[Editor's Note, August 2000: This classic text once appeared on the Global Mail site maintained by Ashley Parker Owens. It dates from 1995. Although some sections, particularly those listing postal addresses, are outdated, it contains many valuable tips about publishing a paper zine. If you're interested in mail art, check out A Mail Artist's Anthology or the Electronic Museum of Mail Art. Global Mail is no longer published.]

A lot of new zine makers do not understand the nuts and bolts process of constructing a zine.

These guidelines are meant to be both helpful and inspirational. You should never feel that you have to follow a bunch of rules when making a zine. If you look closely, you will find many "broken" rules in successful publications. You must always consider your budget and time before making decisions.

Most of this is based on personal experience and many, many failures. Never get discouraged. You can only learn by doing, and you learn the most from your mistakes.

If you have any questions or comments, please forward them and I'll include them in the next issue.

You may be interested in these related Websites:

Mail Art Info Sheet

Global Mail (Sept.-Dec. '95)

Website links

Underground Press Conference '95


Technical Tips for Zine Makers, Ashley Parker Owens

Statements from zinesters on why they make a zine

Transformation Through Zines, Guido Vermeulen

Starting Your Own Zine, Craig Moser

Zine Cliches and Peeves, pulled from the internet and Global Mail

Bibliography of publications on how to make a zine, Chris Dodge

Networker glossary

List of Distributors

List of Reviewers


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What's a Zine?, Purpose, What Should I Include, What to Buy, Layout, Design, Text, Image, DTP, Money, Distro, Printing, Postage, How much is this going to cost?, Skills, Staff, Etiquette, Illegalities, Warnings, E-Zines, Electric Distro, Computer Zines, Glossary

What's a zine?

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Zines (pronounced zeen), are self-published, non-commercial publications done by a variety of individuals for many reasons. They come in a large variety of sizes, shapes, and persuasions, and are often photo-copied. A zine can be a magazine, newsletter, newspaper, book, portfolio of artwork, a broadsheet, or an electronic document.

Zines represent the most democratic of media, requiring not much more than having some ideas or something to say, a copy machine, and a stapler. Zines can contain passages that are typewritten, handwritten, or typeset on the computer. Art can consist of photos, clip art, drawings, or collages. A zine is done as a labor of love, and so all levels of quality are acceptable and welcome.

Zinesters exchange their publications with each other, trade ads, and distribute each others publications. Many zines also run news and info from other zines, and run reviews.

Electronic zines (called E-Zines) have also experienced a large surge of popularity, because of the technological changes and lack of associated printing costs. The World Wide Web has made electronic zines readily available to anyone who can access the system by modem.

As we begin to pull away from corporate media institutions and begin to embrace the thoughts of the individual, many are hoping for nothing less than a total change in the culture and society.


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Answer these questions for yourself:

What is the focus of my zine?

What do I hope to gain from publishing it?

Would I continue to do it if nobody bought it?

Is it worth killing a tree?

Is it worth 50 hours of my time?

Is it worth $100. of my money? (or more?)

Am I going to accept submissions or make it an entirely personal effort?

Am I going to try and distribute it or keep it for trades only?

Why would someone read it?


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Provide an opening statement with the focus of the zine.

Use a one line descriptive subtitle on the masthead and cover. Chances are, if you can't summarize your magazine with one sentence, you have very little chance of attracting interest.

Perspective- Consider both editor and reader points of view. A publication with one political slant is propaganda.

Zine content - Verify all news stories, if possible.

Reviews should contain information on zine name and address, editor name, $ requirements, size, schedule, and content. It is customary to give one line describing the content before you launch into the review. It is generally understood that only publications of a certain caliber are reviewed. Some zines only review publications they like. Some zines review all that they receive. It might be a good idea to state your policy at the start of your review section.

The necessary stuff you should include - A cover, body, contents, index, or title headings, text and art. Explanation of issue focus. Declaration of editor name and publication address.

The stuff you need not include - Apologies for the publication or yourself, explanations on why your staff or group dissolved, personal attacks, attacks on reviewers that have given you a bad review, attacks on other editors/zines (even within the context of a review).


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Clip art books. These contain black and white line art. Sometimes they contain photographs that have a screen.

A screen for copying photographs. Copy machines break an image down to black and white. It doesn't represent grey tones adequately. The screen breaks it into a pattern of tiny dots.

Glue sticks. This applies a very thin amount of paste to your paper. This makes the process much less messy. Sometimes the adhesion becomes less tacky over time and will fall off the mount. DO NOT USE TRANSPARENT OR MASKING TAPE.

Cover-up tape instead of white-out. It is used to seal a piece of paper to the mount and get rid of shadow lines. It also keeps the paper from falling off of the mount if you used a glue stick to position it.

Press type. You would only use this if you did not have access to a computer and wanted to use bold typeset headings or word art for your zine. You cannot use this for long blocks of text because it is too difficult. With press type, individual letters are adhered to a sheet of plastic. You rub them onto your paper in the correct position.

A saddle-seam stapler. It's the only way to bind your zines unless they are very tiny. You might want to try a very tiny zine with a regular stapler, to learn how futile this exercise can be. It may seem like an expensive investment, but its really something you can't do without if you're a zine maker.

You'll also need scissors, and a large working space to put everything together. A light table is very helpful if you can pick one up at a garage sale, but it is not necessary.

You might also want to consider buying a computer if funds allow. If you won't be using one too often, it's probably better not to.


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Lay out a pamphlet that you can run off on the xerox machine and saddle-staple, by putting the pages front back, front back. Layout is complicated because each four pages will not lay in sequential order. You will want to use both sides of the paper to conserve money. The amount of pages will need to be divisible by four. After you have put the pages front to back and in order, lay the first two pages and the back two pages on the floor. The cover and back page will be on the same side of one sheet of paper. Tape pages together that will be on one side of one page, and paper clip the sides that will be on one sheet. After you work through your stack, double check that the sides are all in order.

Fold zine pages in half, and staple in the middle seam. The loose ends of the staple go inside the zine. It is very hard to read a zine that has been flat stapled along one edge. The pages do not turn very well, especially if the zine was folded to fit into an envelope or to go through the mail.

The area near the seam requires a wider white space than the area on the edge. Stay away from the edges (if possible, use a 1/2" space). Paper occasionally goes through copy machines or presses at an angle.

Use page numbers. It provide reviewers with a page count, it keeps a printer from messing up the page order, and it provides you with an easier collation.


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The form can best be described as the underlying design which ties together your whole publication. The repeating elements of your page backgrounds and underlying grids accomplish this. The page background consists of elements that repeat throughout, such as a box, header, footer, or page numbers. The underlying grid is not "visible." To sum it up simply, it consists of how many columns you use. A one or two column grid format is considered very passive and unpleasant to the eye. A five column grid (of all equal widths), could have only two columns of text (each spanning two grid columns), but would also have an additional column of white space (perhaps with a pull quote). This still uses two columns of text, however, it looks better. In general, you always should use white space if possible. It depends on your budget. Other elements of form include consistency of font and image. It makes sense to use no more than 4 or 5 fonts. You can adjust size, italics, and bold in lieu of different fonts.


A publication that is very spare with the type and imagery will appear very light in overall tone. This creates an emotional lightness. Publications with dense type and heavy black imagery will look darker. This may set a tone of seriousness.

Choosing a format

Like it or not, each publication format transmits its own message to the reader. A tabloid, newspaper style publication is always going to be seen as disposable. A fine artistic handmade paper with applied touches of color or other materials will seem more a keepsake. A crummy xerox zine with the text disappearing from the edge and an overall grey appearance will most likely not be perceived as something of value. A shiny color cover shouts that you have money and are going commercial, despite the content.


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Typeset or DTP long sections of text.

Don't make the text too small. Copying degenerates the quality of the original text and will make it too hard to read. For optimum type reading ability, place text on a white background(in other words, no screen).

White type on a black background is difficult to read in large quantities.

In general, serif fonts are considered easier to read. Serif fonts have little twigs and loops hanging off the lines forming the letters (this is the high-tech definition). Sans-serif fonts characters look more blocky.

Vary type size and font style for emphasis.

Avoid widows and orphans (one line of text at the top or bottom of a column or page by itself), and try to avoid putting section headings in the bottom 1/20th of the page.

Do not use all uppercase letters for your main body of text. It is very difficult to read.

Try to make your sentences no longer than 10 to 12 words long. It is easier to read text in columns than across a full size page.


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Use a high resolution graphic and/or a color on the masthead and cover. Red will help sales.

Images of faces are noticed first in any document. Eyes are the part of the face we look towards first.

