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HROCH Miloš (dir.)

I shout “That‘s me !” Stories of Czech fanzines from the 80s

Page Five, 2018.

The book I shout “That‘s me !” Stories of Czech fanzines from the 80s till now, published in November 2017 by PageFive, for the first time takes its readers through uncharted waters of the Czech fanzine scene, that is, of unofficial amateur magazines. It brings to light stories of those who fell for computer games or wrote sci-fi stories, who obsessively compiled their own metal music charts, who were driven to street demonstrations by hardcore punk music or who wanted to change the standing of women in society. And who then wrote about it freely in their magazines.

The bi-lingual publication I shout “That‘s me !” Stories of Czech fanzines from the 80s till now of over 230 pages features unique archival content and should be of interest to foreign readers too, as the fanzine culture outside of the Anglo-American scene is practically unmapped.

Publishing fanzines is an illness. The bug spread from American sci-fi fans, through British punks into a worldwide epidemic and reached Czechoslovakia even before the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. The symptoms and course of the fanzine fever in the local context are described by Miloš Hroch (Radio Wave) in the introductory essay. The book then tells the stories of the afflicted in seven chapters ; among them is music publicist and writer Karel Veselý, who wrote the preface to the book.

Even though all of the book‘s heroes come from different backgrounds, have different opinions and different passions, they all share one common thing : fanzines are a means of self-expression and self-determination for them. "This type of publication has the advantage that you can wave it around and shout ’That’s me !’" a photographer, a protagonist of the youngest fanzine trend of photozines, explains the essence of fanzines in one of the chapters of the book. And while there is talk of the decline of printed media, the microcosm of independent printing is constantly expanding. The book I shout “That‘s me !”, edited by Pavel Kroulík (Respekt) is an entry gate into it.

Table of contents :

1. Karel Veselý / Foreword : There was nothing, and now, something

2. Miloš Hroch / Introduction : Have you ever tried putting a Mentos into Cola ?

3. Viktor Palák / Metal : Chronicle of the swamp

4. Jaroslav Švelch / Computer games : Baby steps in machine code

5. Jitka Kolářová / Feminism : Troublemaker girls of the world, unite !

6. Ivan Adamovič / Science fiction : In the Grey Zone of sci-fi

7. Milos Hroch / Hardcore punk : Those few baton hits

8. Antonín Tesař / Comics : We´ll never be normal

9. Michal Nanoru, Pavel Turek Photography : Running in flip-flops and the gentrification of office supplies

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