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Xerography Debt #4

Table of Contents


Basic stuff you should know…

If this is your first issue, this should clarify things: 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 completely communal, non-possessive sense. We are individual artists and writers coming together to collaborate and help keep zineland flourishing. It is a communal experience from start to finish.

To further promote this effort to connect readers and writer/artists, Tom Hendricks of Musea has also agreed to host Xerography Debt on his website: musea.digitalchainsaw.com. It will be available for free online (some artwork will only be available in print) or paper copies can be ordered through me.

There is no way I can review everything that I receive. I will do the best I can. I am but one overworked person. Do your part by ordering a few zines from the many reviewed here and, if you self-publish, please consider including a few reviews in your zine.

If you are interested in reviewing for Xerography Debt, please contact me by mail or e-mail for some rather vague, but supposedly helpful guidelines. All you need to do is write five reviews that will excite people to send money, stamps, or a trade. Due to the ridiculous pressures of self-imposed deadlines, #6 will be done when it is done, but hopefully sometime over the summer.


Now that I am up to issue four, it seems like everything is working and I'm at a loss for introductory words. I guess some long overdue thank you's are in order: First, I would like to thank Patrick and Androo and for helping me staple and fold the last issue in the car on the way to Ohio. I big thank you to Bobby for going above and beyond the call of duty and reviewing the whole stack of zines I sent him. Lastly, there are the many people who have supported my efforts and for that I am grateful. I am especially thankful to Janette, Earl, Ken, Richard, and Patrick. This is still just the beginning.

In the Mailbox
Hey, Xerography Debt is getting great action. I've received several Profanity Debate orders mentioning yer mag. So, your efforts are making a difference. Alden Scott Crow (Grammar Q & A)


Basically, I don't have what one would call a cash flow. Cash trickle would be an overstatement. I would like to keep publishing Xerography Debt, so if you would like to help sponsor Xerography Debt with a few stamps or cash, please feel free to do so. Also, let me know if you wish to remain anonymous. This issue's sponsors are:

Al Cene
Chris Dodge
DB Pedlar
Androo Robinson
Donny Smith
Patrick Tandy
Jeff Zenick
And one kind anonymous soul

Suggestions for Zinewriters, Distros, and Prisoners

A group of us got together at the 2000 Underground Publishing Convention and discussed some issues concerning zines and personal safety. The impetus for this discussion was Bill Price, a twice convicted child molester who has been actively contacting young girls involved in the zine community and publishing their contact information. It would be naïve to think that zines are exempt from people like this. The outcome of the gathering of zine publishers was the inception of the following advice and guidelines, which we hoped would be helpful to newcomers and old-timers.

For those of you starting or currently creating zines: You cannot control where your zines go once they are mailed out. It is unwise to use your home address. Think about it, you wouldn't give your home address to a stranger on the street, what is the difference? Get a PO Box or private mail box. A USPS po box costs approx. $22 for 6 months. If money is an issue, perhaps you can split the cost with a friend or two.

Something else to consider, for both privacy and protection, is using a pseudonym. A great many zinewriters and professional writers do this.

If you receive mail from someone that disturbs you, remember that you are under NO obligation to sell or trade your zine to that person. You might also want to ask a few other zine people about their experiences with the person. Several of us were uneasy about Bill Price's letters, but we didn't discuss this amongst ourselves until he had already infiltrated the zine community. If you have internet access alt.zines (www.deja.com) and the e-groups zinesters list (www.egroups.com/group/zinesters) are good places to ask questions.

If you print reviews in your zine, remember that you are making that person's info public knowledge. If it is a home address, you might want to contact that person and check and see if they want listed.

Distros and Stores
In light of recent events, many zinewriters are re-evaluating how and if they want to deal with prisoner orders. If you have not already done so, you might want to come up with a policy concerning prisoner orders and notify the zines you are carrying what it is. Giving people the option of saying yes or no to prisoner requests seems to be the easiest.

Please realize that we don't know you and because of the acts of one man, we are more suspicious of prisoner requests. The zine community is more aware than most of the rest of society about the incipient racism, drug wars, and labor complex that has created a huge prison population. However, we don't know if you are in jail because of a little pot or because you are a serial rapist. If you are requesting a zine be upfront about why you are in jail and provide enough information (i.e. prison #) for the person to verify this. Let the person know where you read about his/her zine.

