I am happy to have this book to point to whenever anyone asks me, "But are people still making zines?" The answer, with about 100 zines published in the last year excerpted and another 75 or so listed as honorable mentions, is an emphatic "Yes!" I loved seeing the zines, reproduced as closely as possible to how they originally appeared, but even more, I was inspired by Katie Haegele and Cindy Crabb's loving introductions. And I gotta say the Zine Libraries Index Julie Turley and I contributed is also pretty hot.
+ They acknowledged the potential weaknesses, e.g. zines' power weakened by their appearance in a book.
+ Transparency of operations (publishing costs/expected earnings breakdown).
+ I like that they credited the authors in opposite alphabetical order.
+ I appreciate their copyright statement, "All content owned by original authors and artists."
+ They seemed attentive to achieving gender, race, and class inclusiveness.
+ Nice flow from one zine to another, good groupings. They made it easier to read than many anthologies of diverse content.
+ You get the feeling that the editors really thought about what people's concerns would be ahead of time and tried to prevent them.
+ Good value for its price. Originally $12 and now listed at $10, that's a fair price for a 240 page book put out by a small small press.
- My main concern is one I addressed in an earlier post.
- Like many zines, the margins are a little—small, the whole thing has a crowded feel with no page or white space to breathe.
- Although I liked the content just fine, the columns at the end seemed a little extraneous, not serving their purpose (year in zines wrap-ups) as well as they could have.
- Too many zines excerpted. I'm very sympathetic to the reasons for this, but I got fatigued reading it, and gave less attention and love to the zines at the end than I gave to the zines in the beginning.
Congratulations, Zine Yearbook crew! I hope you don't lose money on this project, and that you have the fortitude to take it on again next year.
I love zines. Dreaming them up, physically constructing them, and bringing them to the post office all snug in their packages makes me feel whole in a way not much else does. … The medium of zines reminds me of the point of the work: the deep and sincere need to be heard, the yearning for communion. I sign most of my zines "love, Katie" as though they're letters because they feel a lot like letters. I mean, I wouldn't bother saying something if I didn't think there was someone to say it to. … The connection people make with each other through writing and reading is as human as we get, and zinesters know this, they live it. I'm writing this now and you're reading it in another now, which means we're here together in a way; wherever we are, we're both crackling with the same kind of life. --Katie Haegele, Introduction, p.1
Zines were how we learned to exist outside ourselves when the world told us to disappear. …
It was the hand touching hand as the zine was passed between you. …
It was about creating real physical connection in the face of nothingness. It was folded well loved pages falling apart and holding you together, kept safe in your pocket as you rode the train under the bay from Oakland to San Francisco, and knowing that there was someone else out there, someone you met in passing for a second who had given you this gift who had secrets like your own. And that you weren't alone. –Cindy Crabb, Introduction, p.1-2.
It's hard not to acknowledge that zines are best for their immediate, ephemeral qualities. That feeling that you've found something truly unique and special, from a seemingly unlikely source. For these reasons, putting zines in a mass—produced book is seemingly contradictory. …
Every day we are told that print is dying, but as our co-worker Chris says, "If print is dead, it's another reason to like zombies." –Joe Biel, p.6