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

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Astrobabble: The Zine For Astrology Nerds #12 [2015]




Astrogirlzarro, m_zarro [at] hotmail [dot] com + astrobabylon.blogspot.com  Price: $3.00 Trades? Yes; Size: 8.25" x 5.75" Page count: 16

Astrobabble is a marriage of Astrogirlzarro's interests in astrology and pop culture, and she announces in her 'Editor's Notes' that this issue "focuses on the expansive and jovial sign of Sagittarius"; Keith Richards has his natal chart exposed; and the current Saturn-Sagittarius cycle is looked at in relation to the ancient Greek myth of Icarus. We also observe Frank Zappa sitting on the crapper as Exhibit A in 'How to Spot a Sagittarian'.

It occurs to me that it doesn't matter if you're not into astrology even a little bit. You will LOVE this issue if you're a Rolling Stones fan, since Astrogirlzarro read Keith's six hundred page autobiography, Life, as part of her research [yes! only part! - there's a whole page of 'Notes and Sources' listed at the back, like Chris Mikul does with Bizarrism]. I'm also sure that if YOU or a close friend or family member is a Sagittarian, this issue would be a fun read to find out which of the noted personality/character quirks match up or not.

Great stuff!

I should add that for Bowie fans, there is also a Bowie-focused issue that came out just after the Duke's untimely death.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Dr Faith's 5 minute therapy - Adulting


Dr Faith's 5 minute therapy - Adulting 

by Faith G. Harper, PhD, LPC-S, ACS


10.5cm x 
14cm, 16 pages, cardboard cover.

$3






I've said this before about Dr Faith's zines in a previous review, but it's true. The genius idea behind this series is that we often face problems that don't need a whole barrage of self-help books, or a series of expensive sessions with a therapist. That's where this series of situation focused help and advice comes in. They are a practical mix of psychology, life coaching, common sense, and understanding. They are often funny too. In fact, just the kind of advice you'd seek from a grounded friend, a friend who just happens to be a qualified therapist.

The subject tackled in this issue is Adulting - more specifically 'How to be an adultier adult'

What does it mean to be an adult? Mainly it's having to deal with all those things you didn't thank your parents for doing on your behalf, and often didn't realise they were even doing them. 

Following the successful formula of other zines in this series, Dr Faith presents a list of points, affirmations, and rules to follow to help you be a better adult - no matter what your age. 

As Dr Faith says, this zine is:
"a reminder of how to get up every day, do the best we can do, and remember that it really will be ok in the end".  

Buy Dr Faith's 5 Minute Therapy on Working direct from Microcosm Publishing
microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/6860

Check out Microcosmpublishing.org for other zines in Dr Faith's series. 


Review by Nathan Penlington

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Stratu’s Diary Comix March-April (self-published, 2017) ***¼


[Review by Dann Lennard - originally appeared 4 June 2017 at his blog Kirby Your Enthusiasm]
I love Stu and this is a fascinating exercise of self-discipline, but the cupboard is bare when it comes to intellectual or entertaining reading material. Friending and blocking people on Instagram, internet shopping, TV shows or films he’s watched, vaping...there’s just not a lot of depth in what’s purportedly a “diary”. And I understand that dilemma – when I briefly did my own diary comic last year, I gave up because I was unwilling to share my most intimate thoughts to strangers. So what I was left with was the mediocre, mundane (and occasionally interesting) minutae of day-to-day living. The few times Stu explores more personal territory – like hanging out with his aunt or talking about how a certain person has let him down or helped him or whatever, then the zine gets more interesting. But those moments are a few and far between. That said, I did appreciate Stu’s mention of Seoul Station (the anime prequel to the excellent South Korean zombie flick Train To Busun. It encouraged me to buy it). I appreciate Stu’s work ethic and artwork (the personalised cover on the March issue was lovely). I note that he’s changed the format for April, turning it into an A6 digest (maybe for monetary reasons?). Either way, this zine is fine if you’re a friend of Stu’s and want to know how he keeps himself busy every day, but I wish it was so much more.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Betty Paginated #36 [Winter 2017]


