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


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Night of a Thousand Tears

via Blackguard on 7/27/10

[16 pages, digest, $? written by Pasquale Barilla, illustrated by Mechelle B. >>> pat.barilla (at) gmail.com +++ mechellebee (at) gmail.com ]
First of all, this zine has a really neat handmade feel - it's bound with stitching like from a sewing machine. There's a cool red cover and cream interior pages with brown ink.
The zine begins with some statistics and history. We learn that Super Mario Bros. was the greatest selling game of all time (but has recently been eclipsed by Wii Sports). SMB has sold roughly 38 million copies.
Then some history about Atari and how they had no quality control which led to the bulk of their games being shit (the nadir of which no doubt was ET.) There was a huge videogame crash until Nintendo reversed this with the introduction of their 'Nintendo Seal of Quality'. These games were played through before being released.
The rest of the zine is about Super Mario Bros. 2 - not the US version but the Japanese version - which was so sadistically hard that it was referred to as 'Soul Crusher', 'The Drinker of Tears' and 'The Lost Lives'. One night Pasquale and Mechelle and their friends played this game, dying often then passing the controller to the next optimistic masochist.
'We died an average 22.34 times per level.
We used 147 Continues.
We lost approximately 715 lives.'

The game may have caused some violent hair loss, but the story does have a happy ending. That night brought these housemates closer than ever.

[Send your comix or zine for review! >>> Stratu/Blackguard, PO Box 93, Paddington NSW 2021, AUSTRALIA]

Worms #6

Thursday, July 29, 2010

call for submissions to bra zine



If you're even remotely interested in hardcore and punk and want to be immersed in a zine for the better part of a week full of ... $4, 8 ¼ x 10 ½, glossy cover, newsprint, lots of pages, comes with CD.

Young Blooded Artists! Call for Zine Submissions!

C inical Depression Zine

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wombat Blues One

via Blackguard on 7/27/10

[12 pages, digest, $? by Fran MacDonald >>> fran (at) lifecycles.com.au +++ www.franmacdonald.com ]
A real fast read this, the first chapter in a longer story.
A bunch of teens at an end of Year 12 party in somebody's house at 3:30 in the morning, drunk and out of it sit in a circle and start up a game of Truth or Dare. The most interesting part for me was when the group was asked their favourite fantasy, the first one to answer, Joel, told a story about a guy lost in the mountains, in winter, it's getting dark, he's gonna freeze to death if he doesn't find shelter. He does though. He finds a wombat hole and crawls into it. Then the wombat arrives, enters the hole and snuggles up to the freezing man. Then starts eating the man's food.
The chapter ends with a plea for a sexual fantasy. Well, that's more like it, right? Maybe we'll get some of those in Chapter 2.
Holy shit, I just checked Fran's website and she's got 27 chapters up there!
So, is this a litzine or what? There doesn't seem to be any point in getting the zine if you have a computer. If you like the story you can just download the PDFs. If Fran's gonna self publish her stuff in paper format it would be better to print larger chunks (at least 10 chapters) rather than one chapter at a time.
As for the writing itself, it's a bit light for me. It seems to be targeted at *young adults*. I wish her the best of luck though.

Brainscan 25.5

THE CLEFT - a novel. Now Available in Paperback.

via SMOG CITY BLOG by wospress@gmail.com (MULNIX) on 7/14/10

Now Available: THE CLEFT, a 223 page novel in an attractive paperback edition.

Follow the misadventures of our lovable anti-hero Richard Wiggons as he stalks the nighttime city streets of Los Angeles looking for a peek, just a little peek, at God's own bounty: that which peeks from low-cut jeans: THE CLEFT.

Follow his nightmare journey through the underbelly of perverse America and the blood-soaked streets of Mexico. This one makes JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT look like an installment of Sweet Valley High, folks.

Written by Dick Wegmans. Layout and Design by Eddie Mulnix. 223 pages, paperback.

