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


Friday, July 15, 2016

New Titles at the Cleveland Zine Library

I dropped off a Whole Foods bag filled with zines today. Included was Stu's complete 2015 collection of diary comix. I found a nice plastic envelope so they could all stay together.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rising #66

Rising #66 (Summer 2016)

Edited by Tim Wells

A5, 24 pages. 


Rising consistently puts its money where its mouth is (Yes, I know, it's a free zine. Free to you, means someone else, somewhere, is paying for your pleasure): a poetry zine with an emphasis on quality writing - poetry that doesn't submit to the usual elitist claims to the art form.

Once again the mix is part ranting old guard, part performance circuit, and part new voices - the thing that unites them being the attitude that comes from having a need to write, not just the desire to be a writer. 

This issue includes top work from Salena Godden, Porky the Poet (comedian Phill Jupitus' alter ego), Emily Harrison, Phoebe Stuckes, Fiona Curran, The Bro's Grim, Sophie Parkin, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Paul Birtill, Hannah Lowe, and Tim Turnbull. 

What are you waiting for tweet Tim here to haggle for a copy. Can I suggest bribes, favours, or a beer or two, are likely to be successful. Please tell him Nathan sent you.

Click here to visit Tim's Stand up & spit project which is dedicated to chronicling the history and influence of Ranting poetry. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, July 11, 2016

Astounding Explorer Nicobar - #1 to #4

Astounding Explorer Nicobar - issues #1 to #4
Yoshua Reece

$3 per issue

5.5" x 8.5" - 28 pages, b&w, landscape format. 

One of the joys of reviewing for Syndicated Zine Reviews is not knowing what will come through the letter box. A few days ago a large cardboard mailer landed with a thud, inside were the first four issues of the Astounding Explorer Nicobar. 

The zine is a delightful, unexpected, continuing storybook about a small frog and his friends aboard the Graceless Flounder as they adventure around the house. Frustrated by the boredom of revisiting the lounge and the kitchen, they set out beyond the edges of the known world. 

"We are either explorers, or we are not. If we can be contented with a boring life then we are not. But if we are explorers, then we will fight the tyranny of boredom!"

Exclaims the captain of the ship, in doing so taking his place among the great adventurers of history, who also bravely set out for places beyond the bathroom. 

Yoshua explains in a letter:

Nicobar was originally conceived as a way for me to stay in touch with my friends after moving out of state for college. Using characters modelled after toys in my aunt and uncle's house I wrote story books that told my friends how I was doing. After graduating college I continued to create Nicobar booklets out of a love for it. 

I'm quoting this because there is a real warmth to these zines - in the hand drawn illustrations, and in the play-like narrative - a genuineness that hooks you in. Think of Nicobar as a hybrid of Toy Story and Jules Verne, and you'll not be far off. 

Buy copies of individual issues over on Etsy: etsy.com/uk/shop/Sockswad

And visit Nicobar here: facebook.com/Nicobarthefrog

Review by Nathan Penlington

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Moviejawn - June 2016


Volume 2 - Issue 4 / June 2016

11cm x 14cm - 52 pages, black and white with colour centre pages

$5 (subscription for the rest of the year)

The movies are life. The zine is the engine. We are the future.

Moviejawn is a pocket sized celebration of the kind of films that should be celebrated - the ones that find you, rather than you finding them. The ones you found in the back of the old VHS rental shop, the ones that were passed around on a recording of a recording of a recording, the ones that are generally terrible in a Film sense - but have had a profound effect on you every time you've watched them. Those films.

The zine takes the form of short essays and reviews of films generally more old than new, discussing why those films are so great, and examining their impact on movie watchers. It is fun, informative, and irreverent. This issue focuses on sport in films: baseball, the true American sport, is discussed in a feature on The Sandlot; the influence of the 2000 dance film and "schmaltz-fest" Center Stage on Black Swan; fandom for Crispin Glover leads to an in-depth look at Like Mike, a kind of Cinderella for basketball; while remembering what it is like not to fit in results in a review of Whip It, a roller derby movie featuring Ellen Page.