ADULTS ONLY! Dann Lennard, PO Box A1412, Sydney South NSW 1235, AUSTRALIA + Dann.Lennard [at] gmail [dot] com + track down Dann's SIX blogs by heading to http://bpzine.blogspot.com.au/  Price: email to enquire Trades? Probably - if your zine is in the same universe - email to ask; Size: 11.75" x 8.25" Page count: 16

"This issue of BP is dedicated to the memory of veteran zinester and Canadian lumberjack RODNEY LEIGHTON."

This issue - celebrating Dann's 25 years of zine publishing! - features: an evening with Rickie Lee Jones; a farewell to Elizabeth's Books [the Pitt Street store, that is, which will be merging with the Newtown store]; the COMPLETE, UNCENSORED interview with Dann's current porn obsession Amarna Miller that appeared HEAVILY CENSORED in People Magazine; superhero comic book artiste Rich Buckler; a Max 'Tangles' Walker obituary; Dann's ridiculously overwrought and melodramatic public letter to "punk cabaret" singer Amanda Palmer; and a few other bits and pieces, not least of which is a brilliant cartoon by Ohannesian >>>


A pair of pissotières in Genesis


A pair of pissotières in Genesis

by Lord Bubblegum / Bubblegum Dada Publications #
001

A5, 36 pages with cardboard cover

£/$: creative exchange/stamps to cover postage


Fans of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi, the work of Raymond Roussel, and the comic sketches of William Burroughs, are in for a treat. This is the creation myth retold in the style that made Jarry infamous - but arguably A pair of pissotières in Genesis pushes the scathing wit, scatological humour, and well targeted iconoclasm further than Ubi

Subtitled as "a scatological cartoon for the mind", much of the action takes place inside a hole dug by Ovasmus to relieve his bowels. Unfortunately, he becomes stuck in the hole. Luckily for us, his arse is able to speak, more than that, his arse is also endowed with god-like abilities. 

If you are easily offended by swearing, sexual references, and the deconstruction of religious absurdities, then you should probably avoid this.  

The Bubblegum Dada Corporation is a curiously offline enterprise based on the coast of England. But if you'd like a copy of 
A pair of pissotières in Genesis you can now contact them at their newly acquired email address - bubblegumdadacorporation (at) gmail (dot) com - with offers to exchange creative endeavours, or an offer of stamps to cover postage. Please say we sent you. 


Review by Nathan Penlington





Thursday, August 17, 2017

Aspects of Uranus - a queer astrology zine


Aspects of Uranus - a queer astrology zine


Compiled by Jade Mars

A5, 36 pages, colour cover. 

£3


“The stars aren’t astrology until people start telling stories about them”, write syr and an in their piece how to tell stories with our birth charts. The problem is, as Jade Mars outlines in the introduction: 

“binarist, sexist, and heteronormative ideas…plague Western astrology (and y'know, pretty much everything in our society)"

This zine was created as a response to the lack of information and advice around queer astrology. The range of contributions is varied, considered and engaging. It includes poetry from Chani Nicholas, Soof Andry, and Liza Lauper. Features are from Ludovic Foster – Boi Becomes Hare, Astrology as a way to subvert the “Trans Narrative”; Jade Mars writes In Praise of Virgos, a defence of undervalued traits defined as ‘women’s work’ by astrological orthodoxy, and offers a reading of Foucault’s birth chart relating to his work as a left-wing queer theorist. syr and an’s piece, as mentioned above, offers a great set of points to consider when creating an astrological reading with someone, and anna tackles tradition in Queerness, Disability and being a Capricorn

Aspects of Uranus is a thoughtful and thought-provoking zine that opens doors to better ways of engaging with traditionally excluding sets of symbols and practices. To quote from Chani Nicholas’ poem:

