YOUR VOICE

YOUR STORY

MODERNIZING THE ZINE TO GIVE MULTI-FACETED HUMANS OF ALL CULTURES & BACKGROUNDS, A CREATIVE OUTLET FOR THEIR PURE ARTISTIC EXPRESSION.

THE

M E R C E N A R Y

ZINE

YOUR CUSTOMIZED NAVIGATION

M  E  R  C  E  N  A  R  Y

WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU COME UP WITH.

NOW, SEND THAT SUBMISSION ON OVER!

THE FOLLOWING OUTLINES THE CREATIVE APPROACH FOR THE MERCENARY DIGITAL ZINE. PLEASE FOLLOW THE ESTABLISHED GUIDELINES AND ENSURE THE WORK FOLLOWS THE MASTER BRAND AS IT EXISTS. WHILE WE WELCOME INNOVATIVE THINKING, CREATIVE MUST ALWAYS FEEL COHESIVELY CONNECTED TO THE DIRECTION PROVIDED.

OUR AMBITION IS TO MODERNIZE THE ZINE TO BE RELEVANT FOR TODAY'S HYPER-SOCIAL, DIGITALLY - FORWARD, NON - ANALOG LADEN WORLD.

 

BY CHANNELING THE IDEOLOGY AND HISTORY OF ZINES & ZINE CULTURE MERCENARY OFFERS MULTI-FACETED HUMANS OF ALL CULTURES, BACKGROUNDS, AND ECONOMIES A CREATIVE OUTLET FOR THEIR PURE ARTISTIC EXPRESSION.

MERCENARY IS A DECENTRALIZED CREATIVE THINK TANK THAT COMBINES: BIG AGENCY THINKING; DIGITAL STRATEGY; EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES; AND A CULTURALLY DIVERSE WORKFORCE FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE INTO A SCALABLE ORGANIZATION THAT ADJUSTS TO THE CHANGING NEEDS OF OUR CLIENTS.

ZINE

noun

A ZINE IS A SMALL-CIRCULATION SELF-PUBLISHED WORK OF ORIGINAL OR APPROPRIATED TEXTS AND IMAGES, USUALLY REPRODUCED VIA A COPY MACHINE. ZINES ARE THE PRODUCT OF EITHER A SINGLE PERSON OR OF A VERY SMALL GROUP, AND ARE POPULARLY PHOTOCOPIED INTO PHYSICAL PRINTS FOR CIRCULATION.

 

LONG BEFORE THE ADVENT OF THE INTERNET, ZINES ALLOWED FANS TO CREATE NETWORKS, SHARE IDEAS AND ANALYSES, AND COLLABORATE ON WRITING AND ARTWORK.

THE CONTEXT

THE BACKGROUND BEHIND THE ASK

ZINES ARE SELF-PUBLISHED OR PUBLISHED BY A SMALL, INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER. SELF-PUBLISHING ALLOWS MARGINALIZED VOICES TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES BEYOND THE CONSTRAINTS OF MAINSTREAM MEDIA, AND ALSO LETS AUTHORS TAKE CONTROL OF THE PROCESS OF PUBLISHING. ZINES ALSO PRESENT AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE HIERARCHICAL AND COMMODIFIED WORLD OF MAINSTREAM MEDIA.

 

ZINES ARE NON-COMMERCIAL, AND ARE PRINTED IN SMALL NUMBERS, CIRCULATING ONLY THROUGH SPECIFIC NETWORKS. THEY ARE UNDERGROUND PUBLICATIONS THAT TEND TO HAVE NICHE AUDIENCES.

 

ZINES PROVIDE A VEHICLE FOR IDEAS, EXPRESSION, AND ART. THEY BUILD CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PEOPLE AND WITHIN GROUPS, AND PROVIDE MODES OF COMMUNICATION IN ADDITION TO INFORMATION DISSEMINATION.

