Shelf Reading: Big Zine, Little Zine…

Big Zine, Little Zine… is an A to Z guide about what zines are (and, in some cases, what they are not). The author, identified only as Milo, wrote the zine in response to a Time Magazine article about zines. “There are so many problems with the images of ‘zines’ that Time conjures up,” Milo writes. “I don’t even know where to begin.” In response to these misconceptions, this zine takes us through the alphabet, where “D is for DIY, and making media ourselves” and “Z is for Zine World, both the review zine and the one I inhabit.”

What makes this piece so important is that it helps to dispel some of the misconceptions about zines and the “zine world” in a creative and cheeky way. Although this zine likely (and ironically) didn’t reach many members of the audience who hold the kind of false beliefs Milo works to quell, it establishes a certain power in doing so. Milo is faced with the same difficult task that many writers have encountered when members outside of their community have tried to write about them. Big Zine, Little Zine… responds in a way that confronts what is false while still holding true to its own ideals. Milo succeeds by responding to an ill-informed article about zines, not through a letter to the editor of Time Magazine or via a heated email, but by utilizing the same channel that has been attacked.

This zine was published by QZAP. Although this particular item is not a part of our collection, we thought it was cool and relevant to Zine Fest. We hope to see them there!

- Chris Lambrecht

“Shelf-Reading” is an ongoing series where we feature various items in the Read/Write Library’s collection of location-specific, independent, and small press media. Search the catalog at

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