One trait that most zines share is their low-budget nature. Since these are mostly printed in low-volume amounts by individuals, paying a printer to run a few copies is generally out of the question. Not only is it prohibitively expensive, but printers generally don’t like to print low-volume editions, since switching over the presses is a rather expensive and time-consuming affair. Thus, with some exceptions, Xeroxed zines are the norm.
A New York Times article, however indicates that those limitations may soon be lifted:
With a new Web service called MagCloud, Hewlett-Packard hopes to make it easier and cheaper to crank out a magazine than running photocopies at the local copy shop.
Charging 20 cents a page, paid only when a customer orders a copy, H.P. dreams of turning MagCloud into vanity publishing’s equivalent of YouTube. The company, a leading maker of computers and printers, envisions people using their PCs to develop quick magazines commemorating their daughter’s volleyball season or chronicling the intricacies of the Arizona cactus business… “We’re not talking about replacing the Vanity Fairs of the world. But it’s a nifty idea for a vanity press that reminds me of the underground zines we had in the ’60s and ’70s.”
If this takes off, it will be really cool. The article goes on to say that there’s no guaranteed market for this service, since so much information and media is available for free on the internet, but acknowledges that it could still succeed. I, personally, love the feel of a magazine in my hands, as opposed to an image on my computer monitor. The minimized eye-strain certainly helps, too.
I’ve wanted to produce a zine for years now, but have never had anything to write about. I suppose this is as close as I’ve come, but without the ability to hyperlink, I think this would be a much less interesting forum. Still, even just producing a glossy magazine to show off artwork would be cool. I know when I was putting things together for my art show last summer in Detroit, it was frustrating that people would only be able to see a small amount of my work. A magazine index to hand out at an exhibition/gallery would be a wonderful marketing tool, especially if they only cost a few dollars each to produce.
I’m crossing my fingers for you, Hewlett-Packard. While I may not buy your computers, I’ll certainly support any innovative services you can offer, like this one.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted any work from Good Blimey, so we’ll go back there today.
I’m not a big Tom Petty fan, but this first track uses his instrumental in a way I can support.
While that last one was pretty pop-y, this second track is much weirder. And perhaps even more effective, because of it.
This final track left me agape, that’s how much I liked it. The Muppets+Kanye West= a good time. If you listen to one track this week, make it this one.
I think these are the best tracks I’ve posted in a while.