Xerography Debt #12
Basicstuff you should know
We seeXerography Debt as the PBS of review zines. It is by us, for us, with nofinancial incentive, just a dedication to small press. If you have a few sparestamps or dollar bills to help support us and the zine community, it would bemost appreciated. Also, let me know if you wish to remain anonymous. Thisissue’s sponsors are:
WilliamP. Tandy, Jan, Earl, and Ken, Androo Robinson and Maria Goodman, Donny Smithand Mark Hain, Bobby Tran Dale, Dar Veverka, Jeannie McStay, DB Pedlar, AlCene, Owen Thomas, Scout, Billy McKay, Anne Thalheimer, Ted Mangano, FredWright, Julie Dorn, OIPRC.org, BOING (SLC Collective), and a few anonymous benefactors.
Therewere two reviewers who were unable to complete their reviews. I didn't get thezines back in time to facilitate reviews in this issue. My apologies to thosewho sent zines and haven't been reviewed yet. Hopefully they will appear in the next issue.
“I’mJulie from Junie in Georgia. I’m repeating my call for submissions for twoside-projects of mine. One is on loss—any sort of personal experience that hascaused you to grow, to grieve, to change. The format can be words, drawings orboth, as long as it can fit an 8 ½ x 11” page. The other one-shot zine is onjournals…who keeps them, who doesn’t, how journaling changes over the years,whatever you’d like to share. Deadlines for both zines are November 30th, 2003.Send to Julie Dorn, P.O. Box 438, Avondale Estates, GA 30002”
“MOVIN’ON UP: That’s right, just two days after the Allied Media Conference in BowlingGreen, we packed up the entire operation and relocated to our new digs inToledo, Ohio. Yes, it was ridiculous, and I’d never time it that way again. Butour new locale is great! We’re located in the coolest neighborhood in Toledoamidst all kinds of gigantic Victorian homes that could house all y’all if youdecided that spending $1k month for a 1 bedroom apartment isn’t where it’s at.‘What the hell’s going on in Toledo?’ you ask? Plenty before we got here, andwho knows what’s about to happen now that we’re on the scene. In addition tosome really amazing people in the area, we’re also a stone’s throw closer toDetroit and Ann Arbor, so get ready for an even more concentrated Midwestuprising!
Thatmeans we have a new address. The old box will be open for awhile still, butPLEASE UPDATE YOUR RECORDS:
Clamor/Become The Media/ Allied Media Projects
phone:Ha! Our offices are still in our home, so we’ll keep that number under wrapsfor awhile. Drop us an email instead: firstname.lastname@example.org”
“Well,after seven years I’ve moved out of the Prairie State! Until further notice,please send all orders, zines, etc. to: Low hug, A.j. Michel, 112 Muir Ave, PMB#1057, Hazleton PA 18201. Thanks for your continued understanding and supportthrough my moving. Regards, A.j. Michel”
Sincerely,Gary Marvin & Lonna Riedinger
TheLetter Exchange, 855 Village Center Drive, #324, North Oaks, MN 55127-3016”
“Twothings: #1. Free zines! Sell them! www.OIPRC.org - Oasis Away FromInternational Powers of Racism & Classism. 50% fun, 50% activists!
“Just aquick note here to let you know that the review site for PANISCUS REVUE haschanged. We’re now at http://home.earthlink.net/~paniscus. This new site willbe updated regularly, with new audio, video, printed matter, and pork rindreviews constantly being posted. The previous site, www.paniscusrevue.com, isnow simply an archive site. (As far as hard copies of PANISCUS go, issue elevenhas been finished, and is just waiting for an economical print source while #12is already underway.) Please note that while there is a new e-mail address(email@example.com), the hard mail address remains the same: PANISCUSREVUE c/o Tom Crites, P.O. Box 20175, Seattle, WA, 98102-1175, USA.
(Ohyeah, there’s a gallery site up too, at http://home.earthlink.net/~tmcrites)
“Youguys know that Factsheet 5 is back up and running, yeah? www.factsheet5.org
Theyhave a links list for zines:http://www.factsheet5.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Web_Links&file=index
It’spretty easy, and the link usually shows up within 24 hours.
Spreadthe word to other zinesters with sites to register too.”
—BennRay, Atomic Books
WHAT’SYOUR STORY, BALTIMORE?
Thiscity holds a million stories, most of them unwritten. Undrawn. Untold.
Smile,Hon, You’re in Baltimore! celebrates all things Baltimore, good and bad.
Submissions/queriesare welcome via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to Attn: William P.Tandy, c/o Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore!, P.O. Box 963, Havre de Grace,Maryland 21078; www.leekinginc.com/esp
TheHistory of Zines:
PO Box411, Swarthmore, PA 19081
“Unhamperedby propriety, ‘niceness,’ discretion, public opinion, ‘morals,’ the ‘respect’of assholes, always funky, dirty, low-down,” Valerie Solanas resisted easyidentities. At various times she wascalled, or called herself, lesbian, asexual, man-hater, wife, feminist, whore,unwed mother, devoted daughter, intellectual, actress, butch, panhandler,homebody, “super-woman,” psycho, “desexed monstrosity,” stalker, and murderer(although she never succeeded in killing anyone). She hitchhiked and hustled her way from New Jersey to Maryland toMinnesota; Texas, Berkeley, New York, Florida, Phoenix, San Francisco—rarelyliving anywhere more than a few months. Even her name seemed to change from year to year:
Hermanifesto has never found a comfortable place either. Sometimes it’s a feminist classic, sometimes a marginal tract, acult classic, a rant, man-hating, anti-feminist, surrealist, anarcho-socialist,utopian, apocalyptic. The manifesto onfirst reading seems to be uncomplicatedly anti-man and pro-woman, but it won’tgo down that easily. It turns out thatmen are really incomplete females, that in fact men are females—that is,passive and weak. It is women who are male—thatis, strong, intelligent, and active. Men resist their femaleness; they want to be male, but can’t.
Solanaspublished these utopian writings herself and sold them mail-order, advertisingin the Village Voice. She got a fewGreenwich Village bookstores to carry them, but most of all she hawked them onthe street—$1 for women, $2 for men. Inthe 70s, she claimed to be writing another book titled Valerie Solanas thatwould expand on her previous writings, talk a little about events in her life,and “get extensively into the subject of bullshit, a very importantsubject.” In the 80s, her hotel roomwas reportedly full of typewritten pages. In 1988, she was found dead in San Francisco.
And thereason you’ve probably heard of her: She tried to kill Andy Warhol in 1968. (The movie version was called I Shot Andy Warhol, starring Lili Taylor.)
Up YourAss (New York?, 1965?)
Up YourAss, or, From the Cradle to the Boat, or, The Big Suck, or, Up from the Slime;and A Young Girl’s Primer on How to Attain to the Leisure Class
SCUMManifesto (New York?, 1967)
SCUMManifesto (New York, 1977; “the correct Valerie Solanas edition”)
sources& recommended reading:
JudyMichaelson “Valerie: The Trouble WasMen” New York Post, Jun. 5, 1968:
ValerieSolanas (letter to editors) MajorityReport, Jun. 11, 1977: 9
HowardSmith & Brian Van der Horst “Valerie Solanas Interview” Village Voice, Jul. 25, 1977: 32
HowardSmith & Brian Van der Horst “Valerie Solanas Replies” Village Voice, Aug. 1, 1977: 28
UltraViolet Famous for 15 Minutes:
RowanGaither “Andy Warhol’s Feminist Nightmare” New York, Jan. 14, 1991: 35
MaryHarron & Daniel Minahan I Shot AndyWarhol (New York, Grove, 1996)
LizJobey “Solanas and Son” The Guardian,Aug. 24, 1996: T10+
BruceBoone “‘Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!’ or, Valerie Solanas inSilver Lamé” Dwan 22 (Oct. 1997)
JudithCoburn “Valerie’s Gang” [East Bay]Express, Nov. 19, 1999: 1, 8, 9, 11,13, 16
DonnySmith “Proving You’re Not Crazy” (interview with Louis Zwiren and friends) Solanas Supplement to Dwan 3 (Jan. 2003):
TheHistory of Zines:
ZINESTERSIN A FLOWERY DELL
581Avenue Rd, Apt 1001
Toronto,ON M4V 2K4 Canada
Flowerydell = a prison cell in the traditional rhyming slang of English thieves.Therefore British conscientious objectors (COs) imprisoned in London’s WormwoodScrubs Prison in the Second World War gave their underground paper the titleThe Flowery. Sixteen, or possibly seventeen, issues appeared between August1942 and March 1944, and the paper had a succession of six different editors.The Flowery had been the brain child primarily of Herbert F. Moore, who editedits first five issues in the course of eight months spent at the Scrubs. Moorewas not only an accomplished journalist but a charismatic character. A fellowCO, Bob Hockley, who occupied the cell next door to Moore’s, relates in his“Prison Memoirs” that Moore’s presence there “transformed” his life in prison.When one editor was released from jail at the expiry of his sentence, he handedthe editorship over to his successor. By the spring of 1944, however, few COsremained at Wormwood Scrubs; so the paper folded up.
FennerBrockway, a veteran of CO prison samizdat in World War One, wrote the prefaceto the pamphlet containing extracts from the paper (The Flowery 1942-4: TheScrubs “Conchie” Review, London, 1945) and told readers how much he regrettedthat the Central Board for Conscientious Objectors (CBCO), of which he waschairman, had been unable “to reproduce The Flowery in full in its originalform.” The paper, he goes on, “was written in hand on sheets of ruled prisonpaper bound together with the stout waxed thread supplied to the prisoners fortheir task of making mailbags for the General Post Office. Careful folding ofthe sheets, a few stitches with the stout needle, and the process of binding,such a problem for most publishers during wartime, was complete.”
Astriking feature of each issue of the Flowery was its cover. The Scrubscommunity of COs contained some extremely talented artists whose fingers wereprobably better adapted to this task than to sewing mailbags for the GPO. Onecover, for instance, depicted a heavily barred cell window, another theprison’s neo-Gothic turrets and grim cellblocks. “Sometimes the artist showed aneat sense of humour as, for instance, in the first issue of 1943 ... when theNew Year was illustrated by the figure of a little child bearing a bag marked’43 and knocking at a locked prison door marked ‘Reception.’ Beneath was thecaption ‘Starting a stretch.’” One cover artist devised a tasteful color designin shaded pink and pale blue as the result of somehow—somewhere—purloining abottle of red ink. Readers were so pleased with the outcome of the artist’s“theft” that the editor used the scheme for three successive issues.
Onlyone copy of each issue was produced. Let me quote Brockway again on the processof production and methods of distribution; he obviously obtained hisinformation direct from those who had participated in one capacity or anotherin the enterprise: “Every issue,” he writes, “of course involved risks to allassociated with it—not only the editor and contributors, but the readers. Thewriters and artists would usually prepare their contributions seated in the onequarter of their cells outside the view of the inquisitive eye at the spy-holein the door. The binder would fold and sew the sheets in a similar way orinside the protection of the mailbag on which he was working. The reader wouldhide the precious journal inside his shirt or sock until he was ready to passit in a flash to another prisoner as they met in corridor or queue. Discoverymeant almost certainly a day or two on bread and water and solitaryconfinement.”
Consideringthe high risk of discovery it is surprising that only one issue, that ofFebruary 1943, was uncovered by a prison officer—through no fault of the manwho was carrying it, since he had taken “all reasonable precautions” topreserve secrecy. The officer, however,did not report the delinquent as he was supposed to do according to the prisonrules. He just destroyed the paper on the spot. Brockway supposed he did thisout of kindness, adding wryly: “though perhaps without due appreciation ofliterary and artistic merit.”
Besidesillustrations, each issue of the Flowery contained a variety of contributionsin both verse and prose: serious articles alongside humorous pieces. There maynot have been any masterpieces but the Flowery’s literary standard wasremarkably high considering the circumstances in which it was produced. TheFood Relief campaigner Roy Walker, for instance, who spent virtually the wholeof two sentences at Wormwood Scrubs in solitary confinement because he hadconsistently refused all prison labor, still managed to contribute severalclever poems to the Flowery.
HerbertMoore, introducing the paper—anonymously, of course—in its first issue ofAugust 1942, had set the tone. “The editor,” he wrote, “wishes to apologiseright away for everything except for one thing. He apologises for the writing,the spelling and the syntax. He apologises for the paper, the nib and the ink... He apologises for all the contributors who have ‘started the ball rolling’but he thanks them most gratefully for risking it. What he does not apologisefor is the spirit in which it was conceived, and which was one of co-operationwith all those ‘inside’ with him, ... who are standing against war.
Humorseems to have predominated over serious content. As a versifier declared in theissue of December 1942: “If this booklet brings to birth / Naught of value saveits mirth, / We could no apter subject find, / Knowing well how sorrow mightconsume the mind; / For of joy one smile surmounts a span, / For to laugh isproper to the man.” Indeed the serious contributions seem to have been ratherslight. An exception was the article Sidney Greaves wrote for the Floweryduring the evening prior to his discharge from the Scrubs. It described thework at the Hungerford Club to which he was returning (cited in Denis Hayes,Challenge of Conscience: The Story of the Conscientious Objectors of 1939-1949,London, 1949, pp. 226-8). The Club, situated under an arch of Hungerford Bridgein central London, cared for down-and-outs whose verminous and filthy conditionmade them unwelcome in the capital’s air-raid shelters. It was run by theAnglican Pacifist Fellowship and staffed by a dedicated group of COs and theirfriends, who earned praise even from the wartime coalition government’sMinistry of Health.
TheFlowery’s humor often poked fun at the “screws” (as the prison officers wereknown in jail slang) and, above them, the Principal Officers, “encased inribboned uniform for show.” One of the most successful contributions (authoredby H.R. Moir) consisted of a series of “Nature Notes: Birds in Scrubland,”accompanied by illustrations depicting the various birds: the Lesser Wryneck orWormwoodia Scrubicus, whose “mournful tones pervade the scrubs at all hours”;the Scrubby Bullfinch (Stevii Prisonicus), whose “gentle call ... is known toall—‘Git-abucket, Git-abucket’;” and two “pretty (Jail) birds ... [nicknamed]on account of their head plumage ... ‘Goldilocks’.” The latter, the Notesreport, appear to be in full song throughout Scrubland at about 8.30 in themorning. Their appealing cry, ‘Kumm-on-Lad, Anser-y’ naym’, pierces the densestNovember fog ... The two species ... share song peculiarity and beakstructures. The plumage, too, is uniform.” But not only the prison staff,including the Anglican chaplain (“Ecclesiasticus Carolae Tudorii ... the onlybird of ‘pray’ ever to figure in heraldry”), and “rarer ornithological visitorsto these climes,” like the visiting Justices of the Peace with “their cry, ‘Anygumplaints?,’” became figures of fun for our proto-zinesters, the naive CO wasalso game for them. An example of thisis the “Conversation Piece” composed for the Flowery’s first number presentinga dialogue between an “old lag” and the innocent CO in the neighboring cell,who is extremely bewildered by his neighbor’s slang.
I havebased my article almost exclusively on the 1945 pamphlet referred to above.True, except for the confiscated issue, it would seem that all remaining issuesof the Flowery were successfully smuggled out of the Scrubs, despite the factthat only one copy of each issue existed inside prison. At the end of the war,the lawyer Denis Hayes, who worked for the Central Board for ConscientiousObjectors during the war years, possessed copies of almost all the originalissues, while the penultimate Flowery editor, Howard Whitten, was in possessionof two issues that Hayes did not have. These originals provided the source forthe 1945 pamphlet. But, alas, they appear to be no longer extant, though ofcourse some—or all—may eventually surface again. (See letter, dated August 28,2003, from Tabitha Driver, Library of the Religious Society of Friends, London,where the CBCO archives are located.)
InWorld War One almost every British prison had its CO underground press. (See my“Prison Samizdat of British Conscientious Objectors in the First World War,”Journal of Prisoners on Prisons, vol. 12 (2003), pp. 8-21.)
