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


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hash Brown Comix #1


24 pages, 10" x 7", $? email Editors Dan or Oli for ordering info >>> danieljhayer at gmail dot com or olihastings9 at gmail dot com 

It's thanks to Glenno that I finally got a copy of this new Sydney comix anthology. [Long story deleted, but available here.] ...
 We all know how much comix anthologies can SUCK - it's usually only a question of how much? So it is impossible to overstate how surprised and relieved I was to find that Hash Brown Comix is really great! It is absolutely imbued, suffused, and steeped in the raw and deranged spirit of the finest Underground Comix 'spirit'. One strip [by co-editor Oli Hastings] is about the real life tragedy of Sydney's Luna Park Ghost Train fire in 1979. This strip is so great, and part of its greatness for me is that I don't know how much of the detail within is historical fact, and how much is the product of the artist's imagination. ... Other strips I really liked were Dominic Proust's tale of unrequited love with a tall girl; co-editor Dan Heyer's very strange school teacher; Kaylene Milner's Soviet record collectors; and another Oli strip about his veneration of Rowland S. Howard.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Random Notes 2017

Random Notes 2017
Matthew Rooney

26 Pages
Hand Bound
Size: Mini
$2.00 + Shipping
Random Notes 2017 is a collection of comics hand drawn and bound by Matthew Rooney. The covers are all different to order. The work contains comics from an incomplete comic book as well as several done by Rooney on a flight from Paris to Montreal.

This zine is entirely unique. I was pleasantly surprised by the entire thing as a work. The child-like drawings and obscure comics are definitely something you don't see everyday. The artwork in itself takes on an almost theme of what the author was trying to convey. With every page turn is a new surprise.
If you're into the quirky, comic side of the zine world, the price is a bargain for the surprises you may find in here.

You can email Matthew Rooney to purchase you copy ($2) at mjjrooney (at) gmail (dot) com.

Website: mjrzines.tumblr.com

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 05/29/2017; 11:10 A.M. CST

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Berserkotron #1 [2016]


76 pages, 9" x 6", by David Robertson [Fred Egg Comics],email: d1robertson [at] hotmail [dot] com and check out www.fredeggcomics.com

I found out about David and his comics from a letter I received from "The Dith Dood", Steve Anderson [Dithering Doodles]. He mentioned he had just finished writing a letter to David Robertson, another comics dude, so naturally I followed this 'lead' and we ended up trading comics.

Berserkotron is about two high school kids, Bert and Ronnie. Ronnie builds fighting robots. Bert is into chemistry. When Ronnie shows Bert his latest fighting robot, he asks him to paint it. Bert agrees, kind of reluctantly, but it will give him a chance to test the "magic paint" he recently created.

What I really loved about Berserkotron was the great dialogue between Bert and Ronnie, revealing the complex dynamics of their friendship. You really get the impression that although these guys are friends, like many high school friendships [or even friendships in general], the clock is ticking on how long it will be before a major falling out. To add to the mix is another robot builder, Henry, who comes across as a snotty, spiky-haired jerk who for some reason has it in for Ronnie, and thus Ronnie's robot, which he aims to annihilate in an upcoming 'Robot Wars' competition.

One final thing I wanna mention - something rarely found in comics but so great and welcome when an artist takes the time to do it - is at the end of this issue is a ten-page section of sketches, doodles, scribbles, and the background story of how Berserkotron came to be. Great stuff!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Loserdom #25 [November 2016]


56 pages, 8.5" x 6", contact Anto at loserdomzine at gmail dot com for ordering info + www.loserdomzine.com

I saw Anto's announcement of this momentous 25th issue on We Make Zines so I emailed him, and he emailed me back, we agreed to trade zines, and now 23 days later here I am, I've read the whole issue and now intend to convince you to get a copy for yourself. Actually, I'm not going to do that. I'll just write down what I liked about it, or if I didn't like it, what I didn't like about it, and you can read what I've written, or not, do what you like. How about that? Good. OK...

Here is yet another party I've arrived late to - this one even later than all others [except for The Match!, that is - that's a record that will not be broken since the first issue came out in 1969, when I was two. Haw!] Oh well. That's OK. Unless I absolutely love it and decide it's the best zine I've ever read, but there are no back issues available at all...

