What is a Zine? And Why is it Not Called a Booklet or Magazine?

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This little collage article is especially for my HUSBAND and my DAUGHTER (7) who continually question why I say “zine” instead of “book” or “magazine.”
I’ve tried repeatedly to explain it to them (but maybe I need your help?).
They of course seem to have been born BEFORE and AFTER the girl “grrl” zine boom that I was so affected by.
They don’t seem to like the word.
They act as though I made the word up.
I didn’t.
We both know that.

A Brief Definition of Each

  • BOOK – a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers. The Old English word originally meant any written document.
  • MAGAZINE – a periodical publication containing articles and illustrations, typically covering a particular subject or area of interest.
  • PAMPHLET – a small booklet or leaflet containing information or arguments about a single subject.
  • ZINE – most commonly a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. Usually zines are the product of a single person, or of a very small group.

Could these words be interchangeable?
Sure.
I can buy a chicken by searching for chickens on Craigslist.
However if I want to buy a rooster specifically, I will have a hell of a time finding one by searching “chicken.”
So while you might say a zine is a type of book or magazine, it is categorized as a zine.
A word I did not make up to be cute.
To be fair, I make up a lot of words.
Generally speaking, these words are used to communicate my aesthetic appreciation for our animals.
So yes, they could also be referred to as forms of baby talk.
(I’m sure you understand.)

As Issuu says:

Let’s start off by defining magazines. Magazines are a print or digital periodical publication featuring a collection of content. Typically, magazines tend to have one specific focus across all of their issues –– fashion magazines focus centrally on fashion, food magazines on food, etc. Magazines have been around since the 1600s and have taken many forms: free or paid; weekly, monthly or quarterly; digital or print.

So if “zine” is short for “magazine,” are they in fact just shorter magazines? Upon first glance, one would likely say yes. But there is much more — and much less — that defines a zine.

Historically, zines have been self-published as pamphlets or leaflets as early as the 1700s. They were circulated independently by socially-marginalized groups to give voice to their opinions and beliefs. Over time this developed into an array of other topics, with the first “boom” of zines starting in the 1930s. Known as “fanzines” and “perzines,” these were started by fans of science fiction magazines who self-published zines about both science fiction and the connected fandoms behind them.

Zines boomed again in the 1970s during the rise of punk subculture, and by the 1980s the concept of zines as an art form emerged. This was heightened by “Factsheet Five,” a publication that reviewed any zine sent to it, which created a network of “zinesters.” In the 1990s came “girl zines,” originating from the riot grrrl movement. These have carried over prominently into present day zine culture.

Zines boomed again in the 1970s during the rise of punk subculture, and by the 1980s the concept of zines as an art form emerged. This was heightened by “Factsheet Five,” a publication that reviewed any zine sent to it, which created a network of “zinesters.” In the 1990s came “girl zines,” originating from the riot grrrl movement. These have carried over prominently into present day zine culture.

The New York Times explains why the internet didn’t kill zines:

Millions, maybe hundreds of millions, of posts are published to social-media sites each day. And yet somehow, it can feel impossible to engage with new ideas, even as our compulsive inability to stop scrolling exposes us to an unending stream of new content. Yes, you can catch tweetstorms on Twitter, watch someone’s life unfold on Instagram, do deep dives into hashtags on Tumblr or watch video diaries on YouTube that explore diverse perspectives, but the clutter of everything else happening at the same time online can make it difficult to really digest and absorb the perspective being offered.

Which might be part of the reason zines never disappeared — and are even available in abundance in 2017.

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I love ZINES: How to Make, Browse and Buy Zines

zines

What are ZINES?

Zines are small-circulation, usually self-published, publications that come in many shapes and sizes. And I love them. All shapes and sizes of them.

Why do I love zines?

I wrote this article long ago but I looked it up just today and it had NOTHING of substance so I’m rewriting it. You see, when I started Miseducated as a blog it was my version of a zine because I had ignored the blog movement for so long. I kept my site solely an artistic and nonsensical web site, self-made with hand-coded CSS and HTML. After I started having odd dreams about starting a zine shop (like some hippie record store with lots of incense, shag rugs and pouffes to sit on around tons of zines to read/buy) with my wares on display, I decided this was my brain asking sub-contiously to be involved online again. To be involved in making instead digital zine-like articles with collage art via blogging.

