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


Monday, June 29, 2015

Exquisite Corpse 1

Exquisite Corpse Vol 1. 2014. 
Marie Callum, Jessica Halmshaw, Heeseon Kim, Hamish Steele, Melissa Trender, James Turzynki. 
A5, 24 colour pages. £3.

The infamous surrealist game gets a graphic novel make over in this collaborative comic project. The rules: ‘No comic page is written by a single artist. We each have 20 minutes to complete as much of the story as we like, and after our time is up we pass the narrative to our right’.

Does it work? Well in a traditional narrative sense, not generally, no. But the contrasting styles of art, and the dramatic shifts in the stories keeps the work fresh.

You can buy this zine, and find more work by the collaborators here: leadache.com/comics

Review by Nathan Penlington

(This post was originally part of an ongoing series celebrating work from my zine collection. You can find the rest of the posts here)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bad Therapy/Rad Therapy

Bad Therapy / Rad Therapy. 2014 Rudy Loewe. A6 zine, folded from double sided A3 sheet. £3. 

A clever use of a standard zine fold (a central slit allows you to fold a piece of paper into a booklet without staples or other binding). The double sided nature allows the reader to transform the experience of bad therapy into rad therapy…

 …by turning the zine inside out, mirroring how you have to reframe life, and sometimes try over to find the perfect therapist to help you through your circumstances. Well drawn and nicely produced.

(This post was originally part of an ongoing series celebrating work from my zine collection. You can find the rest of the posts here)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

This is Bullshit.

This is Bullshit.
18 pages, full size

Minimalist. Primitive. Bizarre.

I'll let you decide if that's good or bad.


Review by Jack Cheiky


Underdog - Number Five. 1964. Edited by Brian Patten. A5 booklet, 22 printed pages, cardboard cover.  

Underdog - 8. 1966. Edited by Brian Patten. A5 booklet, 22 printed pages, cardboard cover. 

In 1965 poet Allen Ginsberg, figurehead of the American Beat scene, declared Liverpool to be “at the present moment, the centre of consciousness of the human universe”. 

Ginsberg was right. 60s Liverpool wasn’t all about The Beatles, or Mersey Beat bands, but also poets. Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri - known collectively as The Liverpool Poets - first came to the attention of a wider public in 1967 with the publication of Penguin Modern Poets 10: The Mersey Sound - which to date has sold over 500,000 copies, a rare feat for a poetry anthology. 

Long before that they were producing live events, readings and art happenings in the pubs and clubs of the city. In 1962 Brian Patten, then just only 16, started to capture the essence of these events in his zine Underdog
Underdog is a record of its time - a poetry rooted in place, and pop - and of a scene. They contain early versions of poems that later McGough, Patten and Henri would become famous for; work by British beat troubadours Pete Brown and Spike Hawkings; the incomparable Adrian Mitchell (who stole the show at the infamous 1965 poetry incarnation at the Albert Hall);  and reaching out to the USA -  later issues also include Robert Creeley and granddaddy beat Allen Ginsberg.  

The lesson is you never know what will become of anyone who makes a zine, or whose work it captures. Also, if you ask for submissions in the right way, you never know who might say yes.

Review by Nathan Penlington

(This post was originally part of an ongoing series celebrating work from my zine collection. You can find the rest of the posts here)

Monday, June 22, 2015

...Rising #64 (June 2015)

…Rising. Edited by Tim Wells. A5, photocopied, coloured cardboard cover up to Issue 27, paper covers to present. Page length varies, average 28 pages. Free. 

Rising was started back in 1994 by poet, performer and raconteur Tim Wells because, in his words, “there wasn’t enough of the kind of poetry I liked in print. Back then it was a paper, scissors and glue endeavour. It wasn’t until issue 21 that I got a computer, and even later ‘til I learned how to use it badly”.  

The poetry of Rising is a fighting mix of bawdy, literary, and culturally diverse inspiration which is reflected in its visual elements which are taken from Kung-fu films, westerns, cute girls holding books, northern soul singers, Planet of the Apes, 60′s films stars, Hemingway, late night pub lock-ins, Elvis, war films, and Joan Collins. To confuse the librarians every issue is produced in the same format, but takes a new title i.e. Bad Moon Rising, Wang Dang Rising, Whole Lotta Rising. 

I met Tim in 1995, two weeks after I first moved to London. It was only my second outing to a poetry event (the first was a terrible visit to a writer’s group whose members were perturbed by the fact the room they met in was above a topless bar - but that’s a story for another post), and to a teenager new to London, the shouting, banging, raucous poetry of The Hard Edge Club was an embracing hammer to the head. It was here Tim first thrust a copy of Rising into my hands, an event that has been replicated since then with unerring regularity (Maybe that is a topic for further study, how makers of anything, not just zines, distribute their own work - from the ‘stand back and let it distribute itself’ approach all the way to aggressive insistence. Tim’s is a firm take it or leave it). 

The latest issue, number 64, is a Ranting poetry special. Tim is currently researching the history and influence of 80′s Ranting poetry, and how that history is reflected and captured by its zines, badges, and other ephemera. There is a touring exhibition of ranting zines, and a programme of accompanying events, this latest issue of Rising reprints some of the early to mid -eighties work of Seething Wells, Michael Smith, Phill Jupitus (when he was Porky the Poet), and Joolz to name only a handful of the contributors. 

Rising is now London’s longest running poetry zine - by that I mean a zine that has stayed true to its roots and not attempted to ‘upgrade’ to magazine status. Its contents are also a history of the London poetry scene of the last twenty years, a Who’s Who of poets and performers that have helped build the vibrant and healthy scene it is today. Rising’s real strength though is not just longevity but an insistence on quality work largely ignored by other publications. 

There is one way to find out what I mean - if you see Tim at an event ask him for a copy, tell him I sent you. 

Click here for the Stand Up & Spit site or tweet Tim here to haggle for a copy of Rising. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

(A version of this post originally appeared as part of an ongoing series celebrating work from my zine collection. You can find the rest of the posts here)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Manifesto #2

Manifesto #2
28 pages, mini
$2 US

The bulk of this little zine is by Ed Tillman, but there are about a dozen other contributors of both text and images. The broad theme seems to be about the arts in general, with a bit of emphasis on film. I wouldn't call it a rant zine, but some parts are opinionated. Good artwork. An attempt at humor, (I think.)

Bits about photographer Richard C. Miller, The painter Dan Smith, and the Eastman Kodak company.

It is very neat. Meticulously credits everyone right down to the printer.


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