When it arrived, almost immediately I noticed that it was about the least zine-y zine I'd ever seen. I showed it to my husband and he said, "That's not a zine!" It's really not. The cover is glossy and full color and it was professionally bound, and really, it looks more like a self-published book than the photocopied, handmade creations I've come to love and adore.
The second realization came as I was reading the actual zine, specifically how insider-y and insular it seemed. I was particularly not all that thrilled to see that a few of the contributions were about other contributors. I was even less excited when I realized that, for $10, I had purchased what could be summed up as a NYC media-scene mash note.
Certainly many of the pieces were quality - Jennifer Egan's story is a standout, which is unsurprising, as I imagine she could make a grocery list compelling and evocative - but overall, the collection was rather uneven and more than a bit disappointing. And you know, that's okay. It was for the most part forgettable, and I had stashed it on one of my zillions of bookshelves, where it would have probably stayed for a few years until the next time I pack up my books in preparation for a move.
Until I read this.
Meredith Melnick, a reporter for Time, evidently found Girl Crush to be compelling evidence that zines were somehow experiencing some kind of resurgence, the kind that hadn't been seen since the 1990s and riot grrrl. Her proof? A lot of New York lady journalist types were now making them:
Girl Crush is part of a resurgence in the zine form, particularly among media professionals. Like their rough-around-the-edges predecessors, these zines are independently published and precise in their editorial vision, but they have more star power and more mainstream editorial influence. Strikingly, often the same men and women who are helping to keep large media outlets afloat by day are also the ones going home and working on indie publishing efforts by night.