Under the Radar: Underground Zines and Self-Publications 1965 – 1975

Published by Spector Books (2017)
368 Pages, 22.5 x 33.5 cm, Paperback

The mid-1960s witnessed a boom in underground and self-published works. Hectographs, mimeographs, and offset printing not only allowed for the production of small, low cost print runs but also promote a unique aesthetic: using wild mock-ups, ‘messianic amateurs’ combined typescript aesthetics, handwriting, scribbled drawings, assemblages of collaged visuals, porn photos, snapshots, and comic strips. The typography consciously frees itself, in parallel to a liberalisation of linguistic and visual forms of expression in the name of a new ‘sensibility’. This book (which appears in conjunction with an exhibition at the Weserburg in Bremen) is the first to present the underground and self-published works that came out of West Germany in such depth, while also showing the international context in which they emerged: not as an anecdotal history but as an attempt to tap into the aesthetic cosmos of a Do-It-Yourself rebellion, one that also challenges us to take a new look at the current boom in ‘independent publishing’, the risograph aesthetic, and so on.