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


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Three Days of My Life I Will Never Get Back


Lost In The Suburbz #6

Lost In The Suburbz #6

[Thanks to Candace at Sticky for sending me this.]

32 pages, digest size, lostinthesuburbz [at] hotmail.com + PO Box 762, Hillarys WA 6923, AUSTRALIA
A perfect example of substance over style, Lost is cut'n'paste text wall-to-wall (except for the gnome pictures on the front and back covers and inside back page). Casual intro like your friend telling you what happened. "Noah was too busy making an album to actually write something this time... Zero has quit the 'zine to start his own 'zine, so this piece will be his last piece in Lost."
Contributor Goth Cunt lists stuff he loves doing, like "watching Titanic the movie just for the one scene where the boat tips and the guy holding the rail falls and hits the chimney stack and goes Ping..."
Zero's Last Words in which he admits he was never technically a punk, which fact will no doubt shock some readers. He's gonna start up a new zine and/or website.
The highlight is 'Things You Never Knew About China' by Little G. It's a list of 30 things. "#4: Apparently Mao bashing, even in jest, will get anyone killed (high treason), so if you can't beat 'em, why not sell out all your beliefs and join 'em! LONG LIVE MAO!" and "#27: One of the provinces in China has allowed to, legally, eat babies. They are a fine meal and most babies eaten are female. So far I have seen pictures of bbq baby, baby stew, and smoked baby. There is a picture of a baby's vertebrae and you can see the limbs of the baby on his plate. Thank god I'm a vegetarian because after these pics, I sure as hell would be." No, this can't be true. He's seen 'pics'. The Chinese may execute 123,000,000 prisoners a year but they surely would not allow the consumption of babies.
There's also an interview with Deron Miller from a band called CKY. I've never heard of them but the interview made me wanna check 'em out.
There's also two very funny 'Perth guides' - the first is where to walk a dog (you gotta make sure to bring a picnic to appease the dog because "the dog has better things to do than hang out with you"); the second is a tour by yourself without a dog. "...keep walking down the road in the direction of Dada's. Throw dirty looks at the people trying to sell you shit." I'm definitely gonna do this next time I visit Perth.
This issue wraps up with a piece about the Gnome Liberation Front. There's pictures. The only images in this zine are of these gnomes, so I figure this story really struck a chord with the editor.
I'm sold on this one. I wanna get the back issues and forward issues.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

new zines at doris distro

new zines

It's Down to This: reflections, stories, experiences, critiques and ideas on community collective response to sexual violence, abuse and accountability
this huge zine (100 pages!) is a tremendous resource for people who are committed to ending sexual violence. The past few years have seen an upsurge of community-accountability processes of dealing with assault - and lots of questions and issues these processes have raised. This zine collects a mulititude of stories, reflections and articles - from advice on finding a therapist, written by a perpetrator who is in an accountability process, to articles describing what different accountability groups look like, to raw stories of the failure of radical communities to step up and offer support to survivors. Intense and essential zine for people doing this work.

Mend My Dress: issues 7+8
Featured in the book Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, Mend My Dress is a zine mostly about sexual abuse survival, about girl power, and girl love. Issues 7 and 8 come together in one envelope. Stories of an abusive relationship and getting out of it, problems with an IUD, what to do when your abusive ex-boyfriend starts dating someone you work with, how to keep girl-love-girl-power alive, stories of birth, stories of home.

Postcards from other worlds

Zine Review: Zine Dump #28


Sent to you via Google Reader

Zine Reviews: September '11


Sent to you via Google Reader

Virginia Is a People Name

Yard Sale! #10

Zine Review: Yard Sale! #10

Harley R. Pageot's life path has been entwined with the music he has loved, from grunge to punk to indie rock and indie pop. His relationship with musical endeavors is central to Yard Sale! #10, a well produced zine. I enjoyed Harley's clean, minimalist writing style. He recounts an interesting story about playing skating songs on a CBC Radio 3 live broadcast. and how he and his friends created the Broken Arts Collective with the vision of bringing together diverse artists. Yard Sale! is published four times a year and is an ambitious project.

Map of Fog 3

Map of Fog 3

I first came across Map of Fog when I was writing zine reviews for Zine World. It was one of the best zines I had ever read, a non-fiction zine telling tales of San Francisco, focused on people. Mature and professional, with a strong voice, yet DIY and personable, it was all the things I liked best about zines. I got in touch with its creator Marcos Soriano, and in that way I got a hold of Map of Fog 2, which is probably just as good.

Two weeks ago I got Map of Fog 3 in the mail, and it didn't disappoint. This one's almost entirely interviews. The interviews are with everyday people of San Francisco, and all come from elsewhere: Tennessee, Laos, England, Hong Kong, and El Salvador. The people are fascinating. Is everyone that fascinating, when interviewed with skill? The last piece in the zine is about some buildings in the Sunset (one of San Francisco's neighborhoods) that house secret societies.

Map of Fog remains one of my favorite zines of all time!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Foxes in the supermarket and Complaint letters

Having a good whinge!

