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


Monday, May 9, 2011

Fanzine Ynfytyn #12 / Here. In My Head #7 / Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell #14 / Regeneration #6

Fanzine Ynfytyn #12 / Here. In My Head #7 / Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell #14 / Regeneration #6

I’m aware that it has been far too long since I last updated this, in fact I have a towering pile of zines which I’ve read and loved and want to recommend to others! These three happened to be the first I grabbed, so if your zine isn’t here it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, just that I haven’t got around to writing about it yet.

Fanzine Ynfytyn #12
By Emma (UK) www.emmajanefalconer.co.uk

Emma and I were first acquainted many moons ago but lost touch (my fault, although I hasten to add that I am much more reliable now!). Upon getting back in touch we swapped zines and I came home one day to a big fat parcel of back issues of Fanzine Ynfytyn and Imaginary Uncles (Emma's fiction zine). #12 is one of my favourite issues of Fanzine Ynfytyn as it is comprised largely of lists, and it is no secret that I love lists! The lists include: Top 5 Falling Asleep To Albums, Collective Nouns For Birds and several collections of Small Pleasures. There’s also a somewhat disturbing, but nonetheless amusing, story about selling IT software to nuclear fuel companies; and an interview with Emma, by Emma, which provides an opportunity for her to share with us her favourite music, books, Beatles songs, Shakespeare play and discuss why she doesn’t write about her love life in her zines. Fanzine Ynfytyn is made cut and paste style with vintage images – my favourite. There’s something refreshingly original and un-serious about Emma’s zines, and Fanzine Ynfytyn provides a chance to explore Emma’s unique vision of the world, which can also be seen in her photography.

Here. In My Head #7 / Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell #14
By Cath (UK) contactATcatherineelms.co.uk [HIMH] / Tukru (UK) tukrulovesyouATgmail.com [YPFIGSTH]

I was very excited to hear that two of my favourite zinesters were making a split zine together, and I eagerly followed the progress of its completion through twitter. Needless to say, the finished article does not disappoint!

Cath’s side is subtitled “Change & Improvement”, and she uses this as a catalyst to discuss her shyness and body image, amongst other things. I particularly enjoyed the piece on beauty (entitled “The Unadorned Feminist”) as Cath presents both sides of the argument – that women shouldn’t feel they have to live up to a certain beauty standard, but that in doing so we risk being mocked, or having our self-esteem lowered further through comparison with unrealistic ideals we are nowhere close to. I struggle with this myself, to a degree – I am comfortable to rarely wear makeup and ignore only wearing clothes seen as “fashionable”, but I’m not brave enough to walk around with hairy legs and the comments that would attract. Here. In My Head #7 is a very reflective and personal zine, looking at Cath’s personality and opinions, and how they have developed over the recent past. There’s a strong undercurrent of Cath trying to understand herself here, and I believe she has been successful in this. The layouts are by and large simple, but pleasing, and always clear and easy to read; with a good mixture of words and matching imagery.

Tukru’s contribution to the split pretty much picks up where her last zine left off – she talks (well, writes) about her return to roller derby after she was put out of action by a wrist fracture, and describes her newest project – the Typical Grrls club night (co-ran with Emma of Fanzine Ynfytyn, in fact!). I love how detailed Tukru’s zines are – I always feel as if I’m there with her as she recounts her adventures; and the as-it-happens, stream-of-consciousness style writing makes me feel as if I’m being invited to read her diary. Towards the end YPFIGSTH #14 Tukru looks to the future, and to what she hopes 2011 will hold for her (including some tantalizing goals involving zine-making), and this closing piece rounds off the zine nicely, looping us back to her opening words about the crappiness of 2010 in Tukru-land. As ever, Tukru’s layouts are original and inspiring, and she includes some hand-drawn illustrations which are just awesome!

Regeneration #6
By Ashlee (USA) asregenerationATyahoo.com

You know how sometimes a zine can sit in your “to read” stack for months, and then leave you thinking “I should have read this sooner!” once you’ve finished it? Well, Regeneration #6 was one of those zines for me. Ashlee introduces Regeneration #6 by explaining that she hasn’t published anything in nearly 4 years and during that time has been busy working, living in 3 different apartments and making and losing dozens of friends. The zine is composed of stories from these years, beginning with “Excelsior Apartments”, the block that housed Ashlee’s first home of her own. I enjoyed reading about her experiences of living alone at 18 (I also “left home” – a silly phrase I think, since you create a new home elsewhere – at that age, so there was an element of nostalgia present for me), and reliving her excitement at making new friends in her block and getting involved with the parties hosted there. Regeneration #6 then takes us through the next few years of Ashlee’s life, taking in romantic relationships and some pretty intense friendships. I really enjoyed Ashlee’s honesty on these topics – she balances the good and the bad, and isn’t afraid to take responsibility for any mistakes she made that lead to the relationships crumbling. The layout of Regeneration #6 is simpler than the other zines I’ve written about today, but it’s all very legible (mostly handwritten in capitals – much respect is due to Ashlee for taking the time to do that!) and she includes a lot of photographs, so you can put faces to the names. Ashlee’s writing style is detail-rich and uncompromising, making Regeneration #6 a very absorbing, and enjoyable, read.

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