What are Fanzines?
A play on the word magazine, fanzines are fan fiction or general information for fans printed in magazine form and sold at a nominal price. These are found primarily on fan websites and at conventions. The first fanzine to be produced was The Comet, which was created by the Science Correspondence Club, in 1930.
Fanzines were initially known as fan magazines, or fan publications, but, the former name usually refers to professional magazines that were published about movie stars and the latter was too long, so they opted for the present connotation.
Some of the more popular genres of fanzines include Rock & Roll fanzines, Horror film fanzines, science fiction fanzines, sport fanzines, comics and graphic arts fanzines amongst many others. What began as hand drafted hard copy versions, has evolved into webzines, or e-zines, which make use of the internet for its distribution as well as prozines, which are fanzines which have evolved into professional publications, providing a platform for budding writers to get noticed. Science fiction was the most dominant genre in terms of fanzines, with music fanzines coming a close second.
With the advent of the Internet, hard-copy fanzines are becoming rarer, but moving ahead with the times, fans now make them available on CDs and on the internet as well. No member of the team behind the creation of the fanzine, makes any money out of it. All money earned is purely for production and postage expenses. Also the entire fanzine area of production is a little unstable with a lot depending on publisher whims.
Standing for more than the genre they represent, fanzines form a community around which an easy means for communication is made possible and it also provides a platform to share information. Fanzines continue to be a popular form of fan response, even as mediums change. To get started with fanzines, you can either find one you could contribute to, or just get a couple of friends together and start your own. Reading about how some of the more popular fanzines made a name for themselves, should set you up to begin your own.