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


Monday, June 26, 2017

Notebookdrawings - Vol 2

Notebookdrawings - Vol 2
by Mette Norrie


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


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:

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.


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 >>>

SUBDUDE Issue #1

SUBDUDE Issue #1
By Mick

24 Pages.
Bound: Staples
Size: Mini
$3.00 (postage included)

SUBDUDE Issue #1 is a zine published by an author who goes by Mick.

Bound in simple cardstock and printer paper, SUBDUDE - not accidentally misspelled - offers a publishing from "a piece of community that [he] really didn't know what to do with." And let me say, this piece manages to encompass a whole lot more than just a piece.

The prolific and intelligent ideas expressed in SUBDUDE Issue #1 are some that seem to fill your head with knowledge and ideas and "what ifs".

Major topics discussed in this zine include anything from religion ro social media and face-to-face conversation - ways to connect and plug into the real world.

Mick manages to express extremely intelligent ideas in his writing that do make you question some things humanity has come to. The writing and flow go hand in hand in creating a well rounded zine with ideas to make you think (in a good way).

To purchase your copy, you can e-mail Mick at subdudezine (at) g mail (dot) com 

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 6/19/2017; 6:25 P.M. CST

South London Comic & Zine Fair - 15th July

South London Comic and Zine Fair

Saturday 15th July


It seems London is spoilt for zine fairs at the moment - and now two on one day, on opposite sides of the city! This one in South Norwood, and the Weirdo Zine Fest in Hackney.

Don't worry I've worked out easy way for you to go to both. 

1) Start in Hackney, as that fair finishes an hour earlier. 

2) When you're done browsing and buying, walk 15 minutes to Dalston Junction. 

3) Jump on the train for 40 minutes - use this time wisely, eat, drink, read some zines. 

4) Voila! Another fair awaits.

SZR - doing your planning for you, so you don't have to.

South London Comic & Zine Fair: facebook.com/events/105441513377738

Weirdo Zine Fest at Sutton House: facebook.com/events/716759361828973

Post by Nathan Penlington

Friday, June 16, 2017

It's All Downhill From Fear by Gerard Ashworth [September 2016]


20 pages, $3.00, by Gerard Ashworth [Contact [???] Gerard is hard to contact, being as he is out of the loop, technologically. If you want a copy, contact sstratu [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll make sure he gets your message.]

It took a while to get around to reading this [could be my quote of 2016] - Gerard gave this to me when we shared a table at the Manly Zine Fair back in September. Historically, I go into a new Ashworth production with a sick sense of dread. They can be so dense and inscrutable! Really hard to understand! And to add insult to psychological trauma/injury, he makes fun of the reader constantly for his or her limited intelligence! *Blub!* But this one is easy to read! ...Or maybe I've gotten smarter? No, impossible! In short, I could say not only do I not remember the last time I enjoyed an Ashworth comic so much, but I do not remember the last time I enjoyed an Ashworth comic. ... Amongst the really great autobiographical stuff where he exposes his 'quirks and idiosyncrasies', there are also terrific comic stripped versions of a Godley & Creme song, 'I Pity Inanimate Objects'; and Gerard's 'girlfriend' Sabrina reciting "the greatest Beat poem of them all", 'Tomorrow Is A Drag', from the 1958 movie 'High School Confidential'.

Notebookdrawings - Vol 1

Notebookdrawings - Vol 1
by Mette Norrie


A5, 26 pages. 

50DKK (Danish Krone) or approx £5.80

Notebookdrawings is a charming zine by Danish artist Mette Norrie. It follows a simple, minimalist, format - each page is notebook style lined paper, over which have been drawn illustrations in pen and pencil captioned at the top in English. 

There is a wistful melancholy to many of the illustrations, but each page breathes freely with visual and verbal humour, together they form an enchanting take on the world. 

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


Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, June 12, 2017

Idle Ink #1 - Madness

Idle Ink #1 - Madness

A5, 24 pages. Cardboard cover. 