For zinewriters receiving a prisoner order:
You are under no obligation to send your zine. Sending the stamps back would be the ethical thing to do. If the prisoner does not indicate why he/she is incarcerated, ask. If he/she won't tell you it is an indication of a problem. You can look up some information online. Some states have public access to information on known sex offenders.

Alert About Bill Price:
Bill Price is a twice convicted child molester. In 1984 he was sentenced to 8 years in prison for molesting a 9 year old girl. He went to jury trial with 5 counts of child molestation. In the early 90's he molested the two girls starting at ages 5 and 6, respectively. In 1993 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is currently 48 years old.

Distros and zinewriters have reported that he has shown particular interest in zines with topics of rape, abuse and sex, and zines by young women, heavy-set women, and lesbians. He is having his some of his zines and letters mailed from outside the prison, so that people he contacts do not necessarily know he is incarcerated. He is currently up for parole in 2001.

He has published three zines: Bars, Ishi, and Fem Zine. The first issue of Ishi was written as if he is a sexually abused, young girl, and attempts to appeal to the same. Fem Zine is a listing of zines by young women. Zinewriters have reported an increase in orders from prisons after being listing in Fem Zine, which implies he is distributing this to other prisoners.

Please feel free to reproduce the information on these two pages. You can even email me for the text if you like.

Reviews by Eric Lyden
(FISH WITH LEGS) 224 Moraine St., Brockton, MA 02301

Hello folks. I must apologize- I'm having trouble coming up with a charming and personable introduction for these reviews. I suppose I could just skip the intro and go right into the reviews, but... well, I'm fond of intros. Last issue I wrote some reviews for this fine publication and found that I enjoyed it and I enjoyed spreading the word about zines I like. And oddly enough, I found that people were actually reading my reviews and apparently some of you weirdoes even value my opinion which quite frankly sort of stunned me. I mean, I know that the whole point of writing these reviews is for people to read them and order the zines reviewed based on my opinion, but to find out people are doing just that... well, I find it a little intimidating. But not too intimidating, because I know that each and every zine I review here is one I recommend with all my heart and all 5 of these zines are zines that I have yet to see mentioned here in XEROGRAPHY DEBT so... enough talk, let's get to the reviews...

First of all, this zine has a very cool red and black spray paint stenciled cover which looks really cool, but as we all know you can't judge a zine by it's cover. The writing is what really matters and the quality of writing in this zine is very high. The best and longest piece in this zine is a 24 page account of Ammi's relationship with both of her roommates (both of whom she was sleeping with and both of whom dumped her on the same day)and... well, if I try to explain it it'll sound stupid and I won't be able to do it justice, but it's a really great piece. Also in this issue is a "cover version" of a short story by Raymond Carver that I imagine is more interesting if you're familiar with the original, but I still enjoyed it. Ammi is a very talented writer and a gifted storyteller and if you don't check out her zine I will personally slap you upside the head... well, not really, but you should really check out her zine anyway. You won't be disappointed.
Current issue #3
$1 or trade
PO Box 72023
New Orleans LA 70172-2023

I really enjoy this zine a lot, but I am at something of a loss to explain exactly what it is about it that I like so much. This is just a very good personal zine with a tone that I find appealing. This is one of those zines that somehow manages to be personal and honest, but never reaches the point where you feel like you're reading her personal diaries and...sometimes when I'm reading personal zines I feel sort of uncomfortable because I feel like I'm reading someone's personal diary and I'm reading things that I maybe shouldn't be reading. Mannie manages to keep things honest and personal without ever straying into that territory. Sometimes she does write articles which are not exactly original concepts- she writes a piece about advertising and what a scam it all is and while this isn't exactly new territory she manages to do it well, and it's well written enough that you don't even care that's it's maybe not the most original concept in the world. A very good and very attractive looking zine.
Current issue #5
$1+stamp or trade
280 Glen Ave.
Port Chester NY 10573