TheHistory of Zines:
MUCKRAKER:In fact and the life of George Seldes
100 EWalton #31H, Chicago, IL 60611
As anyhack knows, hypocrisy is one of the most effective tools of manipulation. It’sa sign of the times that the hack himself is usually the first to get suckeredby it.
Here’ssomething that explains what I mean. A few years ago, I read an article railingagainst the gross commercialization of journalism in the wake of the massivemergers of the late 1990s. Everywhere, it seemed, fluff was being written aboutnew sitcoms debuting on a newspaper’s “sister station,” plastic pop divas on arecord company owned by the same parent company - you get the idea.
Notlong after, I came face to face with the writer of the article in question,though I can’t remember his name now. He was proud of the commentary spawned byhis piece, though I thought he had stopped short of drawing blood. When Iobserved that his article had appeared in one of print’s seminal cemeteries ofobjectivity, which owned a stake in everything from internet services totelevision networks, you could almost hear the creaking strain of forced smilesin the room.
“It’sbetter than nothing,” he said, before adding hastily, “That’s how criticism is.Jesus, I’m not George Seldes.”
Ididn’t know the name George Seldes back then, but it’s appropriate that he did.Seldes was something like a Catholic saint of the trade: passionate,uncompromising, and, to those who make a career in print, utterly unattainable.Having lived the glamorous life of a foreign correspondent, covering the greatevents of his era, Seldes gave it all up because he couldn’t make himselfbelieve in the hypocrisy of exposing the truth for men that worked to bury it.Moreover, when he spoke out about corruption, Seldes realized the hazard topublic safety of identifying criminals by assumed names.
Nosniper from the ivory tower, Seldes followed his criticisms through to the end.Turning his back on the newspaper business, for more than ten years hepublished what might be considered the most popular zine in history - a slimbut fascinating “newsletter” that reached nearly 200,000 people with everyissue, sold almost entirely through the mail, and produced from start to finishby his wife and the man himself.
Thebreadth of George Seldes’ career is astounding; he was one of the few writersthat could title a memoir Witness to a Century and get away with it.
Acorrespondent for the Chicago Tribune in the dying days of World War I, Seldesalong with three other intrepid journalists bundled himself into Germany for aninterview with Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, best remembered today asHitler’s predecessor. But war hysteria portrayed Hindenburg as nothing lessthan a Teutonic Saddam Hussein. The American army was outraged by their stunt.Seldes and the other reporters were court-martialed, and their interview withthe German strongman never saw the light of day.
TheHindenburg fiasco cast the die for Seldes’ career. In Moscow in the 1920s, hescored an interview with the dying Vladimir Lenin but soon fell afoul of thecensorship authorities. The Soviets discovered his ruse of sending out criticalstories disguised as letters to friends, and expelled him from the country.
In1925, Seldes was dispatched to what was considered the best job for a reporterin Europe: Rome. After a fixed election, Italian duce Benito Mussolini’sopposition in parliament had been greatly reduced, and reduced by one moreafter Giacomo Matteotti, a Socialist, rose in parliament and declared that theelection had been a sham.
Fascistblackshirts tried to abduct Matteotti to teach him a lesson, but, in anunderstandable oversight, stabbed him repeatedly until he died. Police reportsoutlining each murderer’s connection with Mussolini circulated for a yearbefore Seldes stepped foot in Roma fascista but, to his astonishment, not asingle foreign reporter had written about it. His story on the Matteotti Affairwound up on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. Soon enough, Seldes couldclaim the distinction of having been expelled by two of the most repressiveregimes in the world.
Seldeswent on to report for the Tribune from Mexico as the two countries approached astate of war (Mexico was threatening to nationalize the assets of severalAmerican mining companies). Seldes wrote two sets of stories on the issue: onefrom the quintessential American perspective, and the other from what hethought was the Mexican point of view. Appalled that the Tribune printed hispro-American dispatches and rubbished the rest, Seldes finally had enough, andresigned.
Afterreporting on the Spanish Civil War and writing a few books on the manipulationof the press by advertisers, industrialists and government flunkies, in 1940Seldes was approached by another journalist with the idea for In fact, anewsletter that would publish everything verboten in the American press. Hiscollaborator was a member of the Communist Party, and the two quarreled over theentire contents of the first issue. They soon parted ways, and the writing,printing and distribution of In fact was taken over entirely by Seldes and hiswife.
For tenyears beginning in 1940, In fact published a motley collection of stories aboutpress freedom, union rights, “American fascism” and other “antidotes forfalsehood in the daily press.” Writers would often tip Seldes off to storieskilled by their editors, giving In fact a reach far beyond the couples’ livingroom.
Readinga few preserved issues of In fact, one can see that a demanding publishingschedule led Seldes to indulge in filler, and many “follow-ups” to hisinvestigative pieces were little more than an attempt to keep an issue currentwhile filling column inches. But there was undoubtedly more worth reading ineach slim issue of In fact than in a year’s worth of Life magazine, or anythingelse being published at the time. Probably the greatest legacy of In fact wasthat it was the only publication to repeatedly point out the cancer risks ofcigarettes, at a time when newspaper stories on the issue were buried byshovelfuls of advertising dollars from the tobacco companies.
At itsheight, In fact boasted a circulation of 176,000 copies, nearly all sent tosubscribers. It was, undoubtedly, a publication from the Left, and in the late1940s, the targets of Seldes’ wrath in the newspaper business had an effectivemeans of fighting back. Red Panic and McCarthyism had the government lookingunder beds for hidden Communists, and In fact had, after all, been co-foundedby a member of the Communist Party. Ordering what the Hearst syndicate called“the unofficial organ of the Communist Party in the USA” was too great a riskfor many readers; the FBI had already begun compiling lists of In fact’ssubscribers. As the rolls of his “five dollar liberals” dwindled, Seldesconsidered handing off the torch to someone else, but ultimately decided toshutter this astonishing publication after some ten years in print.
Even ifhe hadn’t been blacklisted, Seldes had lambasted enough Hearsts, McCormacks andGannets to make any resuscitation of a newspaper career impossible. In spite ofthe hardships, the thought of appeasing the “lords of the press” was as alien anotion as ever. As Seldes told journalist Randolph T. Holhut, “I never had iteasy, but I never missed a meal and I’ve never been broke.”
Facinga very different sort of disgrace, the Torquemada of the Red Panic, RichardNixon, once begged former president Herbert Hoover for the secret of his redemptionin the eyes of the public. Hoover gave him simple advice: “Outlive yourenemies.” Seldes outlived most of his. He took his last breath on July 2, 1995,at the ripe old age of 104. Nevertheless, most of his books remain out ofprint. A few volunteers began (but seem to have abandoned) an initiative toplace the texts online; an incomplete archive is located athttp://www.brasscheck.com/seldes/gsa.html
ITMEANS IT’S WANK
P.O.Box 3024, Hoboken NJ 07030
THELONG DARK TEA TIME OF THE SOUL
"Sowhat does that mean?
Itmeans it's wank.”
VicFlange, www.fleshmouth.co.uk [now defunct], describing my zine.
True story: I was a crossing guard, which meant I wore a bright orange belt andhelped the crossing guard manage all the younger kids. I thought it would befun and they really dressed it up as an honor, but it was boring and I hadbetter things to do, like drink blackberry brandy on street corners, so I quit.Looking back, I guess it was kind of the beginning of a downward spiral ofsorts.
 Noshit—I had no idea I was putting out a zine. I had no idea so many other peoplehad used sophisticated time-travel devices to steal my idea for ‘zines’ andbegin producing them decades before I was even born. I didn’t find out aboutzines until long after that first issue, and was, of course, delighted. Andlitigous, but so far no lawyer will take the case.
 Ibriefly considered putting a review of my zine that appeared in XerograghyDebt, and was subsequently reprinted in my zine, in this footnote, but thatsuddenly seemed too self-indulgent, if such a thing exists.
Such a zine, to my knowledge, does not exist. But what a magical world thiswould be if it did!
This kind of lame play on words is normally beneath me.
 TheLong Dark Tea Time of the Soul is, of course, a title of a book by DouglasAdams, stolen quite brazenly.
Although I certainly won’t. Remember it, that is.
PO Box5531, Lutherville, MD 21094
Hishead hurts, his teeth itch, his feet stink and he don’t love Jesus. But thatdoesn’t make him a bad person, it just makes him The Hungover Gourmet. Checkout the journal of food, drink, travel and fun at hungovergourmet.com or send aSASE to PO Box 5531, Lutherville, MD 21094-5531 for more info.
GOMETRIC #16 Winter 2002/2003 (15A South Bedford Road, Pound Round, NY 10576;after 7/1/03 verify address at email@example.com; $2 per issue; 64 pages,half-legal)
CLAMOR#19 March/April 2003 (PO Box 1225, Bowling Green, OH 43402; $4 per issue; 68 pages, full-size)
CABOOSE#3: The Modular Karaoke Issue (PO Box 476802, Chicago, IL
REGLARWIGLAR #18 (PO 1658 N Milwaukee #545, Chicago, IL 60647; $2 per issue; 48pages, full-size)
CHUMPIRE(PO Box 27, Annville, PA 17003-0027; 1stamp or trade per issue; a few pages, various sizes)
LUCIDFRENZY: A Belated Best of 2002 (8 Brewer Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 3HH,England; $2 per issue; 20 pages, digest)
PO BOX6681, Portsmouth, NH 03802
Lastissue, my reviews seemed to pour lovingly out of my brain like some sortawaterfall of delight. This time, the only thing pouring out of my head is amuch less charming cascade of snot. I’ll do my best to wheeze, sniffle, andsputter through...Oh, the plugs: You can still get KITTY! #1, the zine by, for,& about cats, for $1. KITTY! #2 is currently in production & so is HOME#1. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to promote zines that aren’t out yet, butwhatever. Movies have previews, don’t they?
ZINENATION #1 Your Guide to Media Retaliation
photocopies!Unemployment and health care benefits provided to those willing to create zinesabout their joblessness and/or illnesses. Oh, the possibilities! ZINE NATION iscreated by inspired zine kids hoping to stoke the D.I.Y. fire in its readers.Articles about self-publishing, releasing your own records, film making, andplanning your own tours cover the basics for those just starting out. (I haveto laugh at the unironic suggestion that bands should stay away from alcoholand sex while touring. Um, isn’t that half the fun of touring?!) I reallyenjoyed the piece about Projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE, a traveling bus filledwith zines, independent art, and handmade books. I really need to find out ifthis amazing project still exists! An interview with comic artist ChesterBrown, tons of zine reviews, comics, political collages, recipes, and even moreDo It Yourself essays round out this meaty first issue. Lots of info forbeginners, but enough variety to keep the seasoned vets entertained.
Noprice, but send at least $2 or $3. (All proceeds donated to the Cullen CarterBenefit Trust.); 17 Paton Rd, Unit #8, Toronto, ON, Canada M6H IR7
PASSIONS#32 May 2003
PASSIONSis described as a Cooperative Press Association. The members of this CPAcontribute writing to the publication and share ownership as well as costs.Kind of like how XD operates, except for Davida pays for everything and doesall the work while we ignore deadlines and return zines months later. (Well, by“we” I mean “me.”) Members explore their individual passions, which includeSimpsons comic books, becoming a drag queen, political views, and collegebasketball. Joan Evans’ tribute to her childhood, “If It’s Sunday, We’re HavingPot Roast” stands out with its loving, detailed descriptions of food andfamily. The theme of “passions” seems to be quite loose, as many contributorsjust ramble about whatever comes to mind. (Well, I guess rambling is a passionin itself. If it weren’t, zines wouldn’t exist!) An ambitious, if not cohesive,collection.
$3.50;Ken Bausert, 2140 Erma Drive, East Meadow, NY 11554-1120
This isexactly the kind of very punk rock zine I used to read in high school. Hell, Iused to make zines like this! Personal essays about mix tapes and movies,political rants peppered with phrases like “George Walker Texas Ranger Bush”and “unelected pipeline-pimping Son-Of-A-Bush”, interviews with bands I’venever heard of, show reviews of bands I’ve never heard of, information aboutUPC codes and sodomy laws, a Warren Zevon article, and a little poetry. Whilecertainly no new ground is covered here, I think the editor and contributorshave a lot of potential and genuine enthusiasm. Hopefully they’ll stick withzines long enough to hone their styles. NO ADDRESS!!!!! NO PRICE! I did somesearching & all I could find was: email: firstname.lastname@example.org & price:$1. I can’t even believe that people make/send zines out without mailinginformation. This only makes sense if you’re making a very anonymous zine &don’t want people to order it. UGH!!! (Ed. - I thought I would be nice and goto Netfutur.com and try and find a postal address. Granted, my patience ain’twhat it used to be, but I gave up. If you are looking for connections it isgood to let people know how to reach you.)
Well,here’s something I’ve never seen before: a zine about role-playing games (orRPG, for those of you not in the know)! But then again, I’ve never tried toseek it out. Since I don’t know anything about this subject, I can’t tell youif the information is helpful or entertaining. I guess it’s kind of like tryingto review a zine that’s written in a foreign language. RPG-related topicsinclude an interview with James West of Random Order, a very in-depth look atFreeman’s Keep, & related commentary. Fortunately, SCROLLWORKS alsoincludes information about making zines, some very comprehensive zine reviews(I really like Christian’s explanation of his reviewing policy; I totallyagree!), and a book review. I thinkit’s cool that the editor is trying to educate his readers about all kinds ofzines, especially since they’re probably only reading this one because of itssubject matter.
$3.50;Christian Walker, PO BOX 983, San Jacinto, CA 92581
SLUG& LETTUCE #76
I can’tbelieve SLUG & LETTUCE even needs to be reviewed anymore! Is this thelongest-running zine in history? No, really— is it? Well, there’s MAXIMUM ROCK& ROLL, but I don’t know if that counts anymore. Anyway, Christine deservesan award for consistently publishing this expertly executed collection ofcolumns, zine & music reviews, and classifieds. While I’ve known of itsexistence for nearly a decade, I’ve only seen a few issues. Mostly becausethey’re churned out on such a regular basis that I can barely keep up. Butreceiving S&L in my review packet reminded me that I really need to orderit more often. My only complaint is that the print is so teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsythat I seriously have to struggle to read it. I realize that upping the fontsize just two points would probably double the printing costs, but I think itwould be worth it. This issue’s most notable feature is Christine’s personalcolumn, which touches on the sometimes fleeting nature of friendship, the powerof memories, and feeling stagnant because life is actually stable.
60cents each, send a couple bucks for a few issues or as a donation; PO BOX 26632,Richmond, VA 23261-6632
As themaker of a cat zine, I’m trying to make it my mission to include at least onecat-related zine in each of my XD reviews. CHATTY PIG is not all about cats,but it does feature one very enjoyable cat story. (You’ll have to read ityourself to find out just what the hell is so thrilling about the kitchencabinet!) CHATTY PIG follows Abby, a fresh young college graduate, as shediscovers life outside academia. She takes a job as a paralegal, even though shehas no training in the field, and ends up working for a very nutty couple oflawyers. Office-type drama ensues, and Abby is forced to make a choice betweenMom & Pop crazies or corporate whores. A pleasurable jaunt into someoneelse’s life that left me wanting more.
$2;Abby Koch, 4739 N. Paulina St. #1, Chicago, IL 60640
PO Box411, Swarthmore, PA 19081
All youpeople who don’t read poetry can stop avoiding my zine now. Every issue seemsto have less poetry than the one before. Don’t know if it’s because peoplearen’t sending me poems worth reading anymore or if I’m just sick of reading alot of crap. Anyway, once again, if you’re not reviewed here, it doesn’t mean Ididn’t love your zine—I’m just trying to review more people who haven’t beenreviewed here before.
availablefrom Yul Tolbert, PO Box 02222, Detroit MI 48202-9998 USA for free with an agestatement (but send a stamp or two);
on thecover: a crazily foreshortened view of a woman’s foot; she has long toenailsand is crushing tiny people and cars
inside:cartoons of a black woman with bare, inflated breasts towering overskyscrapers; she displays the soles of her feet, dirty with crushed people; shedisplays a long fingernail, on which are impaled three people; she uses herlong thumbnail and long fingernail as tongs to eat a tiny person; and so on
overall:Long toenails are not my thing at all; neither are long fingernails, women’sbreasts, or giantesses. So there isn’t much here for me beyond the style andthe idea of the comic itself. The drawing is crisp and spare and distinctive.Some frames are so minimal they’re abstract. As for the idea behind the comic,I can’t take my eyes away from it, even though it’s so unerotic.
