An important trend I’ve seen is that zines have become increasingly visual. Illustration, comics, photography—these were always present in the zine world, but in LA, it seems like they are sort of enjoying a uptick in attention. Zines used to be these super-personal, super-political publications. My favorites were ‘perzines’ that made you feel like you were reading somebody’s diary or a note you got passed in class. I don’t see a whole lot of these anymore, but maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places! In LA at least, there’s of course a rich history of punk zines like Flipside and Slash, but there was a big-time explosion and appreciation for zines and their potential for illustrators and comics in the Asian-American community, something that Giant Robot famously encapsulated. My best friend is Filipina and growing up, to see stuff like that—it was awesome, like looking into a secret world. That’s what zines were always about, and something that continues to this day.
Bianca Barragan on the historical arc of the LA zine scene
Note from POC Zine Project:
Zine culture is not monolithic (well, it shouldn’t be). It’s important for those documenting the history of zines to factor in how geography, gender, race, class and various communities inform zine culture from one region to the next.