Chicago Magazine, “Why Anthony Rayson, Anarchist Grandpa, Sends Zines to Prison”

You can usually find Anthony Rayson, 64, in the bright wood sunroom at the rear of his home in south suburban Monee. Through the window, there’s a sandbox and kids toys for Rayson’s grandson, when he visits. At a small table, he lays out apple slices for guests.

The room is stuffed with bookshelves, and the bookshelves are stuffed with folded sheets of white A4 paper making up thousands of homemade zines. Rayson pulls a few titles: Abolish All Prisons, Free the Slaves!, and finally, The Most Virtuous Vagina in the United States of America, grinning.

Zines, or self-made, low-budget literature — often booklets — were once a staple of underground publishing. But in the internet age, as self-publishing become quicker, cheaper, and boundless, they’ve fallen out of favor. These days, zines are mostly relegated to art circles.

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