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Xerography Debt #19

Xerography Debt
Issue #19
April 2006

Davida Gypsy Breier, Editor

Donny Smith, Editor

Fred Argoff, Eric Lyden, & Bobby Tran Dale, Founding Reviewers

Davida Gypsy Breier, Noemi Martinez, Miriam DesHarnais, Stephanie Holmes, Dan Taylor, Anne Thalheimer, Brooke Young, Eric Lyden, Julie Dorn, Fred Argoff, Gavin Grant, Fran McMillian, Maynard Welstand, Matt Fagan, Kathy Moseley, Reviewers

Front Cover Art: Bobby Tran Dale
Back Cover Art: William P. Tandy
Layout and Design: Kathy Moseley

Xerography Debt Support Staff: Julie Dorn Eric Lyden Stephanie Holmes Noemi Martinez Fran McMillian

Xerography Debt is a Leeking Inc., publication. It is scheduled to appear 3 times a year. Issues are $3. Send cash/stamps, zines, and correspondence to: Xerography Debt
Davida Gypsy Breier
PO Box 347
Glen Arm, MD
21057 USA

E-mail: davida@leekinginc.com
Website: www.leekinginc.com
© April 2006

To order a paper copy of this issue, please send $3 (cash, stamps, money order, or check) to Davida Gypsy Breier
PO Box 347
Glen Arm, MD
21057 USA

Distribution: Atomic Books, Quimby’s, SoberBrothers.com, Stickfigure Distro, and Le Petit Marakkesh Distro

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Basic Stuff You Should Know
  • Announcements

  • "Mail Art" By GIanni Simone
  • "It Means It's Wank" By Jeff Somers

    The Reviews
  • Reviews by Davida Gypsy Breier
  • Reviews by Noemi Martinez
  • Reviews by Miriam DesHarnais
  • Reviews by Stephanie Holmes
  • Reviews by Dan Taylor
  • Reviews by Anne Thalheimer
  • Reviews by Brooke Young
  • Reviews by Eric Lyden
  • Reviews by Julie Dorn
  • Reviews by Fred Argoff
  • Reviews by Gavin J. Grant
  • Reviews by Franetta McMillian
  • Reviews by Maynard Welstand
  • Reviews by Matt Fagan
  • Reviews by Kathy Moseley
  • Cover by Bobby Tran Dale


Welcome to the ever evolving Xerography Debt. As many of you read in the last issue, the future of XD was uncertain as I embarked on a little ‘ol life change known as motherhood. Many of the reviewers stepped up and volunteered to help take over many of the tasks I had managed on my own or with Donny Smith’s help over the last 6+ years. This issue more than any previous lives up to the “for the people, by the people” creed that XD follows.

I want to publicly thank Julie Dorn, Eric Lyden, Kathy Moseley, Stephanie Holmes, Noemi Martinez, and Fran McMillian. They are the reason you are holding this issue in your hands (or reading it online). They deserve a huge round of paper applause.

It is a time of flux with XD, but also an opportunity to shake things up for the better. If you are interested in reviewing or writing a column, please get in touch.

My existence the last several weeks has involved, “Oh, it is light out, oh it is dark out, oh, it is light out…”), so I don’t particularly have anything edifying to say this time. Better luck next time….

Davida Gypsy Breier

March 2006


*Basic Stuff You Should Know *

If this is your first issue, XEROGRAPHY DEBT is a review zine for zine readers

by zine writers. It is a hybrid of review zine and personal zine. XEROGRAPHY DEBT has its own freestyle approach. It is all about communication, so each reviewer has used the format or style most comfortable to him or her. Also, each reviewer “owns” the zine in a communal sense. We are individual artists and writers coming together to collaborate and help keep small press flourishing.

Do your part by ordering a few zines from the many reviewed here and, if you self-publish, please consider including some reviews in your zine.

XEROGRAPHY DEBT’S reviews are selective. To explain the “system”: Some reviewers choose to review zines they have bought or traded with, some review zines that are sent to XEROGRAPHY DEBT for review, and some do both. Also, I buy zines at Atomic Books (my local zine store), as well as zine events, so if you see your zine reviewed and you didn’t send it in, that might be where I found it. Generally the only reviews you will read in here are “good reviews.” Constructive criticism is given, but basically we don’t have the time or money to print bad reviews. If you sent your zine in for review and don’t see it listed, wait a few months and see if it appears in the following issue. I read and then distribute the zines to the reviewers about two months before the print date. If the reviewer passed on reviewing your zine, it will be sent out again for the next issue. So, each zine gets two shots with two different reviewers.

Ultimately, many of the review copies stay in the XD archives, but some are donated to zine libraries. Occasionally mistakes happen, postal or otherwise, so if you have a question about a zine you sent in for review, please contact Davida at PO Box 11064, Baltimore, MD 21212 or davida@leekinginc.com. XD is available for free online (some reviews and artwork will only be available in print) or paper copies can be ordered for $3.

If you have an event, announcement, or project you would like to share, please get in touch. The lack of paid advertising within these pages is deliberate. Despite reviewing our friends and lovers, we try to be somewhat objective and free to do as we please. Needless to say, this brings up the point of needing some help to keep the machine running...


We see XEROGRAPHY DEBT as the PBS of review zines. It is by us, for us, with no financial incentive - just a dedication to small press. If you have a few spare stamps or dollar bills to help support us and the zine community, it would be most appreciated. Also, let me know if you wish to remain anonymous.

This issue's sponsors are:

Darlene Veverka, DB Pedlar, Christopher Robin, Fred Wright, Brooke Young and the Salt Lake City Zine Library, Stephanie Holmes, Julie Dorn, and several anonymous benefactors.


The Fifth Annual Brooklyn Alternative Small Press Fair will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2006 from 10 to 4 at Camp Friendship, 339 Eighth Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn. We're seeking participants and additional sponsors (The Brooklyn Arts Council is an event sponsor for the third year in a row!). The Brooklyn Alternative Small Press Fair is a six-hour event where local (and often not so local) small presses, publishers, poets and writers who have created distinctive and unique publications, recordings and electronic presentations exhibit their work and information about their organizations, and participants perform samples of  their work live. The goals of the event are to provide a marketplace; to increase public awareness of the high quality and diversity of contemporary small press publishing, and to provide an opportunity for networking with the public as well as with others in the local literary community. The participant fee is $10. Reserve your space soon - the deadline is April 30, 2006, and space is limited. Participants with specific suggestions for added program features or goals (such as marketing strategies for small presses) are encouraged to become actively involved in the planning process now. See the website for more details:

www.geocities.com/emilybrooklyn/smallpressfair or phone 718-832-2310.


It is with great sadness that I have to report that Julie Bartel will no longer be associated with the Salt Lake City Public Library Zine collection. Her removal was not voluntary and both Julie and I feel that a horrible decision has been made by the administration of the library. Julie not being allowed to work on the zine collection is, quite frankly, a terrible blow for the future of the collection. As of right now, I am still ordering zines and making sure that things are running smoothly, but I fear that this will not last long. Julie is still currently working for the SLCPL, but she will no longer answer zine related email at work. She would love to talk about zines on her private email account, so feel free to email her at juliet@xmission.com.

If you have time or the inclination, please write to our director and express your concern over their decision to remove Julie from the zine collection:

Nancy Tessman

Salt Lake City Public Library

210 E 400 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Thanks for everyone's support over the years, we really, really appreciate it.

-Brooke Young




Much has happened since Hurricane Katrina. We're still living in Texas, temporarily, where we're teaching art at the University of North Texas. We plan to head back to New Orleans for good this coming May. Over our Winter break, we spent about a month in New Orleans cleaning up our house and studio. We got a lot of work done - we threw everything out, pressure washed and bleached the building inside and out, painted our metal shop to keep it from corroding, and cleaned and fixed what few things were salvageable. Much of our printing equipment was not salvageable, but some was. Our Vandercook is currently soaking in a thick coat of oil to keep it from rusting any further. We hope it can be rehabilitated, but we're not holding our breath. We have yet to receive anything from insurance or FEMA, but we're still holding out and waiting patiently. The ridiculous maze of bureaucracy and idiocy that we've been dealing with is crazy, overwhelming, and depressing. FEMA, insurance companies, and the city, state, and federal government are all a joke. If and when assistance comes from any of these sources: we hope to have our roof, electrical boxes, AC unit, and hot water heater replaced so that our home and studio will be habitable once again.

Hopefully this day will come sooner than later.

Despite the storm, Jenny and I have been very busy artistically for the past few months: Back in November we had a solo show, thanks to Rebekah Tolley, at Colby Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire called “A.R.M. (Art, Ready-to-Make)” which involved a performance where we handed out A.R.M.'s  (based on the M.R.E.’s handed out by the National Guard in New Orleans) to gallery viewers who were then left to use the supplies within the kits to make the work for the show.

Jenny worked her butt off applying for an emergency artist grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and she got it!

Kyle had one of his Punk Point patches appear in the recent issue of Bust magazine (the Feb/March issue, pg. 44).

We did a tag-team artist lecture at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, AL, thanks to Lydia Moyer.

We’re having work in a show called “Seppuku” in Tokyo, Japan at a place called the Irregular Rhythm Asylum.

We’re also showing a scaled down version of the A.R.M.’s in a show called “Debris” at the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, LA. The show runs Feb. 24-March 24 and the reception is Saturday, March 11, 2006 6-8pm.

Kyle’s book, Making Stuff and Doing Things, has sold out of its first printing and is headed to the printer for the second printing. Wanna buy it? Check



After more than five months of post-hurricane confusion, the Hot Iron Press catalog is once again open for business. Check out www.hotironpress.com/ catalog.htm to view our selection of affordably priced artists’ books, zines, comics, and more.


The Boston Skillshare is happening again this year, on April 29 & 30 at Simmons College, with tabling opportunities

for zinesters and even more awesome opportunities to attend and lead workshops. Check out www.bostonskillshare.org  for more info.

ZAP! 06


Zine-a-polooza! 2006 DIY Media Expo is being held again in Duluth, GA where zinesters, crafters, indie filmmakers, and small press studios will get together to network, trade, buy and sell their wares. This one day convention will be held on July 30th. Tables and vendor booths are still available cheaply. Admission price is $3. For any questions email us directly at postmaster@girafnetwork.org


Note: deadline for contribution has passed, but the zine sounds pretty cool. And it just might be a friendly Richmond-based companion to SLUG & LETTUCE.

If you are interested in contributing content for a zine focusing on experimental arts and noise music, which will be published by 804 NOISE, please keep reading.

We want you to design your own 8" x 5.5" page. It can be any thing: drawings, rants, essays, politics, reviews, live pictures, your top 20, etc. It can be cut and paste or graphic designed. If you don’t feel like you have enough content to fill a 8" x 5.5" page, you can just give us what you can and we’ll find a place for it. We welcome advertisements or propaganda from labels, collectives and artists. We’re going to try and fit as much of what has been sent in this zine as possible. So as long it is in good taste and doesn’t offend anyone based on sex, race, age, disabilities and sexual orientation, etc. You can send your content via email:  info804@804noise.org

snail mail: 804 NOISE/Zine / PO BOX 4296 / Richmond, VA 23220 or hand deliver it to us at an event or community meeting.



Mail Art

The Communication of Art or the Art of Communication?

A Conversation with Guido Vermeulen

by Gianni Simone


3-3-23 Nagatsuta

Midori-ku, Yokohama-shi

226-0027 Kanagawa-ken JAPAN


Gianni Simone:  I remember that when I joined the mail art network, in 1997, there were two main debates going on. One was about the growing role of the electronic media in the everyday correspondence among artists: some people argued that the days of the so-called “snail mail” were counted and eventually it would have been totally replaced by the e-mail. The other debate was even more ambitious in scope and concerned the very role of mail art at the end of the Millennium. It seems that every once in a while, someone decides that mail art is dead or about to die; that it has become an obsolete form of expression and it has betrayed its original values.

You have been mail arting for about 12 years now, and I am sure that in all this time, you have experienced many changes, both in your activity and the Network in general.

Guido Vermeulen: My own evolution reflects the debate in the network. I only started networking through Internet and email in 2001. It coincided with the first visit of Lavona Sherarts to Belgium. From 1993 to that period my own activities were limited to snail mail, if limited is a correct word to describe these activities. I watched and commented the existence of 3 groups.

The first one I call “purists”. Mail art is only possible by regular mail. Why? There is no real answer on that question but lots of fake arguments instead. Some people always argue about a definition of mail art. Definition here is understood only as a limiting and reductive principle. The reasoning you often hear is “yes, that’s nice but is it mail art?” Who cares! The declarations on “mail art is dead” are often linked to these narrowing definition obsessions. Mail art is dead when mail art does not correspond anymore to my idea of mail art or mail art is dead when I decided to quit because…  In both cases the megalomania of the ego is quite evident.

A second group of people dropped snail mail, embraced the computer and vanished as correspondents. I found this attitude bizarre, to say the least. Not everyone has a computer or Internet facilities. You have to possess the financial resources to make the step and acquire the knowledge to work with a PC and to solve a series of problems. I found the group of people who suddenly swore by the computer and the computer only quite elitist and in contradiction with the democratic aspect of mail art because mail art was and still is the most democratic form and movement of expression of art that has developed since modern art gave birth to the idea of “correspondence art”.