“Why do queers love astrology? 
Maybe it’s because we understand that our identities come in as many variations as there are stars in the sky.  
Maybe it’s because we see gender as a vast cosmology of options, not a system with two measly choices”





Buy a copy via Etsy: etsy.com/uk/listing/479023664/aspects-of-uranus-a-queer-astrology-zine

(Shhh....I shouldn't say this on a site devoted to reviewing paper and ink zines, but Aspects of Uranus is also available as a pdf: etsy.com/uk/listing/492567485/aspects-of-uranus-a-queer-astrology-zine)


Review by Nathan Penlington


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Xerography Debt 41 [June 2017]

  

Davida Gypsy Breier, PO Box 347, Glen Arm MD 21057, USA + davida [at] leekinginc [dot] com + www.leekinginc.com Price: $4.00 Trades? No; Size: 8.5" x 5.5" Page count: 76


[DISCLOSURE! I am one of these XD reviewers!]

Usually I would NEVER scan one of the pages featuring my own reviews. The very idea of it! But today I thought, "Wait a minute... What's wrong with it? Why shouldn't I? Maybe there are even people out there who don't believe I'm one of the reviewers! They think I'm making it up! Well, now would be a good opportunity to prove that I AM!  ... I mean, that is, I AM one of the reviewers! That I am NOT making it up!""

There are eighteen other reviewers: Anne Thalheimer, D. Blake Werts, Carlos Palacios, Carrie Mercer, David LaBounty, Davida Gypsy Breier, DJ Fred, Donny Smith, Eric Lyden, Fred Argoff, Gavin J. Grant, Joe Biel, Josh Medsker, Kathy Moseley, Ken Bausert, Kris Mininger, Liz Mason, and Maynard Welstand.

And there are five columnists - Jeff Somers, Joe Biel, Josh Medsker, Gianni Simone, and Ken Bausert.

[Thirteen days later...] I'm halfway through this issue and have, as is my habit, been busily underlining sentences and making notes in the margins, so with those as a guide, here are some more thoughts on XD41...

That cover is THE UGLIEST XD cover yet. It's more likely to repel a reader than entice them to order a copy. [I admit that since I wasn't here from the beginning, I have not seen them all.]

Jeff Somers writes yet another column about his now-long-in-the-distant-mists-of-time zine career. YAWN. Surely I can't be the only one literally bored to death by these. [Ha ha! Apologies! I know how to use 'literally' correctly.]

On the flipside, Gianni Simone's wonderful column answers the eternal question, "What are artistamps?" I'm pretty sure I received one or two of these 'artistamps' on the front of the envelope recently sent to me by PJM [Node Pajomo zine]!

Fred Argoff leads his reviews this issue with a terrific "NYC vignette" - what happened when he was walking down a crowded Seventh Avenue sidewalk when the woman in front of him stopped dead in her tracks, causing Fred to collide with her, and her subsequent nasty expression as she was about to give him a blast of some venomous fury but was silenced by something Fred said.

These reviewers included reviews that motivated me to send my comic/zine to them for trade: Davida Gypsy Breier, DJ Frederick Moe, and Fred Argoff

Gavin J. Grant's introduction to his reviews. Oh boy! This is a good one! Check this out: "I got a lot of zines from men this time and much as I enjoyed them Id love to review more zines by women and people of colour." And by "men" I think he means 'white men'. Well, perhaps he could take the first point up with editor Davida who sends out the packets of zines for us to review. That is, those of us who request this service - some of us manage to acquire our own zines to review. As for the second point... "ATTENTION COLOURED PEOPLE! If you make a zine, now you know! Gavin J. Grant would LOVE to review it!" Davida, do you receive many zines by coloured folk? Please do Gavin a favour and send them to him for review! [Of course I mainly find this funny because the term "people of colour" is a recent invention, and not actually English, but French - it's how French people would say "coloured people." For another example, the French would see me colouring in my diary comics and say, "Oh! You use markers of colour!"

