zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Terminal Punk

Terminal Punk
V.Vale

Black & white, 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ 40 pages, illustrated.

$5




V.Vale is responsible for the mind expanding counter culture publishing company RE/Search. Throughout the 80s and 90s RE/Search was crucial for treating the work of JG Ballard and William Burroughs with reverence long before the universities caught on; publishing anthologies about once taboo subjects such as body modification, and the history of women and tattoos - subjects that have had a renaissance of late before ultimately being co-opted by the mainstream. 

RE/Search have also published work of zine interest - re-issues of the influential punk zine Search & Destroy started by V.Vale in the late 70s (while he worked park time at City Lights Books), and the ground breaking collection of interviews with zine makers in Zines! Vol 1



V.Vale is counter culture personified. So he is in the perfect position to talk and write about Punk, not just as a short-lived music phenomenon, but as an ethos and aesthetic with relevance today. Terminal Punk is a series of interviews and conversations that reflect on the terminal philosophy of the Punk movement - not the spitting and safety pins Punk has been reduced to by the corporate machine - but the aesthetics, influences, history, and social outlook, that fuse into a way of living.   





Vale explores the DNA of Punk, outlining the three fundamental elements that form its make up: Black Humour; DIY / Anyone Can Do It; and Mutual Aid. Even if you don't think Punk is 'your' thing, if you have only the smallest interest in the creative process you'll take something away from reading this zine. Throughout Vale stresses the need to increase our awareness to fight the distraction culture we live in - making, distributing, and reading zines is still a significant way of doing that. 


As Vale says, "Until we have a perfect world I don't think Punk will ever be dead or obsolete".

Buy Terminal Punk direct from RE/Search researchpubs.com/shop/terminal-punk-zine-philosophy-w-i-p-by-v-vale

Signed copies are available from Rough Trade in the UK for £5: roughtrade.com/magazines/terminal-punk-zine-philosophy-w-i-p-by-v-vale-signed-copies




Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, January 9, 2017

Munster Times #19 [August 2016]

 

38 pages, 11.5" x 8", by Matt Ryan, email mag [at] hotmail [dot] com for ordering info, and check out Munster Times Zine on Facebook

I heard that last year Melbourne was voted [not for the first time] 'The World's Most Liveable City', and it seems that I've discovered yet further proof the award is legit right here in the shape of Munster Times, a zine which - if I understand correctly - is FREE and can be found in Melbourne pubs where bands play. If I found a zine like this at the Townie here in Newtown, I would be over the friggin' moon! The closest thing we have is Unbelievably Bad which is $9.00 an issue [although of course no other zine comes close to it in terms of awesomeness - it's absolutely worth at least that much [UB#16 was also where I first read about MT!]].

Anyway, and even though yet again I'm late to the party on this one, as mentioned it's thanks to Unbelievably Bad [#16] that I wasn't even later.

Matt seems to be pretty heavy into the Melbourne live music scene, so most of his zine is taken up with interviews of bands and singers/musicians. These interviews are terrific. These kind of interviews are often terrible, with a great gaping chasm apparent between interviewer and interviewee. Not here. The subjects seem to know and respect Matt and the interviews benefit greatly. In this issue, Matt interviews The Rebelles ['60s girl bubblegum pop Phil Spector Wall of Sound-type band]; Teagan Robinson [Melbourne singer also interviewed in MT#14]; Them Rumblin' Bones [genre-defying pub rockers?]; and Lisa Crystal Carver [Rollerderby Zine, named by Playboy 'Best Zine Ever']. This was my favourite interview here. Lisa Carver has the greatest answers to interview questions. Example: Matt's first question, "How has 2016 treated you so far?" Carver: "Any year I'm still alive is a good year." [I am shamefully ignorant of Lisa Carver and her work, I'll admit it, even after Jojo so many times telling me how great she is.] I found out from this interview she wrote a book, Drugs Are Nice, which I will be tracking down a copy of the second I finish this review.

