Screen Printing

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"Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil to receive a desired image. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A fill blade or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink into the mesh openings for transfer by capillary action during the squeegee stroke. Basically, it is the process of using a stencil to apply ink onto another material whether it be t-shirts, posters, stickers, vinyl, wood, or any material that can keep the image onto its surface.

Screen printing is also a stencil method of print making in which a design is imposed on a screen of polyester or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is forced into the mesh openings by the fill blade or squeegee and onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke. It is also known as silkscreen, serigraphy, and serigraph printing. A number of screens can be used to produce a multicolored image or design." [1]

Interphase, One Zine That Set the Bar High

The Star Trek: TOS zine Interphase set a high bar of fannish expectation for what could be done in terms of fan art and its production.

Connie Faddis, the editor of Interphase, wrote in the editorial of the second issue:

I don't plan (and never did) to reprint any issues of Interphase. Most reprinting is done for profit; I'm doing this for enjoyment. There are hassles involved in reprinting, too: copyright hassles over fiction may on the verge of becoming big ones. Another reason is that the silkscreen art can't be readily done again -- the stencils had to be destroyed at the end of each print run in order to free the screen for the next project. I don't want to get into xeroxing back issues, either; I'd prefer to put the time into the next, new issue. So, if you miss an issue that you want, the best that I can do is recommend that you contact a friend who has a copy, and borrow that.

A fan wrote about the difference in cost between sf and media zines:

The biggest difference is that most sf pubbers do their publishing as a hobby. That is, they foot the bill pretty much themselves... sf pubbers tend to use the cheapest method possible, that is, I see many more mimeo zines than offset. Media publishers, on the other hand, are much more concerned with how a zine looks and that requires fancy offset printing, metal plates, veloxes, and the works. I can recall a time in media fandom when there were plenty of mimeo zines, but when Connie Faddis published Interphase and showed zine editors what could be done, that spelled the writing on the wall for inexpensive methods of reproduction. [2]

Another fan wrote in Interstat that perhaps the bar Interphase set is now too high:

[We] should write what his or her heart wants to, and have the right to publish it. Not everything looks like Interphase —not everyone has the talent, the time, or the money to do a major production; and in some ways everything should not look like Interphase. Phase was a beautiful, memorable fanzine, and Connie deserves a great deal of credit for producing those four issues. Phase also was, unfortunately, one of the instigators of the current "polished" look sought after in fanzines—almost pro—and the corresponding rise in prices, and I'm not sure that this is entirely a good thing. For one thing, it doesn't feel fannish, In a way it creates mistaken and somewhat unrealistic ideas in some people's minds... [3]

In March 1981, a fan who had just bought a copy of Cheap Thrills, brought up the cost of zines in an issue of Interstat, and cited expansive art, including silkscreening, as a reason zines had gotten so expensive:

I did enjoy the zine, but that is beside the point. What I do want to bring up is that I am very excited that someone—FINALLY— is making a conscious effort to bring down the price of zines to an affordable level. This has long been a sore subject with me... Yes, I will agree that it IS beautiful and I enjoy it as much as anyone else, but lately editors seem to be in a competition to see who can put out the most beautiful zine. We are now starting to see silkscreening on covers and inside pages. Does the average fan have any idea how much this adds to the cost of a zine? Do color prints add that much more dimension to a story than black and white to justify the cost of printing them? Yes, we buy them, so editors think that is what we want so they print more—and we keep buying. I, for one, am getting frustrated. [4]

Examples of Fanart

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


  1. ^ from Wikipedia
  2. ^ from Comlink #42
  3. ^ from Interstat #6, comment by Bev C
  4. ^ from Interstat #41
  5. ^ Nancy Kippax. ARS GRATIA ARTIS:: The Lost Art of Illoing. 20 July 2008 (accessed 12 Dec 2009)
  6. ^ from Between Friends #12
  7. ^ Deb Walsh's Zine Cover Gallery
  8. ^ by Melanie R from S and H, 1979