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Apocalypse Playground

Apocalypse Playground was like a goth band for teenagers without guitars. It was a photocopied, double-sided, 8x10 zine. Apocalypse Playground was released bi-monthly and featured gothic and morbid poems, stories, imagery and art work. The zine was begun in 1996, and lasted until 2001.

The old issues are published online now in case there is any enjoyment yet to be had from them.

Paper copies were donated to the local museum in Shepherdstown, WV.

The Story of a Zine

In early 1996, the first issue of Apocalypse Playground was xeroxed, stapled together and distributed to friends at what was then the brand new coffee shop in the then very tiny town of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The publication was just some goth kid whining and bitching about this and that, with a little bit of poetry, some strange images, and a more-than-healthy dose of personality. Those original copies got copied and those copies got passed around, and copies of those copies got passed around... Two months later, it was suggested that another issue be produced, so that the hipsters and eggheads might have more to read.

Garth, who served coffee to those hipsters and eggheads, began hawking Apocalypse Playground to that same crowd, for the low cover price of one dollar per copy. It was chump change for something that was at least mildly entertaining, a fair trade, and a great way to make friends. The zine began to pay for itself, and then it began to turn a (very small) profit. Soon, the other kids got involved. Lizz, the Unofficial Queen of England, took it upon herself to be a copy editor, and to help distribute the thing in her hometown across the river in Hagerstown, Maryland. The Reverend N.I.K. added his voice to the publication, so that it would include his puckish, punkish rants. Nik also helped distribute Apocalypse Playground in his sometime home of Washington D.C. The local artist's collective bacame regular readers, as well as the local poetry society. We all felt loved.

By the second year of bi-monthly publication, Apocalypse Playground was recieving letters from readers in Asia, Europe and even one from a naval officer somewhere int the sea. The publication had been picked up by a variety of distributors who make it their business to sell odd and unusual zines and things. It was a hell of a lot of fun, while it lasted, but eventually we grew up, grew out of it and away from each other, and the thing just ran it course.

Dylan Kinnett
editor, Apocalypse Playground

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"If Man scorns Nature, so you think he would care about Words?"— Thomas Moore, Utopia