£2 + p&p

The first issue of Idle Ink is a collection of short stories and illustrations on the subject of madness. Each piece reflects different facets of the theme: insanity, self-deceit, violence, control, and power.

"With enough practice, a person can convince themselves of almost anything"

says J.L. Corbett at the start of She Outruns the Humdrum. A particularly apt analysis of all the characters in these stories. 

The zine features work by J.L. Corbett, Jenny Nolan-Lee, K.R. Tester, L.L. Kipling and Dazz. The authors' influences include Douglas Adams, George Orwell, and Neil Gaiman. But there are also touches of Ray Bradbury, particularly in the stories that walk the border between character driven narrative and sci-fi. Which is no bad thing, I'm a big Bradbury fan.

It's an engaging start to what I hope will become a long series of zines focused on new writing by emerging authors. 

Buy now via Etsy: etsy.com/uk/listing/529891809/madness

Or visit Facebook.com/IdleInkHull

Review by Nathan Penlington

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Max Powers is the Atomic-Man! #1 [Fall 2015]

8 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", Alan Peters, PO Box 24276, Ventura CA 93001, USA

I wrote to Alan after seeing his great comics in a recent issue of Steve "The Dith Dood" Anderson's Dithering Doodles. I sent one of my diary comics hoping he was up for a trade, and my answer arrived a few months later [we operate on Small Press Time, you understand] in the form of three comics - this one [...Atomic-Man!]; The Future-Nauts [Summer 2014]; and The Incredibly Unstable Tromp [November 2013]

Political Correctoids are not invited to Alan's show, since one of his signature scenes [which I've seen appear three times already in the handful of comics I've seen of his] involves the heroine taking a shower.

One thing disturbs me and that is the dates on these comics - the most recent being from 2015. So unless I don't have the complete picture, the only recent work of his that can be seen is that appearing in Dithering Doodles. Hopefully we will see more new work from him soon!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Weirdo Zine Fest - 15th July, London

Weirdo Zine Fest 

15th July 2017

Free entry, open 12:00-17:00

Sutton House
2 Homerton High Street 
E9 6JQ 

Nearest station is Hackney Central.

Sutton House is an East London Tudor house built in 1535, now owned by the National Trust. Throughout 2017 they are running a series of events and exhibitions developed by, with and for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) communities under the banner of Queered:
"Sutton House has always had a bit of an identity crisis. The oldest house in Hackney has been through many changes, which makes it one of the most unusual and unexpected National Trust houses. Much like Sutton House’s varied and colourful history, the word Queer is fluid and ever-changing and the definition is continuously contested. Queer is a way of thinking about things in unexpected ways."
The Weirdo Zine Fest on July 15th is a self-publishing fair celebrating DIY cultural production by radical and marginalised people. It will feature over 20 stallholders including:

Apples to Zines j-applebee.tumblr.com 
Queer Arcana Queerarcana.etsy.com
That’s How It Feels For Me http://rinflum.tictail.com/
Eliza Agar Press https://elizaagarpress.tumblr.com/
Lindsay Draws http://andsomeplyers.bigcartel.com/category/zines-and-prints
Sick Fucks https://jetmoon.org/performance/ddwt/
Charlotte Cooper and Simon Murphy http://charlottecooper.bigcartel.com/
Rachael House/Red Hanky Panky http://www.rachaelhouse.com/fanzines.php
Forever Incomplete www.etsy.co.uk/shop/foreverincomplete
It Snipped My Heart (Nova Cox and Kate Dansette)
Chisel Tip zine chiseltipzine.tumblr.com
Dysphoria Collective http://dysphoriacollective.bigcartel.com/
Only-two https://www.only-two.tumblr.com/
Sister Ectoplasma Distro - https://www.sisterectoplasma.co.uk/
Cross Words Zines - kirstywinters.etsy.com
Vampire Sushi Distro www.vampiresushi.co.uk
Synchronise Witches Press Cherrystyles.co.uk
Cool Schmool Zines - http://coolschmool.bigcartel.com/ 

