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


Friday, July 31, 2015

To lose someone

To lose someone - Mia Resella, 2013. 

11x14 cm, 16 pages. Stapled. 


I was sent this recently by my friend Guy J Jackson, who knows I love zines and posts me bundles from the USA, so it wasn't sent for review directly, and I know it isn't new, but I wanted to share. 

To lose someone is a simple black and white zine with line drawings that gets to the core of what bereavement feels like, how it seems no one understands, what it means to share that loss, and how, ultimately, love and loss is what makes us all human. 

Perfect to give to anyone you know lost after the death of someone close, particularly teenagers I'd have thought. 

You can buy this zine and others from Mia's Etsy shop: etsy.com/shop/miaresella

Check out her other work here: miaresellaisagrownup.com/#!zines-and-webcomics/c1v0b

Review by Nathan Penlington

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Becky Kidner - diary drawings #48

Diary drawings #48 - 16th March - 7th April 2015 by Becky Kidner

8 pages/A3 poster. 
Colour copy printed on A3 paper, centre cut and folded to A5.

Becky’s obsessive project appeals to my mindset. Since 2007 she has been documenting every day, replicating key moments in logos, names, places, a diary of all forms of text based graphic design. Collectively it is a series of ongoing collages that are at once highly specific and personal, and yet, reflects how all of our daily lives are interlinked with the ubiquitous and invisible world of fonts and formatting.
To review this zine in more detail would be missing the point, and to review them all would take a project almost as obsessive as Becky's (I picked this issue up back at DIY Cultures in May). Dive in anywhere and you get an interesting take on the daily diary, documenting what companies spend millions designing, and what we usually filter out from our day to day: a compelling combination of the personal and impersonal. 
To view Becky’s diaries, and to contact about her zines, visit: Beckykidner.blogspot.com

Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Talk About Country - Issue 2

Talk About Country - Issue 2 - by Jof Owen/Legends of Country

28 pages, edition of 100.
7 inches x 7 inches

Unlike the USA, Country music in the UK doesn’t have a huge following. It is probably because we don’t have country, just countryside. Legends of Country haven’t let this deter them from producing a début album of a very British form of country music – songs about the lonely fall of a darts champion, being a Saturday dad, and turning forty realising you haven't done the things you'd thought you'd do. 

Jof’s love of country music is evident from his song writing, but it also extends beyond it into this series of lovingly produced zines Talk About Country. The zine is the size of a vinyl single, the cover screen printed in blue, the pages are printed reproductions of typewritten text and hand cut and stuck images. 

Features cover the king of heartbreak George Jones; calculate the feasibility of a road trip based entirely on Johnny Cash’s I’ve been everywhere; the new queens of country - Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, and the ubiquitous Taylor Swift; the beguilement of Jonathan Richman’s flirtation with country music; the activist country pop of Henson Cargill; plus spot the difference and ‘Give Dolly a do!’ puzzle pages.

Talk About Country is whisky slug of a country music zine for people who don’t know they like country music. 

And check out the very British take on country music by the Legends of Countryhttp://legendsofcountry.co.uk

Review by Nathan Penlington

Friday, July 24, 2015

Out of Order, Queer and Trans Youth Resistance

Out of Order, Queer and Trans Youth Resistance
36 pages, digest, photocopied black and white
$2.50 (?)

This appears to be the first issue, written primarily by LGBT adults for LGBT youth. It has great potential.

In addition to personal experiences, there's a list of terminology, and also a list of resources, (mainly around Montreal, where this zine comes from.)

Except for the front and back covers it is all text, so there's a lot to read. The content is not great. There's not a lot of super interesting stuff considering the broad, rich topic.

However, it hits the mark in sending up a signal flare and reaching out to LGBT youth. If I were a queer or trans young person I'd be excited and grateful to find kindred voices, especially if I wasn't lucky enough to come from a particularly hip or progressive school system.

[I have a young trans second cousin who's high school refused to let him graduate with his trans name on his diploma. The students rallied around him and eventually the principal was compelled to back down. While this is a great example of how the up and coming generation is way less prejudice than previous generations, this type of support is still not the norm. there's still a long way to go and LGBT youth need these kinds of resources.]

What I would like to see, in addition to some better edited content, is contributions from the youth themselves. Offering them wisdom and support from experience is great, but giving them a voice is important too.

I picked this up at the Fluxxii distro table at the Scranton zine fest, but the site is down. You can also get it from Quimbys or contact the maker directly...



queertransyouthzine at gmail
(spelling corrected)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Old Reviews from FrictionMagazine.com

I found these reviews at http://www.frictionmagazine.com/imprint/zines/zinereviewsarch.asp

It's a dead site. All the links are dead. Looks like it was from 2003. Someone went to a lot of trouble to write them. Tag: Zine History

Adorn #6
This half-size zine is quite a treat. In the traditional style of cut-and-paste, though it is very readable. Zinester Bree just so happens to be from my hometown and is suffering the same preppy, conservative, jock-centered ideology that plagued my own youth. Therefore, I can definitely relate to most of her writings as I assume most of us punk-rockers could. It's rough being an odd-ball with a sense of identity in small-town America, and Bree describes it beautifully without totally depressing you. I especially enjoyed her "Drama Queen Days" column where she describes how she had to defend actor Winona Ryder over such scamps as Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Also look for the Simpson's quiz! All-in-all a really fun zine -- though I could do with out so many "boyees" and could suffer to read more, more, more. $3 gets you 5 copies to: Adorn, PO Box 892, Hartville, OH 44632 USA MH

After the Revolution #2
This is truly one of the best zines I have seen in quite a long time. It's full of thought, conversations, and interesting articles -- just like I like them. ATR mainly focuses on personal revolution. With so much talk of revolution, ATR takes the perspective of what to do with yourself after the revolution. In other words, it promotes personal change and reflection as a powerful force of revolution. Old Chalkline lyrics come to mind: "One person revolution." There is certainly a lot of thought that goes into this zine and it can be seen by it's contributors -- a political science doctorate student, a law student, and an artist from Holland to mention a few. There is a lot to read in the 63-page, half-size zine and none of it will bore you. My favorite articles are those where Eric (the main author for the zine) tells of his personal relationships and his struggle between sex, power, and love. I also couldn't stop reading his journal entry where he describes how he got beat up for not "passing" as straight. Eric has a real gift for clearly getting his emotions out on the page. Free with $1 or $2 postage to: After the Revolution c/o Eric Boehme, 118 Raritan Ave., Highland Park, NJ 08904 USA MH

Aquatulle Issue 5 Alive!
Aquatulle has been bringing us the best and worst of the pop culture of the '80s for quite a while now. And you would think that editor Raquel Bruno would run out of things to talk about from this bygone era. But ever fear, Issue 5 of Aquatulle has more '80s than you ever knew you wanted ... and all done with the pizzazz and style that have keep the presses running and readers drooling for more. Get out the crimper and pop in those Short Circuit videos you've been hiding in your closet and check out features on Joey Ramone, photographer Roberta Bayley, and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell as well as some great photographs and comics of days past. Get you little bit of nostalgia for only $3.95 an issue from: Aquatulle.com. MH 5.2003

