Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism

Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism

Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism

Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism

Synopsis

Preeminent theoreticians of the world economy set out their understanding of the long-term dynamics of global capitalism.

Excerpt

I'll be honest. I never felt cool enough for girl zines.

I was living in Chicago when I discovered them, interning as an editor/ proofreader/general office gal at a tiny literary magazine run by a thirtysomething married couple out of their apartment. I knew only a little about the medium of zines: I'd read reviews of them in Spin and Sassy magazines. My kind-of boyfriend/devoted pen pal published a one-page, double-sided newsletter about punk rock and veganism decorated with Victorian-style clip-art filigrees. And I had made the pilgrimage to Quimby's, the Wicker Park store that brimmed with alternative-publishing products ranging from poetry chapbooks to minicomics to thick, singlespaced political screeds. And I knew that—well, I thought that—okay, I hoped that—someday I would make one myself. But it wasn't until I perused the copies of Factsheet 5 that lay around the editors' apartment that I realized just how vast the world of zines was. It was overwhelming, daunting, and occasionally scary to read this directory of zines and see, in minuscule 8-point type, just how much was out there. (And to ponder the range of humanity producing it: the editors reviewed everything sent to them and withheld most judgment, even about truly fringe zines like the one comprised mostly of graphic color photos of murder and accident victims.)

There was a zine out there for every possible quirk, interest, occupation, obsession, and kink you could imagine. Thrift Score was one girl's regularly published account of thrift shopping. Guinea Pig Zero was written by a guy who made his living as the subject of drug trials and other medical experiments. There were dozens of zines devoted to the childhood pop culture of their creators—both The Brady Bunch . . .

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