Mike Gunderloy

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Mike Gunderloy of Factsheet Five

Mike Gunderloy founded Factsheet Five in 1982 and is generally credited as the person most responsible for the zine explosion that followed in the next 15 years. Today on his personal website, he calls Factsheet Five "the stupidest time-saving idea I ever had," somewhat in jest. Under Gunderloy's control, it grew from a two-page photocopied sheet to a good-sized zine packed full of reviews each issue. At first it reviewed everything under the sun, but soon became focused on zines and the small press. With this transformation and development, Facsheet Five became the first major zine review zine.

Cari Goldberg Janice joined F5 in the late '80s and became co-editor, Gunderloy and Goldberg Janice co-authored "The World of Zine" for Penguin Books in 1991. The books compiled some of their favorite zines from the pages of F5. During this time period Gunderloy became a spokesperson for the zine community. He was interviewed about zines constantly and authored a number of articles about the small press, as well as reviews, including fairly frequent contributions to The Whole Earth Review. In one The Whole Earth Review article Gunderloy described zines to the general public:

"Zines are the periodicals that live in the cracks between the major journals you can find on the newsstands. They are published all over the country, circulate primarily by mail, and are done for love rather than money. Because they're hobbies rather than businesses, zines can be freer in what they say. But this also means you have to be more patient in dealing with them. The typical zine publisher comes home after a long day at some real job and then spends another six hours writing, designing, and trying desperately to answer her mail. Be patient when you write. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you want more information. Send well-wrapped cash, or checks made out to the person doing the publishing rather than the name of the zine, which probably doesn't have a bank account. And above all, be prepared to be surprised, entertained, outraged, amused and informed by these, the irrepressible outlaw publishers of the world."

Soon after "The World of Zine" was published and the zine scene was exploding, Gunderloy had a nervous breakdown just as the spotlight was on him. He quit Factsheet Five, stopped talking about the small press, and became a computer programmer. Gunderloy donated his massive zine collection from his days as editor of Factsheet 5 to the New York State Library, creating the largest public library zine collection in the world. Over 4,000 of the 10,000 zines can be searched via the libraries' catalog.

After Gunderloy quit Facsheet Five, Hudson Luce produced one issue, then R. Seth Friedman continued the magazine (with contributing editor Chris Becker) until it ceased publication in the late 1998. Today Gunderloy writes quite often about computer programing and is raising a family.

Other Publications

"Why Publish?" - a 54 page zine about self-publishing, published in 1989
Various computer manuals

External Links