The Rise of the Zines

(Photo by Adam Void)

It's true: the world of printed magazines is hard these days. Many magazines have to stop due to dropping sale numbers and the many upcoming online magazines, which can be read easily on any laptop, smartphone or tablet. It's hard for small, independent magazines to compete with all sorts of online magazines. It's not that people don't like real printed magazines anymore, it's just the ease and luxury to be able to read your magazine anywhere anytime, on your smart device. It's a real shame to see how hard some magazines are struggling nowadays to keep selling enough issues.

BUT, to cheer you up, I've got some good news. The era of the printed zines has arisen! The era of what? Of zines!! A zine is mostly an independent small magazine/fanzine, self-published and created by creative rebels, usually reproduced via photocopier. Circulation must be 1000 or fewer (mostly around 100)  and the content contains self-written articles, photo series, drawings etcetera. Zines became very popular in the 70s, where Punk zines emerged as a part of the Punk scene. And both in the 80s and 90s, zines continued being printed, with a very popular feminist zine called 'riot grrrl' in the 90s.

(Holy Shit Zine by Natasha Lillipore)

In the last two years, the popularity of the zine has reached a bigger part of society. Altough it's still mostly the creative spirits who are interested in zines, the early majority has entered the world of zines as well. Thanks to the internet, zines have reached a new generation, the youngsters, the graphic designers, the 90s kids, the artists. They are being sold on the internet, on fairs (in Australia there are actual zine fairs!) and even book stores. But making money with a zine is not priority: it's to spread your (political) message or to share the fantasy world that's inside your head with others.

(Zines by Gemma Flack, photo by Nerd Burger)

And believe it or not, people are loving this! Paging through a little art piece like a zine is fulfilling and inspiring. I believe the zines have made their comeback because people love looking through actual printed pages. It's authentic. The internet is one big pile of inspiration, art and messages, but it's impressing when someone is capable of putting their own vibes and atmosphere in something as small as a zine. It's satisfying to support a person who puts his soul into something as beautiful as a zine. Nothing beats the feeling of a small zine in your hand, ready to be opened for the first time!

(Photo by Nerd Burger)

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