On an artistic level I am quite old-fashioned in the sense that I need a contact with the material(s) I use to express ideas or fantasies: working with real paint, ink, papers gives me a kick. Making art with a computer is quite sterile for me. You don’t have the same direct relation with the materials anymore. But I agree that others can have a kick from computer art. It’s just not my thing. This blocked me for a long time.

A third group was active in both PC and snail mail communication. The computer became an extension of mail art possibilities and networking. That seduced me and finally I made the investment and started networking with the PC as well. For me the aspect of communication was even more important than in regular mail art. This in a way is also how I altered my views on mail art in the last decade. I entered the mail art network as an artist (poet, painter, etcher, collagist) who spread around his artwork to others, to projects and to individual correspondents who became friends “on the road” of exchanges. What became more important were these exchanges and the fact that we could do things together and learn each other’s ideas and visions. What quickly became the main focus was how to expand this network and reach as many people as possible in all continents of the globe. Art was only a tool to reach others. So gradually I became a network artist and I saw mail art more as the art of communication than the communication of art. Of course this shift that happened during a decade of activities finally drove me to embrace computer technology as a tool of communication because it is faster and more efficient and wider than snail mail. Today I don’t talk about mail art anymore. I call it network art or networked art and you can do it with the PC, in the mail, or “live” (personal meetings and collaborations). I feel backed in this new perception of mail art by the recent publication by Craig J. Saper for instance. (*)

G.S.: I agree with your point of view. I must confess that I’m quite old-fashioned and for a long time I resisted the idea of embracing e-mail communication. But in 2002 I finally gave it a try and it proved decisive when I decided to devote an issue of my zine KAIRAN to the mail art scene in Latin America. In that occasion I had to face a number of problems that made me look at correspondence and communication with different eyes. For example, until recently I believed that the post was the cheapest and most democratic way of networking around the world. After all, as you pointed out above, not everybody can afford to buy a computer or has Internet access. But in working with the Latin American mail artists, I not only found out that most of these people worked with a computer every day, but that for many of them, the e-mail was the only feasible way to correspond frequently. The problem is, in many Central and South American countries, globalization has been a disaster and has badly damaged the lives of millions of people. As everybody knows, Argentina is the place that has suffered the most and one of the consequences of this economic debacle has been that even sending a letter abroad has become too expensive for most people. That is why in the recent years the usually massive Argentinean presence in the Network has been very limited and the e-mail has remained their only link with the world.

These recent developments highlight what I consider another “structural” problem of our Network, that has already been analysed in the last years, namely by Matt F. with his Dead White Mail project in 1999 (see www.spareroom.org/mailart/ mailart. html), The Sticker Dude (A Question of Balance, in KAIRAN 3, May 2001) and myself (A Question of Style?, in KAIRAN 4, Nov. 2001): the fact that even though it’s true, as you said, that mail art is the most democratic form of artistic expression, the theoretical openness of the Network clashes with a number of economic and cultural factors that prevent a greater number of people from participating. Indeed, it’s no mystery that mail art activity is concentrated in North America and Western Europe, while the African and Asian presence – with Japan as the only exception – is almost non-existent. The risk, therefore, is that the Network becomes a sort of golden ghetto for affluent people who want to “play the artist”.

In this respect, I find that the e-mail has the power and capability to break many barriers, e.g. helping mail art to reach out to other like-minded networks. I think that your recent participation in the World Peace Poem project and the launch of FRIOUR NETWORK MAGAZINE are a good example of the many options we have to expand our activity.

G.V.: The demand to help to develop a chain of poems against the war in Iraq was for me in fact also a first realization of the capacities of the email and Internet medium. The World Peace Poem came together quickly, on a few weeks time in fact. Tais Lintz, a Brazilian woman living in Canada, asked for my assistance and editing of the whole chain. I was amazed that we realized this within this time framework. The poems were published on websites in Germany and in Brazil. I found that this effort should be documented in a publication. Instead of making a single one I decided that this could be the start of a new network magazine. I was thinking about this for quite some time but felt unhappy that it would be limited to mail art.

Because the World Peace Poem was the result of the meeting of different networks  - mail art and poetry networks; art & peace networks; anti globalization networks - I suddenly saw the light. The zine would be a network magazine, the result of crossovers between different networks and a shared zine, meaning that several editors from these different network environments could make an issue around a theme. The email & Internet opened my eyes for all these possibilities and for all these different networks that are extremely active. This is another approach to globalization: against the economic globalization based on global exploitation of the planet we can put our own globalization, networks are spreading around like mushrooms, giving us information we are lacking in our media, spreading art and peace solutions around, calling for action based on information, supporting each other’s efforts and so on.

So often they say “Think global and act local”. Yes, sure, but act on a global scale as well. That’s becoming possible now because of all this email communication. The anti globalization (or other, different globalization) movement is a good example of this. The peace demonstrations, a few years ago, in which millions of people demonstrated the same weekend all over the world is another. That kind of coordination of efforts is impossible without the Internet and email communication. So suddenly I realized the potential. Yes, we can globalize too in opposition, in unity, in art, in peace, against those forces in the world who only want domination of the planet and create misery, war, exploitation, human rights violations to reach  their perfidy goals.

I was quite happy at last that I was able to communicate with people from Africa, from the Middle East, from Asia (not only Japan, I mean) and these people I met as networkers outside mail art. They were active in other networks: poetry, creative writing, art of refugees, Transcend Art & Peace networks. TAP (**) was perhaps the biggest discovery for me and it is a network where I feel at ease and that opened its site also for mail art. So crossovers are really happening on various levels. It’s also a TAP member that has produced the 3d issue of FRIOUR and she has developed her own site that wants to reflect on peace and literature. (***)

G.S.: I don’t know if it has just been a coincidence, but the dramatic surge in war and violence after the fall of the World Trade Center in New York, has been followed by an unusually high number of mail art projects with a social and political theme. Just to name a few, we have had Peace in the World (Brazil); The Fire That Doesn’t Fade (Brazil), against pollution and the destruction of the environment; Difference (France), about sexism, racism and other kinds of discrimination; Without Artists, Borders (Spain); Immigration (Costa Rica); Cornucopia (Belgium), which questioned “the ongoing demolition of our society”; Pied Pipers of Today (Germany), about “the fake seducers of the modern world”; the ongoing Nobel Peace Project (Canada); and Black Tide (Spain), in support of the protests against the indifference of the authorities following the sinking of yet another oil tanker near the Galician coasts.

The great thing about all this artistic activity is that the projects, far from being a sterile aesthetic exercise, are finalized to bring the international movement(s) closer to the local realities. I believe that it is important for mail art to fully develop its potential as an instrument of social awareness; to connect and educate people and make them understand that WE the people can take things in our hands and don’t have to simply rely on corporate culture or the mass media to know what’s going on. We don’t have to be told always what to do but we can make our voice heard. This does not mean, of course, that I consider mail art – or any other artistic form, for that matter – as an omnipotent cure for the world’s problems. Art can hardly change the world. But people can (even though I must confess that I felt utterly helpless when the international peace demonstrations which saw millions of people involved did not stop the United States from waging war against Iraq) and art can support their struggle. It’s not a wonder that through the years, Amnesty International has collaborated with the Network to organize exhibitions and campaigns in several countries.    

G.V.: Art can create awareness, that’s for sure. Sometimes art is born from awareness, so it goes 2 ways. For instance the Dada movement was a rebelling baby that stood up from the trenches of world war one.

Artists have visions that are not tempered by the real politic of society. They often see through the mirror and hypocrisy of oppressive language, they crack the codes of veiled realities. They connect people by allowing glimpses in other cultures. They invent new codes, they liberate the page and the framework of the canvas, so they liberate views or incite to look upon realities a different way and so on.

This topic is an item of debate and reflection in the net. You have quite a few who develop the theme of mail art as social art. Luc Fierens & Annina Van Sebroeck developed a whole project around that. The collaborative project “Living in the mirror” (mail art communication between children), the Snake project I developed a few years ago are other examples of the social dimension mail art can have and how it can connect with local populations in deprived neighborhoods and with social organizations working on the field and build bridges even with reluctant authorities.

Some mail artists go even further in their rebellion against injustice and opposition against war. Peter Netmail in Germany for instance committed himself on dramatic moments as the wars in Yugoslavia and the recent Gulf War, where he went to Bahrain to protest with a local artist, Jamal Abdulrahim, against the US troops using Bahrain as a base to attack Iraq. They were arrested and released but it's an example how committed artists can be in a mail art approach based on social conscience.

You have those who reject this. For them art is about inventiveness and that’s it. The most crazy and/or original projects are preferred above social themes. I don’t mind this. I can read beauty in most projects. For instance a few years ago there was a call to send art to Abe. Abe was the goldfish of a girl and she wanted to decorate the fish tank with mail art, so her fish could see art and parts of the world. Only a few people responded to her message. I was one of them because the call touched me. Communication with a fish, that’s pure poetry!


(*) Craig J. Saper: “Networked art”, Univ. of Minnesota Press, ISBN 0816637067

(**) TAP: www.tapnet.info (for network art, click on the list TAP collection and select network art)

(***) http://www.peacelit.net/

GUIDO VERMEULEN is a Belgian mail artist and started Friour Network Magazine as a reaction on the war against Iraq.

it means it's wank

by jeff somers


PO Box 3024, Hoboken, NJ 07030



 “So what does that mean? It means it’s wank.”— Vic Flange, www.fleshmouth.co.uk [now defunct], describing my zine.


...in which I wonder if anyone ever learns anything from a bad review

Americans can sometimes appear to take perverse pride and delight in their refusal to learn anything, and zine publishers are no exception. How else to explain regularly pouring money, time, and energy into a publication that in most cases will be read by a vanishingly small percentage of the population? It’s either a sickness, or a complete inability to learn from past experience that results in thoughts like okay, so I printed 5,000 copies of Who Wants Cheeseballs #1 and sold thirteen copies, so I’m gonna print 10,000 copies of WWC #2, baby! It’s sad really, and evidence of this disorder can be seen throughout the desolate, ruined lives of zine publishers everywhere. Mainly, though, I think it can be seen most clearly in the defiant way we all ignore bad reviews.

Of course, we have an excuse: Zines are not, as a rule, published with an eye towards reaching a mass audience—or even of reaching any audience, necessarily. Many, if not most, zines are published purely for the personal satisfaction of its creator. Reaching some sort of audience is important, of course, and many zine publishers wouldn’t mind waking up one day to find their PO box stuffed full of desperate pleas for copies of their zine, but they’re not really trying to appeal to a mass audience—if they were, they probably would pursue some other form of media, and not zines for god’s sake. They’re satisfying themselves, and if they happen to attract like-minded freaks from around the world, well, all well and good. But it’s pleasing yourself that matters—if you wanted to please thousands, you’d go scrape yourself off at some alt weekly or other straight publishing gig.

So, since zines are pretty desperately individual, it’s not surprising, then, that zine publishers by and large treat bad reviews as interesting artifacts to be observed, cooed over, and then discarded, much like particularly gross roadkill: unpleasant and quickly forgotten no matter how startling it is at first flush. You read the bad review, go through the usual stages of Bad Review Denial (anger, mailing dead rat to reviewer, inebriation, drunken apologetic phone call to reviewer pledging eternal friendship, pantslessness) and then do absolutely nothing to change your zine, or to even consider what the reviewer has said. Because it’s your zine, and you probably don’t give a fuck if someone at ZINE WORLD or MAXIMUMROCKNROLL likes it or not.

Zine reviews are for the benefit of the zine buyer, not the zine producer. Zine buyers are faced with a huge assortment of zines and don’t want to throw their money away, so reviews are helpful in making that decision. But zine publishers? Bad reviews roll off our backs and leave no impression. We can’t afford to think about them too hard, because even beneficial adjustments—like, maybe, not using the word “pantsless” six hundred times in each issue, as if it somehow gets funnier every time you use it—inch your zine towards blandness. Part of what makes a zine a beautiful snowflake are the frustrating bad decisions every zine publisher insists on making in every issue, the self-indulgences, the inside jokes no one else gets, the stubborn refusal to proofread or spellcheck. Smooth those kinks out and address reviewer’s concerns, and the end result might be better in some sense of the word, but it will be appreciably less yours. And we all know that.

Me, I often regard bad reviews as signs that I’m doing something right. After all, a zine that pleases everyone is often the most boring zine in the room, so a little disapproval and sneering is good for the soul, because at least somebody is irritated at your presence. Besides, so far my zine has outlived 3 out of 4 of the zines that have reviewed it, and that feels pretty good, too, especially when I imagine myself in some sort of Idi Amin uniform, seated on a throne made from the cleaned skulls of those zines, chortling. But I tend to have that dream pretty often, so maybe you can’t put much stock in that. 

*the reviews*


Davida Gypsy Breier

PO Box 11064, Baltimore, MD 21212



Writers are always on the lookout for a good story to tell. Sometimes those stories end up being a bit more personal and dramatic than you want though – and so it was that my son, Garnet Makani Whitby, was born at the height of a huge snowstorm following a 24+ hour labor. Life, that fickle mistress with the sick sense of humor, bestowed upon Patrick and me, a rather large (8lb 6.4oz) little boy. My font size won’t give it away, but we are both diminutive people. Not funny ha-ha, funny heavily drugged and painful.

