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


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Burning Building Comix

Burning Building Comix by Jeff Zwirek
6.25" x 12.25" (unfolds to 6.25" x 24.5"), hardcover, 40 pgs., 19.95
Probably the most creatively designed and manufactured comic book I have ever seen. The main book unfolds to reveal two smaller books. Each of the smaller books includes 5 floors of a 10 floor apartment building. Each floor is a separate story, and so each floor is meant to be read individually from bottom to top. However, there is an underlying theme to each story/floor. The building has caught on fire! As you read through each floor, you'll see the reactions of the characters to the fire as they discover it, attempt to put it out, and then ultimately exit the building. This is a silent comic, so all of the "dialog" is shown using various pictures and symbols. This is such a fun read and well worth getting your hands on.
Here is a link for it at Top Shelf Productions.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Temporary Brothers

Temporary Brothers
digest, 16 pages (cardstock cover), $?
A one-shot zine by DJ Frederick Moe. DJ Fred is an only child, despite the longing he had for siblings in his youth. Since he didn't have brothers of his own, he thought of some of his close friends as brothers. This zine profiles a few of DJ Fred's "temporary brothers." "Temporary" because these friendships did not endure...at least not to the same degree as when he "adopted" them. I don't want to give any spoilers. I think you should read this zine for yourself in order to discover the nature of the friendships that DJ Fred had growing up and the adventures he and his "brothers" had. The stories are worth a few minutes of your time. And they are well-written...of course they are - it's DJ Fred. My only complaint: it's far too short. Perhaps there is more to come? DJ Fred alludes to that at one point, so let's hope.
Frederick Moe
36 West Main Street
Warner NH 03278

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Survival Guide for Supply Teachers

A Survival Guide for Supply Teachers (1st Edition)
8 1/2" x 11", 22 pages, $3 (cash money preferred, trades accepted)
To clarify, supply teacher = substitute teacher. I wasn't sure what a supply teacher was at first, so I have to assume that there are others out there who are/were equally ignorant. And now on with the review...
Gary's zine is - exactly as the title suggests - advice for new (and experienced) supply teachers. Gary covers it all, from what to do in order to get supply teaching jobs, what to expect once you've received jobs, what to do when trouble arises while on the job (and Gary assures us that it will from time to time), what to do at the end of a job, and how to get more jobs in the future. This zine is quite comprehensive despite its length, and considering that I have never supply taught and do not plan to, I was surprised by how interested I was in the subject matter. Perhaps it is because my dad has been an elementary school teacher for more than 30 years now. Or maybe it is because Gary has a very approachable and engaging writing style. Probably both. Seriously, this is worth checking out. The only suggestion I would make as far as improvements go would be to add more personal anecdotes, tell more stories. Five plus years of supply teaching should provide some pretty entertaining/interesting stories. Perhaps we can expect to see that in a future edition...if there is one. So, here's my plan: everyone within reading distance of this review gets their hands on a copy of this zine so that Gary feels compelled to put out a second edition. Should work.
Gary Flanagan
3-42 Spring Street
Saint John, NB
E2K 3X5


16 pages, 6" x 4", The Usual, Neale Blanden, PO Box 1173, Huntingdale VIC 3166, AUSTRALIA + beautifulartform.blogspot.com + nlblndn [at] gmail [dot] com Wordless comics? I hate 'em! Well, mostly. There's always an exception, and Flea here is one of those. This absolutely charming wordless* comic begins with a flea on a lounge room floor. A dog walks into the room. The flea is hungry. The flea sees the dog. No need to say any more. Get it. [* Note: The final page does contain some words.]

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Am My Own Stereotype: The My Small Diary Collection

I Am My Own Stereotype: The My Small Diary Collection
5.5" x 8.5", 112 pages, perfect bound, $8 + $2 shipping ($6 shipping outside of U.S.A)
Delaine has been writing diary comics for at least 20 years. She publishes her comics in her zines (My Small Diary and Not My Small Diary) as well as various other zines. This book compiles three out of print My Small Diary books and includes 40 additional pages. Each page in this book is a single comic strip, and (for the most part) the content is (as the title suggests) basically a diary entry in comic form - highlights from Delaine's life. The artwork is simple, the writing is concise, and the book leaves the impression that Delaine is a spirited and adventurous person who loves life. Diary comics run the risk of coming across as overly narcissistic and self-indulgent, but Delaine's book largely avoids falling into this trap. Instead Delaine comes across as a sincere and generous person, happily sharing the (oftentimes mundane) happenings of her (occasionally charmed) life. It's all in good fun, exactly the way entertainment for entertainment's sake should be.

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