Zine (zeen) n. A small-circulation, self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier.
What can I say about zines? Through zines I got into music writing and everything just sort of unfolded from there. I started my first zine, Noise Noise Noise, in Dec 1994 in Anchorage, Alaska in order to document the local music scene. There weren’t too many publications around at the time, and my friends and I who did NNN were lucky to have started the zine at the beginning of a local music renaissance! The next few years were chock full of punk shows and free CDs, meeting zinesters and musicians from around the country, and having an all-around great time (all while skirting my journalism studies, ironically enough). In Oct 1996 we shut down NNN and moved on to other pursuits, what with the local music scene being a shell of its former self.
My next zine was Twenty-Four Hours which I ran from 2001 until 2016, at which point I turned it into a chapbook press. For TFH, I took a page from Utne Reader’s playbook and filled the mag with selections from my favorite zines. Sort of a Reader’s Digest for zines, if you like. We also had interviews with zinesters as well as the classic zine material: record reviews, book reviews, and weird random shit. As the years went on, the Reader’s Digest idea went by the wayside, and TFH became more and more like a traditional literary magazine, with poetry, fiction, and such. We also expanded the focus to include politics, visual art, comics, and music, as well as our continual writings about literature. We had a rotating cast of friends in the mix, and tried to tell as many people we could about the neat shit we were writing about.
Eventually it all became too much to juggle, with my family obligations, teaching full-time, and trying to conquer the world with poetry. Something had to give. So, as I said, TFH is now a chapbook publisher, and I couldn’t be happier!
Here are some links to work from Noise Noise Noise and Twenty-Four Hours (The Zine!). Drop a line if’n you get the notion! –JM
(Links coming soon!)
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Lately, I’ve been trying my hand at visual art. I’ve been getting into mail art, through my zine work. Here are a few examples of what I’m up to art-wise. Enjoy! Leave a comment if you like what you see!
For THE ROOT PROJECT (Homer, Alaska)
“Elemental”–Cardboard, White-Out, Sharpie