One of the things I love about zines is that they are a perfect platform to get those irritations of modern life off your chest! This also means they deal with subjects rarely documented anywhere else and give a voice to people who would otherwise remain totally unrepresented in the published record of Australian life. Two examples of this have been on my desk recently; Foxes in the supermarket and Complaint letters
Complaint letters and Foxes in the supermarket
Foxes in the supermarket actually contains two works by different authors published back to back on inverted pages. Written by Aaron Matthews and Beck Vinci the works are anecdotal descriptions of the frustrations and annoyances suffered by people working in Supermarkets. I was really drawn to this zine as my sister works in a supermarket and based on her stories and those in the zine it is obvious that the experience of dealing with the public, while sometimes a delight, has some universal pitfalls!
Complaint letters, written by Smells Like Zines Distro is a collection of letters of complaint  and the responses generated by the letters. It demonstrates how difficult it is to get a genuine personal response or resoulution to a problem you have with a large company and how the official line for dealing with complaints when applied to all situations can result in the ridiculous.
These zines inspire me to think about writing my own zine about things that annoy me. For instance, I have long felt that it is a low act to have only 11 Tim Tams per packet. You either have to have exactly 11 people to share the packet or there will be fights! Is this a cunning ploy to get us to buy two packets?

Bad Breath Comics #3

Bad Breath Comics #3

Bad Breath Comics #3

Some of these comics reminded me of Raymond Pettibon not just in style but in tone as well. Minimalist Black and white deeply contrasted drawings juxtaposed with ambiguous-yet-provocative dialogue. If that sounds appealing to you (it does to me), then get this immediately. The stories go from strange to political to strange again. I really liked this. 

Zine News Round-Up: 4.09.11 from Spill The Zines!

Zine News Round-Up: 4.09.11

Hello! Cath is away on holiday this week so I'm in charge of the news. I'm a new contributor to Spill The Zines and I'm really looking forward to writing for the blog, hearing your comments and reading some fabulous zines.

Emma x


1. Zine Releases
2. Upcoming Events
3. Submission Calls
4. Zine Reviews
5. Distro News
6. AOB (Any Other Business)


1. Zine Releases
- Chella Quint (editor of Adventures in Menstruating) has released a new zine on the topic of space, brilliantly titled " It's Not You, I Just Need Space: Interplanetary Letters of Love and Rejection." To get hold of a copy, you can email Chella at chartyourcycleATgmailDOTcom.
- Sometimes I’m Dreaming #6 is now for sale! Buy your copy at Lisa’s etsy page: http://www.etsy.com/shop/sometimesimdreaming
- The first issue of Cosmoqueer is available to read as a PDF here. Cosmoqueer is for the fabulous and feisty, and the first issue is the femme issue.

2. Upcoming Events
- Sheffield Zine Fair: 25th September. Stall applications now closed!
- Camden Zine Fest: 8th October. Stall and workshop applications are now open, and they’re completely free! Will is particularly keen to have zinesters and DIY types tabling there, so book yours at http://camdenzinefest.blogspot.com/.

3. Submission Calls
- Girls Get Busy are looking for contributors to Girls Get Busy #8. Girls Get Busy is a feminist collective supporting female writers, musicians and artists and they're looking for art, words, photos, drawings, or whatever else you can think of. Deadline is the 20th September.
- Sheffield based LaDIYfest are creating their first zine just in time for the Sheffield zine fest, and they're looking for submissions and ideas, emailed to ladiyfestsheffATgmailDOTcom, or if you'd rather post your submissions you can email them for a postal address.
- Year Of The Shorts are looking for submissions to their new zine Two Oh Me Too - on the loose subject of inclusion, being part of something and a sense of belonging - but it could inversely be exclusion, outsiders, or a fear of crowds. The deadline is November 30th and you can find more details here.
- Cosmoqueer are looking for submissions for the second issue of their zine, which will be about Disney. Deadline is at the end of October, and they're looking for fanart, personal stories, critical reviews or anything else Disney-related. You can email cosmoqueerATgmailDOTcom for more information and to submit. More info here.

4. Zine Reviews
- Sophie at Oh My Clumsy Heart has posted some zine recommendations – take a look.
- Hannah posted a bumper blog update last Sunday, with sixteen zine reviews! Take a look here.

5. Distro news
- Marching Stars distro has had a huge update, with 12 new zines and some cool monster temp tattoos in the catalogue! www.marchingstars.co.uk

5. A.O.B.
- Salford Zine Library has an exhibition at Salford Art Gallery running from 15th October 2011 to 29th January 2012. They are looking to show a film at the exhibition made up of short videos (less than 5 minutes) that contributors to the library have made of themselves. The video will explain why you self-publish and talk about the zines you produce. If you’re interested, get in touch at salfordzinelibraryATgooglemailDOTcom. 