This is one of the more amazing zines I've seen in awhile. The only problem I have with including it in these reviews is... well, I'm not so sure this is really a zine. I mean, it has a glossy cover with a bar code on it, it has paid advertising.... maybe you zine purist types wouldn't consider ti a zine based on the look of it, but all you have to do is take a cursory look at the contents inside and you'll see that this is definitely a zine and a damn great one at that. Josh is a great writer with a great sense of humor who is totally honest and pulls no punches at all. The standout pieces in this issue are "Lost in the K hole" an account of Josh's drug experiences, "How to Visit NYC Without Pissing Me Off" which is really funny and quite useful as well, a tribute to the late comedian Bill Hicks, Angerboy's Sick and Wrong Jokes (which really are sick and wrong, but are also quite funny in a very tasteless sort of way) and... Hell, other than a really stupid and not funny bit about a chicken who talks to the dead (which only takes up one page out of fifty) the whole thing is pretty damn great. Check it out.
Current issue #3
Josh Saitz
PO Box 225338
San Francisco CA 94122-5338

Consumer Defense Corporate Poetry
This zine has been a long time favorite of mine... well, not a real long time-about 2.5 years. Still, I think that's pretty long. The basic concept of this zine is this- Rich writes letters to big corporations about their stupid and misleading advertisements and then prints those letters along with the big corporation's response (99 times out of a hundred it's either a form letter or nothing at all. I think I have more respect for the companies that send nothing at all. Sending a form letter means that they took the letter seriously and most of Rich's letters are really too ridiculous to take seriously and it drives me nut to think of some customer relations guy getting paid a huge salary to send form letters to every damn crack pot who claims that he invented Coca Cola. The companies who send nothing at all give the impression that they have better things to do than respond to these kooks.) I know you've probably seen this sort of thing before- there have been a couple of mainstream books that do this, but Rich's letters are damn funny, and besides- if you buy one of those mainstream books you're really supporting the same big corporations that they're purporting to make fun of. This is just a very funny zine. That's the bottom line.
Current issue #11
Rich Mackin
PO Box 890
Allston MA 02134

Damn, this is one great personal zine. There is something about Sarah's writing style that I find really appealing, but I have a hard time putting what it is I like about it into words and explaining it to you. This zine just has a certain energy and spirit to it. Sarah has a great, unique writing style and she seems to have real opinions- she doesn't just read or hear the opinions of others and adopt them as her own, she actually seems to think for herself and form her own opinions which is something that not a lot of people seem to do. This zine is also 100% computer free, which is quite admirable, even though it does lead to a few too many spelling errors, but that is just a minor complaint. It's not like my spelling is any better. This zine is 98% handwritten and it's all very legible and Sarah even writes poetry that I rather like and me liking any poetry at all is quite rare indeed.
Current issue #8
$2 or trade
Sarah O'Donnell
1122 E Pike #910
Seattle WA 98122

Reviews by Fred Argoff
(BROOKLYN! & WATCH THE CLOSING DOORS) 1800 Ocean Parkway (#B-12), Brooklyn, NY 11223-3037

Discipline...that's what they'll tell you in any writing class you ever take. You have to develop discipline as a writer. Well, just go ahead and give me that poor grade. I couldn't come up with a theme for my reviews. While I procrastinate about having a T-shirt printed up to announce myself to the world as a "LAZY WRITER," I'll just go ahead with my scribblings for this issue:

Violet Jones says, and I quote, "I have long thought that the next true literary movement is the monster that toils under the ungainly moniker of 'zinesters.'" And so, proceeding from this forthright statement, she has created SPUNK, the journal of spontaneous creativity. Everyone's invited to contribute their own ideas of spontaneous creativity, since such things will be different for each individual. She's not limiting herself here, and will accept poetry just as gladly as writing, art, or photography. Needless to say, when you put outbursts like this together in one place, it makes for some fascinating reading. $1 from Violet at PO Box 55336, Hayward, CA 94545.

THE CHAIN RING THAT ATE MY PANTS. What would you expect from a zine with a title like this? I'll tell you what you'll get: something that has been near and dear to my heart for a long time. This is an anti-car zine. In fact, I suspect Rob would be thrilled if it exploded into a full-fledged anti-car movement. Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that I'm ready to push you out of the way in the effort to be the first in line! And he's got stickers available too, so you can publicize what ought to become a national craze. Fifth issue doesn't cost a nickel, from Rob Kelley, PO Box 1971, Aptos, CA 95001-1971.

