last that is the feeling I have looking at these. Everything you are asking has probably already been covered in here quite a bit. You should also get your hands on some zines.

Anyway, just my opinion, but I thought I would give you a little help.

Krissy
What makes this project seem neat is that it kinda sounds like you're going to turn your research paper into your zine. Is that right?

So, yeah, you should dig into the subject then make a zine about what you learn!

Otherwise, there are probably lots of FAQs out there that answer your survey questions. Over the years I've seen quite a few such questionnaires.
Define these terms in your own words (or what they mean to you):

Zine: Rather hard to define, but you might try this article: http://www.zinebook.com/resource/wright1.html

Zinester: A bit easier. Someone who makes zines, but I guess, maybe too, somebody who reads them, enthusiastically, habitually, or compulsively.

Distro: A person or group who DISTRIBUTES zines. Many I suppose would deny being a "business", though a few might not mind being so described. Many, but not all zinesters, are anti-profit, anti-business, etc. (I'm a multi-economy libertarian.) I guess they're organized & operated differently, but many are "co-ops" or "collectives".

DIY: An acronym for Do It Yourself. Duh. Hopefully self-explanatory. Personally I think it's sort of a buzzword and honored in the breach more than practiced (by myself included). I'd love to see the "ideal" more deeply explored among zinesters, and in zines, not just web forums.

What sort of content does your zine contain?

My religion, politics, philosophy, entertainment choices & reviews (movies, books, music, zines, documentaries & more), letters of comment, poetry, story & essay submissions (many from prisoners), obscurities, rants, whines, rambles, more things than I can remember at the moment.

How do you make your zine (your methods, your tools)?

Typewriters, pre-Internet wordprocessors, a computer with Word 97, an HP inkjet printer, a ditto machine, copy shop copiers, paper, invisible tape, scissors, staples, old pictures found in old books, encyclopedias & magazines (I photocopy from the books from the books & old magazines first), prisoner art. That's a start.

Why do you make zines, how did you get introduced to zines?

I've had a yen to write and publish since I was a kid and experimented with it long before I knew about zines, or that anybody else did anything similar. I thought it was my own brilliant idea.

My circuitous path to zines started with a "little magazine" called Animals' Agenda, ca. 1983, which led to the libertarian "Nomos". Nomos's ads led me to Southern Libertarian Messenger, and that ad-filled "newspaper" (as Mr. Harllee insisted on call it), led me to Factsheet 5. The rest is pretty much history.

Do you distribute your zine? If so, How do you?

I have distroed my zine through Quimby's, believe it or not, 3 to 5 at a time. They sold very slowly. Quimby's was the only distro that accepted my zine. One told me my zine "didn't sit well on the shelf". That and a few similar responses I got from distros, made me decide not to try too hard in getting accepted by a distro. I "distro" my zines myself through review zines such as Zine World, FS5, Xerography Debt, etc. I also have a circle of zinepals, traders, "the usualers", I keep on my mailing list in a give-and-take fashion. I've gotten comparatively few responses from my Internet ads.

Is there anything you do that makes your zine unique or special from other zines?

No. I really don't think so. All zinesters just express themselves in their own way on what is fun or important to them. That's what I do, and in that way, I'm not really unique at all.

Do you categorize yourself as a zinester? Why or why not?

I call myself a zinester, partly out of convenience, but I also consider myself part of the larger and older self-publishing tradition that goes back to the 19th century, maybe even the middle ages of the Gutenberg press. I'm also an "Ajay" or amateur journalist, and an apa-zinester. (apa: amateur press association).

What do you like to see in other people’s zines?

Interests, concerns, enjoyments that reflect my own, intelligently and thoughtfully expressed and explored. I like to see a "sense of community", that for some reason, I just don't *quite* see, as much, on most web forums.

What is a zine’s goal?

Depends on the zinester. To inform, discuss, explore. To entertain, to shock, to protest. To create and experiment. To share community with other likeminded (often socially marginal) zinesters. Maybe more.

Tell me about your zine.

I'm lazy. Hope you don't mind if I refer you to my profile page. (Click on picture.)

Any suggestions for my zine or my research project?

Yes. The article I gave a link to above is a must-read, but I think it has a bias toward a more recent self-publishing culture. You might also try "Amatuer Journalism", "Amateur Press Association" and "Little Magazine" on Wikipedia.

