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

Friday, April 29, 2016

Minor Leagues #1

Minor Leagues #1 – Simon Moreton

published by lydstep lettuce -  April 2016

A5, 100 pages, cardboard covers.


I don't buy into the myth of refinement, but with age I'm certainly more sure of what my tastes are. In all things I like honesty of emotion; I like humour that has truth as a foundation; I like originality of vision; I like the beauty of the ordinary. Minor Leagues #1 has all of this, so I'm very happy it found my letterbox. 

These are short stories of heartbreaking honesty that will make you laugh, that walk the line between visual and textual, exploring moments we feel could be profound if they could be wrestled away from their everydayness. We have all experienced those moments that if only... if... arrh... oh... gone.

I love the sparseness and the specifics, the humour in the writing and the poetry in the line. The graphic sections are definitely sequential art rather than comic book narrative, full of movement and suggestion, the style helping to feed the mood of the text pieces. 

Although the main themes are death and loss, the result is a zine that is not afraid of being emotional but that never takes itself too seriously. It is a really lovely, lovingly put together thing.  I don't want to say more than that - buy it, read it, experience it for yourself. I know you'll want to share it, so maybe buy two. 

Buy issue 1 of Minor Leagues here: moo.bigcartel.com/product/minor-leagues-1

Or visit smoo.bigcartel.com for subscription options. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chauncey #14

Chauncey # 14 by Josh Sullivan


20 pages, A5 (ish). 

This was another find during my recent brief trip around the lower half of Florida. This zine was picked up in St Petes, a town with a surprisingly friendly mix of cool bars and laid back vintage stores. If I'd had more time I would have definitely investigated for longer. Luckily, even though time was tight, I discovered an actual bricks and mortar record store called Daddy Kool Records - that good kind of music shop, independent, diverse, and in it for the music. Also, the rare kind of music shop that makes room on its shelves for a small selection of zines. 

The zines were all US made, but one was particularly local - made and created in town. I couldn't not buy a copy.

Chauncey is a an odd looking thing half dog - half pig, with little bird-like feet, who hates his 'dumb ass job', who likes drinking, and detests idiots and bureaucracy. 

Chauncey #14 catalogues his exploits while renewing his driving license, taking his lunch break, and facing the mandatory work meeting. I'll say this, he is an unlucky lucky creature, but he is not afraid to say the things we all have thought at times - "Where did all these idiots come from?". 

If you like your comics rough around the edges and straight from the pen you'll love this. 

I can't find an online link - but if you email Josh through his website I'm sure he can help sort you out. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dirty Bind - Miami

Dirty Bind @ SWGR Gallery
2235 NW 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33127

During my recent visit to Miami, in addition to the pop-up Exile zine shop at History Miami, another happy accidental discovery was Dirty Bind – a curation of zines from over 50 artists – exhibited and sold at SWGR Gallery.

SWGR is just over the road from Wynwood Walls - the uber-‘street’ gallery of graffiti art, some of which is stunning and worth braving the selfie fixated tourists to explore. The zines on offer are mainly graphic design, illustration, fashion and photography inspired, but there are also a few more word focussed publications too. Nestle in the reading chair for an afternoon of quiet page turning.

from SWGR Gallery

So, if you find yourself in Miami, head over – please let them know Syndicated Zine Reviews sent you!

Review by Nathan Penlington

Friday, April 22, 2016

Quitter / Ten

Quitter / Ten
52 pages, mini
$6 + postage

I really loved this. I was pretty sure I'd read an earlier issue, but when looked it up I couldn't find anything. As I was eking out words that might adequately praise this work, I got distracted looking over a book of excerpts from previous issues that had come in the same package. On the back cover were the requisite blurbs. One struck me as being precisely what I would say. Then I realized I had written it for a review in an issue of Zine World.

"The subject matter is intimate and stark. With precision wordsmithing, Trace ventures into parts of the emotional landscape we normally avoid, and engages us by tapping the common well of humanity with an unflinching examination of his personal experience. Inspirational."

All of the above still holds true, though this issue is perhaps a little less stark. Lovely art inserted in unexpected places. Some of the typeface is art as well. It goes forward and backward in time to draw together bits of the writer's life and weave them into an unlikely something. The center point being a house that isn't there anymore. A memory of a house that is a depository for family nestolgia. A house that is now just part of a corn field.

