Fanzine – the lost art (part 2)
Our story about fanzines as nonofficial publication made by fans continues in this article. As it was mostly used to explore certain musical genre, we chose to explore a little bit about punk subculture, which can be divided into several groups. The best way talk about this genre would be to separate them by countries like United States and Great Britain and to add a modern fanzine, the art of 21st century.
As the young people in Great Britain weren’t really ravished by the established print media at the time, they easily accepted the punk subculture, which was a countercultural alternative. It quickly entered the world of fanzines. Deptford punk fan Mark Perry was the first one to make a zine. It was called “Sniffin’ Glue” and it is still the best known today. This fanzine was produced in 12 photocopied issues. The first one started following the English debut of the Ramones, in July 1976.
Ohter famous British fanzines at the time were Blam!, Chainsaw, New Crimes, Vague, Bombsite, Wool City Rocker, Burnt Offering, Jamming, Artcore Fanzine, Love and Molotov Cocktails, To Hell With Poverty, ENZK, Juniper beri-beri, No Cure,Communication Blur New Youth, Peroxide, , Rox, Grim Humour, Spuno and Cool Notes. In this huge amount of publications, Tony Fletcher’s Jamming was the most successful one, reaching the mainstream distribution on the national level, as a serious magazine in the country.
In the United States, “Flipside” and “Slash” would be the most important punk fanzines from Los Angeles scene, both starting in 1977. During 1977 in Australia, Clinton Walker and Bruce Milne mixed two of their punk separate zines “Plastered Press” and “Suicide Alley” to create a huge one called “Pulp”. Milne later went by himself to create the “Cassette zine” with Fast Forward, in 1980.
In 1976, “Punk” was made in New York and had a huge role in popularizing punk rock as the term for the subculture, genre of music and the bands represented in the fanzine. Couple of years late, the major punk fanzine called “Maximum RocknRoll” was made, with more than 300 issues. It partially resulted in popularizing punk in the late 1980s, as the popularity of such bands as Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Fugazi, Bikini Kill, Green Day and The Offspring, grew enormously. In that time, various, important punk zines were published, such as Punk Planet, Razorcake, Tail Spins, Sobriquet, Profane Existence and Slug and Lettuce.
One of the early American punkzines, called “Search and Destroy” even managed to become the very influential subcultural magazine “Re/Search”. Some fanzines from the 80s, like “No Class” and “Ugly American” had their renaissance by placing all past content online for free and also continuing to work on new stuff. During the last period, Californian “Suburban Rebels” could be considered as leading the Punk fanzine of modern age.
Punk fanzines after the year 2000
In the United Kingdom, “Reason To Believe” and “Fracture” were the most influent fanzines in the early 2000s, but unfortunately they both lasted till the late 2003. The next important punkzine was “Rancid News”, which changed its name to “Last Hours” after ten year existence, publishing 7 new issues under the new title before disappearing from the scene. Although “Last Hours” still exists as a webzine, it has changed its focus, becoming more anti-authoritarian movement. There are also numerous small punkzines in the UK today.