Friday, June 14, 2013
Musing: The Zine Explorers Notebook #4
The Zine Explorer’s Notebook #4
(a few dollars, trade, letter, stamps)
What struck me as I was reading this issue of The Zine Explorer’s Notebook is … how insular the world of paper publishing is becoming. And that scares me. I’ve read 80% or more of the zines reviewed in this issue. I’ve corresponded with most of the writers included in the letters section (hell, I’m one of them!). I also just finished reading Xerography Debt and had the same claustrophobic feeling dawn as I turned the pages. Where are the new zines and writers? Have they all migrated to the virtual non-reality known as the internet?
As much as I hold publications like The Zine Explorer’s Notebook in veneration, it feels like something is missing in this issue. Content? Doug Harrison opens the issue with a well written essay, and then there are reviews and letters. And that’s about it. Yet regardless of my ambivalence today --- The Zine Explorer’s Notebook is a vital and indispensable publication.
All of this musing makes me reconsider my own zine activities. Maybe my reviews are becoming passé. I’m certainly not writing to the level of quality I am capable of. Sometimes I just sound like an overgrown fanboy. People rarely send for a copy of the print version of One Minute Zine Reviews, does it make a difference whether I continue to publish it or not? Maybe there are more than enough zine review venues already. Maybe I need to shift the emphasis of what I am doing. Maybe it’s time to step away from blogging, and learn the real art of DIY printing. Maybe there are other remedies for my malaise like starting a cassette label with no money, which is something I’ve been thinking about for a few decades already.
I had too much to dream last night.