Chairmenof the Bored #5150 (2003?)
availablefrom Colin Scholl P-84196, B2-B4-23, or C. Knowles K-91158, B2-B4-27, orKenneth Shaw K-58396, B2-B4-29, Folsom State Prison, Box 715071, Represa, CA95671 USA; no price listed (trade?)
inside:a mix of comics, thoughts, and skits; or as they describe it, “punkrock,cartoons, socialism… free think say what you want no more t.v… eeekk! ook!!arnold!. bbeek!! main-stream anything is bad for everyone.”
quote:(How can you threaten me in prison with being taken to another part of theprison that you yourself vilify? Dont they know that I dont care?) In here, thefilth and “creepy crawlies” no longer bother me. Its gotten to the point whereI talk to the little ‘mouse’ every night who visits me. Making differences ineverything are the things of which we speak. Ha!
DetrimentalInformation #4 (2003?)
availablefrom John & Luke, PO Box 252, Bemidji, MN 56619 USA; for $1 or trade;email@example.com
subtitle:what goes down must come up
on thecover: a bisected elephant peeing
inside:simple, thoughty, hand-lettered stories of everyday life, illustrated nonsequiturally with blobby, grimacey naked men, pooping, peeing, puking, playingwith dismembered people, and putting their feet and heads into butts; also,pigs, elephants, dinosaurs, birds, dogs, and so on
quote:My little craft project was on the floor and I felt like an asshole. No, anasshole has a place and a function. I was some sort of disease. An ill feeling.A speck of vomit. Sickness. Yes, something was wrong with me on a personallevel.
availablefrom the Hemingway Western Studies Center
(http://www.boisestate.edu/hemingway/series.htmor 1-800-992-8398) for $19.95 + shipping
what itis: a facsimile of the guest book for the show “Some Zines” held at theUniversity of Idaho—complete with attached penholder, ballpoint pen, ananonymous flyer condemning the show, and a box to store it all in
inside:signatures and comments of the guests—some funny, some stupid, most misspelled
quote:What one witnesses is not pleasant, but strong propaganda for things bizarre,disjointed, violent, queer and slapping down the human dignity. … This shouldresult in Mr. Trusky [the curator] being vocally abused, stabbed to death, andturned into a queer, for this is what he likes … . —anonymous
anotherquote: Is this the way that Idaho’s money is spent? Know wonder Amermica’syouth is such an egg-femi-nazist nation!!! —anonymous
anotherquote: Cool! It’s neat to see so many people take publishing into their ownhands. One of the sickest ‘zines is Presto Press/Just Family. Haven’t thosepeople ever heard of the population explosion, limited resources &environmental degradation due to too many people?? There sure are a lottadifferent ways to look at life aren’t there? —Kathe Whitacre
overall:There sure are, Kathe.
Poemasdel adivino by Marcelo Saraceno (2003)
availablefrom Marcelo Saraceno, Arenales 2268, (1870) Avellaneda, Buenos AiresARGENTINA; inquire for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
on thecover: a cat-person with a six-pointed star on its hand; a crescent moon aboveclouds
inside:short wistful poems in Spanish
quote:la primera nieve / cubre la rivera / y la copa de los árboles // el río / dejahuellas / de incensio / a su paso / y el solitario muelle / aún resiste … (“Finde otoño”) [the first snow / covers the brook / and the crowns of the trees //the river leaves footprints / of incense / in its path / and the comfortablerecluse / still withstands … (“End of autumn”)]
ResidentAlien #2 (2003)
availablefrom AJC, 1810 Sealy, Galveston, TX77550; USA for $2; email@example.com
subtitle:loving the alien
on thecover: an alien with “un nopal pintado en la cara” [a prickly pear cactuspainted on its face]
inside:an “antimanifesto” defending the last issue of his zine; the stories of agenealogical roadtrip through Texas and of being hit on by a “Spanish groupie”in a gay bar; a “barrio diccionario”; some cartoons
overall:A lot of potential, but this guy’s been in school too long. A piece of soliddescriptive writing will be followed by mushy poetical flights ortheory-inspired musings. (I can recognize it, ‘cause I’m so often guilty ofit.)
quote1: This is the hill country, the part of Texas that I love. This is tiny townswhose main streets are peppered with little bungalows and glass fronted“downtowns.” Long, winding roads flanked by oak and pecan trees covered inkudzu make for some amazing vistas. … We find the church designed by hisgreat-great-uncle, the architect. We pull off and go see this man’s name on ahistorical marker.
quote2: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. Our histories are moving awayfrom us at the speed of life. The roads we travel are two ways: coming andgoing. Are the objects of our lives, the memories of our respective pastsreally closer than they appear?
ThoughtBombs #20 (May 2003)
availablefrom Anthony Rayson c/o South Chicago ABC Zine Distro, PO Box 721, Homewood, IL60430 USA; for $2; free to prisoners
on thecover: a TV screen says Obey Your Master
inside:rants against the Iraq invasion, religion, prisons, and the deadness of U.S.culture; an article on being arrested at a peace rally; anti-war lyrics; textof a speech given at a local rally; cartoons
quote:The blood of the murdered is splattered on you too because you didn’t do adamned thing to stop it! May your hoped-for afterlife consist of thescreaming-in-your-ear sound of tortured murder victims, done so wrong by thoseyou’ve supported by your gutless acquiescence and abject poverty of an existence!
overall:An ideologue of despair. Not that I blame him. It’s all true. The U.S. ismonstrous. But so much of what passes for anarchism is just lashing out.Violent tantrums. Reading a zine like this is almost as disheartening aslistening to a George Bush speech. (When I could be doing somethingconstructive.)
ThoughtwormNumber 10 (June 2003)
availablefrom Sean Stewart, 1703 Southwest Pkwy, Wichita Falls, TX 76302 USA; for $2cash;
on thecover: a winsome silkscreened armadillo
inside:mostly Sean’s journals from this spring; also, reflections on the Texas townwhere he now lives and some book and zine reviews
quote:Nobody was going to convince me that there was anything beautiful about thisarea. As we drove home, and the sun was setting, she tried again. “Look, seehow the sun is hitting those grasses right now?” At the time, it seemed kind ofpathetic to me.
overall:For some reason I found this issue depressing. Not for the content’s sake,though. I think it’s because of the parallels between Sean’s life and mine(recent library school graduates) and our very different responses. Sean isdetermined to have a positive attitude about his less-than-ideal situation.He’s started working out in a gym. In the face of hostility, he’s publiclyprotested the Iraq war. He’s meeting people and trying to like the place wherehe is. I guess I’m trying too (although you won’t catch me in a gym). I love mynew job as a reference librarian, but it’s maddening that my net income as a“professional” is now lower than it was as a “paraprofessional”—and I have lessfree time. But enough about me. Thoughtworm is a very good zine.
TotalAnnihilation #2 (June 2003)
availablefrom Evan, PO Box 298, Sheffield S10 5XT ENGLAND; for free (but send some IRCsor a good trade); http://www.anarchopunk.free-online. co.uk/bitter.html
on thecover: Evan talks about the bands he’s in and the music he’s heard.
inside:Four pages of music reviews, three pages of zine reviews (in small type, sothere’s lots). He reviews stuff from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada,Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland,Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland, in addition to the UK and US thingsyou’d expect. He gives good descriptions, so you know what you’d be getting,but he doesn’t hold back on the opinion either.
quote:so if you’re the type of punk rocker who likes to read and think about stuffrather than throw pints of lager at bands who talk about politics inbetweensongs… then this could well be up your street!
anotherquote: More punk rock than you can shake a snotty stick at!!
ZineNation #1. (July 2003)
availablefrom Justin Chatwin, 17 Paton Rd Unit 8, Toronto, ON M6H 1R7 Canada;
subtitle:your guide to media retaliation
inside:an interview with cartoonist Chester Brown (Yummy Fur, Underwater, etc.), zineyreprints, posters, and lotsa reviews!
overall:a great new addition to the constellation of review zines (84 pages!)
PO Box411, Swarthmore, PA 19081
TheUrban Pantheist, Spring 2003
140 AHarvard Ave., #308, Allston, MA 02134; firstname.lastname@example.org
Anattractive, informative, very likeable zine. Easily-riled Christians and othersof that ilk need not fear; in spite of the title, you’ll find nothing aboutgoddess-worship, magick afoot, or dancing naked under the summer solstice moon.Instead, The Urban Pantheist presents thoughtful, intelligent, even reverentialessays on the wonders of nature. This issue features articles on lichen, fungi(including instructions on how to make a mushroom spore print, like thestriking cover image), and an explanation of how various animal species becamedomesticated. Also featured is a fine article, “Wild Austin,” written andbeautifully illustrated by Jason Eckhardt, describing local wildlife. The innercover features a handsome color photo of wood ducks; on the back, a prettycolor collage of fungi and lichen. About the only thing I didn’t care for wasan attempt at humor, a fake ad for “dog treats in flavors dogs really love!”such as human feces and cadaver; it seemed out of place and jarring incomparison to the respectful tone of the rest of the zine. Editor Jef Taylorwrites “as someone who has defined himself a pantheist, I thrill in thenon-human, the natural.” It shows in the obvious care he puts into thisrecommended publication.
Bummersand Gummers, Vol. 4, Issue 11, Spring 2003
24pages, $2.95 cash or check; free to prisoners; will consider trades
Box 66,Yoncalla, OR 97499
“Specificallycrafted for those who just gotta do things their way,” publisher Lokiko Hall’ssmall newspaper-format publication is “back in print after 6 1/2 years.” Thetitle refers to new-born livestock rejected by their parents requiring humancare (“bummers”) and elderly animals also needing TLC (“gummers”), and isindicative of the overall friendly, homey, conversational tone, with Lokiko andher contributors discussing various ways of living simply and doing things foryourself. One article instructs on cheese making, another on how to bribepublic officials, and there’s advice on how to get a reliable used car for theleast amount of money. Two articles, one on building a brick bread oven, theother about using horses to pull trees into a river to create a habitat fortrout, may be just slightly too long for general interest, but are intriguingnonetheless. Lisa Smith contributes an article on an open-air wake andcremation ceremony held by British “travelers” and squatters. The publisherinterviews two high school students protesting U.S. policy in Iraq, and howthey dealt with the inevitable backlash. Most fascinating was a letter by KateForrester Kibuga about her experiences with kinship in Tanzania— as the titlesays, “The Perils of Polygamy: Wicked Stepmothers Abound in the Hyper-ExtendedFamily.” I have really come to value self-published material that, as theeditor says, “breaks away from the pack” and can’t be consumed in 15 minutes orless. Reading this publication gave me a sweet ache that there may be somethingmissing in my life, but that something may not be so hard to find: highlyrecommended.
DwellingPortably May 2003
P.O.Box 190-L, Philomath, OR 97370-0190
Ireviewed this publication a few issues ago, and it’s good to see that it’s nowmore readable - larger font sizes, standard page layout, plus lots ofsubmissions from many different contributors. There’s tons of low- or no-costpractical information for those “dwelling portably,” whether by choice orcircumstance: how to make a stove out of a coffee can; best choices for toiletpaper alternatives; DIY dental treatments; foraging vs. gardening, etc. I hopeI never need to know this stuff, but it does my heart good to know it’s here.Also several angering stories of self-sufficient homeless persons or peopleliving off the land getting harassed by cops and bureaucracy. Overall,fascinating and strangely uplifting.
Documentsfrom the 21st Century, Issue 1
315 NEBuffalo, Portland, OR 97211
A zineof “comix, photographs, poetry, fiction, art, and other smutty nonsense,” thisone fares a bit better than the average contributor-driven endeavor. Sure it’sa wild variation of good, bad, and filler, and most of it’s a little too snarkyand jaded to really feel like there’s much heart or anger or passion at stake,but it’s frequently sharp and witty, with some interesting visuals. “Why I LoveAshton Kutcher” by Miss Lady Lay makes an easy target of the flavor of themonth (whom I saw referred to somewhere as “The Great American Retard”-presumably more for his TV character than for dating emaciated harpy DemiMoore). Several poetry selections by Amy Squier, dealing with sex, childhoodabuse, and adult survivorship, incorporate welcome humor into the heaviness.“Encounter: a fragment” by Craig Perry and photos by Nicole evoke a moody urbandecay. The back cover art, a naïve-style drawing by Amelia Santiago of anelderly man posing with an ax behind a seated woman with a liquor bottle, ischarmingly strange. “Leslie from Los Angeles” by Charlie Vazquez, about a gayguy badgered into phone sex by a belligerent woman with an incest fantasy, isfunny while it lasts, but ultimately doesn’t amount to much. I was most struckby the two well-drawn, surrealistically disturbing, but too short comics byeditor Superfrida, “An Odd Dream” and particularly “Greyhound to Diaperville.”A worthy output for a first issue; contributions are welcome for subsequentissues.
Commies,Fags and Hippies, # Two
Mel andTeri Kelly
C/OPoste Restante, Wellington, New Zealand; email@example.com
Theprovocative title and cover image (an over-used publicity still from the filmBaise Moi of a woman in a slinky little dress aiming a gun at the head of a manon all fours) promise more than this slight project delivers. Ostensiblylesbian empowerment by two “charismatic iconoclasts your mother warned youabout,” it’s all a bit same old, same old: short anti-bourgeois, anti-work,“being yr own person” essays, some lesbian sex poetry, etc. On the plus side:“Manhater,” a short, sharp reminiscence by Velvet about her days as adominatrix. On the minus side: a randomly inserted photo of a little personprostitute (why? mere shock value? are they pro or con?), and a two-pagestory/ad in which the editors write “give us a piece of clothing and we’ll punkit, as it should be.” Any irony here in that this completely undermines thepunk ethos of DIY? And why would writers seemingly striving towards radicalfeminism still feel inclined to put Sid Vicious’ idiotic mug in theirpages-this is iconoclasm? Worst of all is the smug, self-congratulatory tone ofsuperiority adopted by the editors: if you’re going to position yourself as sorighteously radical, at least publish a zine that’s not the same as a hundredothers!
1800Ocean Pkwy. #B-12
Hey,look at this, would ya? Another manila envelope full of zines to review. Solet’s not waste any more valuable time or space, but get right down to cases...
I had asuspicion I’d like this new zine when I saw “Outhouse Publications” as thereturn address on the envelope. It’s issue #1 of Bob—the editor’s name is Bob,you see, making for a fairly appropriate title.
Andwhat makes another new addition to zinedom special? Check this out: Bob cameout of college, stayed on the straight & narrow, landed a wage-slave job,and moved on up through Corporate America. The American Dream, you think,right? Well, Bob begs to differ, and has started up this zine to demonstratehow much of a fantasy that is. (Some of us have already discovered that, butit’s still wonderful to see new names on the club roster!) Anyway, the premiereissue delves into such areas as the cult of e-Bay, the fairytale of collegeeducation, and Britney as Pepsi whore.
Don’teven try to tell me that you aren’t already drooling at the prospect of readingthis zine for yourself. So rush $1.50 to Bob Sheairs, 30 Locust Ave., Westmont,NJ 08108 (trades: perhaps - he’s still thinking about this) and get on thebandwagon.