A lot of our OLD beginning articles are like that: a page out of a zine just pasted on here with a few words. This article was one of those. I was a woman of few words and a ton of time to create personal and purposeless art back then. I did little more at home than sit around in my psychedelic robe drinking tea and smoking while playing my ye-ye collection and collaging nonsense together for this blog. I had no kids and no motivation to do much else.

My job made me feel like a monkey in a factory so I did whatever I appreciated at home. My home was a 2-story 60s lounge pad and when I didn’t have a few friends over I was entranced by my world of pop culture archaeology carefully collected from others like me as well as thrift stores. I am not that girl anymore but I’d be lying is I didn’t admit that sometimes I do miss her. I’d certainly like to ask her advice on a few things I’ve been planning and making. She was too sad and too lonely though. Too much of a downer to relate to anymore.

In case you can’t tell by now, I have a major soft spot for zines. I have a cherished a big collection of them organized in my studio (they almost got ruined with our last big rain because I had them out by the open window!). I’ve collected such an array of them that I’m going to start showing some of them via you tube videos so you can view/read out-of-print zines along with me. I even have zines from Japan because I collected them while I lived there.

Zine Methods

Generally zines that arrive in my mailbox are copied onto white or colored paper using the cut and paste method. This is similar to scrap-booking, each page is created using printed/written text and graphics or photos and then copied and reproduced using a copy machine (it’s a plus to work somewhere with a xerox). Although today many zines just use a few sheets of printer paper and are cut and stapled in home offices. There are some (fancy) zines who use color printing and there even are a few creators who still hand write and illustrate each and every zine. <3 In fact, I even made a PDF of an old zine I used to print because the color printing became too expensive to charge for the zine and in my opinion selling ads for zines is a big no-no. Nothing can bias a special, unique, self-made zine quicker than ads for companies who are simply paying you to be included.

Drool-Worthy Zines

Create Your Own

Want to create your own mini-zine? There are a few patterns to try out floating around online. You can make your first one easy on yourself (sometimes the paper layouts when putting together advanced zines can be mind-blowingly confusing at first as I found when I used to print Tulip). If you need some help or inspiration (or contributions) for your zine LET ME KNOW. I’m a strong believer in supporting small-press.

8 Page Zine

makeazinezine
Learn to make a zine by printing out this template onto 8.5 x 11 paper and making it into a DIY zine thanks to Dogooder Comics~

24 Page Zine

24-page-zine-assembly

Featured Zine-Friendly Links

  • LA Zine Fest
  • We Make Zines – a rad zine community
  • 24 Hour Zine Thing
  • Zine World
  • Light Gasp – San Francisco zine/underground press distro
  • Cafe Royal – UK zine/underground press distro
  • Microcosm Publishing – independent publisher
  • Stolen Sharpie Revolution
  • Zine Wiki
  • Gluestick: Indianapolis’ Zines & Small Publishing Advocate
  • Irvington Vinyl & Books – zine events and shop in Indianapolis
  • Chicago Zine Fest
  • Japanese Magazine Clippings: Neon and Kawaii KERA

    In the old skool blogging days Wednesdays were MAGAZINE CLIP days because I’m always collecting them and oogling them but only share my favorite parts with you or else I’d flood the blog with them. In this KERA from the end of last year I cannot get enough of the fashion. I find that as I’ve aged now KERA is my style.. the style is dark but neon and super cute. Colorful hair, big eyelashes and perfect bangs.

    clipskera

    009

    cute

    neon

    couple

    In the Closet With Kera Magazine

    As I was reading Kera recently I came across a new photoshoot that I adore.
    Finding things in the closet and wearing them all together.
    Now that’s something I do way too often… I never match and I always wear too many layers.

    Just go take a look through your closet and dresser drawers to find items you’ve forgotten about, items that you can wear together to give them a new life.
    Don’t limit yourself, go crazy.
    It feels like 90s grunge is mixing with gothic lolita and decora to create a cake made especially for us.
    Layer yourself in your favorite fashions and see what new outfits you can unearth.

    .. and I also loved this POP accessory feature that has a necklace I own from 6% DokiDoki.


    Play Date with Nylon Magazine

    I had to feature this NYLON photoshoot because it’s so Miseducated I can’t stand it. Rainbows, hearts, plastic jewelry, pigtails, rollerskates and vintage-inspired frocks. Did they raid my closet? Is NYLON following me? Just kidding of course.. but seriously this looks like it was inspired by us. Not like you needed anymore reasons to read NYLON though, huh?




