Zine research

Art-Zines–The Self-Publishing Revolution: The Zineopolis Art-Zine Collection
Dr. Jackie Batey

As the curator of Zineopolis-Art-Zine collection at the University of Portsmouth, I set the aim of the collection to archive and reflect the diversity of thought and talent that exists outside the traditional publishing arena. Zines are one of the few areas left where creative people can speak without censorship to an audience beyond the gallery. This makes the world of zines new and exciting as well as challenging, with Art-Zines especially-the tactility and aesthetic of the self-published artifact is an important consideration. Commercial art is changing rapidly, with over reliance on clip-art images and images that exist to simply dress-up yet another advert. 
The nature of production, often cheap and quick, means these Art-Zines reflect the thoughts and hopes of the day (quite literally). 
Zineopolis is located within the School of Art and Design so it was a deliberate choice to focus upon image-heavy zines, although we have examples of poetry-zines, personal-zines and fan-zines. The emergence of zines across the USA, Europe and beyond means that contrary to popular thought, younger people (the most populous producers) have plenty to say about the world they find themselves in, and not as passively as one may expect. The culture of zines shows us that people do still have opinions, it also shows us that traditional conduits for sharing thoughts are probably not as accessible as we’d like to think. The Zineopolis collection seeks to archive and celebrate the self-publishing boom. Zineopolis is primarily a non-virtual collection where items can be handled and flicked-through, many have novelty items, unusual packaging, unconventional bindings, or unusual materials, this collection (although archived online) is sensorial delight in the ‘physical’. This presentation will show examples of what constitutes an Art-Zine.

This paper seeks to define the 'Art Zine' in more detail but these are the criteria I've written for Zineopolis.

1. The Art-Zine should be a non-commercial publication that has a small circulation. (under 1,000 but more commonly below 100).

2. Many Art-Zines are produced intending to sustain a regular edition - but in practice, few exceed 16 issues. Many run only to 2 or 3 issues.

3. This includes self-published works on any theme, most commonly by illustrators, crafts people, artists, designers
and photographers.

4. They are not subject to outside editorial control or censorship. This rule is the sine qua non of all zines.

5. Art-Zines are commonly reproduced via photocopier or home computer printers - hardly any are produced by commercial printers. Many utilise techniques such as screen printing, block or lino printing and letterpress.

6. They are sold in specialist shops or via the internet, many are swapped or given away free. Some may be intended as self-promotion.

7. Visual content (images) will be larger than textual content. Some may contain only images.
(This means we are open to collect zines in any language).

This paper was delivered at the Ninth International Books and Publishing Conference (Canada 2012)
Scroll here to read the whole paper.

This paper is an updated version (2014) on the one I delivered at the 9th International Conference of the Book 14-16 October (2011) University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto.
To read the original version follow this link:

Satirical zines about computers, apps and social media: Art-zines from the Zineopolis Collection 
Dr. Jackie Batey

Established in 2007 Zineopolis has a wide range of art-zines made by illustrators, artists, designers and photographers from the UK and abroad. This paper highlights selected examples that respond satirically to the theme of our relationship with changing technologies. An overview of general zines and special collections in noted libraries provided. Examples from the Zineopolis collection are shown that comment on photocopiers, working with computers, mobile devices, apps and social media. The examples in this paper explore how the illustration and text can function in harmony to provide humour and social comment. Debates around changing technologies are contextualized by anthropological (Auge & AugĂ©, 1995) and medical research (Carr, 2010). Given the very quick, concept to print to distribution that deŠnes all genres of zines, this paper seeks to capture contemporary satirical thoughts and illustrations about using new widely available technologies, and considers the potential of art-zines to add to social debate.

CONFIA . International Conference on Illustration & Animation Barcelos. Portugal (June 2016)
ISBN: 978-989-99465-6-9
Scroll here to read the whole paper.

Are You Okay?  Mental Health Narratives in Art Zines from the Zineopolis Collection
Dr. Jackie Batey

This paper explores examples of art zines that contain visual narratives about mental health. The author is the curator of “Zineopolis” (University of Portsmouth, UK) and specific examples will be drawn from this special collection of art zines. This paper questions how visual narratives about issues such as GAD (General Anxiety Disorder), Burnout and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
can communicate to a reader through art zines. It will consider authorial illustration within the self-publishing sector and how personal, private stories can been shared in an ultimately positive context. ‘Well-being’ has become a particular focus for higher education in the UK with many students struggling with issues such as anxiety and depression. Art zines have an immediacy and democracy of production that means many more voices can be heard and stories shared beyond what is available in the mainstream. Ethical issues of circulating these art zines within a special collection is also commented upon with reference to The Zine Librarians Code of Ethics (2015). Mental health issues have often been portrayed though the popular media unsympathetically creating stigma, whereas these selected art zines show care and understanding offering an alternative narrative.

Keywords: zines, mental health, self-publishing

This paper was presented at the The International Books, Publishing and Libraries Conference (Granada, Spain 2018). It's now been accepted for publication with some revisions in the International Journal of the Book publication estimate. 2020. To read the draft version scroll below here...

Zines as a resource for social history
9 September 2016, Eliot Room, British Library Conference Centre

I was invited to present about art-zines from Zineopolis, and how zines can be an exciting research tool, often showing alternative thoughts to mainstream culture.

These are the presentation notes, scroll to read...

Interview about Zineopolis for Hotondo Zero Yen Daigaku, Japan. 
Google-Translated from Japanese 14 July 2020

Article by Masaki Okada, an editor for a Japanese web magazine called "Hotondo Zero Yen Daigaku"(it means "Let's enjoy universities more closely.") Our focus is to introduce University-related information (e.g. interesting researches, open lectures or events, and so on) for adult learners in Japan.

About Zineopolis
This online interview was recorded in Aug 2021 and appeared in the University of Portsmouth's SOLVE Magazine #3. This enhanced version was created from the zoom recording with added images from Zineopolis's art zine collection. It's a conversation between Jac Batey - creator of Zineopolis and Melissa Marino - writer/editor at Coretext