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


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thank You Zine #2


via Randy Spaghetti by noreply@blogger.com (Randy Spaghetti) on 10/11/11

Thank You #2
Zines from small towns rule. Even if a zine sucks, but is from a small town, it's still kind of rad. Fortunately, Thank You doesn't suck, AND it's from a small town, Casper Wyoming, hometown of onetime vice president, former defense secretary, and previous CEO of halliburton, richard b. cheney. Wyoming is the least populous state in the union with a population of 563,626, and is the tenth largest state, that's awesome. I drove through Casper this summer on the way to Colorado, and it really is as "In the middle of nowhere" as anywhere in the lower 48. Thank You is a mish mash of collages of funny local magazine and newspaper adds, goofy drawings, an interview early 80's pro-skater and current Casper resident Moses Parker, and my favorite segment: '7 more wonders of Casper' which spotlights some of the local flavor (strip clubs, street people, massage parlors, and cigars stores). I love it when great zines pop up out of the most unexpected places, Casper being one of those places. Thank You Zine is worth your time.

Jason (Media Junky & Psionic Plastic Joy) Rodgers - New Address

via Blackguard on 10/11/11

Jason Rodgers
PO Box 138
Wilton NH 03086

Zine Reviews: October '11

via Spill The Zines! by noreply@blogger.com (Cath) on 10/11/11

Sometimes I'm Dreaming #6
Lisa W, London – sometimesimdreamingAThotmailDOTco.uk
I love Sometimes I'm Dreaming; every single issue of Lisa's zine leaves me feeling inspired and pensive.  I also love the fact that there's a nice sort of continuity between each issue – all have similar layouts, usually with pretty patterns and butterflies, but without each issue looking or feeling too samey; each deals with similar stories, and sometimes pick up from where the previous issue left off; each issue is a similar length and word count.  In this issue, Lisa picks up from last issue's story of her garden tree being cut down, and writes about how green shoots emerging from the stump filled Lisa with hope and new life. She describes her time visiting the royal botanical gardens at Kew as a pilgrimage, as she finds connecting to the natural world a spiritual experience.  She also writes about her experiences volunteering in a charity shop and the ups and downs, getting her first job interview and coping with being turned down by the company (an experience I know can be incredibly disheartening when you want the job so badly, as Lisa did), and giving up on the job hunt to work on her own creative hobbies.  We also read about Lisa moving out of her parents' house in London and in with her partner Huw, and her longing to find somewhere where she belongs.  Visit Lisa's etsy store to buy a copy (you can also buy  her gorgeous hand-made jewellery there)!

Dancing Barefoot #2
Hayley, Essex – moonlight.phoenixATgmailDOTcom
The second issue of Hayley's perzine, this one focuses on the loose theme of independence and a DIY attitude.  We read about Hayley's experiences of making friends from her childhood to present-day, her difficulties with holding onto her local friends when they've moved away, started families, or drifted apart, undertaking projects and making things happen despite not having anyone to help her, and whether it's necessarily a bad thing to be a "loner".  As somewhat of a loner myself, I really identified with this piece, and was inspired to read about how she has taken charge of her life despite her bad luck with friends.  The second half of the zine details Hayley's experience organising the first Ladyfest Essex all by herself this year – the difficulties she faced (and unfortunately there were many difficulties!), the excellent bands that she got to play, and some advice for others thinking of putting on a similar event themselves.  The text is black on a plain white background, with some photos illustrating the articles.  This zine is full-sized A4, so it's pretty unwieldy, but Hayley explains in the introduction that this was the cheapest and easiest way she could get her zine printed in her area, so that's fair enough.