For more details see the Weirdo Zine Fest Facebook event: facebook.com/events/716759361828973

More about Sutton House Queered: nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-house-and-breakers-yard/features/sutton-house-queered

I'll be visiting, wearing a Syndicated Zine Reviews t-shirt. If you see me, please come and say hi.
Post by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hash Brown Comix #1


24 pages, 10" x 7", $? email Editors Dan or Oli for ordering info >>> danieljhayer at gmail dot com or olihastings9 at gmail dot com 

It's thanks to Glenno that I finally got a copy of this new Sydney comix anthology. [Long story deleted, but available here.] ...
 We all know how much comix anthologies can SUCK - it's usually only a question of how much? So it is impossible to overstate how surprised and relieved I was to find that Hash Brown Comix is really great! It is absolutely imbued, suffused, and steeped in the raw and deranged spirit of the finest Underground Comix 'spirit'. One strip [by co-editor Oli Hastings] is about the real life tragedy of Sydney's Luna Park Ghost Train fire in 1979. This strip is so great, and part of its greatness for me is that I don't know how much of the detail within is historical fact, and how much is the product of the artist's imagination. ... Other strips I really liked were Dominic Proust's tale of unrequited love with a tall girl; co-editor Dan Heyer's very strange school teacher; Kaylene Milner's Soviet record collectors; and another Oli strip about his veneration of Rowland S. Howard.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Random Notes 2017

Random Notes 2017
Matthew Rooney

26 Pages
Hand Bound
Size: Mini
$2.00 + Shipping
Random Notes 2017 is a collection of comics hand drawn and bound by Matthew Rooney. The covers are all different to order. The work contains comics from an incomplete comic book as well as several done by Rooney on a flight from Paris to Montreal.

This zine is entirely unique. I was pleasantly surprised by the entire thing as a work. The child-like drawings and obscure comics are definitely something you don't see everyday. The artwork in itself takes on an almost theme of what the author was trying to convey. With every page turn is a new surprise.
If you're into the quirky, comic side of the zine world, the price is a bargain for the surprises you may find in here.

You can email Matthew Rooney to purchase you copy ($2) at mjjrooney (at) gmail (dot) com.

Website: mjrzines.tumblr.com

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 05/29/2017; 11:10 A.M. CST

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Berserkotron #1 [2016]


76 pages, 9" x 6", by David Robertson [Fred Egg Comics],email: d1robertson [at] hotmail [dot] com and check out www.fredeggcomics.com

I found out about David and his comics from a letter I received from "The Dith Dood", Steve Anderson [Dithering Doodles]. He mentioned he had just finished writing a letter to David Robertson, another comics dude, so naturally I followed this 'lead' and we ended up trading comics.

Berserkotron is about two high school kids, Bert and Ronnie. Ronnie builds fighting robots. Bert is into chemistry. When Ronnie shows Bert his latest fighting robot, he asks him to paint it. Bert agrees, kind of reluctantly, but it will give him a chance to test the "magic paint" he recently created.

What I really loved about Berserkotron was the great dialogue between Bert and Ronnie, revealing the complex dynamics of their friendship. You really get the impression that although these guys are friends, like many high school friendships [or even friendships in general], the clock is ticking on how long it will be before a major falling out. To add to the mix is another robot builder, Henry, who comes across as a snotty, spiky-haired jerk who for some reason has it in for Ronnie, and thus Ronnie's robot, which he aims to annihilate in an upcoming 'Robot Wars' competition.

