The term "zine" (derived from the word "fanzine") refers generally to an small, informal, non-professionally produced publication. By their very nature zines are hard to define exactly, but distinguishing common characteristics of zines include a small circulation (sometimes via subscription but often distributed informally among interested parties) and a raison d'etre that stresses free expression over profit.
Zines are graphic expressions of their authors' social, cultural, and political interests and concerns. They are creative outlets devoted to individual and idiosyncratic self-expression. A zine can be about pretty much anything: politics, music, sex, gender relations, sports, pop culture - the list is virtually endless. As Julie Bartel, author of From A to Zine (2004) , notes:
"Zines are about diversity, creativity, innovation, and expression. As a group, zines deliberately lack cohesion
of form or function, representing as they do individual visions and ideals rather than professional or corporate
objectives. With zines, anything goes. Anything. They can be about toasters, food, a favorite television show, thrift
stores, anarchism, candy, bunnies, sexual abuse, architecture, war, gingerbread men, activism, retirement
homes, comics, eating disorders, Barbie dolls - you name it."