The Kinko's Crowd

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The Kinko's Crowd was a phrase coined by Alexis Fegan Black to describe fans who she said "trotted down" to Kinko's to copy entire print fanzines, or specific stories in zines, for their friends.

Fegan Black used the term in the 1993 widely-distributed and much-discussed open letter, Open Letter to Fandom by Alexis Fegan Black Regarding Zine Pirating, which chastised these fans, whom she felt were destroying fandom.

The phrase was used by other fans to refer to this letter and Fegan Black's accusations.

Kinko's was, at the time, a well-known chain of stores that specialized in providing photocopying services.

Phrase as Used in the Original Open Letter by Fegan Black

The phrase "the Kinko's crowd" was used six times in the original open letter. Three examples:

  • "I and a lot of other editors are sick to death of all the zine pirating that's going on these days. I'm not even referring to the "pro" pirates (whose names I don't _need_ to mention, since they've become synonymous with pirating). I'm talking about "the Kinko's crowd"--those fans who think it's perfectly all right to trot themselves down to Kinko's (or whatever other copy shop is in the vicinity of a convention) and make multiple copies of brand new zines for friends, relatives, distant acquaintances, and their pet cat."
  • "So what this all comes down to is that those of you who belong to "the Kinko's Crowd" are directly responsible for the downfall of zine publishing. You don't have to like it and you can all get together and say what a bitch I am for bringing it to your attention, but it doesn't alter the facts. Every in-print zine you copy is destroying editor's ability to produce new zines. I predict that, if this trend continues, there won't be more 5 or 6 new K/S zines per year--not because there are no contributors and no interest, but because the editors have gone broke supplying the zine-junkies who buy their "fix" from the pusher at Kinko's corner. Yeah, you can get it cheaper, but you're cutting off your own supply. Think about it."
  • "So, with that said, I hope those of you who are members of "the Kinko's crowd" will give serious thought to what you're doing. (Which is about as likely as Ted Bundy showing some remorse, I suspect.) And to those of you who "buy" from these folks, even at their saintly cost, I hope you'll consider feeding your need/desire for fanzines by supporting those who produce them--the editors. If you can't do that (support the editors), then do us all a favor and get out of fandom. You're killing it for everyone."

Other Fan Use

  • "I was angry with other publishers who have been implying that publishing zines costs them money from their own pockets, and/or that being a member of "the Kinko's Crowd" is destroying publishers and zine fandom. I was particularly angry that these publishers acted as if they were speaking for publishers as a group, rather than just for themselves." [1]
  • "Zine pirating is not done or condoned by the majority of the people grouped under the phrase 'fans at Revelcon' or REVELcon.' But by using us in the proximity to the phrases like 'the Kinko's crowd,' etc, the association, whether deserving or not, rubs off... The examples of where individuals are using REVELcon as a scapegoat keep being received. Is there no end to this smear campaign?" [2]


  1. ^ from a fan in Strange Bedfellos #2 (August 1993)
  2. ^ comment in Open Letter to Fanzine Readers, Contributors, and Publishers by Candace Pulleine