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


Tuesday, December 31, 2013


4.25" x 5.5", 40 pgs., $4
Neil Fitzpatrick gets personal in this aptly titled comic. Some terrible things happened in Neil's life (a bad break-up being one apparently), so Neil used his comic book making skills as an outlet to deal with it. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed some of Neil's other books, I was excited to explore this one. It did not disappoint. However, here is my dilemma: Neil went through a rough time, and then I got to enjoy reading a comic about it. Sorry, Neil. The truth is, this is stuff most anyone can relate to, which is partly what makes it so good. We go through rough times, we beat ourselves down while simultaneously trying to build ourselves back up, and ultimately we get through it. In the meantime, some of the best art gets made as (for whatever reason) our creative juices flow when life is sucking the most. Hopefully Neil can take heart from that. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Recoup #1

The Recoup #1
digest, perfect bound, 42 pages
$5 digital copy/$7 print copy
Joseph Kyle is a music journalist who believes that "a record has no expiration date," and so, frustrated with the lack of coverage older, lesser known bands receive in today's music magazines (even when classic albums are reissued), he decided to do something about it. And that's how The Recoup was born. It's "a journal dedicated to music -  superb, excellent, forgotten-about music." In the debut issue you will find interviews with the drummer of Semisonic, a member of Texas is the Reason, Peter Byrne/Naked Eyes, and Brother. Following the interviews, there are 8 pages of reviews of reissued/classic albums. The issue ends with Joseph discussing his Yoko Ono obsession with a friend of his who shares his obsession. It's a great looking little magazine, and, in my opinion, a very worthy cause.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gladhand Comix #1

ADULTS ONLY! 32 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", by JB >>> thesach [at] gmail [dot] com + thecomixcompany.ecrater.com JB seems to have found Bender's evil brother [Dev-12] and presented a bunch of his hi-jinks within these pages. Dev-12 is a robot who is always broke, having spent his dough on such things as Bollywood scripts. He also has sex with human women. He has dreams in which he is human, attends comix & zine fairs, and loses entire nights getting wasted and abusing others on the internet. Among these adventures of Dev-12 are other strips, some wordless and surreal (like the one with the guy pursued and tormented by owls with breasts) and others autobiographical, like the one in which he gets depressed about the quality of his comix so visits a bohemian record collecter to buy some of his records, gets high with the dude while listening to some of those records when a tsunami hits the house, killing the record collector. ... Wait a minute, is this really autobiographical? JB also reveals what happened when Picasso met a young female fan; and flips the jock/nerd dynamic in 'Revenge of the Turds'. The jock here yearns for a nerdy girl, bemoaning the fact that "Nerds have it made!" yet we find out that the nerdy girl is horribly mistreated by her nerdy boyfriend. JB's got this really great ability to take things we think we know and transform them in genuinely surprising ways. Plus he can be very funny! Good stuff.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Burning Building Comix

Burning Building Comix by Jeff Zwirek
6.25" x 12.25" (unfolds to 6.25" x 24.5"), hardcover, 40 pgs., 19.95
Probably the most creatively designed and manufactured comic book I have ever seen. The main book unfolds to reveal two smaller books. Each of the smaller books includes 5 floors of a 10 floor apartment building. Each floor is a separate story, and so each floor is meant to be read individually from bottom to top. However, there is an underlying theme to each story/floor. The building has caught on fire! As you read through each floor, you'll see the reactions of the characters to the fire as they discover it, attempt to put it out, and then ultimately exit the building. This is a silent comic, so all of the "dialog" is shown using various pictures and symbols. This is such a fun read and well worth getting your hands on.
Here is a link for it at Top Shelf Productions.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Temporary Brothers

Temporary Brothers
digest, 16 pages (cardstock cover), $?
A one-shot zine by DJ Frederick Moe. DJ Fred is an only child, despite the longing he had for siblings in his youth. Since he didn't have brothers of his own, he thought of some of his close friends as brothers. This zine profiles a few of DJ Fred's "temporary brothers." "Temporary" because these friendships did not endure...at least not to the same degree as when he "adopted" them. I don't want to give any spoilers. I think you should read this zine for yourself in order to discover the nature of the friendships that DJ Fred had growing up and the adventures he and his "brothers" had. The stories are worth a few minutes of your time. And they are well-written...of course they are - it's DJ Fred. My only complaint: it's far too short. Perhaps there is more to come? DJ Fred alludes to that at one point, so let's hope.
Frederick Moe
36 West Main Street
Warner NH 03278

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Survival Guide for Supply Teachers