Well, sue me, but maybe I found a theme after all. There's a zine, see, put out by a guy from California who's mass-transit obsessed (you know I'm not talking about myself, 'cause I'm here on the East Coast.). Peter Lewis is his name, and OUT OF ORDER is his zine. I'm not just saying he's mass-transit obsessed, because for each of the last two years, he's come to New York and we've ridden the rails together -- talkin' trains and takin' photos like there's no tomorrow. Anyway, issue #14 explores the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sky Train in Vancouver, BC, and New York's subway after midnight. Maybe you're familiar with my own work in this area, and you wonder why I bother to review something that appears to be directly competitive. To such people, I can only say, you can't do enough train riding. The only problem is that Peter doesn't list a price, so send a buck or two and tell him you got the tip from me. Peter Lewis, PO Box 1402, Occidental, CA 95465-1402

The question before us now is, WHO IS JOHNNY CASH? You probably won't get the answer reading this zine, but you'll have an enjoyable read so you won't care. It's more than just a compilation zine, but not quite a full perzine. You do find out what Lauri and the gang are up to over on Martha's Vineyard, but there's lots of other stuff, too. #14 was the "Quartet Issue," devoted (as you might expect) to four things at a time. The survey question was, what are your favorite things to do, and everyone comes up with a list that's pretty eclectic, if you don't mind a fancy word. Also bits and pieces from zines Lauri likes -- which is a lot more fun than ranting about zines you hate! Another zine that doesn't list a price (why won't people tell you what they want for their work?) so send a buck or two to L. McNamara, PO Box 4112, Tisbury, MA 02568.

What could possibly be more fun than hearing about weird news? Reading THE WEIRD NEWS. Editor Don Busky compiles some of the strangest stuff you ever imagined in this zine. He assures me it's all completely legit, and why shouldn't I take his word for it? I, personally, consider the highlight of each issue to be the "Great Moments in Stupidity," and when you stop to think about some of the things that have happened in recorded history, there's an awful lot to choose from! I myself was invited to make a contribution in this regard, and penned an article about the presidential election of 1876 (I'm not going into specifics here, but take my word for it: if they made it a sitcom, you wouldn't watch it because you'd claim it was too unbelievable.) And best of all, the zine is perfectly, absolutely free. Just request your copy from Don at 7393 Rugby St., Philadelphia, PA 19138-1236.

Ralph...barf...drive the porcelain bus...toss your cookies...hey, how about a technicolor yawn? Do you see where this is leading? That's right: straight to a brand new zine called PUKE. Editor Bri figured that everyone must throw up sometime in their lives, and therefore must have stories to tell. You sure can't accuse her of coming up with a misleading title! As far as I'm concerned, this is what zine are about; you won't find a subject like this in the mainstream media unless you throw up on your copy of People! So get the zine -- but just as important, send in your vomit stories, photos and weird facts. Just $1 from Bri at 539 Washington St. NE, Warren, OH 44483.

Reviews by Donny Smith
(DWAN) Box 411, Swarthmore PA 19081

no price ($1?), trade
Jimmy Robeson
4691 Caravelle Dr., Anchorage AK 99502 USA
On the cover: Sparkly crayon. A photocopied collage of the zinester as a "pussy". And a pink construction-paper flap covering a choice: "The real you. (MAKE UP( A cover up."
Inside: A rant about macho bullshit in the Anchorage punk scene. A nostalgic look at a smoking habit. Script for a spoken word piece on the censorship of a mural on tolerance. Transcripts of overheard heterosexual conversation. "Love is a battlefield" (musing on fear, love, and growing up. Lotsa ziney collages. Letters from friends. Pictures of friends. Diary entries. Poems of unrequited love.
Best line: "Fuck it. I'm going to read Kathy Acker right now and learn new ways to express myself . . ."
Overall: Sweet.

1000 INTERLOCKING PIECES 7 "Admitting Defeat"
no price ($1?), trade
Jason Adams
390 Roxbaro Pl., Florence SC 29505 USA
On the cover: Cut up words. Sign language diagrams.
Inside: "Admitting defeat." "We've all stopped having years that begin with 1." "Some people I know have died"(a wonderful set of anecdotes on funerals. "I was promoted at work to stressed-out-workaholic area manager." Scribbly collages. A few brief reviews. And "Britney Spears met her goal of becoming the Nancy Sinatra of the Oughts", in which the zinester admits not only to listening to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 but to taking notes, which he generously shares.
Best line: "This song . . . is the least objectionable thing this loathsome cockroach of pop [Phil Collins] has farted out in years."
Overall: I know where he's coming from.

