$100 and a T Shirt (2004) – By Brian Morton

 Anyone who’s ever written anything seriously (or not so seriously as in my case) has been, on some level, involved in the zine community. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what a zine is, well, it’s a home made magazine, of course, and that’s the topic of a documentary called $100 and a T Shirt.

The title comes from a great story, told in the doc, about a woman trying to get someone to write an article for her zine. He won’t do it, yet he’s written articles for other magazines. When she asks what they paid him, he replies, a hundred dollars and a t shirt. She then asks, if she gives him a hundred dollars and a t shirt, will he write the article for her? $100 and a T Shirt is really a primer for the zine culture that thrives (especially) in Portland, Oregon. A zine is basically a home-made magazine that expresses your personal opinions and it can be about anything, in the doc several are mentioned that are about such obscure topics as bike culture or living overweight but it doesn’t matter what the topic is, what matters is that you’re heart and soul is in the material and it’s all hand-crafted, then copied.

At just over an hour and a half long, $100 and a T Shirt flies by! Whether you’re ‘into’ the zine culture or not, this is an eclectic group of people that all have something to say, something that they think is important enough to spend a considerable amount of time and money on, with virtually no promise of a compensation of any kind, short of a letter from someone who runs another zine. It’s a fascinating doc and one that anyone who has written, or is planning on writing should check out. I got my start in zines, and some say I never really left, so I was interested in some of the history of the zine and seeing that it’s still out there thriving! I’m giving $100 and a T Shirt four out of four cigars, because it’s a topic that most people won’t know about, but anyone will still find interesting. You can get a copy for yourself by heading over to the Microcosm Publishing web site. It’s something I think will interest more people than any of us imagine. So, until next time, when I’ll be trying to convince our editor to let me just hand write everything, remember that the best movies are bad movies.