A Survival Guide for Supply Teachers (1st Edition)
8 1/2" x 11", 22 pages, $3 (cash money preferred, trades accepted)
To clarify, supply teacher = substitute teacher. I wasn't sure what a supply teacher was at first, so I have to assume that there are others out there who are/were equally ignorant. And now on with the review...
Gary's zine is - exactly as the title suggests - advice for new (and experienced) supply teachers. Gary covers it all, from what to do in order to get supply teaching jobs, what to expect once you've received jobs, what to do when trouble arises while on the job (and Gary assures us that it will from time to time), what to do at the end of a job, and how to get more jobs in the future. This zine is quite comprehensive despite its length, and considering that I have never supply taught and do not plan to, I was surprised by how interested I was in the subject matter. Perhaps it is because my dad has been an elementary school teacher for more than 30 years now. Or maybe it is because Gary has a very approachable and engaging writing style. Probably both. Seriously, this is worth checking out. The only suggestion I would make as far as improvements go would be to add more personal anecdotes, tell more stories. Five plus years of supply teaching should provide some pretty entertaining/interesting stories. Perhaps we can expect to see that in a future edition...if there is one. So, here's my plan: everyone within reading distance of this review gets their hands on a copy of this zine so that Gary feels compelled to put out a second edition. Should work.
Gary Flanagan
3-42 Spring Street
Saint John, NB
E2K 3X5


16 pages, 6" x 4", The Usual, Neale Blanden, PO Box 1173, Huntingdale VIC 3166, AUSTRALIA + beautifulartform.blogspot.com + nlblndn [at] gmail [dot] com Wordless comics? I hate 'em! Well, mostly. There's always an exception, and Flea here is one of those. This absolutely charming wordless* comic begins with a flea on a lounge room floor. A dog walks into the room. The flea is hungry. The flea sees the dog. No need to say any more. Get it. [* Note: The final page does contain some words.]

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Am My Own Stereotype: The My Small Diary Collection

I Am My Own Stereotype: The My Small Diary Collection
5.5" x 8.5", 112 pages, perfect bound, $8 + $2 shipping ($6 shipping outside of U.S.A)
Delaine has been writing diary comics for at least 20 years. She publishes her comics in her zines (My Small Diary and Not My Small Diary) as well as various other zines. This book compiles three out of print My Small Diary books and includes 40 additional pages. Each page in this book is a single comic strip, and (for the most part) the content is (as the title suggests) basically a diary entry in comic form - highlights from Delaine's life. The artwork is simple, the writing is concise, and the book leaves the impression that Delaine is a spirited and adventurous person who loves life. Diary comics run the risk of coming across as overly narcissistic and self-indulgent, but Delaine's book largely avoids falling into this trap. Instead Delaine comes across as a sincere and generous person, happily sharing the (oftentimes mundane) happenings of her (occasionally charmed) life. It's all in good fun, exactly the way entertainment for entertainment's sake should be.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Turbo Supermax #3

40 pages, 8.5 x 6", $5.00, Ryan Vella, Lot 18 Homebush Road, Walkerston QLD 4751, AUSTRALIA Turbo Supermax is back, and out for vengeance. The White Triangle Club (a multi-team Christian supersquad) has killed his little pal Moss, and it's payback time. But before he can get to WTC leader Halohawk, he's gotta get past the shitbombing powers of Mr Scat; the teeth-spitting Muzzle; Spasmo and his epileptic berzerker rage seizure attack; the gorgeous but deadly Beehive (she attacks with swarms of bees that appear from her beehive hairdo, of course!); and many others that I will leave for you to discover. Ryan's imagination for creating supervillains doesn't look like slowing down any time soon, since yet again there's just about a new superbaddie introduced on every page (and in Rebekah Bell's TV news reports that bookend each issue, often three per page). There's also a two-page Turbo strip at the end of this issue - written by Ryan and drawn by fellow Bananalander Shaun Craike.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Last Night at the Casino #4

52 pages, 5.5" x 4", $3.00, trades OK, Billy Roberts, iknowbilly [at] gmail [dot] com + bunnyears.bandcamp.com [Note: Billy is in the middle of moving right now so asked me to sit tight and not send anything to his old Bernalillo NM address] This was one of those zines that I'd read reviews of, it sounded really great, so I had it on my list to write/trade for. Well, I procrastinated until, what do you know, one day a couple of weeks ago I got one of Billy's Last Night at the Casino zines in the mail! The Cosmic Forces meant for us to trade zines. These are powerful forces indeed that the evils of procrastination don't stand a chance against. Anyway, the title gives a pretty big hint what you're getting here - Billy works at a casino and this zine is full of stories about his experiences with punters and fellow casino workers, and the different games he has worked at (craps, roulette, blackjack, etc). I think that if I had to come up with a list of ten work zines I'd wanna read, a casino zine would definitely be in there. Billy includes so many great anecdotes and inside stories about this mysterious world, this is the kind of zine I just plow through and I'm at the end before I know it. One of my favourite pieces in here is 'A Broad Generalization of Standard Casino Personality Types'. There's The Neurotic Number Cruncher, The Super Cute Girl Who is Super Addicted to Gambling, The Big Titty Floozies, The Lucky Drunk-Ass, The Gentle Elderly Man, and The Tourist on Vacation. The Number Cruncher is the funniest to me - "Each time he loses and his system fails, he curses under his breath, writes down what happened, and then realizes that the cycle of the "system" must be larger than he thought." Last Night at the Casino isn't just a great work zine, it's a great zine zine. Get get.