For as agonizing as all that was, I have been given the most amazing little guy to look after and nurture.

I haven’t been keeping up with my zine reading as much as usual. Something about a hungry infant the middle of the night requires pap on TV or fiction, usually mysteries.

DWAN #46

You know how they say that once you are thirsty you are actually already dehydrated? My reaction to the new DWAN was similar. I opened the envelope as soon as it arrived and read it cover to cover by that evening. Somehow I hadn’t realized that there had been such a long lapse between issues and was terribly thirsty to read Donny’s words. I also didn’t realize that Patrick and I argued about dog urine as much as we seem to (some of my letters/emails are quoted in the issue). Highly recommended.

$1/28 pages/digest/trades

Donny Smith

915 W 2nd St. #7, Bloomington, IN 47403




The austere simplicity of TIME IS THE PROBLEM is part of its strength. It is a handwritten zine offering a mixture of interesting stories (some that border on Koans), reactions to readings and quotes, and musings on the deeper meanings of life. Jim’s writing reminds me of a more east coast and metaphysical Chris Dodge (The Street Librarian), which I can assure you is a compliment. Greatly enjoyed.

$3 US; $3 CAN; $4 World 

32 pages/digest/trades

Jim Lowe

PO Box 152, Elizaville, NY 12523


TILE #4 - The Final

Over the years I’ve heard long-time zinesters say they were quitting, only to find themselves back in the fold within a matter of months (or even years). Billy has been talking about quitting for some time and this issue is his farewell issue. Do I believe he is really quitting? Perhaps, because the goodbye seems so heartfelt. Billy wants to spend time working on a children’s book, but will still be keeping his PO Box open and answering mail. Perhaps he’ll just be a zine lurker until the bug bites again…Anyhow, TILE #4 is the conclusion to a mini-series he started in 1999 and offers his trademark robotic-bug-eyed monsters.

$3/ 26 pages/6.75x9.5/trades

Billy McKay

P.O. Box 542 N. Olmsted, OH 44070



Once of the side-effects of the gut monkey in the 8th and 9th months of pregnancy was being awake a lot at night from sheer discomfort (and a bladder reduced to the size of a jelly bean). I had received LOWER EAST SIDE LIBRARIAN WINTER SOLSTICE SHOUT OUT earlier in the day and found myself completely sucked in during the wee dark hours. Upon awakening I picked the zine back up and finished the issue. Perzines are usually among my favorites and the two issues Jenna sent were great reads. Introspection, getting married, and reading lists dominate the latest issue. Good stuff.

$2/78 pages/mini

Jenna Freedman

521 E. 5th St. Apt 1D, New York, NY 10009


Also check out BARNARD ZINE LIBRARY ZINE by Alexa Antopol and Jenna Freedman.


Basically I got behind and zines that make it to my short stack are ones that I truly enjoy reading. I know it is cheating to “review” something you haven’t read (hey, almost like a glossy published review!), but the following zines are good ones and I mostly want people to know that new issues are available.


I literally just received this issue and was thrilled to see SPUNK turn up in my mail. After a long absence, Violet Jones has returned with another lovingly (and amazingly) produced issue.

No price listed, but don’t be cheap, this is a beautiful, handmade creation.

38 pages/8.25x10.25/trades

Violet Jones

PO Box 55336, Hayward, CA 94545

THE INNER SWINE (Vol. 11, Issue 3)

The Minutiae Issue

THE INNER SWINE (Vol. 11, Issue 4)

The Futility Issue

$2/60 pages/digest/trades

Jeff Somers

P.O. Box 3024, Hoboken NJ 07030




Tales of life and travel by a big, dumb Yank and his Spanish wife.

$2-3/32 pages/digest/trades

Kris and Lola

Calle Obispo 4 bajo, Plasencia 10600, Caceres, España


Breaking Boundaries Where None

Existed Before

$2/28 pages/half-legal

Don Baker

7205 28th Ave., NW, Seattle, WA 98117




$5/60 pages/1/2 legal

Gavin J. Grant

176 Prospect Ave., Northampton, MA 01060



OPUNTIA 59.3 (December 2005)

OPUNTIA 59.5 (January 2006)

OPUNTIA 60 (February 2006)

$3, trade, letter of comment/16 pages/ digest

Dale Speirs

Box 6830, Calgary AL T2P 2E7 CANADA


$2 or $8 for a sub (4 issues)/40 pages/mini

Ayun Halliday

P.O. Box 22754, Brooklyn, NY 11202




$3.50/many pages/full-size, comb-bound

Ken Bausert

2140 Erma Drive, East Meadow, NY 11554-1120


$2.50/ $10 cash for the next 4 issues/

20 pages/digest/trades

Fred Argoff

Penthouse L, 1170 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11230



PO Box 621 Edinburg, TX 78540



I'm busy writing issue 6 of HERMANA, RESIST which will be all fiction and the second issue of THE SOUTH TEXAS EXPERIENCE-more info on my zines are here: www.hermanaresist.com

And who knows -- they might be finished within the next year or so. I'll be turning 30 later this month (March) and am thinking of doing “something big” but I have no idea what “something big is.” I want to take my mom to visit her birthplace, San German, Puerto Rico, she left when she was five and never has visited. But I don't think that qualifies as “something big.” What do you all think?

Email me at noemi@hermanaresist.com. Or write me love letters at Noemi Martinez/

PO Box 621/ Edinburg, TX 78540.


Contact: Hannah Eye

Address: PO box 7271, St. Paul, MN. 55107


Price: 4US. $4 Canada/Mexico. $6 world.

Hannah described her zine as a personal/humor zine, and despite my reservations with “humor” I enjoyed this zine. It was light and funny, the comics were cute and an article even has a graph! The high price is probably due to the legal size half size format and the color cover though she makes no money on her zine, she says her and her husband “weep nightly over their bills after eating gruel with dry bread.“


Address: PO box 66426, Albany, NY, 12206

Price: Free. Newspaper format.

Fiction, poetry and related, interesting articles such as “Transgender Civil rights Issues in the Capitol Area.“  If this is the final issue as the cover says, well good luck to them.


Contact: Sinoun

Address: 2090A Hwy 317 #239, Suwannee, GA, 30024

Email: x@smellingtrees.com

Site: http://smellingtrees.com

Price: $1US. Yes-trades.

Half size. Newsprint

Very beautifully written first zine. It's spilt into three parts: slee, stargazer, and sweet relief. Each issue is subtitled. This first issue is subtitled 'lovely heads'. Exceptionally written, a personal favorite of mine for its poetic writing style.


Contact: Christopher Robin

Address: PO box 1611, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-1611.

Price: $2US cash. Trades-Yes.

Full size.

Poetry, articles, rants, stories and freakingly disturbing photos hailing from the Bay area.


Contact: Yul Tolbert.

Address: PO box 02222

Detroit, MI 48202-9998

Email: yul_tolbert@yahoo.com

Site: http://timeliketoons.tripod.com

Price: $2US, $2 world. Trades: yes.

Half size.

It's a computer-generated s/f comic.


Contact: Ali Haimson

Address: PO Box 954

Bloomington, IN 47402

Email: whatthekidswant@riseup.net

Price: $2. Trades: Maybe. Half size.

Ali's description is “a personal zine with stories about assumptions, shattering, mild driving [or wild driving] girls, a town that seems too small, family, bus rides, guitar falling from the sky.“ So basically, your basic perzine. Ali asks herself in the intro how she's going to put out a zine with so much personal stuff, a question I think all zinesters who write perzines ask themselves. She says that sadness moved her to write out this issue, and as writing is catharsis her life is “magical and amazing.“ This is the kind of zine I would have gotten on my own, though I never heard of it before receiving it for this review.


Address: 1405 Fairmount, St. Paul, MN 55105

Experimental poetry and short fiction by various writers. Some contrived and forced, others like “Landscape of in between“ (lines follow) by Heidi are right on target.

Green leaves emerging on trees,

While snowflakes dust my roof.

Lonely, lonely visions of

Never arriving in a Place

That is genuinely mine.


Contact: Aaron Tilford


Site: http://www.spunkmag.net

Price: $5US. Trades-maybe.

Half size.

Self description: unpretentious arts zine/journal: original artwork, articles related to arts, etc.

Is it me or are zines getting more expensive?

This is a fancy looking layout zine, crisp almost journal like. Some of the artwork is surprisingly good. You know how often in zines there’s artwork where you are almost afraid to look, and then when you do, you feel pity for the artist. Both the front cover and back cover by Jordan Crane are pieces I wouldn't mind tacking up on my wall. And everyone likes short fiction, because it’s over so fast if it’s bad and if it’s good, you can always reread it.


Site: www.letter-exchange.com

This zine connects letter writers across the world and uses confidential mail forwarding for the protection of its writers. The mail forwarding that they do is free; you put a stamped envelope with your letter inside another envelope addressed to them. It’s an interesting concept and I might just send someone a letter. Also includes letters written to the editor and short articles.


Contact: James Dunseth

Address: 2156 NW Irving St. 101, Portland, OR  97210

Email: info@wafermaneuver.com

Site: http://www.wafermaneuver.com/

“A journal of intellect, art and high heeled sneakers.“

I didn’t get some of the fiction-it’s probably because I lack intellect, but otherwise an okay read.


Address: PO box 5841, Eugene, OR 974105

Email: durgazine@hotmail.com

Price: $1.50/trade. Half size.

This smart and sassy zine is written by Tracy, who works at a library where they allowed her to internship at a new zine collection so props to her! We have stories of cats and how she lost her beloved Durga, her sister and her sister’s drug abuse, grad school and a piece of choosing to be childfree. I often read hostile things where people choose to be childfree and how they blame those decide to have children for everything under the sky, are mean and hostile to mothers. But Tracy doesn’t use the straw man here-she gives us her reasons and nothing more.


Contact: CK Gill

Address: PO box 4433, Ann Arbor, MI  48106-4433

Email: letters@mollyzine.net

Site: http://mollyzine.net

Price: $2US

Compiled by Candra K. Gill, in this issue of MOLLY you’ll find fiction by Spacemummy, a column on pop culture crafting-this issue we see how to make a video game quilt; an article on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, an all time favorite escape from reality for me. Plus you’ve got reviews and more.



PO Box 4803, Baltimore MD 21211


Greetings! I’ve been doing some thinking about reviewing. In looking at these zines I want to be fair, which means taking into account not just whether something connected with me personally, but whether or not its style is artistic or readable, and also whether it taught me anything new by having relevant or original content.

Something could be a total scrawl and still be beautiful in some way. And some perfectly executed stuff lacks soul or meaning, often because the artist forgot to throw the reader a bone in terms of content. (See last issue when I basically screeched “If I have to hear you describe the soy latte you had for breakfast one more time, I will tear this zine in half!!!!!!!”) Likewise if something is actually pretty good but so similar to other things I’ve read as to give me nothing new to experience, or no deeper an experience of what I already know, well I kind of have to grade on a reverse curve.

So here’s the deal: scale is 1-5, S = style, C = content, O = originality/relevance. Now that I blinded you with science, let’s proceed:


26 pgs, $2, trades

Nadja Martens

P.O. Box 4803

Baltimore, MD 21211


Ha! My first act as an impartial reviewer is to rate the zine of someone with whom I share a P.O. Box. But I can’t skip this. First issues tend to be exciting, first issues by teenagers tend to be better still because teenagers are not especially boring.

And Nadja’s zine really satisfied me. It’s funny, educational, personal (but never loses sight of the reader), and there’s enough space and art on the pages that it looks good. Covered within: Intro (“I Believe my personal anthem is Big Balls by ACDC”) A history of dildos/plea for women to more openly discuss masturbation (“Until girls can talk about petting the kitty as much as men talk about spanking the monkey, there is still room for improvement”), A helpful history of the Twinkie ( “Why didn’t the Twinkie take back its first love, the banana, after the war?), some poetry that didn’t harm me, and three short adventures which really give the zine backbone.

The first story is of going to see The Bravery while suffering a raging case of Chicken Pox (“I just felt that bass line rise up from the floor and slowly make it’s way up my legs and into my mind…musical orgasm…I never would have thrown my panties at him like one chick did though, that’s just not sanitary”,) a post-Pox stroll admiring graffiti, and a final short photo-essay on attending a rally at the Circuit Court in support of marriage equality.

Reading a talented writer’s first stuff make zines seem new to me again. Dig it.

4S, 4C, 3O


48 pgs, $4.95

Jeffrey Brown & James Kochalka


This is the second in a series of collaborative comics between Brown and Kochalka where they talk about a big life issue and creatively illustrate the conversation. Since both of them write primarily autobiographical comics, it makes sense that this second issue tries to get at the issue of why they create work about their lives. In reality I think their conversation only half answers their question, getting stuck, more at the “Why do we make art?” question and not really addressing why self-disclosure is such an important part of their work. I guess that’s ok- it’s not a formal interview or anything, but I would have liked them to address the harder question more since it’s more interesting than all the “The meaning of life is to live!/Making these books feels like I’m contributing something to the world” stuff that comes out. For example why contribute to the world by writing tell-all accounts of failed relationships as Brown has done or as daily diary as Kochalka is known for, as opposed to making art about something else entirely?

