Banned Book Week? Thousands of Zines Should Be At The Top of the List

Banned Book Week ? Thousands of Zines Should Be at the Top of the List

This week is Banned Book Week:
Wikipedia says: Banned Books Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates the freedom to read, draws attention to banned and challenged books, and highlights persecuted individuals …

Banned Books Week was founded in 1982 by prominent First Amendment and library activist Judith Krug. It is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, National Association of College Stores, and endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress….

It has been held during the last full week of September since 1982. Banned Books Week not only encourages readers to examine challenged literary works, but also promotes intellectual freedom in libraries, schools, and bookstores.

CHALLENGE LITERARY WORKS??? What about a challenged genre of thousands of books!!!!

The real banned books are zines.
Most publishing in the 1990’s was zines,
The best literature was zines,
A new type of literature was zines that combined book making, art, and lit.

But you won’t see zines in any book show – Zines were not major corporations, they were not mass produced (they were produced in limited copies) and they were as often traded for other zines, as sold. They were marginalized by the mainstream – even though they were most of the publishing, and the most innovative of publishing. Wherever you see, hear, or read a review of the latest novel now, you should have seen, heard or read about reviews of a zines.

Zines were exploding in the early nineties. Desk top publishing and copy stores allowed anyone to make and publish their writings on anything. Zinesters popped out of every city and began to share their work with others. This was the literature of an entire generation.

But where was the media? They still haven’t covered this golden age of writing – and, as we see now, it was the last golden age of literature before the internet – that’s a big deal.

Imagine a generation’s total literary output treated like the Thought Police treated facts in the novel 1984. That’s what happened to zines. This was not a case of banning one person’s writings – this was banning an entire generation of writers – that even now have not been recognized.
Zines, or the desktop explosion from late 80’s for a decade or so, produced not only great writing, but great book making and illustration tied in with that writing. It was the first literature that included bookmaking as part of the achievement. It was the best writing of the 90’s.

So to counteract that bizarre lack of coverage of zines, in 1996, I began the Zine Hall of Fame – an ongoing place to celebrate many of the best zines. Over the years new inductees have entered it’s halls.

I invite you, reader, to enter them too, and peruse a time of very great writers and writing, and publishing, and book making – all the things that zines and zinesters did and did better than any other generation in history.

This link takes you to zinewiki, an encyclopedia of zines, plus the Musea Zine Hall of Fame page


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