$1 cash ("five dollars to N.Y. literati")
King Wenclas Promotions
PO Box 42077, Philadelphia, PA 19101 USA
On the cover: Starts right out with the first article, on how his "tapered red-and-black leather ghetto jacket" makes people nervous.
Inside: The zinester defends himself against charges of rudeness and encounters another writer in a bar. A book on Madonna makes him think about Ann of Bottle Fed zine. He gets a lecture on how Heidegger wasn't a Nazi, then sits through a panel discussion of four big New York editors, who have no talent, no personality, and no awareness of their pampered, pompous selves. Good reviews.
Best line: "The American literary psyche is stuck at the age of fourteen; a convenient way to escape the questions of class, competition, bureaucracy, and business that writers could be writing about."
Overall: A little cocky. But right on.

FILM BITCH #5 Summer / Fall 2000 New York City Tribute Issue
Nathaniel Rogers
PO Box 2128, New York, NY 10009
On the cover: Woody Allen
Inside: Readers answer the question, "Who do you consider Hollywood's most ridiculously overrated and how would you like to see their career end?" Zinester points out the homoeroticism in Tom Cruise's latest movie. Interview with drag star Jackie Beat. Tribute to Woody Allen. Lotsa Photoshopped layout.
Worst line: "When you discover a taste for intellectual, artsy fartsy, the highbrow (whatever you want to call it) you quickly build your discourse skills and, hopefully, a supreme confidence in your own taste."
Overall: Disappointing. Lotsa words, little content. Not very bitchy either.

no price ($3? trade?)
Petra Press
PO Box 398 Stn P, Toronto ON M5S 2S9 CANADA
On the cover: Silver-purple glitter paint. Two gold stars.
Inside: Vaguely interlinked poetry, prose, and pictures by Brigid Emery, Emily Pohl-Weary, and Paola Poletto. Some cyber-fantasy, l-a-n-g-u-a-g-e, and so on. A few good things. Ends with a hot lesbian SM story.
Best line: "A fly on a bareback / pulling teats . . ."
Overall: Lotsa pretension. The layout's kinda nice.

5 Books Worth Reading
Marianne Faithfull's Cigarette by Gerry Gomez Pearlberg
($12.95, Cleis Press, PO Box 14684, San Francisco CA 94114 USA)
Magical poems of longing and hurt.

Memories That Smell like Gasoline by David Wojnarowicz
($15.00, Artspace Books, 1286 Folsom St, San Francisco CA 94103 USA)
Disturbing stories of childhood, with drawings.

At Dusk Iridescent, a Gathering of Poems, 1972-1997 by Thomas Meyer
($40.00, The Jargon Society, 8 W Third St, Suite 565, Winston-Salem NC 27101 USA)
Big collection from one of my favorite poets.

Si cortarle la cabeza a la Gorgona by Wenceslao Maldonado
(price?, Ediciones Ultimo Reino, Lavalle 1768, 6( 62, (1048) Buenos Aires ARGENTINA)
Retells the Perseus story. Maldonado's best book.

La mirada en otro cielo by Susana Cattaneo
(price?, Ediciones del Canto Rodado, Rivadavia 19, 1er piso of. 1, (5500) Mendoza ARGENTINA)
A tribute to her (animal) companion Anís. Cattaneo's best book.

Reviews by Scout Finnegan
(SCOUT) PO Box 48522, Sarasota, FL 34230

Five Zines I Already Reviewed In My Zine
I've been busy lately. I haven't had a chance to do lots of reviews. So this is a collection of some of my favorite zines, from my zine, Scout. There are some excellent zines I've reviewed in the past, but I don't feel word got out enough. I mean, I doubt the three people that read my first few issues sent for any of these. Hopefully you, dear reader, will.

