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Kinkos Goes To College: University of Iowa Acquires Zine Collection

Looking back on the pre-Tumblr era, when obsessive creators and curators made "blogs" from paper, staples and glue.

Kathy Shaidle


July 11, 2013 - 2:00 pm
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Joshua Glenn himself is writing a 25-part history of zines for

In his latest chapter, he covers the punk zine scene, which is the one I first became familiar with.

Punk’s cheap and dirty DIY ethos was the perfect match for the zine format.

In this pre-internet age, fans made zines, spread the word about their favorite punk bands, and tried their hand at being creators in their own right.

Some argue that the very name “punk” came from the eponymous NYC zine, first published in 1976.

Mick Jones probably has a copy or two in his “museum.”

The former Clash guitarist has collected rock and roll ephemera since his teens.

It’s now housed in his “Rock and Roll Public Library,” an occasional exhibit of some of his vast personal stash (which includes pizza boxes from his days on the road.)

(By the way: reproductions of the most famous Clash fanzine, Armagideon Times, will be included in the band’s forthcoming box set; fittingly for a bunch of former art school students, the set will also come with a “Special Edition” of AT, “curated and designed” by the band’s surviving members themselves.)

The first time Mick Jones put his stuff on public display in 2009, he, er, clashed with the gallery curator, who wanted to protect the priceless collection.

Instead, Jones demonstrated that he hadn’t lost his punk attitude:

[Jones] wants visitors to be able to “engage with” his exhibits, to take videos down from the shelves, to leaf through books, and so on.

“Am I worried that people will half-inch [Cockney rhyming slang: “half-inch” = “pinch,” i.e. “steal”] things? I don’t want that, obviously. I think, if you do that, shame on you. But if it ends up as a free-for-all, so be it.

The thing is, this stuff is not for sale. This is to look at and enjoy.”

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(KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 15th year. She's been called "one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time," by MARK STEYN. Her NEW book is Confessions of A Failed Slut (Thought Catalog, 2014).

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Have right-wingers ever created zines? I had a zine in the late 80s early 90s called "Skylark". It was to publish poetry because I couldn't get published in serious publications when I was 16, funny enough. I often wonder if they shouldn't be revived. You own the paper, the ink, and nobody can censor you. :)
1 year ago
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One hell of a time. I still miss it, crudely rendered 'zines and all.
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