Are Zines Making a Comeback, Too?

Our nostalgia for all things analog might lead you to think that, but the answer isn't so simple

Ted Trager, a 28-year-old high school English teacher from Long Beach, sells his 20 Dudes zine at BookMachine. It features drawings of various men whom he finds interesting—from artists to musicians such as Ornette Coleman and authors such as Philip K. Dick.

Growing up in Visalia—where, according to Trager, nothing ever happened—he began writing zines as a way to make things happen in his town, as well as connect to the outside world. Sure, the Internet has surpassed zines in terms of music, he says, "but zines still have a place in culture. Sending someone a zine through the mail is more lasting and more meaningful than a blog post. Tangible media feels more studied."

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He adds, "Zine production is in the same ballpark as blogging, but like my phone." He pulls out an old flip phone. "I love being able to touch these buttons when I'm calling someone. It's made counterculture a generational thing. I don't feel comfortable with an all-digital, screen-based life. Other people's lives are wrapped up in machines. I don't think it's good or bad; it just is what it is."

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2 comments
GrimJimCrowley
GrimJimCrowley

Interesting article. I never read zines when they were everywhere in the 90s, but lots of my friends wrote them.  I don't think I'd read a zine still now, and it has nothing to do with not being digital, I don't read an independent blogs either. For me it's more brand recognition. I guess I'm a typical corporate sell-out.

 
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