Generally James Kochalka’s work seems more multi-faceted, maybe ‘cause his drawing style is more assured and flexible, (but also on a personal level I think he’s funnier and doesn’t seem to have some weird thing about women the way that Jeffrey Brown’s comics always convince me he does.) But which one you prefer doesn’t so much matter here, as each drawing is a pretty awesome blend of the two artists’ styles. This mash-up is one of the reasons to read this.

Though the mix of art-speak and with fourth grade gags sometimes slips from informative and irreverent to pretentious and annoying, the writers’ shared desire to play with the possibilities of comics is the other reason to give this a look. Because Kochalka and Brown’s character selves exist in a drawn world they are free to punch each other as they talk, or fly, or puke, or illustrate their every metaphor literally. So maybe, even though they didn’t really answer their question about why they create comics of their lives, actually they kinda do.

5S 2C 40

tell ’er she’s dreamin’ #2

26 pgs, $?


Queensland, Australia


A better than average political zine by a hip activist girl who’s searching for the best ways to make a positive difference in the world. This passage from the intro made me think I may be unfairly biased by my love of Australian English: “Living behind this pub that plays annoying music and trying to sleep and thinking shut the fuck up but thinking how romantic being young and living in a share house next to the bogey pub with ugly tiles and swag for a bed.” But I think she does a good job of creating a picture of a busy life, full of projects.

The political stuff is really the highlight here, because the writing is informative and clear. Sarah gives updates on the murder of an activist in Mexico and on how to help detainees there through donating part of your dole. An article called Discussion on the Blah but Necessary Closed vs. Open Collective Debate is a thought-provoking and easy-to-read examination of how radical groups can hamstring themselves and how having closed membership in activist collectives can work better. A short piece about how not to become a complacent activist is dead-on. She cautions not “to just keep talking of creating a new world when all we are doing is building a niche for ourselves within the boundaries of this capitalist system.”

My inner cynic had a hard time with a few of the activist happenings reported here. For example after watching a woman “Perform her rape experience” she wonders why she feels so alienated and has to be alone, and also why the group can’t seem to help each other. I would venture it's cause watching someone do their rape experience as performance art sounds fucking awful. Likewise her matter-of-fact reporting on a woman who hurled the contents of her menstrual cup all over the Forest Industry’s office (to represent the spilled blood created by the logging industry), well, that lost me. There are better ways.

I think more careful design would help the zine feel more focused. Still, lyrics to the anti-war song “Waltzing Matilda” alongside ads for an erotica zine, community gardens, food not bombs, and a zine library, all add to the upbeat, creative, “let's all be active tone” that make this appealing.

2S 3C 3O


29 pgs, $3

Aaron Renier, JP Coovert, Sean Aaberg


Oooh! A new comics anthology. With a pretty cover! And nice art, plus cheap. Three stories, all by promising/good cartoonists. The first is by Aaron Renier who did Spiralbound which I’m very excited to read. Unfortunately, what’s in this issue is kind of a nothing story. It’s about some hipsters at a zine symposium who hear some bands, go to a bar, and then the main character, presumably Aaron (?) kisses a girl. I’d give it a five for style cause, the art is fluid, confident and really easy on the eyes. But zero for everything else ’cause of having no plot, no character development, and a setting that bugs me an irrational amount.


Next up, a three page story about a late night driving accident that hurts a car but spares a deer and driver. I liked this. The drawings are spare and expressive, not unlike John Porcellino’s. The wordless story got me involved immediately and made me want to know more about the characters. Why was he crying? Has he always liked deer? Good job, J.P. Coovert. 4S 3C 2O

Last is Salt, by Sean Aaberg, about a special kid who lives in a freaky Garbage Pail Kid looking universe. I couldn’t deal with its sort computerized, murky style and found it hard to follow. But judging from the back cover, his color work is easier on the eyes. If you liked Cerebus, this might be your thing. 3S 2C 4O



271 Eastwood Drive, Plymouth, IN 46563


They call the game Texas Hold Em’ for a reason. The state has its own gravitational pull even if your experience was less than perfect while living there. Anyway… Lately, I’ve been trying to decipher signs. The biggest question is: Is Texas just a really big state that has three years of my memories, or is it a place I need must return to? I think this sort of contemplation always arises in times of change. I graduate this summer with my second B.A. I’m also waiting for graduate school answers. Admissions decisions will come with hard questions, none questioning my loyalty or matters of the heart, but they all boil down to occupational and financial risks. Currently, I’m getting by, and I can see the beginnings of a sunrise. I’m prepared for anything to stay or to go and to try and smile, enjoying the upside of any decision that I make. The good news: the worst is definitely behind me. It has to be. I’ve learned so much. It’s good to see some of the same contemplation in the zines that I read this round. The thoughts about accepting life where you are and the many discussions of time definitely left my mind a’tingle with possibility.

THE SOUTH TEXAS EXPERIENCE: words Noemi Martinez (Summer 2005) pocket-edition, price unlisted. THE SOUTH TEXAS EXPERIENCE Noemi Martinez, P.O. Box 621, Edinburg, TX 78540 or e-mail noemi.mtz@gmail.com.

Getting back to Texas, Martinez dwells in the heat and brings a host of thoughts and opinions about a place called “el valle,” which “everyone hates and no one can forget,” she writes. After spending three years there: I agree with her. I was also enthralled by her description of how the heat seeps into the fabric of our lives. “It makes it seems that ghosts have already lived these lives,” she writes. I can believe it: northern guerra moves to el valle, tries to make `a go,’ falls in love, falls apart and retreats to the north after 10 years of absence. I’m sure I’m neither the first nor the last. The zine is poetic, well written and especially meaningful if you’ve weathered South Texas Sun for more than a season. Recommended.

THE HAPPY LONER #1 (Summer 2005) digest, $2.50 Canada/U.S. ($5 world). Trades accepted. THE HAPPY LONER 5591 St-Laurent, Levis QC, G6V3V6, Canada 10509 or e-mail girl_w_cat@yahoo.com.

THE HAPPY LONER is making its zine debut, and it’s automatically landed near the top of the list of my favorites. The combination of words and vintage clip art is like a DIY fashion magazine that streams French jazz. It’s honest, real, sweet and universal--even if you don’t know all of the words by heart. For me, it was love at first read largely because of the ways that I can and cannot relate to the stories. The essays and snippets are engaging and contemplative, echoing sweet dilemmas found in everyday life. Please note: THE HAPPY LONER has zine siblings: there is ORANGE & BLUE, and the editor also listed a few untitled others about cats, another with diary pages and a found objects zine. Highly Recommended.

TIME IS THE PROBLEM #1 (Summer 2005) digest, price not listed. TIME IS THE PROBLEM P.O. Box 152, Elizaville, NY 12523.

TIME IS THE PROBLEM kept my brows furrowed through this zine. It’s a collection of stories from the notebook of a city slicker, who moved upstate to earn a living, raise food, keep bees, get firewood, maintain a house and land, play keyboards and read. And with that lofty list of chores among other things, the author Jim Lowe cleverly reminds readers that TIME IS THE PROBLEM. I think the fast-moving sands in the hourglass are all something we can all relate to even if we’ve never philosophically contemplated becoming a Buddhist monk.

MOTHER VERSE #3 (Winter 2006)

digest, $3.50 U.S. and $4.50 Canada. Print and electronic subscriptions available. MOTHER VERSE MAGAZINE, 2663 Hwy 3, Two Harbors, MN 55616 or


MOTHER VERSE is a cross-cultural look at how universal parenting really is. The details, the economics, the health care may all be different, but the act of mothering and loving and bleeding and growing all mark what it’s like to be a woman and to be a mother. The stories, poetry and essays are very well written and highly engaging for mothers, aunts and moms to be. Recommended.

SLUG & LETTUCE (Autumn 2005) newspaper, 60 cents per issue; no checks for less than $10. Paying in stamps for U.S. orders is acceptable. SLUG & LETTUCE, P.O. Box 26632, Richmond, Va. 22361-6632.

SLUG & LETTUCE editor, Christine, began the autumn issue by looking backward. Time is flying by, the world is transient, but she is staying put – chronicling all her goods from 15-year-old sweatshirts to music to books. Even if just a familiar voice in the zine community, I will say it’s good to have an anchor and a North Star. When her lovely and personal narrative subsides, Christine gets down to business culling reviews on collections of DIY books, punk music and other under-the-radar goodies that the rest of us appreciatively absorb as time apparently continues to be the problem for all of us – regardless of whether we are nomadic or firmly grounded. Always a great read.

Dan taylor

PO Box 5531, Lutherville , MD 21094



Dan Taylor publishes THE HUNGOVER GOURMET (www.hungovergourmet.com), writes about pop culture and junk cinema (www.dantenet.com) and obsesses about German cinematic madman Klaus Kinski.

I’ve had an on and off relationship with Dom Salemi’s long-running BRUTARIAN over the years. And when I say “long-running” I mean just that. The issue I’ve got in my hands is #44 and I think #46 is currently available. The only low-budget mag/zine I know with as long a track record is probably Michael Weldon’s PSYCHOTRONIC.

It’s hard to put a finger on why I don’t seek out and devour every issue, though. Each one I stumble upon or receive to review is a top-notch blend of oddball interviews (I didn’t think anybody else even knew who the Roolettes were, let alone tracked them down for a chat), pop culture reviews, and features like the in-depth look at the out there cinematic adventures of Larry Buchanan, the thinking man’s Ed Wood.

BRUTARIAN’s a smart, funny read though I could do without the short stories. They just take up room that could’ve been devoted to more of Salemi’s wise-ass movie reviews that heap praise where deserved but aren’t afraid to tell it like it is, too. ($4 to Dom Salemi, 9405 Ulysses Court, Burke, VA 22015)

“Kung Fu Grip” is one of those phrases that to this day remains a sentimental touchstone for people of a certain age. Luckily, I’m of that certain age and smiled warmly when I spotted KUNG FU GRIP #1 (complete with cover featuring Pam Grier, Jim Kelly and Bruce Lee) staring at me from a store shelf. Immediately I snatched it up and added it to the pile of comics, books and other mags, not sure what lay between its digest-sized covers, but fairly sure I’d dig it.

Let’s just say I dug it. KFG is one of those rare zines that touches on everything from action figures and graffiti (though, admittedly, I don’t get the whole scene) to martial artists of the 1970s (in a fascinating look at Count Dante, the ubiquitous pitchman found in many Marvel mags and comics of the era) without missing a beat or coming off as forced. And, in the most surprising twist, the whole issue is anchored by editor Paco Taylor’s personal tale of childhood friendship and loss. Good stuff. ($3 to Paco Taylor, 7730 E. Broadway #925, Tucson, AZ 85710 or visit kungfugripzine.com)

As a card carrying Hungover Gourmet it should come as no surprise that I’ve had more than my share of altercations with the bottle. Some ugly, ugly altercations with the bottle.

These days, though, I’m more about finding a good burger joint or regional potato chip than seeking out a dive bar or figuring out how to scam some free drinks. Enter MODERN DRUNKARD, a magazine which makes no bones about its subject matter (their submission policy is adamant that all contributions be about “drinking and getting drunk”). Slick and colorful, it’s impossible to call MD a zine. It’s more like the bar section of your local free weekly paper come to full-color, in-your-face life.

With a publication schedule that appears pretty regular, you can forgive the folks at MD for fleshing out the issue with some filler. A look at “Soused Cinema” is funny and an examination of the history of booze during wartime is particularly informative but other pieces drag on too long or just aren’t that amusing. And the less said about poetry in a magazine called MODERN DRUNKARD, the better. ($4 per issue to 178 Denargo Market, Denver, CO 80216 or visit drunkard.com)

Speaking of drunks, I’m thrilled to report another encounter with R. Lee and Dug Belan, the geniuses behind FUCK AND FIGHT, an uproarious comic tale I reviewed a few issues ago. Lee sent me a copy of BARRELHOUSE #1: CONFESSIONS OF A JUVENILE LIQUOR PIG which has the same anarchistic, simmering suburban booze-fueled mayhem and violence that their earlier work featured. Chopped into short vignettes chronicling the journey from adolescent schnapps nipper to that fateful first hangover, the comic will speak to anybody who spent their formative years stealing drinks from the family stash. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Lee's tales are screaming for somebody to turn them into a screenplay or evil cartoon. ($2 to R. Lee, PO Box 1421, Oshkosh, WI 54903)

Anne thalheimer

160 N.Maple Street, Florence, MA 01062


Though I still haven’t quite made it to finishing BOOTY #20, it remains on the docket for coming months, along with a few other projects. I’ve been continuing with my etching and printing work (some examples of what I’ve done are up in the gallery at www.redhorsepress.org) and have participated in a few small shows and sales. The day job’s improved, and I’ve been doing window displays for a small shop in Northampton. But the really major news is that I’m captaining a (three person, so far) team for this year’s Massachusetts Red Ribbon Ride

(www.massredribbonride.org) and I’m still in need of donations. And donations lead to art. Please have a look at the website for more information. Otherwise, all I can say is that I’m glad spring’s upon us here in New England, and welcome to the newest soon-to-be-zine-reading whippersnapper (and congrats to his folks!)

And now on with it--to severely paraphrase the Dead Kennedys: I like short reviews!


by DB Pedlar

“featuring phrenology, hypnotism, magnets, and ice picks”

25727 Cherry Hill Road

Cambridge Springs, PA 16403

$2, 28 pages, half-legal size.

