Check out some of the radical, if not eyebrow-raising, fanzines from the height of the punk era
Music was the cornerstone of the punk movement. For many, it was these songs that gave a voice to the disenchanted. And it didn’t take long for punk zines to emerge as a way to connect this emergent scene and spread word even further.
The DIY Punk Culture
Punk zines (also known as fanzines) were purposefully amateurish, handmade (some are just stapled together!) and necessarily independent. Before the Internet began to supplant them in the late 1990s, zines were early versions of today’s blogs and social networks. They were filled with band interviews, concert and album reviews, as well as opinion pieces, classifieds and more. Much of the content was subversive, sarcastic and intentionally crude. Even the names (The Coolest Retard, anyone?) were meant to simultaneously invoke fury in their detractors and laughter in their audience.
When it came to fanzines, anyone could do it, and many did. Most publications were short lived and there were countless “one and dones.” Because of their modest means of production, they were also not widely circulated. Still, some did manage to gain in popularity and rise above the rest (you might remember our blog on Sniffin’ Glue and its explosive growth). In any case, they’ve become a rarity in today’s collector’s market, with entire sets becoming quite uncommon and valuable.
Punk: Ahead Of Its Time
When you open one of these punk fanzines and peruse its contents, you’ll often be surprised by their boldness. It’s difficult to imagine the gall it took to create and distribute them, independently at that. Even in 2023, some of the ideas are still relevant — and in some ways, our society is more “square” now than it was then! That’s probably why punk is still alive and well, albeit a bit more refined in today’s world.
Bynx has an extensive inventory of punk fanzines. A few interesting examples include:
Then there are the most popular and successful zines, of which we have several issues or, in some cases, entire sets. Sniffin’ Glue, Punk, Slash, Search & Destroy, Damage, Ripped & Torn, New York Rocker and Maximum Rock N’ Roll are all such examples. Browse our online shop to see what else we have on our virtual magazine rack!