A BRIEF HISTORY

ZINES WERE FIRST CREATED IN THE SCIENCE FICTION FANDOMS OF THE 1930S, TAKING THEIR NAME FROM FANZINE, WHICH IS SHORT FOR “FAN MAGAZINE.” LONG BEFORE THE ADVENT OF THE INTERNET, ZINES ALLOWED FANS TO CREATE NETWORKS, SHARE IDEAS AND ANALYSES, AND COLLABORATE ON WRITING AND ARTWORK.

 

THE COUNTERCULTURE MOVEMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE BEAT GENERATION OF THE 1950S AND 1960S SAW A GROWTH OF THE UNDERGROUND PRESS, WHICH PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN CONNECTING THE PEOPLE ACROSS THE US. ALTHOUGH THE UNDERGROUND PRESS OFTEN INVOLVED SIGNIFICANTLY MORE PEOPLE AND RESOURCES IN THE PRODUCTION OF MATERIALS, IT PROVIDED A FUNCTION THAT BECAME A KEY PART OF ZINE CULTURE IN THE 1980S AND BEYOND: GIVING PEOPLE A VOICE OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA.

 

ART AND LITERARY MAGAZINES OF THE 1960S AND 1970S WERE BASED ON A SIMILAR NEED TO CIRCUMVENT THE COMMERCIAL ART WORLD, AND WERE PRINTED CHEAPLY AND SPREAD THROUGH SMALL, NICHE NETWORKS. MANY OF THEM COMBINED ART, POLITICS, CULTURE, AND ACTIVISM INTO A SINGLE ECLECTIC PUBLICATION, REDEFINING WHAT A MAGAZINE COULD BE, AND INFLUENCING THE RISE OF ACTIVIST ARTISTS’ MAGAZINES THAT SHAPED THE PUNK AND FEMINIST SCENES LATER ON.

 

THE PUNK MUSIC SCENE OF THE 1980S EXPANDED UPON THE SELF-PUBLISHED FORMAT BY CREATING A WIDE OF ARRAY OF CONSTANTLY EVOLVING ZINES DEDICATED TO THE MUSICAL GENRE THAT WERE BOTH FANZINES AND POLITICAL TRACTS. PUNK ZINES WERE MORE THAN JUST MAGAZINES–THEY REPRESENTED THE AESTHETIC AND IDEALS OF AN ENTIRE SUBCULTURE, A CONDENSED VERSION OF THIS CULTURAL REVOLT AGAINST AUTHORITARIANISM.

THE ASK

WHAT WER'E LOOKING FOR

UTILIZING THE MERCENARY VALUES AS YOUR INSPIRATIONAL ANCHOR -- WE ASK ANY AND ALL CREATIVE HUMANS TO TELL THEIR COMPELLING STORIES THROUGH OUR NARRATIVE ZINE CONSTRUCT. 

 

WE WANT TO OFFER A VOICE AND AN OUTLET FOR ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, POETS, DESIGNERS, AUTHORS, AND ANYONE ELSE THAT WANTS TO SHARE THEIR TRUTH TO THE WORLD.

MERCENARY

VALUES

AUTHENTIC          INCLUSIVE        HUMAN         PROVOCATIVE            TRANSPARENT

PERSONA

MEANINGFUL PROVOCATION

WE ARE PROVOCATIVE, BUT WITH MERIT. IT’S NOT ABOUT SAYING ‘FUCK EVERYTHING’ JUST TO SAY IT. IT’S ABOUT LOOKING AT THE WORLD THROUGH A DISCERNING EYE WITH THE PASSION, PURPOSE, THOUGHTFULNESS AND CARE OF A REVOLUTIONARY’S HEART. WE ALWAYS CHANGE WHATEVER WE TOUCH FOR THE BETTER.