Get your copy now for $7-- ALL POSTAGE PAID. You won't find a better deal than that! Just check out the paypal link at the top of the page.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You Don't Get There From Here #14

via Blackguard on 7/27/10

[36 pages, half digest, $2.00 from Carrie McNinch, PO Box 49403, Los Angeles CA 49403, USA +++ cmcninch (at) gmail.com ]
Carrie's latest issue of her awesome diary comic begins with her dealing with the death of her cat Jesse. She wakes up and says, "Good morning, Jesse!" which freaks her other cat Milo out. It's funny and heartbreaking at the same time.
Carrie likes jogging around the trails up in the Hollywood Hills and she often comes across native wildlife. In this issue a slow-moving rattlesnake delays her run. She almost treads on another rattler that she first thinks is a stick. Another day, an elderly couple warns her that they've seen a giant owl and to be careful becuase it could easily eat her little dog Munkey. And another day she sees a coyote peeing for the first time. Then it's a visit to the dentist for a root canal. She also gets her wisdom teeth out. Holy shit what a month for dental trauma!
Elsewhere, Carrie writes a sentence I have no idea what it means but sure sounds pretty cool - "This morning I drove to Dick Blick to pick up microns for Steve..."
A highlight of this issue is Carrie's trip to Oaxaca to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos.
I never get sick of reading about all the stuff Carrie enjoys, like her library visits, making and going out for good food, hanging out with friends, her song choices at the top of each daily strip, and even the not-so-enjoyable stuff like her struggles with alcohol and rotten old depression/anxiety.
YDGTFH rocks and I'm always totally jazzed to get a new issue.

[Send your comix or zine for review! >>> Stratu/Blackguard, PO Box 93, Paddington NSW 2021, AUSTRALIA]

Potential Mode #3

Potential Mode #3
digest, 24 pages, $2 + $1 shipping
Another installment of Jeremy's zine features more of the same: bits of stories told mainly in comic form that are continuations from previous issues and remain unconcluded in this issue. I would categorize the bulk of the stories as fantasy, which is fine except that the offerings are so brief that it is difficult to really develop any interest in them. Most of my appreciation for this zine is for the artwork, which, for the most part, I am consistently impressed with. I think the highlight of this issue is the first act of a two act musical play featuring a bored housewife yearning for excitement and her clueless and ambivalent husband. Excitement ensues, but it's probably not the excitement that the wife was looking for. Song lyrics are included, but you'll have to make up your own music for them.
Jeremy Scott Nichols, 507 N. Poe St., Paoli IN 47454

Living in a Dying World #3

Living in a Dying World #3
digest, 40 pages, $2
Self-proclaimed tramp, Dan Nowhere, shares his adventures and misadventures trainhopping, hitchhiking, and sleeping in the streets. Attempts to leave Portland are initially thwarted but eventually lead to a short train ride and two bummed rides in pickup trucks. The first ride is by some crazed hyper-Christian with an apparent death wish. The second is by a drunk driver on his way to a country music festival. A trainhopping trip to Baltimore is spoiled by rain and the difficulty of finding a safe and dry place to sleep, culminating in feeling more accepted in a corporate, fast food joint than in a local, anarchist bookstore. A solo trip to D.C. is cut short as Dan becomes bogged down in frustration and loneliness and ultimately returns to Pittsburgh dejected but hopefull. These stories really held my interest because I have always found this lifestyle very intriguing and I really wish I was brave enough to hop a train, but also because the stories are very well-told and are filled with astute and intelligent musings and observations on modern American society. By all means, get yourself a copy of this.
Dan Nowhere, 28 Seine Way, Pittsburgh PA 15213

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blackgaurd #2

Blackgaurd #2, spring 2009
52 pages, digest, $5
It's about time I got around to reviewing this. By now, readers of Syndicated Zine Reviews should be familiar with this zine or at least with its publisher, Stuart Stratu, a fellow reviewer on this site. What struck me upon recieving this zine was the high quality paper, the professional binding, and the slick color cover. Apparently, the folks at Blackguard spare no expense in the publishing department. Now, does the content equal the production quality? That may be up for debate. The theme of the issue is "fathers," and the majority of the contributions are comics, each at least loosely based on dads. Several of them are pretty obscence, hence the "18+ Adult Themes" notice on the cover. A few of the stories are downright weird, while others are actually pretty endearing. There is also a wide range of artistic ability reflected in these comics, some of which is pretty impressive. My favorite involved a dad who surprises his daughter with a new set of teeth after his old ones had rotted away. There are also several pages of zine reviews. As is the nature of most comp zines, not everything included will be to your liking, but I think most folks will find something enjoyable within these pages.
Blackgaurd/Stuart Stratu, PO Box 93, Paddington NSW 2021, Australia