Faces should look toward the space of the page, not off. Ditto for cars, horses, dogs, etc. If they are in motion, they should have the space in front of them.

Shapes become more obvious when they are geometric, or when they relate to other shapes by touching, making patterns, or mirroring. Shapes that touch a subject of the side of a frame become highly charged.

Like following a path in the woods, your eye will follow lines, so make sure they go somewhere! Lines that are diagonal to the frame are more exciting. Lines that curve show movement. Lines are sometimes read as symbols or letters. Lines curving down are sad, lines curving up are happy!

For consistency, consider grouping images that look similar. Avoid putting clip art, a pencil drawing, and a photograph all on the same page.

Consider using boxes and lines in place of art.

Avoid large areas of unscreened black if you are xeroxing. Sometimes it turns white toward the center of the area.

Try to avoid art with very thin lines if you are having your publication printed. Occasionally the lines will completely disappear.

Color art for printing should always be transferred to black and white before inclusion in your publication. The color blue often disappears. The color red may turn black.

Try to place the banner on the top, and/or keep it to the left. Magazines get stacked to the right when space is limited.

If possible, always include a mix of text and graphics.


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Most publishing software has one of more of the following features which makes it easier to put together a publication:

Automatic page numbering.

Footers and headers, or a background template which follows the same design (mirrored) all the way through the document.

Ability to make an index or table of contents. This is done by tagging sections of text and then letting the computer do the work of compiling the data complete with page numbers. Page numbers change automatically with changes in the document.

Booklet printing. Instead of the complicated layout for making a saddle-seam booklet, you can let the computer do the work and it will print out the pages in the necessary order.

Ability to add pictures, lines, and boxes with ease, as well as make font and point size changes.

Spell and grammar checking, and

Color separations.

If you are supplying your readers with a lot of information (such as zine reviews) consider using a database program. You can also use this program to track addresses and subscribers. If you have no computer training, it is suggested that you start with a very simple program such as Microsoft Works, which has a very simple word processing program and a simple database. If you are only going to be using a database for a mailing list, get a program that already has an address list form built. Using a professional hard-core database program for a simple mailing list will be a tremendous waste of your time. These programs are not for anyone who doesn't have a lot of computer knowledge and/or computer programmer training.

Avoid turning on your hyphen control. Hyphens can be abused. Try to avoid using them if at all possible.

Wrapping text around images can be misused. You can wrap to a box surrounding the image, or wrap to the outline of the image. The larger the image, the more you need to wrap to the outline. If you are wrapping to a box, watch column justification, and try not to have small columns of text to one side. It is very hard to follow a line of text across a large image. Consider attaching your image box to the side of the page, or place in between two columns of text. This will avoid breaking up a line of text.

Additionally, when you use justification with small columns, you can run into a lot of problems with word and letter spacing. Avoid this if at all possible.

When you buy a printer, get a 600 x 600 dpi (dots per inch) if your budget allows. A laser printer will give you the sharpest images, but an inkjet will additionally give you color for around the same price. If you get an inkjet, you will have to buy the special inkjet paper to get a crisp image. It is very expensive! It is not unusual to pay $20 a ream for this special paper. Consider this when considering your purchase. A laser printer may be less expensive per copy. Stay away from the dot matrix.


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Ask for postage rather than money. If you do ask for money, say who to make checks out to, or ask for cash only.

Be aware money and checks from outside the country will not be easily transferred. Find out the bank charges before accepting payment in this manner.

Subscriptions generally cost more for those out of the country because of the added postal expense and administrative bank charges.

Postal Orders are checks that can be made out in foreign countries for your zine. Know that the administrative costs can be quite high. Many do not like to send cash because the mail is searched(and possibly stolen) when it goes through customs. Always give several alternatives for payment if possible.


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Try to utilize a full size portrait format for any newsstands to improve visibility. Avoid using dates on the cover if you publish irregularly. Zines will be pulled with an old date, even though its a current issue.

Be prepared to accept only covers or mastheads as returns.

Don't expect a quick payment. Don't expect any payment unless you send an invoice!

One great way to find distributors is to make a list of all the distros you see in zines. This may be your best source of info because you know they are already open to zine publishers. Stay away from large chains. They usually don't buy from individuals.

Consider getting an official ISSN from the Library of Congress. Libraries will be more ready to purchase your publication.


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If you are doing offset, know that the "number of pages" choice is sometimes limited by the equipment. Usually, for a tabloid you increment the page number by 8. If you are doing a paperback book, the page numbers come in blocks of sixteen. For a full-size xerox staple-stitched zine (made out of 11" x 17" paper and folded), the pages come in groups of four.

Be aware print companies print overages of each plate, to make sure the total amount of finished and bound print is equal to your request. Some companies will charge you up to 10% for an overage (or deduct 10% for an underage).

Use cost effective printing. Any print run over 500 will probably be cheaper printed rather than xerox.

Have the printer fold, collate, and staple if funds are available. Usually work done by machine is very inexpensive compared to your labor.

At all times, communicate clearly about your printing needs. Specify economy. Get samples of the paper stock. Get prices for color and halftones. Ask the printer what they would suggest and follow their suggestions.

Get several quotes! Printing prices vary wildly, due to the kind of equipment they use. The big press tabloid style printing is about half the price of sheet fed, regular paper printing. Tabloid also takes much less time. They will need to know if you have any photographs, what kind of paper you will need, and whether you have spot color.

Each photograph you run will require a screened halftone. Check first on the price before you give a go-ahead. It adds up fast! Line art is preferable because you can include it as part of your paste-up. Color also requires a separate plate. A spot of color on one page is not price prohibitive and will increase the visual appeal and sales.

If you have a full color image, it needs to be separated into several images (one image for each color). The color separations you provide will have the images in black (NOT IN THE COLOR YOU WANT!). You will have to have registration pins or marks on each component of the image. You will need to pay for each color. For instance, to add a color photo to your publication, the printer will have to make 4 black and white half-tone screens (for cyan, yellow, magenta, and black). The printer paper will have to go through the press four times. Consider two tone images (black and a color) for the best cost effectiveness. Know that you can specify shades of any color if you would like pastels. For instance, to get pink (a non-standard color), it would cost you a lot more than to ask for a 10% screen on red.

Consider hand coloring, or colored paper for small runs rather than color xerox. If you want other people to copy your zine on a xerox machine, you will need to make sure the paper is white, a very light color, or blue. This will insure that others can get a clean copy.


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Consider making the back cover a mailer so you can reduce the expense and labor of stuffing envelopes.

When asking for postage, request US postage and the denomination. If foreign postage is sent to you, you will be unable to use it. Request IRC's from foreign readers. The IRC's are turned in to the post office for .50 cents each, or .50 cent airmail stamps. The cost of an IRC varies by country, and can sometimes go prohibitively high. Also offer your publication for cash (for instance, one US buck).

If you are using an alias, be aware you will not be able to collect any mail sent to you that is registered. Many non-USA contributors do this. If this happens to you, request to copy the address off of the envelope so you can send them an explanation.

State if it is free to prisoners or other groups.

Consider weight/postage expense and plan your zine size accordingly! A 12-page half-size zine will cost .32 to mail, 24-page, .55, 36-page .78. These sizes make the best use of your postage. Do not make a hundred page zine without considering how much it will cost to print and mail.

Bulk mailing can save you approximately one third the cost of postage. In Chicago, a permit is now $85.00 per year. You will have to develop a schedule which allows you a three week period in front of the issue date for mailing bulk. You also need to be able to go to the Post Office between 9 and 5 during the week. To send bulk rate, you must sort and bind the mail, and have over 200 pieces of mail each mailing. As of 1/1/95, the basic rate is .226 cents for up to 3.3 ounces, instead of the .32 cent rate for first class one ounce letter size. It is .266 for flats that weigh up to 3.3 oz. There is no bulk rate for foreign mail, however, if your mailing is not time sensitive, you can send it out surface printed matter for approximately the same price as first class mail.

Mailing machines (such as Pitney Bowes) have a place and purpose, yet the price is often prohibitive. If you send out a lot of mail in strange amounts (such as foreign), or if you are doing bulk mailings, it might be worth it for the sake of convenience. You don't have to figure out how many stamps, and you always have the exact amount.

Bulk mailing permits can save you a lot of work, however, the post office makes you put down a deposit ($85.00 in Chicago). If anyone sends out mail using your bulk mailing permit, it is deducted from your account.


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Some would argue that it requires no skill at all to make a zine, and in a way they are correct. However, if you want to make an easily accessed and moderately successful zine, it helps if you have design, writing, and computer skills.