The Kobb Log #6

36 pages, 11 x 8.5", selected trades I'd say - mainly for other B-movie zines, Dr. Bill, Kobb Labs, PO Box 30231, Pensacola FL 32503, USA The monkeys at the lab have run amok, so Dr. Bill has handed the bulk of this issue's content to Jim Ivers, who does an excellent job, starting with his Aliens Invade Hollywood: A Brief History (Part 3), a terrific 7-page look at alien-focused movies from the '70s to the present day (that is, movies such as Super 8, Prometheus, and Battleship). The other excellent Ivers piece is his The Lost World of Prehistoric Women That Time Forgot, covering cavegirl movies from the '50s to the present. This was a real joy to read, with Jim's witty and hilarious comments coming thick and fast. Here's an example from his review of Italian gem 'When Women Had Tails' [1970]: "...since spy films were becoming passe, the nation that gave us Fascism and Roberto Benigni returned to its old stock-in-trade: unfunny sex comedies. The story was co-written by the eccentric whack-job Lina Wertmuller." Dr. Bill himself kicks the issue off with a great introduction followed by Mailing Comments relating to the long-running Southern Fandom Press Alliance #292. [The Log is in fact part of this, but obviously Dr. Bill makes it available as a stand-alone zine.] This is an easy recommendation for anybody into B-grade, genre, or exploitation movies. Really great stuff. It made my bus rides to and from work pass much too quickly.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gardening is for Eaters

Gardening is for Eaters
digest, 24 pages, $?
This is Laura-Marie and Ming's new gardening zine. Laura-Marie has been involved with gardens and gardening for much of her life but had found the experience to be mostly frustrating - until now. The gardens she has created and worked on with Ming have given her a newfound passion for gardening and a new level of satisfaction with her gardens. And so to share the excitement, she created this zine. In it she lists all of the plants that are growing in her gardens and includes a brief statement about each one. Then she interviews Ming about permaculture, Jade about food gathering, and Marcus about biointensive farming. This is a fun and informative zine, but it has left me wanting more, so I'm hoping that future issues are in the works.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

RIP Tom Crites

A tribute to Tom Crites [Malefact, Paniscus Revue, Planarian Liberation Army]

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dithering Doodles #5

36 pages, 8.5 x 5.5", $2.00 or trade, Steven Anderson, 259 E 700 S, SLC UT 84111, USA + premiumdeluxe [at] hotmail [dot] com It sure was a pleasant surprise to receive an envelope of zines from Steven, with a real actual hand-written (in texta!) letter and all! He sent me his Dithering Doodles zines #1-5, but for now I'm just gonna write about #5. I really haven't seen a zine like this. It's unique. Usually a zine will be like a perzine, with writing, or a comix zine, or a punk rock zine or whatever - pretty consistent material all the way through. With Dithering Doodles, on the other hand, Steven mixes up cut'n'paste images, doodles, maze puzzles he drew, some very funny comments from his "biggest fan" Donovan (whose father told him to shut up and eat his hamburger sandwich), random thoughts (mostly of a finely twisted humorous bent), and longer diary entry type pages. One of these is about how he lost his job because he was drawing pictures on the inside flaps of cardboard boxes his company was shipping out to customers and one humourless jerk customer complained and wrote to his boss saying, "This guy obviously has too much time on his hands." Another one is about how his karate dojo closed because kids these days are either too busy playing video games, or switching over to mixed martial arts. Then a page about why and how he got into karate. It's all written in a really natural, likeable style. Well, that just covers half the issue. I'm gonna get back to it, then read his back issues to examine the development of this very enjoyable zine, which I recommend to you, reader!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Bring on the Dancing Horses

By Shaun
PO Box 1282
Fullerton, CA
92836, USA

Bring on the Dancing Horses is another zine by the author of There is a Danger, which I reviewed last month. It covers much of the same material as that zine (bicycle trips, exploring, abandoned buildings), but is much longer, and perhaps because of this is able to have more of a narrative in places.

Specifically there's a lot written about a giant squat Shaun stayed in while in New York City, the people he met while he lived there, the adventures they had, and how they were eventually evicted. As a person who enjoys abandoned buildings, urban exploration, dumpster diving, and adventures, this stuff really appealed to me, and Shaun's accounts of hiding in dark rooms filled with junk while the police walked by, or sleeping in a cleaned out elevator control room successfully managed to paint pictures in my mind.

I read Shaun's zine at a very specific time when it may have had more of an impact on me than even a week ago. I have a full-time job I find to be (while somewhat worthwhile) incredibly boring. My plan was to work until August, visit some friends and family, and then start a new chapter of my life in another city in September. I have recently discovered that this new chapter will not be what I had planned, but will instead be something currently entirely mysterious to me. While some find this liberating, I've spent the last seven years of my life feeling fairly rudderless, and had hoped to have a goal slightly longer than "pay this month's rent". While I can work my boring job if I have something to look forward to, I now wonder why I should even bother with my job, and whether I should, like Shaun, give up on the capitalist society we exist in, and become more outside it than I already am, rejecting societal norms, and existing as a scavenger. This was only cemented by the sudden onset of spring, and days with 20 degree weather (to all the Americans that read this remember that I live in Canada, so this is actually warm).

