Actually, Alan, an article like that would be welcome in NJZAG.
I've come to the realization that I'm not all that supportive of what
most "insiders" would consider zines -- I'm more of a "free press" type
of person. My stomach turns at the thought of pouring over another
per-zine or fan-zine, but give me someone actually doing some
substantiated research on an interesting subject (fiction or not) and
I'm all for it.
I was talking to a "published" writer recently, and as I've never
actually taken a "writing class" what he was telling me was somewhat
startling. (This may be an off-topic rant, so for those of you who
really aren't interested, I'm sure Tom has posted something about
another quiz...) He was trying to tell me about how to spot beginning
writers and how to spot more advanced writers, and he was describing
how beginning writers write. Basically the message is "pay attention to
me, I have something to say" -- which is the main focus of most new
zines. It's basic and amateurish and all writers do it.
Then, the writer develops, and he/she starts experimenting, and gets
out of the comfort zone of what they've created for themselves. On the
rare occasion I've actually seen a zine writer do this -- myself
So, I think that what you're describing can be attributed to the
mentality of immature writers. The "comfort zone" that zinedom has
always fostered is the same thing that stops it from growing and
reaching other readers. Instead of trying to bring others around to our
point of view, we'd rather take our toys and play somewhere else.
As for being around long enough to have an opinion, it seems that the
people who have the most experience with zines either know enough not
to share their opinion at all, or know enough to get out of zinedom all
I guess my response -- and not necessarily its content -- speaks
volumes about my own experience in this community.