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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
on Zine Culture
I discovered zines in 1994, at the age of 13, when I was living in a small town in northern Idaho, but didn't really have access to them until moving to Oregon the following year. I was drawn to zines that were personal, cut and paste style--rough and handmade--and typically produced by other girls and women. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to zine writers like Ceci Suburbia, Kristy Chan, and Cindy O., who, along with several others, inspired and empowered to do my own zine at the age of 16.
My life hasn't been changed by zines in the way that others have experienced--travelling the world, an international network of zine friends, minor zine celebrity, etc., but as cheesy as it may sound, my life was saved by zines and zine kids. At a time when I was extremely isolated and lonely, I watched my mailbox for new zines and correspondence.
Holding in my hands what was the product of months of labor and contained immensely personal information, I felt connected to someone on the other side of country that I would never meet. That is the power of zines.
Sure, there are similarities with blogs--both being the avenue to convey personal thoughts, raise awareness to important issues, etc., but blogs, for me, don't have the heart and soul that a zine does. Zinesters have pored themselves into this creation--writing, designing, photocopying, and distributing, whereas a blogger really need only register with WordPress, Blogspot, etc. Also, there is something undeniably important about the tactile quality of a zine--having something to hold in your hands, to touch, to interact with--that blog cannot compete with.
Naysayers have been predicting the end of zines for years. And while zines don't have the fervor around them that they did in the mid-1990s, they are a long way from being obsolete or irrelevant. Independent publishing has a lengthy history, as the post hints at, and so long as there are zinesters producing honest and authentic work, there will be readers.
posted 3 years, 10 months ago
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