Today I posted a little column on my zine’s web site about putting out a paper zine instead of—or as well as—a Blog. I’ve been writing columns on that site for years now. I used to have a number of other columnists, but they’ve all fled for one reason or another—usually after I’ve drunkenly threatened them with bodily harm. This is quickly followed by postcards from foreign lands advising me to lose their cell phone numbers and eventually, of course, the restraining order. Every now and then one of them still sends me a new entry, but for the most part it’s just me now. I started the columns to try and give people a reason to come by every now and then; no one comes back to a static web site, after all. This was before Blogs were so, well, everywhere.
When I first started, I actually posted a new column every two weeks, but that’s long gone now. These days a couple of postings a year is the best I can do. I am not the young dynamo I once was.
Sometimes it seems like Zines are the product of a bygone era, that no one knows what the hell I mean when I say that I publish a zine—or they picture 1995 and imagine me with long hair, flannel shirts, and ripped jeans. The flannel is sadly still accurate, but in my defense I was wearing ripped flannel shirts when I was 14—is it a crime to have the same fashion sense as your adolescent self? If so, color me guilty. Other times I see a lot of zines from teenagers which indicate that the idea of putting out a paper publication yourself is not exactly dead. And I still get plenty of zines in the mail, so the subculture keeps going, whether I notice or not. Which is shocking, since I generally require the universe to alert me to all changes so I can approve or veto.
A lot of people have told me they expected me to stop publishing the zine once I started getting paid to write. I can understand why—my zine takes up a lot of my time, and it actually costs me money to produce, whereas the novels and stories and columns—while they also take up my time—actually pay me. But the zine is too much fun, so I doubt I’ll ever stop it, unless the State of New Jersey orders me to under the Patriot Act. As to why I keep putting out a paper zine in this Blog Era, well, for that you can go read the actual column, can’t ya?
For more info on Zines in general, you can go to Broken Pencil’s web site, or Zine World’s web site, or the charming Zine Wiki. Or a dozen other places. Or heck, email me and I’ll tell you more than you want to know about zines, bubba.