Distributing ‘zines used to be a dirty, tiring and distinctly unglamorous business. The only way to get your precious products seen was to trudge around town with a big, heavy bundle of them begging shop owners to take a few on sale or return. That and the dizzying technological heights of the stamped, addressed envelope.
But in one gratifying example of the new media actually offering its older brother a helping hand (as opposed to kicking it in the groin and running away laughing) the internet has changed all that. By way of illustrating our somewhat obvious point, we give you Soyfriends, the Oslo-based purveyor of little printed rays of sunshine.
Soyfriends was founded by Rui Tenreiro in late 2005, “dedicated to printing and distributing works of selected scandinavian and international artists”. As well as distributing books made by a selection of Scandinavian artists, it produces fanzines in hand-made runs of 20 to 100 copies, all numbered.
Many are, sadly, already out of print but, fear not, a quick look at the “upcoming artists” page on the Soyfriends site suggests a range of interesting artistic talent engaged in putting a ‘zine together in the near future: Kim Hiorthøy, Laurent Fetis and the inimitable Ron Regé Jr are all lined up to create work for Tenreiro’s press.