I've been sent a small package of Moviejawn back issues - but I thought I'd start with the latest. Reviews of previous issues to follow soon. Contact Moviejawn to request specific issues as part of your order. 

Click here for subscription info.

Visit Moviejawn on the web: moviejawn.com

Review by Nathan Penlington

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Shinprint #1

Shinprint #1

By Shindig Collective / Spring 2016

A5 - 12 pages

FREE (in return for swaps or mystery post)

"Your new favourite experimental arts club"

This is a fun, <sm>art cut & paste zine that functions as a manifesto for Cambridge based art / literature / performance collective Shindig.

Celebrating their love for Fluxus, Dadaist and Oulipian experiments, the collective lay out their visions in a rearrange your own interview feature, a pin the extra limbs on the donkey game, and a mini-catalogue of their existent work. 

If this small collection of work -  an interactive alchemical poetry box created by Abi Palmer, a collection of tiny zines of tiny ghosts stories by Wesley Freeman-Smith, and a series of literary blown eggs by Uppahar Subba - is a gauge, then this is a collective, and a zine to keep an eye on.  (I've been a collector of texts that take odd forms for as long as I can remember, but this is the first time I've come across one hidden inside a series of blown eggs).   

I'm already looking forward to issue two, but until then, who fancies coming round to damage the wallpaper with a vigorous game of pin the extra limbs?

Contact: hello at shindiggig dot com

Or visit shindiggig.com

Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mark's Demise #1

Mark's Demise #1
16 pages, digest
$1, prefers trades

Primarily photographs from Atlanta, Chicago, and Cleveland. There's a one frame cartoon, and a rant transcribed from an audio recording of a drummer going off about the craziness of their tour schedule. The band is from Atlanta, (oddly, the name of the band was blacked out after the zine was print ready.) Apparently they got lucky opening for a big name act, only problem was the headliners were flying to all the gigs, and the Atlanta band had to drive. I used to be an over the road semi driver and I gotta tell you it's pretty mind numbing what they did.

Since this is issue #1, and because it's brief and not centered on anything in particular, it's hard to say what exactly it is about. Not that that matters.

I would say It's energetic and upbeat, but I could be projecting that. I met Mark for the first time when he handed the zine over for review. I sent an email inquiring about it and he wrote back, “Honestly, I live one block away from you. Want to meet up for a coffee...?” He was energetic and upbeat, so my assessment of the printed matter may not be entirely subjective. Regardless, I give both the man and the zine a thumbs up.

Request a copy @

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

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bio Auto Graphic - issue zero

Bio Auto Graphic Issue zero.

Michael c Nicolson / Ensixteen Editions 2004

A5 - 12 pages


Zero - not a nothing - but a reset, a circular return. I joined this series late on (previous issues of Bio Auto Graphic are reviewed here) but it has quickly become one of my favourite zines: more art than comic, more poetry than diary -  a visual and literary reflection on the author's journey through the ups and downs of existence. The result is a comic zine that is at once funny, humble, and poignant. 

Issue zero introduces Michael, outside the frame, contemplating the challenges of the autobiographic comic, before quickly becoming the narrator of dreams and memories, encouraging us to embrace the stories of everyday life. Those stories, like those that make up Bio Auto Graphic, come in fragments, untied beginnings and ends, a lost middle here and there.

Perhaps less funny than later issues, this first (non?) issue sets up the emotional threads that run throughout the series, tying knots that bind personal and universal events with tenderness, charm and an easy seeming fluidity.

As I've said before, jump in to this series anywhere - you won't regret it.

Although this issue was made in 2005, copies are still available via the Ensixteen blog - check out the more current issues while you are there. ensixteeneditions.blogspot.com

Or email Michael directly to order: ladnicholson(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk

Review by Nathan Penlington

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