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A Guide To...Zines: Home

Discover what zines are, where to find them, and how to make them.

Functions of Zines

Guides to Zines

Visit these guides, created by librarians, to learn more about zines.

Making Zines

Here are some resources for making your own Zine



"Colorado College Zine Collection" by Colorado College Tutt Library is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

What is a Zine?

"Zines are do-it-yourself (DIY), self-published magazines that combine elements of personal journals, newsletters, collages, and magazines.  The DIY nature of the zine is an important aspect of its appeal.  Zines are often photocopies, pamphlets or booklets that are given away, traded with friends, or sold through online distribution centers or at independent music and book stores.  Zines can also take the form of webpages, which can be accessed by other(s)...They often contain stories about the author’s life, essays, poetry, short stories, comics, recipes, lists, and reviews of books, bands, or other zines."

Bates, Dawn and Marueen C. McHugh. "Zines: Voices of Third Wave Feminists". In Different Wavelengths : Studies of the Contemporary Women’s Movement, edited by Jo Reger, Routledge, 2005, pp 179-180.

“Zines are non-commercial, nonprofessional, small-circulation magazines that their creators produce, publish, and distribute themselves. Most often laid out on plain paper and reproduced on common photocopy machines, zines are sold, given away, or as is common custom: swapped for other zines.  They’re distributed primarily through the mail, advertised along the grapevine of other zines, and in the pages of review zines."

Duncombe, Stephen. " 'I'm a Loser Baby': Zines and the Creation of Underground Identity. In Hop on Pop : The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture Edited by Henry Jenkins, Tara McPherson & Jane Shattuc, Duke University Press, 2002, pp 227.

"Talk to cheerleaders for zines and alternative comics, and they'll tell you that this is where the 'true art' of the 20th and 21st centuries resides.  It's where the constraints of the mainstream have no purchase.  Where writers and artists can do what they like, when they like, without bother about the tyranny of the bottom line.  It's where taboos can be broken, experiments can be pursued, and new voices can be heard. Subversion - in its many forms - is a natural and necessary corollary."

Triggs, Teal., and Roger Sabin. Below Critical Radar : Fanzines and Alternative Comics from 1976 to Now. Slab-O-Concrete, 2000, p 1.

Zine Collections

Zines through Library Databases

Learn more about zines with these library resources