The continual and eventual wiping away of the past is juxtaposed against the unfolding the now in the form of his wife and baby girls. Thoughts of mortality are the middle ground between his past and future. Stories of birds told to his older girl are the common thread that stitch it all together.

I suspect I would be enthralled by anything this guy wrote.


Trace Ramsey, 213 N Briggs Ave, Durham NC 27703

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

Friday, April 8, 2016

Lil' Buddies Magazine - Issue 2

Lil' Buddies Magazine - Issue 2

Edie Fake

11cm x 14cm, 36 pages, cardboard covers. B&W with some colour illustrations. 


This is a great little zine, in the same ballpark as Crap Hound, but with an even narrower subject focus - the often overlooked realm of the anthropomorphic objects used in advertising. 

Issue 2 is devoted entirely to teeth - creepy, smiling, mocking, cutsey, the badly drawn, and the over thought. From teeth in neon, through ones straddling car roofs, to those with a human inside - they are all here. 

Buy a copy from Exile Books. I picked my copy up during a recent trip through Miami from the Exile Books pop-up at History Miami.

Review by Nathan Penlington

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Longview - the survival guide

Maria Forde

14cm x 10.5 cm, 32 pages, plus cardboard cover


One of my favourite zines of all time is Duplex Planet. Longview shares much beyond the same subject matter, it has a similar warmth and humour which makes it such a joy to read.

The zine takes its name from the nursing home in which the author's grandmother lives, and also from an approach to life - taking the long view - which is the subtext running through the advice given by fellow nursing home residents. 

Each resident has been illustrated by Maria in pencil and ink sketches. Between the sometimes self-conscious poses and outfit choices of the subjects, she has captured an endearing quality in all of them. 

Most of all the advice is poignant, funny and could just help you in keep focused on the right perspective. 

You can buy a copy of Longview here. I picked mine up during a recent trip through Miami from the Exile Books pop-up at History Miami.

Review by Nathan Penlington

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Miami Zine Fair - April 30th

I'm currently travelling around Florida on a research trip. My zine radar must be working to the peak of its ability as I was drawn towards History Miami where, unknown to me, Exile Books have a pop-up shop. 

Located in the foyer of the museum the shop stocks a large range of art, poetry, and graphic zines from around the US. The zine shop will be in the same location until the end of May, before it moves on. The museum is also running zine making workshops and have printing facilities on site. Check out History Miami for more information

On April 30th a full zine fair featuring local artists, writers and makers runs from 11am - 5pm. There is still chance to submit for a table. Full fair details here.

Visit exilebooks.com for their full range of publications and information. 

Of course I've managed to squeeze a couple of zines into my luggage, reviews will follow soon. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Everything is Fine #1

Everything is Fine #1
36 pages, digest
$3.50 U.S. delivered
$5.00 International

Old school, cut & paste perzine with graphics on every page. Cover is delightfully creepy.

Nyxia Grey fights back against abuse and anorexia with scissors, glue, an old typewriter, a word possessor, and a ton of manic energy, purging herself of thoughts and feelings that have dominated her life. "i will cut it out of me and leave it here word by word by word until i am whole again."

In parts where she is using the typewriter she leaves in the typos and runtogetherwords and strikes a certain rhythm that becomes poetic the longer your read it.

She is recovering, so there is power and hope in her writing. Starkly honest, she puts it all out there, holding little back. Intimate descriptions of family conflicts, and the decisions she made about the world and herself that shaped her outlook.

At the same time that she's reaching deep inside herself, she's also reaching out to others who have been through, and who are going through, some of the same stuff. "I will write back. You are not alone."

See gives a very readable voice to a difficult topic. Kudos.


everythingisfinezine (a) gmail.com

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

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Ken Chronicles #38 [February 2016]

28 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", $3.00, fair trade or letter of comment, Ken Bausert, 2140 Erma Dr, East Meadow NY 11554, USA + PassScribe [at] aol.com + thekenbausertchronicles.blogspot.com

One of the greatest things about zines - or at least those few that actually have them - is the letter column.

Exhibit A: Fred Woodworth's The Match! and the bags of letters printed in each issue.

