Your 'Zine History

Posted In: Mega-Zine Chat. Reading This Thread:

Rayanne Graff

| 74,522 posts

22nd Mar 2009 at 1:34 am

Rayanne Graff - River Phoenix

River Phoenix

i feel embarrassed about some of my letters as well. i think my letters from the 1990s were a bit repetitive.

Insane Jam Sow

| 443 posts

22nd Mar 2009 at 10:20 am

Insane Jam Sow - Bill Bryson is my God

Bill Bryson is my God

I started reading 'Zine in 2000, having been introduced to it by my friend Chris, who wrote in for a relatively brief period as Sir Whence Pitchfork. He is the reason for my ridiculous name, as I think he had just discovered the wonders of the Internet Anagram Server at the time and had created his own name in that manner. Suffice it to say, had I seriously thought I would continue to write in, on and off, over the next eight years, I would probably have come up with something better.

Anyway, my first letter was sent on February 17th, 2001, and was merely three bullet points replying to comments others had made (all my original 100 letters are still viewable on what remains of my website - the link is in my signature if anyone cares - which I very much doubt you should). My second was about the 'Zine Anthem, which was being discussed that year, and then from the third I started trying to have original ideas, with limited success.

It's fair to say that 2002-3 were my most prolific years, as I was still at school and under the influence of SWP, with whom I often discussed letter ideas in uneventful break times.

I "retired" in June 2004 - just before I finished Sixth Form - as I figured now I was going to be a student, I would have no time for such trivialities. I made sure it happened on a nice, round 100 letters, as I felt not making a century would have been bad form. All the same, I kept the 'Ziners List going on my website until August 2005, a fact I can hardly believe now I think about it.

When 'Zine was about to die in July 2006, I was spurred to write in and bid it farewell, only to find it miraculously survived. The move to digital brought some interest back to proceedings, with various former 'Ziners offering to write in again to make things a bit better. I joined them, and between 2006 and 2009 sent in another 49 letters. Although this really wasn't many, I felt it was enough to keep a foot in the door, as it were. I could never be as prolific as Colin or Alex or anyone like that, for the simple reason that I've always found writing 'Zine letters quite tricky, tending to agonise over them too much. Often I'd contrive one just because it had been a month or two since the last.

The two stints editing 'Zine over the last two Christmases were definitely highlights, and though, like everyone else, I find a lot of my earlier letters embarrassing, I don't think you can be too hard on your 15-year-old self. I wouldn't care to pick any favourites, although I have a fondness for the pun-filled lists that became popular near the end, and enjoyed making some of my own (new reality shows etc.)

And that's all I have to say about 'Zine! R.I.P.

Yes, my website still exists. Just about.


| 6,773 posts

22nd Mar 2009 at 11:50 am

Topper - Dismantling a person is sometimes necessary...

Dismantling a person is sometimes necessary...

I'm afraid I can't really remember when I started reading 'Zine or even when I started writing in. I do know the genuine feeling of excitement and pride I'd feel when I saw one of my letters printed, it quite emphatically made my day. This may be more of a comment on my pathetic life at the time, but still, the memories it evokes are happy ones.

Since the first paragraph I've done a little bit of digging in my 'sent items' box in my e-mail and discovered that the first letter I sent to 'Zine was sent just over 6 years ago and (thankfully) wasn't printed:

I'm new!

Hello there ziners, I've been reading these fine pages for what seems like one year and 3 months but only now have I acquired the relevant intelligence to send an e-mail. My name is Topper I have arrived and I will never leave you (unlike those long lost Ziners) but beware my wrath, I have an array of weaponary, including a custard pie and a wit as sharp as a blunt butter knife. So anyway buy my book its priced £twelvty two and... sorry I lost my metaphorical train of thought for a second. Bye.


This letter also seems to suggest that my reading of 'Zine started 1 year and 3 months previously, meaning I started in roughly December 2001...Sweet Baby Jebus! Before I'd even had full sex with a woman!

Anyway, since it became obvious my first letter hadn't been printed I sent my second about a week later and thankfully it was printed, it went something (exactly) like this:

I decided (one particulary boring day at uni) to give my fingers thier own personalities, please appreciate that I was in a 3 hour media texts and cultural contexts lecture at the time:

Thumb: Full of life, happy and friendly.

Index finger: Wise, noble, doesn't mind getting his hands(?) dirty.

Middle finger: Prone to rude behaviour, loud and brash.

Finger in-between middle finger and little finger: Psychological problems, lacks an identity.

Little finger: Sweet and kind, a friend to all, if slightly camp.


I had arrived. The 'Adventures of Matt Fatt' series started soon after and looking back they were actually amongst my worst letters, but it sort of helped me create a 'Zine identity, even helping create the 'Townie Tim' copycat series Delorean sent in afterwards.
Meanwhile, I had stumbled upon Martin and Tom's 'Zine orientated website and contributed via my 'Matt Fatt' and 'Fabric Wars' series's (I've struggled with the plural form there, apologies, Colin) and an article, surrealy, about Ruud Van Nistelrooy's striking talents. I got quite friendly with Martin (and to a lesser extent Tom) and had regular MSN convos with them and eventually joined VR, where I met really cool people like Alice, Claire, Joel and Amy who I still enjoy talking to today.

