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

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Synesthesia



A5, 20 colour pages
£3.62 (+ £3.62 p&p)

Synaesthesia (the condition) is sensory confusion. Your house tastes like cake. Your lover’s voice smells like fresh cut grass. Your favourite song feels crunchy. The number seven is green, for some reason.

Synesthesia (the zine) dives headfirst into delirium. Stacey Matchett evokes a sense of desperate, inescapable confusion in her pastel colour palettes, bold rainbow scribbles and delicate black linework - it’s a beautiful assault on the senses. 

Usually when poetry and artwork appear together in print, the images end up playing second fiddle; they usually serve as garnish, pretty pictures to illustrate the words. Matchett turns this convention on its head. The bright images dominate the pages of this zine, holding hostage the reader’s psyche and rendering the accompanying poetry somewhat redundant. It’s not that the poetry is particularly poor, more that within the psychedelic pages of Synesthesia its role is secondary to the artwork.

When I first encountered Matchett’s work in volume one of Break the Chain, I described it as “grunge expressionism”. Reading through Synesthesia, it seems clear to me now that her work is too nebulous to fit within that category; her art style shifts throughout the pages, and yet each drawing bears her stylistic signature.

Matchett does a great job of creating a collection of artwork centred upon a theme without falling into predictability – each page explores a different facet of a disorganised mind and does so with a touching vulnerability.

You can buy your copy of Synesthesia here.


Review by J.L. Corbett

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Break the Chain: Volume 1


 A5, 28 (mostly) black and white pages
£3.76/$5.19 (+p&p)


The first volume of Break the Chain (created by Matt Sessions) is an anarchist’s guidebook to the punk rock underbelly of Jacksonville, Florida. My perception of Florida has come almost exclusively from the images on my television screen; endless sunshine, orange juice aplenty, home of Disney World – everything that my dreary British life is not.

It was quite the surprise to find that this Floridian zine is gritty, anarchistic and in grey scale. The overall appearance of Break the Chain is dark and distinctive. Particularly strong is the artwork from Stacey Matchett, a sort of grunge expressionism wherein the figures in all her drawings share the same tired gaze. Their eyes haunt and resonate.

The first interview is with Woven In, a surf-rock regular on the Jacksonville music scene whose responses to standard interview questions are refreshingly intellectual and offer a surprisingly deep contrast to her “beach-goth, post-punk dream-come-true” music. Not long after reading her interview, I was listening to her music on Youtube.

Also interviewed are black metal grindcore band, Wørsen. Whilst they do seem somewhat excited about the release of their newest album, the theme of their interview appears to be apathy. They say “[the gigs] tend to run together after a while”, and when speaking about their songs they make comments such as “It’s also one of the newest songs we’ve written, so I’m not burnt out on it just yet”. It’s a shame – had they been a little more enthusiastic about their own music, it would have been a lot easier for the reader to get on board with them. I found myself more interested in finding out about Sickmark, the German power-violence band briefly mentioned at the beginning of the interview.


All sense of apathy is quickly forgotten with the zine’s final interview: an in-depth conversation with Penelope Spheeris (director of landmark punk films such as The Decline of Western Civilisation and Wayne’s World). How on earth did the creator of Break the Chain pull that one off? It doesn’t matter, of course (but I need to know!).  Spheeris speaks with great articulation about the punk rock aesthetic, the importance of dedication and devotion to one’s work and the controversial impact of The Decline of Western Civilisation, which was banned after just one screening in Los Angeles. It’s a strong end note and an impressive coup for the first volume of Break the Chain.

Break the Chain is definitely worth a read. As someone across the Atlantic I enjoyed the zine as a brilliant showcase of the talent in Jacksonville’s alternative community, and I expect Jacksonville natives will enjoy it as a token of pride for their hometown.

Volume one of Break the Chain can be bought here .


Review by J.L. Corbett

Friday, March 2, 2018

Land Slide Dreams - Adam Void


Land Slide Dreams 

by Adam Void

Approx 21cm x 27cm, zine fold into 7cm x 10.5cm mini zine. 

$/£: trades encouraged


Another mini-zine by prolific artist and zine maker Adam Void, creator of the great Nirvana Rules and Misadventures & Musings from the Train Brain zines reviewed elsewhere on SZR. 

Landside Dreams opens out into a cut & paste collage that illustrates a handwritten text on the reverse side: 

These memories, brought back by a brief dream I awoke from just a moment before. The bed was just cold enough to not make it back. Sometimes you just can't make it back. 
Like the best kind of zines it's confessional and artful, drawing you in to another's vivid world. 


If you'd like a copy contact Adam at adam_void (at) yahoo (dot) com - trades are encouraged. If you ask nicely he might also send you some other goodies. 

