by Miranda Hale
If you're curious and have never read zines before, how do you go about finding these mysterious publications? Zines are catalogued -- some online, some only on paper -- in collections known as "zine distros." The most famous and most dependable zine distro is Pander Zine Distro, run out of Minneapolis.
Each distro offers a variety of zines and other independently made merchandise like buttons and patches. Ordering from distros is usually the easiest way to obtain a variety of zines cheaply and quickly (zines are usually no more than $2). But if you're craving more one-on-one contact with a zinester, most zines can also be ordered directly from the author via mail or online. Readers can search for zine Web sites and look for announcements of new zines online, or in A Reader's Guide to the Underground Press, Punk Planet or other publications with zine listings.
Many independent book/music/comic stores also make a place for zines; even the national chain Tower Records stocks some zines.
Here's a list of some of the more useful distros.
Pander Zine Distro -- www.panderzinedistro.com
Grrrlstyle Distro -- www.grrrlstyle.org
Microcosm Distro -- www.microcosmpublishing.com
Screamqueen Distro -- www.violeteyes.net/screamqueen
Moonrocket Distro -- www.moonrocket.co.nz
Burning the Letters Distro -- distro.burningtheletters.net
Independent Publishing Resource Center -- www.iprc.org
Zinesters mailing list, etc. -- www.zinesters.net
A Reader's Guide to the Underground Press -- www.undergroundpress.org
Portland Zine Symposium -- www.pdxzines.com
Publication date: 07/24/03