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Ken Chronicles #15

via Blackguard on 6/28/10

[28 pages, digest, $2.00 or fair trade or letter of comment >>> Ken Bausert, 2140 Erma Drive, East Meadow NY 11554-1120, USA +++ PassScribe (at) aol.com +++ thekenbausertchronicles.blogspot.com ]
In his latest Chronicles, Ken's written a five-page Technology update, including a story about his cable installer who narrowly avoided getting fried when he inadvertently drilled through a power cable outside Ken's basement. He also writes about his VHS/DVD recorder and computer developments.
Ken and his wife, Ro, and their friends Bob and Doris visited Cabo San Lucas in Mexico so we get that story along with a bunch of photos. They got heavily discounted accomodation but only because they agreed to go on a timeshare tour. This part of the story got ugly with one of the salesmen who Ken nicknamed 'The Weasel', a real shitbag by the sound of it.
There's also Ken's 'What I've Been ______ Lately' in which he fills us in on what he's been watching and reading lately. Everybody knows that I'm a big fan of this kind of information, and when I am Ruler Of The Zine Universe (= pretty soon) it will be obligatory to include a section like this in one's zine.
To wrap it up, one of 'Ken's Facts Of Life': 'Sales of vinyl records increased 33% in 2009, the largest jump since statistics on the subject began in 1991. - Newsday, April 16 2010.'
Fuck yeah. Vinyl FTW, motherfuckerz.

[Send your comix or zine for review! >>> Stratu/Blackguard, PO Box 93, Paddington NSW 2021, AUSTRALIA]

The East Village Inky #44

via Blackguard on 7/5/10

[40 pages, half digest, $3.00 from Ayun Halliday, PO Box 22754, Brooklyn NY 11202, USA +++ ayun (at) AyunHalliday.com +++ www.AyunHalliday.com ]
A real neat little zine this one, all hand written (and readable!) with loads of cool comic-y illustrations throughout.
The zine opens with a long piece, 'How To Become A Writer Without Sticking Your Head In The Oven, Drinking Yourself Through Your Bank Account/Liver And/Or Bludgeoning Your Significant Other To Death With His Own Award-Statuette 101' (which has gotta be a contender for longest zine article title). Ayun is working on a Zinester's Guide To New York City, and she makes some amusing comments about the Zinester's Guide To Portland - Portland culture being all about dumpster diving, bike power, solar, communalism, Generation Z, protest marching, and vegan street cred. She freaks out that she will write a positive review of a NYC restaurant that has meat on the menu and will be branded a big, old, cud-chewing, slack-uddered symbol of mainstream oppression.
In 'A Mother Goes To The Movies', Ayun writes about seeing the documentary Babies. She excerpts a couple of snarky reviews of this doco from The Onion and Time Out. These reviewers have the theory that one only need watch a few short YouTube videos of babies and that's sufficient, baby-wise. Kyle Smith, a reviewer from the New York Post comes in for special treatment, Ayun has one of the (African) mothers from the doco review Kyle Smith. Pretty funny.
There's a piece on Little Women, the novel by Louisa Marie Alcott. I haven't read this book myself, the only thing I know about it is Moe (owner of Moe's Tavern from The Simpsons) likes to read it to hospital patients as part of his volunteer work, and he gets very emotional. Ayun surveyed a large group of women she knows and got their favourite character from Little Women (most of them like Jo). The funniest response was from Little MoMo, actor: "I never read that fuckin' book." Also Jenn F., librarian: "I found them all annoying. I tried to re-read it recently and couldn't get even a few pages in."
Finally, Greg (Ayun's 'significant other') exposes the pilates scandal and why women can do it and men can't. That one was pretty damn funny too.
I also have to say it's pretty amazing Ayun has put out 44 of these. Pretty damn cool. Ayun, you rock.

