Sunday, January 14, 2007

Lamenting The Printed Fanzine

Much like the lp after the cd revolution, the printed Fanzine has virtually disappeared since the Internet explosion. Some of my favorite things in my collection are these wonderful small paper collectibles, some printed up by smaller publishing companies while others started out in fan's basements. The Internet has made everything so readily available and easy that I rarely come across these labor of loves anymore. It seems the people who were once working so hard to get these printed can now just post their collections online and be done with it.
The Internet is an addictive thing. I can find a rare live recording to download in a matter of minutes whereas before it might have taken years to locate. Photographs of everyone from the biggest stars to obscure cult figures are just a few clicks of the keyboard away. Something seems lost though, that loss of surprise that Tennessee Williams once spoke of so eloquently. The easiness has taken a lot of the magic out of it. I still feel a sense of excitement flipping through the brief 40 pages of rare photographs of Barbara Steele in the 1991 collection An Angel For Satan that I just don't get online.
The printed page, like the grooves on an lp, will never lose it's power for me. The paper is real, it's something I can touch and keep. I can carry to a friends house or put it on display in my apartment. It has something that the Internet, for all of its draw and power, will never be able to posses. It has a soul.
I, of course, am a part of this soulless creation and take great,if at times guilty, pleasure in it. I salute the dedicated collectors of yesterday who had the fore site to print their rare thoughts and images. I hope that somewhere a generation comes along who will take their obsessions offline and put it back in our hands, that's the only place they will really survive.

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