Derived from the term magazine, "zine" refers to an independently or self-published booklet or publication. The historical lineage of the contemporary zine arguably ranges from 1970s punk and D.I.Y. movements to sci-fi fanzines of the 1930s to Dada, Fluxus, and Situationist publications and—leaping even further back in time—to Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. It's a nebulous category of alternative printed matter and media where the only stipulation is that there are no stipulations.

Many zines come out of a community's or a single person's recognition of a hole in existing media's representation of viewpoints. Take Vancouver-based Fillip, for example, a magazine that came out of a group of artists, curators, historians, and gallerists recognizing the need for a critical arts publication in their locale. The following list of Cool Independent Zines You Should Known About encompasses a range of zines from neatly designed, strictly edited periodicals like Gagarin to hand-made, fleet-footed publications like Chloe Maratta's Rock & Rose

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