    French Magazine Clippings: MiLK Home Decor

    You’ll be noticing some changes around here.. mostly just cleaning things up and preparing for more change.. there are so many things I’ve wanted to get done but have continually put off!

    Don’t throw tomatoes yet! .. remember, I’m a new mother!

    I’ve decided that when you’ve figured out how to work with a baby on your lap you must be really driven. Ha!

    So here I am preparing a move, trying to work and giving Colette every free moment and busy moment I have. I want to build her a world of dreams and wonderment — color and whimsy. I cannot WAIT to move and finally unpack. I’m starting to forget what my real office even looks like anymore..!

    So in the middle of all of this I’ve been feeling the insatiable need to travel again.. and so I’m planning a couple of trips to cities in the USA but I’m having urges for more international travel. I miss my friends and family in Japan and I would love to go on a shopping spree for our new place. A trip back to Paris wouldn’t be so bad either, have you seen MiLK Decor in France? I’ve been EATING home decor magazines lately.

    Do you want more??

    MILKs
    1
    2

    Miseducated Scrapbook: Online Art Journaling

    Yikes! I’ve missed you so much lately and getting to be creative in both work and play. This past week was entirely draining but I left it feeling much more enlightened (..and slow ..and tired .. and pregnant).

    I have never experienced happiness like this, absolute fulfillment.. Colette opened a new book of endless inspiration and motivation to create the world we want.

    Did I tell you she’s kicking now?

    So anyway, as of recently I’ve been getting back into keeping my sketch/idea book up to date and I’ve found out that still the craft of art journaling is still so fun and addicting. I decided to share it with you and inspire you to do your own journal, letters or scrapbooks! Big plans for these so if you’re interested in contributing please let me know!

    So I’ve written you a little letter..

    As for inspiration.. hit up your local thrift store and flip through the vintage magazines. When I feel uninspired I take a break with my magazine collection and then I imagine ways to translate home decor into web design and graphic art. It’s even great for inspiration to just relax and read as I’ve said before. Remember, a 20 minute break can help tremendously!

    Until later, stay sweet, inspired and colorful.

    letter

    Cleaning out the Closet

    I figured I should write about something I’m currently tackling and how I dealt with it. I’m not just organizing my closet either, I’ve got everything (except my clothes) organized into boxes and in storage ready to move.. this ‘transitional stage’ is quite tough on a ‘nesting’ pregnant woman, but I found that I can feel confident simply by knowing I’ve went through and discarded/donated/saved anything I’ve ever had. I have a lot of junk. When I say junk I mean cute toys and nonsense from Japan, ridiculous amounts of assorted craft tools and art supplies, geeky technological computers and games (mine and my husbands combined), my husbands music equipment, my extensive Blythe doll collection (which includes a Blythe-size-inhabitable dollhouse)… wah!

    array of clothing

    I used to listen to others with absolute sympathy and little understanding as they complained about having to get rid of all of their Blythe doll boxes and anything they aren’t really attached to, having to slim down their collections, clothes and more.. I just guess being from the Midwest I assumed I’d always have a lot of space at my disposal.

    Space is over-rated, having things is over-rated. First thing any psychologist will try to explain to a hoarder is that memories are not items. You can get rid of everything you have except your basic needs and you would still have your memories. Take photos of a cherished item. Store it in an album. There are many ways to reminisce without filling your house with everything you’ve ever loved. It’s easy (for me) to do.. but it’s not good, being attached to any item is dangerous.. Instead use that attachment on people and new memories, a 60s tumbler from your grandmother might be irreplaceable to you, but remember not to confuse the attachment you feel towards your grandma with the item.

    It’s hard for me to get rid of anything I had in Japan, I feel if I lose it I’ll forget.. I just love visiting my room at my parent’s house and holding random items from my time there, it’s like the room is actually frozen in time and I’m still that same girl in school when I visit.

    Before I move out of state I have to decide what I really do and do not need of course and start living a simple life, stop trying to save everything. After living in cute, tiny city lofts I quickly realized STUFF is exactly what I do not want. I did not want to carry boxes and boxes of junk down that tiny, spiral staircase and into the basement-looking living room. I quickly realized being on my own that stuff was useless — and yes my dolls were still with me all the way.