The design skills may come naturally. If not, experience and a careful plagiarizing eye can help you overcome the skills you lack.

Writing skills can also be developed through writing more and by seeking the help of your friends to proofread and tell you which parts just don't make sense. I believe computer skills are best learned "on the job." The advantage to learning on the job is that you end up knowing all the odd little features you wouldn't normally learn. You have to know all about headers, footers, page numbers, borders, indexes, and columns when you are working on presentation materials on the job. Occasionally, if you do a lot of presentation stuff, you may even learn different tricks for making your own publications. Another bonus is that you have access to a computer, and possibly a xerox machine without having to buy these items or rent them.


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Any kind of committee work is probably going to be difficult and time consuming. You have to make an effort to know exactly where everyone is on their projects, as well as understand the importance of team management. Some projects can only be undertaken with the help of others. Choose those "others" wisely, and learn with them. Don't blame them when things go wrong, and watch the egos.


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Photo-Copying Costs- If you are photo-copying, your figures will be based on the number of pages multiplied by the number of copies. Plan on making your copies double-sided for economy. Special paper, folding, collating, sorting, or color paper will cost extra.

Consider how much it costs to make your copies. If you are getting them for free, it doesn't matter. However, if you are paying for 8.5" x 11" double sided copies, figure .15 per sheet, and for a 11" x 17" copies, figure .25 per sheet.


For any print job, you will need to get quotes. The costs will vary widely depending on the paper choice, number of pages and number of copies.

Newsprint is the cheapest paper. There are several thicknesses and brightnesses of this paper. The more copies you get, the less it costs per thousand. To give you an idea of the cost, I can only access my own experience. Global Mail #9 was on 40lb white sheet paper, and consisted of 2 11" x 17" sheets folded over with no glue or staple seam. It cost $750. for 4000 copies. Global Mail #10 switched to 35# newsprint stock, doubled the amount of pages (to 16), had a color cover, and a staple seam. It also cost $758. for 4000 copies. $78. of that amount was for the spot color. Issue #11 added an additional sheet (to 24 pages), has a cover cover, staple seam, 5000 copies, and cost $843. Issue #12, same story, with 32 pages, $1097.

Art Supplies

Any art supplies are purchased the most economically through large office supply stores such as Office Depot, Office Max, and other chains. Do NOT shop at small hobby shops for the best bargains.

Clip art books or letter sets - Figure $8 per book. You will probably get more use out of dingbats, borders, and misc. selections than books on a specific theme

Saddle-stapler and staples $25-$30

Glue sticks $3

Scissors $3-$7

Rubber Stamps - Rubber stamps are very expensive if you have them made, figure approximately $10 a square inch. There are many variations in the price of stamps. Hobby stamps for decorating wrapping paper and making cards are the next most expensive. For an extensive supply of cheap stamps, try large toy stores in the art supply section. I recently purchased a Crayola set of 80 rubberstamps for $14, which included 2 stamp pads and a very large alphabet set. You can also purchase rubber erasers and an x-acto knife and make your own stamps. Just remember that the design you cut is the negative mirror image of what will be printed.

Stamp pads range from $3 for the cheapies, to $12 for a nice large rainbow pad.


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Any publication half-size or larger is considered a flat instead of an envelope. For every 3 sheets of standard size xerox paper, you will need .32 cents for the first ounce, and .23 cents each additional ounce. For every 3 sheets of 11" x 17" paper (full-size zine folded over), you will need .55 cents for the first two ounces, and .46 cents for each additional 3 pages. Sometimes it costs an item with more pages the same price to mail.

Bulk rates will reduce your costs. If you mail out over 200 zines on a regular basis, and can afford the $85 fee, you can send flats up to 3.3 ounces for .226 cents each.


Below are some big ticket items you may or may not want to buy:

Xerox Machine $1500-$8000

Computer $2000

Ink jet printer $500

Laser printer $750

Some people like to figure their time into the cost of a publication. If you do this, you should probably not make the hourly figure higher than what you make at your present place of employment.


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If your promised zine fails to make an appearance, send the submitted work back or at least send a postcard explanation. Contributors send work in exchange for your zine.

Run the names and addresses of all contributors.

Consider hand-made touches such as hand coloring, stickers, rubberstamps, a number and date, signature, or a personal note, especially on the cover.

For best success, do not copyright your material. Use labels such as "copy-freely," "anti-copyright," and if you are unsure, "copyright reverts to contributors after publication." By giving permission to copy, the text or art will enjoy increased circulation by being picked up by other zines. Also put the phrases, "Send a copy of any publication in which this material appears," and "Give credit." Do not use copyrighted materials.

Have a regular schedule - and stick to it. It might be a good idea to publish irregularly in the beginning, or do "one-shots." This will give you an opportunity to play with different formats and styles of publishing.

Do not attack other people in print. Watch content and tone of reviews. Never burn bridges.

Show sensitivity to gender, racial, national, and other boundaries. You have no idea who is opening the envelope on the other side of the globe.

If you are trying to generate mail, consider soliciting contributions of text or artwork, running reviews, surveys, contests, or take ad swaps. All these encourage the reader to write you.

Do not make any plans based on subscriber $ or input.


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Be aware your mail will most likely be searched when entering another country. Make yourself aware of all postal restrictions.

Ask for an over 21 age statement if your material is questionable. For extra protection, ask for a photo ID.

Put disclaimers on your material, such as, "this material does not represent the opinion of the editors, but is presented for educational or entertainment purposes only."

Understand the "community standards" in your state and respect them. The postal inspector is a big policeman and can open any questionable mail.

Keep sexual material off the cover of your mailer or send it in an envelope. Staple the edge if you do not use an envelope. For extra protection, send it First Class, which cannot be searched unnecessarily. Third Class and Bulk Mail can be opened.

Your zine or writings could become evidence of wrongdoing if you are accused of crossing the law.

Do not give directions or suggestions for illegal activity. You may present information for educational or sometimes entertainment purposes only.

The CIA and other agencies most likely peruse and track certain publications. Be aware of this when disseminating names and address of networkers and their activities.

Be aware of entrapment. If someone sends you a catalog of pedophilic material, it is most likely a sting. Do not order questionable material out of curiosity. It is illegal to have such material in your possession, or to receive it through the mail.


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If you are female, sexism and harassment are issues you must defend against. If possible, choose an alias where the gender is unclear. This is particularly important in email. Use a PO box so if something odd comes your way you will not have to worry about someone knowing where you live.

If you place your phone number in your zine, it can be misused by those trying to charge to your number, or to harass you. Consider using voicemail or email instead.

Others may interpret your material much differently than what you had intended. Publishing a list of gay, or female networkers may seem like a great idea, but it could lead to harassment if it falls into the wrong hands. Sarcastic articles can also be misinterpreted.

There are many prisoner networkers. Some are ok and some are real jerks. They are in prison for a reason, so care is suggested in the amount or type of info you disseminate.


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To make e-zines, you must first get a computer and get familiar with it. It is assumed that you have some previous on-the-job or other experience with computers. The next step would be to get a modem with some communications software, or a commercial BBS account. Although many complain about the fees involved, and the politics of joining a commercial BBS, the interface software is very accessible for beginners. (AOL is recommended, for their flat fee based on the time you use their service, and their internet access.)

After you have an email number, start playing around with sending and receiving mail and files. Develop a list of email contacts. This is really the only way to get started. Join newsgroups and sign up for others e-zines. Looking at other people's e-zines will give you some ideas about how to approach your own. You will quickly develop peeves about other peoples e-zines. They are often very large text files which are hard to navigate.

Your first e-zine may just be a collection of text files. If you choose this approach for your first exploration, consider having one file that gives a list of all the files and their contents.

Later, if you have a little computer programming knowledge, you can develop menus or an interface.

When the time comes, you will seek out the knowledge you need.[what a cop-out!]


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There are several options for distribution of your zine in electronic form:

Distribute on disk. You will have to pick a format of Mac or IBM. To be able to access the most people, go IBM -it has a 90% share of the market. Disks are very inexpensive when purchased in blocks of 100. It is not unusual to pick them up for thirty cents each. If you have a lot of information (such as a book), this is very cost effective. It will only cost about .80 cents to copy and mail USA. A large zine of 100 pages would cost a lot of copying costs and postage of 2 or 3 dollars. It all adds up. Most of your files should be text files for the greatest readability by the largest amount of computers. The largest problem with this method is the lack of graphics. You will need to breakdown the text files into many files, and provide a table of contents complete with file names and content.

Distribute by email. If you have a commercial internet service, such as Compuserve or AOL, it may cost a lot to send files this way. Your phone line also may be tied up for long periods of time.