The Juniper #14

Zine Review: The Juniper #14

I'm finally sitting down to review this slender and friendly zine written by Dan Murphy. The Juniper 14 starts out with Dan saying "Cooperation is a pretty good mechanism for survival." If only most of western culture felt the same! Dan gives words to thoughts and topics I have pondered most of my adult life. We live in an era where the choices we make will affect the very viability of our species. To support endless war or to wage peace? To continue to allow countless millions to starve to death or learn how to feed ourselves safely and sanely? To care for the ecosystem like it is the last precious thing on earth ... or have the earth spin into the future with thousands of species (including humans) extinct.

The change that needs to be embraced is not one huge change, but billions of small changes in our lives. Unplugging and being present in the here and now.

The Juniper is a step toward positive change. A newsletter for gentle souls who seek harmony with the earth. Oh, and also for people who want to learn how to build a portable stove, make buckwheat stuffing, and edamame hummus.

There's a link to Dan's blog over in the "cool places to visit" section.

Fwd: 9/20 Optical Sloth

Optical Sloth
Brookes, Gareth – The Black Project #1
September 19, 2011 at 6:08 PM

The Black Project #1

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Printed Matter, Inc. presents
September 30–October 2, 2011
Free preview: Thursday, Sept. 29, 6–9 p.m.

One Minute Zine Reviews, Night Train to Mundo Fine, Signals

I have three zines to review here, all from our new friend and syndicated reviewer, DJ Fredrick.

One Minute Zine Reviews #1, 2011: The Revenge of Print!
16 pages, digest
Price, $2

It's exactly what the title says. 10 zine reviews plus 1 cassette review and 1 book review. The "One Minute" part is taken from his radio show of the same name. The reviews are in no way micro-brief, nor glib, as one might misinterpret. The reviews are about average in length compared to places like Zine World and Factsheet 5, and adequately describe content, etc, to the perspective reader. Neither overly opinionated nor wimpy, just good reporting.

Night Train to Mundo Fine
4 pages, half legal
Price, one stamp

This one I'm not sure what to make of, as it is very brief (one piece of paper, folded,) and my first exposure to it. This unit is pulled together around the general theme of manual typewriters, the ever changing forms of media, what we may be losing in the process, and a little angst thereabouts. While I can't say I agree with the angst or lamenting, I certainly share some nostalgia and some concern regarding the pros and cons of the digital age. The music of Fletcher Tucker, the film, "So Wrong They're Right,"(exploring the underworld of 8-track enthusiasts / eccentrics,) and a poem.

Signals #5, a Media and Radio Zine
28 pages, half legal
Price, $4

This is the meatiest of the three zines: introduction to shortwave pirate radio, glossary of shortwave terms, DJ's 8 eight favorite radio programs of the last 50 years, a beginners guide to buying portable shortwave receivers, my first pirate radio station, Ian Freeman & Liberty Radio Network, 8-Track Mind Magazine, the film "So Wrong They're Right", and eight noble truths. I have to say, this was very engaging. I got caught up in DJ's fascination, although I admit I skimmed over most of the technical stuff, I have a new appreciation for the whole subculture, which is kind of like the zinesters of the airwaves. I had no idea. Nice work.

End Notes: based solely on these three issues that all arrived together, (along with a nice handwritten introduction page,) I don't see the need for Night Train as a stand alone publication: it's only one piece of paper, it's on the same general topic as Signals, and there is overlapping content. As a consumer I'd like it more if it were all rolled up into one, even if that meant alternating themed issues.

Fredrick Moe
36 West Main St
Warner NH 03278

Monday, September 19, 2011

doris zine blog

new zines

New zines at Doris Distro. www.dorisdorisdoris.com/zines

Get Fit for the Pit #1: A zine on Taking Back Our Health and Fitness
Excellent compilation zine by punks about getting physical activity in their lives – not preachy or creepy at all. It's so great to see how different people find different ways to get active - Roller Derby, Yoga, Rugby, Hooping, the Gym, Running, Hiking.

An Essay by David "Spoonboy" Combs on Sexism and Rape Culture in Punk
everyone should read this - even if you're not a punk

An Activist Approach to dealing with Domestic Violence
This zine came out awhile back, and really needs to be in circulation. It's got really great articles and powerful interviews with people who work against Domestic Violence, who have survived domestic violence, and people who have recognized their own violent behaviors and have worked to change themselves. Articles include: Challenging Assumptions about Domestic Violence, Why Should Men Care about Sexual Violence, Organizing for Our "No Use for Abuse" Weekend, and much more.

Zine Recommendations from Hannah Reads Zines

Sixteen Zine Recommendations

My deepest apologies for the delay in updating this blog, it has certainly not been intentional and I hope that readers have not given up on it. I can now reveal the reason behind my silence … my partner and I are having a baby in early March! Whilst this is happy and exciting news I have unfortunately been suffering very badly with morning (noon and night) sickness and haven’t been able to do much except sleep, read and watch TV for a few months. I am into the second trimester now and hopefully passing through this sickness stage, so expect more updates here and some new zines soon. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this bumper post with no less than sixteen zine recommendations!

Before I move on to the recommendations, I’d just like to cheekily plug my new-ish etsy shop, where you can buy all my currently in-print zines.