I don't want to sound outraged or anything, but I take exception that your college would consider zine culture a "youth culture". I would say the Internet, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, iPods, iPhones, txtng, etc. are more "youth culture" than zines. Zines are as much, possibly more, a marginal/outcaste "middle-age" culture as/than a youth culture. Zines are yesterday's youth culture, more than today's.

Self-publishing, amateur journalism, fanzines and zines are all part of a continuum spanning generations, based on a love of the printed publication and communication and expression there-through. Men, women, teenagers and kids, young and old, have all contributed to it, and have loved it. It's this larger culture that I feel a part of.
Zine- publication that can be created by anyone, any way. the term "zine" has a pretty broad definition nowadays- from full colour image only to published diaries to things I'd call magazines. (basically, to me, if it gets and big shiny enough, it's not a zine anymore.) (okay, that's not true, I don't actually know when it goes from zine to magazine, but I have seen some things I'd consider too.. polished, maybe? to be a real zine. someone help me out here?)

Zinester- someone who makes zines. and can't stop.

Distro- uh, I know WHAT it is, but I can't really give my own definition, I really don't run that way. I like to deal with people one on one, at least for now, when I still have time to handle my own stuff.

DIY- making something yourself instead of letting some machine make it for you :)

What sort of content does your zine contain?
depends on the zine. I make a lot, and mostly one offs. anything from stream of consciousness about people on the bus, poetry, rants about my university, rants about myself, letters, lists, tips, whatever. that's what I like about zines. it's mine, I can say what I want.

How do you make your zine (your methods, your tools)?
cut and paste, baby. I like to get right in there. I generally type things on the computer (actually, only lately- I have a wrist brace right now and it makes my handwriting near illegible) or typewriter or hand write them, cut them out, and paste them onto the page. I use a lot of old photos from books- I'm pretty strict about making sure stuff I use is in the public domain, just a personal preference. I'd hate to have to destroy my work due to copyright issues.
sometimes I make pretty construction paper covers or tie pages together with yarn, since I've yet to acquire a proper stapler. (a zinester is also someone who ask for a long armed stapler for christmas.)

Why do you make zines, how did you get introduced to zines?
I make them because I have a desire to create. I'm a writer by heart, but I also love anything artsy. and I can't draw/paint/sculpt to save my life, so I zine. It's also wonderfully self indulgent.
I started making them on my own when I was 9. no one introduced me, and I had no idea there was a wonderful zine culture around me.

Do you distribute your zine? If so, How do you?
yep. I do a lot of trades on this website, and I give them to friends sometimes, if they're not too personal.
In the new year, I plan to get an etsy shop, maybe try to break even a bit.

Is there anything you do that makes your zine unique or special from other zines?
my zine is unique, just like all the other zines. (har har.)
I mean, it's mine, and it's honest and personal. that's about as special as it gets. all zines are special!

Do you categorize yourself as a zinester? Why or why not?
of course! couldn't quit if you held a gun to my head.

What do you like to see in other people’s zines?
I love secrets.

What is a zine’s goal?
... I wasn't aware I had one.
pretty sure I'm just doing this for myself, and if other people like it, cool.
if I don't go completely broke, that's also cool, but unexpected.

Tell me about your zine.
I have more than one, and they're all very different.
there's descriptions and photos on my page if you want to take a look.

Any suggestions for my zine or my research project?
read some zines :)
it seems like a lot of us around here made zines as kids and had no idea anyone else did. I'm one of those, too :)

also, I definitely agree the zine culture more belongs to yesterdays youth. (though I dearly wished it belonged to mine as well.) when I was making them, no one else was, and they all thought I was a freak. a lot of older people tended to get it, though.

James N. Dawson said:
Define these terms in your own words (or what they mean to you):

Zine: Rather hard to define, but you might try this article: http://www.zinebook.com/resource/wright1.html

Zinester: A bit easier. Someone who makes zines, but I guess, maybe too, somebody who reads them, enthusiastically, habitually, or compulsively.

Distro: A person or group who DISTRIBUTES zines. Many I suppose would deny being a "business", though a few might not mind being so described. Many, but not all zinesters, are anti-profit, anti-business, etc. (I'm a multi-economy libertarian.) I guess they're organized & operated differently, but many are "co-ops" or "collectives".

DIY: An acronym for Do It Yourself. Duh. Hopefully self-explanatory. Personally I think it's sort of a buzzword and honored in the breach more than practiced (by myself included). I'd love to see the "ideal" more deeply explored among zinesters, and in zines, not just web forums.

