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Metropolis / So SoCal

Reading the Fine Print in a Well-Stocked 'Zine Store

January 27, 2002|MARA SCHWARTZ

Silver Lake's Zineorama sells magazines, books and the daily paper--but its crown jewel may be the largest selection of independently published 'zines in the city. At any given time, the store stocks from 100 to 200 small-scale do-it-yourself magazines, often idiosyncratic labors of love written, edited and laid out by dedicated, creative sole proprietors.

Store owner Frank Sosa, an ex-publicist for bands such as the Pharcyde and the Brand New Heavies, is a former customer who bought the shop in March after hearing that the previous owners were considering shuttering it. Sosa, who also has a background in political activism, beefed up the 'zine selection, added a stage for poetry readings, launched art and photography exhibits and began selling "books that support a culture of resistance." "It's a place reflecting how media can play a positive role in society," he says.

Zineorama offerings include titles Beer Frame, which analyzes the design of objects such as can openers and soap; Cometbus, the continuing chronicle of a Berkeley punk rocker's everyday life; and Brooklyn's the Coup, which documents Sept. 11 and its aftermath, using photos, poetry and an audio CD.

The store will sell any 'zine it's offered, says Sosa, "unless it's fascist or misogynistic. If it's hateful, we'll say, 'No way.' "

You can also visit Zineorama to pick up the latest People or Vogue. "We want regular people to come in here, and we hope to sell them something else that might affect their world view."

Sosa admits to feeling the urge to create a 'zine himself. While he hasn't finalized his topic, "I'm thinking about publishing a 'zine about what it's like to run a 'zine store."


Zineorama, 1618 1/2 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 662-9463.

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