Joe Biel's introduction to his reviews. Good grief! I had fun with my blue pencil here! For a guy who, in one review, mentions that he would have tightened up the writing if HE was the editor, to also write this sentence: "I still wanted to travel all of the time and end up in these weird places and situations that arguably weren't really helping me or my career, or whatever, but they were interesting." Who would even let this guy within a MILE of editing their work? Haw!

Josh Medsker wrote his reviews in rhyme, and even managed to pull it off! Example: "Many local bands make their voices heard, like Egan's Rats, Bludgeoned Nun, and - these bands all share a sense of drive, passion not found in the rock world at large - scrappy kids getting it together, everyone was in charge." - Out Of The Basement, David Ensminger's history of the Rockford, Illinois punk scene. I couldn't fail to notice the almost wall-to-wall, although somewhat veiled, ill-feeling towards the new US President in this issue, so it was refreshing to read that punk zine Razorcake has featured a pro-Trump article that Josh approved of.

Finally, ["Thank GAHD!!" says you, rolling your eyes], hey Liz Mason! About your review of I'm So Punk: A Comic About Shitty Punk Boys where you wrote "Somehow this feels like a comics companion to Thou Shalt Not Talk About The White Boys Club (reviewed below)..." No, it's not. It's not reviewed below, above or anywhere off to the damn side. Some of us would like to be informed about this [what-sounds-like-a] egregious racist tract!

Null Point - Issue 002

A6, twenty black and white pages, black and white cover.

£0.35 p&p

The second issue of Null Point wastes no time in telling you exactly what it is.

“This is about the ideas, this is not about recognition.”

It’s a bold move for a creator to shun acknowledgement - especially nowadays, when branding is crucial and content is (wrongly) considered secondary. Nevertheless, Null Point doesn’t stray from its ethos. The zine is priced modestly (just enough to cover its printing costs and nothing more) and all its contributors have been given pseudonyms.

Although no theme is stated outright, the zine’s articles and flash fiction pieces tend to focus upon the sense of disconnection that we all feel in an increasingly digital world. The artwork is particularly effective. The drawings are grim, they don’t try too hard, and the result is a gut punch. Perhaps most unsettling of all is the advert for a product that would have been hilariously far-fetched ten years ago, but which nowadays leaves the reader wondering, “Wait – is that real? Can I buy that?” 

If you’re looking for a light read after a long day at work, this probably isn’t the zine for you. Seriously, it’ll bum you out. If, however, you’re a fan of dystopian fiction and you’re feeling introspective, you will love Null Point.


All three issues of Null Point are available for sale at www.nullpoint.org  



Review by JL Corbett

Monday, August 14, 2017

Dr Faith's 5 Minute Therapy - Working


Dr Faith's 5 minute therapy - Working

by Faith G. Harper, PhD, LPC-S, ACS

14cm x 21.5cm, 20 pages, cardboard cover.

$4




The genius idea behind this series of zines is that we often face problems that don't need a whole barrage of self-help books, or a series of expensive sessions with a therapist. That's where this series of situation focused help and advice comes in. They are a practical mix of psychology, life coaching, common sense, and understanding. They are often funny too. In fact, just the kind of advice you'd seek from a grounded friend, a friend who just happens to be a qualified therapist.

This issue tackles the subject of work. 

We've all worked jobs we've hated, when every waking minute is subsumed by either being at work and hating it, dreading working, or being filled with anger because of something to do with that job - often all three.

Having all of your time filled with anger because of work is not a healthy way to live. Yet, often, there doesn't feel like a way out - except walking out of your job one morning and never looking back. But burning bridges is not a sensible approach when jobs are hard to find, and sometimes harder to keep. 
This issue of Dr Faith's Five Minute Therapy is subtitled 'Makin' paper without losing your mind or selling your soul', and will help tackle those issues before you reach breaking point.

Dr Faith offers ten useful points and approaches to managing the anger of being treated badly, disrespected, and feeling undervalued. She also gives advice about dealing with shitty bosses and shittier co-workers, and sound advice regarding planning a way out if that is the only option left.