“The sole purpose of CONTESSA is to have fun while reading and learning about history,” according to its author. This issue has a section of the “continuing adventures of Contessa and the Rogue Readers” as well as three short biographic pieces about Franz Anton Mesmer, Franz Gall, and Dr. Walter Jackson Freeman. Entertainingly weird.

TONES & NOTES #4, February 2006

Light Living Library

P.O. Box 190-tn

Philomath, OR 97370

$1,14 pages, half-size, trades OK “for critiques or other useful info”

“Discusses making your own music: composing, arranging, notating, playing, recording, etc.” T&N #4 is pretty much exactly that; it’s fairly technical and specialized. Included is an extensive list of back issues and other projects. Packed with information.


by Christopher Robin

October 2005

P.O. Box 1611

Santa Cruz, CA 95061

$2,16 pages, digest size, trades OK.

It’s a poetry zine, sort of. It’s “a series of vignettes about my daily life and my friends,” according to its author, who “since none of this seemed like poetry to me, and not even like prose poetry I decided just to call them short stories, but WHATEVER.” Pieces include “Mommy, What Does Liberate Mean?” and “On The Train Back From L.A. I Think of Mussolini” with a fabulous picture of Robin’s “skatin’ crew” at the end. The writing is an interesting departure from Christopher Robin’s better-known work; if you like those (ZEN BABY in particular), give this one a try.

BROOKLYN! #51 by Fred Argoff

Penthouse L

1170 Ocean Parkway

Brooklyn, NY 11230

“$10 for four quarterly issues. Read this carefully: payment in cash!”

22 pages, digest size

It’s (still, amazingly) all about Brooklyn! Wetlands in Brooklyn! Argentinian parrots on the loose (and adapting well)! Mermaids parading at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade! Brooklyns in Seattle! The more I read this zine the more the whole concept grows on me. Entertaining read with great pictures; very captivating.


Armchair Comics

8 Brewer Street

Brighton, BN2 3HH UK



2 pounds (or $4 or 4 euro, “please send as concealed cash only”), 40 pages, half-size. Adults only!

Apparently two years in the making, this anthology is made up of eight contributors who each created a sequence linked by a list of random objects (a musical note, a hacksaw…) “which were then pulled out of a hat in a random order” where the first sequence begins with the musical note and ends with a hacksaw. The second contributor began with the hacksaw…you get the idea. Interesting concept and a fairly wide-range of visual styles, plus it has a very cool printed cover. But they’re not kidding about the ‘adults only’ line.


Frederick Moe

36 West Main Street

Warner, NH 03278



$4 (includes CR-R), 24 pages, no trades.

“A zine about shortwave & pirate radio listening and indie media”, THE /WAVE PROJECT is imagined as a series of zines that are to do with “pirate radio, pirate station profiles, broadcasting and shortwave listening information” (the first issue was called SHORT/WAVE). Very informative without being boring or dry; partially that’s due to the extremely engaging writing style and partially because the issue’s got a good combination of the author’s personal experience listening and the history of pirate radio.

Brooke young

SLC Zine Library

210 E 400 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111


Not only did I not contribute to the last issue of XD, but these reviews are about 14 days late and I just have a gut feeling they are going to be sub-par. Oh well, I should really get an A for Effort. I have just started library school which seems to take up an incredible amount of my time. I think I am taking two vague classes with the word “information” in the title and a class on cataloging. Riveting stuff, all four of you reading this that aren’t already in library school should sign up.


At least, I think that is what the zine is called, my Dutch has never been that good. I think the thing to ask yourself when considering this zine is do you like the cock? More specifically, do you like lots of mail art that feature comic representations of the cock with Dutch captions? If you answered an enthusiastic yes to these questions, then I have the perfect zine for you. I don’t want to scare everyone off though, some of the art in here is really interesting and there is even an essay (in English) on Out of Body Experiences, which is entertaining.

$?/ de Hondenkoekjesfabriek(I seriously didn’t make that up)/ PO Box 68/ 7700AB/ Dedemsuaart/ Netherlands


Poor Steve, I am sure he would rather have someone who thinks indoor soccer is a valid sport review his zine, but he gets stuck with me every time. I am totally jealous that he got to Japan and watch the FIFA Club World Championship even if Liverpool did lose. It doesn’t help that Liverpool has had a truly disastrous week, getting kicked out of the Champions League and Stevie G gifting Arsenal with a win, those events kind of made the FIFA Club wound fresh all over again. You know, this zine is a great place to read information about US soccer and I always just talk about whatever soccer topic I want to instead of actually reviewing it. I am not really going to change that anytime soon either, so if you’re curious to know how the US soccer team does against Asian Zone teams (alright, I won’t keep you in suspense, we have a 7-7-5 record) you should get in touch with Steve.

.50 cents/ Steve De Rose/ PQRS, LTD/ 4821 W Fletcher St #2/ Chicago, IL 60641-5113


The greatest thing about sending my reviews two weeks late is that it gave me a chance to review the newest issue of BEST ZINE EVER! Suck it other reviewers, I got to it first! This zine is put together by Greg Beans and is the definition of “good fun.” Greg asks about 13 other people (and I am one of them!) to send in reviews of their favorite zines of 2005 and then he puts all the reviews together alphabetically. The alphabetic nature appealed to my librarian side and the interesting reviews, well, those appealed to my librarian side too. The end result is one of the most entertaining collections of reviews this side of XD. If you are itching for some new zine titles, I suggest you get yourself a copy of BEST ZINE EVER!

FREE!!!/ www.tugboatpress.com


While you are getting a copy of BEST ZINE EVER! from Tugboat Press you should really check out their comic anthology PAPERCUTTER. Aaron Renier’s comic about a day spent at New York’s Natural History Museum was one of the best comics I have read in a long time. But, wait! There’s more! You don’t just get the comic by Aaron Renier! For this special introductory price of $3.00 you also get a comic by Sean Aaberg. As a bonus, if you order PAPERCUTTER in the next ten minutes, they will throw in a comic by JP Coovert at well! This zine usually retails for $9.99, but at this special introductory price supplies will not last long. Act now, operators are standing by.

$3/ www.tugboatpress.com

Eric lyden

224 Moraine St., Brockton, MA 02301


Hey, how’s it going? First of all, unless something at some point went horribly wrong, there should be a new FISH WITH LEGS out by the time you read this and you can order it by sending a trade or $2 to the address you’ll find elsewhere in this zine. Also, if you’re bored you can check out my myspace page at www.myspace.com/ 21267290. It features a half assed blog and a photo of Abdullah the Butcher. It ain’t much, but... I was gonna say “it ain’t much, but it’s something.” but really, it just ain’t much. Anyhow, on with the reviews.


The sci fi geeks always get a lot of credit for their role in early zinedom, but people always overlook the role wrestling zines played. See, up until about 22 years ago there were no national wrestling promotions. Every region had their own promotion with their own wrestlers and storylines. They also had no cable TV and no VCRs to make tapes with so no one could see what was going on in other parts of the country. So the fans would all make up their own fanzines about their area of the country and sell/trade them with fans in other parts of the country. It sounds pretty innocuous, but the promoters weren’t too fond of it because sometimes a wrestler would be a good guy in Kansas City, but a bad guy in Detroit and the promoters didn’t like that fans were “outing” them and possibly causing fans to think maybe this whole wrestling biz wasn’t on the up and up. Writing an article on the history of wrestling zines has always been one of those projects I’ve had on the perennial backburner. Anyhow, the internet has pretty much killed all the wrestling zines, but there are still a few around, like this one. WRESTLING HULLABALOO is a short read--12 pages--with an article rebutting New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick’s comments on the death of wrestler Eddie Guerrero, another one on what he would do with Indy superstar Samoa Joe if he entered WWE and some comments wrestlers made regarding the late Eddie Guerrero. There are also some nicely reproduced pictures and while it’s not perfect it’s definitely worth reading if you’re a fan. It’s free, but you can send donations if you choose to- WRESTLING HULLABALOO

416 Thelma CT. Wheeling IL. 60090  wrestlinghullabaloo@yahoo.com



A cute little mini comic by Christoph Meyer of 28 PAGES LOVINGLY BOUND WITH TWINE fame. I call it “cute” but it features cussing and drawing of squished dead mice, innards and outers, so maybe it’s not that cute. But it still has an undeniable “cute” vibe to it in spite of all the gruesomeness. It’s basically a short story about what happens to a mouse who invades Christoph and his wife Lisa's home and happens to cross their cats Meowy & Nuddy. And what happens is... well, it's what you'd expect would happen to a mouse who has the misfortune of crossing 2 cats. I had a similar thing happen a few years back and... let’s just say that you haven’t lived until you've watch your cat eat and then promptly vomit up a mouse, but that is a story for another time. Anyhow, this is a good little comic. Christoph won’t dazzle you with his brilliant drawing ability, but he’s more than competent. No price listed, but I think a buck or 2 or a trade would be fair. And while you’re at it send $2 to order a copy of 28 PAGES. Christoph Meyer PO Box 106 Danville, OH. 43014


Nate Gangelhoff is one of those zinesters whose work I always enjoy. PICK YOUR POISON, his personal zine, is great. WHISKEY PLUS, his music zine, also great. And YOU IDIOT, which focuses on pop culture related topics, is also great. This issue is entitled “The Secret Side of Satan” and focuses on Satan’s persuasive influences on... well, according to some folks Satan is pretty much everywhere and a part of everything, from Christian rock to Harry Potter to Pokemon and My Little Pony. In a perverse way I have some admiration for these people who will spend their valuable time and money to combat the evil influence of Harry Potter. Obviously they’re kooks, but they’re kooks with a mission and it’s always good to have a mission in life. There’s also an article on exorcisms and the town that told Satan to “get lost.” Literally. The mayor wrote a letter and apparently the town is now Satan free. The mayor of this town may be a kook, but she’s an easily appeased kook. I also enjoyed the article on the alleged Satanic content of Christian rock. Apparently using Jesus’ name as part of a rock song is just a trick to get Christians to listen to the evil rock music. Which, if it’s true, is a pretty clever ploy on Satan’s part. Now that I think about, if Satan has Harry Potter and rock music on his side and all God has is nut jobs who actually believe exorcisms are real then Satan is pretty clearly winning this war both in terms of popularity and quality of work. God really needs to get his shit together. Anyhow, this is a very funny zine. Highly recommended. Send $2 to Nate Gangelhoff PO Box 8995 Minneapolis, MN





28 issues? Damn, that is a Hell of a lot of issues. This is really a sort of a classic zine- a one of a kind concept with a unique presentation. This is a zine that reviews and celebrates candy of all sorts. This issue more or less focuses on summer candy, though... in my mind candy is candy. Those little fun size candy bars are for Halloween, but other than that you’re free to eat what you want, when you want to. They’re your teeth, rot them however you like. The one word that pops into my head when thinking of this zine- fun. If you like candy then this is the zine for you. And if you don’t like candy it’s likely that you’re a godless commie who spends all of their free time listening to Satan influenced Christian rock. Well written candy reviews that really give you a feel for what the candy must taste like and... fun stuff. Send $1 and a stamp or a trade (candy or zine) to SUGAR NEEDLE PO Box 66835 Portland OR 97290


Here’s another classic zine returning after a long absence. Basic concept- Rich writes funny letters to big corporations asking them goofy questions about their advertisements. If you’ve read the zine before then you know what to expect and if not you owe to yourself to check it out. One minor difference between this issue and previous issue is that in the past Rich would put one letter on each page no matter how short and the corporation’s reply would also get a full page no matter short and form lettery their reply was which led to a little more wasted space than was necessary. With this issue he puts the reply on the same page and will often put more than one shorter letter on a page. Very funny stuff that also can make some serious points on the nature of advertising and the types of evil shit these corporations are up behind the friendly veneer. However, this time I must give credit (or “props” as the kids say) to Maureen Karbowski of GlaxoSmithKline who answers Rich’s question as to whether an individual lozenge is referred to as a Tum or a Tums and to Angela Dorsey who actually spends valuable time answering Rich’s quite frankly ridiculous question as to whether Crest White Strips have anything to do with the band the White Stripes. Her reply is actually one of the funniest parts of the zine because I can’t tell if she’s someone who’s never heard of the band who just looked them up on Google and tossed a few of their songs titles into her letter or if she’s kind of hip and was writing a straight laced parody of the kind of ridiculous form letters these companies usually send out. In fact... damn, why not- Angela Dorsey who works for consumer relations for Proctor & Gamble- if you stumble upon this web site while googling yourself- which of my theories is correct? I can’t sleep until I know for sure. And Maureen Karbowski- if you’re reading this, you’re cool as well, you just didn’t arouse my curiosity. I also enjoyed the letter Rich wrote questioning pro boxer Sugar Ray Leonard’s mental health. It just tickled me. One of my longtime favorite zines. I promise you it will make you laugh out loud at least a couple of times. Send $3 to Rich Mackin PO Box 14642 Portland OR 97214



TROUSER CHILI #’s 9 & 10

This one... well, I can’t quite promise everyone will laugh at this zine, but if you are a fan of toilet humor you’ll be sure to get a kick out of it. It’s certainly not for everyone, but I dig it. In a previous XD I mentioned my fondness for Dysfunctional Family Circus strips- Family Circus strips with the captions altered to just make them as filthy as possible. Waldo, the editor, also does the same thing to some Archie and Peanuts strips, many of which focus on the topic of abortion which should give you an idea as to the type of humor featured in this zine. This zine also mocks celebrities, the obese, the dead (more specifically, dead people who decide to use ridiculous photos of themselves in their obituaries), victims of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush and pedophile priests. Issue 10 also features what appears to be a legitimate recipe for kitty litter cake. If you enjoy this type of humor and are willing to indulge this side of yourself now and then than this is the zine for you. If not then this is a zine which you oughta avoid. But I dug it. A couple bits fall a little flat (I just don’t find Tom Cruise jokes funny) but overall I like it. Send $2 or a trade for each issue (I think 10 is a little funnier, but they’re both good) to Waldo Thomas Frank 2910 Sycamore St. Alexandria VA 22305



From the ridiculous to the sublime.

