Monday, May 29, 2006

FACTSHEET 5 - Zine Week Part 1

I discovered Factsheet 5 magazine in the early 1990s, and it was my first real exposure to zine culture. This was before mainstream acceptance of the internet, so finding a review of Geek Maggot Bingo or a retrospective of monster films starring masked Mexican wrestler El Santo was next to impossible. Zines, however, were (and still are) small personal publications that often covered highly eclectic subject matter and gave voice to any film geek with a little ambition and access to a photocopier. Factsheet 5's task was to review and catalog as many zines as possible, and to tell readers where they could find those zines.

Eventually I contacted Seth Friedman at Factsheet 5 and asked if I could review film-related zines for him. The magazine had a section specifically devoted to B movies, and I felt it calling to me. "Hell, yeah," he said. Soon I was receiving stacks of zines large enough to clog a suburban sewer. Some of the items sent for review like Psychotronic Video straddled the line between prozine and fanzine, while others like the fabulous euro-horror book Immoral Tales were clearly professional publications.

I loved them all, but my favorites were the small xeroxed zines filled with equal parts passion and bad grammar. There were a nearly infinite number of formats, and no two ever looked alike. Computers were still far from being as common as they are today, so many zines cultivated a punk-esque look, consisting of typewritten text literally pasted into layouts. In many ways the zines I was reviewing then were the predecessors of blogs, consisting of self-published material geared toward extremely tight niche markets. So in the spirit of that blog to zine kinship, here are some of my favorite zines from my time writing for Factsheet 5 from the early nineties until 1997 or so.

Click on any image for a closer look.

Click here for: Zine Week Part 1 | Zine Week Part 2 | Zine Week Part 3 | Zine Week Part 4 | Zine Week Part 5 | Zine Week Part 6 | Zine Week Part 7 | Zine Week Part 8 | Zine Week Part 9 | Zine Week Part 10 | Zine Week Part 11 | Zine Week Part 12 | Zine Week Part 13 | Zine Week Part 14 | Zine Week Part 15

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