Upload to a BBS. Your file will be made available to those who want it. You are out of the process. Others download your info from the BBS.


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To make a computer zine it helps to be a computer geek. It takes a long time to learn how to program, even with easy to use object oriented software (OOP). Expect to study for at least a year. If you are not good at math, logic and organization, this is not really a viable option.

To start out, you need a computer, and a collection of electronic text and image files that you wish to use. Next, make a list of each page (or screen) that you will use, and the required text and images for each screen. Each screen must be detailed and cross referenced ON PAPER FIRST.

It is a waste of time to jump in and try to make a computer program without going through the paper study. It will be your working guide, and will save you a lot of time. If you cannot sit down and do this preliminary step, you probably will not have the patience to do the associated computer work.

The computer version of Technical Tips for Zine Makers was made using Neobook. This program took about 15 hours to write, and about 25 hours to program. Neobook is available as shareware, and if you are interested you can try it first before buying it.

If you want to make a cd-rom, make a computer zine first, then research the topic.


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screen - a series of dots making an image or shape. It can be in grey or a color.

widow/orphans - one line at the bottom of a page by itself, or one line at the top of the next page by itself.

font - the style of type used.

point - the size of type used.

dtp - desk top published (generated on a computer).

kerning - adjusting the space between the letters.

saddle stitched - the old style of fastening pages at the seam with string and glue.

saddle stapled - fastening pages in the seam with staples.

unbound - a portfolio of pages of art and text.

perfect bound - a flat book seam, probably just glued but occasionally stitched, also.

Zine sizes:

(as described in Factsheet Five)

mini - very small

paperback - 4.75 x 7

digest - 5.5 X 8.5

journal - 6 x 9.25

half-legal - 7 x 8.5

comic - 6.75 x 10.25

standard - 8.5 x 11

euro-stnd. - 8.25 x 11.5

legal - 8.5 x 14

broadsheet - 14 x 17

oversized - very big (all in inches)



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The Atom County Memorial Gymnasium Gene-Pool Lifeguard Life Saving Tips Handbook Series , Forestter Cobalt

Published at the onset of any major or minor grief or anxiety that may come my way directly, or that may merely be free floating and within anyone's grasp. For me it is mostly a personal thing and merely an alternate method of self- expression besides all the others I have.

Driver's Side Airbag, Mike Halchin

I hope to alter perceptions as often and as widely as possible. Zines should have the kind of material that whacks you upside the head with a cinder block, shoves a spider up your spinal column, or makes you fly backwards around the room like a deflating balloon(with appropriate sound effects).

The Subterranean Quarterly, Cris Trautner

The Subterranean Quarterly is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing writers and artists whose work may be overlooked by the established press. We are especially interested in works by new and unpublished authors. Our goal is to be one of the Midwests leading literary/artistic publications, showcasing those writers and artists who one day may become cultural giants. Or something like that.

Christian*New Age Quarterly, Catherine Groves

Our intent is to foster communication between Christians and New Agers. To this end, a diversity of viewpoints are featured. Tome, spirituality is a quest for our deepest meaning.

PepG!rlz, Siobhan

PepG!rlz are multi-dimensional demons that choose to reveal themselves through the first two dimensions using Siobhan as their channel. PepG!rlz endeavors to permanently alter the mind of the viewer with stark graphix and twisted subversion of universally adored cartoon archetypes and icons. Employing a deft mixture of binary language, occult symbolism, op art technique and Masonic equations, PepG!rlz wreck havoc among the human population exposed to them.

The J. Cruelty Catalog, Erik Farseth

J. Cruelty is opposed to the increasing commercialization of (formerly)independent labels and zines. We have no time for an increasingly homogenized adult world that tries to skim whatever it can off the surface of the underculture and then sell it back to us as the latest flavor-of-the-month. J. Cruelty knows that a good game of soft ball behind an old building is more fun than Nintendo will ever be.

MOM Magazine, Lee Pembleton

I reprint my mom's letters, postcards, travelogue, photos and art because they are wonderful and make for good sharing. I make MOM because personal zines are wonderful and incredible and I wanted to share myself, but didn't feel like my life had much worth sharing. So I share my mom.

Mad Monks Magazine, David Hopkins

Basically we support underground bands and labels (mainly of a punk rock nature), and try and combine the spirit of punk with the enjoyment of skateboarding (like in the old days!). I see it as something that is being lost, and I feel it s an important link that shouldn't die.

We are also very heavily influenced by alien life forms and UFOs, and have a specific person who writes the UFO pages. All the alien art is of a humorous nature, but the underlying facts, and our beliefs as a whole are discussed every issue in a relatively serious way. It s not something that should be taken lightly.

What else? Well, we like to write rubbish that doesn' t make any sense, and we also like to take the piss out of culture in general because life s just too short to take these things seriously.

Deanotations, Dean Blehert

I enjoy live communication. I try to slip myself and my readers out of fixed viewpoints into being able to create their own viewpoints(and emotions and realities) at will. I play and welcome playmates.

Daily Cow, David R. Wyder

Our motto is Nothing Here Is Real or Imagined. Consequently you will find a continuing story of a cow government run by mobsteers, the latest local and world cow news, cow celebrity pix, a cow or bull pinup, cowmercials and metaphysical musings by a GuruMoo. There are no sacred cows here, everything is fair game.

The FireFly, The Kirby Family

We are a family of three young girls and a mother and father. We have moved from town to town over the past five years fighting injustice and racism. We have been literally forced to leave every place we have lived because of our activism. The FireFly has chronicled these events. We also seek to publicize the plight of political prisoners and others who have been wronged by the ever strengthening grip of the American system.

Bedtime Stories for Trivial Teens, Andrea Lambert

BSTT is a collection of poetry and short stories percolated through youth angst and scandal. I do it because there is this evil creeping feeling of voicelessness that will get me for good if I don't do something. This zine lets me pretend that people are listening.

Farm Pulp, Gregory Hischak

A zine IS a statement. With any luck it requires no accompanying verbiage. It is text and graphics and rhythm. It has a beginning and an end and a thin line of reasoning that flows from one to the other like a mud vein. if you prod me then I will admit that if the zine makes you laugh, then there has been success. If it almost makes you think differently, then there has been success. Any additional statements would merely be baroque ornamentation.

Nobodaddies, Doug Rice

Nobodaddies wants to function as a sort of cannibal parasite on the flesh/bodies of contemporary writing. We challenge the notion of the acceptable, and work beyond the limits of weak discipline. Nobodaddies enjoys the pain of writing beyond an ending, of moving against the grain, and of creating new pleasures in the acts of seeing the world. Tradition and History is never simply ignored; but neither does tradition or history have a stranglehold on our visions.

MON, Richard Jacob, Jr. aka Lizard

I had unknowingly seen quite a number of zines before I knew exactly what a zine was. It seemed like a way to exude some of my creative juices, and sometimes I actually have something to say. I write about everything I can that could be construed as interesting. Also, it seemed a great way to meet really interesting people from all over, since the folks in my town are mostly insane or something.

KRAX Magazine, A. Robson

Our approach is totally hedonistic, though occasionally there may be some moral statement at the end of the line. It entertains the editors which is why it continues.

Ped Xing, Andrew Robinson

Ped Xing began pretty much as an experiment, just to see if I could do a mini-comic, and it continues in the same spirit, just to see if I can continue doing it. More than anything, it's an attempt on my part to teach myself the language of comics and cartooning. Beyond that, it really has no other purpose, but some folx seem to find it funny.

Mole Magazine, Jeff Bagato

MOLE covers underground music and culture, and outsider art. I want to explore the most creative, original and hardcore forms of expression, whether it s a punk band, an over-sixty dance troupe, roadside attractions, poetry, fiction, or comics. I try to make the interviews as complete and authoritative as possible while giving a unique view of unique artists.

MOLE is an outreach of the Partnership for a Reality Free America to subvert the social order, encourage self-expression, and move humankind into space.

Heaven Bone

Heaven Bone is about bridging the gap between artist and muse, divine inspiration and ordinary mind. Poets are channels, oracles of healing, and expression of beauty, and we support the evolution of that context amid all the struggles and darkness that artists must face in this age of blind theocracy and dwindling governmental support for the artistic process which is our only true social and psychic nourishment.

The Red Palm, Santiago Garcia

The Red Palm was created to fill a void in San Antonio, the 9th largest city. There was almost no poetry scene either written or performed about one year ago. Now there is a reading every night. The scene is hopping. Now, there are several poetry zines in the city and the city is slowly catching up the national poetry awareness thing. I have always felt that there were a lot of talented writers in this town. I wanted to give them a chance to show their stuff. The Red Palm is teaching poets to reach out to each other. I believe this is the best way I can change the current that is flowing around me. A community of people who come together to share words is the most powerful thing I have ever witnessed. Poetry is hope.

