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[ecrea] New Book: Czech fanzine culture

Tue Dec 04 09:11:06 GMT 2018

New Book on Czech fanzines -
out with Page Five

I Shout: „That´s Me“ Stories of Czech fanzines from the 80s till now/
Miloš Hroch (ed.)
Page Five

The book I shout “That‘s me!” Stories of Czech fanzines from the 80s till now for the first time takes its readers through uncharted waters of the Czech fanzine scene, that is, of unofficial amateur magazines. It brings to light stories of those who fell for computer games or wrote sci-fi stories, who obsessively compiled their metal music charts, who were driven to street demonstrations by hardcore music or who wanted to change the standing of women in society. And who then wrote about it freely in their magazines.

The bi-lingual publication I shout “That‘s me!” Stories of Czech fanzines from the 80s till now of over 230 pages features archival content and should be of interest to foreign readers too, as the fanzine culture outside of the Anglo-American scene is practically unmapped.

Publishing fanzines is an illness. The bug spread from American sci-fi fans, through British punks into a worldwide epidemic and reached Czechoslovakia even before the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. The symptoms and course of the fanzine fever in the local context are described by Miloš Hroch in the introductory essay. The book then tells the stories of the afflicted in seven chapters.

/Table of contents:

1. Karel Veselý / Foreword: There was nothing, and now, something

2. Miloš Hroch / Introduction: Have you ever tried putting a Mentos into Cola?

3. Viktor Palák / Metal: Chronicle of the swamp

4. Jaroslav Švelch / Computer games: Baby steps in machine code

5. Jitka Kolářová / Feminism: Troublemaker girls of the world, unite!

6. Ivan Adamovič / Science fiction: In the Grey Zone of sci-fi

7. Milos Hroch / Hardcore punk: Those few baton hits

8. Antonín Tesař / Comics: We´ll never be normal

9. Michal Nanoru, Pavel Turek
Photography: Running in flip-flops and the gentrification of office supplies

Even though all of the book‘s heroes come from different backgrounds, have different opinions and different passions, they all share one common thing: fanzines are a means of self-expression and self-determination for them. "This type of publication has the advantage that you can wave it around and shout 'That's me!'" a photographer, a protagonist of the youngest fanzine trend of photo zines, explains the essence of fanzines in one of the chapters of the book. And while there is the talk of the decline of printed media, the microcosm of independent printing is constantly expanding. The book I shout “That‘s me!” is not a definitive guide to Czech zine scene but an entry gate into it.

This work captures several stories of Czech fanzine writers and participants of the local scene and invites scholars, archivists, and journalist for further research. The prerevolution Czechoslovak underground and the activities of samizdat journalists before the fall of Iron Curtain in 1989 is well documented. This book is more aimed at fanzines, which can be considered as being in the shadows from a historical perspective.

Please direct any questions to (milos.hroch /at/ <mailto:(milos.hroch /at/> (Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague)
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