A beautiful zine I don’t know quite how to describe. Collages, both with photographs and... why don’t I just copy the description from the first page instead of clumsily trying to do it myself- “CLIP TART- the zine that distills huge, teetering piles of media into one, annual, zine length collage of SUDDENLY RELEASED CONSCIOUSNESS” and... yeah, that about sums it up. Wonderful artwork to look at, interesting written excerpts to read, all in some way related to Gods and monsters. A truly fascinating project. Send $3 to Susan Boren PO Box 66512 Austin TX 78766

Julie dorn

PO Box 6584, Minneapolis , MN 55406.


Life’s been a whirlwind since the last XD. I’ve eloped, started a sculpture class and have been planning a honeymoon (maybe Copenhagen?) Ah, where does the time go? (I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing next time around, too.) Anyway, back issues of JUNIE IN GEORGIA are available for $2 each at PO Box 6584, Minneapolis, MN 55406.


Eric, PO Box 5841, Eugene, OR 97405


76 pages, digest, $4 US/$6 World/trade/free upon request

This is one thick zine—76 pages! Mostly a personal punk/political zine, MISHAP contains a wide range of stuff: Interviews with Bruce Holland Rogers (short story writer), Mani Shimada Fund/Manifest (a fund to help ostracized kids with annual celebrations) and several DIY labels, fiction, travel stories from OR to NM, music reviews, a summer of family reunions and funerals, political commentary and comics. Sometimes self-proclaimed punk zines can be alienating and clique-ish for folks like me, who aren’t into the punk scene. I found MISHAP to be well-written, interesting and very accessible. It was the sort of zine where I could put it down and easily pick it up again later without losing the flow. The zine also includes a beautiful fold-out color print of the mountains (from Eric’s trip out west).


Michel Valdes, PO Box 79332, Los Angeles, CA 90079


108 pages, half-sized, $2

In the spirit of ON SUBBING and other teacher zines, Michel creates his very first zine, SCHOOL DAZE. I actually met Michel at a reading at Arise! Books and Resources Collective (an activist bookstore in Minneapolis) on his cross-country zine tour. He read selections from SD, then told additional stories about being a Teacher’s Assistant (TA) and traveling by Greyhound on his tour (including one about a psycho-sounding ex-Marine scaring the shit out of him near Madison, WI the night before). Michel seems like a sweet guy and he writes a great zine. In straight-forward diary form and hand drawn comics, he shares his experiences as a TA for first and third graders. You can tell how much he loves the kids and their honesty, as well as how many movies he watches. With his gentle, funny style, you can understand why his classes loved him so much. (One even wrote, “Mr. Valdes, I wish you were my dad,” which is really sad but really sweet, too.) His days of TA’ing are over however, as he will be a teacher for middle school kids with Asperger’s Disorder when he gets back to California. I hope that he will continue creating a zine with his new stories. Very good.

(You can get ON SUBBING, another great zine about teaching from Dave Roche at PO Box 12142, Portland, OR 97212 or

his anthology about the first four years from Microcosm Publishing at www.microcosmpublishing.com.)


LOOKING AND OTHER STORIES by Melissa Klein, illustrated by Sara Thustra

3288 21st Street #79, San Francisco, CA 94110

$2 for INKLING, no price on LOOKING, maybe $3-4

32 pages, full-size (INKLING), 70 pages, half-size bound (LOOKING)

I’ve always been a big fan of Melissa’s work. She tells a hell of a story, creates beautiful block prints and makes me want to write, travel and be more alive. INKLING #6 is super good. As always, it’s visually evocative, well-written fiction with lots of sadness, but also beauty and strength. (LOOKING includes nearly every story in INKLING #6 with a few more, so if you order both you wouldn’t be getting much new content. But either would be a good choice (no prints in (LOOKING though).

I look forward to the next issue of INKLING.  Highly recommended.


Melanie Mayo-Laakso, 2663 Hwy 3,

Two Harbors, MN 55616


52 pages, digest, $3.50 US/$4.50 CANADA

I have to be honest. When I saw the title of MOTHER VERSE, I groaned inside. Oh god, I thought, it’s going to be filled with awful poems about babies. I couldn’t have been more wrong. MOTHER VERSE contains intelligent, interesting stories about motherhood, childbirth, raising children and mother’s rights. Yes, it does have poetry, but the poems are good too. While I’m not a mother, I can appreciate women who stay real and whole people even after having children, instead of chucking their entire existence out the window for the baby. Yes, I have a cynical view of most parts of motherhood, and I still enjoyed MOTHER VERSE, particularly the story from Eugenia Chao.  My only suggestion would be for a slightly larger font. A good read, even for non-parents.


Kate Haas, 3510 SE Alder Street,

Portland, OR 97214



28 pages, digest, $2

MIRANDA, another zine from a rockin’ mom, is one of my favorites. True to form, Kate does not disappoint. This issue covers her ticking biological clock (actually a story about Kate meeting her husband), anecdotes about her kids (including one about her overly-excited toddler, Nate, throwing her childhood books into the tub for a bath), a book poll, and the usual book reviews, random thoughts and Motel of Lost Companions. Her conversational writing makes her feel like an old friend, and I love hearing new stories about her life. I’m so glad Kate is still publishing after all of these years, even with kids and jobs and general life responsibilities.  Every time I see the brightly colored zine in my mailbox, I know it’s going to be a good day. Highly recommended.


Christa Donner, PO Box 6571,

Chicago, IL 60680

40 pages, digest, $3

Each issue of LADYFRIEND centers around a central theme with various writers sending stories, poetry or art about that topic. Besides the staples of hilarious clip art (including Mr. T *), coloring pages and music and zine/book reviews, this issue contains such goodies as “Ladyfriend Lessons,” “The Men I Have Loved: A Haiku Cycle,” “Digital Date-O-Rama,” “Lessons I Learned from a 75 Year Old Karate Instructor,” “Beauty Kings,” and other tales from feminists, male and female. I’ve never read a single LADYFRIEND without bending down countless pages to remind me about items I want to order or ideas I need to share with friends. (Yes, I admit it. I’m a page-bender.) Highly recommended.


Nick Chretien, PO Box 75086, 8165 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5X 4V7


24 pages, digest, free

When I found out that THE SHIPPING DOCK was a work journal of a job at a chocolate factory/warehouse, I nearly leapt for joy. Now I get to learn the inside secrets of a chocolate factory! Do you ever get sick of the smell? Do you sample chocolate all day long? Unfortunately, this zine doesn’t answer any of these questions. Instead TSD focuses on the people working at the warehouse, their eccentric behavior and the tedium of factory work broken only with small talk, daydreams or goofing off.

I like TSD, but couldn’t help but feel frustrated. It feels like there is a whole narrative that the reader is not privy to and we never really get any depth to the stories. Nick lists a long cast of characters, most of which aren’t mentioned in the body of the zine. He includes short sections with his girlfriend (now ex), that create a dark, foreboding mood, especially with his claim that his job contributed to their breakup. But again, we never really find out what happened. TSD is a companion to a weblog, but Nick requested that we not list the URL. It’s hard to get more than an incomplete impression with just this issue. All in all, the writing quality is good, and he captures the mood of factory work. I just wish that if the zine is intended for complete independence from the weblog that Nick would share a little more about what’s going on so the reader could feel intrigue rather than frustration.


Davida Gypsy Breier, PO Box 11064, Baltimore, MD 21212



32 pages, digest, $2/stamps/fair trade

LEEKING INK #30 is the anniversary issue, with excerpts and highlights from TEN YEARS of publishing. (WOW! That’s amazing!) Shortly before Davida gave birth to her new son, she looked back at the last decade of her life and thirty issues of her zine (formerly titled SLOW LEEK). She briefly comments on every issue and shares the major life changes/new directions that shaped the evolving content of her zine. LI also includes longer journal-style entries about a breast cancer scare, a trip to South Florida and buying a house. I really enjoyed Davida’s mood of transformation as she stood on the verge of another huge life-changing event. We all change and grow, even when we feel like we’re just swimming in place. Likewise, when we know we’re on the edge of something new, it’s smart to reflect on where we’ve been and where you want to go. She captures that frustration and hope. I’m excited for the next phase of her life, and hope that self-publishing still plays a part in it. (What would we do without XD??)


Frederick Moe, 36 W Main Street,

Warner, NH 03278

20 pages, digest, $3

SHORT/WAVE is a zine about shortwave and pirate radio listening and DIY media. I have absolutely no experience with short wave radios and worried that I’d be lost. DJ Frederick writes clearly and I never felt trapped in jargon-geek land. Instead he introduces a few of the shows and personalities who create pirate radio shows on the FM dial: Caption Ron, WAIR-All Indie Radio, Mystery Science Radio and KMUD’s Pirate Radio Adventures at the Mojave Phone Booth. Pirate radio seems like a great way to escape mainstream, monotonous radio programming, as well as a means to voice opinions, music and more. All you need is a shortwave radio and an antennae. SW comes with a CD containing the final broadcase of Mystery Science Radio, though my copy wouldn’t play. In any case, SW offers a peek into an entire world of free speech that most folks don’t even know exists. Long live free radio!

Fred argoff

Penthouse L, 1170 Ocean Parkway,

Brooklyn, NY 11230

Something really strange happened to me recently. With all the years I’ve done creative writing, I couldn’t come up with a clever introduction for these reviews.

I tried several ways around it, all without success. Then, being the native-born Brooklynite, I wound up solving the problem in a typical Brooklyn way. Hey, I said, who needs introductions, anyway? Nobody gets this zine for the clever introductions. So, now that I feel much better about things, let’s dive right in and see what we’ve got here...

THE OBSERVATION DECK. I’ve always liked Lauri’s writing. In fact, I trade zines with her. This happens to be the “Alaska Issue.” That’s right; get yourself a nice warm parka, ’cause we’re headin’ north! Mud flats, the aurora borealis, Presidents (did you know that Warren Harding was the first President to visit Alaska?), and more. There’s always room for contributions from observant persons. No price listed, so send a little something; at least a zine trade. From LMcNamara, P.O. Box 216, Greenfield, MA 01302

Straight out of the 18th century cabinet of curiosities, we’ve got TRUNK STORIES.

I like creative writing, so long as it’s done well. The editor of this zine must be holding a nice, sharp pencil, because these are done well. Issue #3 confronts us with an emotionally-scarring talking toy, a dustbowl vampire, Pennsylvania Station in New York and... (you were waiting for the grand finale, weren’t you?) manfleas. That’s right, manfleas. Sorry; I’m not here to give the story away. You’ll just have to send for your copy and find out for yourself. That’s easy to do; send $4 to William Smith, 38 Prospect Park Southwest (Apt. 9), Brooklyn, NY 11215.

If you live in the United States and you haven’t been hiding under a rock for, oh, the last couple of decades, then you know that our liberties are under serious attack. Fortunately, not everyone throws their hands up in defeat. For instance, there’s LIVING FREE. And a prodigious zine it is--the one sent in for review is Number 132. Keep your social security number safe (why do they want it, anyway?), liberty on the internet, a book about uninhabited islands (which doesn’t sound like a bad idea, at all!) and much more. $12 for a six issue sub, or a sample for $2 cash. From Jim Stumm at Box 29-XD, Hiler Branch, Buffalo, NY 14223.

Everybody is passionate about something. Come on, fess up: you’ve got at least one of your own, don’t you? And, since most people like to talk about their favorite things--or maybe commit it to writing--there’s PASSIONS. It’s a cooperative press association. You contribute your material, and it gets printed in this sturdy, bound zine for everyone to “ooh” and “aah” over. Just as an example, Joe Torcivia contributes “The Issue at Hand,” his passion being comics. If you’ve ever thought about sharing your favorite things with the rest of the world, even for a minute, then this zine will inspire you. A sample issue goes for $3.50 (if you join up, you get a premium bound copy) from Ken Bausert, 2140 Erma Dr., East Meadow, NY 11554-1120.

Finally out of me this time around, there’s CONTESSA’S TOME. The Contessa leads the Rogue Readers on a merry adventure at the beginning of each issue, and not entirely by coincidence, the adventure teases you with a glimpse at the issue’s theme. Tome #9 features phrenology, hypnotism, magnets and ice picks. You’ll meet Dr. Walter J. Freeman, Franz Gall and yes, even the redoubtable Franz Anton Mesmer. Plus, there’s a blank chart so you can create your own hoodoo medical science! Surely you can’t ask for more than that. Previous issues have introduced us to such notables as John Wilkes Booth, Victoria Woodhull, Oronteus Finnaeus, and Colonel Walker’s Zipper. $3 apiece (back issues available, too) from D.B. Pedlar, 25727 Cherry Hill Rd., Cambridge Springs, PA 16403.