PostScript: Included with Shaun's zines I received a letter that described what his zines were about. One small piece really stood out to me. It was about how part of this zine was about "a girl (always a girl...)", and really, that's kind of true. For a certain type of person, there is always a girl. One that you find, one that you leave behind, one that you remember.

Excerpt (I don't usually do these, but thought I should for this zine):

I woke up early and set off into the building, flashlight in hand and a feeling of vertigo from the sheer size of the labyrinthian halls, the multiple wings and adjoined church left eerily empty and bathed in dust and stained-glass light, and so much detritus from its past lives as a community center. On the third floor was the main room, lined by open windows whose glass had been removed, now letting light, noise and breeze flow lushly throughout the room. Most other windows in the building were boarded up, allowing in only a small sliver of light through the triangular wedges cut from the bottom of each plywood sheet. This made nearly every room dark, menacingly silent, and possessed of so many odd and curious details of which one could mine a litany of scenarios and theoretical explanations for.

On the lower floors were the large performance theater and basketball court. Chairs were scattered about the floor, a painted set remained standing on the stage, and a tall laddered-platform on wheels sat in the middle of the room. It was hard to know if these all were left in carless [sic] abandonment or if they were the remains of some squatter-party, as Bowery Manor at once appeared both the elegiac remnants of a once-bustling community space forced out by the city of New York and a boundless playground for those who stumbled upon the shell, determined to breathe life back into it. Unfortunately, the building being closed off meant that it was illegal to be anywhere on the property, and anyone coming or going or inside Bowery Manor had to be ware of any police of HPD presence around the building. Thus, besides the metal door installed by the kids and secured with chains and padlocks, the first floor also had a large metal beam wedged between the stairs and the rollgate, the only accessible entrance to anyone who did not want to squeeze through the sledgehammered hole beneath the tarp or climb through a second story window.

Debris lined the floor nearly everywhere you looked - phone books, paper, clothes, boxes full of completely useless objects, nearly any imaginable functionless item could probably be found somewhere on the floors or shelves or in the drawers or in any of the other nooks and crevices in the building. In some rooms, you were not stepping on any floor at all but on the slippery and unstable mountains of old magazines, computer equipment, kitchen tools, CD cases. The swimming pool in the basement was filled to an even six inches below the brim, not with water but with junk.

(Originally written for 365 Zines a Year.)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sorry vs Sausage

By Bernard Boulevard and Gordon Gordon
PO Box 20204 Seattle, WA
98102, USA

This incredibly short (one sheet of folded paper) is pretty odd. It combines random pictures with text about the words in the title. There is no actual vs, unless you read about both and decide one is better than the other based upon some arbitrary rules.

The "sorry" section seems like a tirade against Canadians. "You say SORRY way too much. [...] you tell me you're SORRY?! That is so lame, you meek prick. You should be in my face yelling "In Your FACE!!"". Um, yeah.

The sausage section is kind of amusing ("The Best Sausages are Fat and Juicy [...] And Slam Your Throat With Pleasure!"), and mentions vegetarian sausages, so I guess it wins.

(Originally written for 365 Zines a Year.)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Three Zine

By Squid

One of the first thing you notice about this zine is the way it's printed. I have no idea how Squid did this, but the blacks on this zine are incredibly black and shiny. There are a couple of pages that are mostly black, and they just feel thick with ink. It's really neat.

As to the content, Three features drawings (of monsters!), comics, and recipes, but the majority of the zine is made up of "interviews with cool females".

Squid talks with one of the organizers of the Women's Autonomous Nuisance Cafe (WANC), and female members of the musical groups Lilies on Mars, Seaming To (okay, a person rather then a group), and Creatures of Kontrast.

I enjoyed reading all the interviews, as they range across a fairly wide variety of questions and talk about some cool stuff and actually made me go and listen to the bands online. The WANC interview discusses lady DJs, squatting, and other neat stuff, while all of them feel more like conversations than some of the interviews you read.

There are also reviews of concerts by a couple of the bands. The first of which seems to degenerate into a fever dream ("AAAAAAAAAAAAGH! Giant cockroaches with TV's for brains and temporary bus stop signs for noses!") before returning to talk about the music. Though considering that one of the band members say that they like "confusion, paranoia, and craziness" I think this is probably appropriate.

(Originally written for 365 Zines a Year.)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Skillshot 16, 17, & 18


I recently (ie. about an hour ago) finished reading Yeti Researcher, a fake scholarly journal devoted to the study of crypto-hominids. Its humour lies in its combination of reality with fiction, and how you're never quite sure how seriously to take any of it. I really dug it, and it reminded me of a piece I once wrote in a zine for the (fictional) Canadian Journal of Kaiju Film Studies about the Very Hungry Caterpillar vs Godzilla film.

I bring this up, because if I didn't know any better I might think that Skill Shot was an equally fictitious zine, chronically events that never happened, and people that didn't exist.