If any of the above describes your current situation, or you have a friend who is constantly complaining about their job, pick up this zine - it could be the best $4 you've ever spent.


Buy Dr Faith's 5 Minute Therapy on Working direct from Microcosm Publishing
microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/8189

Check out Microcosmpublishing.org for other zines in Dr Faith's series. 


Review by Nathan Penlington

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Lake Erie Ink, Summer Zine Making



I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a group of young people at an ongoing zine making workshop at Lake Erie Ink.

These preteens were well into zine making before I was invited. Over the last several weeks they had made individual zines, and collaborative zines. I talked mostly about zine history, zine culture, and what's happening today, including how the internet has effected zine making and distribution. They were a great audience and asked really smart questions.

I was allowed to take some zines home, and I took four of the collaborative ones: Animals Summer Days, Highway to Learning and New Beginnings. Summer days was my favorite, because of the wonderful art, and there was a funny story about frozen yogurt.

I'll be donating these to the Cleveland Zine Library, so if you want to look at them that's where they'll be. Also, Mac's Backs on Coventry will have some of their other zines available.

It was really wonderful to see the next generation of zinesters in action.



Jack Cheiky

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Make a zine!

Make a Zine! 
by Joe Biel with Bill Brent / Microcosm Publishing

13.5cm x 17cm, 160 pages.

$9.95





I know, I know, a book about making zines. But wait! Wait! You need to keep that snobbery in check, or you'll miss out on a fantastic handbook of all things zine. (In fact snobbery should be a future topic for one of Microcosm's long running series of zines Dr Faith's Five Minute Therapy - but more on that in future reviews). 

This is an updated and expanded 20th anniversary edition of the Microcosm's original Make a zine! The book guides you through chapters on 'behind the scenes' topics crucial to making zines - creative commons, communities, and contributors - as much as the more fun hands on side. 


There are contributions from other zine makers and shapers, including a great primer on DIY Comix by Fly. The history section reflects the changes in the zine community of the last 20 years, the rise of zine wikis and databases, review sites (*cough*) and forums. There is an interesting discussion of fake zines by Stephen Duncombe (author of the incredible Notes from Underground: Zines and the politics of alternative culture) - and how a shift towards a polished look, letterpress, or artist book style embellishment, is actually a good thing for contemporary zines.

Interleaved with the practical advice is a narrative based on the authors' experience of zines, running a distro, and a being a publisher. But even if you've also been around zines for 20 years, you should buy this book. It will invigorate your passion for reading and making zines. Make a zine! has made me want to read, review, and make more than I do already. And once you've read it, give it to a friend or a stranger who is just starting out, and who would perhaps benefit from basic, practical advice about binding, printing, the legalities of copying, and the giddy heights and lowest lows of collaboration. In doing so, you might just help someone start something special. 


Order Make a zine! here: microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/1202 or order a copy from your local bookshop. 

Microcosmpublishing.org 


Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bizarrism No. 15 [July 2017]



Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket NSW 1240, AUSTRALIA + cathob [at] zip.com.au Price: $8.00 Trades? Maybe. If your zine is very good. Contact first; Size: 11.75" x 8.25" Page count: 44

Some really great stuff in this new issue. Here's my Top 3:

1 - 'The Protests of Sandy Berger' - If you've ever found yourself wondering about those people who walk around town - or even stand in the one spot - wearing hand-written signs about UFOs or religion or THE EVILS OF PSYCHIATRY, then you will love this article. Sandy Berger walked around Sydney in the 1970s and '80s wearing signs warning of the evils of psychiatry, and that's just ONE of his many alternating endearing/infuriating quirks;

2 - 'In the Town of Marwencol' - The story of Mark Hogancamp who, in 2000, was almost beaten to death outside a New York bar, and with his resulting head trauma/memory loss created a WWII-era town populated by Ken and Barbie type dolls and wrote hundreds of pages to tell their stories, and took hundreds of photographs of scenes from their dramatic lives. Absolutely fascinating;

3 - 'My Favourite Dictators No. 9 - Kim Jong-il [with illustrations by Glenn Smith] - I get mixed up about Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un, but the former is the Daddy [now dead] and the latter is the son, now firing rockets all over the Pacific and making a damn nuisance of himself. He's also the star of one of the greatest episodes of South Park! ... Or perhaps I'm thinking of the movie...

