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Xerography Debt #37

Xerography Debt 35

Available from Microcosm

To order a copy of this issue, please send $4 (order online, or send cash, stamps, money order, or check) to Microcosm Publishing

Cover Art by Bojan (Rigor Mortis) / Botda


History of Zines: The Basics of Irish Zine History
Gloomy Sundays: Kachou Hashimoto
It Means It's Wank: The Zine Safety Valve
Finding and Figuring Out
Twenty-four Hours, The Column: Zines of the Beat Generation
Zinethropology: Backstage
Ken's Column: The Trading Post
Basic Stuff You Should Know

Anne Thalheimer
D. Blake Werts
Carlos Palacios
Davida Gypsy Breier
Eric Lyden
Fred Argoff
DJ Frederick
Gavin J. Grant
Joe Biel
Josh Medsker
Julie Dorn
Ken Bausert
Kris Mininger
Liz Mason
Maynard Welstand
Stuart Stratu
William P. Tandy


Way, way back when we were partying like it was 1999 (because it was actually 1999), XEROGRAPHY DEBT was formed. There were two main influences – 1) several review zines were recently defunct or going on hiatus (e.g. F5, AMUSING YOURSELF TO DEATH, and ZINE WORLD) and 2) I wanted to encourage and support a community I called home. The whole point of the first issue was to say, "Here are a bunch of zines I like, I hope you like them too." Then others decided to join me with the same message and the zine grew organically. I decided early on that XD would not run bad/mean/snarky reviews. That decision has been oddly controversial at times.

I remember reading bad reviews in other zines - most notably ZINE WORLD - and thinking, "Wow, I wonder how many people were deterred from writing and/or left zines all together because of a scathing review?" Behind the scenes I have reviewers return zines to me because they simply hate them. I know it is shocking to hear, but there are dreadful zines out there. I'll then send the zine back out a second time to another reviewer. If that person passes as well, the zine simply isn't reviewed. Time and resources are limited and giving space to bad reviews costs money. I also don't want to see people afraid to send their zines in for review, especially people new to zines. This zine is something of a safe space for first issues.

I have refused to run reviews that feel dismissive. I've also worked with reviewers to determine if their review is critical or hurtful. That all said, I think criticism is very valuable - I know it helps me as a writer, editor, and photographer. In some ways I think we reviewers could be more critical, but the intent is always to provide support and encouragement. As readers and reviewees, I hope you understand that as well.

So to address the occasional criticism aimed at XD - we don't just blindly provide "good" reviews - we're here to support a community and foster its members. If your zine is reviewed, you earned that ink. Keep up the good work!


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