What Is A Zine?

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,

For the final project in my non-fiction writing class in university we had to create a zine. I found the process of taking a subject I was passionate about and shrinking it down to meaningful, concise thoughts incredibly difficult, but also a really interesting process. I also found it surprising how many people don't actually know what a zine is. 

A zine is a small, self-published work of text, images and/or art that is reproduced either by hand, by photocopier, or online (though print is still the most popular form). According to the website Remezcla, "Traditionally, zines were handmade booklets/DIY magazines made by people who didn’t have access to high quality publishing. These were alternative methods for distributing new artists, ideas, contemporary influencers, political manifestos, illustrations – anything and everything outside of the mainstream publishing world."  

They usually make little-to-no profit and often deal with topics that are too niche, personal, or controversial for mainstream media. The design is usually rough, unique, and unpolished, further supporting the unconventional topics they cover.

Anyone can create a zine, and there are usually no more than 100 of them distributed. 

Ultimately, zines can be made of anything, be about anything, and be distributed just about anywhere. As long as the are communicating an idea, and someone out there is reading them, then they are doing what they were meant to. 

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