zines

The small runs give these publications a collectible aspect as well, making them feel more premium in a world of accessibility… [Zines can be] status symbols that signify someone’s values and tastes while alluding to a certain subcultural intellectualism.

– Jian DeLeon, ‘The Zen of Zines: Small-Scale Publications and Modern Branding

Boutique design was always what DK was known for, in Seattle, and then, later, we changed it up. Making things slowly, quietly, in the space of time that reflects and is deliberate in its intention-setting is our thing. We are still at it. I wanted to find out more about how people are making zines, why they do it, why they pay for them, why they sell them. These kinds of questions led me to an article that summed a bunch of those things for me, but also helped me learn why I personally make them, here at DK. We didn’t make S P A C E to make money. We made S P A C E for the sake of making S P A C E. And learning by doing. That. That was the journey. I certainly don’t care much to go all crazy and get into shows and travel the world and be a ‘zine’ person. The biggest reason for that is because I found most of hte correspondences with peopel wh organize those kinds of events to be sort of, well, unprofessional. I didn’t get responses at all, or got very late ones, or got snotty ones form peopel who thought their zine fairs were the best things on earth. I did really wish I could have gone to Australia, though, when I got invited to show at the Festival of the Photocopier, or maybe it was something else, but hose thigns over there seemed highly professional, and I wish I could have gone to one, like I said. Money, though. And time. And commitments: I had already promised I would go to Latvia to do the tours in Eastern Europe. Which were amazing and showed me much of other things than, I think, being at a zine fair trying to sell my zines would have done. Which is of course why I chose EE. Long story, but yeah.

 

What exactly is a zine?

According to this article at a site that is about publishing, ostensibly, ‘Opinions differ about exactly where the lines are drawn, but the term ‘zine’ itself tells most of the story… ‘Zine’ is a shortened form of ‘magazine,’ and that’s mostly what zines are: homemade versions of magazines that tend to be shorter and less concerned with production values than the magazines you’ll find at the grocery store. Historically, zines are generally basic publications, usually photocopied or printed (often in black and white, to cut down on costs) and bound with a staple or two when they have multiple pages. Zines tend to have short runs and relatively few printings per issue (anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand.) These definitions aren’t just practical concerns; they inhabit the spirit of the zine. Because they’re easy to produce but hard to mass-market, zines tend to focus on cult subjects and thrive within artistic communities (zines have a long history with non-mainstream music genres and political activism, for instance.)’