Transformation through Zines, Guido Vermeleun

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Between 90 and 94, I co-founded a zine with some friends called Kitoko Jungle Magazine. Kitoko is an African word in Swahili language. Zaire in Africa was a former Belgian colony (called CONGO), they gained independence in 1960 by the resistance of the people with as one of their leaders Mr. Lumumba, this great man was assassinated by the nowadays dictator Mabutu to please western interests -this is not the official history of course.) When our king visited the country for the first time, the black people called him Bwana Kitoko, a nickname but a rather gentle one, it means nice manor beautiful man.

The Kitoko zine was developed around certain lines:

First line: Collaboration between languages

Belgium is a divided country with two major linguistic groups: a Flemish one (we speak Dutch) and a French speaking one. Inside the French area you have a German speaking part also (as a result of annexation of some German territory after WWII) Belgium has become a federal state with nearly no contacts between the different communities. We wanted to break the walls by finding people at the French side and starting a common project. Kitoko became the first zine since the fifties where Flemish and French speaking people found each other (I think the people around COBRA were the last who had this vision) we found a group of people in Liege who had their own printed zine, called M25 and they opened the gates for us!

Second Line- Collaboration between cultures.

Why should we stop with our French fellow countrymen? Through M25, who had already a big network of international contacts, we got people involved in Kitoko of other countries as Holland, Germany, France, Quebec, and even the US. We wanted also the collaboration of the immigrants in Belgium and went looking for Arab and Turkish artists as well. Through holidays we got contacts with artists in Africa (Kenya and Madagascar) and China

Third line: Collaboration between artists and arts

M25 was above all a more literary zine. Kitoko had a different view. We wanted a zine where a balance was achieved between text and graphical image. We were looking for participation of painters, etchers, ceramists, etc. Together with the zine we organized art exhibitions with the befriended artists, individual and collective ones, we organized conferences, published also poetry books, graphical calendar's, short stories, etc. Because we extended our contacts, we came in confrontation with mail art also. During a collective exhibition in 93 of 26 different artists. Simon Baudhuin did a conference on mail art and his fetish animal project - the pig. We talked about joining the MA network. Kitoko Zine entered with a project around Kings & Queens. Me with a personal project around Signs & Stones. The official editor of Kitoko dropped his involvement in mail art after a while. For me, the network was a very logical working out of the lines we developed the zine around. It became all too radical for the editor (a close friend). Because I wanted to go my own way and not start a permanent war of ideas, I decided to drop out of Kitoko and continue what I did through the MA network. So after a year I did a catalog, a zine based on the project, two editions of a booklet based on my holiday through Scotland in 94, proposed 6 projects for 95 and after my USA trip, I'll start publishing zines around these new projects as well. Do I regret Kitoko? not in the sense that I gained a lot through the confrontation with other artists. Before I only was writing some poems. Because of the zine I started publishing them, published two books, started writing poetic prose, started painting, doing collages and objects, started doing etchings and ceramics, went to art school, etc. I am amazed of what I did in a few years time. It convinces me THAT WE ALL HAVE THIS INSIDE! We need just a contact to burst it out.

STARTING YOUR OWN ZINE (from my own experiences)

By Craig Moser

article first appeared in SNEER (return to main menu)

I knew vaguely of zines. I think the first zine I ever saw was when I was back in junior high. A friend had this strange photocopied thing which had an interview with the then punk band Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (recently they've turned more metalish but that's neither here nor there). It was raw. I think it shocked me because the interview mentioned their use of pot (I was such a puritan in those days). I was fascinated yet I only read it once.

It was the fall of 93 and I was attending Carleton U part-time. Carleton has a student newspaper known as the Charlatan. The Charlatan was typical of student newspapers. Its main goal in my opinion, editorial wise, was to expose the inefficiencies within the student government (CUSA) but for the most part its contributors were caught up in a morass of political correctness. This P. C. state is actually Carleton U's claim to fame. Maybe the contributors were trying to hard to please every one, but you got to expect more from a paper that your student fees are funding. On one September Saturday, there was a Charlatan open house. This was an invitation for those interested in being contributors to see how the operation worked. I went to this with an open mind and a glimmer of hope. The day consisted of little seminars with the staff from each department- such as arts, op- ed , and photography. I stuck though most; darting out through those that I wasn't interested in to sneak a smoke or to grab a snapple. I'm not sure I learned too much through these seminars except to loathe most of the staff. It seems that to have any effect in changing the paper you must be a staff writer. That entails contributing at least five articles or whatever. When you are a staff writer you get to vote on various things and eventually run for an editorial position .

I was ready to pull the paper from oblivion right away. But I quickly realized that my self expression would be limited and under the scrutiny of editors. I knew my writing was all right, why did I need this guys approval? I was at the seminar for around four hours. I wanted to talk with the editor about my knack for comics, but an intense migraine (maybe too many smokes or too little snapple) made me give up. Actually, I toughed it out to the end where I learned about the cut and paste aspects of the paper- lay out. I asked many questions, but my persistence was merely for my own gain since all I was learning would be for my own purposes. And there was a girl there with me, who stuck it out to the end, but she mentioned that her being here for the Charlatan was purely for a resume filler. The near nausea that my migraine was producing was only heightened by this gal pure self-serving attitude. But, was I no different since I knew in my heart that I would not be a staffer? Well, at least I didn't admit it outright. Finally I left the seminar with throbbing temples and waited for my ride back home. it was when I was sitting on the grass, with a smoke, waiting, that I had the realization-I would do my own zine!

With my new found ideas, and drive to create without restriction, I started the layout to my first zine GUNK. Why did I choose Gunk ? I toyed with a few names, including Sneer, but stuck with Gunk. I guess a lot of people doing comics and such had these monosyllable names. Gunk wasn't used as far as I knew by any other zine, yet it was used by those guys who make those automotive products. I chose it a with the idea that anything unknown was not libel and so it stuck.

I had material to work with- 2 comics and a short story. I had photocopies of the comics reduced to a workable size and I typed the story out on my computer. I laid the pages out on my bed with scissors and my glue stick. I did it late at night and with the effect of music and sleepiness, or was it the fumes from the gluestick, I set up the 8 pages that was Gunk #1. I must admit that this lay out was crummy; it broke probably all the rules that the lay out guy at the Charlatan gave me. It was non linear: it was maybe a very subconscious thing, due to the late nights. I scrawled extra stuff in the margins. But anyway it was done and that was the main thing. I got it photocopied at a local printing outfit. The price was a rip-off. This was one of the many lessons I would learn through this zine thing.

But now what to do with the 50 copies I had? I had an inclination to send some copies to some comic guys I really liked so I did. I also sent some copies to zine addresses I got through The World of Zines. The stuff was mailed out and all there was left to do was wait. 2 weeks passed and there was an envelope in the mail from Saratoga Springs, NY- the home of Duplex Planet, my first trade! And it was foremost zinester David Greenberger! He even included a short note of thanks-he thought my zine was cool. Ahh! That was it! I was content right there. But following days and weeks I d get more mail, some good things were said, encouragement and advice. Neato! I was hooked. I even got the guts to sell some copies at a few local record shops. Well the first one was done and things were going well. It was four months past the premier issue and it was time to start a new issue. The main problem with doing gunk #2 was that I had no material ready. I had to start from scratch. Sure I had ideas but they had to be executed into some medium. I settled on mostly comics with a couple of little ditties. But for the most part the comics were only one page each and were too short to amount to a full and meaningful story. The issue was hurried and I think it shows, but not as hurried as Gunk #1. I had the issue copied up but this time my brother helped by getting me some free copies! I sent issues out to reliable trades I've made through the first time plus I sent some to some new addresses listed in Factsheet Five.

Things went well for number two. But I just knew that I could do better and that ever present thought is what really drives me when I do this zine thing. I made a few new pen pals and got many interesting zines as trades. The only thing that was lacking was local sales. Ottawa is a funny town. There exists a local scene of music, the arts, etc., but getting people interested is a Herculean task to say the least. I sold out maybe at one location but elsewhere there were little sales. I sold only one copy out of four at a record store. Upon collecting the money for that single issue, I thought of why no one was buying my stuff. Did it suck? Did I have to buy a full page ad in the Sun like the big beer companies do? Was it that it lacked a foil or diecut cover? Arg! With such disillusionment and ennui I deposited my single issue earnings in the bus (the money was more clinking than folding) that would take me home. What was needed to boost sales which to me was necessary (it was necessary to sell at least 20 as opposed to around 5?) It was pointed out to me that often people buy a zine or mini comic purely on its appearance. A common size of a mini comic is half-size. This is an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper folded over and is like a little book. My first two issues were full size and resembled a hand out that you'd get from a teacher back in school. This was real easy to lay out since there was little or no reduction required. Also, it was easy math, each two pages was one page (double sided. ) Some fellow zine creators suggested the digest size. The idea was that one 8 1/2 x 11 was equal to 2 pages, so four pages per one double sided copy. I was hesitant, since working with that size was real new, but encouragement from others, and the personal satisfaction from working something out for myself made me do it.

