Zine + Queer Zine FAQ

Zine and Queer Zines FAQ




1)Q: What IS a zine, anyway?


A: A zine (pronounced "zeen," rhymes with "bean", no apostrophe) is a self-published, small circulation, non-commercial booklet or magazine, usually produced by one person or a few individuals. Zines are publications done for the love of doing them, not to make a profit or a living. Most zines are photocopied, but their production can range from handwritten or handmade booklets to offset-printed magazine-like publications (but with a print run of hundreds or a few thousand instead of hundreds of thousands).

Zines come in all shapes, sizes, topics, and formats. They can include personal essays, political discussions, fiction, craft or do-it-yourself advice, articles about music or movies, comics, reviews — anything under the sun, really. In a zine, you might find typos, misspelled words, improper grammar, and brilliant or radical or just plain honest ideas that simply aren’t allowed in Time, Newsweek, or People magazine.

Zines, underground press, small press, alternative press … these are just a few of the names for publications that are not produced by a corporation with an eye to the bottom line, but by ordinary people who want to make their voices heard. The underground press is written by street punks and lawyers and stay-at-home moms, and covers topics from politics to fiction to personal observation. At its best, it offers insight into the real lives of the 95% of us who don’t look like the people on TV.
(From: http://www.undergroundpress.org/faq/#whatarezines)

Jenna Freedman has written an article titled "Zines Are Not Blogs" where she states:
Definitions of the word "zine" vary tremendously, but they do tend to have these common characteristics:

1. Self-published and the publisher doesn't answer to anyone
2. Small, self-distributed print run
3. Motivated by desire to express oneself rather than to make money
4. Outside the mainstream
5. Low budget

For the sake of this discussion, I will add:

1. No need for any special equipment or knowledge
2. Portable*
3. An expression of Do It Yourself (DIY) culture
4. Foster a community among their creators and readers

* QZAP note: hand-to-hand distribution

Click here to read the whole article at the Barnard Library Zine Collection website.


2)Q: SO, if that's a zine, what's a Queer Zine?


A: At QZAP we've taken a broad view of what makes a zine "queer." For our purposes, if the content of the zine is queer then the zine is queer. Additionally, if the creator identifies as queer, then the zine is also queer.


3) Q: Well then how would you define "queer"?


A: Queer is all about people's expression of gender and sexuality. This is not exclusive by any means, but people who are queer (or ID as queer) may use descriptors like: queer, kweer, gay, lesbian, bi, bisexual, fag, faggot, dyke, trans, tranny, queen, king, princess, Nancy boy, Brucey Boy, nelly, femme, butch, bulldagger, bulldyke, polyamorous, pansexual, omnisexual, asexual, homo, Saphist, faerie, and of course Friend of Dorothy.


4) Q: Ok, that's people... what about queer content?


A: Queer content can be literally anything created by folks who identify as above. That said, the most common content you'll find on QZAP is usually about the following:


  • sex
  • same-gender sex
  • same-gender love
  • same-gender attraction/desire
  • gender
  • transgender issues
  • bisexuality
  • sexual health
  • STI's (STDs)
  • Safer sex
  • music
  • popular culture
  • feminism
  • activism
  • politics
  • racism
  • classism
  • fat phobia
  • ageism
  • traveling
  • anti-assimilationism
  • art
  • DIY (do-it-yourself)
  • comics/comix
  • erotica/porn
  • journaling/diary zines
  • manifestos
  • poetry



5)Q: So other than QZAP, where can I find zines and queer zines?


A: Zines can be found in lots of places. One of the main distribution channels is hand-to-hand. A zinester will make a zine and give it to a friend, who will pass it on to another friend, and so on. In addition to that, zines can be found or purchased through the following:
Independent bookstores
Music stores and record shops
Local music shows or other performances and venues
Pen-pals (similar to hand-to-hand)
Online zine distros
Zine festivals and zine fairs
Radical and art events
Libraries (Public, Institutional, and Zine Libraries)

Please note: this FAQ is ongoing and will be updated regularly
(last update: 8/28/2010)



What is F/OSS?
From Wikipedia:
In computing, free and open source software, also F/OSS, FOSS, or FLOSS (for Free/Libre/Open Source Software) is software which is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporate players.[1][2]

'F/OSS' is an inclusive term generally synonymous with both free software and open source software which describe similar development models, but with differing cultures and philosophies. 'Free software' focuses on the philosophical freedoms it gives to users and 'open source' focuses on the perceived strengths of its peer-to-peer development model. However many people relate to both aspects and so 'F/OSS' is a term that can be used without particular bias towards either camp.

Free software licenses and Open-source licenses are used by many software packages. The licenses have important differences, which mirror the differences in the ways the two kinds of software can be used and distributed and reflect differences in the philosophy behind the two.[3]

The F/OSS culture and F/OSS community stem from hacker culture


Why does QZAP use F/OSS?

At QZAP we use Free and Open Source Software because it's free.  Somewhat born out of necessity, but also because since the beginning of the project we've always wanted to make the tools that we use known and available to others so that they can create their own digital projects.

What software does QZAP use?
We use different tools on the server and on the desktop. 
On the server:
Debian Linux - Operating System
MySQL - Database
PHP - Scripting language
Joomla - Content management system
Gallery2 - image gallery system
Koha - ILS catalog

On The Desktop:
Ubuntu Linux
GIMP - Image editing software
XSANE - scanner software

Donate to QZAP

Thursday the 31st. Custom text here