I feel like I’ve probably mentioned all three of these places before at some point or another, but I just can’t help dedicating an entire post to them. There are a whole slew of distros available to choose from (and I’ll include a short list at the bottom, just for some variety), but these three are my absolute favorites. I’ve gone back to them time and again over the years that I’ve been reading and ordering zines, and I just want everyone to know about them, okay?
Stranger Danger. / Stranger Danger is so excellent and simple. You can count on their catalog being made up mostly of traditional, cut-paste-copy zines, and every single piece I’ve ordered has been so intensely personal and fascinating. Some favorites I’ve received include Truckface, Motor City Kitty, and Dig Deep (which, coincidentally, is written by Heather, who runs the distro). I don’t know if you could ever go wrong with ordering from here. It’s such a great selection and the some of the most hospitable service.
Pioneers Press. / Pioneers Press is my most recent discovery, and I think they’re probably my favorite. The DIY Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin’ Sad was one of the first items I ordered from them, and I’ve been invested ever since. They have a much wider selection than Stranger Danger, and I think that contributes to my affection. I constantly check for updates–which is probably unnecessary, seeing as I also get their monthly newsletters–and am borderline creepy on tumblr. (P.S., It’s not uncommon that I receive extra little goodies!)
Fight Boredom. / Unlike the other two, Fight Boredom is a distro out of Canada, and Amber is the first person I ever ordered zines from, so maybe it’s a little bit nostalgia talking, but this is such a wonderful, super underground little distro. Amber stocks a lot of stuff similar to Stranger Danger, but the catch is that it takes a little more work to order. With Fight Boredom, you have to add up both the prices and the weights listed beside each zine, look up what the weight equates to in shipping cost, and put it all together in your payment (via either Paypal or good ol’ fashioned snail mail).
Other distros I know of but may or may not have ordered from yet: Sweet Candy | Portland Button Works | Antiquated Future
Of course, there’s also the old stand-by of Etsy, though at times that can get a bit overwhelming with the sheer variety of options. Still, if you don’t necessarily want to start with distros (because you already have an Etsy account or something), then Etsy, as well as Storenvy, are both valid options. Once in a while I’ve even seen some from the ’90s up for grabs on eBay with the rampant riot grrl nostalgia of the past few years, but sometimes they can get a little costly.
If you decide to dive into one–or all!–of these options, let me know where and what you get and what you think! It’s the most exciting thing to me when people start reading and/or making zines.