Friday, November 22, 2013

Look Ahead Into the Past

Late in the summer of 1993 I was working in the Creative Services department of the local newspaper. My excitement at getting the job was soon dampened by the Draconian changes that were underway: though of course it was never admitted to, the paper was being made ready to sell. Just a few months after I started, a new president was installed, a man with a history of “turnarounds” behind him. He brought with him his own team, one specifically built to reduce costs, fire longtime employees, and otherwise make the paper more attractive to prospective corporate buyers (and unbearable to the people who worked there). “Creative Services” became nothing more than “ad-bangers.” My dream job turned into a nightmare.

For no good reason, I was forced to work a night shift. It was one of the bigger mistakes “they” made. I could get all my work done quite quickly with no distractions, and with no more jobs coming in (because the sales staff had all gone home for the day) I ended up with the whole place to myself and time on my hands, I hatched an idea to get my own back on the company.

MILLENNIUM was born. It was a small literary Zine featuring fiction, reviews, comics, editorials (I was just beginning to find my progressive self) … produced entirely On The Job with a company Risograph printer and supplies, and distributed freely by myself and a network of friends. 

Within six month’s time I was back working the day shift and had lost access to the Risograph (perhaps management finally wised up). By then, the Zine was a part of my life and I was not ready to let go. 

In those days, the internet was not what it is today. I published a couple of issues in a proprietary Mac format and distributed them on floppy disk (remember those?), before switching to PDF format. Within a year I’d found a site that offered free hosting for eZines and I had enough issues online that I started to attract attention — the Zine was ultimately featured in a book by Martha Gill called Webworks: eZines

Eventually I moved on to many other projects, but the existing Millennium eZines stayed online until their host eventually shut down. It’s probably been about a decade since that happened. Now I have the opportunity to make those dated old issues of Millennium available again. You can download the electronic issues for free from this site, and you can order the few remaining copies of the paper Zine from their own page.

These Zines are nothing more or less than a product of my misspent youth, and should regarded as such by anyone who dares to take a look. I’m still proud of much of what I did there, but some of it makes me cringe now. If you have a taste for something eccentric and different, something that is now practically Vintage (shudder!), maybe Millennium will have something for you. 

Thanks for visiting the site. My current work can be found at .

— Freder