Aquatelle Volume 1 issue 4
I've come across this gem one other time than now. I was sent a sample copy by the Small Publisher's Co-Op as an example of their printing. And not only is it a very nicely printed and laid-out zine, it also a really interesting one. Aquatulle has succeeded in finding a really cool niche. Tagging itself as "a journey into yesterday's pop culture madness," this zine serves to remind us twentysomethings of a life before Pokemon and the Power Rangers. References of the Smurfs and Strawberry Shortcake sure bring back a flood of memories for me. Zine queen, Raquel takes her '80s memorabilia and icons seriously. In this issue she sits down for an interview with none other than "The Weekly Top 40" himself, Casey Kasem (also the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Do). This was my favorite article since I can remember the only good thing about going to church on Sundays when I was a kid was that we could listen to the Top 40 and hear Casey read his listeners love letters. Also for your reading enjoyment is interviews with Hepcat and Terri Nunn from Berlin, a tribute to the deceased Jean Vander Ply (voice of Wilma Flinstone), lots of New Wave nostalgia, and much much more. Definitely worth the trip down memory lane. $3 plus some postage to: Aquatulle 48 Eighth Ave., Suite 320, New York, NY 10014 USA MH

Atrophyzine Number 11 Toystore Handcuffs
Perzines I can do without. But per-ish zines that deal in sex and relationships, I just can't get enough of. Hey, we are all out here trying to make sense of things and all too often we screw it up. It's not only nice to know that we aren't alone, but it's also cool to peak inside someone else's pain and drama over lost love and see ourselves there. Colin gives us a look at his relationships -- one by one -- in an introspective and constructive way. Taking each romance as a seperate story, this zine is a mix of journal entries and present-day recolections that come off really honest and self-searching. Really, if only we all could try to know ourselves this well. Atrophy Zine PO Box C-11, New Rochelle, NY 10804 USA MH 8.2003
Beating Hearts of the World Unite
What can I say, I have been salivating to read this zine since the moment it dropped through my mail slot. This is a thick, half-size, handmade zine that is embellished ever so slightly with glued ornaments, stamps, and handwriting. And not only can you tell a lot of love and time went into this, but there are a ton of interesting and thoughtful articles and essays to keep you reading from beginning to end. I have a few favorites: One of the first essays in the Love section details the connection between monogamy and private property. "I personally feel that trying to claim another human being as your 'property' in a relationship is part of how the larger scale oppression of slave and private property perpetuates." Ah, the dream of a wife and a house in the burbs ... it's all property and greed. Another in the Love section is "Screw for the Revolution" which is a lengthy conversation (literally) about sexual liberation, sex work, and patriarchy. Just because my favorites were in the love section, there are quite a few good articles in the other section (Information, Communication, Revolution). I had to keep reminding myself as well that Beating Hearts is from Australia. It may have been the US protest stories that threw me off, but I think it is really amazing that something from the other side of the world shares the same ideas and aspirations that many of us do here. Maybe it's a sign of assimilation, but I would like to be optimistic and think the ideas and roots of revolutionary thought are gaining converts across borders and oceans. Trade (poem, letter, article, mix tape, artwork, zine) or donation to: Beating Hearts Press PO BOX 444, Wollongong, NSW 2520, Australia MH 3.2002

Broken Pencil Issue #15
This is my first time reading this zine that I have heard so much about. I was not disappointed. Tagged as the source for "zine culture in Canada and the world," Broken Pencil has zine scene updates, profile of zinesters, columns, articles, essays, stories, music, film and video reviews, art, website reviews, and tons of zine reviews that are Canada specific as well as ones that aren't. At 96 pages, this 8.5 x 11" glossy is a serious resource for the zine scene as well as an invigorating read. BP is one of those zines you read when you are first introduced to the scene -- you know, the one that inspired you to start your own zine or to start your own collection of independent media. Surely not one to be missed. $4.95 per issue or $12 year subscription to: Broken Pencil, PO Box 203, Stn P, Toronto ON, M5S 2S7 Canada MH
Read an article from this issue in FrictionMagazine

Brother Dana Number 5
At first I thought I could excuse this zine because of the zinsters age. Turns out Erica is not 16 ... not even 21 ... no folks, here you have a 23-year-old wasting space and my time with incoherent, goofy rants. Barfing, pot smoking (then saying it's bad and she's going to quit), sex, and astrology fill the issue though there is not too much on any issue to get you interested. Really, Erica, you can do better ... pot or no pot. Brother Dana, 20368 Clay St., Cupertino, CA 95014 MH 7.2003

Chokehold fiveohsomething
There certainly is a lot here in this quarter-sized perzine. Certainly the best part to me was the account of a fur protest at Neiman Marcus in California. This zine seems to fall into the trap so many other journal-type zines fall into -- they try too hard to say something but end up saying nothing at all. Everyone has something valid to say, I just wish they would get to it and stop pansying around their true feelings. Possible lots of potential here ... let me see your guts. $1, trade or vegan goodies to: Fungus PO Box 188602 Sacto, CA 95818 USA MH

Clamor April/May 2001
If you haven't seen this yet … seriously, where have you been. Some call it a zine, others a magazine. But no matter what the category, Clamor is a breath of fresh air in both the zine community and the independent press arena. The beauty of it despite it's well-written and thought-provoking content is its availability -- from Borders to your local bookshop, Clamor is taking over the newsstands and surprising the common folk with its radical history lessons, grassroots activism, and political commentary. This particular issue focuses on water. From an article on the privatizing of the natural resource to a personal essay on why the author's daughter was born premature, Clamor reminds us that the personal is political and our voices are relevant and credible in the political discourse. I can say only one more thing, and that is to subscribe. $4 single issue or $18 year subscription to:
Become the Media, PO Box 1225, Bowling Green OH 43402 USA MH

Coldbringer Issue 2
Produced by the Coldbringer Collective, this zine is dedicated to creativity. Combining fiction, with travel journals, columns, and music reviews this zine has a lot to offer. Lots of post 9.11 writing is scattered thoroughout which dates this zine (as well as lets you know how long it took me to review it). This is an early issue and I can gaurantee that if the collective is still producing, this zine would be worth having since this issue exhibits coherent writing, clean design and the outlook of a good mission statement. At this point however, they are still breaking thieir zine legs in. Coldbringer Collective, PO Box 931174, Los Angeles, CA 90093 MH 7.2003
ColdHandsDeadHeart XIV
I really don't know what to call this. I will call it amazing, however. This quarter-sized zine is jammed packed with comic art, illustrations, mini posters, lots of stuff all done by artist Michael Twohig. You may have seen the feature of him in Verbicide. If not, you should. Bold, striking, yet realistic. Very few words, mostly illustrations depicting personal and political thoughts. These are images destined for a full-blown poster series or T-shirts that scream "I Care!" You should definitely look for Michael Twohig's work here on FrictionMagazine.com. In the meantime, email him and tell him how cool he is. MH 7.2003
The Collection Issues 1 & 2
After reading both issues of The Collection, I am a little overwhelmed that soo much information fit so nicely and neatly into these quarter-sized zines. There are quite a few pages here that span topics as diverse as New Jersey politics, recipes, autism, and girl skaters. But that's why I dig it. Not only was it great to see outdoorsy stuff in a zine -- zinsters Meghan and Danielle interviewed their friend who finsihed the Appalachian Trail -- and museum reviews but all this information and east-to-swallow feminist perspective comes in a really neat and well-disigned package. I predict good things from The Collection. MH 8.2003
Complete Control 8 and Teenage Death Songs Split Issue
At first reviewing this zine seemed daunting. Not only is it thick at 60 pages, but in a quick flip-through I noticed it was essentially two large stories (one for each zine). I really thought I was in for some militant thought about activism and the like or uber-exaggerated stories of teenage woe. I was totally wrong. Not only do these editions of Complete Control and Teenage Death Songs compliment each other incredibly well -- both stories center around Richmond, Va. and seemingly intertwine the acquaintances and friends of each author -- but it's necessary for them to be so.