At the same time, I was changing the way I drew my comics. I switched from mere typing paper to very large bristle board. I also changed from drawing markers to actual India ink and nibs. I found that I spent more time on each panel; each stroke was an important element. However, there was some struggle there since I had to discover for myself which was the best style and size of nib to use. I still haven't found a good nib for lettering but practice makes perfect. The large comic pages were a new and most fulfilling experience, suddenly drawing seemed more of an involved thing. My comics were changing , if ever so slightly from classroom doodle to, I hate to say it, a work of art. Anyway, with the comics done for #3, all I had to do was reduce them and then assemble the pages to their corresponding order to make the digest format work. It was hard: collating is the fangled term for that. After many, many wasted copies and tests, the new issue was made. I had a gut feeling that this issue was great. With such extreme high hopes for this issue you can imagine how hard I hit the ground when I got zero response after my first mailing batch. Usually when I send issues as trades, I get a thank you or such, but nothing. In hind sight, a lot of the people whom I sent issues to were in the middle of exams and probably didn't have the chance to write or trade. Sigh. For 4 weeks no mail, but suddenly things picked up. A few trades and even an order! I realized that I was becoming mail dependent. This may not be a bad thing, but having many long distance correspondence makes one neglect that which is immediate. I figured that response will or may come, but in the mean time, life goes on, and the zine must carry on. Opinion helps as does a sense of support or community but it comes down to the actual thought and work in doing a zine. But as soon as I came to this realization, the mail comes in. Getting mail is the best. Also, it is good to come home from work and have a brand spanking zine to read that evening. Its better than subscribing to TV guide. Well, that zines are becoming more familiar is a good thing. Many zines are being created every month.

And maybe as you read this, you may get the final push to get your zine started.

ZINE CLICHES AND PEEVES -a crash course in what NOT to do

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The zine cliches were pulled from the internet, the peeves have been pulled from Global Mail. (DangerMag)

Here's a fun new topic for discussion (at least I hope it's new... uh, and "fun"). What are the 'zine world's biggest cliches? By this I mean, what topics, activities, and articles have been done to death? Here are my suggestions. Agreed, some of these can still be done quite well, but their prevalence, in my opinion, labels them as cliches.

Serial Killers - Nuff said, and guilty as charged.

Writing to corporations with "humorous" complaints to either:

A) Achieve hardy-har-hars over the resulting form letters, coupon books, etc. or

B) "Prove" that big soulless corporations are really, GASP!, big soulless corporations.

Detournement - Again, nuff said... and smashed to oblivion quite capably by Jeff Koyen in Crank #4.

Genuine, heartfelt, teary-eyed worship of that nadir of American culture, the 70's.

As always, rock music. (David Smith)

"Sorry I'm late getting this issue of (INSERT YOUR ZINE NAME HERE)out" immediately followed with a long list of reasons/excuses. (O'Brien)

There's no UNITY in our SCENE anymore.

Majors suck.

Virtually all applications of the term "sellout".


Maximum Rocknroll, in its entirety. (Jerod Pore)

Whining about one's job

By-mail-interviews of bands no one else has heard of

Reviews of "cult" movies caught on TV (ooooh, you're the first person to see Plan 9!)

Reviews of records purchased from the cut-out bins

Reviews of records sent out by major labels under their numerous fake minor labels but are still mailed in Warner Brothers cardboard boxes that were designed to hold vinyl so the CDs bounce around and the jewel boxes crack so you can't even reuse them to hold CDs worth listening too

Long rants why ANSWER Me!, MaximumRockNRoll, FactsheetFive, Flipside, Crank, Angry Thoreauean and/or CometBus suck/rule

Fake letters (especially in the first issue)

Interviews with people that probably shouldn't be interviewed like some wino whom the publisher felt should *earn* that quarter

Why the information superduper-hyperbahn is cool/evil

Begging for contributions

Why people who eat meat are EVIL BAD NAZIS but it's still OK to wear leather jackets

Usually done digest size with lame photo reduction and toner that comes off. (Larry Disorder)

Way too many record and zine reviews. guilty as charged. (DangerMag)

P.P.S. Here's another one: Goadabees. Figure it out. (Speed Queen)

Anything about traveling or living a really shitty existence.

Chip Rowe;

Charles Bukowski poetry. (Mark Anderson)

Anti-cop cartoons in punk zines. (sean)

Band interviews with questions like "what are your influences," and questions that are inside jokes that the readers never get.

Records reviews.

Zines that have photocopied newspaper clippings.

Top 10 lists. (James Romenesko)

A Paul Weinman "White Boy" insert, although they're not as ubiquitous as they were four or five years ago(thank God!).

Not accepting poetry (msalt)

Ace BAckwords (also not as common as a few years ago). William Burroughs anything (David Gerard)

It should be noted that almost any of these cliches can be done *well*; all you need is someone who actually does a good zine. But then, good zines aren't the problem ...

Lists of the ten boring records the editor listened to during production.

Articles on the Internet that are even more clueless than the ones in the mainstream press, because they're *zines*, so they *have* to use k3wl jargon as much as possible. Then they follow up with a list of Web sites with spelling errors in the URLs. Also, no mention of newsgroups at all. Let alone alt.zines Oh yeah, and they *always* list IUMA.

White-on-black printing that doesn't come out.

Failed, unfunny cartoons. Printed sideways.

The worst design-vomit and font-vomit layout in the world-- if Quark or whatever has a given function, they *have* to use it *at least* once each page.

Multiple exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!

Shitfully laid-out advertising.

"In/Out" a.k.a. "What's Cool" guides.

A cartoon of a typical member of a chosen subculture (goth, grunge, etc), with explanatory arrows for each accessory the cartoon is wearing. Hyuk, hyuk, hyuk, blech...

Thank You to everyone in the known universe, including their mother, God and the budgie.

Collage art pages.

Strings of cliched subculture jokes (e.g. goth jokes, grunge jokes) that everyone except the zine editor heard *before* last week.

Handwritten zines, in reaction to the Macintosh onslaught.

Trying to be cooler and hipper than everyone else when you bought your first record three months ago.

Printing the story of your first sexual experience. NOBODY WHO'S HAD ONE CARES, DUDE.

Badly-written reviews of the same records everyone on Earth has already reviewed. (The problem is that they are badly-written.)

Shitawful zines that do negative reviews of equally shitawful zines, as if that'll make 'em look a bit better by comparison.

"How To Do A Zine" articles. I sometimes feel that the less people that know, the better ... look at your average zine rack in Melbourne for confirmation.

Hardcore punk zines doing mail interviews (with standardized questions) with bands you've never heard of before and never will again.

Any mention of K*rt C*b**n. Or C**rtn*y L*ve.

Badly-written and cliched anti-music-industry rants.

Layout with all the columns of text whackily cut up and rearranged over the top of a photocopied picture of nothing in particular.

Anyone using the Chicago font (the worst thing Apple ever did to the world, in my humble opinion) for anything at all not directly related to the menu bar of their Macintosh.

Clueless losers trying to have cooler-than-thou opinions by slagging off everything in sight, hilarious when you spot 'em fucking it up.

Reprints of panels from the comic "Hate", byPeter Bagge. -- And, something that's abated in the last few years, tho' a major plague in the last half of the eighties ... Coleyisms!

"yr", "y'r" and "w/".

Comparison of recordings to hemorrhoids being sliced off ... and that's a positive review.

Advocacy of complete art-Nazism ... which is fine by me, except when the proponents have neither a musical clue nor writing ability.

Jon Lebkowsky (jonl)

Stuff about the FRINGE!, Sam-I-Am publications

I think it's just great that folks are still out there rantin'n ravin about the whole world being a cliche. know, people who obviously don't know the literal definition. I find that the most common zine-cliches are "Donations are kindly accepted (hint, hint)" and those who wrote about how they just "threw this thing together" or how they are "impressed with the way this thing turned out" and to "let them know what you did and didn't like about it." (de)

Well, it woulda been really cool if we had MONEY.