Anatomical Heart #10 & Buy Her Candy #1
Bettie Walker, Carlisle  - bettieriotATgmailDOTcom
Anatomical Heart #10 is the final issue of this mental health zine series, published in late 2010.  Bettie explains in Buy Her Candy #1 that she decided to stop writing Anatomical Heart because she didn't want or need to write about mental health anymore – Bettie is currently training to be a mental health nurse, and so "my life still revolves around mental illness, just not mine".  Anatomical Heart #10 feels like a nice transition from mental health to perzine, a kind of preparation for Buy Her Candy, as there is more perzine content in here than in previous issues - we read about what Bettie has been up to and what she'd like to get up to instead, her visit to Birmingham Zine Festival 2010, the regret she feels after giving away most of her zine collection, and an open letter to a mental health nurse that changed her life.  Bettie also briefly discusses making progress with her mental health and being able to reason her way through mental breakdowns, something she could never have done in the past. Buy Her Candy #1 is about half the size of Anatomical Heart #10, and has more eye-catching layouts.  After explaining why she has started a new series, Bettie writes about being diagnosed with PCOS, and how she feels alienated by feminists who argue that women should grow out their natural hair, as these feminists tend to have light, sparse hair (this issue has also been discussed in zines Femme a Barbe and Cooking Hearts Up At The Stove).  Bettie also writes about same sex marriage and civil partnerships, and the politics of both, and moving in with her girlfriend.  Also included are things she likes doing, and a playlist.  Both zines are very sweet, very personal, and lovely to read, with lovely cut and paste layouts, and colour covers. 

Exploding the Myth #4
Kira Swales, Chester –
Exploding the Myth is a packed half-sized perzine; this issue covers tattoos, having a widespread family, her trans partner's journey through transitioning, ways of coping with bouts of depression, gardening, Marmalade Atkins, her relationship with feminism, reasons why feminism is still needed, and the idea of "preaching to the converted" when writing about feminism in zines.  I loved this piece in particular, as it's something I've struggled with in my zines – Kira argues that it's closed-minded to assume that all readers will be well acquainted with feminism, and that not everyone is lucky enough to have liberal or open-minded people around them.  That really made me think, and helped me relax about whether my zine writing is too "feminism 101" – so what?  As Kira notes, one can always pass on a zine to someone who may appreciate it more if they're already fully aware of the issues raised inside.   There are also some lovely little things scattered about, including a mix tape tracklist, an eulogy for her DR Martens boots, how to make a pleated apron, and a rocky road recipe.  It's a fun and friendly zine, packed with hand drawings, cool cut-and-paste layouts, stencilled lettering, handwriting, and typewritten bits.  Just lovely.

Gardener's Delight #1
Fliss, London - flisscATgmailDOTcom
A very cool zine by Fliss, the lady behind "Mix Zine"!  It's a "personal but practical guide" to growing your own food for the first time.  It opens with a lovely piece on why gardening is so important – to get back to the true nature of things, to connect with the earth, and to watch something you've planted grow and develop is one of the most satisfying expeiences one can have, according to Fliss.  She also argues that home-grown food tastes so much better than mass-produced supermarket foods.  Then, Fliss gives us some handy tips on allotment gardening, indoor growing, outdoor growing (either in your own garden, or a green space in your local community), and how to do all of this on the cheap.  These guides include what equipment you need, how to weed and prepare the soil, where to find cheap or free seeds, and what time of the year to start planting.  Fliss lists some common plants that are easy to grow with tips on how to take care of them (e.g. chives, courgettes, onions); she also recommends a number of books and websites for more info on home growing.  It's 4" by 11.5", with lots of hand-written sections, drawings of vegetables and gardening tools, and cut-and-paste typed text.  Unusual, and very informative.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Zine Showcase #24

via Oh My Clumsy Heart by noreply@blogger.com (Sophie) on 10/10/11

Jason Niebauer
Website :: Shop
Ghost Town :: $2.50 + shipping

Ghost Town is a half-page format zine, saddle stitched and limited to only 75 copies collecting black and white photographs taken walking through a ghost town. Desolately serene and beautifully shot.

Julia Matheson

How's It Cookin', Good Lookin' :: $4 + shipping

"You must be Windows 95 because you've got me so unstable."

Hilariously funny and curiously cute nothing beats a good pick-up line. Julia Matheson couples cutesy drawings with adorable pick-up lines and a few "Yo Mamma" jokes for good measure.

Nick Francis Potter
Paper Noise Vol 2 :: $4 + shipping

A collection of fictional content, poetry and heavily stylised illustration.


