Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rejected Hammer Thesis #3

Rejected Hammer Thesis #3
28 pages, digest, full color
$3 delivered

This is the brain child of Eric Myers, who does most, (probably all,) of the art. A number of people contribute to the story lines. It's much too imaginative to simply call it bizarre. Still, it is bizarre. A lot of thought and work went into this. Eric drawers in multiple styles, and the stories vary as well. So while everything in here is surreal, there is variety rather than repetition, and though disjointed it is cohesive.

As with most things in this vain you appreciation it the more you read it. He sent me three issues, so I was well into it by #3. I liked #2 the best, which you can also get on the site. #1 is $6 delivered, but it's a bit thicker.


Eric's site

review by Jack Cheiky

Friday, July 15, 2016

New Titles at the Cleveland Zine Library

I dropped off a Whole Foods bag filled with zines today. Included was Stu's complete 2015 collection of diary comix. I found a nice plastic envelope so they could all stay together.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rising #66

Rising #66 (Summer 2016)

Edited by Tim Wells

A5, 24 pages. 


Rising consistently puts its money where its mouth is (Yes, I know, it's a free zine. Free to you, means someone else, somewhere, is paying for your pleasure): a poetry zine with an emphasis on quality writing - poetry that doesn't submit to the usual elitist claims to the art form.

Once again the mix is part ranting old guard, part performance circuit, and part new voices - the thing that unites them being the attitude that comes from having a need to write, not just the desire to be a writer. 

This issue includes top work from Salena Godden, Porky the Poet (comedian Phill Jupitus' alter ego), Emily Harrison, Phoebe Stuckes, Fiona Curran, The Bro's Grim, Sophie Parkin, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Paul Birtill, Hannah Lowe, and Tim Turnbull. 

What are you waiting for tweet Tim here to haggle for a copy. Can I suggest bribes, favours, or a beer or two, are likely to be successful. Please tell him Nathan sent you.

Click here to visit Tim's Stand up & spit project which is dedicated to chronicling the history and influence of Ranting poetry. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, July 11, 2016

Astounding Explorer Nicobar - #1 to #4

Astounding Explorer Nicobar - issues #1 to #4
Yoshua Reece

$3 per issue

5.5" x 8.5" - 28 pages, b&w, landscape format. 

One of the joys of reviewing for Syndicated Zine Reviews is not knowing what will come through the letter box. A few days ago a large cardboard mailer landed with a thud, inside were the first four issues of the Astounding Explorer Nicobar. 

The zine is a delightful, unexpected, continuing storybook about a small frog and his friends aboard the Graceless Flounder as they adventure around the house. Frustrated by the boredom of revisiting the lounge and the kitchen, they set out beyond the edges of the known world. 

"We are either explorers, or we are not. If we can be contented with a boring life then we are not. But if we are explorers, then we will fight the tyranny of boredom!"

Exclaims the captain of the ship, in doing so taking his place among the great adventurers of history, who also bravely set out for places beyond the bathroom. 

Yoshua explains in a letter:

Nicobar was originally conceived as a way for me to stay in touch with my friends after moving out of state for college. Using characters modelled after toys in my aunt and uncle's house I wrote story books that told my friends how I was doing. After graduating college I continued to create Nicobar booklets out of a love for it. 

I'm quoting this because there is a real warmth to these zines - in the hand drawn illustrations, and in the play-like narrative - a genuineness that hooks you in. Think of Nicobar as a hybrid of Toy Story and Jules Verne, and you'll not be far off. 

Buy copies of individual issues over on Etsy: etsy.com/uk/shop/Sockswad

And visit Nicobar here: facebook.com/Nicobarthefrog

Review by Nathan Penlington

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Moviejawn - June 2016


Volume 2 - Issue 4 / June 2016

11cm x 14cm - 52 pages, black and white with colour centre pages

$5 (subscription for the rest of the year)

The movies are life. The zine is the engine. We are the future.

Moviejawn is a pocket sized celebration of the kind of films that should be celebrated - the ones that find you, rather than you finding them. The ones you found in the back of the old VHS rental shop, the ones that were passed around on a recording of a recording of a recording, the ones that are generally terrible in a Film sense - but have had a profound effect on you every time you've watched them. Those films.

The zine takes the form of short essays and reviews of films generally more old than new, discussing why those films are so great, and examining their impact on movie watchers. It is fun, informative, and irreverent. This issue focuses on sport in films: baseball, the true American sport, is discussed in a feature on The Sandlot; the influence of the 2000 dance film and "schmaltz-fest" Center Stage on Black Swan; fandom for Crispin Glover leads to an in-depth look at Like Mike, a kind of Cinderella for basketball; while remembering what it is like not to fit in results in a review of Whip It, a roller derby movie featuring Ellen Page.

