How Langston Hughes exemplifies the African American tradition

Published 01 Nov 2017

An increase in publishing technology and opportunities has led to inception of new publishing and self publishing culture. A rapid growth of fan pages or fanzines has increased the modus of publishing content and telling away various distinctive ideologies. Zine is a short form for a magazine and the small circulation and non-commercial publication commonly of original prose.

Zines have various cultures and dissenting objectives. Most assimilate a media façade while other adopts a corporate identity. Empirical research on Zines show different and very significant gains, characteristics as well as distinctive features in their outlook and reach. This paper seeks to identify the various different characteristics, outreaches and distinctive features of e-zines and zines.

Zines have helped self publishing culture to become established. Publications have managed to find their way into a market ready for information based on how affordable, informative and entertaining the content of the publication is. However, these publications have not attained a distinctive position in the publishing Diaspora and are often defined as irrelevant amateur publications. The context of zine’s being irrelevant comes from the periodicals perspective. Periodicals have a wide readership, coverage of both issues and regions and also a panacea for more information and entertainment. Zines however are almost semi-autonomous personal view and community based newsletters. The self publishing progress since mid 90’s has been helpful from an e-zine perspective.

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The context of zine’s is broad due to the profound nature of zine’s. They are unclassifiable but have managed to deeply cover the untapped markets within the society readership. Zines make very good copy and infiltrate and create niche markets that mainstream periodicals have failed to reach (Ramanesko 1995).

Zines have been associated with fun seeking creative persons. They have no publishing guidelines, life span and often die after the first edition (Ramanesko 1995).

The survival of some zine’s has roused interest in research and empirical research shows a shift from a traditional zine culture to a modern and post-printing era to an internet protocol zine. Paradigms of web based publishing have offered a niche market for zine’s than any other time. The conclusion made from this technological milestone in the zine culture is that, the e-zine has become more successful, effective and more of a modern micro-media in comparison to the old and traditional one page fan zine. This paper explores further, through the comparison of zine’s how the growth of webzines as a new generation zine culture.

Types of Zine’s: E-zine’s and Zine’s.

Inkpot is an E-zine based in Singapore. The zine offers a search-engine like service wherein users find answers to questions.

This is a zine based and published in Montgomery, Alabama. It features news, commentary, lifestyles, politics, entertainment, and arts.

A look at content found on the e-zine Inkpot, there is a culture of seeking audience, speaking about social issues and finding resolves to commonplace societal issues. This seems to be a trend borrowed from traditional zine’s which were merely a niche publications addressing issue around their author and publisher environment. Inkpot brings about popular culture. The element of pop culture is embedded in the material found on the zine. The Zine also establishes a long list of other referral zine which bring forth the pop culture to readers of the zine.

The E-zine, Capital City free press is a publication like paper. It has features of a magazine, drawings, maps, and snippets of information that is relevant to its readers. Its rating shows that the e-zine has about 256 visitors monthly making it a more confined publication.

The e-zine, capital city free press has a very peculiar aspect. There are expressions which do not reflect to moral dignity or values. There is a vast connection with the traditional profanity found in zine’s ‘Fuck you….or you’ found on its page. The web page also speaks of government failures, religion and various contexts about society.
In comparison to the inkpot e-zine, there is a difference in the approach of issues. Inkpot concentrates on pop culture as a means of reaching out to people and creating a content niche that is distinct and attractive. This is a marketing strategy so as to attract more community to the web site. Inkpot also seeks to link up more people with other e-zine’s so as to create a community shared across the zine’s network.

There are similarities between the zine’s in terms of aims and objectives. They seem to look out for a voice for the small media. The content identifies with local events and a certain culture which is interested in this type of content. According to Inkpot ‘pop culture’ is the term used to describe almost every zine that include a bit of writing on movies and music.’ Both zine’s have music, DVD’s, video and movie adverts. They identify with pop culture which is a popular culture.

Their attention to mainstream issues and culture seem to shift from traditional conservative approach where rationale in distinctive approaches to issues is not adhered to. Their approach in addressing these issues is a radical and rasher approach. They attack government policies and name failing legislation and even mention names without worry of government reaction or media laws.

They feature politics, offer election and voting ideologies and tips and identify with the voter feelings and position politically. Zine’s seem to be attracted to popular social issues which reflect on plights and administrative failures.


  • Romanesko Jim (1995) fanzines explained American Journalism Review. Retrieved on 11/10/2008
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