Exhibit B: Ken Bausert's The Ken Chronicles. This issue has four pages of letters, and one of them is from Don Fields [who produces his own zine, Twilight World], who writes a great letter. The main subject of his letter is about him noticing another letter-writer [and zine maker], Rodney L. complaining about the lack of letters he receives for each issue. Don goes on to explain why he isn't too worried about letters, and mentions a couple of other things, which led me to write Don a letter. Now I hope he writes me a letter.

After Ken's letter column is a 'Travelogue' of where Ken and his wife Ro went during August, September and October [not the least of which was a visit to Wo Hop for some Chow Fun!].

Next up, everybody's favourite [or second favourite, if it's not the letter column...] section - 'What I've Been ______ Lately'. This time Ken and Ro saw an off-off-Broadway production of semi-semi-famous zine person Ayun Halliday [The East Village Inky]. He also saw Joe Walsh at the Civic Center, and read The Electric Acid Kool-Aid Test. It was strange to read Ken's experience of it, remembering my own reading of it many years ago, and how it opened a new universe for me. A universe I had previously been unaware of!

Finally, Ken reprints an Associated Press release about the death of Holly Woodlawn, the transgender actress made famous by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey in their 1970 films 'Trash' and 'Women in Revolt'. Ken's note at the end, where he mentions that he read Holly's biography a few years ago, and found it "very interesting" yet "kind of boring" appears to defy the laws of Aesthetic Physics.

review by Stuart / Blackgaurd

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Megaskank Mansion : Megacon

36 pages, 8.5" x 6", by Curt Sibling, Biesuiss, Relhok, Wicked-at-Heart, and Corelle Vairel --- No contact info whatsoever [fuck you]

for ordering info try contacting >>> kurtzibling at yahoo dot co dot uk

"When super-spoiled zombie queen Foxxxy decides to host a huge comic convention at her Megaskank Mansion, every troll, brony and freak in town soon attends! Chaos erupts as Feminazis try to close down the event. Can the fandoms unite for once to save Megacon?"

Here at long last is the second issue of MM [I reviewed the first here] - and the wait has certainly been worth it.

Sure, one can enjoy the skilfully-executed drawings of "kickass cosplay queens ... dropping more sex bombs than ISIS", and I do love those, but what I love most about this series are the many references which I don't get, but since it's a word I've never come across, of course I must immediately look it up. [Example: the first issue's 'Weeaboo' - see review]

With this issue, it was a name. Tom Preston. Who the hell is Tom Preston? I didn't know, but I sure as shit had to find out right away! And then finding out who Tom Preston was led to my learning about the phenomenon of 'inflation artwork' - a fetish in which characters are artificially pumped full of air so that they expand.

Tom Preston

My only gripe is the complete absence of contact info. For a printed comic, that doesn't make any sense. How do I let people know how to get their own copy? There's not even a friggin' email address in here! There's nothing! No postal address, no email address, no URL... even that Art Zine I received the other day had a Tumblr address. Well, maybe you're supposed to Google it. But that's bullshit! If you make a printed work, put a goddamn physical address in there so people who live in the hard copy world and not the fucking e-cloud can enjoy your creation, too. Cuuuntz!!

review by Stuart / Blackguard

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Strenuous Stilts Art Zine issue one

16 pages, 5.5" x 8", by David Sait, 43 Grange Drive, Brampton, ON, L6X 2H1, CANADA + strenuousstilts.tumblr.com

It's always a real pleasure to receive something unexpected in the mail. Like this Canadian art zine! Every page is printed in full glorious colour. What a treat for these eyeballs! And yours, if you go ahead and write to David. Trade your own art zine with him. I'm sure he'll be up for it. There's collage art in here, along with line drawings that seem to be coloured using a computer application. They are very nice, especially the centrefold of the icy river scene with forest and mountains and twilight horizon. At work today I went across the road and stood in the park, lit a cigarette and looked at this. I looked and looked, and really was drawn into it all. It took me far from my workday.

Review by Stuart / Blackguard

also reviewed by Jack & Laura-Marie

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Exscind #1

Exscind #1
36 pages, digest
Limited edition of 100
High quality, slick pages, heavy stock cover
$6 delivered, ($4 media mail)

Adel Souto puts together here a compilation of his work, writing and art, from various eras of his life. Some is previously published, much of it not.

First off, this print version is one of those few that get filed under,  "best value zine publication you'll find anywhere, ever." The only thing I didn't care for about the production was the unattached clear acetate sleeve over the regular cover, (acetate has title in black, card stock has colorful art.) Keeping it all together quickly became a pain in the ass and I discarded it.

