Why Space Zine?
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us.
We’ll live together or we’ll die alone.
—Billy Bragg’s arrangement of The Internationale
For some number of months I’ve been perusing magazine racks at bookstores hoping to find a magazine that expresses my personal brand. This would be a cool magazine for young people who aspired to a hip lifestyle. The magazine would be about cool comics and music and by the very act of reading it one would become fashion forward. It would also be about space and a friendship-oriented future. This magazine didn’t exist. Space Zine is my humble attempt at bringing the publication I want to read into the world.
This zine is about a lifestyle. I’m really intrigued with the idea of the geek chic. Somewhere there’s a future where dorky people are cool and we’ve refined our taste and have something that passes for social skills. We can live in a young person neighborhood and wear vintages dresses or ties and untucked dress shirts or both if it suits us. We can lace up our Chuck Taylors and ride our bicycles down to the grocery cooperative to buy more lentils or maybe there is a food truck that sells Korean-themed tacos or maybe there is even a community garden where the tomatoes you and your friends planted have started to ripen. After our bike ride, you can come over to my house where Drawn & Quarterly graphic novels are stacked high and we can sit on my couch and watch Josie & Pussy Cats in Outerspace and you can tell me about your day.
Frankly, our world is falling to pieces. Maybe it always has been, but I have a strong sense that social atomization has never been as bad as it is now. We are afraid of each other. When I meet my neighbors on the elevator, we never exchange names. (Sometimes I learn the names of their dogs.) My vision of a lifestyle is rooted in being a part of a community. Young people have started to use facebook and text messaging in the dearth of social structures enjoyed during our parents’ youths. We don’t have socialization; we just have social networking.
Marx’s critique of lifestyle experiments notwithstanding, I find the idea of building a utopian community appealing. Creating a healthy counterculture where we learn to be cool and love one another seems like it could help one thrive despite our current phase of post-knowing your neighbors capitalism. I want to encourage everyone reading this zine to become geek chic Bohemians, modern hipsters, and lifestyle anarchists. We can build communities and make a better way to live. Maybe it can even help us make a better world. I heard that in Cleveland the cooperative movement is really getting it going trying to do something about the rust belt. I also heard that down in Argentina even the grown-ups have cool cooperatives.
I want to publish this zine so that my friends and I can have a forum to express ourselves in a cool way and make new friends when other people read the zine and think, “Oh hey, I feel that way too.” I’ve chosen this antiquated print format because the kitsch of creative anachronism is irresistible. In here you’ll find essays, short fiction, personal narratives and illustrations by cool young people who are for the most part all pretty dorky.
Welcome to Space Zine. I hope you enjoy it. Please send us an email or letter letting us know what you think. Let’s be friends.
Will in Space