I like what Anto wrote in his intro/editorial about seeing so many shitty things happening around the world and feeling bogged down and irrelevant - "It brings me back to the question: what is my motivation for making a zine? Loserdom is part of the Irish DIY punk tradition of zine making - a basic principle of which for me is: make your own culture, stop consuming that which is made for you and question. Winning or being the strongest isn't the be all and end all, it's ok to lose."

Loserdom #1 was born in June 1996. [A big year! David Puckeridge's Gristle Fern #1 and my comix anthology Sick Puppy Comix #1 were also born in 1996, but mine [and David's] came out in April, so I'm the sempai!]. I find I'm struck by an envy of anybody out there who has been a reader from the beginning. And then to wonder what happened to all those people who got a copy of Loserdom #1...

My favourite piece in this issue is an interview with independent Irish filmmaker, Graham Jones, who "...releases his films for free on YouTube and has written a manifesto-style article about a movement of indie filmmaking which uses digital technology to produce and release films called Nuascannan [Irish for 'New Film']..." Just one tidbit from this great interview is this one: rather than make a graduation film in third year of film school in London, like every other student did [clamouring to use the equipment], Graham chose to master in theory. So he found and interviewed 30 independent filmmakers around London, transcribed every word they said, and this was subsequently published as a book by the British Film Institute. His first film was How To Cheat in the Leaving Certificate [1996[!!]]; the most recent, Nola and the Clones [2016]. I intend to watch both on YouTube this week!

Also in this issue, a short piece about the need to repeal the Eighth Amendment [Irish Abortion Law]; 'Plastic in the Ocean' - a shocking article about plastic crap floating around the world's oceans, including a gigantic area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, "estimated to be about 10 times the size of Ireland"; interview with bands Una Bestia Incontrolable [Barcelona] and Alps [Ireland]; a bunch of album and live music reviews; and most importantly - reviews-wise - zine reviews! including Maximum Rock 'n' Roll #396 the 'Do Zines Suck?' issue that I went to some length subsequently to order a physical copy of [I ended up emailing MRR because on their website it seemed they only had a PDF version for sale, but not so! Thanks Arielle!]

Loserdom is really great. A zine that deserves to have lasted 25 issues, and deserves to last 25 more.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Match! #116 [Summer 2017]

68 pages, 9.5" x 7", THE MATCH! Post Office Box 3012, Tuscon Arizona 85702, USA. Subscription: Free.

Quote from Page 2: "Published since 1969, this journal exists solely to criticize authoritarian society and religion in order to argue for the many humane advantages of freedom and rationality. We are not affiliated with any group or organization. Any publication of this same general orientation may reprint anything herein. DONATIONS: We welcome them and need them. But please: no checks; just cash or stamps only. Seriously - NO checks! Submissions of letters are welcome, and all letters will be considered as being for publication unless you say otherwise. We have no telephone, no e-mail, so either write or forget communicating with us. Typesetting and printing by the editor and publisher, Fred Woodworth, 2017. No computers are ever used in this production."
Fred really drops a bombshell at the beginning of this issue: "...after this present issue, I'm dropping the word "Anarchist" ... Our movement has actually gone in this rotten and criminal direction, or it is so appallingly ineffectual that it cannot prevent even the most transparent deliberate discreditations. There's no other way of putting a spin on this reality: Anarchism as a political or anti-political entity with a name, has failed, and the name itself now signals, more often than not, something that no thoughtful or ethical person should want to be associated with."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sprak! Vol 2 #12 [Jan 2017]

24 pages, 8.5" x 6" for a copy, "send money, dvds, trades, zines, letters, blackmail" to Kami, PO Box 278, Edwardstown SA 5039, AUSTRALIA

It seems like a long time since the last issue of Sprak!, but time plays tricks on the mind... However! In his introduction, Kami describes this issue as "a lot of old reviews rehashed with a few choice new ones thrown in to make it look like I've been productive!"

Kami examines sixteen Ozploitation classicks: Pandemonium [1987; D: Haydn Keenan]; Felicity [1978; D: John D. Lamond]; Stone [1974; D: Sandy Harbutt]; Howling III - The Marsupials [1987; D: Phillipe Mora]; Demons Among Us [2006; D: Stuart Simpson]; Dead End Drive-In [1986; D: Brian Trenchard-Smith]; Night of Fear [1972; D: Terry Bourke]; Nightmares [1980; D: John Lamond]; Chain Reaction [1980; D: Ian Barry]; Stunt Rock [1978; D: Brian Trenchard-Smith]; Bad Habits [2008; D: Dominic Deacon]; Patrick [1978; D: Richard Franklin]; Flange Desire [1993; D: Drew Gates]; The True Story of Eskimo Nell [1975; D: Richard Franklin]; Coming of Age [1984; D: Brian Jones]; Inn of the Damned [1974; D: Terry Bourke].

