International Zine Month is celebrated in July around the world as a way of promoting independent publishing business. They often publish for the sake of education and giving a platform to lesser-known writers, without the intent of minting profit. Zines also keep the library culture thriving and are closely connected to several cultural movements. They are also growing in popularity thanks to zines going online and some even releasing audio formats. This month celebrates all the unique ways in which we read and engage with fellow book nerds!
History of International Zine Month
Have you ever wondered what a “zine” is? Zines are usually handmade, self-published littles to raise awareness and they aren’t sold to make profits. Zines can be made at home with simple tools like pencils, markers, or pens. You can also print copies at home to give it a real book-like feel! International Zine Month also celebrates underground magazines and fanzines that are quickly becoming popular in libraries. Zine culture has spanned science fiction, the riot grrrl movement of the 1990s, POC movements, and even those in the LGBTQ+ community. Zines have successfully tackled personal and political matters and shaped the opinions of hundreds of people.
International Zine Month was started in 2009 by Alex Wrekk, creator of Brainscan Zine. Studies conducted by Barnard College Zine Library in New York City show that there are at least 138 libraries in the United States that have an extensive collection of zines. Zines and independently published titles appeal to younger people and draw crowds to the libraries.
Zines are not a brand new concept, and they have been around for almost a hundred years now! The first science fiction zine was published in 1930 and it was titled “The Comet.” It was published by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago. Just like books, zines also foster communities. It’s a great medium for readers and writers to come together without having to worry about book sales and profits. The zine movement is ever-growing and soon enough most libraries across America will have a dedicated zine collection on their shelves!
International Zine Month timeline
The word zine is entered in the Oxford English Dictionary.
The first media fanzine is a “Star Trek” fan publication, “Spockanalia.”
“Aurora” is a science fiction feminist zine created by Janice Bogstad and Jeanne Gomoll.
Punk Zines emerge as a subculture of the punk movement.
International Zine Month FAQs
When is International Zine Month celebrated?
July is observed as International Zine Month. The day celebrates independent publishing.
What was the first science fiction zine?
The first science fiction zine was published in 1930 and is titled “The Comet.”
Can children read zines?
Yes, many writers publish zines that are meant for children and adolescents.
International Zine Month Activities
Share your zine recommendations
Are you someone who loves reading zines? This is a good time to share your zine recommendations with those who are eager to explore the genre.
Reach out to a zine writer
Is there a writer whose work you particularly enjoy? Reach out to them on their social media or write them a letter to express your fondness for their work.
Go on a zine world tour
Read, buy, and share zines from countries that aren’t your own. You will be surprised to find how vast and versatile the zine community is.
5 Facts About Books That Will Blow Your Mind
There are a LOT of books
On average, 755,755 books are published every year.
Some books sell for a fortune
The Bay Psalm Book sold for $14,165,000 at a 2013 auction in New York.
Reading increases life span
According to a study, reading books for at least 30 minutes a day can increase one’s lifespan.
The “Harry Potter” books got banned often
America banned “Harry Potter” books often since they apparently promote witchcraft!
Writing is a tedious business
On average, a novel takes almost 475 hours to write.
Why We Love International Zine Month
It gives voice to the voiceless
Zines allow the disenfranchised populations to bring out their stories and circulate them widely. They have been an important part of many socio-political movements.
It fosters communities
During this month, zine lovers come together to create and share zines. It’s a great way to learn something new and explore your own creative side.
It encourages reading
Zines encourage us to read and become better-informed people. Zines are a great way to know more about communities that are often ignored by mainstream publications.
International Zine Month dates