My friend Cody and I have officially started "Zine Friday", a once-a-week shindig for making and discussing zines, and whatever else comes up. We managed to spread out a little working space on the table, but got into a heated discussion about the differences between a press, printer, and publisher. We talked in circles for a while, and the only thing we know for sure at this point is that the lines are getting blurred, especially in the small- and independent-press world. As zinesters, we know all too well the many hats we have to wear, from the conception, the making of the original, the printing and binding, and funding, all done by one person. This is something I find appealing about zines and artists books, the determination of one person to put their own style of creativity into every step.
It's also appealing when zinesters/comic artists like Clutch create their own presses to publish others' work as well as their own (Tugboat Press, in this case). On top of that, we have the wonderful Microcosm, who publish and distribute, the IPRC, who provide the space and tools for others to self-publish as well as publishing for others, and Booklyn, who publish, distribute, and offer workshops, just to name a few in an ever-expanding world of self-publishing.
To bring it home, what about the Zine Machine? It's working hard as a little Iowa City distro, and one day, it might want to expand into publishing. Well, maybe not today...
(PS - Zine Friday is not a private party - let us know if you want to join us for some zine fun!)