What sort of content does your zine contain?

My religion, politics, philosophy, entertainment choices & reviews (movies, books, music, zines, documentaries & more), letters of comment, poetry, story & essay submissions (many from prisoners), obscurities, rants, whines, rambles, more things than I can remember at the moment.

How do you make your zine (your methods, your tools)?

Typewriters, pre-Internet wordprocessors, a computer with Word 97, an HP inkjet printer, a ditto machine, copy shop copiers, paper, invisible tape, scissors, staples, old pictures found in old books, encyclopedias & magazines (I photocopy from the books from the books & old magazines first), prisoner art. That's a start.

Why do you make zines, how did you get introduced to zines?

I've had a yen to write and publish since I was a kid and experimented with it long before I knew about zines, or that anybody else did anything similar. I thought it was my own brilliant idea.

My circuitous path to zines started with a "little magazine" called Animals' Agenda, ca. 1983, which led to the libertarian "Nomos". Nomos's ads led me to Southern Libertarian Messenger, and that ad-filled "newspaper" (as Mr. Harllee insisted on call it), led me to Factsheet 5. The rest is pretty much history.

Do you distribute your zine? If so, How do you?

I have distroed my zine through Quimby's, believe it or not, 3 to 5 at a time. They sold very slowly. Quimby's was the only distro that accepted my zine. One told me my zine "didn't sit well on the shelf". That and a few similar responses I got from distros, made me decide not to try too hard in getting accepted by a distro. I "distro" my zines myself through review zines such as Zine World, FS5, Xerography Debt, etc. I also have a circle of zinepals, traders, "the usualers", I keep on my mailing list in a give-and-take fashion. I've gotten comparatively few responses from my Internet ads.

Is there anything you do that makes your zine unique or special from other zines?

No. I really don't think so. All zinesters just express themselves in their own way on what is fun or important to them. That's what I do, and in that way, I'm not really unique at all.

Do you categorize yourself as a zinester? Why or why not?

I call myself a zinester, partly out of convenience, but I also consider myself part of the larger and older self-publishing tradition that goes back to the 19th century, maybe even the middle ages of the Gutenberg press. I'm also an "Ajay" or amateur journalist, and an apa-zinester. (apa: amateur press association).

What do you like to see in other people’s zines?

Interests, concerns, enjoyments that reflect my own, intelligently and thoughtfully expressed and explored. I like to see a "sense of community", that for some reason, I just don't *quite* see, as much, on most web forums.

What is a zine’s goal?

Depends on the zinester. To inform, discuss, explore. To entertain, to shock, to protest. To create and experiment. To share community with other likeminded (often socially marginal) zinesters. Maybe more.

Tell me about your zine.

I'm lazy. Hope you don't mind if I refer you to my profile page. (Click on picture.)

Any suggestions for my zine or my research project?

Yes. The article I gave a link to above is a must-read, but I think it has a bias toward a more recent self-publishing culture. You might also try "Amatuer Journalism", "Amateur Press Association" and "Little Magazine" on Wikipedia.

I don't want to sound outraged or anything, but I take exception that your college would consider zine culture a "youth culture". I would say the Internet, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, iPods, iPhones, txtng, etc. are more "youth culture" than zines. Zines are as much, possibly more, a marginal/outcaste "middle-age" culture as/than a youth culture. Zines are yesterday's youth culture, more than today's.

Self-publishing, amateur journalism, fanzines and zines are all part of a continuum spanning generations, based on a love of the printed publication and communication and expression there-through. Men, women, teenagers and kids, young and old, have all contributed to it, and have loved it. It's this larger culture that I feel a part of.
best 'modern' summation (2007)...of...zinery and...mail-art
is GOING POSTAL...Kris Mininger..., with seminal articles by
Meyer stettner speirs moyse good cunliffe peers held, jr.
mountain baroni bailey michel cohen ladousse and breier

the above are the founders historians 'philosophical backdrop(ers)'
of zine-dom and mail-artery...32 pages calle obispo 4B plasencia 10600
cáceres SPAIN...i don't know what kris is charging...i got mine free

if you REALLY want the scoop...GOING POSTAL is the poop!!!!
tim scannell
port angeles
i'm just going to say i agree with krissy. there are a LOT of books & academic articles & online resources that will provide basic definitions for you. if you are also supposed to get directly involved with the "culture" you are studying somehow, i'd recommend just reading some zines. that will give you a far better idea of what the zine scene is about than asking zinesters to describe their zines to you. you live in philly. go to the wooden shoe, on south st. they have plenty of zines, & they probably have some books about zines that you can look at while you're there. or maybe track down some of the gazillionty-eleven zinesters that live in philadelphia & see if they will go for coffee with you & talk to you about zine culture. that will probably be more fun than asking people on a messageboard to slog through this ridiculously long survey.
yea, many of my friends have recommended going to wooden shoe, I'll check it out tomorrow!

