“To simplify things, zines can then be defined as uncommercial, nonprofessional, small-circulation magazines produced, published and distributed by their editors.”– Heath Row, From Fandom to Feminism
Zines in one form or another have existed since the beginning of printing history. Mainly in the form of pamphlets and for the purpose of relaying information.
Modern zines began in the 1930’s, during the rise in popularity of science fiction and fantasy. Fans of this genre starting writing, publishing, and disseminating stories based off worlds and characters created by the writers (what we now call fanfic).
These zines, as they came to be known, were usually made in the half-sheet format (5.25 x 8.5) and were circulated through fan circles.
In the decades to come other organizations, movements and revolutions utilized this format for their own purposes. As advancements in copy technology became accessible to the masses, zines became easier to produce.
Throughout the twentieth century, zines continued, in the form of comics, in the form of political exchange of ideas, and in the form of revolution….
Check back soon for a more detailed history of the modern zine movement.