Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fanzines by Teal Triggs

This came in the mail today:

I got this email from the author back in August:

I wanted to let you know that I have included covers of your zine Jigsaw 5 and 5 1/2 in FANZINES (Thames & Hudson) which talk about the history of riot grrrl fanzines. The book in general covers a history of zines from science-fiction to present day. The book is due out in September an I hope it will help celebrate the work of self-publishers.

I do hope this is okay -

Usually people contact you ahead of time, you know to get your permission and stuff! This put me off a little, but I thanked her for writing and asked for a free copy. People always say "I didn't know how to get ahold of you" when they fail to ask permission for something, but really all you have to do is turn on a computer and type in my name and you can find me in about two seconds so I have a hard time believing that.

Anyhow, reading through the section on grrl zines, I immediately noticed a few blatant factual errors and thought the contextual framing was bizarrely off. Again, it seems like if the author (or editors or publisher) had just bothered to use the internet, they would have been able to clear a lot of this up. Example: Bruce Pavitt had something to do with organizing The International Pop Underground Festival? And of course Calvin Johnson is named too. But actually it was Candice Pederson from K Records who organized IPU. You can ask Calvin himself! Or anyone else who lived in Olympia or went to the convention. It made me not want to go back and read the writing on early fanzines. But I will.

I think there should be a way for people to contest "false information" in published works. Because once it's in a book, it's a "fact". People will use this book as a source for further writing on the subject matter. Maggie had an idea for a website called Interview Regrets dot com, where bands can go in and clarify what they actually really said when they are misquoted, or even what they meant to say. Maybe we need something like that for history books too. Because once something is in print, it becomes an authority.

Fanzines is mostly full of primary documents-scans of fanzine covers and pages. So it seems like the author might have had a lot of time to research and fact check, since there's not too much original text in the book. It has a nice paper-back cover, but it's kind of flimsy and doesn't ship well--mine arrived with a severely dented corner so I guess I won't be selling it on eBay. The printing is a little color xerox-y in tone, but it kind of works for the subject matter. I will put it on the shelf to be reconsidered at a later date. Hopefully by then I won't have forgotten what actually happened and read it and think that Sub Pop had something to do with IPU!


de la Cruz, Cathy said...

This is super annoying. I would be frustrated too.

When I was 19, I excitedly wrote something for a zine that was in the process of becoming a glossy magazine and I wrote it in one sitting on an airplane and then emailed it when I arrived. I had never written an article or review for anything other than my own zine that 10 people ever read, so I just didn't even think to use the internet to fact or spell-check--I just wrote with enthusiasm about something I liked, not thinking about what I was putting out into the world or who would see it.

Of course, I had misspelled the singer of the band I was writing about's name and I was so embarrassed. It was totally my fault, but also kind of a funny experience--how little anyone fact checks and just publishes something into eternity.

I feel like that's really the only excuse for something like this--being an overly excited teen who's never published something before.

I'm guessing Teal Triggs is not a 19-year old on a plane.

Don't they have to pay you to re-print images/text you created?


Miss Lady said...

it's interesting that they say they hope to celebrate the work of self-publishers, but apparently they don't respect the work enough to get proper permissions before profiting off of it.