What is a Fanzine?

     A fanzine is a fan-created publication dedicated to a specific genre typically read by other fans who have similar interests. The term fanzine is a combination of the words "fan" and "magazine" which implies the general vehicle for which these fan-made articles are distributed. Fanzines, which are also called "zines," can take the form of graphic novels, comic books, stories, editorials, and other such formats. Genres include (but are not limited to) science fiction, media, music, sports, films, and comics [1]. Imagine zines to be the early form of fan communities such as our present day forums, fanfictions, and other dedication websites.


     Fanzines date back to the 1930s starting with the first science fiction zine, The Comet which was published by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago [2]. The growth of fanzines flourished as printing technology advanced allowing for faster reproduction and distribution to fans. To recieve an issue of a specific zine, much like magazine subscriptions, there is a process of requesting the zine from the publisher; some zines are sent free of charge while others required a fee. Generally, zines are distributed either through the mail or in person. Today, print fanzines are still being produced and distributed; other zines have been converted to "webzines" in hopes to reach a larger audience across the Internet.


     Fan contribution is a crucial process in the development of zines. Members of the fandom can submit material such as art, reviews, episode guides, articles about fannish topics, and more to be read by the community by sending content to the editor of a zine; editors then recieve and select which work willl be published [3]. Most importantly, many zines incorporate LoCs, or letters of comments, where in which fans can communicate directly to the creator of a specific fanwork. In a sense, before Internet, fanzines were the platforms for interactivity between fans, regardless of being unacquainted, brought together soley by common interest.



1. Zine. Fanlore. Retrieved 14 Oct 2012.

2. Science Fiction Fanzines. Retrieved 14 Oct 2012.

3. Zine Production. Fanlore. Retrieved 14 Oct 2012.

4. Palmer, R, & Dennis, W (1930). The Comet. Science Correspondence Club. Retrieved 14 Oct 2012.