Ironyis Dead, shouts the cover of this new comix zine. Maybe it is and maybe itisn’t, but this cryptic comic could well make you sit back and think aboutthings—which is a good thing, by the way. I myself, being only able to managepathetic stick figures, have always been insanely jealous of anyone who canactually draw. So between the mysterious comics and my jealousy of anyone whocan produce art, I recommend the $2/trade deal, and you should contact ChelseaBeck right away. P.O. Box 139, Tivoli, NY 12583. She does warn that thisaddress is subject to change, so you can also contact her firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wheredoes it all end? Who cares, ‘cause once you’ve been injected with the sugarneedle, all you want is more, more, more, and the dentist be damned! This issuecame from co-editor Corina Fastwolf, P.O. Box 300152, Minneapolis, MN 55403. $1plus first-class stamp, but you can also trade good zines or interesting candies.
Twenty-EightPages Loving-ly Bound with Twine has been getting around since the first issuecame out. When someone goes to the length of literally binding each individualissue with string, well, you can’t just ignore whatever awaits between the covers.Issue #7 features Christoph’s journal kept during a weekend Buddhist retreat.Personally, what I found most fascinating was the letter he wrote to the folksat Deer Park concerning their “Half Pint” bottles of water; he wondered whythey couldn’t just be labeled “One Cup,” since a cup is half of a pint. (Whathe got in reply was a typical corporate non-answer, thanking him for hisinterest in the product, but not explaining anything.) You can subscribe for adozen issues ($18), six issues ($10) or three for $5. A single issue goes for$2/trade from Christoph Meyer, P.O. Box 106, Danville, OH 43014.
TheWhirligig is a litzine. So when you’re finished reading all the ranting andraving everywhere else, you can settle down with this and relax for a while.The contents are divided into two sections: fiction and poetry. Of course, whenyou’re feeling inspired, submissions are always welcome. But in the meanwhile,three dollars American gets you the latest issue of this semi-annual zine (#7has an electric pink cover that’s just the sort of thing I look for when I’mputting my own projects together!) from Frank Marcopolos, 4809 Avenue N (#117),Brooklyn, NY 11234.
Thetitle of Psychedelic Dressing Room was all it took for me to sit up and takenotice. You don’t run across the word “psychedelic” much anymore. The zine isactually a forum for unknown musicians to print their work, certainly aninteresting idea and fairly unique even in the world of zines. So, you’re a bitof a musician and you could stand the recognition? Send $2 for an issue, and ofcourse submissions are always welcome, to Clara Brasseur, P.O. Box 1043, StateCollege, PA 16804.
Finallyout of me this time, there’s Recluse Zine. It’s not that I put it off for last,it’s just that I kept trying to think of what to write about the darn thing.It’s mainly a music zine, with some political opinionating thrown in here andthere. Music zines are always a problem for me, since I’m a complete alien tothe current scene; as far as I’m concerned, the music scene ended when theBeatles broke up in the spring of 1970. But I won’t put down a music-orientedzine for that reason. Incidentally, the back cover of issue #9 lists classifiedads—several of these guys ought to check out Psychedelic Dressing Room. Anyway,see for yourself. A single issue goes for $1.25 from the people at RecluseZine, P.O. Box 307663, Columbus, OH 43230.
c/o SLCZine Library, 210 E 400 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Introductionsare hard to write. I never know what I should say. Should I tell you about mysummer vacation or what I will be doing this winter? I went to England and Iwill be graduating in December. How about I just mention that I work for theSalt Lake City Public Library where they pay me to read zines. You can make aliving by reading zines, I swear. E-mail me email@example.com
Mr.Peebody’s Soiled Trousers and Other Delights #18-
Isn’tit odd how some songs, movies, or zines bring to mind certain memories ormoods? I remember exactly where I was when I first read Mr. because it was inthe first pile of zines I ever read. I often wonder if my love affair withzines would have been different if Jay’s wonderful diary zine hadn’t beenincluded in those first few zines. But enough about me, this zine is such a funread about Jay’s life in Hollywood with his girlfriend Cherry. As stupid andclichéd as this sounds, Jay’s zine is just so real that I can’t put it down. Iwant to hear about the fact that he watches American football and how he likesMorrissey and how in love he is with his girlfriend. Plus, he hates the Lakersand lives in LA, which I find to be a good character recommendation, as theLakers are pure evil.
Send$2.00 to Jason Koivu, PO Box 931333, Los Angeles, CA 90093
And theSurvey Says!
Everybodyloves The Feud! Another great zine put out by Jay (see previous review) aboutthe statistical facts revolving around zinesters. Jay asked a hundred zinestersa variety of questions and then compiled them in a fun Family Feud inspiredzine. One can learn all sorts of amazing facts, like that 39 people polled feltthat zinesters should own 2 staplers. Or that some zinesters were confusedabout the difference between a state and a country. How cool are zines about zinesters? Survey Says - very cool.
Send$1.00 to Jason Koivu, PO Box 931333, Los Angeles, CA 90093.
Mostpeople know I love soccer. I love it in that kind of geek way which means Italk about it endlessly and by the time I get around to pontificating about thegroup stages of the Champions League people are desperate to make me stop. Itend to focus on English soccer, but this snazzy newsletter is devoted to thegrowing American soccer scene, which I know less about. I was happy to readthat the Major Indoor Soccer League has given up the freakish scoring systemwhere a goal can be worth more than one point, because that is just wrong.There is also a cool article about someone who travels a long distance to seean international game played in Seattle. Funnily enough, I did the same thingthis summer, so I can relate to the obsessive quality in the article. If youknow what the Lamar Hunt US Open is, then this is the zine for you.
Send$1.00 to Steve “Pudgy” De Rose, 4821 W. Fletcher St. #2, Chicago, IL60641-5113, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thereis nothing I hate more then snobs. You know, those people who selfishly hoardcool books and refuse to tell anyone about them, people who only like bands whono one else has ever heard of and refuse to even talk about a band that has“sold out”. Thankfully, A.J. Michel is not a snob and she wants everybody toread, listen, and watch interesting things. This issue of Low Hug is chock fullof reviews of pop culture in various forms by a host of great zinesters. Thefact that this zine includes a review of a Charles de Lint book and a review ofsky watching makes it a perfect read. Plus, the covers are really cool - theone I got had a postcard from Missouri.
Send$3.00 to A.J. Michel. She is moving so email her for her address email@example.com (see page 4)
Watchthe Closing Doors #22 and #23
Myfavorite thing about zines is the diversity of subject matter. I like thatpeople are interested enough in arcane things to write passionately about them.Fred Argoff loves public transportation. I know a lot of people who like publictransportation and who are amused by the experiences that happen to them whilegetting from here to there, but few are interested in the history of and thewhys and wherefores of riding the rails. Fred’s zine is such an interesting mixof obsession and history that I find myself mostly amused and a littleconcerned with how he spends his free time. Truthfully, I had no idea how interestingpublic transportation is - it was just something that I kind of took forgranted, like the ungrateful child I am. I promise to never do this again.
Send anice donation to Fred Argoff, 1800 Ocean Pkwy. #B-12, Brooklyn, NY 11223
I lovethis comic!! It describes itself as “odd little picture fictions” which it is.My absolute favorite drawing tells of a horrible fishing accident and the lossof two fingers. The lost fingers are drawn as two little ghosts watching theirliving comrades. The thought of those two fingers looking out for the otherones is just such a great image. The rest of the mini-comic is equally aswonderful, like the man who bets on horses based on Polaroid pictures or thecritically acclaimed playground poems.
Sendsome cash to Androo Robinson, 2000 NE 42 Ave #303, Portland, OR 97213
I don’treally know how to describe this zine. I must have read it four times and theonly descriptive qualities I can come up with are things like: random, stream ofconsciousness, and George Michael-obsessed. These are all mainly good things,just maybe a little overwhelming in one jam-packed zine. The format is partlyhand-written, partly cut-and-paste, and partly hand-illustrated. There arequizzes and a very touching story about a fish suicide. The thing I mostenjoyed were the bizarre collection of pop culture references. I mean, ShellyLong is on the cover, which kind of explains it all.
Send$2.00ish to Wendy Baker,
Sometimesall you need is a really good, well-written perzine. idiwa is charming for manyreasons. It includes reflections on Celia’s musical choices in years past,thoughts about working in a library, and the tale of a war wound begotten whileplaying soccer. While in my head I know how much it would suck to break my armwhile playing my sport of choice, my heart still thinks it’s sort of cool to beinjured in such an obvious way. I mean, you get to tell everyone how hardcoreyou are. I know that’s petty, but I don’t care. Hmmm…that might have been a bittoo revealing, my secret fantasies of being a tough girl instead of alibrarian. Anyway, this is everything a great zine should be, heartfelt,insightful, and really well written.
Send$2.00 to C. Perez, 2527 N. California Ave. 1S, Chicago, IL 60647,firstname.lastname@example.org
AvondaleEstates, GA 30002
Hithere! I’m currently knee-deep in culture shock after my ten-month stay inGhana, West Africa. Thank goodness for zines and the creative, fun folks whomake them. Y’all keep me sane. My zine, Junie in Georgia, is available for $2an issue or an equitable trade. (P.O. Box 438, Avondale Estates, GA 30002)
digest,$2, 16 pp.
Birthdaysalways seemed a lot like New Year’s Eve to me. So much hype, so manypreparations, for so much disappointment. Now for me, birthdays are justanother day. This is why I can appreciate DB Pedlar’s concept of celebratingbirthdays. Sick of the commercialism and lack of true sentiment, he decided toswap birthday dates with his wife. This allowed them to enjoy seasonalsituations previously unavailable for their usual parties and add a bit offlair. (As someone born in rural Wisconsin in early March, I can relate.Countless birthday parties were cancelled due to sudden snowstorms or hail.)This year, DB invited his friends to a Surprise Costume Ball where guests wererequired to bring a ball and dress it in costume. The zine displays theattendees’ balls (heh, heh) and DB offers a subsequent contest. Choose the ballthat DB took to his Costume Ball and you win an invitation to his next birthdayparty. Beyond Quotidian also includes interesting nuggets of birthday history.
Sendorders to DB Pedlar, 2572 Cherry Hill Road, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403.
Digest,$2, 18 pp.
It’sdifficult to review zine fiction. It’s hard to separate the actual prose fromthe personal stake in writing, much like creating zines in general, I guess.Because literary tastes vary so much, one person’s masterpiece is another’smistake. I haven’t had much luck before, and truth be told, I was a littleleery when I realized DodoBobo contained only three pieces of fiction and aninterview. But actually, it’s pretty good. The first story tells the tale of anot-so-nice guy named Tommy, who gets things wrong and can’t be helped. Thestory moved along quite nicely, although I felt puzzled by the ending.
Thesecond story, “Complicated Game,” is actually an excerpt from a novel. Twotroubled people, a relationship on the verge of collapse, a feminine geologistsearching for a crashed meteorite, a man searching for connection. The storymade me feel like a voyeur on those uncomfortable private moments between twopeople who hate each other but pretend not to. Curious and strange, but worththe read.
Afteran interview with the High Llama’s Sean O’Hagan (I don’t know who this is), thezine ends with the strongest piece, written by Theodore Mangano. In prison, onthe edge of a rumbling thunderstorm, a man enjoys the momentary freedom of thestorm as it washes over the normal rhythms of captivity. Compelling andsatisfying.
Orderscan be sent to P.O. Box 57214, Washington, D.C., 20037.
Oversizedigest, $2, 16 pp.
Anne isfree from the stressful tentacles of grad school, teaching women’s studies ather college and sporting a new Crayola-red hairdo. Her comic panels weave talesof her cats, the final semester of dorm housing, her trip to Dublin, funpersonal facts, bad days and work woes. I think Anne is a private person atheart (like me) but paradoxically shares very personal information through herzine. It certainly brings the reader closer to her life and raw emotions.However, at times the storytelling can be a bit cryptic and it’s hard to fullyknow what’s going on. In any case, what does shine through is that Anne is atough, funny, sweet gal trying to make sense of those transitory places in lifewhen we want both acknowledgement and anonymity, consistent paychecks andcreative freedom, personal growth and easy flow. I’m just happy she shares thesearch for that balance with us.
To getsome Booty, write to Anne Thalheimer at Box 498, 84 Alford Road, Gt.Barrington, MA 01230.
Digest,$2, 32 pp.
I gottatell you, Library Bonnet is one of my favorite zines. It deserves some specialsparkling, drippy sugar prize from heaven. Complete with catty co-worker andcrazy patron antics from library world (as well as Teen Poetry Night), Tommy’s awesomebut eerie drawings, Julie’s poetry and slanty personal stories tinged withsadness and regret, lots of small mammals and oodles of other goodies, thiszine is sure to make you squirm in delight. It’s twisted and hilarious, sillyand pained. Library Bon-net is a spectacular ride though the imaginations oftwo best friends and librarians.
Orderit now. In fact, order all six issues. 1315-I North Tustin Avenue, #259,Orange, CA 92867.
Flossie’sVariety Show #1
Digest,$1 or $2, 16 pp.
Julie, halfthe pair from Library Bonnet, has created this new zine. Dedicated to “stories,tremblings, girlfights and oh so much more,” FVS contains cut-outs of obscureillustrations paired with bizarre-o contemporary conversations or innerdialogue. What you get is lots of off-kilter poetry and satisfying silliness.There is nothing else like this zine and that’s one of the reasons why it’s soenjoyable. Besides that, it’s so damn funny you’ll wet yourself and not evencare until you turn the last page. (Then, of course, you’ll be more than alittle embarrassed and angry, but thank god you’re right next to a bathroom!)
Orderit when you order those multiple copies of Library Bonnet. 1315-I North TustinAvenue, #259, Orange, CA 92867.
TheFree Press Death Ship, #3
Oversize,Free subscription but donations welcome, 54 pp.
Thegreat thing about this zine is Violet’s sheer commitment to independentpublishing, freedom of speech and resistance to the ever-growing threat ofcensorship and corruption within the media. The opening statement says it all:“The printed word has the power to spread knowledge and inspiration…yet it hasequal power to promote cruelty indoctrination and ignorance.” The Free PressDeath Ship is a BEAUTIFUL zine filled with pirate- inspired graphics,eye-pleasing fonts and created without the use of computers. Highlights includethe ISBN monopoly and mystery, the history of B. Traven (of whose work thiszine bears its name), an interview with Fred Woodworth of The Match!, lettersand extensive zine reviews. (Zines that include an ISBN or ISSN number, a UPCcode or are supported financially by the government or a corporation need notsubmit copies for review.) The Free Press Death Ship forces me to face thosedreary truths I try to wish away—snitch lines, docile media sheep, the U.S.’soppressive police state and the growing challenges of the independent press. Itdepresses me to no end, but I don’t mind the wake up call. Violet’s fightingthe good fight and we zinesters should be walking the same route while we stillcan. Articulate, razor-sharp and well-informed. Order at Violet Jones, P. O.Box 55336, Hayward, CA 94545.
224Moraine St., Brockton MA 02301
Howdy,Debt-heads. My name is Eric Lyden, also known as the jerk who’s delaying thisissue by being so slow to get his damn reviews done. It’s not really my fault,because there was a post office mix- up that delayed me getting my zines so Igot my deadline extended, but even with the extended deadline I still managedto get my reviews done late. That’s not like me, really, but I’ve got a case ofthe autumn blahs. Most people get the winter blahs, but for me it’s the wholetransition from summer to fall that gets to me. You go from nice, sunny days tocloudy dreariness. Who the Hell needs it? I could go on, but luckily for you Iwon’t. Oh, and send me your zines because I like trading with folks. I made adesperate plea last issue and it didn’t really work so maybe a less desperateplea will work.
I’vegot 2 mini comics from Yul here - one is called Whino the Whiny Cat. It’s aparody of the old Saturday Night Live sketch Toonces the Driving Cat exceptinstead of just driving Whino drives and whines. It’s kind of a dated reference,but it’s pretty funny if not classic. The other comic from Yul is the LostRealm Book, which is a free preview of his fetish fanzine. From what I cangather Yul has a fetish for giant women with bare feet and long toenails. Ittakes all kinds in this world. I wonder if Yul jerks off to his own drawings?That’d be really weird, but no weirder than having a giant foot fetish, Isuppose. Not that there’s anything wrong with being weird, mind you, so long asyour weirdness doesn’t infringe on others. Anyhow, Whino is .25 or trade -worth checking out. Lost Realm is free or trade and if it sounds like your cupof tea you may as well check it out. Yul Tolbert, PO Box 02222, Detroit, MI48202-9998; email@example.com; http://timeliketoons.tripod.com.
