So this evening I nipped down to Anthology Books, to briefly stick my nose in at some kind of grand opening they were having for some zine-related exhibition they were having. The place was pretty rammed so I made my excuses and left, resolving to return and peruse the stuff they have later.
Nevertheless, I picked up the flyer-zine for the exhibition. It was of interest, but I was struck by how focussed it was on a world of zines separate to that with which I have been involved. Part of this might be to do with the zine definition they offered, which seemed somewhat tendentiously to offer a distinction between "zines" and "fanzines", with the latter cast as an immature version of what flowered into the kind of zines the exhibition is interested in. On the other hand, the world of zines with which I have been involved - gaming zines and amateur press associations - are so intrinsically cultish that it's not surprising that no one outside their immediate circle is even aware of their existence.
Anyway, to set the record straight, here are my three greatest ever Irish zines:
THE MYSTERY OF THE PYRAMIDS: Published by an endlessly changing troupe of people, this Diplomacy and FRP zine's finest hour was perhaps Ken's report on an attempt to test the mystical powers of scale replicas of the Great Pyramid of Cheops: "I was unable to ascertain whether meat left in a scale replica of the pyramid remains fresh indefinitely, as unfortunately our dog smelled the bacon and ate it".
Now Eat The Rabbit: Published by my old friend and quaffing partner William Whyte, this was also notionally a Diplomacy and general postal gaming zine, NERTZ's greatness lay in William's general writing about stuff and its letter page. While I have since explored the by-ways of the Internet, electronic media has nothing on this for range of discussion.
Frank's APA (Irish in so far as it has been published from Ireland for much of its existence and has a plurality of Irish writers): Oh you know, people write about music and stuff. Much of what appears on this blog is recycled pieces for Frank's APA, but you probably know this already.