We're kinda like wired/Milk and Cheese/Fuck Science Fiction, except it's for star trek fans, and we don't talk about computers, society, sex, whatever...." (Insertmags and topics as appropriate. The star trek thing though, that's a constant.)

Well, we'd be huge if we could get distribution....but we're being discriminated against cause we're a zine about lesbians who love Ricardo Montalban." (Again, insert odd and unusual topic to fit your particular community standards.)

Melanie Scott;

I never want to see another ironic "punk" collage. This stuff was interesting when it first came out in the mid-70s, but hey, it's been 20 years! Think of something new! I'm also tired of the "I was punk (or whatever)before you were punk (or whatever)" letters and rants in music zines. I think it has been done to death --and it exposes that many zines are actually elitist, rather than the "grassroots" revolution that some people have claimed.


People who publish should answer their mail, however long it takes. A couple of bucks lost per month on missing zines won't break me, but it is disappointing.- Dapkus

Zines without return addresses, bad handwriting, people who send a #10 letter-sized SASE, and say "send your stuff," but don't tell me what specific publication they are looking for.-Owens

I hate having my packages (often with personal letters) being subject to opening by customs if being sent to me from abroad. I hate the amount I have to pay for postage. I also don't like long waits, but there's not much to be done about that either.- Herron

Too many finished projects look "slapdash" and the message isn't clear. I need to "get" something relatively quickly or I'll move on to something else. There are a dozen pubs competing for my attention. Let's spend more time feeling, thinking, sensing, and intuiting before we spend effort creating. -Kresovich

The very occasional misuse of the medium as a tool for massive self-promotion. -Tim - Arts Revolution Festival

My peeve about the whole network/indy/DIY scene is the insularity. I believe the human tendency (when presented with others who share your worldview) is to cluster, mutually congratulate, and inbreed. If you shut yourself off from others who disagree with you over core issues, you arrest your own growth.-Rejke

I can spend 10-12 hours on some artwork for a zine, compilation, or other project in which a person promises doc, and I never hear from them again. I understand that often circumstances prevent things from happening, but what's wrong with dropping contributors a note and informing them and/or returning their submissions?-Patrick Reynolds

I don't much like the term networking itself - sounds sorta yuppie to me, or a meaningless management buzzword-of-the-month. Some specific zines have disappointed me, but the fault there probably lies in my expectations, perhaps combined with an over-enthusiastic review in Factsheet5. Just how many negative reviews does FF run, anyway? One in a hundred? One in five hundred? There just can't be that many good zines out there. -J.R. McHone

Zines: The fact that 90% of them are badly-written juvenilia. Zines that slavishly copy other zines: the me too! syndrome. Do we really need 50 Serial Murderer Fanclub zines? -John Weller

It would be nice if people who wanted to contribute to my zine would read it first. I also hate assumptions made about my generation under 20 and our views on music and politics. We are intelligent and a lot of us actually do have a good handle on what's going on. Also, what's with the word nonconformist? We can't ALL be nonconformists! I also hate music zines that only stick to one genre: that's like just eating chocolate ice cream and nothing else. And I wish people who write zines that are sexist, racist, and stupid wouldn't send them to me. I also hate the poetry and mail art that makes no sense and leaves the reader blank trying to figure out the meaning of it all. - Yael Grauer

10. People who ignore my SASE request.

9. People from other countries with really sloppy handwriting so you have to guess as to how their address is formatted.

8. 32 cent stamps/People who don't put a return address on anything tie.

7. People outside the network who don't understand what I do.

6. People who don't put enough postage on packages.

5. Nazis in the net. Fuck 'em!

4. People who send envelopes full of little scraps of paper that fall under my kitchen table and I hit my head trying to retrieve them.

3. People who call me Alice.

2. People who send me the same stuff over and over again.

1. People who throw out chain letters and get mad at me for sending them. -Ask Alice/Ken Miller

I can't believe all the stuff I've sent away and never received a reply. Or, when you distribute copies of a mail art chain letter but hardly receive any mail art in return - in other words, someone broke the chain! Also, it's a real drag having to write "I'm wondering..." notes to all the people who fail to acknowledge. I know most have financial and other problems, but an acknowledgment is simple and can mean so much to someone left in the dark. -Steve Andrews

The biggest threat I've come across almost ALL the time is the fact that people really don't want to send you stamps or money for your work. I mean, a lot of zines out there are not doing it to make huge amounts of money. They just need enough funds to stay alive and keep their publication going. So if someone out there is reading this and hasn't contributed anything to their favorite zine, I suggest you slap out your wallet and shovel a few bucks off to them. -C. Jake Cordova

With Zines, my pet peeve is reading the same recycled angst, anarchy and anal pronouncements in the name of free spiritedness, rebellion, and hipness (declarations to the contrary notwithstanding). It's been done before, and it was done better, raunchier and riskier, with worse booze and better drugs and thicker leather and darker streets and emptier bellies going back several generations. -Jay Windsor

My biggest problem is that it seems super-exclusive to a newcomer. It's assumed that everyone understands a basic vocabulary. When I sent for my first zine, I had no idea what "the usual" was! -Ren Ftoomsh


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How to Publish a Fanzine, Mike Gunderloy.

Loompanics Unlimited, 1988. Contains material on production and distribution, with an emphasis on Gunderloy's personal experiences with Factsheet Five. [Download here]

The World of Zines: a Guide to the Independent Magazine Revolution, Gunderloy & Goldberg.

Penguin Books, 1992. Includes the title listed above.

The Publish-It-Yourself Handbook: Literary Tradition and How-To, Bill Henderson.

Revised ed. Pushcart Press, 1980. Includes personal narratives about self-publishing, historical material, and practical information.

Behind the Zines, Pagan Kennedy.

Seventeen, March 1995, pp. 142, 149. Combines account of producing a Pagan's Head with practical info about how to create your own zine.

Publish It Yourself!!!, Zachary D. Lyons.

Boycott Quarterly, PO Box 64, Olympia, WA, 98507-0064, Summer 1994, pp. 4-5, 9. Draws primarily from Factsheet Five editor Seth Friedman.

Obscure Publications

PO Box 1334, Milwaukee, WI, 53201. Issue #29 includes a report on editor Jim Romenesko's journalism class in which each student produced a zine as the final project.

The Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print, and Sell Your Own Book), Dan Poynter.

Para Publishing, PO Box 4242-Q, Santa Barbara, CA, 93140

Listen To Me!! An Article About Zines: Who Makes Them and Why, Dan Rasch.

University Graffito, University of Minnesota, December 1993, unpaged. This glossy magazine article is not only about zines, it both reads and looks like an excerpt from one.

The World of Fanzines: A Special Form of Communication, Frederick Wertham.

Southern Illinois University Press, 1973. Includes chapter on the production of fanzines. Zine Publishers' Resource Guide. Revised ed. Factsheet Five, PO Box 170099, San Francisco, CA, 94117, 1994, $4.

This bibliography was kindly donated by Chris Dodge, 4645 Columbus Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN, 55407, USA, email


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Abbreviations and codes:

A4 = Approximately 21 x 30 cm. Standard foreign photocopies are approximately 12" x 7.5".

IRC's = International Reply Coupons. Foreign stamps aren't accepted in US Post Offices. The coupons are exchanged for stamps by the Post Office.

Max or Min = Maximum or minimum size.

2-D, 3-D = Two or three dimensional. In other words, paper or sculpture.

Dies = Unmounted rubber stamps.

Free size or media = You are free to submit any size or media of artwork.

SASE or SASP = Self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard.

Doc = Documentation of project. This is generally a list of all participants (WITH ADDRESSES!), but sometimes it is a catalog, zine, photos, etc.

ANON = The project documentation does not have names.

SF/F = Science Fiction/Fantasy

DIY = Do-It-Yourself movement

sXe = Straight-Edge

LOC = Letter of Comment

Email, Internet, BBS, Websites = All of these terms refer to the exchange of electronic data using phone lines.

Mail art - Items for exhibition, exchange, and publication. This often includes items that are art related and don't exactly fit in any other category.

Actions - Various political activities to engage in as an individual or a group.

Ad swaps - An exchange of ads announcing your project or publication. You promote someone else's project, and in exchange they do the same for you.

Anarchists - Anarchists believe in the abolition of government, and the creation of the individual's moral and will.

Archives - A place where mail art and related materials are organized and stored, similar to a museum or library.

BBS - An electronic computer site where members can address each other publicly and privately, as well as upload and download files stored in the computer storage.

Co-op - Any projects done specifically with other people, sharing labor, costs, and ideas.