YourDick’s Too Short To Fuck with God
OK, nowthis one is just silly. It features Adam of Adam and Eve fame and...well, thepoor bastard had nothing to do before Eve came along so this comic featuresAdam just wandering around naming things until the snake explains to him thepurpose of his penis and...it’s funny, trust me. I wouldn’t steer you wrong.Send $1 and one stamp to Ben T. Steckler, PO Box 7273, York, PA 17404. (Ed. –It is funny, even Lux Interior took note of the title. William P. Tandy and Ibumped into Ben when the Cramps played Philadelphia. Being the smallest, mostlyto make it to the stage, oh, and a little drunk, I writhed through the crowdand tossed one on stage on Ben’s behalf. Lux picked it up, read the title andshowed it to the masses. It was a fine moment in Xerography history.)
One ofUs #1
This isthe “Official zine of the band Vomit Sauce” What do you think the chances arethat a band called Vomit Sauce could actually be any good? Yeah, I don’t thinkso either, but that’s neither here nor there because I’m just here to reviewthe zine. It’s mostly comics with an interview with James Kolchaka thrown inthere. Lets see...the first comic is called “3 Pages Going Nowhere” and isfunny. Then we have the interview with James Kolchaka, which is only one page,and if you’re a fan it contains nothing you don’t already know and if you’renot a fan you wouldn’t give a shit anyways. One-page interviews don’t reallywork. Then we have “History of Hitler Mouse” which is five unfunny pages. threepages of it may have been funny, but five are too many. After that is the“Guide to Being a Bad Artist,” which is quite funny and makes up for the lastunfunny piece. There are a few more pieces, but the best pieces are the twoparts of “Guide to Being a Bad Artist.” Most of the zine is good with theexception of the Hitler Mouse bit. Send a buck or two to Alex Colvin, 585 IshamSt. #3a, New York, NY 10034; firstname.lastname@example.org.
TheSpazz Report #2
Ireviewed the first issue of this zine last time and I’ve gotta say, I think Iliked the first issue better. I don’t have a copy of the first issue handy so Ican’t say why. Maybe it’s just one of those “the grass is always greener” typedeals. Maybe it’s just me being cranky, I dunno. It’s shorter than the firstissue so maybe that’s why - last time there was just more there to read. Thiszine is mostly lighthearted pieces on Joy’s grade school boyfriends, Joy’sfavorite and least favorite words and phrases, some pieces on jealousy andmaterial possessions. Good stuff all around. I enjoyed it. Now that I thinkabout it maybe I do like this issue better than the first. Either way, it’s adamn fine zine. Send $2 or a trade to Joy Todaro, ASC Box #726, Decatur, GA30030; email@example.com.
PS Oh,I just noticed that the theme of this issue is “emotions.” Yeah, OK, now itmakes sense.
Thishere is a pretty clever idea for a per-zine. It’s basically Dann writing abouthis writing and how his writing has affected his life and…it’s sort of a loveletter to the concept of writing. He starts with writing short stories forschool assignments done because he had to, then moves on to his weblog, thenfinally spends the whole second half of the zine talking about zines (which hesays he pronounced with a long “i” at first which is something I never quitegot - always seemed obvious to me that the word zine came from magazineso...nope, never got it). Anyhow, this is good stuff. Well-written with a goodidea behind it. It also sorta got me thinking - Dann got his start writing bydoing a weblog in high school and when I was in high school we didn’t even havethe Internet (well, I’m sure a form of it existed, but nothing like it istoday) so I got to thinking about how my life would have been different/ betterif I had the same opportunity he had...hell, it probably would’ve been exactlythe same, but it’s something to think about. Anyhow, send $2 or a trade to DannBerg, 11706 N. 131 St., Scottsdale, AZ 85259; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.derangeddistro.com.
Thecover of this one says “We put the maga back in zine”! which is kind of a goofything to say, but it made me chuckle for whatever reason. Anyhow, this zine hasa lot of good writing on a variety of topics (racism, high school, hardcoredancing, feminism and some other stuff) but it suffers from having a tooziney-looking lay out. You know what I mean? Full of random pictures and clippings and...It’s just too much. All the writingis good, but it always gets on my nerves when zines try too hard to look tooziney. (However, I should point out that unlike a lot of zines of its ilk atleast the xeroxed (Ed. - That’s right, keep using it as a verb!) photos arelegible.) But it’s free, so if I were you I’d send my address email@example.com and say “Caitlin, send me a copy of the Offbeat. Andinclude some sort of mailing address in the next issue because just using youre-mail just don’t cut it.”
LetThere Be Danger #1
Rememberwhat I said in the last review about zines trying to look too ziney? If youdon’t you should seek medical attention because you just read it a minute ago.Anyhow, this zine has the sort of ziney-looking zine layout I like - a fewpictures, nothing that gets in the way of the writing or detracts from thewriting - simple but effective. And the writing is just good, solid personalzine writings - nothing too Earth-shattering, but all of it’s good to very good- my favorite pieces were the one about dealing with a con artist (which losespoints for his overly liberal “It wasn’t the thieves fault for stealing, it wassociety’s fault for making him steal” take at the end which is just bullshit,really. But that’s neither here nor there...) the piece about staying with astranger in Indiana while on tour with his band and the story about the time hefell out of a tree. And I just realizedthat my three favorite pieces comprise half of the zine and there’s nothing badin the other half of the zine so I think you oughta just send $1 or a trade toSean Raff, 509 Cutters Mill Ln., Schaumburg, IL 60194;firstname.lastname@example.org.
Slug& Lettuce #75
I likedthis zine, but I’m sure I’d have like dit a whole lot more if the columnistswould’ve just shut the fuck up about the war in Iraq. Most of them were prettyinteresting, but there were still too many of them. Of course that’s easy forme to say now that the war is over (for now) and not on everyone’s minds. Atthe time it was probably like “Well, what are we supposed to write about?”which is certainly true. Aside from the columns, this zine also features plentyof zine, book and music reviews all of which are well-written and honest. Italso features plenty of ads, but the thing is free, so what do you expect? Send.60 (for postage) to Slug & Lettuce, PO Box 26632, Richmond, VA 23261-6632;email@example.com.
ChristmasParty: A Zeen Novel
I’ll behonest here, I haven’t finished reading this one yet. I’m about half waythrough with it and I guess that’s enough to write a semi-educated review of itso long as I don’t try to get too fancy. So far I’ve really liked what I’veread and am eager to finish the thing. At 48 pages it’s a tad short to reallybe referred to as a novel, but that’s nit-picky detail stuff. And I’m not surewhy King Wenclas spells zine as ‘zeen’ and truth be told I’m pretty sure Idon’t want to know because I have a feeling the answer would annoy me. So Ijust won’t ask. Send your $3 to King Wenclas Promotions, PO Box 42077,Philadelphia, PA 19101.
2000 NE42nd Ave. #303
Doesanyone’s asses out there mind if I get listy on them? Because:
1.Lists are #1.
2. Itlooks clean.
3. I’mjealous of how Donny Smith does his reviews. Let’s list!
LimitedDelivery Area #2
byVermicious Knid, PO Box 543, Accokeek, MD 20607, digest, $1?, 22 pages
WHY IWISH VERMICIOUS KNID LIVED NEXT DOOR TO ME:
1. Heis as cute as a BUTTON! Vermicious is the only white, and only queer, employeeat the Domino’s he delivers for. You may wonder how he survives, driving indangerous neighborhoods - this little, apple-cheeked genius! I just wonder howhe escapes being endlessly pinched and kissed. What a doll!
2. Hedoesn’t whine about having a crappy job. He loves it! Not once is crappinesseven implied, throughout stories of customers not tipping, grumpy managers,foul weather. Take it away, VK: “I spend my days peeking into people’s lives.Small children are always thrilled to see me, whether they’re rapidlyintroducing themselves and all their pets or peering shyly from behind aparent’s leg. Doors are opened by hot men in their underwear. Over time, Idevelop friendships with my regular customers. I am momentarily welcomed intogirlish slumber parties, executive lunches, rowdy football gatherings, and scandalousrendezvous at cheap motels. I love people and THAT is why I really love myjob.”
3. Hecan WRITE, and this involves both ink and eyes. VK sees stories everywhere, andis exactly the kind of friendly, sympathetic soul people love to confess to. A womantells him about her first slice of pizza (“her face was shining as sheremembered it”) and he wants nothing more than to talk to her all day, but soonhe is paid and must leave, reflecting that “sometimes the necessary brevity ofthese meetings seems really strange.” And rather than shutting out depressingscenes of squalor with a sigh of relief that he is not part of them, V standsstill and absorbs them. “There are worlds that are so far from my own.Sometimes I see people and think, could that ever be me? What would it take? Isit really all that far away?”
4. Heloves his friends. Throughout his zine, pictures of VK and his friends provideshort sweet breaks between the (tidy and grammatical) cut-and-paste type. Thereis the full page ode to Shakira, somehow emitting flames of sexiness while atthe same time gazing with boredom down at her prep work. And these otherpeople, smiling from driveways and front doors—are these some of his customers?Is the cute little black kid the same one that brightened V’s day, showing offhis tiny muscles and shouting, “Come back always! Bring us pizza!”
5. Heis, as he describes himself, a “zinester, traveller, fiddle player, fag,delivery driver, kid”. I think he forgot to mention “smart curious cutie-pie”,but perhaps he had to edit it down.
6. Hehook you up with the pizza.
CairnFree and Baptism River
byChris Dodge, 2712 Pillsbury #105, Minneapolis, MN 55408, firstname.lastname@example.org,digest, $1?, 24 pages
THINGSCHRIS DODGE KNOWS THAT I WISH I DID:
1. Wordslike “muliebrity” and “littoral”. Good god, I finally just left the dictionaryout. And it’s not just black and white type Chris has at his command—the worldof nature is full of animals and plants I’d never heard of, despite also havinglived in the northern midwest. Pileated woodpecker, osier dogwood, pine siskin,junco. If I didn’t care, that would be one thing—I found out in college that Ihave the ability to relinquish whole semesters of information—but it’s way moreimpressive to be able to identify trees that can guide your way home beforedark than lines from 17th century English poetry (although Chris the brainiaccan probably do that, too). Imagine what it would be like to head out to thewoods and see nature not as a vague backdrop, but as a giant room full ofpeople you know—all their histories, who’s lactose-intolerant and who needslots of shady privacy. What if you were fluent in NATURE?
2. “Itjust dawned on me again: nature rules.” Well, we all dig nature, right? Ifsomeone asked you “Nature—hot or snot?” you’d probably have to acquiesce—”Yes,nature is nice.” But dammit reading these zines sets you on FIRE. You want toclimb and sweat and freeze and SMELL everything, LISTEN to everything, andsleep in a spartan little cabin stocked with beans and rice, far from a singleother human but perfectly content to be alone with yourself.
3.Chris knows how to present his topics with simple elegance. Look at thesebooklets: neat, evenly spaced sentences for proper consideration and digestion,no pictures. No pictures? Then why do I have these magical photos in my head,and how can two sentences show me a two-hour documentary on northern Minnesotain March, or Utah in November? The few people Chris does come in contact withare also aptly illustrated— I can totally hear the waitress’s nasal “Is thatokay for ya?” and see the happy little German girl skipping with her parents.These zines are dense with beauty, philosophy, quiet humor, and inspiration—sohow can they look so simple and slight? After reading one you immediately cravemore— Where else have you gone? What else can I inhale? Quick—give me, tell me,show me!
4.Nature is addictive.
SouthernFried Darling #15
by AmyMariaskin, 4520D Emerald Forest, Durham, NC 27713, mini, $1.00, trade, or dogparaphernalia, 30 pages
WHY AMYMARIASKIN WILL BE FAMOUS FOREVER:
1. Atthe age of 22, she writes like a seasoned novelist, poet, essayist. Listen tothis: “I was born in autumn and I’m kind of born every autumn when the worldshrivels up into its crispest brownish self. I gather my vertebrae together atthe base of my spine and crane my neck to feel the first inklings of frostdeveloping along a jaw-jut. If I close my eyes I hear nervous paws, faintwhines from dying bees, and a beetle slowly pushing aside damp leaves to burrowinto black soil and collapsed mushrooms. Fall is a struggle, an ululationrising from the inform (oh and how many there are). Here is the drama ofautumn: the last volcanic sunsets, chiaroscuro. By comparison, spring is a whore,a land of veneer, leading one always with the eyes instead of the nose, thehairs of a forearm. (I had my first kiss in October; my first fuck in March.)”
2. Hertopics are eclectic, personal, and fascinating. In this one issue, Amy coversher relationship with Judaism, dogs, problems with body image, breasts, sex,art, books, recipes, and more, and everything is reported with energy andopenness. This is the kind of zine that makes me underline passages, likesimply touching my pen to someone else’s words will somehow let the perfectlyarticulated phrase be mine for a second.
3. Thisis not fair: Amy can draw as well as write. Just from her layout and pen-and-ink illustrations, I can assume that her apartment is cozy and colorful andfull of textures, and she probably has about twenty hats and sweaters I’d liketo borrow, and when she gives someone a birthday present it is somethingperfect and one of a kind and probably wrapped so wonderfully they hate to openit. If it wasn’t for her insecurities and modesty, I would hate Amy Mariaskin’sguts (or I would love her in that awful jealous way where you feel helpless anddisgusting). The way I’m jealous right now is the good kind, that kicks yourbutt to write more and better and makes you remember how satisfying it is toconfess your problems and analyze them into beautiful words.
ImaginaryLife #2: Current Resident
byKrissy, PonyBoy Press, c/o IPRC, 917 SW Oak St #218, Portland OR 97205,email@example.com, mini, $1?, 24 pages
IDEAS IWISH I’D HAD BEFORE KRISSY:
1.Taking old photos of people’s houses and writing stories about them. What agood idea! When I first read this zine, I assumed Krissy had simply transcribedwhat the house owners had said—interesting, yes, but it didn’t give me muchinformation about Krissy herself. And then I realized: Krissy WAS thedescriptions. These are anonymous pictures she collected, then put herselfinto, living in each house vicariously to capture its spirit. Like the squatbrick house whose lawn is littered with trash: “My daughter lives in this housestill and I cannot let it go. Good to no one, it stands and I fear any suddenmovement, any tumbling of walls or blasting of stones will flatten her,frighten her and fix her in my mind as gone. I stare at this picture and seeher sitting on the porch railing, swinging her legs, intent on some small taskin her hand. It was on that porch that I sat for weeks that summer and where Istill sit, as I stare out at these foreign streets. As long as I am alive she willhave a home.”
2.Fabricating entire childhoods and lives. “Imaginary Life” is right – Krissy’simagination is as limitless as a child’s. I bet she’d be an awesome actress. Ofcourse she’d make a superb novelist. She is the child with olives on her fingersin the kitchen of one old house, the bitter old woman reflecting on a world ofbills and loneliness in another. A daughter leaving home, a young womanreveling in her first apartment, first independence, with a war going on.
3.Putting yourself into a scene and not leaving until it is flawlessly captured.Fiction is beyond me. I can report something that actually happened, maybetaking poetic license with some of the details, but when it comes to thatimmersion into another time or place or person, I flounder. What must it belike to be not one person but any number of people? It’s got to beexhilarating. Good thing Krissy’s imagination is running like water, becausethere is a whole universe of people’s stories unattached to actual people.Krissy the ventriloquist. Krissy the medium! With a mind like that, you knowthis isn’t the end of it-she’s got several other projects available as well.But this one is my favorite, and she says if you send her house pictures she’llwork on another one...
