Browsing the Small, Independent and Underground Press

  • Browsing the Small, Independent and Underground Press
    I was up in Chicago on Sunday and finally got a chance to drop into Quimby’s bookstore, which is well known for stocking lots of underground, small press and independent publications, with a pretty good stock of ‘zines. I dropped only about $30 on a stack of diverse periodicals, which maybe I’ll attempt to review here, along with a $2 “grab bag,” which turned out to be mostly month-old mainstream magazines, but not bad for 2 bucks anyway. One zine I picked up is the excellent Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press, a great place to start in surveying the world of independent ‘zines. I must’ve spent at least and hour or two browsing there with a friend, as the store is very browser friendly (even in the erotic art and fiction area) and truly chock full of stuff that’s otherwise hard to get a hold of. While I have no truck with buying books and such on-line, there’s still no substitute for being able to read a little of what you’re considering purchasing, or browsing into something you never knew existed.

    Completing the day’s zine experience I met up with the loose gathering of local ‘zine makers at Cafe Paradiso (a cool coffee shop and video rental place) for what’s turning into an annual informal roundtable. There were some new faces, whose names and zines I forgot to jot down, so it does seem that zine making is alive and possibly growing in our little burgh of Champaign-Urbana. Since ‘zine-ing can be kind of a personal and individualistic enterprise, it’s tough to know if or how to coordinate zinesters together, but there are always issues like printing, distribution and such that it helps to share ideas and experiences on.

    The Urbana Independent Media Center Library has a ‘zine collection and is also trying to be a place where people can get ‘zines. Letting the local zinesters know about this resource is one reason why I go to the “zine summit,” but I also go because zine makers are cool folks and I really love and support any type of independent media making. In fact, I’m contemplating getting mediageek into print with a mediageek ‘zine, both for fun and to reach people who still prefer reading actual paper. There’ll be more details if and when the project comes to fruition.

    Previous ‘zine stuff on mediageek:

  • Last year’s ‘zine caucus 2/5/01
  • Jason Pankoke’s articles on ‘zines 2/14/01
  • Stay Underground 7/27/01
  • Micro-Film v2n2 11/6/01
  • The Revolution Will Be Photocopied 12/17/01

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