Natalie Minguez, playlist and photographer at the local upstart music publication AltAngeles, pinches his index finger and thumb, leaving any space between them to show how much space a zine takes up.
“Zine itself is that short, one-syllable word where it’s like, you can just eat it,” Minguez says. “It’s about the size of a snack from the start.
Technically, AltAngeles doesn’t take up any space at all. The all-digital fanzine is one of a growing number of Gen Z-led publications, going against the fixed deviations and polishing of traditional periodicals and embracing social media as more than a promotional tool instead. This new breed of zine, which shares DNA with precursors like Tavi Gevinson’s Recruit Magazine, is developing close-knit communities of like-minded young people, especially on Instagram. Spotify playlists, journal entries, and classroom doodles posted to zine feeds invite subscribers to feel like part of a group of friends rather than just readers kept at bay.
Founded in May 2018 by editor-in-chief Donna Borges, AltAngeles exists to bolster artist profiles that might not appear in other posts, with the help of a strong Instagram presence and a Patreon to keep the money coming. to create a platform for underground artists and local artists that we really liked and who we felt deserved more promotion, ”Borges said. The content of AltAngeles is eclectic, accessible and perfectly reflects the sensibilities of Generation Z.
Minguez describes the post as a “scrapbooking, kind of musical zine… spoon-fed to [readers]”, A concept that works with the patchwork structure of Instagram and the abbreviated style of many other social media zines.
Launched by local high school students Charlie Slan and Allana Campbell in May, Saturdaze Magazine has grown its fan base on platforms like TikTok but has a physical issue in the works. Despite the foray into old-fashioned print, the co-founders say their most significant influences are other small zines run by high school students rather than traditional magazines.
Lina Christopherson-Jeong, Editor-in-Chief of Artists’ Magazine Online and Print All my Zine friends (AMF), believes that the situation is turning and that the glossaries of yesteryear will begin to draw inspiration from the new generation of small, rambling publications. “Vogue and the major publications were very attached to this traditional cookie cutter: “this is how things are done, this is the Vogue way, “kind of style,” she said. “I have the impression that they must have noticed these little posts… [and] they realize that people on Instagram no longer want the perfect standard. [People] I want that kind of ragged, easy-going lifestyle, and I think I’ve seen this definitely with [big magazines’] video productions, they get funnier with that, relaxed, easy, colorful and fun.
Composed almost entirely of high school students, AMF is strongly influenced by and adapting to a Generation Z aesthetic. While the aesthetic is rooted in nostalgia for an era before the so-called iGeneration, it also serves as a middle ground for young people navigating a new frontier.
“We all have one strange and similar thing: the way we deal with life and emotions,” says AltAngeles founder Borges. “I think [it] has to do with [the fact that] we got social media and got exposed to so much more [than] we would probably have at such a young age [in generations prior]. “
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