Buy Her Candy #1
By Bettie (UK) bettieriotATgmail.com
Buy Her Candy #1 is the latest zine from Bettie, of Anatomical Heart fame. Bettie opens by explaining that Anatomical Heart is dead as she doesn’t want to write about mental illness anymore, or at least not her own (she is a student mental health nurse). I’ve always loved Bettie’s writing style and eye for layouts (using lots of pretty and vintage imagery) and it is lovely to see them again here, 10 months after the final issue of Anatomical Heart came out. Bettie discusses a variety of interesting topics including body hair and her choice to shave, marriage/civil partnership, hoarding and moving house. There’s also a very sweet section where she reveals several of the things she loves about her girlfriend. As ever with shorter zines I couldn’t help wishing Buy Her Candy #1 was a bit longer than its 24 pages, but that’s just my greediness. A positive, cute and fun read, which makes some serious points along the way.

Dig Deep #3 / Your Secretary 10

By Heather (US) indicativeATgmail.com (Dig Deep) & Jami Sailor (US) yoursecretaryzineATgmail.com (Your Secretary)

This is a very enjoyable and well-written split zine on the topic of library-love. Both writers are employed in libraries, and share their love (mostly) for their jobs with wider experiences of using libraries and choosing to work in the profession. There are also amusing stories about library-related happenings, and on Heather’s side the story of how she began to create a public zine library at her workplace.
(You can read an interview I did with Heather here.)

Ellipsis #1
By Sarah-Beth (UK) kittenesqueATgmail.com
I had been following the progress of Sarah-Beth’s zine for quite some time, through Twitter and our letters, so was very excited to receive a finished copy a couple of months ago; and Ellipsis did not disappoint! Sarah-Beth opens by saying that she has been planning to make a zine for “what feels like the longest time” but has felt held back by procrastination and worries that the zine wouldn’t live up to expectations. I think (almost?) all of us zinesters have been there, and it was good to hear these thoughts voiced out loud, as it were. Sarah-Beth also discusses about her relationship with food, and her thoughts on the good/bad dialogue that often surrounds our food choices; cycling again after 10+ years without it (and in a city, too) and being brave and going to things alone, rather than missing out on them. She also includes some album reviews (something more zines could do with IMHO, mine included) and everything is very prettily and neatly presented, with clear thought and attention. The only thing I wish was a wee bit different about Ellipsis is that it was longer than 24 quarter-sized pages, but as has been well-documented here, I have a personal preference for longer zines.

Fanzine Ynfytyn #9
By Emma (UK) emmajanefalconerATgmail.com

Another fun, whimsical zine from Emma. I chose this issue to review from the large pile of Fanzine Ynfytyns I am fortunate to have in my possession, because, somewhat self-absorbed-ly, I could relate to a fair bit of it. Emma shares what she is on the look on for in charity shops (my own list: typewriters, old books and maps I can cut up for collages; frames and unusual knitwear), pays tribute to those 2p machines you get in arcades (my devotion goes so deep as to have a replica one of these) and reviews the progress she has made with her childhood ambitions (very similar to mine and including a desire to have her artwork appear on several late 80s/early 90s kids’ TV shows). She also talks about the time she didn’t dance with Kathleen Hanna and ponders what amoebas have to worry about (more than you may imagine).
(You can read an interview I did with Emma here.)

Here. In My Head #9
By Cath (UK) contactATcatherineelms.co.uk

Cath’s zines are a fantastic example of combining the personal with the political, as she combines her own thoughts, observations and experiences with wider feminist issues. Here. In My Head #9 sees Cath switched on, intelligent and occasionally righteously angry, and is a nice long read bound to keep you entertained for a while and to leave you with plenty to think about. My favourite section was that on “Anti-Feminist Bingo” in which she systematically and logically rebuffs some frequent statements made against feminist views, such as “Why not equalism?” and “You feminists all hate men”. There are also articles on technology, in which Cath ponders our reliance on it and her attempts to spend at least an afternoon a week free of technology; and thealogy – very educational from my point of view as I know nothing about the topic and enjoyed learning about the various goddesses Cath described. Elsewhere in the zine are some shorter pieces including some lists (always good) and unsent notes (something my nosy side enjoyed). Cath has put a lot of time into the layouts here, and this shows – no two two-page spreads are the same.
(You can read an interview I did with Cath here).

Kankedort #0

By Kagey (Canada) nerdturdATgmail.com

Kagey sent this along with a trade we organised for her zine Echo! Echo!, and I have to say, whilst I enjoyed both zines, this “24 Hour Zine Thing Zine” was my favourite. Mostly because it is a letters zine, and I adore letters zines. Even when I know none of the people to whom the writer is addressing their (un)sent letters to I love getting an insight into their character and the dynamics of the relationship they have with whoever they are writing to. I’m just nosy I suppose. Layout-wise Kankedort #0 is attractive, with typewritten text and a variety of bold backgrounds (many of which feature stars, yay!).

