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


Monday, July 11, 2016

Astounding Explorer Nicobar - #1 to #4

Astounding Explorer Nicobar - issues #1 to #4
Yoshua Reece

$3 per issue

5.5" x 8.5" - 28 pages, b&w, landscape format. 

One of the joys of reviewing for Syndicated Zine Reviews is not knowing what will come through the letter box. A few days ago a large cardboard mailer landed with a thud, inside were the first four issues of the Astounding Explorer Nicobar. 

The zine is a delightful, unexpected, continuing storybook about a small frog and his friends aboard the Graceless Flounder as they adventure around the house. Frustrated by the boredom of revisiting the lounge and the kitchen, they set out beyond the edges of the known world. 

"We are either explorers, or we are not. If we can be contented with a boring life then we are not. But if we are explorers, then we will fight the tyranny of boredom!"

Exclaims the captain of the ship, in doing so taking his place among the great adventurers of history, who also bravely set out for places beyond the bathroom. 

Yoshua explains in a letter:

Nicobar was originally conceived as a way for me to stay in touch with my friends after moving out of state for college. Using characters modelled after toys in my aunt and uncle's house I wrote story books that told my friends how I was doing. After graduating college I continued to create Nicobar booklets out of a love for it. 

I'm quoting this because there is a real warmth to these zines - in the hand drawn illustrations, and in the play-like narrative - a genuineness that hooks you in. Think of Nicobar as a hybrid of Toy Story and Jules Verne, and you'll not be far off. 

Buy copies of individual issues over on Etsy: etsy.com/uk/shop/Sockswad

And visit Nicobar here: facebook.com/Nicobarthefrog

Review by Nathan Penlington

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