via OK Whatever
by Jessie Schiewe
For more than 80 years, zines have been around — but they’ve always been elusive.
The self-published, small circulation periodicals got their start in the science fiction community in the 1930s when fans — inspired by what they were reading — started writing, and later disseminating, their own stories. Punk scenes in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and London embraced zines in the ’70s and ’80s, and around that time, they became easier to make thanks to increasing access to photocopy machines and printers. Feminists and riot grrrls adopted the art form in the ’90s, using the often stapled, sewn, or folded-together pamphlets to publish poems, personal essays, articles, and literature that would be difficult to get published through traditional channels.
If this is your first time learning about zines, you’re not alone. Because they’ve existed predominantly within niche subcultures, they’ve always been the sort of commodity that requires “knowing someone” or being part of a particular scene to get ahold of one.