I've been sent a small package of Moviejawn back issues - but I thought I'd start with the latest. Reviews of previous issues to follow soon. Contact Moviejawn to request specific issues as part of your order. 

Click here for subscription info.

Visit Moviejawn on the web: moviejawn.com

Review by Nathan Penlington

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Shinprint #1

Shinprint #1

By Shindig Collective / Spring 2016

A5 - 12 pages

FREE (in return for swaps or mystery post)

"Your new favourite experimental arts club"

This is a fun, <sm>art cut & paste zine that functions as a manifesto for Cambridge based art / literature / performance collective Shindig.

Celebrating their love for Fluxus, Dadaist and Oulipian experiments, the collective lay out their visions in a rearrange your own interview feature, a pin the extra limbs on the donkey game, and a mini-catalogue of their existent work. 

If this small collection of work -  an interactive alchemical poetry box created by Abi Palmer, a collection of tiny zines of tiny ghosts stories by Wesley Freeman-Smith, and a series of literary blown eggs by Uppahar Subba - is a gauge, then this is a collective, and a zine to keep an eye on.  (I've been a collector of texts that take odd forms for as long as I can remember, but this is the first time I've come across one hidden inside a series of blown eggs).   

I'm already looking forward to issue two, but until then, who fancies coming round to damage the wallpaper with a vigorous game of pin the extra limbs?

Contact: hello at shindiggig dot com

Or visit shindiggig.com

Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mark's Demise #1

Mark's Demise #1
16 pages, digest
$1, prefers trades

Primarily photographs from Atlanta, Chicago, and Cleveland. There's a one frame cartoon, and a rant transcribed from an audio recording of a drummer going off about the craziness of their tour schedule. The band is from Atlanta, (oddly, the name of the band was blacked out after the zine was print ready.) Apparently they got lucky opening for a big name act, only problem was the headliners were flying to all the gigs, and the Atlanta band had to drive. I used to be an over the road semi driver and I gotta tell you it's pretty mind numbing what they did.

Since this is issue #1, and because it's brief and not centered on anything in particular, it's hard to say what exactly it is about. Not that that matters.

I would say It's energetic and upbeat, but I could be projecting that. I met Mark for the first time when he handed the zine over for review. I sent an email inquiring about it and he wrote back, “Honestly, I live one block away from you. Want to meet up for a coffee...?” He was energetic and upbeat, so my assessment of the printed matter may not be entirely subjective. Regardless, I give both the man and the zine a thumbs up.

Request a copy @

review by Jack Cheiky
This zine is being donated to the Cleveland Zine Library after review.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bio Auto Graphic - issue zero

Bio Auto Graphic Issue zero.

Michael c Nicolson / Ensixteen Editions 2004

A5 - 12 pages


Zero - not a nothing - but a reset, a circular return. I joined this series late on (previous issues of Bio Auto Graphic are reviewed here) but it has quickly become one of my favourite zines: more art than comic, more poetry than diary -  a visual and literary reflection on the author's journey through the ups and downs of existence. The result is a comic zine that is at once funny, humble, and poignant. 

Issue zero introduces Michael, outside the frame, contemplating the challenges of the autobiographic comic, before quickly becoming the narrator of dreams and memories, encouraging us to embrace the stories of everyday life. Those stories, like those that make up Bio Auto Graphic, come in fragments, untied beginnings and ends, a lost middle here and there.

Perhaps less funny than later issues, this first (non?) issue sets up the emotional threads that run throughout the series, tying knots that bind personal and universal events with tenderness, charm and an easy seeming fluidity.

As I've said before, jump in to this series anywhere - you won't regret it.

Although this issue was made in 2005, copies are still available via the Ensixteen blog - check out the more current issues while you are there. ensixteeneditions.blogspot.com

Or email Michael directly to order: ladnicholson(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk

Review by Nathan Penlington

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Somewhere Btwn

Somewhere Btwn
#16, 20 pages, - $_5, digest
#17, 16 pages, - $10, large
#20, 20 pages, - $_5, digest
#21, 20 pages, - $_5, digest
All prices ppd

Florida artist/musician, Dan Gorostiaga, used to make large, one of a kind works of art. Now he pours his artist self into art zines, (and music.) Cool stuff. Email him before sending money, to check stock and get address.

www marginalmanworks com

review by Jack Cheiky
This zine is being donated to the Cleveland Zine Library after review.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


20 pages, digest
Accepts trades, PCP, records, cigarettes, switchblades, etc.
(I say send him a couple bucks to cover the postage.)

