QN5 Fanzine: Issue 01

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back in 2006, Qn5 Music created a limited edition fanzine to distribute at their Megashow. It was a black and white, 3x5 booklet with inside jokes for the fans, general Qn5 information, and simply, an excellent promotional piece. The problem was that Tonedeff, the label's CEO, pieced it together himself. Something with a title like "Fanzine" should be handled by fans, I'd say.

The Beginning
So nearly two months ago, I approached fans with the idea of creating an official Qn5 Fanzine. The response was overwhelming, but positive. I knew people were interested, but more people than I could manage offered interest in participating. It was tough, but I had to whittle the group down to six, including myself.

Chris Rhee of Neatfocus gave us space in the client section of his site to brainstorm ideas and share our work. I found out very quickly that coming up with ideas wasn't going to be the hard part. Before I knew it, we had so many ideas that the debut issue could have been an encyclopedia. We had to establish a focus.

Was this going to be for fans that already existed, or would this be a promotional tool for new fans?

I figured, why not both?

We found a gentle balance between offering inside jokes for veteran Blue Schoolers, and providing a glimpse into Qn5 fandom for new fans.

Creating the Content
Writing the material was the easy part. We gathered all of the notable news items from the label over the last 6 months, and summarized it into one comprehensive piece. The fictional pieces fell into place effortlessly. Influenced by QN5 Music's creativity, it wasn't too difficult to develop something original from the foundation they've already established.

The brick wall we kept arriving at was with template design. It proved to be more complex than initially expected, as we discovered a few ways not to make the fanzine. Basically, there was a lot of trial and error. But when we all got on the same page regarding the look of the issue, everything fell into place quite well.

It was a learning experience for all of us. This had been my first time undertaking such a task, so the process was new to me. All I had was a vision of how I wanted things to look.

In the end, we decided to go with two styles of the QN5 Fanzine. The primary format is a flash-based layout, complete with turning pages, sound effects, and zoom controls. That can be viewed by clicking right here.

The second format is a PDF for those that prefer Adobe Reader, or would like to print out the pages. That file is available here.

We all had a lot of fun putting this together, despite the stress. With so many varying schedules and responsibilities in life, it's satisfying to see this thing completed and out there.

I'm looking forward to the fan response, and I'm hoping we did the artists of QN5 Music proud.


© 2008QN5ZINE.COM - All names and images used courtesy of QN5 MUSIC