[Send your comix or zine for review! >>> Stratu/Blackguard, PO Box 93, Paddington NSW 2021, AUSTRALIA]

P.S. Ayun also gets big points for her cool envelope with real postage stamps (The Simpsons! American Clock!). And rubber stamps! >>>

Cinema Sewer #23

via Blackguard on 7/9/10

[44 pages, standard comic book size, $4.00, Adults Only, from Robin Bougie >>> mindseye100 (at) hotmail.com +++ www.cinemasewer.com ]
Published annually, Cinema Sewer is worth the wait, no doubt about it.
Once you've spent several hours admiring the excellent Bob Fingerman cover, you'll find a whole bunch of great stuff in this issue:
+ A piece on 'film noir' by Robin Bougie (and illustrated by David Paleo), including twenty examples of the best of the genre;
+ Andy Copp's look back at early '90s compilation videos, in particular the two that started it all - The Amok Assault Video, and Video Macumba (reputedly assembled by Mike Patton). Copp also mentions others, like Dr Randall [Fuck zine] Phillip's Terror Tape;
+ Classic XXX porn reviews from Belgian porn historian Dries Vermeulen;
+ 'Cinema Sewer's Top 100 Films of the Decade';
+ Josh Simmons's illustrated review of Messiah of Evil, "the greatest early-1970s Southern California fractured stoner magic Lovecraftian blood moon zombie slow nightmare horror movie ever made";
+ 'Dying To Be in The Movies : The History of On-Set Film Death' by Robin Bougie (illos by Robin Thompson). Here's one notable for its tragi-comic nature: Boris Sagal, father of Katey Sagal (Peggy Bundy in Married With Children and Leela from Futurama), died while directing a made-for-TV movie (World War III (1983)) when he absent-mindedly walked into the tail rotor blade of a helicopter;
+ 'Ask The Bougieman!' where Robin answers questions about his stance on Blu-Ray, Canadian censorship laws, erotica vs. porn, historically important cumshots, and prostitution in Canada (legal or not?);
+ 'Patton Oswalt Presents Gaytham For Statham' in which Oswalt confesses his love for actor Jason Statham then suggests a bunch of movies that would have been improved by the addition of that actor. For example: "Doubt: Jason Statham drop-kicks the Pope through the core of the Earth and the Pope's head goes up Meryl Streep's ass and then Motorhead's 'The Ace of Spades' plays"; (Full disclosure: Patton Oswalt is one of my favourite comedians. About five years ago I made a copy of Oswalt's version of the Black Angus steakhouse ad for a fellow at work and ever since then whenever we cross paths we loudly greet one other "Hey, Peaches!", because, see, according to Patton Oswalt, "At Black Angus, your name is "Peaches""! Haw!)
+ Plus more! ... Not much more, just a few bits and pieces.
Bougieman's also got a bunch of other comix zines that came out at the same time: Sleazy Slice #4, Dear Mr. Bougie Book 2, and Maximum Superexcitement #3. I've said it before - I think Robin has found a way to function without sleeping.

[Send your comix or zine for review! >>> Stratu/Blackguard, PO Box 93, Paddington NSW 2021, AUSTRALIA]

iZine 2.0

via Blackguard on 7/12/10

[64 pages, digest, $5.00 (includes cassette!) >>> David Puckeridge, PO Box 872, Katoomba NSW 2780, AUSTRALIA ]
Before I begin the review, how about a brief history lesson? Ahem...
April 1996 was a momentous month! You see, not only was it the month Sick Puppy Comix #1 came out, but so did David Puckeridge's Gristle Fern #1. Naturally, in the small Sydney minicomix scene it wasn't long before we discovered one another's bold new self-publishing ventures. So Mr Puckeridge and I have a history - we've been comix pals since that time, half a million years ago.
iZine 2.0 follows in a similar vein to David's last zine Bang Drop It! More fun with photocopiers, scissors, glue, old magazines, new magazines, newspapers, pens, staplers, and many other technologically primitive yet wonderful objects. And in this spirit, it comes with a soundtrack on cassette! The soundtrack features David's experiments with an old tape recorder with a Record button that you could push part way in to manipulate the speed of the tape, with fascinating and hilarious results. [These effects became impossible with the later 'one touch' recording button tape decks/recorders.]
Here's a sampling of what's to be found in the zine: David's drawings of objects (eg. fan, banana, railway station, zeppelin) and people (eg. random commuter, 7 News newsreader, nun); xerox machine experiments; magazine cigarette ads, a tribute page to Shannon Noll (or it could be a 'found object' - a page from a Shannon Noll stalker's diary); and a bunch of David's replica drawings of magazine and newspaper covers. These are really cool (he also makes large scale paintings of these).
The one thing missing from his zine though is comix. The only comix he seems to be doing these days are the ones I trick him into drawing for Blackguard.

