Best Resurgent Print Medium That Was Thought to Be Dead (2010)


Who would have thought that of all the useless, paper-based, self-indulgent means of expression that proliferated during the 1990s, it would be zines that survived? In the age of Twitter, Tumblr, e-mail, etc., it seems almost perverse to be photocopying, folding, and stapling communiqués by hand, but that seems to be the point. 2010 has seen a revival of the form, at least around New York. With First Kiss, a multi-contributor pamphlet compiled by Marisa Meltzer and Elizabeth Spiridakis; Aaron Lake Smith's fascinating critical reappraisal of '90s stalwart travel-punk zine Cometbus; or Candor, the lady zine that appears, perversely, on Tumblr, the form is having a renewed moment. In part, the appeal seems to be a release from the workaday pressures of being a professional writer in New York—no word count, no incentive to try and attract pageviews, no limits on either topic or style. Plus, if you run into a friend, you can actually give him one. Can't say the same thing for that joke you had on Twitter last week.


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