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


Friday, April 29, 2016

Minor Leagues #1 - Simon Moreton

Minor Leagues #1 – Simon Moreton

published by lydstep lettuce -  April 2016

A5, 100 pages, cardboard covers.


I don't buy into the myth of refinement, but with age I'm certainly more sure of what my tastes are. In all things I like honesty of emotion; I like humour that has truth as a foundation; I like originality of vision; I like the beauty of the ordinary. Minor Leagues #1 has all of this, so I'm very happy it found my letterbox. 

These are short stories of heartbreaking honesty that will make you laugh, that walk the line between visual and textual, exploring moments we feel could be profound if they could be wrestled away from their everydayness. We have all experienced those moments that if only... if... arrh... oh... gone.

I love the sparseness and the specifics, the humour in the writing and the poetry in the line. The graphic sections are definitely sequential art rather than comic book narrative, full of movement and suggestion, the style helping to feed the mood of the text pieces. 

Although the main themes are death and loss, the result is a zine that is not afraid of being emotional but that never takes itself too seriously. It is a really lovely, lovingly put together thing.  I don't want to say more than that - buy it, read it, experience it for yourself. I know you'll want to share it, so maybe buy two. 

Buy issue 1 of Minor Leagues here: moo.bigcartel.com/product/minor-leagues-1

Or visit smoo.bigcartel.com for subscription options. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chauncey #14

Chauncey # 14 by Josh Sullivan


20 pages, A5 (ish). 

This was another find during my recent brief trip around the lower half of Florida. This zine was picked up in St Petes, a town with a surprisingly friendly mix of cool bars and laid back vintage stores. If I'd had more time I would have definitely investigated for longer. Luckily, even though time was tight, I discovered an actual bricks and mortar record store called Daddy Kool Records - that good kind of music shop, independent, diverse, and in it for the music. Also, the rare kind of music shop that makes room on its shelves for a small selection of zines. 

The zines were all US made, but one was particularly local - made and created in town. I couldn't not buy a copy.

Chauncey is a an odd looking thing half dog - half pig, with little bird-like feet, who hates his 'dumb ass job', who likes drinking, and detests idiots and bureaucracy. 

Chauncey #14 catalogues his exploits while renewing his driving license, taking his lunch break, and facing the mandatory work meeting. I'll say this, he is an unlucky lucky creature, but he is not afraid to say the things we all have thought at times - "Where did all these idiots come from?". 

If you like your comics rough around the edges and straight from the pen you'll love this. 

I can't find an online link - but if you email Josh through his website I'm sure he can help sort you out. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dirty Bind - Miami

Dirty Bind @ SWGR Gallery
2235 NW 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33127

During my recent visit to Miami, in addition to the pop-up Exile zine shop at History Miami, another happy accidental discovery was Dirty Bind – a curation of zines from over 50 artists – exhibited and sold at SWGR Gallery.

SWGR is just over the road from Wynwood Walls - the uber-‘street’ gallery of graffiti art, some of which is stunning and worth braving the selfie fixated tourists to explore. The zines on offer are mainly graphic design, illustration, fashion and photography inspired, but there are also a few more word focussed publications too. Nestle in the reading chair for an afternoon of quiet page turning.

from SWGR Gallery

So, if you find yourself in Miami, head over – please let them know Syndicated Zine Reviews sent you!

Review by Nathan Penlington

Friday, April 22, 2016

Quitter / Ten

Quitter / Ten
52 pages, mini
$6 + postage

I really loved this. I was pretty sure I'd read an earlier issue, but when looked it up I couldn't find anything. As I was eking out words that might adequately praise this work, I got distracted looking over a book of excerpts from previous issues that had come in the same package. On the back cover were the requisite blurbs. One struck me as being precisely what I would say. Then I realized I had written it for a review in an issue of Zine World.

"The subject matter is intimate and stark. With precision wordsmithing, Trace ventures into parts of the emotional landscape we normally avoid, and engages us by tapping the common well of humanity with an unflinching examination of his personal experience. Inspirational."

All of the above still holds true, though this issue is perhaps a little less stark. Lovely art inserted in unexpected places. Some of the typeface is art as well. It goes forward and backward in time to draw together bits of the writer's life and weave them into an unlikely something. The center point being a house that isn't there anymore. A memory of a house that is a depository for family nestolgia. A house that is now just part of a corn field.

The continual and eventual wiping away of the past is juxtaposed against the unfolding the now in the form of his wife and baby girls. Thoughts of mortality are the middle ground between his past and future. Stories of birds told to his older girl are the common thread that stitch it all together.

I suspect I would be enthralled by anything this guy wrote.


Trace Ramsey, 213 N Briggs Ave, Durham NC 27703

review by Jack Cheiky
This zine is being donated to the Cleveland Zine Library after review.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Lil' Buddies Magazine - Issue 2

Lil' Buddies Magazine - Issue 2

Edie Fake

11cm x 14cm, 36 pages, cardboard covers. B&W with some colour illustrations. 