    I do hope to someday have a home with more space, but I’m not ready to settle down yet. I’ve still got a lot of career-obsession driving my life.

    Tips ala Real Simple

    I found a lot of organizing tips in Real Simple Magazine, these were the ones I found most helpful.

    If you are on the fence about an item, “flag” the hanger. As you wear each item, remove the flag. At the end of each season, items that are still marked with a flag should be donated. If the item is in good condition and/or if you paid a lot for it, think about selling it at a local consignment store or online at a site such as eBay.

    Use every square inch of your closet. Hang shoe racks on the back of your closet door. Classic belt hangers with multiple hooks are also a good solution for hanging camisoles, bras, or scarves. Always remove sweaters from hangers and fold them. Hangers will ruin the shape of sweaters over time.

    It’s possible that no matter how much you try to edit and organize, you just have too much stuff to fit in your closet. If that’s the case, then you need to resort to a seasonal system by rotating your fall/winter clothes with your spring/summer clothes. Out-of-season clothes and kept in your attic or basement or under your bed in storage boxes.

    Gala Darling the De-luxe Blogger

    Gala is a delectable dame with an even more amazing (if that’s possible) message! She’s a fashion icon, blogger and international playgirl. We happen to live by the same sort of mantras and for the same purposes so it happened that we instantly clicked and that she would love to chill with Miseducated and let us in on her own creativity and inspirations in life. Come along for the ride!

    gala3s

    Where do you get your clothing inspiration?gala3s
    It comes to me from all kinds of places. Haute couture, street fashion, movie stars & guttersnipes all provide their own unique perspectives & I love to put them all together in a big mish-mash. I have to say though, I don’t often imitate things I’ve seen — the majority of my looks, for better or for ill, are things that come from my imagination, or just from standing in front of my closet & pairing things up.

    I think the best looks are unpredictable & a little bit “off” — I don’t relish being appropriate or fitting in. Actually, this morning my boyfriend & I went out for brunch & when he saw what I was wearing, he just laughed — a headband with a huge flower & some netting on top, a shredded black knit sweater, a leather miniskirt, engineer boots & a hooded black faux fur coat. All to go out & eat strawberry pancakes. But I think life is for living, & if you don’t dress up, you’re missing out!

    Any cute and quick DIY tips for readers?
    I’m not a big DIY’er, actually. I have never been very “crafty”, I don’t know how to knit & I don’t make doilies or tea-cozies or mittens for dogs. I’m just not very clever that way & a lot of people are, so I would prefer to pay them to do a good job! If I DIY anything, it’s really simple — like I’ll take a Hallmark bow (the kind you would put on a gift) & stick it to a headband, or wear pearls around my ankles or something. I like doing the kind of thing that takes three seconds & doesn’t require much more than a safety pin or some double-sided tape…

    Where do you find inspirations from the world around? What really inspires you to work?
    A. I have always been compelled to write, which I guess makes me lucky. I know a lot of people want to be writers but can’t seem to muster the enthusiasm to carry on — I really think you either HAVE TO write or you don’t, & if you don’t HAVE TO, you’ll never really improve. Even when I was a kid I wrote all the time, I would write short stories on my lunch-breaks when I worked at awful jobs (like selling advertising for newspapers or when I sold home loans & term deposits in a bank), I always have paper on me so I can make notes when I’m in Wholefoods or whatever. So the compulsion, the need, the madness, that’s what inspires me to work. Even if I shut down my website tomorrow, I’d still be writing. I do it for the love, not because I need to make a buck. I think that makes all the difference.

    Do you carry your work into your home (can we see???)? Do you find it creeping into other endeavors you take on?
    Absolutely. This probably sounds super-pretentious but I think people’s lives are their art. You know, even if you’re a rad sculptress or an incredible mechanic, the WAY you live your life is still the most defining thing about you. I like to bring beauty into everything I do, because that’s how I am, I am obsessed with love & beauty & deliciousness, so yes, it more than creeps in!

    gala3s

    When moving somewhere new, what’s the first place you have to set up?
    Funny you should say that because I just moved in with my boyfriend! The first things I set up anywhere are always my work space & my wardrobe. They are kind of one & the same a lot of the time. My new office also has my huge closet in it, & all my accessories, etc., merchandised like mad & displayed all over the place. I have my favourite pair of shoes (Alexander McQueen) on the windowsill, a purple glitter skull wearing sequinned Mickey Mouse ears on my desk & two bulletin boards propped against the wall waiting for pictures, clippings, photobooth strips.