Except that they do exist, despite the fact that I don't think I've ever met anyone who's (admitted to being) into pinball, and before I read this zine I didn't even know there was a pinball scene.

These zines cover events that have happened, news and gossip about what machines might be coming next and which are broken, techniques, question and answer sessions with pinball players ("Do you listen to music while playing Pinball?"), high score challenges, the locations of every pinball machine in Seattle, the Seattle Pinball Museum, and more.

Honestly, it still seems kind of like some elaborate scam, but since there's a website, and more than 18 issues I have to accept that it's a real subculture that I've just never encountered.

In one way Skill Shot really succeeds: every time I finish reading an issue I want to start playing pinball. Apparently there's a Halifax Pinball League, maybe I'll check it out next month.

(Originally written for 365 Zines a Year.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gadgie 24

By Marv
PO Box 93
PE21 7YB

Gadgie is another of those big, thick (over 30 pages) punk zines that covers music, zines, complaints, and whatever else is running through the creator's mind.

Gadgie's been coming out for ages, and its creator Marv is now in his late 30s, married, and even has a child. Old punks don't die, they just (pro)create the next generation.

In this issue Marv talks about the punk scene in Boston, England (both current and its origins), going to Loch Ness for a holiday with his partner and kid, misheard lyrics, a pretty epic account of every injury he's ever acquired while playing soccer/football, and loads of other stuff.

I like how Marv seems really enthusiastic about everything, and how being injured bothers him because it means he can't go and dance at punk shows. However, his nonstop style of writing was kind of exhausting, as you don't really have any idea when the longer pieces are going to end or what's going to happen next.

Marv has a really distinct style of writing, a sort of stream of consciousness "I did this, then I did this, then this happened" type of thing. If it appeals to you you'll probably be happy to read anything he writes, but if it doesn't then I'm not sure there's any topic he could get you to read about. I think I fall somewhere in the middle.

(Originally written for 365 Zines a Year.)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Enter The Barefoot Lone Pilgrim: Origins

By David Blandy and Inko

I've reviewed a couple of Blandy's comics on this site in the past. If you read those reviews you might understand why I have a hard time thinking what to say about this comic that mixes James Brown lyrics with Shaolin monk cliches.

This is, I think, the comic by Blandy that I've enjoyed the least. Whereas the others had more concrete topics, this one is much more vague in what it's about. The cover blares "Discover the true origins of the barefoot lone pilgrim!", and is made up in several ways to look like an old fashioned superhero comic. Yet inside we only get a single person sitting inside, reading, drawing, and thinking about philosophy. Actually, I guess that is the origin of Blandy's alter ego.

Blandy's books are usually very attractive packages and, apart from a lettering font I didn't really care for, this continues that trend. The story is well suited by Inko's art, and I enjoy the style in which he draws people. A person just sitting in a chair could be boring to look at, but Inko uses a number of different angles and varying degrees of close-ups to create some really nice looking panels. While there aren't that many background, the fact that he draws multiple panels that just consist of feet puts him miles ahead of many superhero artists for whom creating comics is actually a job.

I really like the idea of combining philosophy with the trappings of superhero comics (and video games). These are media that generally don't focus on philosophical thought, and I definitely feel that Blandy could create a really cool comic based around this idea. While I don't think that this is it, at least it made me think about some things.

(Originally written for 365 Zines a Year.)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trixie Biker bootleg

By Matthew Craig

I've reviewed a couple of Trixie Biker comics in the past, and I kind of wish I'd read this one first, as it's a brief origin story for the character. Now I know the vague, and not really important origin for this magically-powered, motorcycle-riding superhero.

The art's not the best, but at least part of that is down to the not great reproduction. Plus it's like five years old, I'm pretty sure Craig's art has improved since then.

(Originally written for 365 Zines a Year.)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Beauty Patrol

By Cody Roder

I recently read something online somewhere (on the Comics Reporter maybe?) that talked about graduates from the Center for Cartoon Studies. The person (whoever they were) wrote about how the center was turning out comics graduates who may know something about putting together a comic, but are still just making minicomics and webcomics with the hope that something will catch on and they'll have a career.

This comic really reminded me of that idea, because while this comic may have a pretty cool cover, the interior is generally confusing and not particularly coherent. At least part of this is because the comic contained within is at least partially a "daily diary comic" (or at least that's what it says on the final page), but I never would have guessed that.

Instead we have characters who wander around doing not much, and spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing various philoso-physics concepts. There is definitely a place in comics for discussions about entropy, particles, time and space, and similar things, but I don't think its place is in comics that use nine panel grids where the art barely changes between panels, and the dialogue is disjointed and sentences are strung out across pages.

I think ultimately I just don't understand why this comic was printed. Not why it was made, because making any sort of art can help you get to grips with your thoughts and you have to work on your art to get better. But I just don't really know who the audience for a comic like this is.

(Originally written for 365 Zines a Year.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lost in the Jungle

By Jason Niebauer

I reviewed one of Niebauer’s zines a while ago, and was a bit disappointed. This one however is basically review proof. It’s just some drawings of abstract shapes in a 1/8th size zine. I really don’t have anything to say about it at all.