VOICE

CHOPPING IT UP AT STREET LEVEL

WE DUMPED THE EGO, AGENDA AND PRECONCEPTIONS. INJECTED PASSION, SINCERITY AND TOLERANCE. NOW WE CAN REVEAL OUR TRUE, AUTHENTIC SELVES—STRONG, UNAPOLOGETIC, NO BULLSHIT. WE SHARE OUR REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT WITH THE COMMUNITY, THEN SIT BACK, LISTEN AND LEARN. AND IF IT DOESN’T PROVOKE DEEP THOUGHT, FORM MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS, OR ELICIT EMOTIONAL RESPONSES, WE DON’T WASTE TIME ON IT.

YOUR SUBMISSION

GUIDELINES TO UNLOCKING YOUR MOST CREATIVE SELF

NEED HELP?

IT TAKES A LOT OF COURAGE TO ASK FOR HELP. IF YOU AREN’T A DESIGNER, OR AN ARTIST, OR A PHOTOGRAPHER AND YOU NEED ONE OR MORE OF THESE DISCIPLINES TO HELP YOU BETTER EXPRESS YOUR IDEA VISUALLY, WE CAN EASILY PUT YOU IN TOUCH WITH GREAT PEOPLE . JUST LET US KNOW AND WE WILL WORK AT PAIRING YOU UP WITH THE CREATORS YOU NEED.

MERC ZINES ARE NEVER

FAKE

PREACHY

POLITICAL

OPINIONATED

WOKE

AGENDA-DRIVEN

MERC ZINES ARE ALWAYS

REAL AKA NON-FICTION

PERSONAL

IMAGINATIVE

UNDERGROUND

TABOO

HUMAN

EMPOWERING

 NOT JUST ABOUT THE STRUGGLE BUT THE RISE ABOVE IT

QUESTIONS

& ANSWERS

CHECK THE QUESTIONS BELOW AND MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PITCH ANSWERS EACH ONE EXPLICITLY.

  • WHAT IS YOUR IDEA?

  • WHY IS THIS IDEA IMPORTANT TO YOU?

  • WHAT MAKES THIS IDEA UNIQUE?

  • HOW DOES THIS IDEA EMBODY THE MERCENARY ZINE VALUES?

  • WHAT FORMAT(S) WILL BE USED?

  • WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR IDEA?

  • ANY PHOTOS, VIDEOS, ART, ETC...THAT YOU WANT TO USE? POP IT IN YOUR PITCH!

  • LIST OF COLLABORATORS (IF APPLICABLE)

YOUR PITCH

PITCH US HOWEVER YOU LIKE -- JUST MAKE SURE IT FALLS IN LINE WITH WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR. TIME IS CURRENCY, AND ENSURING THAT YOUR ZINE IDEA WILL BE SELECTED IS OUR GREATEST CONCERN. 

TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT MERCENARY ZINES ARE VS. WHAT THEY ARE NOT. YOUR ZINE DOES NOT HAVE TO HIT EVERYTHING BELOW IN THE SLIGHTEST, JUST MAKE SURE IT TAGS AT LEAST ONE OF VALUES BELOW.

ONE FINAL REMINDER

BE COMPLETELY ORIGINAL.

BE WILDLY PROVOCATIVE.

BE FUCKING AUTHENTIC.

CRITICAL ALIGNMENT

WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO APPROVE AS MANY AS SUBMISSIONS AS WE CAN. TO DO SO WE'VE OUTLINED A FEW PROMPTS THAT WILL ENSURE TOTAL ALIGNMENT. NO MATTER HOW YOU PITCH, MAKE SURE TO ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS BELOW.

  • WHAT IS YOUR IDEA?

  • WHY IS THIS IDEA IMPORTANT TO YOU?

  • WHAT MAKES THIS IDEA UNIQUE?

  • HOW DOES THIS IDEA EMBODY THE MERCENARY ZINE VALUES?

  • WHAT FORMAT(S) WILL BE USED?

  • WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR IDEA?

  • ANY PHOTOS, VIDEOS, ART, ETC...THAT YOU WANT TO USE? POP IT IN YOUR PITCH!

  • LIST OF COLLABORATORS (IF APPLICABLE)

© 2021 M E R C E N A R Y