So you know I love books.
And that I love zines.
So when there’s a book out about zines, well, you know how excited I can get. It’s by Gestalten too, and they make one of the finest books out there on art, architecture and craft, so my expectations were pretty high on this one.
Title: Behind the Zines: Self-Publishing Culture
240 pages, paperback
When I first unwrapped my package, I was a little perplexed. It seemed as though like someone had ripped off the hardcover (because the book is heavy!) and the book is now left with just the signatures bound together with superglue for the spine. Patterned superglue at that, mind you. But this was no accident, I realized afterwards; for the book looks as if it was a stack of zines lovingly bound together real tightly, which goes hand in hand with the concept and subject matter perfectly. I do wish it had a heavier cover though, as the edges of mine kept curling up due to the humidity!
Loosely divided into 5 different categories that range from experimental zines to best-sellers; the book covers short run publications from Europe and the USA; broadly covering topics of art, culture, politics, food, love, and everything in between. From major players like Nieves and a Pikaland favorite, Cafe Royal to smaller print houses that I’ve just recently discovered, like Shake Your Tree, the book is a treasure trove of zines, big and small.
I love that there are introductions to each zine publisher, and descriptions behind every zine – not to mention the generous photographs in full color that accompany each of them. Unlike some of the zines in here that are sometimes out of print, this book is priceless to me because it has captured many of them and froze them in time.
Like a secret club that’s open to those who knows its handshake, the world of zines is wide and ever reaching once you tip toe into its folds. Behind the Zines is a great first passport to discovering what the world of zines have to offer. Once you’re in, you might never get out.
You can purchase a copy of Behind the Zines over at Amazon!
P.S: And if you like reading about zines, perhaps you’d like to read my review of the Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine book that covers in detail on how to go about publishing your own zine!
Happy weekend everyone!