This one is a collaboration between Fishspit (of Wiseblood zine,) and Serena "Aika" Pruess, (of Cooncat Creations.) Art, collage, and prose. It's primarily about pets, but there's also something about an encounter with a furry hippo, (either fiction or hallucination,) and also a piece about cute girls in school and how he got the name Fishspit.

Aika does anthropomorphized animal cartoons, or "furries." Fishspit does awesome collage work, and writes stuff that you can never really tell how much is autobiographical, how much is fiction, and how much is delusion. He goes off the reservation in a way that few could get away with, but it works for him. He's never boring.

1304 175th PL.  NE,
Bellevue WA 98008

also check out


review by Jack Cheiky
This zine is being donated to the Cleveland Zine Library after review.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Back home and broke

Back home and broke by Jacob Louis Beaney 

A5 - 44 pages. 


This was one of the zines I picked up at the recent DIY Cultures event in London. It is a funny and honest look at how it feels to be forced to return to living with your parents as an adult. In telling that story Back home and broke also explores the state of the widespread poverty in UK post recession, in the grip of brutal Tory cuts to essential services, and what it means to be university educated and working class in the face of large scale unemployment. 

A lot of this zine resembles parts of my own life, so it was always going to work for me, but I genuinely feel it deserves a wide readership - if only to remind people of this truism:

"I would say class isn't indicative of your quality as a person, twats can be found in all stratospheres of the class system".  

Buy a copy here: etsy.com/uk/listing/271168185/back-home-and-broke

Check out other Hickathrift zines and things on Etsy: etsy.com/uk/shop/HickathriftPress

Review by Nathan Penlington

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Tramp by Julius Smit / Eyeglass


A5 - 48 pages


Tramp is a mediation on the paths we trace through urban and rural landscapes, exploring how walking is shaped by memory and habit. A combination of black and white photographs and poetic text work together to produce a contemplative zine that forces a new focus on the streets, pavements, paths, alleys and byways that have been shaped by the histories of past journeys. Chance is something that is central to my own work, so the encouragement to wander off from your personal path is something that struck a chord.

It is a well produced zine, that rewards time spent in its company. Buy a copy, pack it in your bag, get lost in a new town, and enjoy the journey.  

Check out Julius' work here: juliussmit.co.uk

Order a copy here: eyeglassphotozines.tictail.com/product/tramp

Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Screever - Issue 9

The Screever - Issue 9, spring 2016

A6, 56 photocopied pages.


This is the third issue of The Screever that I've read - my review of the last issue holds true: I still love The Screever

It is the perfect distillation of what makes zines great. Where else would you find - an interview with IDestroy, a RiotGrrl punk inspired band from Bristol; an interview with Dead Bride Comics artist Dan Barnes on his wrestling themed Blood Stained Canvas; instructions on how to make a pin-hole camera; a recipe for mini oat pizzas; a feature on the West Midlands skating scene; an interview with illustrator Bodie H. about his Choose Your Own Adventure inspired zines (which sound right up my street!); and a pile of reviews of old and new bands - all in one place? 

It is the belief in sharing a personal range of interests and issues, reaching out to other people who have something to say, and putting it out in the world to connect with others. That is what zines are about for me. And that is what The Screever does so well. And it does it all for £1. A pound! There isn't much that is great that you can buy for a pound. And of those things, a bag of Haribo, and The Screever, are at the top of the list.  

Review by Nathan Penlington

Friday, June 10, 2016

Zines and zines and zines

It has been a good few weeks for acquiring new zines. 

I've been sent quite a few submissions directly, plus I picked up a good haul at DIY Cultures in east London. It was a great event, almost too full of people at times, with some fantastic alternative, radical zines alongside art and comic zines. It is heartening to see London still has a thriving diy scene, despite the heavy boots of corporate capitalism squashing almost everything interesting.  

And then a huge package arrived from my friend Guy J Jackson, who visited the LA Zine Fest and gathered a brilliant array of stuff for me to plough through. 

So, reviews are coming, apologies if the backlog means they have been a little slow. 

Saying all that, I always welcome new zines. 

(The floor in the photos is the floor in my office that is so full of holes it is in the process of being replaced. I don't think I've lost any zines in the move, but if you are waiting on a review from me and it isn't up in the next two weeks give me an electronic prod!)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Christian New Age Quarterly

The Christian New Age Quarterly
16 pages, half legal
$3.50 USA / $5.00 elsewhere
$12.50 / $18.50 per 4 issue subscription

Explores the intersection between Christianity and other spiritual paths with an emphasis on mysticism and myth. Fiction, essays, letters, reviews.

