Where are all the Zine-sters?
May 2, 2014 8:32 AM   Subscribe

I've been working on a few different zines myself, but I'd love to find more zine community online. What are some of the best sites, communities, blogs, Tumblrs, Twitter accounts, for getting into zine communities?

I'm particularly interested in reading things like calls for submissions for zines, summaries and reviews of new zines, general websites where people sell or discuss and collaborate.

So far the ones I've been working on have been pretty random, so I'm current looking for resources that are a little more general and not necessarily focused on a particular fandom, topic, or location.

posted by forkisbetter to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure where the line is between 'zines' and 'online magazines', so ignore this if you like, but the Review Review did a pretty good overview of online literary magazines, how to judge their credibility and their submission process.
posted by Think_Long at 8:39 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think zines are in decline because they've mostly been replaced by group blogs.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:41 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: By zine I mean a DIY publication that someone has actually printed. To clarify, I guess I'm looking for the online community that supports DIY print publishing.
posted by forkisbetter at 8:55 AM on May 2, 2014

Best answer: Check out We Make Zines!

You may already be familiar with Microcosm Publishing, but they are a big zine publisher and kind of gathering place for zine culture (following their Facebook page might lead you in some interesting directions).

A lot of zine culture is dispersed and issue/city based. There's actually been crit of Microcosm over the years, because it's a little antithetical to have a marquee publisher for an art form rooted in non-hierarchical communities. Local flashpoints that may be of interest (and may lead you places through links online):

Boston: Papercut Zine Library currently lives in Lorem Impsum books in Inman Square, Cambridge and is a great library.

Chicago: Quimby's Bookstore loves zines.

New Orleans: The Iron Rail Collective

Minneapolis: Zine Apothecary in South Minneapolis. Never checked it out but sounds pretty good. Also a decent zine collection and cool zinester collective members at Boneshaker books

Portland is home to the Microcosm HQ.

Hope this gives you some things to work with! Feel free to message me with any zine thoughts/questions :)
posted by elephantsvanish at 9:19 AM on May 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Contrary to what chocolate pickle says, zines are far from dead!

We make zines is the closest thing the zine-making community has to a big online hub, as far as I can tell. Folks from all over there.

Hoax is an awesome feminist zine that often reposts submission calls for other social-justicey zines.

You might want to follow some distros (zine distributors, if you don't know the lingo) who put out zines on subjects that interest you. I like Things You Say Distro and Sweet Candy Distro.

Cindy Crabb of Doris is one of the closest people the zine world has to a celebrity. Doris has been running for years, and it's consistently warm, funny, and insightful.

I super-love everything I've ever read from Pioneers Press. They operate out of a farm in rural Kansas and use the proceeds from their zines and other products to raise rescue farm animals. If you order from they you get sweet personalized notes with your packages.

Your posting history indicates that you're in DC; have you ever been to DC Zinefest or contacted any of its organizers? I used to live in DC can personally vouch for them being excellent people. If you follow them on facebook you'll get updates for local zine readings and other events. (They just had a zine-making 101 workshop a few weeks back.) It also wouldn't be too far to travel to Philly Zinefest, which happens in the fall and is a bit larger, (sorry, no 2014 dates yet), or, for that matter, to the upcoming Philly Feminist Zinefest.

Elephantsvanish is right about a lot of zine culture being local/individual city based. DC has a bunch of strong local zine-makers, but fewer spaces to buy and peruse zines, and less of a strong DIY culture overall. (That's a large part of why I left, actually.) Here in Philly we've got a bunch of writers, plus the zine library at Soapbox Independent Publishing Center and a good selection of zines for sale at Wooden Shoe Books. A little closer to DC, you've got Red Emma's in Baltimore--gorgeous space with a decent zine collection and good food too.

Feel free to message me with any zine thoughts, or if you happen to come to Philly and want some local zine recommendations!
posted by ActionPopulated at 10:12 AM on May 2, 2014 [8 favorites]

Best answer: My favourite distros, all of which are run by wonderful people:
Stranger Danger (Chicago)
Fight Boredom (Montreal, specializes mainly in feminist zines)
Pioneers Press (as noted above).
Brown Recluse (Seattle, specializes in zines by people of colour)

A lot of people who write zines or read zines or run distros are on tumblr, so I would check out the zine tag there.

I also (self-link alert) write a zine review blog, so I read a ton of zines, and if there's any particular style or topic of zine you're looking for, definitely feel free to email me and I am happy to make some recommendations.

Also, other reasons people choose not to support Microcosm is that they are said to have ripped people off, sued other people in the zine community, and because one of the main people has been accused of abuse, so just a heads up.
posted by ITheCosmos at 2:12 PM on May 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

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