Greg, author of Complete Control, shares with us a diary of his activist pursuits and thoughts on social and political life. It's urgent writing offers keen insight and criticism of the larger anti-globalization movement. For example, he is amazed at the resolve and preparation that goes into the larger protests in mostly far-off cities but wonders at the lack of local activism. Greg sees globalization, gentrification, and classism go unchallenged in Richmond while many of it's most politically aware residents opt for a more glorified yet less fruitful means of change.

Teenage Death Songs relates the personal events and reflections of whom I have come to know as Tennessee Jones. Strange or not, she doesn't mention her name in her half of the zine. Maybe I should not be outing her as the author, but I loved the writing so much I really wanted to know who to thank. Luckily, I chanced upon Tennessee's recent writing for the mag Clamor that mentioned Teenage Death Songs. To get down to it though, there has to be at least one moment you relate to. Tennessee's telling of her life and emotions are so rich that I couldn't put it down. Events and friends interspersed with real-time wisdom just cannot be ignored. My favorite part: Tennessee retells how her and her house mates went at their projects full-force and attempted to make change not only in the world but in their personal lives by refusing to be lazy. She concludes the section with this bit of wisdom that has tortured me so harshly: "But whoever put it into my head that I have to make an indelible mark on humanity? I wonder if everyone feels this way, that they've got to do something great before they die? Or is fame a 20th Century disease?" $2 to:
Complete Control PO Box 5021 Richmond, VA 23220 USA MM 1.7.2002

Connected Portland
The hand-screened, hand-numbered covers (in limited edition) made me really excited to get into this long-ways, half-size zine. Basically, Connected is an interview zine done without the boring and trite band interviews. Go out on the street with a question in mind and find all sorts of people to answer it. Get their picture, then make a zine. This issue explores why people like the city of Portland, Ore. The short of it it that a lot of people like Portland and think it's a cool place to live. Although the introduction alludes to zinester Roger Whiting getting to know people and having longer conversations after he approached them with his initial question, there is none of that here. I really think that's too bad. As a whole the zine seems to come off a little trivial and shallow. I'd really like to hear more of what people had to say, even if fewer people were included. This is definitely a gray-area zine for me in that I have a love/hate relationship with it's simplicity. I always want to know more, and while I like to guess which photos go with each response or think on what happened to people to make them answer a certain way, the sociologist in me really wants to know facts about each person. I will however, concede that this trite and quick look at people is essentially the point of the zine, which is why I will recommend it and look forward to the next issue. Roger Whiting, 17604 N. 39th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85308 USA MH 7.2003

Crack Whore Quarterly
Autumn 2001
Drinking, it seems to me, is a sort of art form, something that needs to be practiced. Lately, I have been all too willing to try my hand at the self-induced stumble, the Olympic bar crawl, and ... well ... you get the picture. Really, it's something that I have wanted to learn to do well for a long time now. This zine has helped to point me away from the sober road and toward one of drinking, partying, and forgetting. Serve this zine over ice, mix with flavored vodka, invite friends, listen to rock 'n' roll, do silly things. Get it for $1.50 from Xoe at: 1341 New York St., Lawrence, KS 66044 USA MH 5.2003

Creme-Filled #3
I am pretty happy to have this cute, half-size sent my way. Like many half-size zines, Creme-Filled is a montage of many things. It's main theme is food and such. I would definitely like to see more of this though. The absolute best part was "What do You Eat Before You Fry," which detailed the crimes and last meals of people put to death by the state of Texas. Not surprisingly, most meals were meat -- can you draw the connection? Another high-point was the story about Jessica's old girlfriends and how they were mean to her in grade school. Yea for little kid stories! Zine and record reviews top it off. All-in-all a very sincere zine. $1 ppd to: Creme-Filled c/o Jessica Z, 3022A N. Fratney St., Milwaukee, WI 53212 USA MH

Dead City #7
Starting with the author, Dmitri's, intro letter I thought I was in for some tough-guy zine rants. As usual, I was wrong. What I found were four stories that are at best biographical though they are more likely
re-tellings in fish-story style. At 13 pages, the amount of writing you get here is deceivingly large and fulfilling. The writing -- done in photocopied typewriter pages -- is just descriptive enough without heading into flowery territory. To give you an idea, the first story starts as such: "Scratch and pop, the match flared to life and deepened the sallow pallor of his sunken cheeks and eyes in the blood dyed, dying dusk. The windows were open and a tired, frozen breeze sucked the smoke from his cigarette and dispersed it through the screen out into the wind swept Cleveland twilight." Personally, I share Dmitri's love/hate relationship with Ohio (the state in which we both reside) and think it's just down right fun to read about places I know about. But regardless of Ohio residency, you will just love this zine if you love to hear life and travel stories about interesting people. $2 to:
Dmitri 539 Washington NE Warren, OH 44483 USA MH 1.2002

From the Diane Files Volume One: The Dogharied Infants
I want to make a zine like this. Someday I will make a zine like this. So the folks at Love Bunni Press, just for kicks, placed a personal ad in a prominent punk zine reading as such: "Lonely 18 year old female into violent beauty, chaos as freedom, grotesque dark night flighting and subjection through poetry. Write and tell me your dreams, Diane." Well, lo and behold, they wrote. Maybe you wrote ... that's why this sounds oddly familiar. So hence you have a zine filled with the rantings and raving of insane love addicts trying to woo the heart of the non-existent Diane. For example: "Nature drove a stake thru conformity. I approved with laughter." Or how about: " Fuck all those other people who wrote to you. Their thoughts and ideas couldn't possibley be as rewarding as mine. ... How do you wear your hair?" This is an amazing exercise in zinemaking and deranged letter writing. I want more. Love Bunnie Press, 2622 Princeton Rd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 USA MH 8.2003
Drinking Sweat In the Ash Age
Joint venture zines -- a zine in which one more zinester collaborate on a single project -- are not always a good idea. Sometimes they are. This case is the latter. Drinking Sweat in the Ash Age seems to be a one-shot zine dedicated to the introspective and philosophical pursuits of Mike from Scenery Fanzine and Travis from America? -- both of which I have heard naught of. Dropping topics as chapters -- biking, chess, computers, punk, to name only a few -- each author takes his turn reflecting, sometimes in story, sometimes in rant. For those of us who can't stand uber-sappy perzines, Drinking Sweat provides a nice middle ground where you get to walk in someone else's shoes and think about your thoughts on random topics. On the whole this is not a monumental zines, but rather one that is simplistic and honest and will leave you thinking quietly to yourself. $3 ppd to: Mike/Scenery Fanzine PO Box 14223, Gainesville, FL 32604 USA MH 5.2003

