In recent weeks we have been encouraged to start looking at the subject of zines and I was intrigued by them as my most pertinent memory of them is a zine produced in the 1990’s for supporters of Stockport County Football Club. as a small child I have vivd memories of a long haired hippy type middle aged male selling the Tea Party outside the turnstile at home matches. Having done some searching and asking I managed to get hold of a copy in order to find more about the content and the rhetoric that it promoted.
On first reflection, the content of the zine is a type of social commentary on issues surrounding the town of Stockport and its football club. To say that this product would raise a few eyebrows in present day is an understatement. The layout itself conforms to many of the hallmarks of a classic, self published zine. Pink in colour with a secondary colour red, the zine appears to be low value in its production values however in terms of the content it is clear that the producers are passionate about the football club. Around 50 pages, the Tea Party is heavy on written content which verbally attacks rival football clubs in addition to the local media such as the Manchester Evening News (MEN) for not having enough content about the club and choosing to focus on the two Manchester football clubs in addition to Bolton Wanderers.
The main visceral aspects of the zine come in the form of comic strips and drawn illustrations which many place the players at the time in funny or offensive stories at the expense of other football clubs. One of the comic strips is about a Police horse who describes how he like to treat football fans by kicking them pensioners and attacking the younger fans in order to keep them in line.
In an ideological sense, the Tea Party is highly activist against any form of authority in addition to attacking the mainstream media. One would assume that its audience is white working class males as some of the content is comparable to a poor tabloid newspaper. Although quite funny in one respect, I don’t think it could exist in its present for today.