    Your favorite 3 stops:
    New York City is my #1 lover. No other city even comes close. But I love Paris, Los Angeles, Austin, Las Vegas, Berlin & Amsterdam a whole lot too. Sorry, I can’t boil it down to 3 & I refuse to cut the others out!

    What scent of incense would you prefer in your home? (feel free to create-your-own)
    I used to burn Nag Champa obsessively when I lived in New Zealand & I still like the smell of it, but these days I am more into scented candles & essential oils. I really love jasmine, vanilla, rose & ylang ylang.

    What hobby are you into lately?
    Getting cozy with my lover, RSVP’ing to ridiculous events & taking my partner-in-crime/photographer with me, & thinking about interior design constantly.

    What is your lifestyle mantra?
    More magic all the time.

    3 things you can’t live without right now:
    1. My boyfriend, known colloquially as The Dish. He is such great company, he’s totally authentic & he is so effing cute, I want to jump his bones all the time!
    2. My new-to-me vintage faux fur coat. It is big & fluffy & the perfect length. I wear it almost every day & cannot get enough of it.
    3. My Moleskine daily planner. I am a total organization geek. It is incurable but I love it.

    What are your next plans and goals? Give us an indirect sneak peek, if you’d like!
    Oh but that would be telling! Sorry, I can’t. Suffice to say, you will not be disappointed!

    What’s so great about today? .. and what do you do to prepare for tomorrow? How do you make sure each day counts?
    Strawberry pancakes with my boyfriend; rad conversations; The Dish singing songs he makes up about me; cuddling with the dog; organizing my office even more; planning my social calendar for the next week (photoshoots & fashion shows & working out at the haunted mansion), etc. etc. etc.

    Tomorrow I’m going to sit at my brand new desk & listen to some good tunes & write, write, write. I will probably make a coffee run in the morning & then hole up & be as productive as possible!

    I make sure each day counts by always focusing on the positive. It’s really easy to get bogged down when you’re thinking about a bill that needs to be paid, or the argument you had with your friend, or the jeans that don’t fit, or whatever — life is full of challenges but you get what you focus on. So keep your eyes to the skies, be grateful for what you have, express love in as many ways as you can, & work to create a life that makes you truly happy.

    Do you find your work taking time away from other hobbies and interests? Or is it your all-consuming passion?
    I used to talk about how I worked 24/7, & I still do, but it is much more intense now. I used to have time to go shopping all the time, or kick back & read a book, or whatever — that kind of thing is pretty rare these days. I’ve taken on more obligations & while I love them, it certainly does suck up my free time. It has always been this way though, just to a lesser degree. Thankfully it IS my all-consuming passion & there aren’t many things I would rather be doing!

    How do you prefer your environment to look?
    Colourful, exciting, invigorating. Actually “colourful” might be a misnomer. I like a simple, clean palette (like black & white) with bright pops of colour — does that count as colourful? I don’t know. Aaaaanyway, my room has white walls (which I love) & I bought an indigo desk to go in the middle. I want to paint one wall with blackboard paint — maybe in vertical stripes? — & there are going to be sparkly or high-gloss accoutrements everywhere. I love a simple or plain canvas with ornate madness placed among it. That is so my style.

    Favorite music? and Why?
    If I had to break it down, I’d say I listen to 60% hip-hop, 40% “other” — the other being a mix of electronic, singer-songwriter, indie rock, & uh, the unclassifiable! I love to mix it up, it’s not unusual for me to jump from Mobb Deep to Bauhaus to Tom Waits to The Legendary Pink Dots to Big L, & my iTunes is almost always on random. Hip-hop is really one of my one true loves, though — I find it hard to articulate how much I adore it.

    Are you Miseducated? What makes you Miseducated? <3
    Yes, absolutely! I’m miseducated because I don’t do what other people tell me to do, & I don’t follow conventional paths. I do what I feel on my own timeframe, & I am so much happier because of it!

    Yes, absolutely! I’m miseducated because I don’t do what other people tell me to do, & I don’t follow conventional paths.

    gala3s

    .. and just in case you’re wondering, yes, her blog (iCiNG) is just as delectable as she is.