About Zines
Posted in

Enter the zineverse – what, how, since when

Posted in


A zine (pronounced zeen…you know, like the latter half of magazine?) is such a wonderful form of expression, my absolute favorite! Zines are self-published, non-commercial, small-circulation magazines (or booklets) that are usually created by a single person or a group of people in collaboration with each other and based on a theme. Zines can cover a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to personal stories, poetry, art, politics, music, and fandom.


Zines can be first traced back to the 1930s, but they became particularly popular in the 1970s and 1980s as fanzines, especially in punk and alternative communities. Zines were a way for people to express themselves and share their ideas outside of mainstream media channels. Zines shot to popularity as a medium of expression that was ad-free, censor-free, restriction-free, and any shape, size, and length.

One of the defining characteristics of zines is their DIY (do-it-yourself) ethos. Zines are often handmade, with the creator using a variety of paper, photographs, stickers, text, scissors, glue, and a photocopier to put them together. They are usually printed in small quantities, often photocopied, and distributed through zine fairs, independent bookstores, and online communities.


Zines have played an important role in providing a platform for marginalized voices, as they allow people to share their experiences and perspectives in a way that is not controlled by mainstream media gatekeepers. These are self-published stories of self-expression. They have also been a source of inspiration and information for subcultures and social movements.

Overall, zines are a unique and creative form of expression that have helped many people to connect with others who share their interests and values. A common thread of interest runs between zinemakers or zinesters and zine readers.


Here are a few common categories of zines:

  1. Personal zines: These zines are often autobiographical and focus on the zinemaker’s personal life, anecdotes, experiences and emotions.
  2. Fanzines: Fanzines are zines that are created by fans of a particular band, TV show, movie, or other cultural phenomenon. They often include reviews, interviews, and other content related to the object of fandom.
  3. Art zines: These zines are focused on visual art, and may include drawings, paintings, photographs, and other forms of artwork. These can also be categorized as photo zines, which are a collection of photographs (like a photo album/showcase) based on a theme.
  4. Literary zines: These zines feature creative writing, such as poetry, short stories, and essays and are mostly theme-based.
  5. Political zines: These zines address political issues and may feature activist writing, analysis, and commentary on social justice issues.
  6. Music zines: These zines are focused on music and may include reviews, interviews with musicians, and other content related to music.
  7. Perzines: Similar to personal zines, perzines focus on personal experiences and emotions, but often with more of a focus on mental health, trauma, or healing.
  8. Travel zines: These zines document the creator’s travels, often including photos, illustrations, and personal reflections.

Zines can cover almost any topic, and the only limit is the zinemaker’s imagination! What type of zine do you like to make or read? Tell us in the comments below.

Explore zines from across categories mentioned above and more, on Bazinega, House of Zines, India’s first zine e-distro, community, and independent publishing house exclusively for zines.

Join the conversation

Follow us on