Adam's been making zines since 2003. Check out his past publications page: adamvoid.com/index.php?/ongoing/publications - now THAT is a zine maker.



Review by Nathan Penlington

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Were Stan and Ollie Anarchists?


Were Stan and Ollie Anarchists?

Readers Digress! #9


12 pages, cardboard cover, a5

£/$: exchange encouraged, and/or stamps to cover postage




An interview between the infamous Radical Slapstick magazine and Oxbridge Milhaven whose spill-all book My Life in Hollywood exposes the 'true' secret history of the Golden Age of Comedy. 

Were Stan & Ollie Anarchists? What was the real motivation for the anrcho-surrealist political prankster Buster Keaton? Was Mae West a true libertarian?

This zine is another welcome addition to the Readers Digress! series, the former incarnation of The Bubblegum Dada Corporation. The series is intelligent, sharp, witty, playful, very much in the tradition of the dadaists, absurdists, and the 20th century avant-garde. 


The B.D.C. is a curiously offline enterprise based on the coast of England, but if you'd like a copy of Were Stan and Ollie Anarchists? you can now contact them at their newly acquired email address - bubblegumdadacorporation (at) gmail (dot) com - with offers to exchange creative endeavours, or an offer of stamps to cover postage.

Please say we sent you. 


Review by Nathan Penlington

Back of the gig #1


Back of the gig #1

2017

A6, 8 pages.

25p + 75p p&p (or trades)


Don't be fooled by the title - Back of the Gig has nothing to do with music. But don't let that put you off, it's a sweet pocket sized handwritten zine (complete with
corssing crossing outs) filled with anecdotes and observations about haircuts & supermarkets, funny asides and musings about the mystery of the man at the roundabout. 




And 25p, what is to lose?! I look forward to issue #2. 

And while you're buying this issue pick up the greatest hits of Drink the Sunshine for no extra postage. 


To buy visit backofthegigzines.bigcartel.com/product/back-of-the-gig-issue-1 


Or if you'd like to trade email backofthegig at yahoo [dot] com



Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Misadventures & Musings from the Train Brain - Adam Void


Misadventures & Musings from the Train Brain


Adam Void, 2017

13cm x 18.5cm, 20 pages, cardboard cover, plus 8 small centre pages. 

$/£: trades encouraged


Post-industrial American folk culture has the mythology of the once great railway running straight through it. At once a symbol of power, exploitation and expansion, to those on the other side of the tracks the railway is also a symbol of subversion and freedom.

In Misadventures & Musings from the Train Brain Adam Void jumps the present day rails, and this is a catalogue of those journeys: the yearning for the vast expanse of landscape, the thrill and reality of riding open porches, the dust of experience. 


Adam's zines have a distinctive style, partly the result of the cut & paste of urgent typewriter. But the writing is compelling too, and brings to mind some of the early work of Cometbus - I guess the wanderlust of this issue also helps contribute to that. 

The centre pages reproduce contemporary railroad graffiti - long part of hobo tradition - a firm nod to the history of a largely unacknowledged counter culture. This is a really well put together zine documenting perfect misadventures. 


If you'd like a copy contact Adam at adam_void (at) yahoo (dot) com - trades are encouraged. 

Adam's been making zines since 2003. If you want to make yourself drool and/or make yourself feel envious check out his past publications page: adamvoid.com/index.php?/ongoing/publications - now THAT is a zine maker.



Review by Nathan Penlington

Tales of the Celestial Shamrock

Tales of the Celestial Shamrock

Readers Digress! #16

A7, landscape, 40 pages, cardboard cover

£/$: creative exchange/stamps to cover postage



'A collection of comic wisdom from the laughing monks of the Sho Ping Temple' is how this zine from Readers Digress! describes itself. 

It is formed from a series of zen-like stories and poems that: 
gleefully celebrate the fact that in a godless universe there is nothing more glorious than the sound of poetic laughter.
Like previous Readers Digress! publications there are various levels of reality, playfulness, allusion, and theft, being carried out - this issue is an unapologetic homage to the comic genius of Tommy Cooper. The re-appropriation of the material into a cultural other is more than a dadaist act however, and encourages the reader to consider the text in other ways - that is as well as being a small tribute to the grand cosmic joke. 

As I've said before I've been enjoying immensely the output of The Bubble Dada Corporation (formerly Readers Digress!) - it is always varied, surprising, and its work is based on a diverse set of cultural references. So if you like the sound of this publication you'll definitely like the rest of their work. You can read my reviews of previous Bubblegum Dada publications here.

The Bubblegum Dada Corporation is a curiously offline enterprise based on the coast of England. But if you'd like a copy of Tales of the Celestial Shamrock you can now contact them at their newly acquired email address - bubblegumdadacorporation (at) gmail (dot) com - with offers to exchange creative endeavours, or an offer of stamps to cover postage. Please say we sent you!