There's also a terrific review of the Stooges documentary film Gimme Danger. Matt writes at the beginning: "I aint a film person, so every chance this review sucks." I predicted it wouldn't, and it didn't. Not a Stooges fan myself [not even a Radio Birdman fan! Oh, the shame!!], this review has motivated me to track down a copy of THIS, TOO! Check out this great line... "... the talking heads are kept to the bare minimum. ... No hack from Rolling Stone who wasn/t even born when the first LP was released, no cockhead stadium rocker who claims the band was an influence when his band sounds nothing like theirs, and no Bono." And his final comment: "I wish someone could ave hit me in the head with a frying pan so I could forget the Stooges music and I could rediscover them all over again."

Finally, the tables are turned and Matt's mate Vic Meehan interviews HIM. "...thanks for aving me in my own zine Vic, love ya tons."

At the end of every interview, Matt asks the person what their favourite album is by The Fall. [Mark E. Smith is his absolute hero of all time.] The only thing missing from this issue is Vic asking Matt what HIS favourite Fall album is!

[Note: Munster Times is chock full of weird typos/spelling - it reminded me of Don Fields in his excellent Twilight World zine - but for me it's just part of the charm of both zines. I'd much rather have a great zine with lotsa typos than a boring shit zine with none.]

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Growing Up In The Post or Raised By Mailartists

Growing Up In The Post or Raised By Mailartists
Mark Pawson

10.5cm x 7.5cm, 12 pages.

Stamped 31st Oct 2015

50p


Mark Pawson is an important figure in the UK zine world. A life long champion of DIY art and print, both a maker and distributor. One of Mark's early zines is an obsessive account of his love of Kinder eggs - where he bought them, how much they cost, and thorough reviews of the toys inside. More significantly perhaps, he kept the zine in print for 20 years, and sold around 10,000 copies. That's a lot of stapling. 





I picked up Growing Up In The Post from Mark at a small press fair in London a few weeks ago. At only 50p, Mark described it as being "part of his pocket money range" (amongst other makers selling their zines at inflated prices, making your work available for a handful of change is almost a provocation in itself). 

The zine describes how, at the age of 13, Mark found himself as part of the International Postal Art Network which at that time was "a tremendously energetic self-created forum for equal exchange  of work and ideas". As Mark goes on to explain this process of exchange and sharing informs the way he chooses to work now. 

Mark has a large and varied amount of work available from his website. Both his collaborative and solo work is here: http://www.mpawson.demon.co.uk/pawone.html 

His range of badges can be found here: http://www.mpawson.demon.co.uk/badges.html

And other people's books and zines can be seen, and bought, here: http://www.mpawson.demon.co.uk/books.html

While you are on Mark's website check out the events pages for some interesting DIY art and zine fairs in the UK. And if you bump into Mark at a fair, tell him we sent you.  


Review by Nathan Penlington








Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Holocene Tragedy


The Holocene Tragedy
by JD Howse

Dead Elk publishing 

A5, 66 pages, cardboard covers. 

3rd edition, September 2016. Limited edition of 50.  

£2.50



The Holocene Tragedy is an utterly compelling account of the mass extinction of animal species created and accelerated by mankind. Within the last century at least one species has become extinct every year, that we know of. 

I think the internet is probably bad for me, & and bad for anyone with a mind as obsessive as mine
because the information acts in spirals & lines & if I followed every weird impulse my mind gives off down the rabbit hole I'd never get anything done
So begins the search for facts among the vast resource of misinformation called the internet. JD Howse grapples with what it means to be informed when you are not a specialist in a given field, how you can comprehend the vastness of something when reduced to a series of webpages, and when - not if - man will face its own extinction. 

Part poetry, part prose - it is a collection of short texts that is very much of our time. Definitely among the best zines I've read this year. Get your hands and mind on a copy before it is too late.

Visit http://www.jdhowse.com/holocene for more information about The Holocene Tragedy, contact information for JD Howse can be found here: http://www.jdhowse.com/about


Review by Nathan Penlington 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Things I Thought But Was Wrong

Things I Thought But Was Wrong - Issue 00
Quarter Duck Publications

A5, 24 pages, full colour.

£3


Things I Thought But Was Wrong is the perfect zine for the mid-teens of the 21st century. It consists of a crowd-sourced series of Twitter length statements, each illustrated by an Instagramable artwork. The concept is immediately explained by the title - those moments in which something you always thought was true is shown to be wrong. 