One final thing I wanna mention - something rarely found in comics but so great and welcome when an artist takes the time to do it - is at the end of this issue is a ten-page section of sketches, doodles, scribbles, and the background story of how Berserkotron came to be. Great stuff!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Loserdom #25 [November 2016]


56 pages, 8.5" x 6", contact Anto at loserdomzine at gmail dot com for ordering info + www.loserdomzine.com

I saw Anto's announcement of this momentous 25th issue on We Make Zines so I emailed him, and he emailed me back, we agreed to trade zines, and now 23 days later here I am, I've read the whole issue and now intend to convince you to get a copy for yourself. Actually, I'm not going to do that. I'll just write down what I liked about it, or if I didn't like it, what I didn't like about it, and you can read what I've written, or not, do what you like. How about that? Good. OK...

Here is yet another party I've arrived late to - this one even later than all others [except for The Match!, that is - that's a record that will not be broken since the first issue came out in 1969, when I was two. Haw!] Oh well. That's OK. Unless I absolutely love it and decide it's the best zine I've ever read, but there are no back issues available at all...

I like what Anto wrote in his intro/editorial about seeing so many shitty things happening around the world and feeling bogged down and irrelevant - "It brings me back to the question: what is my motivation for making a zine? Loserdom is part of the Irish DIY punk tradition of zine making - a basic principle of which for me is: make your own culture, stop consuming that which is made for you and question. Winning or being the strongest isn't the be all and end all, it's ok to lose."

Loserdom #1 was born in June 1996. [A big year! David Puckeridge's Gristle Fern #1 and my comix anthology Sick Puppy Comix #1 were also born in 1996, but mine [and David's] came out in April, so I'm the sempai!]. I find I'm struck by an envy of anybody out there who has been a reader from the beginning. And then to wonder what happened to all those people who got a copy of Loserdom #1...

My favourite piece in this issue is an interview with independent Irish filmmaker, Graham Jones, who "...releases his films for free on YouTube and has written a manifesto-style article about a movement of indie filmmaking which uses digital technology to produce and release films called Nuascannan [Irish for 'New Film']..." Just one tidbit from this great interview is this one: rather than make a graduation film in third year of film school in London, like every other student did [clamouring to use the equipment], Graham chose to master in theory. So he found and interviewed 30 independent filmmakers around London, transcribed every word they said, and this was subsequently published as a book by the British Film Institute. His first film was How To Cheat in the Leaving Certificate [1996[!!]]; the most recent, Nola and the Clones [2016]. I intend to watch both on YouTube this week!

Also in this issue, a short piece about the need to repeal the Eighth Amendment [Irish Abortion Law]; 'Plastic in the Ocean' - a shocking article about plastic crap floating around the world's oceans, including a gigantic area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, "estimated to be about 10 times the size of Ireland"; interview with bands Una Bestia Incontrolable [Barcelona] and Alps [Ireland]; a bunch of album and live music reviews; and most importantly - reviews-wise - zine reviews! including Maximum Rock 'n' Roll #396 the 'Do Zines Suck?' issue that I went to some length subsequently to order a physical copy of [I ended up emailing MRR because on their website it seemed they only had a PDF version for sale, but not so! Thanks Arielle!]

Loserdom is really great. A zine that deserves to have lasted 25 issues, and deserves to last 25 more.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Match! #116 [Summer 2017]

68 pages, 9.5" x 7", THE MATCH! Post Office Box 3012, Tuscon Arizona 85702, USA. Subscription: Free.

Quote from Page 2: "Published since 1969, this journal exists solely to criticize authoritarian society and religion in order to argue for the many humane advantages of freedom and rationality. We are not affiliated with any group or organization. Any publication of this same general orientation may reprint anything herein. DONATIONS: We welcome them and need them. But please: no checks; just cash or stamps only. Seriously - NO checks! Submissions of letters are welcome, and all letters will be considered as being for publication unless you say otherwise. We have no telephone, no e-mail, so either write or forget communicating with us. Typesetting and printing by the editor and publisher, Fred Woodworth, 2017. No computers are ever used in this production."
Fred really drops a bombshell at the beginning of this issue: "...after this present issue, I'm dropping the word "Anarchist" ... Our movement has actually gone in this rotten and criminal direction, or it is so appallingly ineffectual that it cannot prevent even the most transparent deliberate discreditations. There's no other way of putting a spin on this reality: Anarchism as a political or anti-political entity with a name, has failed, and the name itself now signals, more often than not, something that no thoughtful or ethical person should want to be associated with."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sprak! Vol 2 #12 [Jan 2017]

