It all started with an Instagram post from @trenton.makes.zines, the Zines at Trenton (NJ) Library account, a video of their growing zine collection, including zine-related books DISHWASHER, NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND, ZINES VOLS. 1 & 2, and so on.
How many of these zine-related books are out there, publications that have gone from “staples to spines”, collections of individual titles, multi-author anthologies around a particular topic, academic works, how-to-guides, and everything else?
Using Worldcat, Goodreads, zine finding aids from various libraries, deep Google searching, active and long-dormant zine information sites (eg, zinebook.com), and the Internet Archive, I built an initial list of almost 150 titles.
About a third of these books are scanned and available on the Internet Archive (archive.org). Some are out of print, others are expensive limited edition exhibition catalogs, and many can be had for a few bucks through used bookstores and eBay.
Information is presented as follows:
Author(s) or Editor(s)
Year Published / ISBN / Publisher
Short description (pulled from Worldcat, Goodreads, publisher copy)
Internet Archive link (if available)
Rules for inclusion on the list:
The book had to be based on a zine that existed in print at one time, OR specifically called itself an “e-zine”. (This is why THE PHONE LOSERS OF AMERICA is included, for example.)
The book must be somewhat findable, so for example if a zine publisher printed 50 copies of a zine collection using print-on-demand without an ISBN and distributed it only to friends, it’s not going to be on this list.
The book must be related to an author’s zines, so books that an author has written not related to their zine project are not included. For example, Lisa Carver’s ROLLERDERBY collection is on the list, but her memoir DRUGS ARE NICE is not.
A few magazine collections were included, since they had originally started as photocopied or short-run printed zines, eg bOING bOING.
The focus is on zines, not minicomics, which are an entirely different category. Some of these books may include a few comics, but the focus is always on zine content.
The compiler (A.j. Michel), has the right to exclude items if I feel they do not add value to the list.
If you have a title to suggest for inclusion, please send title, authors, ISBN, year, publisher, and as much other information you can provide for the title to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put FROM STAPLE TO SPINE SUGGESTION in the Subject line. This is a side project for me, updated when I have time.
Donations for print version: If you would like to help defray the cost of printing a zine version of From Staple To Spine for distribution at zine events and to send to zine libraries, please consider donating. Anything helps and will be appreciated.