The combination of absurd mishearings and naive misunderstandings with the resulting illustrations makes for a smart, funny, engaging zine. 

I hope I'm not wrong, but I predict big things for Things I Thought But Was Wrong. 


Buy Issue 00 from Etsy: etsy.com/uk/listing/454573914/things-i-thought-but-was-wrong-zine

To submit your own failings join Things I Thought But Was Wrong on Facebook and Instagram @things_I_thought_but_was_wrong


Review by Nathan Penlington 

****I picked this zine up last weekend at Cultural Traffic - a new publishing arts fair held near London's Brick Lane. They produce regular alternative publishing events in the capital, with a really diverse range of makers and sellers. If you're interested check out culturaltraffic.com for more info****

Friday, December 9, 2016

Bio Auto Graphic #29 - C


Bio Auto Graphic #29: 'C'
Michael C. Nicholson / ensixteen editions




November 2016. A5, 20 pages, including cardboard cover. 

£4


Bio Auto Graphic #29 is a stream of consciousness constrained by the letter C. 
Through an accumulation of TV and film references, names of celebrities and friends, phrases and word association, the text forms a catalogue of a particular sensibility and a personal history. 



The words and names also reveal the political time and place of the zine's creation:
Cox,  J. (R.I.P)

Meanwhile surrounding a drawing of a Trump-a-like:


'Confederacy of dunces, A' -  Campaign - Charade - Circus - Capsize - Capitalism....- Culpability - Creep -...- Coward - Clown


Compared to previous issues C is word heavy. Where the companion issues A and B are visual meditations that use the letter as a jumping off point, t
his issue has more in common with experimental literature and artist books - think oulipo and Walter Abish -  than with narrative driven graphic work. Despite the volume of C words Michael still uses the page to explore the graphic elements of both language and design, space and movement.  

C proves that even after twenty-nine issues Bio Auto Graphic still has the ability to surprise and intrigue. If you are new to this zine the ABC series is a great place to begin, you'll be rewarded with something special.  

To get your copy visit the Ensixteen blog: ensixteeneditions.blogspot.com

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




Review by Nathan Penlington - 
You can find reviews of previous issues of Bio Auto Grapahic here

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Minor Leagues #2

Minor Leagues #2 – Simon Moreton

published by lydstep lettuce -  October 2016

A5, landscape, 88 pages, cardboard covers. 

£4 / or £18 for a four issue subscription


There are many things I love about my girlfriend, one of them is how much she loves December. She gets excited about New Year's Eve and Christmas of course, but she loves this time of year because it is when people publish their favourite books of the year lists. She LOVES those lists. 

Why am I telling you this? Well, back in April Minor Leagues #1 arrived on my doorstep, and it is definitely on my own list of the top 5 best things I've read this year. And now issue #2 has arrived it's going to nudge something else off that list (unless I can convince my girlfriend that two zines count as one entity).  

I don't want to repeat myself so check out the review of issue #1, and you'll know why I love Simon's work. Issue #2 continues in the same vein. What sets Minor League apart from a lot of zines is that it gives itself space and time (over 80 pages) to linger over fragments and details, an antidote to the textual rush of social media. 

Issue #1 dealt with death and loss, Minor Leagues #2 raises issues of grief and helplessness: grief after death, but also the grief of losing friendships and relationships. It also reflects the grief and despair most of the UK has felt this year. That all makes it sound like a heavy read - it is not. There is a gentle quality to Simon's work, a tenderness, and a reaching out that is hard to express in words. 



For me, I think part of the strength of Minor Leagues is that it also expresses the struggle inherent in making a zine - the difficulty in breaking the inertia that can so easily stop you creating anything, particularly in the current cultural climate. After what 2016 has achieved we need zines like Minor Leagues more than ever. 


Buy issue 2 of Minor Leagues here: http://smoo.bigcartel.com/product/minor-leagues-2

Or visit smoo.bigcartel.com for subscription options. 

Review by Nathan Penlington


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Photos from BOUND

From MOCA Cleveland, (Museum Of Contemporary Art,) August 27, 2016
http://www.mocacleveland.org/BOUND2016-SAT

































Swag












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.

Buy:

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. 

Free

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

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