July is International Zine Month, and we are celebrating here at the Games Section with thematic publications. Zines are made to celebrate so many things: Music, sexuality, cake recipes, the list goes on. Video games are no exception. So, for this month we bring you a list of zines to keep you satisfied between gaming sessions.
Rise of the Videogame Zinesters
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Anna Anthropy’s anthology, the subtitle of which is “How freaks, normals, amateurs, artists, dreamers, dropouts, queers, housewives, and people like you are taking back and art form.” This isn’t a collection of zines, but a collection of essays about games as zines. It is quite long (over 200 pages), and only covers a small selection of games, but it’s cleverly intertwined and almost all of the essays are a joy to read.
Mathew Kumar is a video game journalist who has written for websites like Gamasutra and Eurogamer. He has also created several issues of his own gaming zine. I’ve only read one of the issues, but it was a fun reminder of why I not only enjoy video games, but why I enjoy video game journalism.
Letters from Incarcerated Gamers
For this recommendation, I am actually going to point you to Kill Screen’s 2014 article about the zine:
“During our hour long chat, Alejandro touched momentarily on how the games industry doesn’t care about prisoners because ‘people in jail aren’t really consumers because they are stuck and don’t have the agency to buy games. If it’s an industry built around selling games, why would you cater to people who can’t buy them?'”
Zac Gorman is a pretty cool dude. I met him once, in passing, because we both were in Chicago, and we both are interested in games and comics, and the world is very small. I didn’t know that he was the Rick and Morty comic book artist at the time or that he was the mastermind behind Magical Game Time. I picked up this “zine” after our introduction and I loved it. It’s worth it for all the game art and the love of classic games.
The trouble with finding gaming zines is the same trouble with finding any kind of zine: They’re hard to find. Zines are amazing, elusive creatures, discovered by hunting through forgotten shelves in local comic stores or waiting around for the next zine fest. I know there are more great gaming zines out there, and I want to get my hands on them. If you have recommendations, let me know! And, my dear gamers and zinesters, please make more (and send me a copy)!