Betty Paginated #32 - Winter 2011

via Blackguard on 10/10/11

56 pages, magazine size, $10.00, Dann Lennard, PO Box A1412, Sydney South NSW 1235, AUSTRALIA + danhelen [at] idx.com.au + bettypaginated.blogspot.com
This issue of BP gets off to a very funny start - page three has a photo of Dann seconds after being accidentally head-butted by bare-breasted stripper and People columnist Jewell. Haw! But as Dann writes, "It's OK, she consoled me afterwards."
Also in this issue: Amanda Palmer; Lady Gaga; Dann's gig report of a Murder Junkies [GG Allin's band] show; Canadian gay comix creator Patrick Fillion; Jim Balent's Tarot: Witch Of The Black Rose; Dann's criticism of Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon superhero comic series (with replies from Larsen); Dann's quest to read 30+ years worth of Legion of Super-Heroes; Dann's "irrational love for B'wana Beast" [DC comic]; a Sticky interview with Dann; street art making a comeback in Sydney; a tribute to Scream Queens; a hatchet job on Ben Elton [Ha! Good! - SS]; a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin interview; Randy "Macho Man" Savage; Tura Satana [1938-2011]; Bob Guccione [1930-2010]; Musings on Stripping; a couple of Great Feuds Of Our Time (Tila Tequila vs The Juggalos, and Jessi Slaughter [age 11] vs The 4Chan Trolls).
And of course many, many photos of gorgeous women in various states of undress. And more! This baby is jam packed. The only minus is that I can't read BP on the bus (and you know how I LOVE to read on the bus, especially zines). With breasts and butts (and even gigantic cartoon cocks in this issue) popping out from almost every page, this zine is not public transport-friendly.

Functionally Ill

Sent to you by Jack via Google Reader:

via One Minute Zine Reviews by DJ Frederick on 10/8/11

In issue #9 of functionally ill, Laura-Marie talks about the excellent Icarus Project and becoming involved in advocacy groups with the support of a friend. She writes about the LGBTQ Mental Health Reducing Advocacy Project, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Committee, and a disability rights gathering. Also, she poses a very significant question: "Do you think there's a problem that I'm disabled by psychiatry and at the same time want services?"

In functionally ill #10 Laura details a conversation with her partner Erik about how her symptoms (or her crazy) manifests. She also talks about mad love and friends who cut themselves.

One significant way people are going to recover from mental health issues is by telling their stories, sharing what works and what doesn't work, finding real supports and friends, creating mad run alternatives to the system and questioning the dominant paradigm in psychiatry that snowballs people with medications that soon turns people into walking zombies. Zines like functionally ill, peer to peer communication and networking are a significant part in changing that paradigm. For more information on her zine contact Laura-Marie at robotmad@gmail.com

Things you can do from here:

Gag Me With A ... #3

via One Minute Zine Reviews by DJ Frederick on 10/7/11

When someone has generously sent you their heartfelt work, even draws a little heart on their hand written note requesting a non-partisan review, can one with good conscience give some difficult feedback and offer objective, constructive criticism? Gawd I hope so. Tis ever my dilemma.

Gag Me With a … #3 The Summer Issue is a compilation zine that is thoughtfully edited and skillfully presented. Deirdree Prudence has put a lot of care into creating and editing this zine: it shows through on every page. The content is another story. I'm maybe getting too old or maybe I am too distant from the "punk" scene to appreciate the fierceness of some of the writing here. While the visuals in this issue are enticing, most of the writing left me scratching my head. I think there's a saturation point where too much nihilism, rough living, smoking, drugging, drinking, moshing, etc just makes no sense to me. Personally, I just don't want to live like that or read about it. We live in a culture that has violently trashed the earth, if we are to heal the earth and ourselves we need to stop trashing ourselves. While I appreciate the inclusive nature of Deirdree's zine, including micro fiction, poetry, photography, etc, varying the subjects explored would go a long way toward making this zine more readable.

One piece that did grab my attention was "The Two Faces of Persephone Pomegranate" which illustrates so clearly the masks we present to the world every day while we hide our true selves from those around us. It's a sad reflection on our culture that can't seem to accept our real selves beneath the mask. In the end it tears us apart and fragments our souls. I could feel the author's pain dripping from the page, living with the dichotomy of two selves.

Here's the zine's mission statement taken from facebook: Gag Me With A... was created to bring writers & artists together to share their hearts with the world, bringing smiles & laughter & a broader knowledge of the international counter-culture scene through reviews, short stories, deliciously eccentric true life stories & adorably strange mythologies to each & every reader who holds it in their hands.

What an amazing mission! I wish more zines that this kind of objective. Please bring on the mythology, the counter-culture, the laughter, and heart and Gag Me With A has the ingredients to evolve into something amazing.

More information can be found at http://gagmewitha.blogspot.com/

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