Dropout #7
I have been wanting to order this zine for quite some time and just never got around to it -- lucky for me, they sent it my way. This tabloid-sized zine deals with the subject of homeschooling or "unschooling." It takes the standpoint that mandatory education actually harms more children than it helps. Kids should be left to learn at their own pace and explore subjects important to them, not the board of education. It is very much along the lines of Grace Llewellyn's The Teenage Liberation Handbook. What I like most about this zine is that even though they could take a high-and-mighty approach and fill the zine with jargon and research as to why mandatory school is destructive, they choose to let the kids tell it. Dropout is chock full of stories about self-discovery, life with ADD, and the effects of Ritalin. This issue concentrates mostly on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in stating that though ADD exists, it is many times fabricated by the school system. The thinking goes that if a kid is bored in school because he or she learns at a faster pace or is simply not interested in the lesson at hand, he or she will exhibit the signs of ADD -- doodling, fidgeting, lack of concentration. Many of the articles take it one step further to talk about the drugging of our youth via control drugs like Ritalin. I recommend this zine to anyone, whether they are in school, just graduated, or contemplating sending their kids to school. It's important to understand the social institution of school in that it prevents free will and promotes the herd mentality. A must read for anyone with an independent thought in their brain. $1 ppd to: Dropout, 1114 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 USA MH

Escaping Suburbia Issue One: Echo Lake and Beyond
This zine is not for me, but I would highly recommend it for kids just getting into zines ... especially if they are still living at home. I can recall the fact that my parents didn't get me and every moment of living with them and striving to get out from under their thumb seemed like an eternity, but frankly, family drama is far from my mind now not only because I am grown up but precisely because I am grown up. My journal is filled with these same esoteric ramblings that Jen gives while on a family vacation. If I were going through that now, this zine would make me feel better. Thank god that's over. $1 or Trade to: Jen Pilles 11 Ascot Ct., Welland, ON L3C 6K7 Canada MH 8.2003

Exterminator Volume One
I was in 5th or 6th grade when I made my first zine. Only, I didn't know to call it a zine back then. My teacher assigned us to write a short story and then make it into a book. Mine involved something about my family's favorite Chinese restaurant and a piano; I wrote neatly in straight lines, stiched the pages together, and then placed a white, sparkley cover made of wallpaper around it. There were even illustrations done by yours truly. It was neat. This zine is neat as well. It's part one of a four part series about a 7-year-old kid who doesn't quite fit in. It's really about the system that made me create that goofy book about nothing. Unlike my story, this one has a point. It's an elementary look at the horrors of required schooling done by someone who is probably in the midst doing anything she can to keep her sanity and creativity in tact. Here's to fighting the good fight ... and making goofy things in school. Beth Whiting, 17604 N. 39th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85308 USA MH 7.2003

Fly, Paper Fly
Number 2
Sometimes there is just not much to say about a zine. This is one of those times. I often have no patience for zines that consist almost completely of a conversation with the zinesters self. That's what journals are for, and just becasue you wrote it there does not make it worth printing in zine format. Though there are a few thoughts on marriage, body size, college, and finances, most of the writing here is meant to be vague and talk creator Melissa W. into something. This is what I like to call Therapeutuc zine writing. And while it may be therapeutic for Melissa W., the random and barely formed thought do nothing for me. $1 and a letter to: Melissa W. PO Box 2335, Norman, OK 73070 USA MH 8.2003
Food Geek Number 4
I love food. Food Geek is about, well, food. But are you kidding, this is the most fun I have ever had reading about food. There are funny food stories, food obsessions, and yes, a few comic recipes. Now i know how to make perfect rice and chocolate pretzel vanilla wafers. I also know what Eric Lyden's favorite snack food is. And best of all, send them your regional chocolate or an old cookbook and you get a subsciption. Food Geek is delectible. Carrie Mcnich PO Box 481051, Los Angeles, CA 90048 USA MH 8.2003
Glue Issues 1 through 4
Very rarely do I seek a zine out. I get enough in the mail to obviously keep me very behind in my reviews. Glue however enticed me from it's very mention and I just had to have it. I must confess, I am a craft junky, and I am only too pleased at the recent influx of punk-influenced crafts. Glue, as you may have guessed, is one such product of that influx ... and fabulous at that. I have nothing but good to say here. Craft mistress, Christy, offers up fun and useful projects that will turn your sweaters into mittens or hats and T-shirts into frolicy gear. Oh and there is so much more: rugs from bluejeans, safety pin belts, vintage lampshapes, felt appliques ... the list goes on and on. You can get all four issues for $6 and I say hurry ... you will wonder how you lived without it all this while. Contact Chrissy. MH 5.2003

Heat Seeker
With the cover bearing a masked figure and what looks to be a pirate flag, I wasn't too sure what this zine that tags itself as "Terrorific Literature" would have to offer. I have to say I was happily surprised. Not only are there short stories that keep you hooked to the end, but also there are fun games for anarchists -- like Hide and Seek with the cops. I'll keep this to the point: Heat Seeker is a zine looking for trouble; Heat Seeker is a zine offering moral diatribes for the urban rebel; Heat Seeker is a zine broadcasting hilarious and riot-inducing diatribes. Get Heat Seeker for $1.50 per issue: The Open Eye PO Box 5841, Eugene, OR 97450 USA MH 5.2003

Here #2
What a breath of fresh air. Subtitled "The Stories Behind Where You Are," this zine is surely a treasure. Inside you will find stories (sometimes true sometimes not) about places as told by someone who has visited there or lives there. For example, in this issue: an essay on how strange mailboxes are to a city kid, highways of California, shopping in Kenya in the ‘hood you're not supposed to go to, and more. All very clearly written. This is certainly one of my new favorite zines. Please pick it up.$3 ppd to: Here PO Box 310281, Red Hook Station, Brooklyn, NY 11231 USA MH

Is a poem written on smallish index cards and bound with these cute flower things you might see at a kitschy wedding a zine? I dunno. I do know that I don't like nor understand most peoms. If I did I would probably like this one and this zine. It's neat. Irreal MH 8.2003
I Stand Alone #13
First of all, though I somehow missed issues 11 and 12, this is the best cover I have seen yet on ISA. For those of you who don't know, the covers most always consist of a tattoo-like illustration. I never really understand them and am always curious about what they have to do with the zine, but this one is really eye-catching and well done. Props to the illustrator. Now, to what I really want to say. This is issue 13 and I would like to congratulate Adele on making it this far. ISA is sort of an anomaly in the zine scene as it had progressively gotten more consistent and better. It's clear with this issue that Adele is never content to just be stagnant. This can also be seen in the fact that she has started to put 7" records with her zine. This issue's release has Elliot, Kid Dynamite, and Sunday Evening Dinner Club. I can't say anything more about the record as my record player is broken. Chances are you know ISA is basically a scene and music zine full of interviews, band pics, and columns about the scene. Adele does this better than anyone I know as she is always positive and always struggling to interview and find bands that inspire her and make her dance. I usually don't like this genre of zines, but ISA is always testing new ground with new bands and interesting questions. My favorite interviews in this issue are with Undying and Chris Boarts of the Slug & Lettuce zine. I always look forward to reading Adele's column, and this time she really surprised me with a really thoughtful essay on Kosovo, the upcoming elections, and time to yourself. The only criticism I would have is that there be more female representation in it's pages -- be it bands, columnists, whatever. $6 US or $8 world ppd (remember the 7") to: I Stand Alone, PO Box 321, Buckner, KY 40010 USA MH

JND Pseudo Zine #7
This is a fairly interesting full-size. Favorite part: The article about nuns and mental illness. Second place: The bit on reincarnation and proof. Lots of hard to read letters and reviews. The content could certainly be beefed up a bit. James N. Dawson, PO Box 613 Redwood Valley, CA 95407 USA MH