Review by Nathan Penlington

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

3mm Bleed by Fredrik Rysjedal


3mm Bleed by Fredrik Rysjedal 

2017

32 pages, cardboard cover, 3 colour Riso printed. 

$12



3mm Bleed - a graphic design drama is a self-referential, drily witty comic. The story follows an award winning graphic designer who is horrified to find their work for various companies' disposable coffee cups, plastic bags, and bottles, littering the environment. 

Is the designer part of the problem? or can they salvage their conscience? It's the perfect gift for the self-doubting graphic designer in your life. 


3mm Bleed breaks the constraints of standard layouts, and is in itself a set of aesthetically pleasing graphic designs. It's also been produced by Riso print which adds immensely to its look and feel.

If you'd like one it's best to move quickly as the print run is limited to only 50 copies. 

Available to buy in the US from Quimby's: quimbys.com/store/8327

Or visit Fredrik's site for more info, and other work: fredrikrysjedal.no/3mm-bleed



Review by 
Nathan Penlington 





Tubby Hitchcock is...The Donor

Tubby Hitchcock is...The Donor
by Galton Simpkins / Bubblegum Dada Publications #002

2017

24 pages, cardboard cover,15cm x 17cm

£/$: creative exchange/stamps to cover postage



The latest a series of prolific publications by The Bubblegum Dada Corporation (formerly Readers Digress!) re-imagines the classic Tony Hancock episode The Blood Donor, which was first broadcast on the BBC in 1961. 

This vintage skit by the great comedy scriptwriter Galton Simpkins sees Hitchcock attempting to do his thing for humanity by donating his seed to the local fertility clinic. What follows is an absurdist romp of misunderstandings, at once a critique of idiocy and bureaucracy. 

I've been enjoying immensely the output of the B.D.C - its always varied, surprising, and its work is based on a diverse set of references. So if you like the sound of this publication you'll definitely like the rest of their work. You can read my reviews of previous Bubblegum Dada publications here.


The Bubblegum Dada Corporation is a curiously offline enterprise based on the coast of England. But if you'd like a copy of The Donor you can now contact them at their newly acquired email address - bubblegumdadacorporation (at) gmail (dot) com - with offers to exchange creative endeavours, or an offer of stamps to cover postage. Please say we sent you!


Review by Nathan Penlington

Every Human Being...#1

Every Human Being...#1

Alex Canwell

A7 zine fold from a4

£1 + p&p





The first in a series of zines that looks at things every person does. I don't really want to reveal what that thing is for issue #1 - but just be careful at what might fall out! 

The zine is formed from a collection of funny euphemisms and imaginative slang phrases illustrated with line drawings. I look forward to seeing how this series unfolds.


UPDATE: at the time of writing this zine is now sold out, so its best to contact Alex just in case this issue will be reprinted. 


Buy your copy here: http://sicksissy.bigcartel.com/product/every-human-being-mini-zine-issue-1-limited-edition-run-of-50

Monday, February 26, 2018

bio auto graphic #30: Chameleon Skin Coat

bio auto graphic #30: Chameleon Skin Coat

Michael C. Nicholson / ensixteen editions

A5, 32 pages, full colour throughout

£6 + p&p


Chameleon Skin Coat is a glorious Technicolor departure for the bio auto graphic series. It's an issue that reflects on the drives and darkness of creating, the chaos and coincidences that make up our daily lives, and the search for meaning in the post truth world. 


Michael's distinctive approach to line and space abounds, and the addition of colour pushes this issue in interesting new ways by creating arresting graphic spreads. Walking the line between the intensely personal and the global is incredibly difficult to achieve, and bio auto graphic succeeds in doing so in both a poetic and profound manner, while maintaining humour and wit.   

A graphic Michael states:
It appears I have to do this thing, if only to check I'm still here.
But in doing so creates something that helps us confirm, in these absurd and brutal times, a sense of humanity and humility is still alive too. 

There are a very limited number of copies left, so I'd get in quick. 



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

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



Review by Nathan Penlington - You can find reviews of previous issues of bio auto graphic here

Minor Leagues #4 - Simon Moreton

Minor Leagues #4 - Simon Moreton


Published by Lydstep Lettuce - Oct 2017


A5, 80 pages. black and white with colour covers. 



£4 (or pay what you feel you can afford) + p&p



It's the lightness of touch to both word and line that'd I've come to love about Simon's work, a simplicity that disguises a nuanced approach to storytelling. The threads and themes of issue #4 unfold across moments in time: the death of Simon's dad, layered accounts of memory, the retelling of boyhood memories, and recent domestic still-lifes.

In inclusion of photos in this issue adds further dimension to the zine, one that enriches Simon's expressive style. A kitchen in the 1970s seeming as unreal from now as the fantasy worlds lurking in the bushes of childhood.