24 pages, 8.5" x 6" for a copy, "send money, dvds, trades, zines, letters, blackmail" to Kami, PO Box 278, Edwardstown SA 5039, AUSTRALIA

It seems like a long time since the last issue of Sprak!, but time plays tricks on the mind... However! In his introduction, Kami describes this issue as "a lot of old reviews rehashed with a few choice new ones thrown in to make it look like I've been productive!"

Kami examines sixteen Ozploitation classicks: Pandemonium [1987; D: Haydn Keenan]; Felicity [1978; D: John D. Lamond]; Stone [1974; D: Sandy Harbutt]; Howling III - The Marsupials [1987; D: Phillipe Mora]; Demons Among Us [2006; D: Stuart Simpson]; Dead End Drive-In [1986; D: Brian Trenchard-Smith]; Night of Fear [1972; D: Terry Bourke]; Nightmares [1980; D: John Lamond]; Chain Reaction [1980; D: Ian Barry]; Stunt Rock [1978; D: Brian Trenchard-Smith]; Bad Habits [2008; D: Dominic Deacon]; Patrick [1978; D: Richard Franklin]; Flange Desire [1993; D: Drew Gates]; The True Story of Eskimo Nell [1975; D: Richard Franklin]; Coming of Age [1984; D: Brian Jones]; Inn of the Damned [1974; D: Terry Bourke].

I stand by what I wrote about Sprak! #6 back in 2010 >>> "If you remember your teenage years when the deciding factor on renting a movie was whether there was a big 'Banned in Queensland' sticker on the cover, you will LOVE this zine."

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherf*ckin' Sad

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherf*ckin' Sad
Adam Gnade

60 Pages
Professionally Bound and Printed
Size: Mini
$7.00 + Shipping

Adam Gnade in The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherf*ckin' Sad tells you several pep-talks and motivational skills to help you get through a stressful minute, hour, or day.

Bound professionally by Pioneers Press, and consisting of merely lists and words (no pictures for all of you comic fans), Gnade manages to go through several things to try and keep you motivated.

While this could be read in one sitting, I read this in several over the course of about a week - which I suggest. Throughout the work, Gnade manages to list several pep talks to get you off your feet and give you motivation for when you're lacking.

In Adam Gnade's The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherf*ckin' Sad, Gnade manages to give several pep-talks that can relate to a variety of problems (lack of motivations, what to do, etc.) to get the average "bored", sad, or uninspired person off of their feet. Don't let the amount of pages and words intimidate you; you could find something very valuable among them.

Purchase here

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 5/14/2017; 9:28 A.M. CST

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Minor Leagues #3

Minor Leagues #3 - Simon Morton

Published by Lydstep Lettuce - April 2017

A5, 66 pages. black and white with colour covers. 

£3 (or pay what you feel you can afford) + p&p

This is the third outing for Minor Leagues. Simon sums up the contents as: 
"Comics about teenage indiscretions, childhood dreams; writing and diary comics about change and renewal in the face of trauma and loss; Spring scenes, Spring feelings, drawings, that sort of stuff."
While writing this issue Simon's dad was diagnosed with cancer, and sadly passed away shortly afterwards. As an autobiographical zine the emotional core of issue 3 centres around the emptiness and bewilderment of sudden loss. But it's not a death comic.

While grief is always personal Simon's work has a way of striking an outward resonance. Minor Leagues doesn't just tell - the combination of image and text creates mood - it evokes. As regular readers will have come to expect there is still humour in the stories and observations, originality in the depiction of the nuances and details of everyday life. 