The Life and Times of Sheldon Grubs Volume One
The letter enclosed with the zine stated that zinester Sheldon Grubs was currently working on his eigth issue of his zine. Being that this is the first issue, who knows what he's been up to. Regardless, this first issue is chock full of silly stories. For example, Sheldon has a grandfather suffering from dimentia. Well, seems that Sheldon's grandad fancied himself a wrestler -- you know, the professional kind -- and went about wearing a mask and calling himself Crusher. His greatest victory was over a couch cushion. This zine is full of stories about Sheldon's family, a deranged day-planner, and a bit about how he collects fake dog poo. These stories may or may not be true however -- Sheldon admits to being a "consumate liar" -- but who the hell cares, it's funny. $2, stamps, or trades to: Sheldon Grubs 202 S. 2nd St. Apt. #14, Brooklyn, NY 11211 USA MH 8.2003
Life + Death Issue 1
I have, frankly, little tolerance for a zine filled with bad grammar, poor spelling, that was obviously laid-out on a computer. Not that computers have all the answers, but you get to go back and correct your mistakes without having to retype it or cut it or whatever. Besides that, I dunno. I might have gotten it more if I actually knew the boys that put this together. Then, I would have undoubtedly be in on all their little plots and inside jokes and we would sit and laugh for hours at our silly antics and disrespect for authority. In any case, I was not and therefore hope the friends of this guy appreciate the hard work that went into this ... or whatever. $2 from Dixie Zine Distribution PO Box 2830, Auburn, AL 36830 USA MH 5.2003

Little Engines Issue One
As I finished reading this, Issue Two appeared in my mailbox. Literally, it was the same day, which only goes to show how far behind I am. Even though I have yet to read the second edition, I really want to tell you about the first Little Engines. It may be the prettiest zine you have ever seen. It's perfect bound and has clean white pages and a color cover. But don't let that scare you off my zinester fanatics, it's wonderful. In fact, as I was reading through this a smile came to my face. Could it be that Little Engines is a step toward legitimizing zine culture and opinions? Now don't shudder until you read the entire review. What I mean is that so often really great writing and zines for that matter exist only on the fringes. Too often the people who could benefit from some honest political writing or personal stories that zines offer are the ones that will never hear them. With it's neat and tidy appearance, Little Engines makes the zine community accessible to those bookstore-coffehouse lizards hoping to find some culture and reality in the sterile isles of corporate America. And, for all you purists, the DIY ethic is still here -- the ads are kosher, not to mention the writing. And come on, don't we all want to see great writers and artists get some credibility and recognition beyond our incestuous circle of zinedom? Little Engines essentially drops you into a trance of fiction, comics, and interviews that are at the same time refreshing and invigorating. Reading Little Engines, you remember your true potential to create and love life at the same time. Really, it's that good. Look to:
TNI Books for more information and for purchase. MH 1.7.2002

Mod Magazine
Issue 5
Maybe I am gushing about the batch of zines I reviewed. Really, it's only because the specimens laid before me are very impressive. Mod is no exception. Taking an approach I have yet to be introduced to, Mod delves not only into the world of eclectic, punk, and electronic music but also into design and architecture. Spending the first eight pages with thumbnails and descriptions of buildings and houses must have taken some serious research seeing that the author knows most of the architects names, the year they were built, and a good amount of history of each building. The photos being in black and white newsprint are a little small and hard to make out but nonetheless interesting. From there Mod takes its readers on a journey through music -- talking to indie band Lenola, electronic and mix tape music reviews, an interview with Random and Her Space Holiday are just a few stops along the way. Chock full -- and I mean it -- of other music reviews, Mod will take up hours of my time later as I figure out what new techno-ish bands I need to own. Get it.
Keith York PO Box 161024, San Diego CA, 92176 USA MH

A Multitude of Voices 12
This zine is exactly what is claims to be: A Multitude of Voices. A collaboration zine consisting of contributions from zinesters and artists across the country, this zine is offered free to anyone who chances a look at it. I have to admire the true zine ideology and mission of bringing people together and forming community where there was none. Speaking to that point, I found it incredible and unexpected that the work had a sort-of stream of consciousness to it. Though the writing and comics are random, they seem to speak to a certain point. It makes me wonder if the 20 some contributors are more alike than they would like to think. Even if editor Matt Holdaway set out to create something with this purpose, it gives a strong notion that the world is relatively small and we are all in this together. In any case, if I am thinking too much the strengths of this zine are the impressive pen and inks that photocopies almost do a disservice and the open and honest writing. Get a copy (send stamps) and then submit your own work to: A Multitude of Voices c/o Matt Holdaway 1945 B Berryman St., Berkeley, CA 94709 USA MH 5.2003

Muuna Takeena Number 8
It's always strange to review a review zine. Too bad more places don't do it though. These are the zines that need the most attention. They are the gateways to the work of zines. The good ones are always on top of new releases and new gossip, keeping us all on top of what we should be reading. But like I said, you need to know about them first. And while I am psyched to be introducing you to Muuna Takeena, it is with this, the last issue, that I give you your introduction. One of you fine zinesters is going to have to pick up where this zine left off. Your mission: Begin and maintain a chill, all-inclusive review zine; review zines with an honest yet non-angry attitude all-the-while keeping up on past issues and releasing the zine in a timely manner. easier said than done, I know. Which is why I am so sad to see Muuna Takeena go. Unlike Zineguide's two-sentence reviews that basically lift verbatim whatever each zinester has to say about themselves, Muuna Takeena explores why each zine is made and reviews it for what it is. It will be missed for it's not too sweet, not too harsh critique on the zine world. Order back copies (and this one) to see what you missed. Tino Palonen, Ortie 4 C 24. FIN-01200 VANTAA, Finland. MH 7.2003

My Strange Malady #1
This is basically a review zine. Done by the same person who does JND Pseudo Zine (see above), this new zine is apparently an opportunity to print reviews and a few random articles and letters that didn't quite make it into JND. Zines, movies, and articles all receive honest critiques. Good if you're looking for commentary and word on things rarely found. $1? ppd to: James N. Dawson, PO Box 613, Redwood Valley, CA 95740 USA MH

Off My Jammy #12
Huh ... I really have gotten a lot of zines from female zinesters. Rad! This is one of them. Out of Somerville, Mass. which I now hold dear to my heart after a summer of interning. This is considered the "Hot Issue" and it delves into the topics of hot men, hot food, hot climates, and hot cars. I totally dig the diversity of this half-size. From translating hot into other languages to telling why a car overheats to reviewing South American zines, Off My Jammy has it all. My favorite part though is the title of the zine review section, "The Zine from Ipanema." Everyday on my long commute from Dorchester to Union Square in Somerville I would pass by a hair salon called The Girl from Ipanema -- ahh, the memories! $2 ppd to: Off My Jammy Box 440422, Somerville, MA 02144-0006 USA MH

One Fine Mess Spring 2002
What can I say except that you should read this zine. It's great. Like the last issue I read, Dan and Erin are at it again taking their zine and personal relationships to a new level with ... dum dum dum ... marriage. I have never read a zine by a married couple ... I kinda like it. It's fun, it's honest, it's goofy ... it's One Fine Mess. Yes folk, back again with stories of graduation, parental expectations, and yes, holy matrimony. Really, I should stop writing so you can hurry up and get this. 2 stamps or trade to: One Fine Mess c/o Dan and Erin Q., 71 Storm St. 2C, Tarrytown, NY 10591 USA MH 5.2003

