“In terms of layout, Rodriguez wasn’t interested in overly expressive or experimental design, but rather highly-functional and extremely-efficient presentations,” says Kathleen. “He packed in a lot of high-quality content (both text and images), wasting no space, and favouring legibility over style. The grid was employed intuitively.” Kathleen draws our attention to one of the many excellent essays in the book, called Maximum Volume, where writer Gabriel Melcher describes Good and Plenty’s design. “The layout feels like a stream of consciousness,” he writes. It’s true, there’s something intuitive but incredibly accomplished in Good and Plenty’s design, strengthened by the usual illustration style and punchy photography. “The result is that zines like _Good and Plenty_ became natural time capsules, capturing a particular moment in time for a specific subculture,” says Kathleen.
Designed by Partition, Draw Down’s in-house design studio, it’s clear that Hardcore Fanzine is every bit the labour of love for Kathleen and Christopher that Good and Plenty was to Gabe in the early 90s. Tracking him down via the internet, Christopher and Kathleen were thrilled to find that Gabe still had all the original paste-ups for all seven issues. “We had only previously seen the published zines, which were always printed in high contrast black and white; the mock-ups featured original photographic prints,” says Kathleen. “It was a thrill to see all the production details up close: the impressions of the typewriter Gabe used, the columns of text still carefully taped into the spreads.”
Featuring a facsimile of every page from every issue, Hardcore Fanzine also brings together essays from some of the leading thinkers around the subculture and key members of the bands, as well as from Gabe himself. Together they heart-warmingly demonstrate the importance of this short-running publication, to the industry and fans alike. “In many ways, putting out a zine was like setting up a flare signal: ‘I’m here! We’re here!’ so a zine functioned as both a vessel for ideas and a message in a bottle – one never knew who might reply,” says Kathleen. “For kids, teens, and adults, the friendships that grew up through the exchange of zines could offer a real sense of camaraderie and community.” It’s obvious from Hardcore Fanzine that although Good and Plenty is over, that community is very much alive.