(Originally written for 365 Zines a Year.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Jerry's Journal, Volume 2

Jerry's Journal, Volume 2
5.5" x 7.5", 32 pages, black and white w/ color cover, $5
Jerry is back and appears to be fresh out of a relationship that must have ended terribly. It isn't clear if it was a romantic relationship or a friendship that has come to such a tragic end; regardless, it has left Jerry in a sour mood. Jerry's creator, Neil Fitzpatrick, is incredible at conveying the emotion of the situation, both with his blunt and succinct writing and his simple yet well executed artwork. The words and art combine to create something quite profound. The 15 or so minutes that it will take you to read this book is well worth it. Whether you can relate to Jerry's situation or not, his monologues will offer you some food for thought, and the overall presentation will entertain you.


Neil Fitzpatrick

Jerry's Journal, Volume 1

Jerry's Journal, Volume 1
5.5" x 7.5", 32 pages, black and white w/ color cover, $5
Jerry is a bird and a depressive, and this is his journal. He is the creation of Neil Fitzpatrick, and so immediately one must wonder just how similar Jerry is to Jerry's creator...but perhaps that's beside the point. As it is, Jerry is an observer of life, and ultimately he seems to conclude that life is quite pointless, sad, absurd, and boring. From my perspective, Jerry's cynical view is very relatable, and so I like him. However, even if you're not a cynic and you don't find self-deprecation to be all that funny, I'm sure you will still find something to like about Jerry. If nothing else, you have to admit that he is pretty damn adorable.

Neil Fitzpatrick

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Radvocate #10

The Radvocate #10

Image of The Radvocate #10


#10 is here! Gemma Correll drew us a pug on rollerblades with a birthday cake for the cover. What's left to say?
Oh yeah, the people involved. This issue features art, poetry & stories from Jason Greendyk, Amy Granite, Bruce Bales, Matt Mannila, Kenny Owens, Missy Solis, Kevin Yee, Sunny Katz, Thomas Martin, Anthony Muni Jr., Brian Krans, STRNGLV, Nate Hall, and Andrew DiPaolo.
Individual issues will be available at our store starting on Tuesday, 6/4 for $3 each. If you are have a shop or bookstore, please contact us about receiving large quantities. This issue in particular is a limited release of only 100 copies, so get yours while you can!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Les Carnets de Rastapopoulos #9

16 pages, 8.5 x 7", the usual, trades OK, Les Carnets de Rastapopoulos, 2-7 Larch Street, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA KIR 6W4 In a note that came with his zine, Rob explains that his last issue [#8] documented his penpal activities back in the early '80s - his attempt to land an Eastern European penpal. The two countries he targeted, Czechoslovakia and Slovakia, being Communist in the Cold War era, only published one magazine aimed at teenagers, so all those kids saw his ad and thus Rob ended up receiving 500+ requests to be their penpal. This issue continues with his quest 25 years later to attempt to reconnect with some of those penpals. He was hoping that, like himself, some of these people still had parents at the same address who would pass his letter on. This worked, but the first response was quite sad, being from the mother of his old penpal, Meagan, who reported that Meagan had passed away years ago, and asked him to phone her for more details. This zine is so great and wonderful, for me partly because I'm from the same generation and similarly had penpals in the '80s, so well know that enormous buzz you get when a letter arrives. Of course, Rob has taken it to another level. Writing to Cold War kids, receiving hundreds of letters, and now 25 years later undertaking a quest to reconnect with those penpals. Am I repeating myself? I think so, but excuse me because I am so excited and mind-boggled by this zine. Even if some ziner out there is kind of jaded and in a rut with zines, this one just might be the spark to reignite that passion and enthusiasm. It is so great.

The Wuthering Storm : Great Moments In History

12 pages, 8.5 x 5", $2.00 or the usual, David Puckeridge, PO Box 491, Freshwater NSW 2096, AUSTRALIA + puckeridgedavid [at] gmail [dot] com In this one David covers historical moments with alternating three-panel strips and single-panel gags. There's Waco, Iraq, the American Civil War, the Danish cartoonist and the Mohammad cartoons, Richard Nixon appearing on 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In', the end of the Napoleonic Wars; and Australian happenings like the Eureka Stockade, Captain Cook's arrival (and introduction of bogans to the locals. Haw!), and the arrival of colour TV [1975].

Chicks With Lawn Mowers

24 pages, 8.5 x 6", $2.00 or the usual, David Puckeridge, PO Box 491, Freshwater NSW 2096, AUSTRALIA + puckeridgedavid [at] gmail [dot com Following David's sensational Chicks With Horses, here's his long-awaited and much-anticipated Chicks With Lawn Mowers. Unexpectedly (to me, anyway) most of these are women with ride on lawn mowers! But there are a few pushing the regular kind. There are also comix featuring Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard giving a press conference aboard her ride on mower; world's richest woman and mining magnate Gina Rinehart bossing around her lawn mowing slave; and Russian President Vladimir Putin with his mower. Watch him deal with those disrespectful Pussy Riot girls! Xerox art aficionados are advised to pick this one up to examine the wonderful and mysterious results of David's photocopier manipulations. Some of his images of lawnmower girls look like assemblages of Lego bricks.