1573 N.Milwaukee Ave, #403
Myninth issue of SemiBold is ready to order. If you feel like reading about cutekittens or broken arms or summer travels, this is for you. The kittens areREALLY cute. It's $2, from the address above.
RabidTransit: A Mischief of Rats
50pages, digest size.
Writeto: Kristin Livdahl/Alan DeNiro
$5.50postpaid in the US; $6.00 in Canada and Mexico; $5.50 world
PO Box28701, St. Paul, MN 55128
You canorder via mail or on the website.
Rent:An Injustice, by I.R. Ybarra
24pages, digest size.
There’sno price or mailing address info included with this, but since it’s publishedby The Match! I would imagine you could order it from Fred Woodworth at thisaddress:
PO Box3012, Tucson, AZ, 85702
Themost impressive thing about this zine is that IsaBelle writes it all in French,then translates the entire thing into English and publishes it in bothlanguages. And it’s no lightweight zine, either: 44 pages! The bulk of thisissue details her planned move to Vancouver and the trials and tribulationsinvolved. And after all that, she ended up moving back to Quebec in a shorttime. Apparently this will be the topic of the next issue, so I’m very curiousto see what happened. She obviously loves Vancouver and was very much lookingforward to living there, so something serious must have happened to bring herback. Her descriptions of Vancouver make me want to visit, it sounds like afantastic place. There are lots of journal entries and some zine reviews, too.
44pages, 1/2 legal size. $2 per issue in US and Canada, $4 International.
Writeto: IsaBelle Bourret
5591St-Laurent, Levis QC G6V 3V6 Canada
(thewebsite is bilingual too!)
Sex,Death & Ronald MacDonald Vol. 3, #22
This isbilled as the “All Flash Fiction Issue,” so I had to go find out what “FlashFiction” was (short-short stories, usually 500-2,000 words). Most of thestories here are on the odd side. Their very shortness leaves a lot of blanksfor the reader to fill in if they so desire. Some are serious, some are silly.Might be worth reading if you’re interested in this genre.
12pages, full size. No price listed, I’d say it’s worth $1 or a couple stamps.
Alsoavailable from the same address:
Burn inHell, Buddy (The Incredibly True Adventures of a Kid and His Starship!)
It’s a16-page mini perzine with little slice of life stories, $1 for issues
Writeto: Vermicious Knid
PO Box543, Accokeek, MD 20607
Shoutingat the Postman #50
This istheir “Cult Figure of the Year” issue, featuring a found photo of a man dubbed“Damien.” Copies of this photo were sent all around the world to theirmail-art/collage compatriots, and this issue is a compilation of thesedifferent interpretations. The back cover has a listing of mail art contacts.
16pages, digest size. 1 US stamp, 2 IRCs, or a cool trade item.
Writeto: Ken Miller
ASKAliceArt Exchange Net
PO Box101, Newtown, PA 18940-0101
Shot Bya Ray Gun #6: Road Signs
This isa 24-page spiral bound mini of illustrations that Billy has done for otherzines, like Thoughtworm and our own Xerography Debt.
PO Box542, N. Olmstead, OH 44070
PO Box2235, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
EMBUDAGONN108/ TRUCK VAN RENTAL
(Monobrain/ de Hondenkoekjesfabriek / PO Box 68 / 7700AB Dedemsvaart / NETHERLANDS)
This isan art brut collaboration between Koh Kasahara of Japan and Monobrain of Holland.I don’t mind telling you that this is some weird-ass shit. But if you’refamiliar with the work of either, you already know that. Crazy jam drawings ofnightmarish creatures and other randomness, most of which are vaguely sexualand/or violent. This also comes with a CD that contains 40 minutes of noise byEmbudagonn108 (Kasahara) and Truck van Rental (Monobrain). All of this comesenclosed in a cool full-color package, too. Upcoming projects from Monobraininclude collaborations with Andy Nukes and Marcel Herms. If all of this soundsgood to you, I’d definitely recommend checking out his catalog atwww.angelfire.com/stars3/fcknbstrds/deHONDENKOEKJESFABRIEK.html (lots morestuff available).
($2.00ppd from Kathy Moseley / 1573 N. Milwaukee Ave., #403 / Chicago, IL / 60622USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
This isthe first issue of Semi-Bold that I’d read, but now I’m hooked. I haven’t readthat many perzines lately, so it was great to dig into this one. Kathy’s memorymust be great because these excerpts from her life are rich with clear details.In other words, she knows how to tell a story. In this issue she talks aboutbreaking her elbow (my pain tolerance is low, so my sympathy for her is great),unexpected kittens (born of a stray she took in), her trip to California and ascary night when the cops showed up across the street. These stories are fun toread and I really like how most of them tie in to one another. Add to that acouple pages of reviews, a clean, attractive layout (with lots of great photos)and a cover by Delaine and you’ve got one nice package.
($4.00US/$5.00 CAN, MEX/$6.00 elsewhere, all ppd. Cash, stamps or money order payableto “Jerianne” - no checks - from PO Box 330156 / Murfreesboro, TN / 37133-0156USA. Web: www.undergroundpress.org)
ZineWorld is an amazing production. I wish it came out more frequently, but eachissue is worth the wait. This one’s got 21 magazine-size pages of reviewscovering zines of all stripes. That’s over 130 reviews and while that’s animportant aspect of this zine, an equally important aspect is the newscoverage. Zine World investigates and collects relevant information on the USgovernment, free speech issues, censorship in our public school system, so onand so forth. And if you think these issues don’t have anything to do with yourlittle publication, you couldn’t be more wrong. Some of the more interestingpieces deal with the bullshit the Bush administration has fed us (based onmainstream and not-mainstream reportage); the flaccid state of journalism;elementary, junior high and high school students punished (from suspension tojail time) for offenses such as writing poetry and brandishing a plastic knifefrom the cafeteria; and Clear Channel’s connection to pro-war rallies. There’slots more in the issue, too, such as several pages of interesting letters,thoughtful columns and many other resources. Highly recommended.
JESSICAOF THE SCHOOLYARD: JESSICA IN PARADISE
($3.00ppd from Karl Wills / The ComicBook Factory / PO Box 105 278 / Auckland Central/ NEW ZEALAND 1030. Web: www.comicbookfactory.net)
You mayhave seen Karl Wills’ work in Hate or the most recent Dirty Stories, to namejust a couple of places. This attractive series of mini-comics stars badass Jessicawho attends a proper girls’ school (uniforms and everything). Apparently she’squite the terror and seems to thrive on mayhem and abuse (giving, notreceiving, you understand). She’s tough, aloof and sports a lower body R. Crumbwould die for. At eight full-page panels, this mini’s not long on content, butwhat’s there is worth your while. Wills draws in an appealing clear-line sortof style (think Tintin) and the artwork is lovely. Add to that the productionvalues – nice paper stock, color covers and an inserted trading card – andyou’ve got something worth tracking down. If you’re not convinced, go to thewebsite and watch some of his animated shorts while you make up your mind.
ATTEMPTEDNOT KNOWN #8
($2.00+ 2 stamps from Peter Conrad / PO Box 64522 / Sunnyvale, CA / 94088 USA. Web:www.peterconrad.com)
Therewas a time when I had mixed feelings about Peter Conrad’s work, but he justgets better and better all the time – that is, he consistently creates more andmore that impresses me and holds my attention. This issue of ANK is a solidcollection of interesting comics and showcases several different drawing styles(that versatility is one of the impressive things about his work). I like everypiece in this issue, but my two favorites are about sledding and remembering afriend who’s passed on (this one is framed cleverly and is a good story toboot). If you haven’t read Peter’s comics in a while, I recommend checking thisout.
($5.00from Sean Bieri / 12033 Lumpkin / Hamtramck, MI / 48212 USA. Age StatementRequired. Smut Peddler website:
As youmay have guessed, Smut Peddler is an anthology of sex comics. Its 52 pagescontain a pretty diverse selection (in 13 stories) of approaches, styles andkinks. As I see it, there are two standout stories in this collection. Thefirst is “Grazie” by Carla Speed McNeil, which begins with hot sex but reallygets going when the characters start an actual conversation. The secondstandout is Sean Bieri’s “When You Leave the Room”, which is low-key and sweetand manages to be engaging even though there’s no nudity until the last panel(c’mon, I had to say it; it’s a sex book!). In my opinion, these two are thebest-looking pieces in the book, but they’re also well-written and I like ‘embecause they each present persuasive – and quite different – arguments forwhat’s so great about sex. Other stories I quite enjoyed are by David Stanleyand Vince Sneed & John Peters. But, hey, that’s not all. There’s lots moreby Neil Kleid, J. Kevin Carrier & Karen O’Donnell, Layla Lawlor, mpMann andothers. Smut Peddler, by the way, was produced co-op style. So, while Bieri’scontact info is above (he sent the review copy), I believe you can also orderfrom the other contributors, perhaps from their websites or at conventions andsuch.
($1.50+ a stamp from Ben T. Steckler / PO Box 7273 / York, PA / 17404 USA. Web:www.geocities.com/bent4toons)
I’mnever quite sure what to expect from a Ben Steckler comic. Just when I thinkit’s not really going anywhere, it turns around and smacks me in the face(you’ll be hearing from my lawyer, Steckler). In this, his latest JackChick-inspired book, Ben has created an anti-tract. The agnostic, thinkingperson’s message is subtle, but packs a wallop. Oh, did I mention that this isaccomplished through a parody of those old Tootsie Pops commercials (“How manylicks...”)? What can I say, BenT has done it again.
HORSE!& RIDER #1
($1.50from David King,
This isan odd little comic by David King. I don’t know what I was expecting, but Ienjoyed it more than I thought I would. The whole package owes a lot ofinspiration to clean-cut 1950s nostalgia. It’s not about nostalgia – no, it’sabout a filthy pie thief – but the design is brimming with it. I mean, come on,look at that cover! The interior drawings are reminiscent of old advertisingart, and I mean that in a good way. So, anyway, as I mentioned earlier, thecomic’s about a degenerate pie thief (don’t let the snappy threads fool you)who disappoints his parents, loses his girl and befriends an inanimate object,all in a vaguely Ware-ian fashion. Come to think of it, the absurdity of italso brings to mind Mr. Show. Or maybe that’s just me. The point is it’s worthchecking out. As a matter of fact, I look forward to seeing more from Mr. King.
1573 NMilwaukee Ave, PMB #464 Chicago, IL 60622
Since1998 when I first began to publish Meniscus, zines have saved my sanity and mylife more times than I can count. Whether it was the insightful, relevantstories in someone else’s publication, or simply the relief of having a zine ofmy own in which to sort out my thoughts, I have found repeated salvation in theunderground press. And I am delighted to be a part of XD, with the opportunityto help other people connect with the subterranean world of art and experience.Here is some of that world.
The LoriBucher Newsletter
Digest,16pp. (No price, but I think the whole point is to trade)
LoriBucher, PO Box 857, Indianhead, MD
1468Newhall Pkwy., Concord, CA 94521
Digest,24pp. $1 US, $2 elsewhere
byMalady K., c/o IPRC
917 SWOak #218, Portland, OR 97207
c/oIPRC, 917 SW Oak St., Portland, OR 97205
approx.¼ size, 42pp. $2 US, $3 elsewhere
83½Howell St. Apt 2, Rochester, NY 14607
Korea,So Far and Japan, So Far
¼ size,the long way, each 8pp. including covers
noprice (it’s a brief travelzine for trade)
18378th Ave., Oakland, CA 94606
PlanetNamed Desire #9
PO Box40321, Tucson, AZ 85717-0321
LilliputReview #131 & #132
3 ½ x 4¼ 12pp and 8pp, $1 each or SASE + 2 stamps
282Main St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201
¼ size,36pp. $? Trade?
AndrooRobinson, Ped Xing Comics
2000 NE42nd Ave. #303, Portland, OR 97213
Foreigners,and Other Familiar Faces
by MarkRich, published June 2003
Digest,68 pp., $5
c/oGavin Grant, Small Beer Press
176Prospect Ave., Northampton, MA 01060
Digest,28 pp. no price, but send a buck or two, or trade
PO Box180143, Chicago, IL 60618
ArtVisionary – International Art Journal of the Fantastic, Visionary and Surreal
8 ¼ x11 ¾, glossy, 64pp., $15 (trades only with art zines and zine review zines)
GPO Box1536, Melbourne, Victoria, 3001
PO Box380431. Cambridge, MA 02238
CaryatidRises - a zine with a focus on women and social action
$2 + 83cent stamps
Are WeThere Yet? Issue #2
$2;1200 Hilltop Rd., Baltimore, MD 21226
I admitthat I have put this mama zine and its creator, Lauren Eichelberger, on apedestal. Maybe it’s because our children are the same age, but I find that herthoughts on the highs and lows of being a mother resonate with me in a way thatmany parenting zines don’t. Lauren takes us through scenarios that are funny,angry, foot-draggingly exhausted, and tender, and while she does not flinch inpresenting the challenges of motherhood, you never lose sight of how much sheloves her family. It’s quite a feat topull this off but she does it with grace, and I believe that non-parents will getjust as much from her essays as I do. Issue 2 includes several strong essays from other writers on numeroustopics e.g. raising children in a fat- hostile culture, house lust, and somegreat moments in the mothering day.
RedDiaper Baby Issue #2
Thiszine, which describes itself as being about radical parenting, fairly bursts atthe seams with energy. I like zines like this one that demonstrate just howsmart, how politically active many mothers are because I’m so pissed off by thevacuous soccer mom persona. In thisissue Becky Ellis writes about taking her baby to the anti-Iraqi war protests,her determination to resist sex stereotyping for her son, and suggests thatvalues like co-operation, and equal division of labor can be germinated athome. Vikki Law covers the momentous anti-Iraq war demo in NYC, and in aparticularly uplifting essay, Kathleen Fatooh examines the progress activismhas made during her own lifetime and offers some hope for the long haul ahead.Issues can be ordered from Becky at email@example.com.
Viva LaMama! Issue 2.
39pages $2 PO Box 28476, Seattle WA 98118
KaraSpencer is another radical mother who is the creative force behind thatgoldmine of activism, YoMamaSays.org. Her zine is equally well put together, and casts a wide net from mourningthe death of Rachel Corrie, peace activist, paying a brief homage to someMothers of the Revolution, to an entertaining road trip story by Stick Boy. Iwish the printing had done justice to the great photos but I’m guessing that’sa cost issue. Kara writes of theactivism that began in her childhood, and that brought her into severalstandoffs with her parents. She writes about how much better it feels to live aTV-free life without self-righteousness and in my favorite essay, “Mama’sBookmobile” tells the story of the bookmobile her bibliophile mother bought for$200 to house her overflowing library and that she dreams of one day turninginto a radical parenting-mobile. The zine left me hungry to read more of herwork.
DearMiss Cookie, Dear Ms Cookie and Dear Cookie
VikkiLaw PO Box 20388, Tompkins Square Station, New York NY 10009
Thesethree travelogue zines by Vikki Law are excellent. The eponymous Miss Cookie isa cat that squats at an art center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and Vikkiwrites some of the zine in postcard form, along with numerous photos and travelnotes. In Dear Miss Cookie Vikki takesus through the streets of Hong Kong, its satellite islands and mainland China.As she passes on the stories of her family, living and dead, she draws us in,making us feel the presence of the unquiet ghosts, or experience theclaustrophobia of the markets, and the crazed tourist buzz on the islands.
In MsCookie Vikki documents her visit to her South-African Chinese cousins. Thestories her cousins and their friends tell about life in SA are disquieting asare some of Vikki’s travel experiences. In Dear Cookie, Vikki takes her camerato Chiapas where she writes of preteen girls preening before beingphotographed, matriarchs and a cowbell carrying trash collector. There seems tobe a taboo against a woman traveler talking about being harassed, feelingafraid or at the mercy of bag snatchers but, speaking personally, these arereally common travel experiences that need telling. I’m so tired of all the “Itraveled across the India-Pakistan desert with a group of nomads and theirgoats and they claimed me as their clanswoman” kind of stories. Vikki’s storiesencompass moments that are deeply poignant, as well as bizarre, breathtakingand overwhelming. My only grouse about the zines is the poor print quality ofthe photos (I know, I have a bug in my ass about photos). Vikki ismultitalented and I’d love to see her get a grant so that these zines could getthe state of the art print run they deserve.