Although largely autobiographical Minor Leagues succeeds due to knowing what to reveal, what to fictionalise, and what to keep private. Simon has written a blog post that details his thoughts during the making of this issue here.  

Simon offers a cost price of £2 and a regular price, which is still just £3. This is to enable people who really want to read/buy small press work but can't afford the luxury. "Why?", I hear you ask - Simon answers: 
"I think it's important to make this kind of work as available as possible, and I hope this goes some way towards that. I know postage is expensive and life is expensive too"

Support if you can. Buy issue 3 direct from Simon - smoo.bigcartel.com/product/minor-leagues-3

Or visit smoo.bigcartel.com for subscription options. 

My reviews of Minor Leagues 1 & 2 are here.

Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In Loving Memory of the Spam Obituaries

In Loving Memory of the Spam Obituaries

by Russell Barker


A5, black and white, 12 pages

Back in 2006, after a deluge of spam from purportedly from oddly named people – ie Manitoba M. Parsnip, Enthusing U. Ming, Halibut Showpiece – Russell (of Lunchtime For The Wild Youth fame) decided to do something using the emails. Rather than the common route of writing back in a ‘hilarious’ way, he took a more absurdist approach by writing obituaries with his wife for each name. Metaphorically killing them off as soon as possible.

The obituaries were posted on a blog under the pseudonym William Ridenhour, which soon caught the attention of other blogs, shared and linked, leading Russell to be interviewed on Canadian radio. The blog lasted only three months before they grew bored of writing it, but those entries have taken on a new life in this zine.

The zine is simply produced, but enlivened by illustrations by Russell and Helen’s daughter Robyn. It is silly, funny, and as absurd as you’d expect.

Review by Nathan Penlington.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

I Need a Bike

I Need a Bike
Joseph Carlough
*note: permission to use direct quotes authorized by author*

14 Pages
Card-stock and Printer Paper
Size: Mini
$2.00 + Shipping

"I Need a Bike" is short story zine by Joseph Carlough that describes a brief period in the narrator's 14-year-old life where he is trying to paint a deck in order to get the bike of his dreams - a "Speedliner X-720, complete with 12 speeds, front and rear brakes, racing stripes and a bitching amount of pride."
The zine is simple in design - card-stock front with white pages, all printed with story.

In the story, the main character is set on getting his dream bike. In the span of 14 pages, you are introduced to several characters - the narrator, his best friend, his best friend's mother, and his best friend's mother's ex-husband. While the last of these is never really presented in any direct contact with the main character, it is still a vital point in the story.

Needless to say, this story was brilliant in its own little way. Reading through the story gave me a great nostalgia feeling with vibes of A CHRISTMAS STORY to even hints of J.D. Salinger wit. And, by the end, it had me gasping for air and on the verge of tears, I have to admit.

Speaking of the end, the conclusion to this short story perfectly completes it and is exactly what I like to see in a great ending, By the end of it, your heart is aching, yet it wraps up the story enough to where you're like "Okay...I understand." Ending it where it ends and not continuing to add information makes this short story what it is.

In critique, however, I would have definitely liked to have seen slightly more backstory as you are introduced to his best friend and her mother, but no story is perfect and some of the wit woven in saves it in this case. (One of my favourite lines, for example: "[Her] mom could make the president's jaw drop, and while it was dropped she could walk up and take his wallet and no one would do a damn hing about it."

In the end, this story brings on an emotional sense of looking back at when you were fourteen, the relationships you had with other people, and how quickly those relationships can come to an end. ~

Purchase a copy on Etsy.

Author Social Media: Instagram, Website

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 4/30/2017; 12:59 P.M. CST

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth – Issue 2: The Gigs

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth – Issue 2: The Gigs

by Russell Barker


A5, black and white, 28 pages

The follow up to the first Lunchtime For The Wild Youth in which Russell revisited the records that sound tracked his teenage years. This time he documents the first 22 gigs he went to.

