anime - amatsuki - smile - summer

H/D monthly zine?

painless_j's recent post about fests had me rambling about the way fandom has changed.

And thinking about it in the shower today, I began wondering about the possibility of a monthly online H/D zine - one that could include meta, a bit of discussion and more importantly fanworks of various lengths. It would still be a bit of a challenge for authors and maybe the fanworks could be left anonymous till the next month's issue of the zine comes out. Also, since it would only get released once every 30 days, readers and authors would get a bit of a breather.

Any thoughts about something like that? It would be different from the trend right now where authors and readers seem to focus primarily on the fests for their fix of H/D - the waits between fests are painful and then the deluge of fics can be just as overwhelming. A monthly zine with various topics on the Harry/Draco ship would make me go \o/ because it wouldn't be just enjoying the fanworks but there's the potential for more interaction via discussion. And the best part - new meta, woot!

(So now you might want to poke holes at the idea, lol since I'm geting ahead of myself)

ETA: Imagine a monthly (continued) H/D comic strip by artists! Eeek *_* A zine would be so awesome...*happy happy sigh*
I think there's a good reason why zines pretty much went away when the Internet arrived, but hey, you never know. There was something like a zine (Darkest Magic?) active for a while in H/D but it went away pretty quickly (or, at least, I haven't heard/seen anything about it in a long time).

Fandom is made up of people and people leave more often than they come back. New people bring new things to fandom. The current H/D fandom is not the fandom I remember; we are a long way from post-OotP. As people come and go, fandom focus changes. It's inevitable and it's going to happen; fests have got nothing to do with it. There will never be another post-OotP and there will never be another post-HBP. Post-DH is forever and what we make of it is completely up to us.

Me, I'm just going to sit in my corner and write whatever I feel like writing, be it meta, fic, or lolcat text. :P On a personal level, the idea of a zine doesn't appeal to me. Because I don't see how it would improve upon the LJ model of discussion and I think it would turn into another vehicle for ficcers' self-promotion, like so many other fandom initiatives eventually do, whether the organisers like it or not.
I like the idea of a monthly zine. And apparently I am having a brain fart because I really did have more to say, but I can't think of how to word it properly.

With fic, particularly, there are about four WIPs that I'm keeping track of, and everything else I read is from rec lists, or fests. I actually don't really end up noticing the waits between fests because most of the time I'm really late in noticing that a fest has started, or too busy with other things, and I end up reading most of the fics from it after the fest is over, so it feels like I have an almost endless supply of fic.

And now I realize that what I just said doesn't necessarily support my initial statement of liking the idea of a monthly zine, but I do. I agree with a lot of what furiosity said though.

Edited at 2008-04-30 03:43 am (UTC)
I am in favor of this idea on the basis that I am in favor of anything that gives me a new place to check periodically for more fic to read.
It's a good idea, although how can one be sure that the zine wouldn't be neglected? Authors and Artists would pay more attention to the fest they are in because of the time limit, and they usually join more than two fest a time. idk how they prioritize tho, so maybe that's just me. rofl!

But aside from that, the discussions and interactions are a plus from other comms, and the authors and artists posting as anon makes the reader ponder on them more, rofl, just like the other fest where you stop for like a quarter of an hour whacking your brains out asking who in the world did this most awesomest fic ever??

you have a great idea, tho, I can't wait to see it all in print x)
I imagine running the fanzine would be difficult because the people running it would be accused of bias. While if authors/artists were chosen by poll then often well known authors could win, rather than what is best.

Though, a monthly H/D strip is so tempting... *_*
Here via the prophet.

Even though I'm still mostly lurky, I had to drop a line because I have two cents burning a hole in my pocket.

I agree with you, about the fests taking a long time and when the fics come out, it all being a bit deluge-y. However, there are people writing new fics every day, many of which come to us through things like the prophet, and also there are comms that offer challenges with smaller windows. One of the reasons fests seem to work so well is there are less of them and they take a long time, so people feel the need to really produce something quality, I think. Not to say that things people write every day and for smaller comms and such aren't quality; it's just, I think there's a reason fest fics get more attention.

However, the reason I'm really drawn to your idea is the promise of meta. I don't know if I'm just looking in the wrong places, but there seems to be a lot less meta going on in the H/D fandom than there is in other fandoms I've participated in. Another H/D lurker and I keep talking about holding hosted discussion about certain topics. Like the topic would be given, and people would volunteer to write meta about different POVs on the subject. Then at a given time each "panelist" could present their meta all in one place and people would come and discuss the differences between the metas/POVs and discuss their own opinions and it would all be so glorious. Obviously we have pipe dreams.