[Send your comix or zine for review! >>> Stratu/Blackguard, PO Box 93, Paddington NSW 2021, AUSTRALIA]

Saturday Night

via Blackguard on 7/20/10

[12 pages, digest, $?, from rebeccasheedy (at) live.com ]
I'm guessing, but I'd say this is Rebecca's first comic. Each page has a three-panel strip featuring *highlights* of one of her Saturday nights. It's a fast read, and in no time at all we learn that Rebecca is a gamer, likes Blur, tea, beer, playing guitar, baking, reading, and watching The Bill. My favourite panel is the one (that happens on the one Saturday night here that she actually leaves the house) at the comedy show where she disagrees with the comic who makes fun of Guitar Hero. (I'm on Rebecca's side here. I've got the first Guitar Hero and have had some AWESOME drunken Guitar Hero nights with my friend Aaron).
If I could make some suggestions though, if Rebecca makes another comic (and she should, of course) she should do an actual comic style drawing for the cover; have more than one three-panel strip per page; and include a real actual physical postal address. Just having an email and URL doesn't cut it.

Xerography Debt #27

via Blackguard on 7/21/10

[68 pages, digest, $3.00, edited by Davida Gypsy Breier >>> Microcosm Publishing, 222 S Rogers St, Bloomington IN 47404, USA +++ davida (at) leekinginc.com +++ www.leekinginc.com +++ send your comix and zines for review to Davida Gypsy Breier, PO Box 11064, Baltimore MD 21212, USA ]
This came in the mail today so I bumped it to the top of my 'to review' pile. The arrival of a new issue of Xerography Debt (and likewise Zine World) in my mailbox equals a Great Mail Day Squared Times Infinity.
First of all, the cover by Hai Anxieti is so fucking cool. That's me, that monkey! (It's probably you, too, if you're reading this.) Whenever I'm on the bus reading XD or some other awesome great zine or comix, the bus is usually mostly full of robotic sheep fiddling with their latest gadget, or just sitting there with the white wires plugged into their heads. Sometimes one of them will see that I'm reading something they can't imagine what it is, and I see some flicker of yearning flash in their eyes. Only one time did somebody actually come up and ask me what it was I was reading. (Although I'm ashamed to admit I'm the same way with other busriders who are reading a book. I wish I had the courage to go up and ask them what the book is.)
Well, that's off the track somewhat, so let's get back to XD27.
There's a terrific article called 'Where Are They Now?' which interviews a bunch of ex-ziners to find out why they quit publishing and what they're up to now. One of them is heartbreaking - on the night two sisters were supposed to be putting together their latest issue, one of them died in a car crash.
Next up are columns by distinguished ziners like Jeff Somers (The Inner Swine) and Gianni Simone (Call And Response, Kairan,).
From there on it's pages and pages of wonderful comix and zine reviews. The way these are set up is pretty cool. Each reviewer has their own section with a small photo/picture, a short and snappy introduction, followed by reviews of whatever zines have jazzed them during the previous six months. Reviewers this time around are Anne Thalheimer, D. Blake Werts, Clint Johns, Eric Lyden, Fred Argoff, Gavin J. Grant, Joe Biel, Julie Dorn, Kris Mininger, Matt Fagan, Maynard Welstand and Stephanie Jarman. (Mega thanks to Clint Johns and Matt Fagan for their awesome cool reviews of Blackguard #2! You guys! *Blub!*)
Review zines like Xerography Debt are an important resource in this internet age. Here in Australia we have Sticky (in Melbourne) the zine store and distro, and they have a monthly e-newsletter which is cool and all, but they really need to start up a paper reviewzine like XD or Zine World. (Ya reading this, Sticky?)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Regeneration #7

