Zine Guide

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Zine Guide #6 cover

Zine Guide was a review zine published by Brent Ritzel (who also published Tail Spins). Ritzel described it as "Complete contact information for 1500+ zines and assorted independent publications. Complete contents, cost, pages, size, and production quality of all available issues of every zine listed. Indexes of bands, record labels, and all subjects/topics." With glossy covers and it's mammoth size, Zine Guide resembled a magazine in appearance, but it's content was an in-depth, cross-referenced directory of the DIY zine community.

In addition to zine listings, Zine Guide also encouraged readers to "vote" or "rate" their favorite and least favorite zines and included famous zinesters, band members and indie record label owners' lists of their favorite zines. The zine printed rankings from it's readers, including the top ten zines in various categories and the top 100 most popular zines. This practice caused some controversy and Zine Guide received (and published) angry letters about this practice. Regardless how one viewed the voting and rankings, for a few years Zine Guide served as an impressive resource and up-to-date directory of zines.

A few years after #6 was published, Brett announced that he was collecting ads (and ad revenue) to print #7.

After receiving the ad revenue, instead of publishing #7, Ritzel announced December 13, 2004 on alt.zines that he had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of the personal debt he had accumulated printing the Zine Guide and Tail Spins. The new issue, for which he and his co-workers had also compiled thousands of listing for, never saw the light of day. Ritzel, who had been such a prominant active member in the zine community for years, has been inactive publicly since announcing filing for Chapter 7.

Upon moving out to Colorado's Front Range in early 2006, he started teaching a course on zines and self-publishing at Naropa University, a Buddhist university located in Boulder, Colorado. Though he is busy with his teaching responsibilities and running his own mortgage brokerage business, Ritzel has several zine projects in the works related to our society's economic structures in relation to personal finance, and the new physics in relation to our impending paradigm shift.


Brent Ritzel
PO Box 1949
Boulder, CO 80306