PSYCHO was a weekly legal-size broadsheet produced by julia eff during their high school years. It ran for 54 issues, spanning three years.
Each issue of PSYCHO consisted of a "weird news" story front page and an "anything goes" back page featuring music rankings, celebrity mockery, micro-trends, editorials, reader letters, and what could now be described as an ongoing gratitude journal. The back page also featured a quote of weekly significance to the staff, while the front page ended with either a comic or an ad for a local show.
Most content was written by eff, with friends contributing on a rotating basis.
All issues were cut-and-paste and fully hand-lettered, with later issues (year 3 onward) utilizing a printed front headline for a cleaner look. The zine was initially letter-size, but switched to legal-size in year 3.
Being entirely hand-lettered, master copies were cut up on a weekly basis to produce the next issue.
Printing & Distribution
PSYCHO was printed on a (somewhat-) weekly basis with no reprints due to ongoing destruction of masters. All issues were photocopied, and eff owns the only surviving full set of prints.
PSYCHO was distributed both in-person and by mail to friends. Mail subscriptions were available for $13 per year.
Initial print run (issue 1) was 13 copies, with peak circulation of 180.
julia eff; editor-in-chief, graphics, lettering.
Ash; writer, #1-7 (also credited as "ProOtaku").
Sarah Kay; writer (also credited as "Insane Emo Poet"; "Harlequin Monkeys!"), co-editor, #8-38.
Zacky; writer, #39-48.
Angela; writer, #39-48 (credited as "FluffyMuffinMaiden"); co-editor, #49-54.
Azzy G.; writer, comics; #49-54.
PSYCHO was challenged by eff's school district for its entire run, with eff repeatedly facing disciplinary action as publisher, despite the zine not containing objectionable content, content about students or faculty, and being produced at home on personal time.
Detentions, suspensions, and parental meetings were common, with eff being suspended after a "concerned parent" contacted school administration with the fear that PSYCHO would "incite a riot."
PSYCHO staff was ejected from school events on multiple occasions for flyering.
Ongoing expulsion threats surrounding PSYCHO's publication led eff's father to seek legal counsel, believing this to be a violation of their First Amendment rights.
PSYCHO ceased publication after three years. Connections made through the zine led eff to a journalism job (a field they quit) and the zine community (a field they didn't).
Eff went on to publish Every Thug Is A Lady: Adventures without Gender and start Crapandemic zine distro. They remain active in the zine community.