One Fine Mess Summer 2001
It's a zine, it's mail art, it's environmentally sound, it's One Fine Mess. Cloaked in the retro images of women at desks and kids eating white bread, One Fine Mess delivers stories and reflection in a dry witty humor that I just can't get enough of. One Fine Mess is created by Erin and Dan who seem to have their squabbles about their relationship in and the zine within the pages of the zine. Dan slacks on getting his pages done and Erin takes him to task
-- Dan clips out some absurd snippets for The Hilarious Zone, and Erin apologizes. Coming from my own zine relationship, I can totally relate ... boys slack. But what ensues in One Fine Mess is a lighthearted and funny rendition of what it takes (and doesn't take) to put together a great zine. Erin's writing is dry, descriptive and down right laughable. She tells us about her goofy editing job in Manhattan, being let down by the White Stripes, hitting a deer with her car, and tuna. Really, I cannot do this zine justice with mere descriptions ... it's awesome and something I will go back to again and a again just to feel normal and wanted in this crazy world. 2 stamps or trade to: One Fine Mess c/o Erin and Dan 71 Storm St. Apt. C Tarrytown, NY 10591 USA MH 3.2002

The Perfect Mix Tape Segue #2
Joe Biel is cool. Joe Biel is a good guy. I know, I've met him. He is the brains and the driving force behind Microcosm Publishing, a super-cool DIY project that produces CDs, T-shirts, buttons, and cool zines like this one. You should support projects like these if only for the fact that it's people like Joe -- someone who can make a living off his beloved scene and do it with style -- that keep the rest of us firm in the thought that we are fighting the good fight. But on to the zine itself: Basically an essay, this zine finds me at the perfect time. Maybe it's because I know Joe and know that we are approximately the same age. Joe's thoughts seem to solidify a feeling I have had for a bit: That all of up hipsters/zinesters/scenesters/people for a better waysters over the age of 25 are dealing with the same thing. Maybe it's growing up in a community that spits you out after you come of age, or maybe it's stuggling to justify being part of something that consists largely of pre-teens and confused wanders in thier early 20s. For most people, when society tells them to grow up they do. For Joe and I the fight is the hard one. Struggling to live how we want the world to be and attempting to come up with a viable third way, we find ourselves panting uphill and being misunderstood by, well, everyone. It's comforting to me to know Joe is dealing with the same things I am. At the same time, it's disheartening to know that if Joe Biel, substantial cornerstone of (at least the Portland) DIY community can't figure it out, then how can I. In reality, both of us are trying to find answers where none exist and in the meantime will keep creating and thinking and trying to wrok it out. At least Joe has the balls to write it all down. Microcosm Publishing PO Box 14332, Portland, OR 97293 USA MH 8.2003
This zine has been sifted, kneaded, and made into a pie crust. No seriously, this zine and the crust surrounding it has spent at least 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. And hence it is all about pie. Including instructions, questionnaire and all, on how to hold a pie off -- question eight: Is pie good or bad? -- Pie is a tasty treat ready for consumption. Hell, there is even a Piefesto listing demands such as federally-funded pie tins, increased fruit and vegetable planting free and open to all citizens in and around major cities, and a general return to pie-centric thought. My only point of contention with Pie is in the after-mentioned rant on the Biotic Baking Brigade. The aformentioned are a group of hooligans that go about throwing perfectly good pies in the faces of modern-day scoundrels. This rant goes on to chastise the Brigade for wasting perfectly good pie: "It is demeaning to tru desert activists to have our ultimate glory tarnished by the sudden and unforseen appreciation of pie by those least deserving of its light and honor ... pieing someone must not be a punishment." By I, a true and dedicated lover of all pie, hold that pie stands determinedly and wholeheartedly in the face of the vast wrongs these corporate whores have laid upon us. Therefore a pie in the face, is to me, the ultimate symbol of an idealogy gone wrong. May the Biotic Baking Brigade live on ... and may we all eat Pie! Contact Anne Elizabeth Moore, keeper of Pie. MH 8.2003
Pink Poodle #9
So this is a first. Never in my vast zine reading history have i ever read a zine where the author loved ... I do mean loved ... Britanny Spears. At least I have never read a zine where the author admitted it. Pink Poodle to me is Entertainment Weekly with punk sensibilities. Candy follows the lives and careers of a few of her favorite -- but I sure as hell have never heard of them -- television stars. In addition, there are interviews with zinesters Adam (The Beautiful Underworld Super Reef Zine), Jerianne (Reader's Guide to the Underground Press), and ME! There are also zine reviews. On another note, pink is the new color of the revolution. Well acording to me. I have set out on a mission to bring back pink to oppressed women everywhere. Pink Poodle fits securely in line with this mission and therefore should be bought and made a force in not only the zine movement but in the pink color revolution. Pink Poodle PO Box 1176, New York, NY 10018 USA MH 8.2003
Rated Rookie A Few Issues
I don't think I will ever come to grips with the whole Volume thing. These silly zinesters think they write encyclopedias or something and place this Volume 1 Issue 3 baloney on the cover and I'm like ... what? Maybe my math comprehension has not evolved from the simple counting method of one number to the next. Maybe the crew at Rated Rookie knows something I don't. In any case, this is all irrelevant because besides my dumbfoundedness at the numbering system, I really like this zine. Full-sized and pretty, Rated Rookie is, according to them, "Pathos mixed with humor and nonfiction trumping fiction." I say Rated Rookie is sort of like the Onion crossed with Seventeen's "It Happened to Me" column. Sure this is a boy's boy zine and sometimes readers get mad at them, and not surprisingly those readers are often women who would rather boys be gentlemen and not say rude stuff. But everyone says rude and vulgar stuff just not always in the pages in a seemingly innocuous magazine with pretty pictures and nice design. Maybe people are just surprised. And maybe you'll be surprised at how silly these boys (and girls) are willing to be. Maybe you'll like the Blowjob Vignettes and the Suicidal Clowns. Maybe you'll hate the Confessions of a Teenage Panty Sniffer and care less about the last wigger. But I bet everyone will find something to laugh and smile at ... whether they admit it or not. Buy it. $3 from: Rated Rookie 562 Park Place #3, Brooklyn, NY 11238 USA MH 5.2003

Recluse Zine Issues 7 and 8
I just don't know how these two do it. Not only are Jill and Chris adults (yea guys, I'm sad to say your and my time has come) with real lfe responsibilites, lots of animals to care for, a marriage to keep up, a sweet zine distro to keep on top of, but they always seem to have time to put out really good issues (and a lot of issues) of their zine Recluse. As always this is a well-though and well-done half-sized zine containing rants, political commentary, animal rights and care information and finally (thanks guys, this is what I've been waiting for) a decent amount of pages dedicated to zine and book reviews. Way to go Jill, Milan Kundera is one of my faves. Order this often. More information at RecluseZine.com. MH 7.2003

#1 and #2
From the first few paragraphs of this half-size zine, I can see myself in Jill's writing. She's educated, she's pissed off, and she's looking for everyone to know it. Maybe it's because I am an elder zinester, but I take refreshment in this kind of attitude. Jill knows she doesn't have all the answers and she's not trying to force them down our throats; she just wants us to know where she stands. Jill and her zine partner Chris have put together a great zine that keeps me in anticipation for future issues. I can see Recluse becoming a favorite zine of many. In the first few issues it tackles animal rights from a Human Society perspective, dealing with destructive family relationships, alien conspiracy theories, reviews, fiction, and baseball. Get it. $1 per copy plus postage to:
Recluse PO Box 09558 Columbus, OH 43209 USA MH 1.2002