The art, primarily photography, ranges from good to great.

The writing is nothing less that polished and professional. How much I liked it varied. The poetry goes in one eye and out the other. There is some whimsical commentary that I find a little trite, (especially when you consider the overall caliber of this writer,) and can only think of as "filler."

However, the bulk of the prose is exceptional. The very best is when Adel writes about himself and his life. There are also bits he does that aren't autobiographical but are written with an almost academic focus. He is intelligent and well read, especially in history.

What ties this all together in a bow is that he's a complex individual with a dark side and plenty of questionable history. Piecing together his intellect, knowledge , criminality, homelessness, and superimposing it over the high quality art he is presenting is fascinating and compelling.

In his attempt to present a cross section of his work he completely succeeds. This is someone to keep an eye on.

Contact to order

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

Friday, March 25, 2016

Non Monogamy 101 - a primer for questioning compulsory monogamy

Non Monogamy 101
40 pages, 1/2 digest
$5 + postage

Adelaide Barton puts out a series of zines with individual titles, as opposed to consecutive issues of the same title. From what I can tell, they are all of similar style and quality, both of which are nice. Hand written and hand drawn.

Non Monogamy is just what it says: an introduction to the topic for those who may not have given it much thought, and perspectives to think about for those who have already formed opinions on the matter.

It starts off by listing numerous forms of non monogamy, both in our times and historically, along with a list of famous people who have practiced one form or another, (you could add Margaret Sanger to the list.) All points are exemplified with quotes of numerous people living various non monogamous lives. Barton does this as she works though subtopics like communication and jealousy, then she ties it all up with a further reading list and an extensive glossary.

The tone is friendly, affirming, and non-accusatory. There's a thin fuzzy line between bringing awareness and legitimacy to a thing, and actively advocating for it, and she stays for the most part in the realm of acceptance of everyone, monogamous or not, as much as anyone objectively could.

Extra points for the Dan Savage quotes.


ladygardens00 at gmail
ladygardens(zero zero) at gmail

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

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bio Auto Graphic - scar issue (issue one )

Bio Auto Graphic - scar issue (issue one ) 
Michael C Nicholson / ensixteen editions, 2005. 

A5, 12 pages, including flesh coloured cardboard cover.


First impressions count, but they are as much about what the viewer brings to the encounter as the viewed, we also bring the almost invisible - scars: 

"out of context they're abstract...morbidly compelling notes of experience on our very skin".

I have a few scars - some from unexceptional knocks and cuts, others from one-sided fights with fists and pavements. One runs almost vertically from just under my nose to the the top of my lip. It is an almost invisible small white line, but the scar refuses to grow hair. That permanent absence means I have never grown facial hair, as that ordinarily invisible line leaves a hugely visible gouge in any attempted moustache.

Bio Auto Graphic traces a similar path through permanent scars of experience of friends, acquaintances and ex-lovers. A history of marks left on the zine's author, a set of mini-narratives that are unafraid to lay bare moments that are by turns moving and funny. This is a celebration of the marks that make us human.  

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

Previous issues of Bio Auto Graphic are reviewed here

Review by Nathan Penlington

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Strenuous Stilts #1

Strenuous Stilts #1
16 pages, digest
$10 + postage

An art zine of drawing, collage, and (I believe) computer art and mixed media, all by Canadian, David Sait. I like it. Parts of it I love. Nice array of imagery. Neat, slick production. I'm on the fence about the price, but I could be behind the times. How much are quality color copies these days?

Issues 1 & 2 are out


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

Laura-Marie reviewed it recently too:

Bio Auto Graphic - edition twenty eight.

Bio Auto Graphic #28: 'B'
Michael C. Nicholson / ensixteen editions

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

The latest edition of bio auto graphic once again explores the space and line between the poetics of the everyday and the graphic form.

'Beyond the endless background cascade of questions I ask myself, what's the first one the world asks me?

Begins the mediation on 'B', a reflection on being, the shifting angles of memory reformed by a stick in the sand, and by ink on paper. This is a zine that keeps surprising and inspiring, - jump into the series with this latest issue or wade out into the back issues. You won't regret it.

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

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

(Along with this issue Michael also sent me issues zero and one. Both are still available, so reviews will follow. Reviews of other editions here)

Review by Nathan Penlington

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