Behind the scenes of Talisman Zine Issue No. 1

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, the Talisman released Zine Issue No. 1. While this is unprecedented territory for our student-run publication, zines have long existed in the history of print media. Before we began producing our first zine, the Talisman editorial board needed to better understand what a zine is and what it would mean for us. 

What is a Zine?

According to the University of North Carolina University Libraries, “zine” is a short term for a “fan magazine.” Writer Laura Van Leuven said that zines were first created in the 1930s by science fiction fans. They were used to circulate analyses and theories. Additionally, they provided creatives with a way to collaborate on things like writing and art in a time before the internet.


Zines grew to play a big role in counterculture movements like the Beat Generation of the 50s and 60s, which used literature to encourage open-minded thinking in culture and politics according to Britannica, as well as in the feminist Riot Grrrl movements of the 90s and many others. Today, zines are essentially self-published mini magazines about art, culture, music, politics and more.

Our Zine

After the original zine pitch early on in the semester, the Talisman editorial board needed to decide how a zine would best serve our publication. Essentially, we wanted a tiny version of our standard magazine in a physical format. We wanted something tangible to tie readers over until the release of “Forge,” Issue No. 13 of our magazine. With its playlist, recipes, poetry and art, consider Zine Issue No. 1 a bite-sized sneak peek into our next issue. 


Moving Forward

The charm of zines lies in the fact that they can be about anything you can imagine, such as seasonal lookbooks, cultural commentary or lighthearted comics.

As part of our mission, we strive to publish an eclectic blend of content, a theme that is reflected in the format of a zine. Throughout future semesters, we hope that this sub-publication can be a way for our staff to continue the journey of connecting our magazine to our student body. 

If you have any ideas for the future of our zine publication, let us know.