Larry #4
By Lee (UK) dis_connectedAThotmail.co.uk

I have guilty owed Lee a letter for far too long now, and reading the latest issue of his zine, undoubtedly one of my favourite current UK zines, reminded me that I need to get my butt in gear regarding it. Anyway, this zine is written in Lee’s characteristic considered and humorous style, with plenty of asides and meandering thoughts stemming off the main stories, accompanied by his stylish and original illustrations. Topics of choice for Larry #4 include jobseeking and the difficulty of making a living from your passion (in Lee’s case, illustration) when there aren’t many open avenues to paid employment within it; playing sports (definitely an under-represented topic in the world of zines), walking and tricky train journeys. There’s also a tutorial on stretching paper, an ode to backpacks and lots of shorter pieces of (generally humourous) observations of Lee’s. A very enjoyable and apparently under-rated (or at least under-aware-of) zine.

Mix Zine #2: Favourite Females
By Fliss (UK) flisscATgmail.com

A mix CD and a zine – such a fantastic idea! Fliss has since made several more issues of this zine, but being a fan of female fronted music I had to pick this one to review first. All issues of Mix Zine consist of a mix CD wrapped up in an unfolding double-sided A3 zine all about the bands and songs featured. Fliss writes about why she personally loves these songs, how she discovered them and the feelings each piece of music evokes. Issues of Mix Zine are presented sealed so that the exact tracklist remains a secret, but to give you something of an idea of the variety of music represented here I will give a quick “spoiler” and say included among its 13 tracks are Mirah, Shonen Knife, Linolium, Shannon and Throwing Muses.

Mythologizing Me #3
By Ingrid (UK) mythologizingmezine.blogspot.com

Ingrid’s zines are fast becoming some of my favourites – honest, confessional perzines with lots of self-reflection (of the type that isn’t only about herself, but taps into wider issues) and cut and paste layouts. In Mythologizing Me #3 she discusses living with her family (the ups, the downs and coping strategies such as frequent weekends away), anxiety, photography, budgeting and job-hunting; amongst Enid Blyton, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and a love of horses. I believe many people would be able to relate to Ingrid’s job and living situation, and to her astute observations on the difficulty of being a young person and/or recent graduate in today’s job market. Ingrid uses a variety of different layouts and fonts (including a typewriter – always good!) and there are a few lyrical/musical references too (again, always good).

Pieces #6 : On Commuting
By Nichole (US) nicholeATillvision.net

After taking a year out of the 9 til 5 to focus on her writing, Nichole felt it was time for her to return to fulltime work. She secured a job in Chicago, which entailed a 55 mile journey (each way) via car, commuter train, city train and walking. Pieces #6 is an exploration of that commute, with the writing largely taken from a journal Nichole kept over the course of a few months. It’s an impressively long zine (over 80 quarter size pages) but the quality of the writing doesn’t suffer for this – you can tell Nichole is an experienced writer who puts a lot of effort into crafting sentences and maintaining a steady pace. I loved the layouts she created too – they incorporate maps, dirt, timetables and photographs of places Nichole saw along her commute, and add to the sense that spending so long every day commuting was claustrophobic and exhausting. The zine is loosely divided into sections based around weeks of commuting and themes to Nichole’s thoughts, and although the repetitive nature of commuting does come through in the writing at times it is never dull and she adds sparkle with her descriptions of others making the journey – for example an attractive guy who plays Valkyrie Profile every day.
(You can read an interview I did with Nichole here.)

Roots Of Hope #2
By Korinna (US) rockstarwithwordsATyahoo.com

Wow. Wow. Where to start with reviewing this zine? It’s one of those stupendous, long, packed zines that I feel incapable of describing in a way that will do it justice. It’s as fat as a book, and packed with words, photographs, collages and experiences. Simply put, Roots Of Hope #2 is an account of Korinna’s travels though Central America, taking in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Belize and Panama (there’s also a few pages of thoughts from when Korinna was in Ireland). Like a good travel zine should, reading Roots Of Hope #2 made me feel as if I was travelling alongside Korinna, and her writing made the places she visited feel vivid and alive. Korinna made an effort to get to know the local communities she stayed amongst, and this made for many interesting encounters and reflections on varying but often politically-related topics. Just read it.

Sometimes I’m Dreaming #6
By Lisa (UK) sometimesimdreamingAThotmail.co.uk

Lisa’s zines are undoubtedly among my favourites, and I always look forward to the latest edition to this beautiful, whimsical series of perzines. Sometimes I’m Dreaming #6 sees Lisa preparing to move away from her parents house, and taking several other large steps towards her future in volunteering at a charity shop and job-hunting. Her discussion of the latter includes an account of an interview for a job Lisa loved the sound of but was not successful in securing, and sadly (and anger-inducingly) it appears she was not given full consideration for the job once the manager learned she is a mother. Lisa’s account of volunteering is generally positive and displays the benefits she has gained from the experience (the sense of a job well done and increased confidence amongst others), however also demonstrates the sometimes exclusionary attitude of the other volunteers (something I could relate to, feeling that I have never fitted in at any workplace). Later in the zine there are accounts of Lisa’s summer activities of cycling, visiting country pubs and exploring Kew Gardens, accompanied by some pretty photographs. Sometimes I’m Dreaming is one of the most beautiful zines around, and this issue was no exception – butterflies and flowers dance across the pages amongst lacy background patterns and rubber stamped images. Lovely.
(You can read an interview I did with Lisa here.)