Christian New Age Quarterly
PO Box 276
Clifton, NJ 07015-0276


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Accountability Processes are Ableist as Fuck

Accountability Processes are Ableist as Fuck
28 pages, digest, heavy stock cover

I had to look up ableist

There are intersecting dimensions to this publication. It is a prequel to a book Joe has out, "Good Trouble: Building a Successful Life and Business with Asperger's." In the intro, Joe talks about how Asperger's almost destroyed his life. But in that first paragraph the voice is confident and hopeful. Joe puts a personal face on a subject many of us struggle to understand and accept. Not just of Asperger's and autism, but of mental health in general. There is a universality to his story of being misunderstood, unexplainably out of step, and disconnected. He also gives voice to the common experience of relief one feels when finally correctly diagnosed. "I really am different, and it's not my fault."

He also chronicles the range of responses he gets from others; everything from, "oh, that makes total sense," to "that's just an excuse."

From this perspective, Joe's story is an elegant account of recovery and empowerment.


Regarding the overall quality of the zine, it is top notch. The writing is crisp and precise, the layout very clean, and the production is as good as a plain old zine can be.


The remaining aspect of this volume is about Joe's break up with his ex and the splintering of Microcosm books.

Joe's story of self discovery is intertwined with this other louder story. If you don't have the stomach for more of the Microcosm / Pioneer Press / Joe / Jennifer / Alex saga, this may not be for you.

On the other hand, if you've listened to one side of the story, you might as well listen to the other.

PO Box 14332
Portland OR 97293

review by Jack Cheiky
This zine is being donated to the Cleveland Zine Library after review.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Seeker, part one

The Seeker, part one
16 pages + thick stock cover
$ ?

I really like this. It messes with your head. A lot.

It is the beginning of a longer story. There are a couple typo like problems in the first few pages like someone used an auto-correct and didn't  proof read it. And then there are more of these "mistakes" and you start to wonder if the writer is doing this on purpose. Is it the writer or the narrator that's writing weird. At the same time there is a lyrical quality that makes it easy to continue. You can't tell if the story is really all that good or if you're being slowly seduced by the obliteration of the English language. It's almost like they're trying to effect an accent. But other parts are written with perfect grammar, so you can't make up your mind. Ultimately you keep reading because there are many subtly insightful thoughts and descriptions along with the strange but interesting language. Although there is a dash of intrigue, there isn't an overdose of plot.

Eventually you figure out what the deal is. That's all I'm gonna say.

References to Türkan Soray, Snake Plissken, William S. Burroughs, and Tony Manero.


review by Jack Cheiky
This zine is being donated to the Cleveland Zine Library after review.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Reviews of American Films for White Power

Reviews of American Films for White Power
20 pages, digest, thick stock cover
$ ?

This showed promise. There were several creative things I liked before even starting to read. The mailing envelope was made from a piece of scrap paper. The cover art and design were cool enough. There appeared to be a mishap with the print run which was fixed by gluing a page to the inside front cover, and another to the back inside.

There was a mysterious and intriguing introduction to wet one's appetite, but it didn't deliver. Not to me anyway. The only credit I'll give them is they put a fair amount of effort into it.

It starts off simply enough. A group of friends stumble upon a web site that writes historical reviews of films written from the point of view of someone living centuries in the future. The reviews are of films that haven't been made yet in our time, but will be made in the future. Sounds awesome, right?

Not so much. It's written in a shoot from the hip style, presumably to invoke a sense of urgency, but it just ends up muddled. References to the mysterious web site being there, happenings in the supposed authors lives, , references to race, and the eerie recurrence to the number 22 are all mucked together. This could almost be overlooked if the actual film reviews really delivered, but they are written in much the same style. This discredits the idea that the supposed group stumbled upon the supposed web site.

It's entirely possible that this volume is exactly what it clams to be. Which would mean there is a whole litany of writers who need to be spanked. Unless it was written by high school kids, in which case it's brilliant.

Order & Contact info

review by Jack Cheiky
This zine is being donated to the Cleveland Zine Library after review.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cleveland Zine Library

I am happy to report that the Cleveland Zine Library is officially open for business at the Lee Road branch of the Heights Public Library. I dropped off a batch of zines today and took pictures. There is an accompanying display with zines and some books on printmaking, drawing comics, and photography. The new zine section is on the second floor near the Harvey Pekar displays. This was Harvey's neighborhood library.

I will continue to donate all zines sent to me for review when I am done with them. If you want to skip the review, you can send zines there directly, including back issues and collections you don't want anymore.

K. Atherton
Adult Services
Heights Public Library
2345 Lee Rd
Cleveland Heights OH 44118

A few of the zines on display I recognize:

Grimm Memes

Futchi Perf

Rot #5

Youtube Girl

Dear Crabby

Mini Comic by Alex Nall

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