Softcover. A collection of more than 350 Straight Edge Hardcore Zines mainly from the United States, but also a number from Europe, United Kingdom, and Australia, published in the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. This collection comes from the files of Matt Wobensmith, founder of the *Outpunk* fanzine and the likewise named Outpunk record label, the first entirely devoted to queer punk music (queercore). The majority of the zines are octavos and quartos with stapled wrapper and photocopied pages, though scattered throughout are some folio-sized newsprint and semi-professional zines. Overall near fine with typical wear from mail and general edgewear, including tears, nicks and rubbing.
Zines were already well-established in the punk movement of the 1970s when the more aggressive sound of hardcore emerged in the 1980s and straight edge splintered that already underground moment. Although already established with bands like Minor Threat (DC) and Cro-Mags (NYC), straight edge hardcore celebrated clean living and vilified overly excessive lifestyle choices. Not only were many people involved in the straight edge scene anti-drug and alcohol consumption, a large number became interested in vegan lifestyles, radical environmental consciousness, and anarchist or leftist political opinions. The music stemming from the straight edge scene identified with punk, but used their bands, such as Government Issue, Youth of Day, Gorilla Biscuits, Judge, Civ, and Uniform Choice, as political platforms to espouse their personal messages.
Like most zines, straight edge publications were typically self-published and photocopied, with contents that ranged from interviews with straight edge bands to discussions of lifestyles and furthering the “edge” cause. These included promoting militant animal rights and activism, pacifism, synthesized leftist social justice politics, by any means necessary, or direct action. For some hardline straight edge individuals meant resorted to violence against anyone who consumed alcohol, engaged in premarital sex, and opposed deep green ecology views. Bands representing a hardline edge included Earth Crisis, Vegan Reich, and Raid with many members of bands and fans drawing or tattooing XXX on their hands to identify themselves as edge, which is still considered a symbol of the movement to date. While the scene remained marginalized within the punk subculture, the participants were overwhelmingly white and male, with internalized rage and branded masculinity.
An interesting collection of material from a punk subculture that presaged many of the modern trends toward more extreme forms of veganism, environmental consciousness, and anti-corporate activism.