Sunday, November 1, 2020

What To Do With Old Zines?

 

I once amassed 32 boxes or more of comic books by seldom getting rid of one.  Fortunately, before I had to move them and probably get a hernia in the process, I decided to shed them and over the years whittled the collection down to 1 box.  Eventually, even that 1 box will finally go.  

With zines, I never quite let things accumulate to that level.  Over the years, I've gotten rid of most of the zines I've read soon after reading them.  I've given them away to friends, traded them with other zinesters, left them at coffeehouses and record stores, and often given them away to libraries, both academic and anarchist.  Some of the libraries were great (Bowling Green State University's Popular Culture Library who seems to still have my donations) while others were not (Kent State University's Special Collections who seemed to lose the zines immediately after I donated them).  Regardless, I still had a big box of zines that I had saved.  After one last backbreaking move, I decided it was time to shed them as well.  As much as I would like to find them a good home by donation, I didn't want to risk the crapshoot anymore as libraries go under (the anarchist ones) or change policies (the academic ones), nor did I want to pay a bunch of money in postage shipping the donation, so I decided to try selling them before I did the easiest thing and just threw them in the recycling bin.

To my surprise, the zines sold.  There must be some serious zine collectors out there, which is cool because the zines do feature some good reading.  And, once someone has paid money, he or she tends to value the possession more.  However, strange a psychological quirk that is, it does seem to exist for many people.  Currently, I have up a couple of Stephen Perkins's publications, which are about zines and are from the early 1990s.  I imagine this stuff is fairly rare.  The box is empty now, though I am still rereading my way through a stack of Zine Worlds.  I've been rereading the zines as I shed them, which has been quite fun.  This led to the ULA anthology project I did earlier this year (those zines should see the auction block in 2025 after enough time has passed from the anthology that it is clear I do not need them any more).  

On a related note, I was happy to see that Zine World founder Doug Holland has resurfaced, though his resurfacing has a sad cause (the death of his wife).  Maybe now, we'll finally see the long-awaited Pathetic Life anthology.

The Zine Worlds are dense reading, so I don't expect them to be sold until next year at the earliest.  They are rather rare, so I expect they will sell.  Of course, rarity does not always equate to valuation.  No one else may care.  In which case, there is always the recycling bin.  But that would make me a bit sad.

I might have gathered some more zines by then or more might have turned up that I stashed somewhere in some other boxes with other stuff, in which case they will be headed out the door one way or another as well.  Eventually, I imagine the only zines left in the house will be file copies of my own zines.

But if I move again, I might want to shed them also.

One thing I won't shed is my latest novel!

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