Biblio Curiosa #4

44 pages, digest size, $5.00, Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket NSW 1240, AUSTRALIA + cathob [at] zip [dot] com [dot] au Hurrah! Another chunky serving of "Unusual writers and strange books" Chris has unearthed, beginning with The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman by Arthur N. Scarm [1972], a "..little gem of exhilarating awfulness." Ostensibly a novelisation of a 1970 monster movie, it in fact bears only the most passing resemblance to the film, taking off on innumerable tangents of its own, and brimming with cartoonish sex and violence, ludicrous dialogue and scenes that border on the surreal. Example: Waldo had no intention of harming Ruth. She was too gorgeous for that. In one yank he pulled off her silk blouse and lace bra and left her standing defenceless against any young child who might come along wanting his lunch. The last part of this review is Chris's investigation into who was Arthur N. Scarm [???...] Next up, the real feature presentation of the issue (at 22-pages!) is The Sardonic World of Tiffany Thayer, Tiffany Thayer... okay I have to say it, I first thought this must be a woman, but no, he, Tiffany Thayer, "was a self-styled anarchist, contrarian and atheist..." who is mainly known for his link to Charles Fort, since he was the one who founded the Fortean Society in 1931. But holy Mother of Founders this founder had another world [other worlds] going on of his own bizarre creation, one of the most noteworthy being, in Chris's words, "one of the most grotesque and repulsive works of science fiction ever written," his novel Doctor Arnoldi [1934]. This extensive overview of Thayer's works includes reproductions of rare book covers, even a press photo of Thayer and his wife (Tanagra the dancer!) on a boat returning to New York from France, acquired by Chris. He really goes above and beyond. There's also a Bibliography and list of Sources, so if you're intrigued, don't stop at Googling Thayer, get this zine. Next up is the fascinating The Mysteries of Mark Hansom by John Pelan. Apparently, Mark Hansom wrote supernatural thrillers of such quality they appeared on the 'Thirty-Nine Best Horror Novels of All Time' list of legendary author/editor Karl Edward Wagner. It was Hansom's first novel, The Shadow on the House that made this list. We learn that "Mark Hansom" was a pseudonym. Nobody knows the real name of the author. This mysterious author's subsequent novels are reviewed. I really love this part [about Master of Souls [1937]]: "The theme of a timeless romance spanning centuries has been used many, many times before, but Hansom stands it on its head by having this particular romance be between two of the most singularly repellent characters in fiction."

Psionic Plastic Joy #17 - Fall 2012

32 pages, $2.00 US / $3 World, Jason Rodgers, PO Box 62, Lawrence MA 01842, USA Jason had some traumatic things happen in 2011, so this issue was done in January 2012, then circumstances and lack of resources delayed the release until he said enough, no more waiting, and published it in this digest format (rather than the usual large newsprint format, see my review of #16). In his introduction Jason re-addresses his stance against technology after being attacked and ranted against by another zinester who refused to name him, referring to Jason only as a "conspiracy theorist". It seems to me that some people feel personally targeted for their use of technology after reading Jason's writings. An insecure reaction. I use the internet and various other 'new tech'. Everybody uses technology to various degrees. In this day and age, you have one extreme: the Neo-Luddite, who refuses all technology (I can't imagine living this way at all, I'll admit); to the other extreme: the rabid 'early adopter', those tech junkies who line up outside Apple stores for days waiting for the new version of iPhone or iPad. ... Anyway, while I don't agree completely with Jason's views on technology (I mean, where do you draw the line? Why not go back to hammer and chisel and clay tablets, eh? Ha ha!), it's obvious to me that some of these can be seen as a dumbing down. Example: I work in a museum and part of my job is to deal with visitor comments. Back in the day there were only hand-written comments on paper forms. Now many of them are tweets, and most of these read as written by some dumbass bag of rocks; no vowels, simple to the point of inanity, eg. "This exhibition rulz!!1!" or "This exhibition suxx!1!!" On the other hand, if we're talking about Tweeting, there's Stephen Fry, not only an embracer of new technologies like Twitter but one of the smartest and wittiest men alive. So, I guess while I value views like Jason's, I'm more in the middle of this whole technology thing, seeing the extremes in a similar way as I see extreme left-wing and right-wing politics - both as flawed as the other. To continue the anti-Modern World theme is Sid Clark's piece, Rocks In Our Head', whose main argument is that the Modern World is very anti-life. It's targeted at those who resent being trapped in a world of dead things. Next up is Jim Hayes's Neo-Neoist tenets, one of which is "Neo-Neoists must destroy the last 25 years of diaries, letters, blogs, collages, paintings, recordings, and photos; remember: it all sucked." Haw! I have a feeling some poor sonofabitch is gonna take this advice to heart, follow it, and at some later point experience some deep, deep regrets. On the other hand, this could be great if, creatively, you have been frozen at the bottom of the lake for the last 25 years, in which case this action could do the trick to rekindle that fire! A long piece in here, 'Psychic Nomadism' by Jason Rodgers, made my damn brain short-circuit just with its opening two sentences: "I intend to become a psychic nomad, advancing theory and praxis as mobile actions. The sterilization, commodification, and repackaging of radical concepts as lifestyle brand accessories is inevitable." Okay, look. I think that if you dig Dada, Fluxus, Neo-Neoism and stuff like that, you'd probably dig this. For sure. Heh heh! ... I am out of my fucking depth. There are a bunch of other contributors in here: Yves Albrechts, Reed Altemus, Haddock, PJM, Thompson, Neal Wilgus, Stuart Stratu ... Those are the folks I know, or at least whose stuff I've seen before that made an impression. There's also stuff from Darlene Altschul, John Bennett, Len Bracken, Lady V, Apio Ludd, Malok, Francois Marceau, Bob McGlynn, Simon Morris, Riddle Management, Lena Samol, Jack Saunders, J M Ward, and John Zerzan, and there's contact info for most of them. Real physical addresses! No stupid emails or URLs or hashtags! P/P/J is old school, weird, smart, eccentric, cranky, and challenging. Recommended.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

