Thursday, May 19, 2011

What's a Zine?

What's a zine? This is a question that regularly gets asked when I'm explaining Outta the Way. I usually just answer " it's a mini magazine." But that's such a generic answer, truthfully zines are much more than that. Usually the term is referred to any self published work with a small but devout group of followers. Profit is not the primary intent of zines, it's the spreading of knowledge that is not commonly for the mainstream.

Since the beginning of time people have been looking for ways to share their stories, with the invention of the printing press that dream became a reality for many. Now anybody with radical thinking and a different ideology than the general public could get their word out to hundreds, possibly thousands. Both Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin were independent publishers.

The origin of the word zine is unknown, but began to be used widespread during the early 1970's. During this time is when more zines began appearing, particularly in the underground sex and punk club scenes.

During the 1980's zines started gaining more of an artistic appeal. They even spawned their own subculture, zinesters. Zines during the 80's were very perverse and often covered obscure topics. Subjects often deemed too taboo for mainstream society.

However in the 1990's when the internet began to surge, zines then began to slowly disappear. Fortunately these same writers were able to gain a larger audience. This attention helped to turn a few self published writers into established authors.

Today zines are being embraced by a new generation, a generation that doesn't always trust the media and it's opinions. A new breed, who believes we need to be more self sufficient in our own needs. A group that doesn't want their information and mass media spoon fed to them.

Outta the way zines are available in traditional B & W form, and also as a color PDF you can print from home. Each zine consists of several out of the way places to visit. Each place will contain history, photos, and driving directions. Now get outta the way, 'cause we're going Outta the Way!

Find more zines on Etsy!
Learn more about zines and creating your own.

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