Alphabet Soup: Reading British Fanzines


  • Teal Triggs


The absorption of subcultural graphic ephemera into mainstream culture warrants careful consideration within academic study as it challenges conventional methodologies used in design history, research and writing. Fanzines represent one form of subcultural communication which embrace specific visual and textual languages — elements often appropriated from mainstream cultural and media sources. Found within the realm of amateur publishing, fanzines offer "alternative critical spaces" for dialogues between like-minded individuals who share a passion for a chosen subject. In Britain, the growth of fanzine production has grown steadily over the last twenty years while maintaining consistent language paradigms with well-considered historical precedents.