All My Fathers

All My Fathers
digest, 12 pgs. (cardstock cover), $?
This is is a one-shot zine about the father and father figures of Frederick Moe. After a brief introduction to his childhood with a difficult father, Fred goes on to profile various mentors he has had throughout his life that have helped him to learn and grow and ultimately appreciate more fully his biological father. From mentors in the 4-H program to supervisors at work, Fred discusses lessons he has learned and great examples he has had over the years. Whatever I can say here won't do this zine justice. You should read it for yourself. I'm sure you will find things to relate to, as well as be inspired and impressed by Fred's candor.
Frederick Moe
36 West Main Street
Warner NH 03278

Cuneiform #4

Cuneiform #4
8 1/2" x 11", 10 pgs, $?
This is a compilation zine. It's composed of contributions from those dedicated to keeping print alive and making communication through the postal mail system a priority. James Dawson starts off the zine by sharing some of his recent experiences at the public library and offering some of his thoughts about the internet as well as some other random things. Very interesting. Next there are some letters and zine reviews. This issue ends with a piece extolling the virtues of books, "a wonderful concept." Worth a look for those devoted to the world of print. The editor of the zine changes from time to time, but for now write to:
James Dawson
PO Box 950
Spokane WA 99210

Planarian Liberation Army

One page folded twice, 5.5 x 4.25 inches, Crites, PO Box 21448, Long Beach CA 90801, USA Some readers will remember Crites's excellent zine Paniscus Revue, a big chunk of freaked out awesomeness that was responsible for the displacement of many popping eyeballs. So it's kinda funny that he's come back with a one-sheet-folded-twice mini mini zine, but shit, with postage costs going through the goddam roof these days (do you ever get the feeling somebody wants us to stop using the mail and just text, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.?) it's a smart move to downsize print materials. Hell, I even did it with Grunted Warning. The difference, sending something from Australia to the US, if it's under 50 grams postage is $2.35, if it's between 50-250 grams it jumps to $6.45. Anyway, I'm blabbing ... each issue of PLA contains a bunch of words and images combined in such a way as to induce unorthodox, heightened brainwaves and possible flashbacks and/or flashforwards. Good stuff. Summer even liked 'em, and she's fussy.

One Minute Zine Reviews #5 - Autumn 2012

16 pages, 8.5 x 5.5", the usual, DJ Frederick, 36 West Main Street, Warner NH 03278, USA It's a well-known fact that there can never be enough review zines. And here's another one! First up, though, DJ laments the closing of US post offices and suggests how we can fight to turn this around. For instance, pick up a pen and write a real letter, or send a postcard! Unfortunately, the masses probably won't get this message, and besides, it's much easier to send a text or post on FaceBook. But on the subject of post offices, we in Australia don't seem to have that problem. Our post offices are just providing more and more services (like selling bus tickets, and letting you pay your phone and power bills there) and selling more and more stuff, like mobile phones, CDs, soft toys, board games, even lollies! Our post offices are beginning to resemble supermarkets where you have packets of Maltesers and Jelly Beans where you line up, as impulse items. Haw! Thankfully they still sell stamps and envelopes. I do have one gripe about this zine - there's too much space. There's only seven zine reviews, and for a 16-page zine that's a pretty low review count. I mean, I just finished reviewing Media Junky and that's only 8 pages, but has more than four times as many reviews as One Minute Zine Reviews.

Media Junky 17 - Fall 2012

8 pages, 8.5 x 5.5", to get a copy send stamps, $1.00 or a nice letter to Jason Rodgers, PO Box 62, Lawrence MA 01842, USA Always great to receive a new issue of Media Junky. Have I said that before? Well, it's still true! It's the usual bunch of zine reviews (only zines with real actual physical addresses) along with music reviews. I really like his review of an Agathocles/GAP/ShitFuckingShit split - "GAP sounds like a military battalion of insects."

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