I stand by what I wrote about Sprak! #6 back in 2010 >>> "If you remember your teenage years when the deciding factor on renting a movie was whether there was a big 'Banned in Queensland' sticker on the cover, you will LOVE this zine."

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherf*ckin' Sad

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherf*ckin' Sad
Adam Gnade

60 Pages
Professionally Bound and Printed
Size: Mini
$7.00 + Shipping

Adam Gnade in The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherf*ckin' Sad tells you several pep-talks and motivational skills to help you get through a stressful minute, hour, or day.

Bound professionally by Pioneers Press, and consisting of merely lists and words (no pictures for all of you comic fans), Gnade manages to go through several things to try and keep you motivated.

While this could be read in one sitting, I read this in several over the course of about a week - which I suggest. Throughout the work, Gnade manages to list several pep talks to get you off your feet and give you motivation for when you're lacking.

In Adam Gnade's The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherf*ckin' Sad, Gnade manages to give several pep-talks that can relate to a variety of problems (lack of motivations, what to do, etc.) to get the average "bored", sad, or uninspired person off of their feet. Don't let the amount of pages and words intimidate you; you could find something very valuable among them.

Purchase here

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 5/14/2017; 9:28 A.M. CST

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Minor Leagues #3 - Simon Moreton

Minor Leagues #3 - Simon Moreton

Published by Lydstep Lettuce - April 2017

A5, 66 pages. black and white with colour covers. 

£3 (or pay what you feel you can afford) + p&p

This is the third outing for Minor Leagues. Simon sums up the contents as: 
"Comics about teenage indiscretions, childhood dreams; writing and diary comics about change and renewal in the face of trauma and loss; Spring scenes, Spring feelings, drawings, that sort of stuff."
While writing this issue Simon's dad was diagnosed with cancer, and sadly passed away shortly afterwards. As an autobiographical zine the emotional core of issue 3 centres around the emptiness and bewilderment of sudden loss. But it's not a death comic.

While grief is always personal Simon's work has a way of striking an outward resonance. Minor Leagues doesn't just tell - the combination of image and text creates mood - it evokes. As regular readers will have come to expect there is still humour in the stories and observations, originality in the depiction of the nuances and details of everyday life. 

Although largely autobiographical Minor Leagues succeeds due to knowing what to reveal, what to fictionalise, and what to keep private. Simon has written a blog post that details his thoughts during the making of this issue here.  

Simon offers a cost price of £2 and a regular price, which is still just £3. This is to enable people who really want to read/buy small press work but can't afford the luxury. "Why?", I hear you ask - Simon answers: 
"I think it's important to make this kind of work as available as possible, and I hope this goes some way towards that. I know postage is expensive and life is expensive too"

Support if you can. Buy issue 3 direct from Simon - smoo.bigcartel.com/product/minor-leagues-3

Or visit smoo.bigcartel.com for subscription options. 

My reviews of Minor Leagues 1 & 2 are here.

Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In Loving Memory of the Spam Obituaries

In Loving Memory of the Spam Obituaries

by Russell Barker


A5, black and white, 12 pages

Back in 2006, after a deluge of spam from purportedly from oddly named people – ie Manitoba M. Parsnip, Enthusing U. Ming, Halibut Showpiece – Russell (of Lunchtime For The Wild Youth fame) decided to do something using the emails. Rather than the common route of writing back in a ‘hilarious’ way, he took a more absurdist approach by writing obituaries with his wife for each name. Metaphorically killing them off as soon as possible.

The obituaries were posted on a blog under the pseudonym William Ridenhour, which soon caught the attention of other blogs, shared and linked, leading Russell to be interviewed on Canadian radio. The blog lasted only three months before they grew bored of writing it, but those entries have taken on a new life in this zine.

The zine is simply produced, but enlivened by illustrations by Russell and Helen’s daughter Robyn. It is silly, funny, and as absurd as you’d expect.

Review by Nathan Penlington.

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