Tragic Boffin #1

By Donna (UK) tragicboffinATgmail.com

I’ll admit I’m a little biased on this one, because it’s the only Scottish perzine I’ve ever read apart from my own! But I’m sure I would have enjoyed it anyway, as there is a lot of good content in here. Donna is a woman after my own heart in that she would rather spend her evenings at home gaming and writing letters (amongst other things) than going out and getting wasted. In Tragic Boffin #1 she discusses body image, attitudes to money, mindfulness and books that have saved her life (amongst other, shorter pieces). I did feel that the zine would have benefited from being longer overall, but as previously mentioned that is my personal preference (probably because I’m a quick reader and can devour a short zine in less than three minutes).

xyz: Don’t Judge Us By Our Cover
By Will (UK) zisforzineAThotmail.co.uk

This is a fantastic, entertaining, informative and absorbing zine about sex, gender and gender presentation. Will covers a myriad of topics from the serious (pronouns, how to talk gender and an examiniation of homosexuality and gender identiy in the 18th century) to the perhaps slightly less so (haircuts, although these are presented in terms of how they can support a wish to present oneself as more masculine or femme). It’s an easy to read (although to say so isn’t to denigrate the complexity of the issues represented here – they are done so in a manner which is both intelligent and accessible), neatly presented zine and one which everyone should take the time to read and absorb.

Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell #15
By Tukru (UK) tukrulovesyouATgmail.com

I’ve never read an issue of this zine that I didn’t like, and #15 is a particularly good one! In it Tukru discusses her experience of getting a birth control implant (far more positive than my own experience of one was, I have to say) and her decision to drop out of roller derby. I must admit I was particularly nosily interested in the latter, as I was initially quite surprised to hear via Twitter that Tukru had quit, when it seemed to be an ever-increasing part of her life. But as is explained in the zine, roller derby had passed from fun hobby to strenuous, stressful chore, and when that happens, its time to get out. Later in the zine Tukru discusses her (positive) experience of attending Slutwalk London and her thoughts on rape culture. She also finds room in the zine to talk about her decision to remain taking anti-depressants for the time being, and to ponder her upcoming 29th birthday. All in all it’s a very enjoyable zine with all the best aspects of any issue of Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell – feminist thoughts, tons of text to read, a chatty, friendly writing style and countless original layouts.

You’ve Got A Friend In Pennsylvania #5
By Sari (US) youvegotafriendinpaATgmail.com

I was so excited to discover Sari had made another issue of hir perzine, and needless to say, You’ve Got A Friend In Pennsylvania #5 did not disappoint. It’s almost certainly the best 24-hour zine I’ve read – I never would have guessed it was made in such a short time if Sari hadn’t said so! Sari bases the writing of this issue on hir experience of working at an organic farmers co-op, and of challenging the racist and sexist attitudes ze encountered there. In doing so ze demonstrates how it is possible to call people out on such attitudes without confrontation and using methods such as humour; and on how to cope with such awkward situations without feeling constantly pissed off or that we are compromising our views by not getting into big debates all the time (I myself have found I often have to “let things go” in certain social/work-related situations for the sake of, to quote Sari, “not policing the statements made around me constantly”). A very thoughtfully and intelligently written, neatly put together zine.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Possum Garage Press

Possum Garage Press #11 & #12
mini-zine, $3 each/$6 for 3 issue subscription
Various writers and artists fill the pages of this small zine. The content often focuses on socio-political issues, but it’s done in a very approachable and non-threatening way. It’s usually a short read, but consistently replete with thought-provoking and engaging material…along with simple and fun drawings of possums, etc.
In P.G.P #11 there is a story about teaching young girls the empowering art of poetry. Then there is a list of seven wishes (or cupid’s arrows) which describe certain changes the editor would like to see happen in America. The wishes encompass topics such as social security, bipartisanship, health care, term limits, American jobs, and illegal immigration.
P.G.P. #12 is largely one story about a trip to see a Chris Hedges lecture told from the perspective of a talking possum that is traveling along with the attendee. The possum probes the attendee in order to learn why she became interested in seeing the lecture. The possum then makes some observations about her experience at the lecture, and later gets some follow up responses from the attendee after the lecture. In my opinion, this is a very important piece of writing and highly recommended for anyone concerned about America and its future. Very creatively written, and very worth reading.
Subscribe to this one.
P.G.P. c/o Lanyon Studio
8 Winston Avenue
Wilmington DE 19804

Les Carnets de Rastapopoulos #8

Zine Review: Les Carnets de Rastapopoulos #8

Back in the day before the internet (some of us remember that far back & then some) people used to … write letters. Imagine that! Sometimes people would find pen-pals from all over the world with which to share stories, culture, and friendship using only the tools of paper and ink with the occasional photo or mixtape. Some people still embrace this method of correspondence even in the digital age (shocking!)