My Stuttercut alias started a while afterwards and I have had letters printed from both on the same day but my Topper alias is always the one I cherish most. To have been voted the best 'Ziner of all time and regularly acknowledged as at least one of the best actually means a hell of a lot to me as I look at the hilarious people who have also regularly contributed (stand-up, Martin, Colin, Barry, other Martin and loads, loads more). I contributed regularly for a good 2 years and then sporadically since. I think the move to Digital may have somewhow, for some reason, contributed to my apathy as let's be honest, it's just not the same seeing it on Digital, is it? I think it's probably the right time for 'Zine to end in some ways, but then again, people like Strawberry, Colin and Baz have continued to make it so great even now and the idea that we could get newbies getting involved and joining VR and making friends is one it'll be sad to lose.

I hope some day, for some reason, David Duchovny is investigated by the FBI. Because that would make a great story.

Rayanne Graff

| 74,522 posts

24th Mar 2009 at 12:27 pm

Rayanne Graff - River Phoenix

River Phoenix

i don't think that Insane Jam Sow is a ridiculous name, i think it's cool. i didn't realise it was an anagram until i joined VR, though.


| 1,347 posts

25th Mar 2009 at 1:23 pm

Alec - Bing Bong Changes

Bing Bong Changes

Quote: Smashed_Strawberry
i don't think that Insane Jam Sow is a ridiculous name, i think it's cool. i didn't realise it was an anagram until i joined VR, though.

I didn't realise until about 15 seconds ago.

Rayanne Graff

| 74,522 posts

27th Mar 2009 at 11:06 am

Rayanne Graff - River Phoenix

River Phoenix

Re what Alex said about the word series. i think the plural of series is series.

Captain Mal Reynolds

| 11,852 posts

27th Mar 2009 at 1:43 pm

Captain Mal Reynolds - I aim to misbehave

I aim to misbehave

Started reading about 2001 I think. Just something to look during ad breaks at first, then it became fascinating to me. I'd be sure to read it every day and sometimes if I was staying at my cousins or a friends or something, I'd try and read it. I was tempted to write in, but I had no email so I'd have to send snail mail, and snail mail to England would cost too much. Plus I could never think of anything which could come close to matching some of Topper or Farmer Jacks letters.

In 2003 when I started college, I had email, so I thought 'Frig it! I'll give it a go!'. The first 2 letters I sent weren't printed (They were fictional interviews with Princess Diana and Hitler after their deaths). Then I sent in a letter about Things you shouldn't put in a toaster. And a week later, I was a 'Ziner.

Gradually, my letters improved slightly, especially after coming here. I started 'The Paddy Show' where I interviewed people here. I was interviewing so many people and having a new one printed every 2 days, that I invented The Shamrocking Bogman in order to send normal letters.

About 2 years ago, I started writing less and less, mostly due to college and work. I went several months without even contemplating writing to 'Zine, especially about a year ago when I was so bogged down in college work that there was just no humour in me.

Around June last year, unemployed and out of college, I spent a lot of my days on the internet looking for jobs, and came back here after only making a few fleeting appearances over the space of a year. My 'Zine-ness returned to me, and I hit 'Zine with a vengence. Some of my best letters have been sent over the past 9 months, and I even invented 'Colonial Foot Soldier' to help take the strain of the number of letters I was thinking of, particularly when I got this job and spend 2 hours a day driving.

People gave 'Zine a rough time over the past 2 years, myself included. But the last 6 months or so really brought 'Zine back to life. We got some great new people writing in, some old favourites like Insane Jam Sow and ANBY started sending in the occasional letter again, and the never-ending supply of funnies from Colin, DJ and Straws really made 'Zine close to what it had been in its prime. I really thought it was great. Then 'Zine ended.
Mal: Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoë: Big damn heroes, sir.
Mal: Ain't we just.

the doc: Hope life's treating you well after all these years. Them were some f*cked up times we lived through.
the doc: Ah man, it was weeks ago. Ah well. If you drop by again, send us a quick PM and let us know how you're doing. I'd love to hear from you. I'm all grown up with kids and everything. Madness.
Luco El Loco: Greetings and salutations for anyone passing through.
SayNotAWord: Does this thing still work?
SayNotAWord: Oh good - I ended up here at the end of a Mega Zine nostalgia rabbit hole
SayNotAWord: Nice to see there's still life in this glorious old place
SayNotAWord: It's ya boy, Parsley Possum
Luco El Loco: Hello
Luco El Loco: Wow I haven't heard that one in a while.
Crinkle-Cut Beatroot: I was in the shower and "Fluff The Evil One" randomly floated through my mind so I thought I'd stop by, hi 'ziners!
Captain Spiky: Considering I haven't been on this site for over a decade, I find it mildly terrifying that I still have an average of 1.71 posts per day...
Captain Spiky: I miss this place... Much loveage to anybody reading this x
Graham: Passing through, hope you beautiful lot are doing well!
Rayanne Graff: Bye; peace to small Christmas trees.
Cooder: HIYA!
Crinkle-Cut Beatroot: Friday night just thinkin' about sharing jaffa cakes with WLW... <3
Maeby: Almost 4 years. Where did the time go?
Cooder: Time flies Alice.


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