DearMiss cookie: Postcards from HK & China: 1.06 (4oz)
DearCookie: Postcards from Chiapas: 60 cents (2 oz)
Talk-Story(family stories from HK, but no postcards to the cat): 60 cents (2 oz)
DearMs. Cookie (or the little known lore of the Chinese in South Africa): 60 cents(2 oz)
HaveYou Seen The Dog Lately? Cave Paintings Summer 2003
$2 fromSerena & Jenny Makofsky, 465 38th Street, Oakland CA 94609
Thisissue is a gem lined with groovy little pictographs. In The UnderlyingStructure of Everything Jenny adds a witty and clever commentary to LangdonSmith’s poem Evolution. Over 12 pages she throws in asides aboutmonoplacophoran mollusks, Bette Davis, Sumer, (possibly the first civilizationto have both religion and a written language, did you know that?) a humongousfungus, Hercule Poirot and the cave paintings of Lascaux. Trash Empathy is ameditation on trash that takes us by turns though the perils of acquiring“stuff”, eating peas, trash-picking, and public school funding. The Road toYagul is a brief travelogue that can’t be faulted for its ability to convey thewriter’s deeply felt sense of awe, but the descriptions get a bit empurpled.Most travel experiences simply don’t translate well onto the page, especiallythe profound ones. I know I have an unhealthy obsession with 35mm, but I wasdesperate to see the photos.
FertileGround Issue 3
2084Court Avenue, Memphis TN 38104
This isa mama-zine containing some good, solid essays on the experience of parenting.It’s a bit sad that in 2003 we still need essays redefining a mother’s role andaffirming that being a stay at home mother is a job in its own right; but weabsolutely DO, because the prejudice and bullshit are still pounding mothersfrom all sides and the essays in this issue provide a vigorous antidote to discouragement.Ashley Harper writes a warm and wry essay about the fine line between raisingan eco-warrior and an eco-neurotic, and the inevitable crossover between thetwo. In Unbirth Stacey Greenberg writes honestly, and with heart-breakingdetail, about the loss of her unborn son, Yoshi. It’s a very moving,well-written essay, and I hope I won’t sound patronizing if I applaud herbravery in writing it.
LoneStar Ma Winter 2003
PO Box3096, Corpus Christi, Texas 78463
Thisissue of the progressive parenting zine covers numerous topics ranging from thepleasures of helping others to the difficulties of raising a child’sself-esteem. You’ll find essays on the attempts of the medical profession todiscredit midwifery practices, a mother’s growing confidence in breastfeedingher son in public, and a review of radical action grrl figure, Feral Cheryl.Lindsey Rock, (Where is My Mind? Zine) writes about the lack of medical supportshe received for her decision to remain med free. A nicely rounded zine, withlots of info that will be particularly useful for first time parents.
Off MyJammy #15
$1.50;PO Box 440422, Somerville MA 02144
OMJ #15is subtitled “The gently used issue” and, as you might expect, the essays arelinked by the common theme of recycling. Lisa takes this simple theme, however,and runs amok with it. I’m so impressed by the way she has woven togetherelements like a tiny interview with Dorothy Hui, winner of The Mole 2, (and acreative tooth brusher if ever there was one!), Glad Rags reusable menstrualpads, the wardrobe preferences of Canadian sister-singers Tegan and Sara,activism against the marketing abomination of AOL cd-roms and punk rockaerobics. I like zines like this one where I pick up on the writer’s ownenthusiasm as I read it.
TheEast Village Inky #19
$2; POBox 22754, Brooklyn NY 11202
(with 4pages reprint redux from #2)
EVI #19brings us more of Ayun’s excellent one-liners, and insights on life as aparent. This issue leads us throughsuch nuggets of parenting life as attending the NYC Peace March en famille insub-zero weather, taking part in the G.I. Joe Easter Basket protest, watchingfreaky marionettes standing with their booties out, and the flood of memories unleashedon Ayun whilst watching Paul Newman perform in Our Town.
$5 from9th Time Press, PO Box 4803, Baltimore MD 21211
Thissuper-thick zine is a compilation of writings by some 30 ziner mothers. A verydiverse, stereotype-debunking crowd, we were given one jumping off point –Birth – and came up with 132 pages. The essays provide testimony to just howmuch thought, effort and passion goes into raising children. (Children who willbe adults when you are old and maybe in need of care and compassion, whichshould be food for thought.) Mamaphiles contains tales of activism, birthstories, facing down bureaucrats, putting down old baggage, hope for the futureand remembrances of time past. There are zine creation stories, poems, andthoughts on being a mother manqué. Itis one powerful mother of a zine.
KateHaas, 3510 SE Alder St.
Heythere, it’s Kate of Miranda, taking a break from the adventures of motherhoodto bring you a few hastily written zine reviews. I told Davida that sure, noproblem, I could still chase after an active toddler, nurse a new baby, writemy zine, work on my book and keep reviewing for this fine publication, and Idid it, but - whew! Not too dizzy? Get the whole inside scoop in the latestissue of Miranda: motherhood and other adventures. A little anti-warprotesting, a birth story, keeping the peace at home, book reviews, a recipe,and the continuing stray thoughts of a stay-at-home-mother are all yours for $2to 3510 SE Alder St. Portland OR 97214; www.mirandazine.com
Ifperzines are your style, here’s a new one that I think you’ll like. Malindawrites about her recent move to Texas with her partner, Sean. The idea ofrelocating to TX gives me the shivers, but Malinda is objective and observantabout the new and strange environment. Cacti, cattle lots, dead armadillos,cowboys, conservatives, and a dearth of vegans are among the features of hernew home. She also writes of being a new bike commuter, (“I couldn’t believethat I was one of those freaks in spandex…”), her job for a housecleaningconglomerate, and the thought processes involved in her decision to go back toschool. Grackle is a thoughtful, thought-provoking read, well worth your time.(And I’d say so even if Malinda and Sean hadn’t brought us those snazzycowboy-themed cloth napkins when they stayed with us for the PDX Zine fest!)
$1 ortrade to Malinda, 1703 Southwest Pkwy, Wichita Falls, TX 76302
Juniein Georgia/Ghana #12
Thisone’s a real charmer! As the title implies, Julie is usually to be found inGeorgia, but has relocated to Ghana for awhile with her Jesus-look-alikeboyfriend while he does research for a dissertation. GiG is packed with funnydrawings and hilarious descriptions of life in Accra: there’s the drivers(crazy), poverty (pervasive), weather (excruciatingly hot), and urban fauna(chickens, sheep goats, and pigs in the streets). Julie gives us somebackground information on the history of Ghana, tells what it’s like to be awhite person in Africa, interprets the language of taxi honking, describeslocal cuisine, and offers a language lesson in Twi. This review barelyscratches the surface of this extensive zine, so put $2 in the mail and learnthe (puzzlingly mild) meaning of wo ye kwasea, the most offensive comment youcan make to a Ghanaian!
$2 toJunie in Georgia c/o Julie Dorn, P.O. Box 438, Avondale Estates, GA 30002;firstname.lastname@example.org
TheEast Village Inky #20
Ifyou’ve never gotten your mitts on a copy of EVI, you’ve been missing out onlots of fun. Ayun’s continuing chronicles of life in Brooklyn with her wackykids and writer husband feature lots of funny drawings, and some of the mostentertaining writing you’ll find in a zine. In this issue we get birthdayparties past and present, expeditions to some of the off-beat,non-English-speaking, and/or just plain mysterious stores in the neighborhood,and a very long, circuitous (in the best possible way) story about and recipefor Italian Zucchini Crescent Pie. I especially liked the drawing of young Milopushing up his father’s shirt with a maniacal, “I nurse you, Daddy, ha ha,”which I certainly hope would be just as funny to me if I didn’t have childrenof my own. Plus zine, movie and book reviews.
$2 toAyun Halliday PO Box 22754 Brooklyn NY 11202
Levity:a ped xing comic
Thisone’s the result of a story idea that’s been bouncing around Androo’s brain foryears. He admits that it didn’t come out exactly as envisioned, but the storyhad to be told. The comic is the perfect form for this mysterious andintriguing tale of an alternative Wild West where poetry holds sway (but “NoFree Verse” signs abound), clowns live on reservations, and a bird named Twasbrilligis a main character. Haunting drawings, dreams, poetry and literary referencescollide in this latest Ped Xing offering.
$?Androo Robinson, 2000 NE 42nd Ave. #303, Portland OR 97213
a mamazine collaboration
Thirty-threemothers who make zines (betcha didn’t know there were that many of us!)collaborated to put together this anthology of our writing. The theme, “birth,”has been interpreted in a variety of ways; you’ll read about the birth ofchildren, zines, of ourselves as mothers, and of our political consciousness.There are essays by writers you may have heard of (Ariel Gore, Ayun Halliday,Bee Lavender) and by less familiar names, and the writing ranges from comicalto melancholy to exhilarated. The spectrum of voices, experiences, and writingstyles in MamaPhiles is wildly divergent (sample essay titles: ChildbirthVirgin, The Birth of a Radical Mama, A Tale of Two Section, Stateless), yet thewriters are united by the true passion they bring to these accounts of birthand parenthood.
$5 (at132 pages, it’s worth it) to: PO Box 4803, Baltimore MD 21211
Flankedby those ubiquitous and annoying “ironic” photos of ‘50s scientists, this zinecontains essays on “Life: where is it and what is it?”. There may be some substanceto it; if so, it’s thoroughly buried in the dense, sludge-like writing. But youdecide: “If all life is 4 options of energy moderation - then this basicknowledge will be known by any advanced civilization. That also means they knowhow to resolve repressed conflicts connected with the 4 options. That in turnmeans they have eliminated repressed mostly male, rage.” If the foregoinginspires you to shouts of “Eureka!” instead of a mutters of, “Huh?” then you’vefound what you’re looking for.
Free from:Tom Hendricks, 4000 Hawthorne #5, Dallas TX 75219
#50157WSCC, POB 7007
CarsonCity, NV 89702
(Pleasewrite before sending your zine)
FanoramaSociety Global Headquarters
109Arnold Ave., Cranston, RI 02905
Aloha,Zine Friends. Things have been strange in Prisoney Land these past few months.Many changes—some good, some not, some personal, some not. Too much to listhere, for sure. Drop me a line and I’ll tell you all about it. DOUBLEUNDERGROUND #2 has been delayed, but it’ll be out soon. The big news: I go tothe parole board this month (October) and there’s a chance, a 50/50 chance,they’ll let me out of this hole in February, 2004. I’m not holding my breath,but I’m keeping my fingers crossed—after eight years, it’s difficult to thinkof much else. Thanks to all you who wrote and sent zines. Your words are alwayswelcome and appreciated. Well, time for the reviews. Hope you enjoy them.
WIENERSOCIETY #7: “Sick.”
A raw,honest, emotionally intense prisoner zine by Neil Wiener. This is the realthing, zine friends, the truth about prison and the toll it exacts on even themost durable of human hearts. Neil’s been doing time in a California joint fora few years now and was recently diagnosed with hepatitis C (HCV). The diseaseis as common as the common cold in America’s gulags and, of course, far
Hiswriting is clear and strong and, through the worst life can throw at him, hiswit and eye for detail remain sharp:
Thezine opens with young Neil at a wild house party. He seeks refuge in a darkenedbedroom but is soon joined by a crusty girl-punk. She shoots him up with coke—hisfirst IV injection. Crazed Sex follows, of course (XXX Rated), and Neil ishooked. It leads him to a life of drugs and prostitution and, eventually, toprison and HCV. It’s an old story, yes, but told with rare honesty, emotion,and skill. Don’t miss this one.
WienerSociety, 109 Arnold Ave, Cranston, RI 02905
$3/bomb ass trades/free to prisoners/60 ppg./half-standard.
GREENANARCHY #13: “An Anti-Civilization Quarterly”
Whathappens when a bunch of Pseudo-intellectual computer dorks decide to goprimitive? They put out a zine, of course, in which they discuss goingprimitive—primitive as in poking animals to death with pointy sticks andgrubbing for roots and such. They’d like to do it for real, but, unfortunately,their brave dream of quiet tribal evenings around the cave-fire for allhumankind can not be realized until the entire civilized world closes shop andjoins them, or drops dead. To that end, they write and distribute this zine,imploring radicals everywhere to destroy the schools, bomb the TV stations,burn the SUVs, free the minks, and assassinate all the religious, business, andpolitical leaders. It’s a risky mission, but the compu-dorks are clever; theywrite in anarchist code:
Situationisttheory, as integral critique of the totality of the conditions of survival andof the mercantile-spectacular capitalism that necessitates them, has beenconfirmed in events by falsification.
Translation:Slap me/you sexy mink. (I could be wrong. It’s a tricky code.) GA is a huge,professionally produced newsprint zine with a quarterly press run of 5,500—butfigure half the subscribers are local, state, and federal domestic-terrorismpolice. The illustrations are provocative and the ideas expressed are nothingless than astounding. The writers are clearly insane, which makes for afrightening yet fascinating read. Still, I’m a little hesitant to recommend itbecause a few gullible readers out there might be lured to the dark side withpromises of rent-free housing for all and a mink on every spear.
GreenAnarchy,POB 11331, Eugene, OR 97440
“ASkeptical Journal of Philosophy and Politics.” Was Jesus an anarchist? IsZerzan a crackpot? Is Noam Chomsky wrong? Is there a God? John Johnson answersall these questions and more. He also devotes many pages of this zine tobashing the world’s religions—seems he has a personal score to settle with theMormons in particular. And he does it all in the name of the one, trueanarchism. Which anarchism is that? Who’s definition is correct? Well, John’s,I’d imagine, but he doesn’t really go into that. He focuses instead on who’swrong and on which practices and beliefs are not anarchist—and covers a hugeamount of ground in the process. Of all the anarchist zines I’ve read
$3.50in stores/free from publisher/please donate/68ppg./half-standard
Writtenby Kitty, the cat for felines everywhere, previously “disgruntled by the lackof cat coverage.” No, Kitty didn’t do the actual typing and stuff. She’s a cat!Cats dictate, which is the natural order of things—as any two-legged catservant will tell you. (Show me an anarchist who loves a cat, and I’ll show youa very confused human. - Catfucius) Kitty’s mom-servant, Daina, does all thezine dirty work, which I imagine is quite an honor, considering the level ofsheer cat genius that went into this thing. It’s loaded with cat tales, catcomics, cat profiles, cat antics, cat snapshots, cat houses, cat toys, and catpotty humor. And that’s not all. For the mature feline, there’s kitty porn (isthat legal?), kitty fetishes revealed, daring kitty clothing fashions, and aheartbreaking expose on catnip addiction—Kitty’s first home was a drug house!If you live with a cat, KITTY! is a must. Oh, KITTY! comes with a pulloutcenter-fold of “Cat Facts & Fun” and a full-size, four-page review zineentitled KITTY RECOMMENDS...Get it! Kitty writes like a pro. Meow.
DainaMold, POB 6681, Portsmouth, NH 03802
JoeUnseen is a patriot. He believes in voting, demonstrating, and writing lettersto politicians. He thinks George II is a scoundrel, a liar, a murderer, and agoofus—among other things— and that his duty as an American includes fightingthe president’s policies by any means legal, even if it means putting himselfin danger. And put himself in danger he does. There are several decent essaysin this zine, some by contributors, but the one about Joe crashing a pro-warrally is the strongest. Joe Unseen is the only anti-war demonstrator to show upat the rally. On his sign are the slogans “Support the Troops, Bring Them Home”and “Thou Shall Not Kill!” Because of this he is heckled, corralled, andthreatened with violence. Does Joe back down? No! Joe Unseen is a true Americanhero. Order his zine. Next issue he’s reviewing 100 public restrooms.