This is a great little zine, in the same ballpark as Crap Hound, but with an even narrower subject focus - the often overlooked realm of the anthropomorphic objects used in advertising. 

Issue 2 is devoted entirely to teeth - creepy, smiling, mocking, cutsey, the badly drawn, and the over thought. From teeth in neon, through ones straddling car roofs, to those with a human inside - they are all here. 

Buy a copy from Exile Books. I picked my copy up during a recent trip through Miami from the Exile Books pop-up at History Miami.

Review by Nathan Penlington

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Longview - the survival guide

Maria Forde

14cm x 10.5 cm, 32 pages, plus cardboard cover


One of my favourite zines of all time is Duplex Planet. Longview shares much beyond the same subject matter, it has a similar warmth and humour which makes it such a joy to read.

The zine takes its name from the nursing home in which the author's grandmother lives, and also from an approach to life - taking the long view - which is the subtext running through the advice given by fellow nursing home residents. 

Each resident has been illustrated by Maria in pencil and ink sketches. Between the sometimes self-conscious poses and outfit choices of the subjects, she has captured an endearing quality in all of them. 

Most of all the advice is poignant, funny and could just help you in keep focused on the right perspective. 

You can buy a copy of Longview here. I picked mine up during a recent trip through Miami from the Exile Books pop-up at History Miami.

Review by Nathan Penlington

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Miami Zine Fair - April 30th

I'm currently travelling around Florida on a research trip. My zine radar must be working to the peak of its ability as I was drawn towards History Miami where, unknown to me, Exile Books have a pop-up shop. 

Located in the foyer of the museum the shop stocks a large range of art, poetry, and graphic zines from around the US. The zine shop will be in the same location until the end of May, before it moves on. The museum is also running zine making workshops and have printing facilities on site. Check out History Miami for more information

On April 30th a full zine fair featuring local artists, writers and makers runs from 11am - 5pm. There is still chance to submit for a table. Full fair details here.

Visit exilebooks.com for their full range of publications and information. 

Of course I've managed to squeeze a couple of zines into my luggage, reviews will follow soon. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Everything is Fine #1

Everything is Fine #1
36 pages, digest
$3.50 U.S. delivered
$5.00 International

Old school, cut & paste perzine with graphics on every page. Cover is delightfully creepy.

Nyxia Grey fights back against abuse and anorexia with scissors, glue, an old typewriter, a word possessor, and a ton of manic energy, purging herself of thoughts and feelings that have dominated her life. "i will cut it out of me and leave it here word by word by word until i am whole again."

In parts where she is using the typewriter she leaves in the typos and runtogetherwords and strikes a certain rhythm that becomes poetic the longer your read it.

She is recovering, so there is power and hope in her writing. Starkly honest, she puts it all out there, holding little back. Intimate descriptions of family conflicts, and the decisions she made about the world and herself that shaped her outlook.

At the same time that she's reaching deep inside herself, she's also reaching out to others who have been through, and who are going through, some of the same stuff. "I will write back. You are not alone."

See gives a very readable voice to a difficult topic. Kudos.


everythingisfinezine (a) gmail.com

review by Jack Cheiky
This zine is being donated to the Cleveland Zine Library after review.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Ken Chronicles #38 [February 2016]

28 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", $3.00, fair trade or letter of comment, Ken Bausert, 2140 Erma Dr, East Meadow NY 11554, USA + PassScribe [at] aol.com + thekenbausertchronicles.blogspot.com

One of the greatest things about zines - or at least those few that actually have them - is the letter column.

Exhibit A: Fred Woodworth's The Match! and the bags of letters printed in each issue.

Exhibit B: Ken Bausert's The Ken Chronicles. This issue has four pages of letters, and one of them is from Don Fields [who produces his own zine, Twilight World], who writes a great letter. The main subject of his letter is about him noticing another letter-writer [and zine maker], Rodney L. complaining about the lack of letters he receives for each issue. Don goes on to explain why he isn't too worried about letters, and mentions a couple of other things, which led me to write Don a letter. Now I hope he writes me a letter.

After Ken's letter column is a 'Travelogue' of where Ken and his wife Ro went during August, September and October [not the least of which was a visit to Wo Hop for some Chow Fun!].

Next up, everybody's favourite [or second favourite, if it's not the letter column...] section - 'What I've Been ______ Lately'. This time Ken and Ro saw an off-off-Broadway production of semi-semi-famous zine person Ayun Halliday [The East Village Inky]. He also saw Joe Walsh at the Civic Center, and read The Electric Acid Kool-Aid Test. It was strange to read Ken's experience of it, remembering my own reading of it many years ago, and how it opened a new universe for me. A universe I had previously been unaware of!

Finally, Ken reprints an Associated Press release about the death of Holly Woodlawn, the transgender actress made famous by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey in their 1970 films 'Trash' and 'Women in Revolt'. Ken's note at the end, where he mentions that he read Holly's biography a few years ago, and found it "very interesting" yet "kind of boring" appears to defy the laws of Aesthetic Physics.

review by Stuart / Blackgaurd

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