Electronic Fanzines

In the last edition of Pips I spent some time talking about the conversion of text so that it can be comfortably displayed on devices such as the Kindle, iPad or Kobo. I’ve had very little written feedback but I have had several conversations with people who are considering producing ereader versions of their zines and some who have considered such formats and decided that it is not for them at this time. One of these people was Randy Byers who is one of the three man team that produces that fine fanzine, Chunga. The other editors are Andy Hooper and carl juarez. As Randy talked lovingly of the look and feel of Chunga, it made me realise that the style of a zine is often something that is put together over many years. Things are tried, tweaked, jiggered and poked until they become something that you feel is stylish, gruesome or has impact, depending upon what look you are aiming for. This means there is a considerable amount of investment as regards blood, sweat and gnawing frustration and to ask such people to switch to a plain single column with little formatting (the best layout for current ereaders) is asking rather a lot. Randy was obviously keen to consider the idea of an ereader Chunga but his heart seemed to revolt against any such thing. I think as the technology improves and we are offered more style options on our Kindles, then faneds will be more keen to play with the format to create ezines with personality. I’m in a different camp altogether. I am happy to portray personality through words but have neither the skill nor the inclination to do so through the medium of graphic design.

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