Hey, guess what? We don’t need an outro, either! See you next time.

Gavin grant

176 Prospect Ave.,

Northampton, MA 01060

www.lcrw.net; info@lcrw.net

Gavin J. Grant runs an indie press, Small Beer Press, and puts out a twice annual zine, LADY CHURCHILL’S ROSEBUD WRISTLET (www.lcrw.net), from Northampton, MA. Last time he wrote for XD he was trying to persuade an unnamed funding group to pop for a translation of one of Argentinean writer Angelica Gorodischer’s novels. In this exciting episode we discover: That Did Not Pan Out! However, other paths are actually being explored and there is hope that there will be another translation in the not too distant future. Yay!


No.21, $4, free to prisoners, letter, 84pp. Green Anarchy, PO Box 11331, Eugene, OR 97440 greenanarchy.org

Self-billed as “An Anti-Civilization Journal of Theory and Action” GREEN ANARCHY piggy-backs in to your civilized reading spot on the (barely) capitalist reading material distribution system known as XEROGRAPHY DEBT. Lots of good reading on many different aspects of life: binary gender divisions, how to identify mushrooms, a report from the Earth First! 25th anniversary party and a couple of Wildroots Collective pieces on fregans (you know, if it’s free, you eat it, whatever “it” is) and feral living. All you need to know about living off the land. If you can find some land to live off. In a piece titled “On the Continuing Poverty of Student Life” there’s a handy pull quote, “It is not death which is frightening, but the mortifying control which impoverishes and kills us.” Lots of laudable sentiment and energy, lots of striking out at other radicals who aren’t doing enough.


No.40, $??, letter, 18pp. The Tree-Hugger, Wayne E. Packwood, 23082 S. Hunter Rd., Colton, OR 97017.

First issue put together on a computer but this zine is very much one-man’s vision. Tons of political comics, reprints of some Jim Hightower columns, reports of where your tax money goes, and the American Friends Service Committee’s invoice to every American household for the cost of the USA invasion of Iraq. Hugely political and I’m guessing very useful to either start or stop conversations on the bus, in cafes, or at family gatherings. Is this man angry? Have you been following what’s been happening in this country?


No.2, $3, half-legal, 36pp. Andrew Coltrin, c/o look for signage, PO Box 40782, Tucson, AZ 85717


This is pretty good stuff. Refreshing after the heavy political message in the previous two zines -- not that they weren’t enjoyable. This one’s more like dessert. The title comes from massage therapy (don’t you feel more relaxed already?). BONY LANDMARKS are like landscape markers on the body so this is the Look for Signage art collective’s collection of cultural landscape markers. It’s a good read with a couple of short pieces on travel (being pickpocketed in Budapest and traveling in China), some found art, and a few comics all of which are pretty good. The cover and the internal art by Irvin Stafford are great. Open to submissions and specifically looking for more pieces from women writers.


No.2, $3, half-letter, 35pp. dogtown@dogtownreview.com

This is an annual fiction zine that tends toward science fiction and fantasy. There’s one stand out story in it, “After You Come Others”, by Michael Sammerdyke. The ending doesn’t quite come together but it’s inventive, surreal, ambiguous, and slips between states like a fugitive from homeland security. There are five other stories and some b&w art (hey, color cover though!) and it’s worth sending off an email to get yourself a copy.

Fran mcmillian

PMB 170, 40 E. Main St., Newark, DE 19711


The last few months have been interesting like a Chinese curse. I've been dealing with the declining health of my parents; my longest standing friend (I’ve known this woman for over three quarters of my life) had brain surgery and the city where I spent some of the happiest years of my childhood was almost destroyed by a lethal combination of Mother Nature and human negligence. Hopefully some part of New Orleans will rise again...but it will never be the same. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s the bomb dropped at a company meeting a little over three hours ago: our two locations are consolidating in the name of operating more efficiently. And you know what that means...let the cost-cutting and anxiety begin!

But even with all that, life is far from dismal. School is going well; I have a good circle of people around me and there are plenty of good movies, music and food to go around. The world may seem like it’s going to hell on a fast train, but as long as enough people keep breathing beauty and truth into it, I have faith that eventually everything will work out. Zines are a vital part of that. They’re a real bright spot for me -- and sometimes I feel that more than others.

Anyway. On with the reviews...

THE DIE #9: Now, here’s a case of the right zine landing in your postbox at the right time. Joe Smith’s lead article In Defense of Down Time was just the thing I needed to read as I was nursing some strained back muscles due to overwork. “Mindful idleness” is the theme of this issue. Joe Smith interviews Egyptian philosopher Daud R. Khashaba about the importance of making philosophical reflection a part of everyday life. Smith’s short essays on Henry Miller and Eric Hoffer demonstrate how it’s good and necessary to take some time off to rest and ponder where you’re going. Somehow Smith’s zine manages to be unabashedly cerebral without being stuffy or boring -- which is a real feat. Red Roach Press, PO Box 764, College Park, MD 20740.

e-mail: redroachpress@yahoo.com.

web: www.redroachpress.com.

Subscriptions are free, but donations of stamps or cash are greatly appreciated.

MISHAP #20: I carried this zine around in my purse for what seemed like forever reading and re-reading it, not wanting to miss a thing. This issue has just the right mix of politics, personal stories and fiction. There’s a fascinating series of interviews with the forces behind Hungry Ghost, Prank and Communication Media records about what makes a DIY label DIY, an interview with short-short story writer Bruce Holland Rogers, and some compelling personal essays and fiction.

A fine read. Ryan, PO Box 5841, Eugene OR 97405 Price: $4US, $6 world, or trade. Free upon request.

MUSEA #146 The Saying of Editor Art -- the wit & the half-wit: I’ve always admired this zine’s range. Over the years Tom Hendricks, writing as Art S. Revolutionary, has written about architecture, fashion, music, TV, you name it. This limited edition collector’s issue (only 50 were made) is something different still: a collection of one-liners that range from the barbed to the poetic. Examples: 3 guitars and drums is not music its a cliche. When I get bored with myself, I leave the room. MUSEA, Tom Henricks, 4000 Hawthorne #5, Dallas, TX 75219-2275, Price: Free


web: musea.us or hunkasarus.com

LILLIPUT REVIEW #145-6: What a cool idea! A tiny zine for tiny poems. LILLIPUT REVIEW specializes in poems that are no longer than 10 lines each and that brevity helps discourage the usual pretension and self-indulgence. Most of the poems are haiku, but not all. My favorites are Bart Solarczyk's Walt Whitman’s Watching and Robert Chute's Nature: Feb. ’01. LILLIPUT REVIEW, Don Wentworth, Editor, 282 Main St., Pittsburg, PA 15201 Price: $1,SASE or

2 stamps for a single issue, $5 for 6 issues, $15 for 10 issues, Checks to Don Wentworth.

LADY CHURCHILL’S ROSEBUD WRISTLET # 16: This is probably the most solid lit zine I’ve read in some time. 60 dense pages of fiction, poetry and humor and while I didn’t like all of it equally, nothing in it was a waste. My favorites: Eric Gregory’s You and I in the Year 2012 about a man who receives a letter from his future self and Sean Melican’s haunting Gears Grind Down about finding one’s true purpose. LCRW, Small Beer Press, 176 Prospect Ave., Northhampton, MA 01060 Price:$5

for a single issue, $20 for 4, e-mail: info@lcrw.net web: www.lcrw.net/lcrw

CLIP TART III, 2006: A huge compendium of quotes, dreams, collage work and articles all loosely connected with gods and demons. This is not the sort of zine you read from cover to cover. Instead, just dip in and see where it takes you. It’s the journey, after all, not the destination -- and a strange and wonderful journey it is. Amazing artwork by editor Susan Boren and others, 8 pages in full color. Also, a lively letters section. CLIP TART, PO Box 66512, Austin TX 78766 Price: Can’t find one, but it’s worth at least $5. Trades accepted too.




contact via Xerography Debt

SMELLING TREES : PROJECT ONE_LOVELY HEADS, 40 pp., subscribe for $8 or trade.

By Sinoun

2090A Highway 317 #239

Suwannee, GA 30024


Short stories with lesbian or gender bending themes with a Zen-like, philosophical spirit and highly effective stream of consciousness narrative style. Stories run the gambit from reunited friends with a sudden death, historical fictional lesbian writers, to an alien in a botched mission. Stories are told with a noteworthy skill in a tone that is compelling, mysterious, and sometimes Zen. Graphic design is great with a thrifty use of newsprint. If the other issues are like the one I read, this is worth a subscription. Sinoun should branch out into novelistic prose, she has the skillz.

SUPPORT, approx 60 pp., $2.50.

Author name not given.

Microcosm Publisher

P.O. Box 14332

Portland, OR 97293


Practical zine without alienating psychobabble and recommendations of tranquilizers so prevalent in the popular literature about sexual abuse. Honest, gritty, practical treatise on sexual abuse; how the abused become abusers; and also how their loved ones can cope with trauma as it is worked out.

Some material is intense, the advice is so good, it is clinical in nature. Honest, caring, tough zine that encourages healing through self-knowledge, acceptance, and willingness to face ugliness in recovery. The excellent content could have benefited with more equal coverage of the heterosexual perspective (there is a subtle gay bias), and a discussion of compassion and forgiveness and how to walk the line with letting go of past hurt without swallowing it in denial.

This zine deserves a much wider distribution, especially in halfway houses and anywhere there are abused women and men who strive to recover themselves.

Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric, 12 pp. $1.00 plus stamp

Sarah Rose

P.O. Box 816

N. Tazewell, VA 24630


Amusing, honest, engaging slice of life zine with engrossing discussion of cutting, celibacy, and masturbation. Narrative voice is observant, analytical, philosophical, non-judgmental. Only beef I had was the tirade against Bush. Sarah, you’re preaching to the choir, but what if you deconstructed Bush’s behavior in such a way that those across the aisle pricked up their ears? Expose him so his villainy is plain for all to see, use your intellect to get thinking Republicans to question what is going on. Leave the anger out and the audience will grow.

Loved the green staples. Zine is totally worth a buck.


70 pp. pricing confusing, cover says $5, zine author asks for 6.25 with additional pricing info for a friend’s zine.

Use zine title as recipient

1829 Blaine Ave.

Salt Lake City, UT 84108



Zine content totally lives up to its title. My mind is flabby from the fluff I usually let in, so the material challenges, sort of like Sci-Fi. I have to work hard to read that stuff, too, which is probably a good thing.

Content consists of short stories by various authors and mercifully short poetry. Writing quality varies considerably, but all of it is quite absurd, including the price for this zine. I urge its producers to cut publishing costs in consideration that most of its potential audience works crappy retail jobs; lives in group houses; and is hard-put to spend $6.50 on anything. If you feel flush, and enjoyed “Waiting for Godot” give it a try, but don’t break the bank on this title.

Matt Fagan

1573 N. Milwaukee Ave., PMB #464

Chicago, IL 60622



You just can’t keep a good review zine down! XEROGRAPHY DEBT is back so fast you’d never even know we blinked! It has occurred to me that I’ve been writing reviews for every issue of this zine since #7, which came out in February of 2002. That means this is my thirteenth issue of XEROGRAPHY DEBT. Now, I’ve been doing my own zine, MENISCUS, since 1998, and I’ve only published fourteen issues to date. More than likely, it’s only a matter of time before I will have been involved with more issues of XEROGRAPHY DEBT than of my own zine! What can I say? I’m hooked! The very idea that this fine review zine was ever in danger of disappearing – however inflated that danger might have been – was a major blow to my carefully regulated psyche.

But lo! Disaster is averted, and we can all congratulate Davida and celebrate our collective good fortune. Some dedicated reviewers have stepped up to the editorial plate and made sure that the zine reviews make it out to the good people of Earth in a timely fashion. And I, as always, am here to do my part.


26 pp., spiral-bound, $3

Billy McKay

PO BOX 542

N. Olmsted, OH 44070


With TILE #4, artist Billy McKay bids a fond and tearful goodbye to the world of the underground press. Over the last nine years, his creative output has been prolific and varied, and he was actually one of the first indie artists whose comics I began to follow – titles like INVISIBLE ROBOT FISH and SHOT BY A RAY GUN – but it all started with TILE. In the introduction to TILE #4, which also serves as a farewell to his readers and friends in the zine community, McKay explains that his original inspiration came from a face he saw in a shower tile found in his old apartment. From this face sprang a character, and from this character sprang a story, which opened the floodgates for years of experimentation and artistic growth.

TILE is not his favorite work. The cyborg, monster, and tortoise are on a surreal journey filled with symbolism, but after completing the third issue in 1999 Billy explored the many tangents he would create in dozens of other publications. He has developed a signature style that I have come to admire, but like many who have come before him, Billy McKay has ultimately realized that real life demands more of his time and energy than he can spare as a zinester. So he must leave.

But not without taking a final bow. Billy’s journey through the world of the underground press, and our journey through Billy’s world, concludes with story that he set out to tell in 1997. In an impressively packaged, spiral-bound comic with a full-color cover, his heroes face one final enemy, experience a soaring victory, and then make a difficult choice. It’s hard not to read a lot of Billy’s personal feelings about zines and creativity into the last few pages of TILE, whether he meant it or not. I don’t know if I was sad because the story was over, or because Billy was leaving.

