ZENtertainment was an entertainment email zine
(the title is a play on the fabled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
novel) first published in 1995
by Sean Jordan. ZENtertainment was published most often weekly, but sometimes bi-weekly later on..and even during monthly during Mr. Jordan's hectic college period.
ZENtertainment isn't published any longer, and it's website is just a blank page. There is little information provided anywhere that I've found, so I guess it's my duty to offer a digital memorial
to my beloved email 'zine.
I started reading ZENtertainment when Sean emailed me (back when I was on AOL) based on stuff in my profile. Yeah, that's a long fuckin' time ago. Issue #3 was the first one I received and for the next four years on a damn near rigid schedule (every Monday at about 8:00 AM central time) my email box had a nice big email chock full of the lateast box office recepits, TV news and Hollywood
As the dotcom
boom began to really hit email zines like ZEN really began to take off. They would have subscribers in the tens of thousands and soon enough advertisements began to follow. Which was fine since it was all text, and we all know how easy it is to simply page down
, right? But ZEN accepted a few ads (while never shilling
for anything necessarly. One of the ads purchased in ZENtertainment in Spring 2000 was an ad for the quickly cancelled Clerks: The Animated Series
. The ad was purchased by one of the producers of the show (out of his own pocket) and was mentioned on the DVD audio commentary track of episode 4.
Like other zines
, ZENtertainment tried to make money. And in some ways, they did. In 1998 ZEN held an raffle featuring several prizes donated by various film and TV companies (including Best Brains
who donated a 700 page script for an episode of MST3K
). This raised around $5000 for Sean Jordan. Another raffle was held in late 2000/2001, to similar success.
However, in late 2000 the DotCom
economy crashed hardcore. As a result, ZEN started accepting donations...and then eventually moved to paid subscriptions. Then, for a short period of time the zine was free..and then it went away sometime in 2001/2002.
Sean Jordan eventually hired a few other guys to work on the zine, towards the end. Supposedly at the end ZEN had something like 100,000 readers. At some point Sean Jordan renumbered the issues, restarting with issue 1. The final number of the zine was something around 330, and if you include the issues before the renumbering it was closer to 500.
ZEN was a great zine, and in the days before Aint it cool news
and other similar websites existed it was a great source for all your entertainment news in one handy source.
Sean Jordan's personal website: http://www.angelfire.com/clone/seanjordan/