(For instance, this friend and I have been discussing Harry's sexuality, both in canon and fanon. I keep saying I want to write an essay about Harry being gay, and she could write one about Harry being bi, and we need to find someone to write about Harry being het, and then we could present these essays together and discuss the good, bad, valid, invalid, what we agree with, disagree with, what we may not have thought about before, all together in one big happy metatation orgy!)

What if, to set the zine apart from the fics and things people are already writing, and to provide a forum for discussion that is more centralized than scattered discussions that go on all the time--what if each month the zine had a theme? Sort of like how hd_inspired has a theme, but these themes would be specifically aimed at people's meta opinions, and you could write essays, draw art/comics, make vids, write stories, (even recs, and recs lists, and metas about other people's fics), but each of these methods of fannish production would have to express *you* views on some element relating to H/D.

So for instance, if for one month the theme was: "How does Draco feel about family?" There could be essays about how Draco's views on family are borne out in canon, essays about how fans explore Draco's familial views, detailed recs of fics that deal with how Draco deals with his family, fics that express Draco's views on family, that are about Draco's family, that are about Draco starting a family with Harry, etc etc.

(To make it even more complicated: my friend and I were discussing taking one topic and then taking "sides"--e.g., if the theme of the zine was "Harry's sexuality", there would be a het side, a bi side, and a slash side. All three, I think, are valid readings of the text, and you can argue it anyway you want and make Harry any way you want, but people definitely have different opinions and different reasons for feeling the way they do. I think hd_worldcup is doing something interesting in making us really think hard about what we consider canon, and what we consider fanon, and who these characters really are. I think the sort of playful "opposition" of the teams really promotes thought and discussion.

If for each monthly theme of the 'zine, you had to choose a side or "position", it might promote more discussion and get people into it more. It wouldn't be a competition like hd_worldcup, and there wouldn't be winners, but people would be trying hard to present their "position" well, cast it in a good light, even. And as with hd_worldcup maybe there could be working together between people who're on the same side, which would be nice for fandom togetherness type stuff.

For instance, going back to the theme of Draco's views on family--there could be a "position" that argues Draco values family above all, and one that argues Draco would betray his family for Harry, one that argues Draco hates Lucius and blames him for getting him into the war, and one that doesn't blame Lucius and would do anything to make him proud again, so on and so forth. And there would have to be like 80 different positions, just two or three umbrella ones that encompass things people want to talk about, and people could always kinda go their own directions, and find the things they think are interesting.)

Anyway, I just think it would be nice if there was some kind of fan project that got people discussing more. I'm totally behind the zine idea and would love to help you with it whatever you do with it. If you're interested in any of the ideas I've mentioned here, or if anyone else is, maybe you can email me (thekorapersonality@hotmail) and we can get something started.
I liked the idea as soon as I read it, but wasn't sure how it could work. And bam, you come in with your kick ass comment and I'm like, yeah...that would work. I really can't think of anything to say at the moment but I agree with what you've said, in regards to how it would work. Well thought out.

Btw, sent you an e-mail. :)
Umm, heya! I thought I'd responded to the comments in this post and just realised that I managed to miss it entirely O_O Really sorry for the late response!

It does seem like there's much less meta floating around (at least specific to HP or H/D). We might be getting a discussion comm for fics now, but it still does not provide a forum for general discussion and meta.

at a given time each "panelist" could present their meta all in one place and people would come and discuss the differences between the metas/POVs and discuss their own opinions and it would all be so glorious

Yeah, meta essays with different perspectives that make people think about the way they approach H/D and the fandom itself ♥

I love the thought of monthly themes and the groups of peeps for certain stances - they'd have the opportunity to chat and think of how best to tackle the topic and not only would it make for more interesting meta but it's a great way to get to know shippers.

I can sort of see something like this: we could post a theme in the form of a quote or question - Harry: gay/straight/bi? What's your position?

Peeps post in screened comments with their stance (in a SHORT paragraph) and what their style is (fic/art/recs/essays/podcasts etc.) Based on comments we can sort them into three groups and perhaps a wildcard group (where the person's screened response took a completely different approach to the question). The participants would have about 2 weeks to submit their stuff - each group's members could collaborate so there'd be a stronger stance. The main purpose would be the essays/meta which all members can contribute to ultimately.

The zine could be posted in the third week, initially without the names of the individuals attached to each piece of work. This would give peeps enough time to read the work without forming opinions based on who wrote/drew it. In the last week of the month, the names of authors/writers/artists would be listed with the work they did/collaborated on and the next question would be posted for signups.

The thing is, stuff like this has been known to crash and burn - slashcast for instance, hasn't been updated since November and I can easily see the zine stalling if I were to run it. As soon as RL gets in the way, I'd end up dropping the ball. I really want to do something, but I know I wouldn't be the right person to head something like this.