Issue 2 follows the precedent set in the first issue by again removing technology from the process of making the zine. The result is in keeping with fanzines of the 80s - written on a typewriter, produced on a photocopier, cut & paste, with facts less important than experience.

The contents of the zine are pieced together from a faulty and sometimes very specific memory and a gig book Russell kept for 8 years, in which he stuck tickets and documented every obscure support band. Like Issue 1 Russell’s enthusiasm for music energises each description, and it will have you scrabbling to Spotify to rediscover bands you’ve forgotten or check out bands you’ve never heard of.

Now where are those ticket stubs you couldn't bear to throw out?

Review by Nathan Penlington.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth

by Russell Barker


A5, black and white, 24 pages

The concept behind this zine is simple – Russell sets out to revisit albums that were loved in his teenage years, and not played since.

Russell’s enthusiasm for music is infectious. The zine will have those that were there at the time – in the mid to late 1980s - scrabbling to their shelves, storage units to dig out CDs and vinyl, or to eBay to re-buy their past.

And those who aren't quite old enough to remember will discover something new. It is a project born out of a love for the lost tangible joys of record buying – bunking off school to be the first in line at the local record shop on release day, the zines and community built through exchange and bootlegs.  But it is a zine that gains from being able to listen to almost any album in minutes through the magic of Spotify. Reading LFTWY had me compiling a list of albums and songs that sounded interesting and playing them as a kind of soundtrack to the zine.

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth is smartly executed - straddling the divide between youth and adulthood by removing technology from the process. The zine was written on a typewriter, produced on a photocopier, nothing fact checked using the internet.

The artwork, drawn by Russell's daughter Robyn is a charming addition, and a reminder that music has a power that transcends generations.

This is an infectious zine that will have you itching to do the same with your own wild youth.

Review by Nathan Penlington.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Sayward Barone

8 Pages
Printer Paper - Black and White
Size: Mini
$0.78 + Shipping

Seasons. is a small, folded zine on white printer paper with a small poem that is sure to set big ripples.
In Seasons., Sayward Barone describes in eight, small pages the feeling of when the seasons change. Looking at the poem on the surface is just that, but as you start to dig deeper, you find things that make you see the deeper meaning behind the words.

The one thing that really makes this little poem a success, in my book, is the self-application one can do with it. Mentioned in some of my previous reviews, I love to see a poem or work that not only applies to the writer's situation, but can apply to so many other people.

Seasons. manages to successfully describe feelings of suppression and feelings from the weather in a nice, pocket size package. While I wouldn't read this on a light heart, this is definitely one worth picking up.

Purchase a copy on Etsy
Barone's Social Media: Instagram

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 04/14/2017; 2:30 P.M. CST

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Charlie Haggard

30 Pages
Size: Digest
Printer Paper and Card-stock
$5.00 + Shipping

BEARQUEFT COMIX #1 is the first in a series being created by Charlie Haggard. Bound in an all orange, card-stock cover and printed on printer paper in black and white, this comedic zine takes you through several brief adventures involving originally created characters.

This comic zine has two main stories with several interludes.

The main stories - Planet Man and Slumcat - were both very comedic. The type of comedy Haggard is going at pairs extremely well with this almost grunge-type atmosphere. While I would sometimes consider the black and white printing a downfall in some comics, I felt it worked extremely well for this; in this case, it made it feel like reading the comics in the weekly newspaper (which is fantastic).

My favorite part about this comic are the interludes found in-between the larger comics. These little gems made for great breaks between the stories and made for an overall, well-rounded comic zine. The pokes at modern society and art-work made for great chuckles - which is usually a hit or miss with that subject. And the fake ads were golden

All in all, the ideas Haggard has going here work very well together, creating a balance that makes for a well-rounded zine. I'm very glad this little zine found its way to my doorstep. I'm very interested to see what Haggard has to offer next.

Purchase: Here

Charlie Haggard's Social Media as Follows: Instagram

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed 04/08/2017; 4:01 P.M. CST

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