I’ve been fortunate these past few weeks to receive some surprisingly high quality zines. Robert sent me Les Carnets de Rastapopoulous #8 and I was instantly immersed in the world of rediscovering pen pals and the joys of letter writing as both communication and artform.

I won’t go into more detail other than to say this zine gets my highest recommendation for graphics, writing, content, and spirit. Write for your copy today!  Les Carnets de Rastopopoulos 2-7 Larch Street Ottawa, Ontario, K1R6W4 CANADA.

The midday train from Melbourne to Geelong

Creativity rules!

One of the things that make zines so interesting is the vast array of design variations out there.
I have just finished cataloguing a cute little zine called The midday train from Melbourne to Geelong : Sunday 1st April 2007, which caught my attention due to its use of folding and 2 cuts to achieve an end result of a booklet roughly 7cm square.  
Midday train from Melbourne to Geelong
Unfolded and placed flat, one side of the page forms a map whilst the folded version is a picture of the author’s trip from Melbourne to Geelong by train which has been hand drawn in pencil and is really detailed. 
Midday train from Melbourne to Geelong
Another zine to make use of zine folding tricks is The laugh of the stri(p)ped hyena, which is a selectively cut and folded A3 page that forms a 6 page booklet and a single readable page when unfolded.
Now these aren’t the only zines I’ve ever come across which have been interesting because of how they were presented or due to added extras.  I’ve seen zines such as Little sticks which is a set of 15, 10 x 15 cm typed cards, Lolocaust included a CD containing a PDF version of the zine plus some songs from bands I had never heard of.   Leslie Aberland’s Lil bit of spice… included things such as home made cards, post-it notes, a mini zine containing a recipe and surprise envelopes. 
Another way zines are made interesting is through the use of binding or multiple versions.  A map which interrupts itself by Emma Davidson is just one example.  Emma made 2 versions of this zine, the first a hand bound edition using various stock papers which she sold.  Later she reproduced the same zine but using a simpler more zine-like look and this version was given away for free.
Zines are a great way to let your inner creative genius out.  There are no hard and fast rules, you can be a totally free spirit, not only in the content of your zine but also in how it looks.  You don’t even need to make a lot of them if you don’t want to.  Many zinesters due to the complexity of their zine, or because they want to keep their zine exclusive, only produce a limited number of each issue they make.  Nor is it necessary for your zine to be perfect with many zine makers leaving typos and other errors in the zine to add to its charm and individuality.  So if you want to try your hand at making a zine but don’t know how to get start then try a Google search of ‘zine making’ and see what comes up, or drop into your local zine distro and be inspired!

Zine News Round-Up: 21.08.11 from Spill The Zines! by Cath

Zine News Round-Up: 21.08.11

1. Zine Releases
2. Upcoming Events
3. Submission Calls
4. Zine Reviews
5. Distro News
6. AOB (Any Other Business)


1. Zine Releases - Bettie, the lady behind mental health zine Anatomical Heart, has released the first issue of her new perzine series, Buy Her Candy! Get your copy at Bettie’s etsy shop.
 - The second issue of DJ Moonlight’s perzine, Dancing Barefoot, is now available!  Contact her for a copy at moonlight.phoenixATgmailDOTcom.

2. Upcoming Events - DIY Summer At Site: 23rd August – 7th September. A series of workshops, talks, and events celebrating DIY and creativity. Zines will be exhibited and sold there by Rotheram Zine Library.  More info here.
 - I’ve Zine You Zine Fair @ Edinburgh: 28th & 29th August. Come along to the Book Trust, 55 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR, or to get involved email ivezineyouATgmailDOTcom.
 - Cambridge Creative Fair: 3rd September.  Hosted by the
 Whirlygig Collective, 10.30am til 6pm.  For more info, email the organisers at infoATwhirlygigDOTme.
 - Sheffield Zine Fair: 25th September. Stall applications now closed!
 - Camden Zine Fest: 8th October.  Stall and workshop applications are now open, and they’re completely free!  Will is particularly keen to have zinesters and DIY types tabling there, so book yours at http://camdenzinefest.blogspot.com/.

3. Submission Calls- New feminist magazine LIB is looking for articles and artwork for its first issue! Deadline: 1st September.  For more info or to submit something, contact the team at lib.magazineATgmailDOTcom. 
 - Submissions wanted for a body positive zine, title TBC. 'It has to do with how you feel about your body. It doesn’t really have any other guidelines other than that. ANYONE can submit, you don’t have to be a woman identified person." More info at http://slutrevolution.tumblr.com/submit.
 - Shark Dating: An Inspirational and Instructive Manual, aka the Good (femme of colour/ Indigenous femme) zine: http://www.brownstargirl.org/
Tukru is looking for submissions for the second issue of Vampire Sushi.  The main theme is vampires but other monsters & horror creatures / themes are welcome too. The deadline is September 18th. More info at Vampire Sushi’s tumblr.
 - Liam is looking for two illustrators to design covers for the next issue of Lost Boy zine.  If you’re interested you can email Liam at lostboyzineATgmailDOTcom or leave him an ask on his tumblr.

