R. Seth Friedman

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Seth tabling at a zine convention in Seattle

R. Seth Friedman (born in Great Neck, NY) is best known as the final publisher of the review zine Factsheet Five and the editor of the book The Factsheet Five Zine Reader (published by Three Rivers Press in June of 1997). In the introduction to the The Factsheet Five Zine Reader Friedman recalls discovering music zines in the late 1970s and getting hooked. His uber-fandom of zines peaked when he restarted the failed Factsheet Five in 1991 with capital derived from working as a computer consultant in New York.

In 1997 Friedman talked about reviving Factsheet Five in an alt.zines post. He said, "How do you think I got this 'job' in the first place? I applied for it? I saw an ad in the paper? I had friends in high places? I used my parent's connections? I did Factsheet Five because Mike and Hudson gave it up. Factsheet Five was dead! I revived it because I thought it was too important to die. I revived it because no one else was doing it."

Under Friedman's helm as publisher, Factsheet Five was published quarterly on a consistent schedule from 1991 until it folded in 1998. He gained mainstream media attention during the 1990s when zines became popular, and was often featured in panel discussions about the medium. Friedman also published his own zine called Food for Thought. Eventually he burnt out and decided to stop publishing Factsheet Five. Friedman claimed he would be starting a publication doing wine reviews, but the publication has not appeared, and Friedman has ceased participating in zines.

Although he did not cooperate with the filmmakers, Friedman is featured briefly in Capturing the Friedmans, a documentary about his family.

During the 1990s, Friedman hosted a weekly poker game regularly attended by a number of zinesters, including John Marr (Murder Can Be Fun), Chris Becker (Factsheet Five), Jerod Pore (Poppin' Zits), Mark Saltveit (The Palindromist) and John Held, Jr. (Bibliozine).

He has recently moved to Portland, OR with his wife.