The Second Hand Three Random Issues
Bet you never thought a placemat could be a zine. Well, obviously you've never read The Second Hand. Printed on both sides of an 11x7 paper, The Second Hand offers up random thoughtful stories that (at least in these issues) have to do with cows and McDonald's. But don't let this scare you off. Bending the traditional format allows Second Hand editor, Todd Dills the space and freedom of time and the stealth of surprise in that this does not look like a zine at all. Watch out mom and dad, you could find yourself transported into the literary world of dreams, day jobs, and disappointment from the winning minds of the writers you will be talking about tomorrow ... and for a long time for that matter. To sum up, The Second Hand is the equivalent of a bunch of short films thrown onto a tape and mailed with lots of stamps to your door. Get yours free (stamps appreciated) from The2ndHand.com. MH 5.2003

The Secret Files of Captain Sissy
There are 62 pages to this half-legal size zine that is nicely and cleanly laid out in cut and paste style. And with 62 pages comes lots of ideas and articles. There are some really insightful ideas here though I find it a bit jargony -- like someone got caught up in how their professors said they should write. Regardless, there are some great new ideas on old topics. Editor Andy Cornell takes us through his pro-street vendor article in "The Hustle." "It seems to ironic that the guys making these knock-offs in the basement are considered con-artists for falsely claiming a product is authentic, when the people who work for the companies that make the real thing are considered ingenious respectable businessmen. Isn't it the businessmen ... that are conning us into believing a white T-shirt with ink on it is an attitude toward life and an important marker of our cultural wits?" Brilliant. And so is that article on claiming punk as an ethnicity .. great idea. All and all there are a lot of ideas stemming from a punk rock and activist lifestyle that will be certain to get your blood boiling and that hamster in your brain doing double time. $3 to:
The Secret Files of Captain Sissy 3907 Wedgewood Dr. Portage, MI 49024 USA MH 3.26.2002

She Takes My Virginity
Tagged as "life affirming stories for suicidal writers," CherryBleeds.com has been bringing it's readers the best in off-the-wall literary praise. Taking a keen interest in sex and all it's extremities, CherryBleeds' editor Tony Dushane offers up this chapbook of four short stories and some random scribblings for the sexually adventurous at heart. Half prose, half verse, She Takes My Virginity may very well be a not-so-happy glimpse into the personal life of Tony Dushane; it could also be for shock value, or for the purpose of living out sexual fantasies. Being that the title story shows no concern for violence against women, my taste leans toward the story "Algebraic Desire" because it so cleverly turns math-class word problems into love poems ... well sort of. Check out CherryBleeds.com for more information. MH 5.2003

Sisu Issue One
Always nice to bone up on the latest PC trends. Albeit in my opinion the movement has gotten a good bit out of hand. But in a society so stifled of creativity, I guess the masses need to come up with interesting ways to entertain themselves. Hence the latest trend of FOB. Meaning fresh off the boat, FOB can be used to belittle someone whose English is poor or by a newbie to decribe themselves instead of giving their ethnicity. In any case, it's semantics and really something I could care less about. But that could be because I am living in Montana where there are no oceans. Also included in Sisu are self-realizations of race, eating organic, and living in a diverse neighborhood. The sentiments are right on but this zine just seems to be a vomitting of ideas, thoughts, and crticisms. On the whole, not good though not bad. Check out NoBrandHeroine.net for more info MH 5.2004
Six By Five Volume One, Issue One
This is not your typical photocopied, stapled zine. In fact, there aren't any staples to be found. Instead, Six By Five creator, Joshua, has crafted a handmade envelope to the approximate six of 6 inches by 5 inches and stuffed in full of loose art, prose, and poetry. What ensues is an enjoyable and artistic experience. Each piece is to be appreciate for both it's own worth and in relation to the other art and writing. The associations between the pieces are loose but one can really get a feel for what Six By Five is saying, or rather not saying -- this particular installement has the theme "The way we harm ourselves nd everyone." Like a day at a museum, the artists and authors are trying to convey their feelings but would also like you to evaluate your own feelings. Take a walk through an envelope of art and see what it does for you. $3 to:
Joshua Dumas 1307 West Albion Chicago, IL 60626 USA MH 1.7.2002

Slave Magazine #4 and #5
I have been putting off reviewing these zines for a long time. I am not sure why though. Maybe I was intimidated or just couldn't muster the right words to tell you all how really good this is. I have been reading zines for some time now and have seen many of my favorites disappear. My most favorite zine (so far) is one entitled
Retrogression. Retrogression put together in-depth articles, politics, sex, and personal writing in a lengthy, well-designed zine. Since Retrogression ceased to be published some four years ago, I have yet to find a zine that even attempts and slightly succeeds at taking on the same broad audience and subjects. Well, that is until Slave. In only it's fourth and fifth issue Slave is accomplishing what so many zines try and fail at. With it's full-size format and very appealing design Slave tackles music, politics, art, and well, everything else. The articles are well done, thought out, and are nicely written right down to few to no typos. Surprisingly enough my favorite things to read in each issue are the interview. Surprising because I normally HATE to read interviews. But the interviews in Slave are really insightful and interesting. Interviewees include Greg Bennick of the band Trial and a professional juggler and street performer, and the bands Avail and Jets to Brazil. My favorite though is the lengthy interview done with Rowan Mitchell who formed a restaurant union of sorts in New Zealand called the Dish Pigs. Mitchell hints on labor organizing and the state of the labor movements in both the US and New Zealand ( not surprisingly labor has taken a beating in both countries). All in all, Slave is a great piece of work. It's inspiring, educational, and fun. Go out and buy it. $3 US or $4 world to: John Rash PO Box 10093 Greensboro, NC 27404 USA MH 3.2002

Snowbound #3
Reading this 80-page perfect-bound zine made me remember why I revel in zine culture. The variety and the quality of this zine make me wonder why so many counter-culture bandwagoneers have declared zine culture dead. It is certainly alive in these pages. Have witnessed the breadth and quality of Snowbound I can only say, hunt it down. In this issue the reader is taken on a journey through globalization and its environmental impact, how farm markets create a healthier Earth and population, and on to an interview with an amazing ecologist. But that's only a third of it. After the quasi-political education, the reader is submerged into hockey fandom. Though I have absolutely no interest in hockey, I dare say I was intrigued with the stories and soft analysis. Excellent writing style. After the hockey, there was Finnish folk music. Descriptions of a folk music festival in Finland and the US and of a less traditional (read: "rock") fest left me intrigued and confused. Confused with all the name dropping, though I was able to capture the essence of what was being described. You have to love a zine that can meld politics, hockey, and polka into one very well designed publication. Props also to acting with what you preach -- Snowbound presents itself on 100 percent recycled material, half of that being post-consumer. $5USD to:
Snowbound, PMB 708, 3023 N. Clark St., Chicago IL, 60657-5205 USA MH

Sore Zine #11
This, sad to say, is your basic run-of-the-mill, full-size, newsprint zine. There is a little bit of everything, but not enough of anything. I am disappointed that this is what comes from the eleventh issue of any zine. Not to be too harsh though, there is some good writing here. It's just too bad most of it fits conveniently on one page each. In Sore #11 you will find self-reflective fiction and essays and book, zine and music reviews. $1 or trade to:
Sore Zine c/o Taylor Ball PO Box 68711 Virginia Beach, VA 23471 USA MH 1.7.2002