If you are already a fan of his comics, then you simply must get TILE #4, because it’s the final chapter of a story that’s been a long time in the making. But even if you’re not, Billy’s stuff is always worth reading, and this one is no exception.

WHUDDAFUG #1, November 2005

digest, 32 pp., $2 or trade ($3 outside US)

Anthony Abelaye

PO Box 1567

Fremont, CA 94538-0156



Almost the opposite of Billy’s situation, WHUDDAFUG represents Anthony’s return to the underground after more than a decade in the real world, with mixed results. This is a man who is clearly driven by a deeply-held personal belief that he is a writer. But real life intervened with its dizzying repertoire of distractions, from internet porn to child-rearing, and somewhere in the interim Anthony got lost. Discipline is what he really needs, but once out of the habit it can be hard to get back in. Like any good former zinester, Anthony knows in his heart that making zines (whether or not they end up being very good) is a way of training yourself to write regularly, and ultimately of learning to write better. So he’s trying to get back into the habit.

If he can keep it going, I have no doubt that WHUDDAFUG will be to Anthony what MENISCUS has been to me: a forum of discipline, where journals can become narratives and a writer can learn the sound of his own voice.

The first issue bears the unmistakable trademarks of uncertainty and determination, the work of a man who has forgotten his way. Taking dream journals, diary entries and other writing fragments from the past decade, along with the original material created for this zine, Anthony has arranged the sundry evidence of his life as a writer into something that can serve as both an introduction to readers and a roadmap of his own ambitions (I think it may work better as the latter).

There are a lot of fragments like “I need to write” (from a stream of similar comments on page five, written in February of 2003) and “Some of this, maybe all of this, should appear bundled up, expanded upon, included in an issue of the zine I’ve yet to publish” (referring to a journal entry on page twelve, written in November of 2003). This is a recurring theme for Anthony.

A number of the little stories in WHUDDAFUG carry this repetition like a mantra of vague remorse, and strictly as a reader, I don’t feel like I needed all of them. On the other hand, as a writer,

I understand why each of these entries is individually meaningful and important to Anthony, and I can’t begrudge his decision to include them. He’s not publishing a book here, it’s a zine, and he has the right to be selfish. Long after you or I will have finished reading WHUDDAFUG and moved on to something else, it will still be there as a part of Anthony’s life, a testament to his ongoing pursuit of his dream. This issue must collect all the scraps of these intervening years, every part that he might one day need.

And certainly, this issue is not without other rewards. Stories about his family are far more interesting and personal than lamentations about his job and the artistic pursuits from which it keeps him. Recounting the experience of his daughter’s first pet (a wounded pigeon) gives ample opportunity to inject his own personality and philosophy within a more fluid context, and the zine succeeds the most under these circumstances.

Overall, WHUDDAFUG #1 is a promising return. The earlier parts are uneven and not always satisfying, but I think it’s sort of a necessary evil. As Anthony begins to write with greater regularity, the writing itself becomes more joyful. He is no longer fighting his instincts, and when he surrenders to desire, it’s a better experience for everyone.


8 ? x 9 ?, 18 pp., $3

Joe Pachinko

243 Athol Ave. #9

Oakland, CA 94606


Let me give you the basic rundown of your typical GRANPA STUPED comic. There are six panels, in which the title character (Granpa Stuped) sits in a chair. A second character enters and says some things to Granpa, but he can’t understand so he just keeps saying “What?” Perhaps someone accuses him of turning off his hearing aid. Then, Granpa Stuped shits himself in the chair.

Does this idea make you laugh? If so, then GRANPA STUPED is the comic for you. If not, you probably ought to look elsewhere, because although there is a certain amount of variety to be found in some truly unusual “second characters”, there is very little change in the behavior of Granpa Stuped himself. He sits, he hollers, he soils his chair.

I have to be honest. I thought this comic was ugly and kinda dumb, but that’s really the point of something like this. GRANPA STUPED didn’t appeal to me, but I can see that he will have an audience, and I think you know who you are. I’m not coming down on the comic or anything, I just wasn’t that into it. I did like some of the weird cameo appearances in the secondary characters; it’s in these slight variations that Pachinko truly shows his talent. He pairs Granpa Stuped with a squid, a white Christian rapper, an unfriendly Swiss farmer, and even a handicapped pirate. I found myself wishing he would veer off into their stories for a while, let somebody else to take center stage for once. You can tell he has a warped sense of humor in there.

BOGUS RENDITION #666, Fall 2005

digest, 48 pp., “free” on the cover, but says $2 inside

25 Gooding’s End

Yarmouth, ME 04096


This is another one of those defiantly low-tech, cut-and-paste music zines the I am occasionally asked to review and usually decline. Again, though, I have attempted to review each and every publication sent to me, so I read and read and read BOGUS RENDITION in order to provide that service. But I couldn’t even find a toehold!

There is certainly nothing wrong with this zine (at least not that I am in a position to call them out on). It’s a typical format of collage (photo, clip art and drawings) onto which the text has been glued, then photocopied. You know the basic ransom-note idea. The problem is that the content almost entirely consists of show and album reviews, and after several pages I still hadn’t read the name of a band that I recognized. Maybe they’re very obscure, but to be honest, I never go to shows. I don’t listen to the radio. I’ve never even heard a song by Britney Spears, much less one by “Hate Eternal” or “Opeth”. I’m sure that fans of hardcore music would find this zine interesting, since it seems to come from tons of firsthand experience. But not for a novice like me! When reviewing the new album by Ed Gein, entitled “judas goats & dieseleaters”, he writes “An album of all out blistering, grinding, crusty noise core. The best parts of “Jane Doe” era Converge mixed with Pig Destroyer. Pretty simple and easy to describe.” Ah, the irony is not lost on me, my friend.



digest (but the long way), 12 cardstock pp. plus covers, all light green.

by Christoph Meyer

PO Box 106

Danville, OH 43014

There is no price on this comic, because Christoph (best known as the publisher of TWENTY-EIGHT PAGES LOVINGLY BOUND WITH TWINE) didn’t make it with the intent to sell it to you. As he explains on the back cover, AN UNFORTUNATE MOUSE IN OUR HOUSE is an excerpt from a book called Mouse Fortune Buffet, which he hasn’t made yet. This comic was printed as a giveaway for a comics expo, and there’s even a little space at the bottom that labels this as copy #383 of 420, of the first and only printing.

So, I don’t know exactly how representative UNFORTUNATE may be of the intended collection, but the comic in question appears to be a true story about the fate of a real life mouse in Christoph’s home, which is already occupied by two cats.

As you might have guessed, the story does not end happily. But here’s a teaser: the cat doesn’t get the mouse. I enjoyed it very much. AN UNFORTUNATE MOUSE IN OUR HOUSE was funny and gross, and y’all should look forward to the book.


digest, 36pp., $2 world (99p UK)

David Robertson

5 Kenmore Terrace

Dundee, Scotland



Some time ago I received the first issue of this comic in a stack of zines that Davida sent to me for review, and I really enjoyed the unpretentious illustrations and the totally unexpected story. The simple, two-dimensional drawings belied the complex ambitions of the plot, which centers around two college age friends named Bert and Ronnie. The central protagonist is Bert, an amateur chemist whose relationship with his family is strained by his lack of plans for life after school. Ronnie seems generally more together than his old chum, and the story begins when he shows Bert his homemade robot, which he plans to enroll in a Robot Wars competition. Listless Bert gladly accepts the responsibility of painting Berserkotron, but decides to utilize his chemistry skills to concoct a “magic” paint to render the robot indestructible.

When you get a zine from across the sea in a review bundle, you never really expect to come across the follow-up installments. Imagine my pleasant surprise when Mr. Robertson mailed BERSERKOTRON #2 directly to my PO Box! Here is the conclusion to the story.

The second issue was no less ambitious than the first, casting the Robot War as the arena of battle for not only a bevy of homemade robots, but also for a group of young men facing adulthood. The personal history between Ronnie and Bert is evident, even as their bickering shows the fraying bonds of their long relationship. And their nemesis in the competition is a huge, monstrous robot piloted by Moser, a no-account bully who has obviously been the duo’s enemy for long, long time.

I think it’s a great idea, and a lot of it comes through in BERSERKOTRON. But I wonder if this is really the best way to tell the story. The no-frills art (which I realize is at least in part a conscious choice) seems to miss some opportunities with regards to presenting an army of battling robots. Could I draw a convincing army of battling robots? Probably not, so kudos for David Robertson for taking a shot at it, and I know it’s been a great learning experience for him. He’s managed to finish what he started, telling a cracking good story that I certainly wasn’t anticipating when I opened up the first issue of BERSERKOTRON. My only complaint is that I honestly think the story is bigger than the comic can convey in its current form. There are depths to the character dynamics that would be difficult, if not downright impossible, to plumb in a comic like this. I hope that lots of people write to David for copies of BERSERKOTRON, and I hope that someday he’ll come back to these guys and give us a little more.

Kathy Moseley

1573 N. Milwaukee Ave., #403

Chicago, IL 60622


Firstly, congratulations to Davida and Patrick on the birth of their beautiful boy!

If not for him, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do the layout for this issue, which I enjoyed very much. I’m hoping it might give me a kick-start to get  working on the next issue of SEMIBOLD. I keep putting it off and putting it off, but I just need to get off my butt and do it. It will be issue #10, so that would be a nice round place to end it I think.  If you want to order an old issue of SEMIBOLD, it’s $2 from the address above. Only three reviews from me this time, because I'm a slacker.


A very open and emotional zine from Tracy. The first story talks about the loss of her  beloved cat Durga (for whom the zine is named), and eventually welcoming two new cats into her home. She also writes about her difficult relationship with her sister, and includes a letter she wrote to her. She also touches on her love/hate relationship with Eugene, Oregon, grad school (another zinester librarian!) and insomnia.

24 pages, digest size, $1.50 or trade


PO Box 5841

Eugene, OR 97405



This was really amazing. Four short stories, three of which are about David’s struggle with heroin addiction. He gives us a  scary peek into the desperation of the junkie life, without glossing over any of the gory details. I was reading this on the bus, and I actually gasped out loud when I got to the part about how he got pulled over by the cops and swallowed the foil-wrapped packets of heroin he’d just bought. Yikes! His writing is extremely compelling, and I’m happy he’s clean now so he can share these stories with us. Highly recommended.

36 pages, digest size, $1 each

David Frank

1002 W. Montrose Ave.

Box 194

Chicago, IL 60613



One of those zines I’ve been hearing about for years but never had a chance to read until now. It’s mostly about punk rock, with  the requisite band interviews and record reviews, but there’s an overall sense of goofy humor pervading it that makes it far more enjoyable than the average punk newsprint zine. I especially enjoyed the interview with Joey Shithead of DOA, and Benny “Bongos” Tully’s thoughts on record collections vs. the ubiquitous iPod.  The record reviews are also more interesting than usual — some are in the form of haiku, and others are summed up in one word only. Worth checking out.

88 pages, full size, $2 each

1658 N. Milwaukee Ave. #545

Chicago, IL 60647



If you want your zine considered for review, please send it to one of these fine folks:


Please don’t send more than two copies of your zine in for review. You can get a sense of each reviewers tastes by reading their reviews in this issue and decide who might best appreciate your zine. Also, please indicate that the zine is being sent for review and enclose an info sheet (see next page).


Anne Thalheimer (Booty)

160 North Maple St.

Florence, MA 01062


I would prefer feminist-ey stuff. I like auto-bio and comix, but will read just about everything aside from weirdo porn zines


Dan Taylor (The Hungover Gourmet)

PO Box 5531

Lutherville MD 21094



Davida Gypsy Breier (Leeking Ink)

PO Box 11064

Baltimore, MD 21212



Eric Lyden (Fish With Legs)

224 Moraine St.

Brockton, MA 02301


Per zines, comic zines, anything that seems to have any sort of sense of humor. No poetry zines! I’m also not too into political zines, but I can appreciate them when they’re well done.


Fran McMillian (Etidorhpa)


40 East Main St., PMB 170

Newark, DE 19711


Lit zines, perzines, artzines


Gavin Grant (Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet)

176 Prospect Ave.

Northampton, MA 01060


Literary, perzine, political, cooking, etc!


Julie Dorn (Junie in Georgia)

3455 Blaisdell Ave. S #13

Minneapolis, MN 55408


I’d rather not have anymore punk rock /handwritten/talking about food not bombs/sloppy ones with only 20 pages. Anything else, I’m game. Comics, perzines, poetry, fiction, whatever.


Kathy Mosely (SemiBold)

1573 N. Milwaukee Ave

PMB #403

Chicago, IL 60622


I’d prefer getting mostly perzines, but I’ll take a crack at pretty much anything.


Matt Fagan (Meniscus)

1573 N Milwaukee Ave

PMB #464

Chicago, IL 60622



Miriam DesHarnais (Library Urinal and Object Lesson)

PO Box 4803

Baltimore MD 21211



Noemi Martinez (Hermana Resist)

PO Box 621

Edinburg, TX 78540


feminist, personal, poc written, recipe/DIY, fiction, academic; not music


Stephanie Holmes

271 Eastwood Drive

Plymouth, IN 46563


I like cooking zines, perzines, travel zines, activist zines, parenting zines and comic zines

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