ModernArizona, POB 494, Brewster, NY 10509
SECRETMYSTERY LOVE SHOES #4
Mariaand Androo strike again with their all-too-perfect perzine. Not since Adam andEve has the world bore witness to such blatant premarital bliss. At first I wascharmed by this masterful mini-zine—fooled! But as I reread it, employing myhighly developed Reviewer’s Intuition, an insidious design grew evident betweenthe lines, a plot; a secret mystery love plot, if you will, in quiet shoes(“like velvet hooves” pg.18). First, in a cryptic dispatch disguised as a comic(pg.17), Androo takes delivery of a “red marching-bandjacket, sent to him by amysterious operative known only as “Z”. Strangely, the jacket somehow attractshomeless people. In another essay, wherein our perfect couple patronize theballet (pgs.33-36), Maria further touts the jacket’s powers: “[It] causes[Androo] to be mistaken for a doorman, an usher, a Mountie, or a member of Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band...He’s been saluted. He’s gotten complimentsgalore.” What he’s really gotten, zine allies isfollowers, and what he reallylooks like in the jacket is a Salvation Army renegade: “Kindness here! Nostrings attached! That’s right, old-timer, you can keep your soul!” No wonderthe poor love him. Jump ahead to the burrito recipe (pg.41). Androo makes manyultra cheap, ultra tasty burritos, then rides his bicycle through town (hisbicycle!) and gives them to whoever looks hungry. “What if you started doingthis?” he asks, “What if all your friends did?” What if, indeed, as if hedoesn’t know. Meanwhile, Agent Z searches obscure music archives in a misguidedbid to bring back the “crazily happy” songs of a bygone era (Pg. 21-22). But towhat end? It soon becomes clear…with The Bugs. The sky rains fire on the MiddleEast while terror reigns at home, but Maria wants the world to believe there’sa greater threat to humankind, lurking in every garden, under every bed, andyes, even in the ice cream. Drawings of killer, mutant bugs spread across thezine’s pages like enemy artillery stats. If Maria can convince the world thecreatures are real, wars will end as the people join forces against the buzzingand crawling killers. It’s the old false-threat ploy! Clearly now you can seethat Androo and Maria intend to overthrow the status quo and create a Planet ofEden. And if we allow them to persist, the streets will soon swarm with“Sergeant Salvations,” their hands thrust high, forming the Burrito Fist of therevolution. Only happy songs will blare from the amps of the “New Punks,” angstand despair being forgotten tunes of the past. And on the sidelines, thesparkling heroes of the Bug Brigades will stand ever ready to battle an enemywho doesn’t exist. It’s sickening! It’s sappy! It’s dangerous! But we can stopit, zine allies. History has shown us the way. Pick your most tempting applepie recipe and send it to Maria today. Because only The Apple can save us now.
SMLS,2000 NE 42nd Ave. #303, Portland, OR 97213
As of2004, Gavin J. Grant is hoping to put out his zine, Lady Churchill’s RosebudWristlet (www.lcrw.net/ lcrw), thrice a year. His pretend job, Small BeerPress, just published two books, a short story anthology, Trampoline (edited byKelly Link) and an amazing Argentinean novel, Kalpa Imperial: the greatestempire that never was by Angelica Gorodischer (translated by Ursula K. LeGuin).
Forsome reason Joe is feeling unhappy. Could it be the Party in Power? Surely noone is unsatisfied with The Grand Old ‘Publicans? Uh, right. Joe attends aSupport Our Troops rally (with a peace sign) and is surprised to find the lawon his side — a nice change. Otherwheres Joe considers a church with aSupporting Our Troops sign, recommends the Swingline Long Reach Stapler (downboy, down!), and generally gets across his unhappiness with the currentpolitical climate. Man can use a photocopier, too. Comes with mini withpictures of the Presidential Halfwit with various appropriate titles.
No. 3,$1/trade, half-letter, 24pp., Joe Unseen, POB 494, Brewster, NY 10509
Argh!Freaky letter-sized cover on legal-sized paper. And color, and, and....whoa:interesting. Sunshine Capital is a geography trip for the zinester’s soul (isthat breaking a trademark rule?). There are persuasive (if you’re feelinglight-footed) pieces on moving to Connecticut, living in Tucson (it’s got tworivers — but also too many old people), Minnesota in February (brr), and somesketches of Texas (which may or may not inspire you to travel there). Travisalso does a few comics (“Great Moment in Travis Klein History” &c.) andthen launches into a great piece on uniforms and cultures and whoo’s dissingwho which has enough smarts to launch more than a few arguments. Alsoappreciated the Hints for the Plains Traveller (circa 1877).
No. 3,$1/trade, half-legal, 24pp., Travis Klein, Sunshine Capital, POB 12171, Tucson,AZ 85732
YourKisses are Like Metallic Squirrel Droppings
How oddto read through this and discover the following three things: 1) Some of these“stupid, masochistic love poems” have been published before; 2) these are notmy cup of tea; and 3) Stephanie is the talent behind The Cheap Vegan, a monthlyzine I can’t keep up with but find very good reading. So. If poetry is thy bag,and if you’re reading this zine, it may be, and you like parody (there’s a lothere), send along your two dollars and you’ll be justly rewarded.
No. 1,$2, quarter-letter, 38pp., Stephanie Scarborough, POB 715, Weatherford, TX76086
TheRabbit Fodder Addict
Seeabove. Silly me: 20 great-looking recipes and I have in the past month not gotaround to trying any of them. Vegan food for all. Take one, pass it on.
No. 1,March 2003, $1, quarter-letter, 24pp., Stephanie Scarborough, POB 715,Weatherford, TX 76086
TenthAnniversary! That’s a long time for anything never mind a mostly-poetry zine.Was it worth it? Sure. English and Spanish poetry, erotica, memoir, dreamjournal entries, recommended reading lists (hmm, liked that, wonder about that,hmm) and more all in a nice clear design which gives more than enough space forthe writing to breathe.
No. 35,March 2003, $4/free to prisoners, half-letter, 24pp., Donny Smith, POB 411,Swarthmore, PA 19081
Inspiredby a Polish form, this is an excellent use of the (English) alphabet as anorganizing tool. Brant manages to carry it all the way through (with wonderfulasides for book and movies reviews) from A (choosing an alphabet) to Z(anti-whispering and dating car ads by their soundtracks). There’s onealphabetic finagle when Western New York is slotted in under N so that W can bededicated to “Tennessee Williams’ Plays in the Movies.” Yup, early coothood isupon you, Brant, and it’s a wonderful thing.
No. 50,May 2003, $2/trade, letter, 18pp., Brant Kresovich, PO Box 404, Getzville, NY14068-0404, email@example.com
Perzine.Sarah wonders about growing up: about her friends growing up faster ordifferently from her; about her dad and being and not-being like him; about themusic she loves and why and how it changes and is it/was it all about thefashion, anyway? Is zine-making a fashion? Fashion is hard work, and so arezines. There are fashion disasters and zine disasters (this isn’t one). Arethere zine victims? Are there zine walkways? Glossy Fall Zine Issues? It allfalls apart. Which brings it back to Compost, where things are tossed away, yetnever go away, and later, they can be used for something else.
No. 8,stamps/trade, quarter-letter, 28pp., Sarah, 664 Long Valley Rd., Gardnerville,NV 89460 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercuryreads 92 degrees on a cool day in South Texas. Wearing sweaters and drinkingGuinness anyway. It’s October and tomatoes are blooming with July’s sweetness.Life is good, bad and ugly. Drop me a line if you wish:email@example.com.
Don’tbe a chicken: Try you idiot issue #2 (Check out Nate Gangelhoff’s guile atwww.pickyourpoison.net or send a SASE to PO Box 8995 Minneapolis, MN 55408; $1per issue; past issues available; 43 pages, digest)
SecretMystery Love Shoes #4 (2000 NE 42 Ave. #303 Portland, Or 97213; $2 per issue ortrade; 42 pages, digest)
IfHeloise were to sprout lovely, little stories and dainty comics the end resultwould be Secret Mystery Love Shoes. It’s like receiving a charming letter froma friend about her first trip to the ballet, a trove of time-honored (move overMartha!) tips for doing laundry and treating any sort of bug bite known to man.And Secret Mystery Love Shoes becomes interactive with a point-by-point craftproject (how fitting!). This issue’s mission: feed homeless and hungry saddledalong your commute burritos while peddling to work. There is a spot of supersweet lover’s banter (a note to recently broken-hearted.) But thephilanthropist spirit and clear voices carry through, making it a lovely,cottage read.
Brooklyn#41 (1800 Parkway #B-12 Brooklyn, NY 11223-3037; $10 subcription for fourquarterly issues, cash preferred/check/m.o. payable to Fred Argoff; 22 pages,digest)
Somethingold, something new, something borrowed and something blue. You can find it allin Fred Argoff’s unfolding love letter to Brooklyn. It’s the kind of pocketzine you can use on a cheap date or for a walking tour of Brooklyn. The cornerArgoff visits this turn is Bergen Beach. How to get there? Catch the B3 onAvenue U, turning off at East 73rd St. to Avenue X. Every issue offers a primerof Brooklyn vocabulary. Some is a bit rudimentary; other snippets could helpseason a new city slicker or those of us who admire the shimmer of city lightsfrom afar.
As amisplaced Texan enduring the shock of changes in this vast terrain myself, Ican say that “Thoughtworm ” is an honest account that provides a spot ofcommunity even if you believe no such thing exists. I couldn’t put it down andeven took it to a dinner with friends who shared similar sentiments of the riseand fall of emotions associated with finding a sense of place on a rural Texasplain. Even if you are thousands of miles away from Texas, this is a good zineto curl up with and sort through your own sense of place. As for those Texans,just throw back your head, wear your shiny belt buckle and laugh right alongwith everyone else. When they say it’s like a whole other country, it’s nojoke.
PO Box963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Thelack of mass transit in my life is killing me. I have so little time toread…and too much time to think. Commuting by car sucks. I am also so farbehind answering my mail that I am waiting for a 47” blizzard to get caught up.If I owe you a letter - I’m sorry. If Iowe you a trade (Leeking Ink #27 was the last issue), please get in touch. I’mstill working on the next issue of Leeking Ink, which will explain a few of thereasons my schedule has been thrown for a loop. Oh, and for what it is worth,Leeking Ink was voted Best Zine in Baltimore, by City Paper(http://bob.citypaper.com/bob2003/story.asp?id=1260)
AmericanLibraries (Dwan #38)
One ofthe basic zine ethos is – if there is a void, fill it. Donny has created astand-alone issue of Dwan in the spirit of Alternative Library Literature, onlywith his own fine editorial style. As he says, “It will bring you some funlibrarianly reading” and it does. He interviews the former editors ofAlternative Library Literature, reprints several library-related articles fromzines and websites, and even offers a contact list of other library workerzinesters and others with librarianly tendencies. Highly recommended.
$1/Prisoners-freein exchange for letter/20pgs/digest
Poetry,though less and less with each issue. Donny includes his diaries and lettersfrom friends. Always an inspiration.
SASE/Prisoners-free in exchange for letter/16pgs/digest
PO Box411, Swarthmore, PA 19081
Fromthe heart of the middle-class I stab at thee…
Newzines start with flutter and hope, and if everything goes well they takeflight. BOB is just starting to get off the ground. It has too much to say andnot enough to say, but that is the heart of first zines. Bob strikes at sodaand Britney, college educations, and “the cult of eBay.” Nicely designed.
OuthousePublishing, Bob Sheairs
30Locust Ave., Westmont, NJ 08108
“HobnailPress is an independent, not-for-profit, small press publishing initiative. Ourpublishing is based on the Orwellian tenet, that, in a time of deceit, tellingthe truth is a revolutionary act.” This is a little like a British version ofOut of the Blue, with a nod to THE Free Press Death Ship. There are bookreviews, articles, zine reviews, poetry, comics, and more. A tad pricey forthose outside the UK.
Sample£3 ($6)/26pgs/full-sized (A4)
PO Box44122, London, SW6 7XL UK
I darednot get my hopes up, but yes it is true, Infiltration is back on a regularschedule. I daydream about traveling damn near everyday. I’m always takingtrips halfway across the world, across country, and a few states away in mymind. Then I read Infiltration and realize how much there is under my feet andbehind nearby locked doors to explore. In this issue Ninj focuses on his tunnelquestfor the steam tunnels under the University of Toronto. He finds far more thanjust the steam tunnels and takes readers along on his adventures.
PO Box13 Station E, Toronto, ON M6H 4E1 Canada
LadyChurchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #12
I thinkthis is by far the best issue of LCRW yet, and trust me, based on past issuesthat is saying something. The first story, “Happier Days,” was entertaining andwell-crafted, but the next one, “Bay,” now ranks as one of my favorite shortstories. It starts as a simple conversation at a bar and goes where only goodfiction can. Gavin has an exceptional stable of writers, impeccable (yet fun)design skills, and that “magic” that pulls it all together. Recommended.
176Prospect Ave., Northampton, MA 01060
Motherhoodand Other Adventures
Strangely,I made Kate’s recipe for “the best peanut sauce ever” three times before Iactually sat down to read the zine. It was every bit as satisfying as thesauce. There are zines and there are mama-zines and somehow Kate bridges thatgap with unmatched grace. Motherhood hasn’t changed Kate’s skill as a writer;it has only given her new material. She discusses the birth of her second childand the showdown between good and evil midwives. Instead of just detailingattending anti-war protests with her kids, she parallels her own struggled withdomestic conflict. Her “Motel of Lost Companions” is always a favorite. I havea whole apartment complex of full them and it is good to hear there are othersout there.
3510 SEAlder St., Portland, OR 97214
APublications Celebrating the Lost Art of Letter Writing
I readthis around the time hurricane Isabel hit the east coast. I found the lettersbetween Fred Argoff, who just got his first home computer, and DB Pedlar, whohas one but feels it is a time-vampire, particularly striking as the stormknocked out my Internet service. I did have more time to cook, watch movies,and talk to people. However, I was unable to look up some of the random minutiathat I live for. Reading their correspondence did make me more conscious of thetime I waste on the computer. If you enjoy reading other people’s letters, youwill enjoy this.
225727Cherry Hill Rd., Cambridge Springs, PA 16403; firstname.lastname@example.org
I hadjust picked up a week’s worth of mail, and somehow SemiBold slithered to thetop of the stack and demanded attention. I was sitting under a tree beingattacked by bugs and waiting for the next football team to show up so I couldget back to work. Regardless, I found my attention focused on Kathy’s shatteredelbow, unexpected kittens born on her dining room chair, a trip to California,and scary neighbors. A classic per-zine.
1573 N.Milwaukee Ave., #403, Chicago, IL 60622; email@example.com
I hadsadly assumed that Saucemaster disappeared into zine limbo a few years ago.This was a special treat in my mailbox. He originally published Spain a 1997.He ended up reworking this travel narrative in both design and content. Even ifyou read Spain years ago, this is a whole new look at the same story.
PO Box55110, Atlanta, GA 30308
For theClerisy #51 July 2003
Likethe proverbial water cooler for zinester chats about books, yoga, movies, andmore.
PO Box404, Getzville, NY 14068
Malindahas been involved in zines for ten years, but has only now published herattempt. She takes an approach I really enjoy – a per-zine in the form of anopen letter. A stellar debut.
1703Southwest Pkwy., Wichita Falls, TX 76302; firstname.lastname@example.org;
FlabbergastedEmus #5 & 6
Thelatest installments of Wred’s madcap serial novel. I’ve reviewed this onebefore, so I’ll just say again, fun stuff – get it.
PO Box770984, Lakewood, OH 44107
I’vealways prided myself on my covers, but Sean (and Malinda who created thesilkscreen) have raised the bar. I always enjoy reading what’s on Sean’s mind.
$2 orarranged trades/24pgs/digest
1703Southwest Pkwy., Wichita Falls, TX 76302; email@example.com;