Sore Zine #8
This is what I would call a typical personal zine. Most of the writing focus on writers block, punk, and religion. Though the articles introduce interesting ideas, they are kept to just one page each in this half-size zine. By the time the author gets to what he or she is trying to say, the rant ends. Sore would be much better if more space were given to the essays to flesh out the author's point and go into greater detail. This zine is very sincere and honest as far as personal zines go. I see a lot of potential here. Just don't be afraid to say what you mean, Taylor. $1 ppd to: Sore Zine, PO Box 68711, Va. Beach, VA 23471 USA MH

Sprial Objective #13
Half zine ... half catalog ... all Australia all the time. A little bit of music here with a lot a bit of politics, thoughts, and issues to face. To name a few: genetically engineered food, uranium mining in Australia, Aboriginal issues, meat, and forests. An unconfusing, eclectic mix worth looking into no matter what continent you are from. PO Box 126 Oaklands Park, SA 5046 Australia MH

Ten Things Jesus Wants You to Know #21
I have heard quite a lot about this zine but have yet to come across it until now. For the most part it lives up to all the good comments I have heard about it. I thought I might understand the name of the zine better, but I still don't -- if anyone would like to explain it to me. What I liked about it was it's very well-rounded approach and it's seeming honesty. The columns in this issue were really interesting and were not always your typical "I am hardcore and proud of it" mantra. "Empty Womb" by Nina was especially captivating and a too-often not heard perspective on abortion. There also weren't many band interviews to clog up my reading. I especially liked the piece about punk rock parents. Parenting deserves more attention in our community and Ten Things rightly gives it some. What I didn't like was the barrage of bare breasts. From what I gather, the editors would like to include photographs. I have no issue that they want naked pictures, they are just all of women. Given, they do ask for more photos of men, and hopefully next time there will be a better mix. But, the editor, Dan, seems to be a male, maybe he should pose. $3 ppd US and $5 ppd world to: 10 Things, 8315 Lake City Way NE, PMB #192, Seattle, WA 98115 USA MH

This Way Out How to Get Out of School and On With Your Life
This was a surprise. The short of it is that This Way Out is a one-shot zine/resource guide bent on getting you, the reader, to take control of you life. Dammit ... stop listening to everyone else and do what you want already. This guide is much more than a ranty diatribe on how much things suck. It is, in fact, a fantastic and extremely well-written resource guide tell the hows and whys of dropping out of school. I recommend this zine to anyone either in high school college or thinking about grad school. At the very least it will help you weigh you options and make an informed decision. Like editor's Sara Zia Ebrahimi and Emily Nepon state, there is more to life than the school-college-career model of success. You do have options and this zine will open your eyes to them and give you good advice from successful dropouts to boot. This Way Out c/o Self-Education Foundation PO Box 30790, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA MH 5.2003

The New Scheme Number 2
A 56-page, full-size zine about music music music. OK, there are other things -- like an interview with Al Burian of Burn Collector (well, that's kind of music related), some columns (of which only one kept my attention, i.e. read the one titled "Eulogy"). On the music end look for interviews with Cave In, Waxwing (yea), Second Nature, and a recording studio called Eight Houses Down. Record reviews top it off. Really, I am not making this out to be as good as it is. TNS is very well done, readable, and above all interesting. The writing is coherent and the questions asked are intelligent.
$2US/$4World to: The New Scheme, PO Box 19873, Boulder CO, 80308 USA MH

The World Is Broken Issue #5
In parts a pathetic, too-cute, boy-are-we-fucked-up, hippy-homeless-crashpad saga, in other parts literary, insightful, wise-beyond-her-years, wry-brow-raising-witty and snorting-funny. The World is Broken is a made up of journal entries with additional contextual reflections. I read the fifth issue as a stand alone piece. I imagine there'd be more breadth to my understanding of the author had I read the previous installations. Issue #5 takes place in early '98, when the author was 17. She is Bri, a Massachusetts native who heads to the West Coast for fun, enlightenment, and mind expansion -- plus plenty of hurling. On going to San Francisco: "Going to new places doesn't change who you are or what you've done. It sucks to be so friendly and deep down inside so fucking shy and feel awkward and not know how to change it." Take out the effword and you've got the start to a column in Jane magazine. This granddaughter of Holden Caulfield also states: "There are lots of fake motherfuckers, too, but those aren't hard to find anywhere." I heard these lines. That is, I somehow kept imagining this prose being enacted as performance art monologue. Not only was I amused, but also I could hear the laughter from the audience after reading: "I feel so unoriginal lately, just can't bring myself to get anything accomplished. I can't even shit right." Bri doesn't do much -- hangs out with some non-descript friends getting hungover, vomiting, and zonking out wherever. She's redeemed by deft punchlines.

Blame it on youth. I point it out not to bury Bri, but to get it out of the way so I can praise her. I laud that she doesn't write about sex -- she didn't indulge or she won't pillow talk -- either way is fine because zine authors with lesser talent do it to death just as unfunny comedians like to blurt out the word "pussy" for the nervous laughter. How much pissing down legs and acid dropping can you indulge? ... but at the same time, enough care and refection is put into Bri's presentation that a steady reader to the The World is Broken series ought to have faith that what lies around the bend in this tangled and curvy saga will be perhaps amazing and undoubtedly witty and insightful. $1 plus stamp to:
The World Is Broken 85 Scituate Avenue, Scituate MA 02066 USA MM 1.7.2002

Uncertain Nervous Systems Ant Tracks
This zine begins with an intro, so let me begin there. The state of zines in the face of technology is a subject near and dear to my heart ... as it should be to any self-respecting zinester. Technology does not a zine make. In fact, zines began in spite of and without technology. Rich you may say as you sit here reading an ezine done with the finest programs corporate America has to offer, but really this is something we think about. Short and sweet, the opening letter of Uncertain Nervous Systems is worth getting the zine for. And thats not to mention the decent writing, super long diatribe on Donaly Rumsfeld college-essay style, politics, and anti-media arguments that hit right on. Love Bunni Press, 2641 Euclid Heights Blvd. #3, Cleveland, OH 44106 USA MH 7.2003

Verbicide Issue #4
In Verbicide you will find snippets from every aspect of indie/punk culture -- fiction, publishing, art, poetry, philosophical rantings, photography, activism, zine stars -- you name it, it's here. Verbicide is published by the fine folks at Scissor Press who try with diligence to provide punk and it's cohorts with quality writing and insight to the DIY literary world. And, damnit, it's about time. My favorite this issue is the interview with Sander Hicks of Soft Skull Press where he tells how to tun a successful publishing company. I would keep my eye on this title because I have a strong feeling that Jackson Ellis and crew are only getting started. $3 to:
Scissor Press Yale Station PO Box 206512 New Haven, CT USA MH 3.2002

Visual Thought #2
When I watch television one of my favorite shows is Daria. I can spend hours watching Daria's dry humor and cynical take on the world around her. But one of the highlights of the show has to be the end credits where right there on the side are the characters of Daria dressed up in all sorts of weird costumes. This is what Visual Thought is. It's a story book without the story. In fact it's drawings only and most of them are characters, people, whatever. So here in visual thought are anime-style drawings of characters in different costumes and scenarios. It's cute, it's fun, and it's fairly well drawn. Pirates, and fairies, and disgrunteled teens oh my! $1 or trade to: Jen Pilles 11 Ascot Ct., Welland ON L3C 6K7 Canada MH 8.2002

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