The birth of the Risograph Machine:
In 1946, the importation of emulsion ink in Japan became incredibly expensive. A man named Noboru Hayama hung a sign reading “Riso” outside of his home in Japan to signify the foundation of a new ink company that was new and affordable. His company released its first fully automatic duplicator, and dubbed it the Risograph.
Wow that’s amazing.
Risographs were popularly used to create these zines because of how economical they were to print – basically if you needed more than 50 copies, but less than 10,000 then using a risograph was cheaper. The ink was less expensive and easier to use than toner because it does not have to be heated to set. The machine also also uses less electricity and requires less maintenance.
Fanzines are fan-created publications to a specific genre made for and read by other fans. The term combines the words “fan” and “magazine”. They can take the form of graphic novels, comic books, stories, editorials, etc. Fanzines date back to the 1930s. The first fanzines was created by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago publishing Comet as the first science fiction fanzine.
Since 1955, the annual Worldcon has awarded Hugo Awards for Best Fanzine. Awards for Best Fan Writer and Best Fan Artist were added in 1967 and have continued since then.
The format and printing process has since been adopted by artists as an affordable way to make many copies and multiples in posters, zines, phonebooks, etc.
Fold Out by Matías Prado which is a series of mini publications with different illustration on each page, but when folded out has an image on the back of the whole page.
Insectos Gritando (Screaming Insects) by Núria Gómez, a zine based on studies by Philippe Pinel and Jean-Martin Charcot on hysteria in the 19th century. The photos are a fictitious narrative sequence, each with corresponding annotations.
An example of a photo-book using Risography. GIRA is a publication with photographs taken by Elena López Lanzarote on a tour in Mexico called El Ultimo Vecino (The Last Neighbour).
Example of a comic using Risograph printing made by Ryan Cecil Smith who is a cartoonist and storyboard artist based in LA. His self-published zines are made in Japan and published by Koyoma Press.
Lentejas Press – Spain: http://lentejaspress.tumblr.com