If you're alive, you must obtain a copy!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Zenyaku Part 3 [July 2017]

  

Shaun Craike [art] and Susan Torre [story], www.facebook.com/Zenyaku Trades? No idea. Maybe. If you make a manga-style comic. Just ask; Size: 8.25" x 5.75" Page count: 36

It's hard for me to believe that it has been just over TWO YEARS since I received a copy of Zenyaku Part 2, but there it is right there - my review from May 2015.

So it's just as well that this issue begins with a one-page recap, "The Story So Far..." Basically this guy Drake gets sacked from his job, then kidnapped by The Black Clan [a kind of samurai gang] who tell him that he is the son of one of their former [read: dead] members, so he will be forced to take his father's place. Meanwhile Drake's mother is also kidnapped by this gang, and we learn that she used to be with the King of the Black Clan until she ran off with one of the pawns [low-ranked member]. Guess who? Yes, Drake's father. Part 2 ended with Drake undergoing some intense sword training, and ultimately being presented with a sword - his father's sword!

Pretty cool story so far, right? Right. So like HELL am I going to spoil anything for you. All you need to know is the art is up to Shaun's usual high standard, in fact even higher, and the story is well-paced and captivating, with all the intrigue and mystery of these opposing, chess-like Black and White Clans. Some of the dialogue does seem to be inadvertently comical ["NOW DISAPPEAR, SICKBAG."], but the only real criticism I have is the usual one - the appalling typos. An example - TWO misspelled words in this one speech balloon: "NO, NO, NO, I WOULD NEVER JEPODISE MY BUINESS, LET ALONE MY LIFE." [Also, I noted in my review of Zenyaku Part 2 that even the subtitle was misspelled - all three words! Well, with Part 3 only one word in the subtitle is misspelled. Improvement!]

Anyway... Typo, schmypo. I'm looking forward to Zenyaku Part 4! Mid-2019!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

How to Make Soap Without Burning Your Face Off

How to Make Soap Without Burning Your Face Off
Raleigh Briggs

10 Pages
Size: Digest
Professional Bound in Paper and Card-stock
$3.00 + Shipping





Have you ever, in your entire life, wondered about the magical process of making soap?

Well, if you were one of the people that answered "Yes", then this zine is for you. For the people who said "No", this zine is definitely for you!

While I had always been one to mildly wonder how the process worked, I had never been too interested in knowing until this little joy showed up on my doorstep from Microcosm Publishing!

Bound and beutifully printed on card-stock and nice, ivory paper, this little wonder gives you a step-by-step guide on how to make your own bars of soap!









Raleigh Briggs really seems to know her stuff and clearly conveys that through the text. Not only is she giving you really awesome recipes all the way from beginner to advanced, she also goes through many important and necessary safety precautions when handling some of the ingredients.

Split up into several sections, she'll take you through safety, the process and several recipes in order to complete all of this right in your backyard.






If you want to make it yourself, are curious about the process or just want to learn something new, I would highly recommend this as a top priority. I honestly had such a joy in reading this and really look forward to seeing other things from her!

Purchase your copy here!


Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 07/06/2017; 5:32 P.M. CST

*Disclaimer! SZR (Syndicated Zine Reviews) nor Microcosm Publishing hold responsibility for any injuries sustained in the process of making soap*

Friday, June 30, 2017

Corbyn

Corbyn
by Henry Miller 

10.5 x 7.5cm, 52 pages, b&w with colour cover

£5


Corbyn is a sweet, tragic, hopeful thing. 

