A zine — an abbreviation of the word fanzine, and originating from the word magazine — is most commonly a small circulation, non-commercial publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self-published work of minority interest. Cheap, D.I.Y magazines (or "zines") were incredibly popular back in the 1990s. The design aesthetic was very punk: the cheaper and more chaotic, the better. Random drawings and clip art abounded.
Zines are written in a variety of formats, from computer-printed text to comics to handwritten text (a famous example being the eponymous work of Aaron Cometbus). Print remains the most popular zine format, usually photo-copied with a small circulation. Topics covered are broad, including political, personal, social, or sexual content far enough outside of the mainstream to be prohibitive of inclusion in more traditional media. The time and materials necessary to create a zine are seldom matched by revenue from sale of zines. Small circulation zines are often not copyrighted and there is a strong belief among many zine creators that the material within should be freely distributed. In recent years a number of photocopied zines have risen to professional status and have found wide bookstore distribution. Most notable among these are Giant Robot, Bust, and Flipside.
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