Born out of the Harlem Renaissance in 1920s New York City, zine creation is synonymous with a variety of subcultures, art movements and literature through the decades. For the unfamiliar, a zine in the broadest sense is a self published work of writing, art, photography, comics or mixture of all the previous and usually are made by creators mainstream publications tend to reject or vice versa. With it’s roots in freedom of expression and play, individual autonomy, local community support and underground communication, zines are finding a new vital place in the community on the Tezos blockchain by highlighting artists and writers globally from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.
Generally, these Web3 zines are simply minted .pdfs. Each issue is available for viewing to anyone who wishes to digitally thumb through promoting accessibility in information, while collectors are able to purchase the limited amount of editions available to support the creators of the zines. Some zines – like The Tickle – even have subscription tokens in which avid collectors get new editions automatically airdropped to their wallet with extra surprises too like special edition art from artists featured in the zine. As the culture and community grows, more innovation presents itself in distribution models, format and perks in collecting.
While this is not a comprehensive list of the currently available zines on Tezos, here are highlights of a few of the publications that are exceptional in curating artists and writers each with their own niche subjects.
At the forefront of the Tezos zine movement is The Tickle – @inwarhol – who recently celebrated its 1 year birthday with 52 editions now published featuring 100s of Tezos based artists and writers from around the globe. Released every Friday and Twitter spaces congruently hosted to speak with the featured artists, The Tickle is a love letter to the myriad of artists that have been working within the Tezos ecosystem. Personally, I love to wander through the kaleidoscope of works and artists that are featured in these pages to discover new artists.
The Tickle was founded by @GuysWily, co-created for 3 months with @MaiaMellier and various co-editors including @THorsmeier @JonicolaRush. The team currently is @GuysWily and @monochromatikal with the co-editor of Tickle Lit being @heyghostshoes
Cryptofago is a newer publication that stands out for highlighting specifically Brazilian artists. Created by @acatfishartist with help from @_vcntt_ it is published in English and Portuguese to reach both international and Brazilian markets. With thought provoking content to provide cultural context and history for non-Brazilians or audiences who are unfamiliar with the background, this zine facilitates a deeper understanding of artists from the major art market in the Global South. The name Cryptofago is a tribute to the Anthropophagic Manifesto by Oswald de Andrade, a document that was the reference of the Brazilian modernism of the 1920s.
Created by @burkabayramart and @weird_realm, Sloth Zine is a comic artist focused zine that encourages us to slow down and take a break. Featuring 30-50 artists an edition with each drawing a one page black and white comic, the creators highlight all the wonderful illustrative artists on Tezos internationally. While comics tend to be thought of as a quick format digestion, each page of this zine feels a meditation over a Sunday morning comic.
Helix Zine – founded by @arditty & @damlasahinbas_ – is a photography zine designed to be a source of inspiration for each other and to discover new ways of creative thinking. What is unique about this zine is it is a chain structure – where the the first photo of the zine inspires the next photo which inspires the next without each artist knowing who the previous artist. This creates an overarching visual narrative that is a collective stream of consciousness.
Mina Art Mag is digital arts magazine by Brazliian women focused to help build up women artists and voices to equalize representation of women in the arts globally. Created by @silviahmariah and @Art_GiovannaF, the name Mina means “a girl, a woman” in Portuguese to indicate in a straight forward manner the content of this zine. This publication is exceptional in exploring not only woman artists but the issues surrounding women navigating the art world.
Right Click Save while not an onchain zine, more than deserves a mention for their work in preserving the narrative and legacy of early crypto art movement and digital outsider artists on Tezos and beyond. Run by @alexestorick under the umbrella of @clubnft – an Artnome project – but editorially independent, this publication is worth a dive for those seeking critical discourse about art on the blockchain.
The author of this article is a collector and avid reader of these zines at time of publication.