Compilations/Portfolios - A collection of works by different artists. You send a number of copies, and the organizer compiles it and returns. Occasionally called assembling projects.

Email - Seeks correspondence through electronic mail.

LOC - Letter of Comment, or letter to the editor.

Manifestoes - A statement of purpose for an individual or group.

Postcards - A card with no envelope.

Newcomers - People new to the net and hoping to learn more about zine or mail art networks.

Networks - An organization of individuals or groups who have a common connection.

Penpals - Those who prefer to write letters rather than participate in projects.

Poetry - Text in the form of poetry. Also includes visual poetry, which contains text in image form, and text in images.

Postage Stamps - This refers to projects involving actual postage stamps, or handmade artiststamps. Artiststamps can be in multiples(a whole sheet) or loose, and can be made out of a variety of materials including gummed paper with perforations (just like stamps), to sticker paper, and even rubber stamp impressions. Usually when non-traditional stamps are made, there is a design around the edge that visually implies a perforation.

Queer - Material related to homosexuality.

Reviewers - Send your zine or product to the listings in this category to get reviewed.

SF/Fantasy - Science Fiction (Star Trek, UFO s, etc.) or fantasy (goblins, fairies, unicorns, the supernatural, etc.)

Rubber Stamps - Most likely any impression made by putting an object on an ink pad and then transferring the objects ink to paper. This would include actual rubber and carved erasers, but loosely interpreted also might include odd patterns from various objects, or even fingerprints.

Tape/Sound/Comps - Audio tape projects in a variety of formats, usually musical groups.

Text/Writings - Literature, prose, fiction, articles, statements, research, etc.

Websites - Locations on the World Wide Web where you can view ezines. The Web requires access to the internet, and a viewer.

Zines - In its broadest usage, any non-commercial publication.

Zinesters - Those who make or consume zines.

Some Distributors:

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121 BOOKSHOP, We are devoted to distributing a diverse range of radical material, attracting strange signals, and promoting subversive ideas. Send 6 copies of each product and an invoice. We will return what we do not sell, 121 Centre Bookshop, 121 Railton Rd., Brixton, London, England, SE24, UK

BYPASS, For Britian, John Weller/Liz Roudiani, ByPass, 51St. Luke's Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH3 7LR, UK

CHIMP WEST, We carry punk/experimental music, zines, and adult goodies for discriminating perverts. We're always interested in carrying new stuff. Stores get in touch! We're cheap. Send stamp for list, Chimp West, PO Box 991424, Redding, CA, 96099-1424, USA

DIARY OF A BASTARD, Send zines, music, clothing, stickers, or whatever for possible inclusion in a distro zine. Also looking for people to distribute the zine, Bastard, 8108 W. Campbell, Phoenix, AZ, 85033, USA

DISTRIBUTION NETWORK, Send me information about your art mail and I will distribute it to my international art mail contacts, Mrs. Anines Macadam, Av. Cordoba 435-P.5-D.A, 1054 Capital Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina

HAPPY HARRY DISTRO, We are interested in distributing controversial and underground literature and art works, Jason, Happy Harry, PO Box 31827, Athens 10035, Greece

HUMBLE, If you want us to carry your zine, send us 10 copies along with your terms. After they're sold, we'll send you a check for the amount we collect, Humble, PO Box 25656, Los Angeles, CA, 90025, USA

INGREAT UNLIMITED, Small independent tape label devoted to exploring extreme forms of human social behavior would like to trade tapes dealing with mass murder, serial killers, and the occult, Ingreat Unlimited, PO Box 293, Pittsburgh, PA, 15230, USA

JAEMPE PRODUKTIONS, Send sample and wholesale price for distribution. Everything sent receives consideration, D. Michael McNamara, Jaempe Produktions, 49 Calais Road, Randolph, NJ, 07869, USA

MANIA PRODUCTIONS DISTRIBUTION, Send samples for possible distro, Mania Productions, Leikosaarentie, 4 E 69, 00980 Helsinki, Finland

MEAN KIDS DISTRO, We're looking for new cheap, interesting, DIY zines to carry. Send in any and all samples as well as wholesale rates and info. Send a SASE for our most recent catalog, Mean Kids Distro, PO Box 18119, Washington, DC 20036-8119, USA

MISERY FOUNDATION, Looking for techno, industrial, gothic, or experimental products, NEC, 539 Queen Anne Ave., N. Box 131, Seattle, WA, 98109, USA

NOXIT MAILORDER, We are a 100% non-profit zine distro. Send your zine with inquiry, NoXit Mailorder, PO Box 7371, Lake Charles, LA, 70606, USA

PRIMORDIAL SOUP KITCHEN, Looking for zines to sell. Send a letter of inquiry and a copy of your zine. Consignment basis only, Primordial Soup Kitchen, 750 West San Jose, #D4, Claremont, CA, 91711, USA

REPRESSION RECORDS, A new label looking for bands to sign, Repression Records, 22 Dorchester Ave., Geneva, NY 14456-2315, USA

SECRET GOLDFISH, Takes zines, independent publications, art, cassettes, and other endeavors on consignment, Jill c/o, The Secret Goldfish, Hall Mall, 114 1/2 E. College, Iowa City, IA, 52240, USA

SEVERED IMAGE, We are seeking zines for consideration. Send sample with price per copy, Severed Image Pubs., 8160 Bendell, Houston, TX, 77017, USA

TONE DEAF DISTRIBUTION, Looking for zines and newspapers to distribute at shows and through the mail, Tone Deaf Distro, Jen Angel, PO Box 43604, Cleveland, OH, 44143, USA

TYPO DISTRIBUTION, Looking for smaller zines who need exposure. Please send sample copy and rates. Consignment only, Rachel Johnson, Calico Zine, 44 Manomet St., Brockton, MA, 02401, USA

VIEW BEYOND, Tape and record distributor. No other details, View Beyond, Pavel Tusi, PO Box 35, 349 01 Stribro, Czechoslovakia

WALDO-BLACKBERRY DISTRO, We're smaller than small, non-profit and DIY, Waldo Blackberry, 21 Orchard Road, Lutterworth, Leics, LE17 A4DA, UK

Some Reviewers:

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Looking for music, zines, videos, books and misc items for review. Reviews appear in Jam Rag, Junior, Vox, Metallum, and Factsheet5, Tom Tearaway Schulte, 1987 E. Troy, Ferndale, MI, 48220, USA

BETWEEN THE LINES, Looking for political publications for on-air reviews, Earwaves Radio Network, 1270 Calle de Comercio #3, Santa Fe, NM, 87505, USA

BONE, Send music and political zines, Bone, Keith Gordon, PO Box 158324, Nashville, TN, 37215, USA

DRAGON'S BREATH, Send zines and other publications for review, Tony Lee/S.A. Publishing, Dragon's Breath, 13 Hazely Combe, Arreton, Isle of Wight, England, PO30 3AJ, UK

F. Z. NEWS!, 1996-01-01, New review fanzine in the works. Send in your zines. Send two of your most recent issues. Send SASE if you need more info, Stephanie Soden, The Metal Zone, 9 Cedar Ave., 1st Floor, Westville, NJ, 08093, USA

FACE, Interested in small press comics. Possible inclusion in a small display, Maurice Harter, Ideas And Resources Unlimited,189 Park Ave., Portland, ME, 04102, USA

FACTSHEET FIVE ELECTRIC, Send zines, zine news and reviews,

FINNISH REVIEW-ZINE, Want to get your stuff reviewed in a Finnish review zine? Have no fear, I'm here to help you! All stuff is reviewed by people who know your turf best! Peace!, Talvipaivanseisaus, Timo Palonen, Hepokuja 6 B 26, Sf-01200 Vantaa, Finland

LOWER ROSENDALE REVIEW, Kennedy, Box 40, 90 Shuter Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2K6, Canada

REQUEST, Looking for new entertainment fanzines to review, Jim Testa, 418 Gregory Avenue, Weehawken, NJ, 07087, USA

SLUG & LETTUCE, Send punk records and tapes for review, Slug And Lettuce, Christine, PO Box 2067/Peter Stuy. Stn., NewYork, NY, 10009, USA

THE DARK SIDE, Looking for non-British genre movie zines, Steve Green, 33 Scott Road, Olton, Solihull, B92 71Q, UK

ZAMIZDAT TRADE JOURNAL, Seeking items for review, Zamizdat Trade Journal, 550 College Avenue, Boulder, CO, 80302, USA

Anti-copyright 1995. This publication may be copied freely in it's entirety. If excerpts are used, you must credit Global Mail and/or Ashley Parker Owens, and give the mailing address. You should also send a copy of any publication in which the excerpt appears.

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