Regeneration #7
digest, 36 pages, $2
Deeply personal perzine. Ashlee pulls all the punches and courageously shares tales of excessive drunkeness and reckless abandoment. Beginning with tales of drinking and drug use as a youngster and moving on to her early adult life, Ashlee details some of her most careless and dangerous moments while also admitting her enjoyment of a lifestyle that includes nightly apartment parties, being kicked out of bars, and run-ins with the cops. Her story becomes especially engrossing as she unveils her DWI arrest in which an Intoxilyzer test revealed a .20 alcohol concentration. Ashlee admits that her drinking days are not over and her "destructive behavior" continues, but she has slowed down a bit with age and believes that at some point she will abandon the chaos and embrace something more important. Meanwhile, her stories (and there are plenty she has yet to tell) are quite enthralling. Also included is a list of book recomendations mainly dealing with drug and alcohol craziness.

Greenwoman #6

Greenwoman #6
digest, 48 pages, $3.50
Sandra offers up another great issue of her green zine. This year she not only has her home gardens to tend to but has also joined a brand new community garden and has a plot there as well. She details the efforts of a group called Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, who endeavor to get more community and school gardens started in the Colorado Springs area. Sandra also shares her experience growing garlic for the first time and offers some interesting tips and facts about garlic. A main feature of this zine is a two part story about Sandra's 1930's stove and how after many years of being a mainstay in her home it has now been replaced by a newer model. There are a couple of excellent contributions by guest writers as well. This is a great issue to acquaint yourself with the greenwoman if you haven't already.
Greenwoman, PO Box 6587, Colorado Springs CO 80934

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Simple Routines #12

Yo! Burbalino #4

via Blackguard on 7/8/10

[28 pages, digest, $3.00 from Greg Farrell, 345 Eldert St #117, Brooklyn NY 11237, USA +++ doctormobogo (at) gmail.com +++ yoburbalino.com ]
Here's more comic adventures with Chef Don, Earl Squirrel and Ronnie Randerhoeven. The first story deals with prejudice - a seal with an ice cream stand refuses to sell Earl an ice cream because he's a squirrel. But! Earl has a plan to overcome this egregious injustice! The story ends with Chef Don's recipe for ice cream. I've never seen real actual recipes used in comics before. It's a welcome development!
Next up is an autobiographical tale of pre-teen racial strife at a shoe store; another rapping-style comic; then Ronnie Randerhoeven eats a banana, bins the skin, then takes a bath. What happens next, does he really poop out the banana, or is it an acual poop? He eats it though. Looks like he really enjoys it!
In 'Cricketal Acclaim', Don, Earl and Ronnie perform a comedy show hosted by a squirrel with a weird speech defect (reminded me of YB#3 and the French waiter). Wrapping up the issue is another rap style comic. "On a village on the moon, there's no light there. We're all pale, it's a nightmare." I really love this stuff.
Greg's got some really cool shit going on in his comics. Can't wait for the next one.

Out of the City and into The Trees Issue One

The Solar Brothers Volume II

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bang Drop It! #1

via Blackguard on 6/7/10

[68 pages, digest, $Free, David Puckeridge, contact Blackguard for ordering info >>> sstratu (at) gmail.com ]
This zine should be subtitled 'Fun With Photocopiers', since it was made over two days and David obviously had a total (toner) blast making it.
The images here are clipped from magazines, newspapers, supermarket catalogues, god knows where else, even instant lottery tickets and fast food voucher stubs are used and abused, text cut and pasted over other images (my favourite is the 'Rodent Plague Fleeing Drought'), speech balloons added, also David's own drawings strategically placed throughout. The whole thing adds up to a hilarious and disturbing picture of the modern world. And perhaps, a disturbing peep into the mind of David Puckeridge.

[Send your comix or zine for review! >>> Stratu/Blackguard, PO Box 93, Paddington NSW 2021, AUSTRALIA]

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