The addition of an extra 'story behind the stories' sheet, pulls back the curtain on the creative process. I definitely recommend leaving it until after your first read of issue #4 - as one of the joys of Minor Leagues is making sense of the space, the gaps in time, and in not knowing where truth and fiction meet. That said, the extra sheet adds dimension and emotion to the pages that benefit from context - drawings made while being a passenger in car driving through the Welsh countryside for example. I think the delayed knowing compels you to revisit the drawings, mirroring how memory and knowledge shapes and reframes. 




This zine is warm, personal, funny and emotive. A genuine open door into Simon's life, filtered through the act and art of sharing into something much larger.

Buy a copy: http://smoo.bigcartel.com/product/minor-leagues-4


Or visit smoo.bigcartel.com for subscription options.


Review by Nathan Penlington

Drink the Sunshine - greatest hits

Drink the Sunshine - greatest hits

July 2017

A6, folded from a3 printed double sided.

25p + 75p p&p (or trades)



This is a great little greatest hits compilation taken from Drink the Sunshine, a perzine written between 2006-2010. 


It has an intimate handwritten and hand-drawn style, perfectly suited to the personal observations, dream recollections, anecdotes, and life happenings. 


It's a witty, warm, cup of tea & a chat kind of zine. You know, the best kind. And what else can you even buy for 25p in 2018?
To buy visit backofthegigzines.bigcartel.com/product/drink-the-sunshine-greatest-hits
while you're there pick up other zines by the same writer for no extra postage!

Or if you'd like to trade email backofthegig at yahoo [dot] com

Review by Nathan Penlington

The Elliptical Indications of Professor Pimpant

The Elliptical Indications of Professor Pimpant

By Henri Frelon / Readers Digress! #14

A5, 12 pages, cardboard cover.


£/$: exchange encouraged, and/or stamps to cover postage




2016 marked the centenary of the dadaist movement. Originally formed as an avant-garde reaction to the first world war, dadaism could be said to have spawned work as diverse as Duchamp, Monty Python, and even a new generation of comic artists.

Readers Digress! also wears its Dada DNA proudly. The Elliptical Indications of Professor Pimpant is written somewhat in the tradition of Benjamin Peret, with a nod to Alfred Jarrry's Dr Faustroll.

It's a narrative which defies logic and order, and in which humour and absurdity rule. It adds to the 
diverse Readers Digress! canon another slippery and witty publication.  


Readers Digress! is the former incarnation of The Bubblegum Dada Corporation - a curiously offline enterprise based on the coast of England.

If you'd like a copy of 
The Heap you can now contact them at their newly acquired email address - bubblegumdadacorporation (at) gmail (dot) com - with offers to exchange creative endeavours, or an offer of stamps to cover postage.

Please say we sent you. 


Review by Nathan Penlington

Sunday, February 11, 2018

NickName: Issue Two
Hurley Winkler and Aysha Miskin

24 Pages
Size: Digest
Printer paper - bound with staples
$4.00 + Shipping


Aysha and Hurley are back!

Bound and stapled with a solid 24 pages, Nickname Issue 2 comes back with a bang.

Filled with amazing art and poetry, NickName Issue 2 spills out unique art and writing, offering the reader stunning visuals. The authors are really in touch with issues in today's world, and it really shows through the zine!

Issue 1, one of my favorites last year, flows well with the new issue, as the overall zine is consistent and visually pleasing.




Every single part of this zine seems carefully picked out and thoroughly looked over before being sent to print; the hard work Winkler and Miskin put into every page shows volumes.

If you're looking to get yourself an issue, you can click here to go to their site.


Social Media:

FB - Nickname Zine
IG - @nicknamezine

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 02/11/2018; EST 4:05 PM

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Submerging

Submerging
by Brian Cogan, Brett Essler, Mike Faloon, and Brendan Kiernan

25 Pages
Size: Digest
$4.00 + Shipping

Submerging is a collaborative, essay zine featuring four different works by four different authors. Each essay manages to dip into the mind of the young to old psyche by exploring different thought processes and issues one can experience at various ages.

Printed on glossy, heavy-weight paper and bound with staples, this little zine pacts a punch in few pages. The essays are short, but not too short, each written from a different age perspective dealing with anything from mental health and the election to being "middle aged".

I felt the art inside the zine, especially the cover, really draws a reader in, really fitting in with the theme.

My main suggestion when deciding to dive-into (ha, see what I did there) this zine would be to take your time and let the essays sink in before speeding through the whole thing.



Overall, no matter what age, this zine manages to really draw your mind towards subjects some would try to pretend doesn't even exist. And, while one may find that something the complete opposite of what they would want to read, trust me, it's absolutely refreshing.

To purchase, click here.

Reviewed by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 01/17/2018; 3:23 PM CST

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