With the launch of The Factsheet Five Zine Reader at the Minna Street Gallery in San Francisco, history is writing it's own book, this time in the genre of homemade magazines.
The dim of the room, remarkably loud, overpowered the few zine publishers who attempted to pontificate vocally, and not surprisingly so, because in this genre, all the publishers have a lot to say, and they'd rather talk about how to say it, than say it. This was a party, after all.
Factsheet Five, a review organ for the self-published, has been around for 15 years and three different publishers, documenting the state of the art four times a year.
And through it all Seth Friedman has been there, reviewing and listing over 2,000 zines each time. This Zine Reader is a book format "best of" collection, chock full of essays, comics and articles, as they've appeared in Factsheet Five over the years.
Wading thru the quagmire of thousands of somewhat dodgy pieces, Seth started off with 800 pieces, which he quickly narrowed down to 120.
"That's when I realized I had the absolute finest works," he says. "I had to cut it down lots to get the 72 [for the book]."
Naturally he won't play favorites, explaining that all the articles in the book "are beyond the cream of the crop." But when pressed he names "The Unbearable Melancholy Saga of the Rainbow Man" (Verbivore zine).
With ten sub-sections running the gamut of odd and cool, this book is organized so that you can just plow thru it or go to the subject that interests you most.
Chocked full of the hilarious "Yorinate in Kup", "Transgressive Hair: The Last Frontier" and sadly devastating "My So-called Sex Life", the Zine Reader will provide you with more hours of reading rapture than all the versions of the Holy Bible.