4. Zine Reviews
 - Sophie at Oh My Clumsy Heart has posted some zine recommendations – take a look.

5. Distro news
 - Marching Stars is off hiatus! Hurrah! www.marchingstars.co.uk

5. A.O.B.
 - Mslexia are running a women’s novel competition! The competition is open to unpublished women novelists writing in any genre for adults (where a novel is defined as a work constituting of at least 50,000 words).  The prize is £5000 and a chance to win a publishing contract. Closing date 30th September. More info here.
A new zine night is being set up in Cambridge - for zine makers and wannabe zine makers. For more information, you can join the Cambridge Zine Boogaloo mailing list http://eepurl.com/ffmEo
 - Evan has buried comics zines in London (and Athens) for people to find! How exciting! More info here.
 - Back issues of Adventures in Menstruating are back in stock - hurrah! More info here: 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Radvocate #1 & #2

This is a baby zine taking its first shaky steps into being. I like it. It's an open forum for pretty much anything, and it's free. There's not a ton of content yet, nor as much diversity as one would hope, but what's there is pretty good. It does what I look for in a good zine: expose me to and make me interested in things I wouldn't have though about or cared about otherwise: rollerblading culture, hoofing around Paris, riding horses along the San Andreas Fault, and the goings on of punk bands on the road, etc. While there is no intended theme, rollerblading is a reoccurring topic. Matt Lewis seems to be the driving force behind Rad, (even though it's presented as a collaboration,) and he and his friends are rollerbladers. Good energy. An ambitious project. True life adventures, drawings, cartoons, true life adventures, poetry, CD reviews, death of a loved one, and true life adventures. 24 pages each. Contribute and/or Order: theradvocatemag at gmail or smail to 3245 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104. (They say it's free, but I say send them some trades, mail art, stamps,or even a buck or two.)

Zine Reviews: from Spill The Zines!

Zine Reviews: Aug '11 (Women's Library Zine Fest edition)

by Caitlin Beth Gwynn

The following reviews are all of zines that I picked up at Zine Fest @ The Women's Library last month. Some of them new, some of them old, but all of them display the great variety of the zine world.

* Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell #15
The 15th issue of Finnish / Kent based zinester, Tukru, was released just in time for London Zine Fest.  The theme of the issue is transition, as Tukru’s main focus is of changes in her personal life, such as her decision to drop out of roller derby, her birthday, and her partner Carl getting a new job. Personally, as interesting as I found the topics Tukru discussed, I did want to hear more about her and Emma Jane Falconer (of Fanzine Ynfytyn) ‘s grrrl club night, Typical Grrrls. However, I did love the account of London SlutWalk, which did make up for me not being there, and Tukru raises some very interesting points of the event. Another slight qualm of mine would be that sometimes the layout did make the content slightly difficult to read, but as usual, it’s another great and interesting issue, worth it for the roast vegetable lasagne recipe by itself!

* I Love Women
This tiny zine is part of the Bradford Zine Collective, whose stall I nearly bought everything from at Zine Fest! It’s written by Jen Claptrap and features personal stories about her friends and what they do that’s totally awesome. It’s a very short read, but an amazing zine in that it shows all of us that by doing the tiniest of things, we can be totally fantastic women.

* Hunkerdown #1
Without a doubt, this was my find of the day. It’s a tiny bright green zine that offers several invaluable moneysaving tips. It also looks at the ethics involved with budgeting too, for example, a discussion on whether you have to be rich in order to craft. Despite being absolutely packed with information, it’s an easy read and inspiring too, full of advice that is actually immensely useful, such as advice for vegetarians and vegans on what to eat to keep up their vitamin intake.

* Pamflet #XI
Some of you may be following the Pamflet girls on Twitter – if not, why not?! This was my first issue of Pamflet, and I’m regretting coming to it so late, as the introduction states that this issue may be the last printed one of Pamflet. It’s the perfect antidote to women’s magazines – funny and intelligent, with a huge dollop of sarcasm. The tongue in cheek critique of fashion, such as citing Tank Girl as a fashion inspiration, is hugely entertaining to read. Pamflet XI is chock full of articles, all of them offering very different food for thought, but always remaining incredibly interesting and entertaining.

* Braditude
Another zine from the Bradford Zine Collective to wrap things up. Braditude was created at a Bradford reading group, with all the members pitching in ideas. Like with Pamflet, the zine is a take on typical women’s magazines, but also mocks them mercilessly. The layout of the zine is unapologetically DIY with loads of hand-written content, and also is an amazing zine in that it has a cut out and keep merkin! As with Pamflet too, the zine is funny and entertaining, and the pop culture emphasises the more serious message about the damaging nature of the world of women’s magazines. 

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