The scene of zines

BY KATE LUCE

Staff-writer

“Zines” are a small-scale, self-produced magazine. They can cover a large range of topics encompassing anything from, music, poetry, feminism and virtually anything else one can think of.

The world of zines has been around since the 70’s when photocopiers become readily available to the general public. At first, most zines have catered to the underground and punk music scene, but today their contents are widely expanding.

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X-Books, which are essentially a zine can have a wide range of concepts and conversations. These were created by IU South Bend students in the Social Impacts of Printmaking course offered as an A-190 course. Photo by Kate Luce.

“Fan zines are kind of the origin of fan magazines, or it has been shortened to ‘zines,’ so it always came out of somebody’s love or particular topic. I think the science fiction community was the first to get it going, but then the music scene from the 70’s up ‘til now have really held on to it,” Bill Tourtillotte, printmaking professor, said.

Although the first zines were collaged, with technology the production of them has become easier than it ever has been. With technology, there has been a slight decline of them due to blogging, however this has not stopped people producing hardcopy zines.

“Strangely enough a lot of people don’t want to share everything online. Often times the zine is more intimate. It more of a personal way to engage someone. You have a very different space with a cell phone or a computer,” Tourtillotte said.

South Bend’s zine scene is not as broad as a larger city’s, but there still are people producing zines as a way to spread their art, poetry, skate culture and music.

IU South Bend’s very own Assistant Library and Scholarly Communications Librarian, Craig Finlay, has been creating poetry zines for the past couple of years. He collaborates with the South Bend community of writers and artists to create his zine, Retirement Plan.

Recently, Finlay had a poetry reading of his recent edition at The Well, a coffee house in River Park.

A few local artists and musicians have self produced their own zines, but other than that the zine scene of South Bend is not large compared to even Bloomington. The IU Bloomington library has a collection of local and regional zines that are available to check out.

Although this is not the case for IU South Bend, there are many ways someone can get into zines. Taking an art class would be a viable start to get into zines.

“Any of the entry level graphic design courses [would help with getting into zines]. They talk about typography… A photo class might let people get images, and they could do a picture zine. Journalism, they are trying to get a publishing minor. Any of the arts would help get a start,” Tourtillotte said.

Book Arts, a printmaking class taught by Tourtillotte, is essentially a nod to the world of zines.

“Well, the history of book arts really led to the zine. Self publishing, putting together a text, printing it, binding it, and distributing it,” he said.

Essentially, zines are a world without rules. A maker can do whatever he or she wants content wise, and build off from there.

“Most of us don’t have a community, and zines can build that community,” said Tourtillotte.

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