A Hundred Dollars and a T-Shirt: A Documentary About Zines In the Northwest US

Watched A Hundred Dollars and a T-Shirt DVD: A Documentary About Zines in the Northwest DVD.

I found the DVD at the Portland Zine Symposium a couple of months ago. Produced by Microcosm Publishing, the documentary mostly covers DIY publishers mostly in Portland, Oregon, but also around the Pacific Northwest. It discusses the reasons why people either handwrite or print out stories and articles they've typed, cut and paste them on to an 'original', and then photocopy then staple the copies and distribute them either at local shows or independent bookstores. The documentary features mostly interviews without any narration, and some "re-enactments" while the interviewees were telling stories, like the one about a girl breaking into her dad's office to use the copier. There was more disdain for the Internet—which some think encourages writing without considering the effects—than I expected, and the only reference to weblogs was to "webzines" (which are so 1998" and LiveJournal. I point that out because the way they describe zine culture is very similar to the way bloggers define theirs: started by nerds who don't any respect for The Man and did it without having a business model in mind with a 'do-it-yourself' attitude. Also, there is no real "big picture" interview by an academic, and the history of how zines started seems to depend on who you ask. That said, it's a good introduction to zines and the people and places behind them.