This was just my jumping off point so I could get pointed in the right direction, I really appreciate everyone's feedback so far.

I've been thinking a lot about how many "youth cultures" are based in consumerism, whether it be clothes, music, or other trends, but the DIY scene is the one that essentially gives back. Analyzing that aspect might be one of the directions I take for the project, So I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on that?
Zine; Whatever you want it to be, as long as it contains non-mainstream creative work.
Zinester; a person who creates a zine
Distro; a zine distributor
DIY; something done yourself without the help of a large company.

What sort of content does your zine contain?; mostly writing, musings on life and whatever is happening at the time

How do you make your zine (your methods, your tools)?; do it on MS word and then photocopy at Kinkos.

Why do you make zines, how did you get introduced to zines?; I just found teh term online at some point. THen I forgot about it, but got hooked again a couple months ago. I make zines because... I don't even know. Because I like it. Because it's a way to make sense of some of my feelings. Becauseit can be interesting, and makes me think about life in a different way.

Do you distribute your zine? If so, How do you?; mostly just trades and I am planning on opening an etsy shop.
Is there anything you do that makes your zine unique or special from other zines?; I hope the content.

Do you categorize yourself as a zinester? Why or why not?; Yes. I consider a zinester to be someone who is involved in teh zine world, either making or reading zines. Or both.

What do you like to see in other people’s zines?; creativity.

What is a zine’s goal?; To share you opinion, to get thoughts down on paper. It depends on the zine.

Tell me about your zine.; It's called Lone Sock Digest, and is basically a stream of one-shot zines, though I might make it into a perzine. My most recent one is a collection of the strange things that have happened to me growing up. It is called Caution: Childhood Is Stranger than it appears. The one I'm working on now is about lies.

Any suggestions for my zine or my research project; Talk to zinesters. Visit places that sell zines. Make your own zine. Heck. Give you project in zine form.
check out QZAP meta zine for some information. true, it is "queer zine "specific, but it should help a little bit.
it's scanned and uploaded to:
www.qzap.org

xoxo.
Zine: a self-produced mini 'magazine' of sorts, often for little or no profit

Zinester: someone who makes the above

Distro: An individual or group of people who distribute other people's zines, either purchased on wholesale or comission; a good place to get a bundle of zines all at once, especially if you're new to the culture and/or want a nice variety

DIY: Do-It-Yourself, can refer to anything you...do yourself!

What sort of content does your zine contain? I make several different zines, most are personal and about various aspects of my life, including depression, sex, body issues, photography, art, relationships, body modification, animals, and so on.

How do you make your zine (your methods, your tools)? I prefer a cut and paste style, and I type the whole thing up on an old typewriter. I like to do the covers on the computer though.

Why do you make zines, how did you get introduced to zines? I was introduced to zines by a friend when she showed me her zine and I thought they were brilliant and I wanted a way to put my writing and photography into a project.

Do you distribute your zine? If so, How do you? I do a lot of online trading and advertising, tabling at zine fairs, and sometimes handing them out to people or leaving them in places for people to find.

Is there anything you do that makes your zine unique or special from other zines? I think zines are all unique because they're completely based on the individual creating them, but I think the layout of my zine stands out, based on the comments I've received about them.

Do you categorize yourself as a zinester? Why or why not? Most definitely. I've been making zines on and off for about 6 years and don't plan to stop anytime soon.

What do you like to see in other people’s zines? My favourite zines are visually beautiful, make me feel like I've gotten to know the creator, or informative on topics I'm interested in.

What is a zine’s goal? It really depends on who's making the zine.

Tell me about your zine. Well, I sort of did a little bit above. If you want more specifics, you should read the descriptions on my page.

Any suggestions for my zine or my research project? All of the advice submitted here so far is good. Do lots of research and talk to lots of zinesters.

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