Told through the eyes of a 12 year old who notices, that despite the food banks and brutal inequality of contemporary Britain, his dad has discovered something to believe in. Something that would help create a more equal and just society, a society for the many not for the few. That something, of course, is Jeremy Corbyn.  

The art is perfectly suited to the mood - grey and brooding, like a relentless drizzle, or the actualisation of despair. Corbyn will have your heart in your throat, but it is also genuinely laugh out loud funny. That's a hard thing to pull off, but Henry Miller (no, not that Henry Miller) has achieved it in a way that makes it seem easy. 





Recent weeks in British politics have been dominated by the actual Corbyn's growing majority following, bolstered by a economically strong manifesto that seeks to tackle the ability of those with the most money to avoid paying a fair share of tax. He's even had the whole of Glastonbury festival singing his name.

This tiny comic however was written back in 2015 when it didn't seem possible for a politician with morals to actually have a chance of becoming prime minister. Henry Miller writes:  


On the 12th September 2015 Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party with a landslide majority. Game on. 

It is still very much game on indeed.



Check out the first 14 pages of the zine: millertown.co.uk/corbyn

And then buy a copy of Corbyn here: millertown.co.uk/product/corbyn-2



Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Teenage Serial Killer

Teenage Serial Killer - an horrible story
C x Rudler

A4, 52 B&W pages, colour cover. (Please note photos show review copy only, not finished print)

€6 - French & English versions


Teenage Serial Killer is a satirical comic that follows Albert, at the start of school holidays, as he embarks on a killing spree. His dreams of infamy are short lived though, as the constant one-upmanship of arch rival Jordy - the Prepubescent Serial Killer - quickly take their effect on Albert's life. 

What follows is a downwards spiral of Islamic radicalisation via the internet, and interment in a terrorist bootcamp. I won't reveal what follows, I'll let you experience it yourself.


Teenage Serial Killer is reminiscent in style and tone to the genuinely infamous British comic Viz, minus the relentless swearing, and to the anarchic Oink! It succeeds in pushing extreme absurdity but played straight, as if the scenarios were a logical and inevitable outcome. The result of that is pretty graphic at times. It's not going to be for everyone. If you think certain subjects - religion, politics, terrorism - should not be satirised you should avoid this comic. For everyone else, Teenage Serial Killer will make you feel uncomfortable and queasy in parts, but if satire fails to achieve that it isn't doing its job. 

This arrived for review during the weeks the UK suffered two horrific terrorist attacks, and an equally horrific terrorist retaliation. We live in frightening times, but can't let that stop us from laughing.

Both French and English versions of Teenage Serial Killer are available to buy here: harshdiscountcomics.bigcartel.com



Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, June 26, 2017

Notebookdrawings - Vol 2


Notebookdrawings - Vol 2
by Mette Norrie

2017 

A5, 38 pages, colour print.

50DKK (Danish Krone) or approx £5.80

Buy Vol 1 & Vol 2 for 85DKK (approx £10)


Following on from Notebookdrawings Vol 1 is a brand new volume of text and illustration from Danish artist Mette Norrie. For those new to her work it follows a minimalist format - each page is notebook style lined paper, over which have been drawn illustrations in pen and pencil, and captioned at the top in English. 

Some are witty play-on-words, others play-on-images - The Reviewer's Diary, Diary of a Social Media Manager - the illustrations are also sprinkled with literary referencesT.S. Eliot's Calendar, Tender Buttons. 


But the pages that really strike a chord are those of a more melancholy, tender, quieter tone with titles like Failed Ideas, Forgotten Magicians, Lonely Gloves Club.  

Cumulatively Notebookdrawings form a kind of visual poetry that takes you outside the world as you see it. And like poetry they benefit from the time and space needed to experience in a physical form. 


The illustrations have been selected from Mette's blog - nbdrawings.tumblr.com. So, take a look, and then support her work by buying a copy of the zine. 

In her shop you can find copies of other zines too, alongside individual prints: norrieart.tictail.com/product/notebookdrawings-vol-2


www.MetteNorrie.com




Review by Nathan Penlington






Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hiroshima Yeah! #146 [April 2017]

  

Mark Ritchie, donbirnam [at] hotmail [dot] com - for a sample issue just send a nice friendly email! [Yes I know in this age of vicious Twittering it seems 'nice friendliness' has gone down the fuckin' toilet, but I know that you, my dear readers, are not like those awful garbage people!]; Trades? Yes! Again, simply send a nice, friendly email and propose your trade! Size: 11.75" x 8.25" Page count: 6 [including one blank page for your Notes].

Another month, another issue of the wonderful Hiroshima Yeah! This issue's cover star is a dog with something in its mouth. I can't tell what it is and I'm not sure I want to know.

Also on the front page are the usual collection of poems. Here's my favourite:

WHY THE HUMAN RACE IS DOOMED
When the young, rich,
thick sports star cunts
and the young, rich,
thick pop star cunts
are all covered in
dusgusting tattoos,
it's no wonder
that the young, poor,
thick infamous cunts
want to cover themselves
in disgusting tattoos also.
And that's why
the human race is doomed.

Page two features Gary Simmons's regular column, '13.2 BILLION YEARS OF HELL', This instalment subtitled: "Further self-pitying existential crises, short-tempered sexual dysfunction, social isolation and the environmental catastrophe of domesticated chicken in the early Anthropogenic epoch. Ya CUNTS" It could be the title of a Gerard Ashworth comic. [Except for that last bit.] Anyway, this time Gary includes an anecdote about a fellow prisoner [from back when he was 'inside'] - "a little old man." "None of the other lags would fuckin' TALK to him, something about dead children in the back of a car..."

Pages three and four contain my favourite part of HY! - Mark's reviews of CDs, gigs, DVDs, and books. The one CD he reviewed this issue that I have made note of to track down is 'Josephine' by Magnolia Electric Co [Secretly Canadian, 2009]. As Mark describes it: a "...stunning array of consoling hymns and heartbreakers which seem to whisper the secret truths of the universe in your ear before disappearing in puffs of smoke."

Page five contains two poems by Jason [Media Junky] Rodgers, and Mark's micro-fiction.

I think I've said this before, but if I had one zine subscription for the rest of my life on that desert island, it would be Hiroshima Yeah!

Friday, June 23, 2017

non-binary zine


non-binary zine - a beginner's guide to understanding non-binary folk
by only two comics / Lee-Anne

A5, 12 pages.

£3


This zine is an informative and friendly guide that explains the terms, concepts, and issues around non-binary gender. Crucially, the zine presents those concepts to people who might find them potentially confusing, in an easy to understand way. It covers the gender spectrum; the meaning of the term trans; gender expectations; pronouns; and the dos and do-nots of supporting non-binary people.




Lee-Anne says:
After coming out, I found I was explaining the very basics of what it means being non-binary over and over again. So I created this resource which I use as a tool to inform friends, family and acquaintances so I can save time and energy. I've found it so useful that I realised others might need a similar tool.
Particularly helpful is the My 'need to knows' page - designed to either inform friends and family of terms to use and who knows what, or to help a non-binary friend better inform you.


The zine is available from the Only Two Comics Etsy shop: etsy.com/shop/onlytwocomics

And they will also be at the Weirdo Zine Fest in London on 15th July.

For more comics visit only-two.tumblr.com



Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, June 19, 2017

RIP Rodney Leighton [19?? - 2017]

[Thanks to Dann Lennard for passing along the sad news.]

Rod was one of zinedom's most likeable and readable characters. His appearance in any zine's letter column could ensure that zine would be a keeper. Even though I had personally lost touch with him, his letters in recent issues of Ken Bausert's quarterly 'The Ken Chronicles' were the highlight of those zines. He sure will be missed by many. His writings are collected online here for the benefit of humankind >>>

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