(#3/ $2.00/ 8.5" x 5.5"/ 40 pgs)
I have deemed Brad Yung the Godfather of Irony. His zine is cover to cover comics of the most sarcastic, cynical, and ironic kind. I love it. The drawing style is tight and simple. Brad is a commentator on the big issues as well as the tiny details of our irritating lives. No subject is sacred. On meat eating: "At least meat is dead." On religion: "I refuse to accept a god who so obviously dislikes me already." On the weather: "I like the rain it's the only time the world seems to care enough to try to touch me." On the Millenium Bug: "You will be largely unaffected. Go back to doing nothing." Brad knows that we are more than just the members of a demographic and is not shy about his contempt for a society that panders to us. I've read and re-read my copy many times. And besides, anyone who's favorite band is They Might Be Giants is okay in my book. Order a copy or two of SAYA. You won't be disappointed.
Brad Yung, P.O. Box 30007, Parkgate P.O., N. Vancouver, B.C., V7H 2Y8 Canada

(#6/ $2.00/ 8.5" x 5.5"/ 28 pgs)
I can completely see how Kathy has been able to woo the entire zine world. Her zine is so wonderfully honest and personal, you feel like she's just sitting next to you telling you about her day. This issue has a story about her seven day vacation in the Big Apple. I didn't get to see many of the things she saw when I was in NY (except maybe the subway), but it sounds like she had a great time. I had to laugh when I read this: "I used the restroom afterwards, and the bathroom was quite impressive!" You also get to hear about her visit to The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and of course, all of the yummy food that is to be had in New York. Also in this issue is Kathy's tale of her ongoing medical nightmare. It amazes me that she can still be so upbeat when going through such a traumatic experience (She was seeing double). She also includes a contribution by her friend Tricia about her trip to Chicago. All topped off with some good zine reviews. SEMIBOLD is a gem.
Kathy Moseley, 1573 N. Milwaukee Ave. PMB #403, Chicago, IL 60622

(#27/ $10 for four issues/ 8.5" x 5.5"/ 24 pages)
This zine makes me wish I was in Brooklyn. It is obvious that Fred Argoff loves Brooklyn and he wants to share it with you. Just as you would expect from a Brooklynite, he is very laid back and friendly with his writing, "So if you're living in some city or town where everything has started to get weird just because we flipped over a page on the calendar, then maybe you should come to Brooklyn and hang out here for a while." This zine is full of interesting tidbits and facts. How streets got their names, things overheard on the street, and a little rant about people who are too busy to stop for a racing fire truck. Also included is a recipe for a drink called a Lime Rickey, which I have never heard of but sounds an awful lot like a Cherry Limeade that you get at the Sonic Drive-through. I guess it's not just a southern thing after all. I really liked the article "Shibboleths," which describes the ways to identify a tourist from a native. Since this is one of my favorite games, too, I had to laugh. Fred writes, "Of course, the one thing Brooklynites do better than most everyone else is slur words together. Thus, you can easily fuhgedd about anyone who says 'forget about it.'" The part I found most amusing was a picture of a house in Brooklyn that sold for $209,000. And I thought Florida real estate was expensive! Even if you don't live in the world's favorite borough, Brooklyn! is a fun read.
Fred Argoff, 1800 Ocean Pkwy., (#B-12), Brooklyn NY 11223-3037

(#6/ $1or trade?/ 8.5" x 5.5"/ 20 pages)
Although #7 is Jason's most recent issue, I happen to like #6 better. This zine is a collection of one page stories about Jason's hometown of Florence, South Carolina. "I'm a citizen of Nowhere. In fact, there's little about Florence that makes it all that different from anywhere in America, and the idiosyncrasies and uniquely Southern peculiarities are disappearing quicker than you can say 'profit motive.'" To put it simply, Jason is a good writer. I love this: "Smelling like you have rolled around in Goliath's ashtray, you replay the evening's events while moving along the lit and empty street on your way home." I don't know why I love reading such personal zines. I guess it's because it somehow allows you to take off your life and wear someone else's for a while. It's such a guilty pleasure. Almost like reading someone's diary only that you know you'll never get caught. Jason Adams, 390 Roxbaro Pl., Florence, SC, 29505

(#4/ $1 or trade/ 8.5" x 11"/ 20 pages)
FWL is the most honest per-zine I know. Eric doesn't seem to hold anything back as he writes about the minutia of his life. By the end of every issue, I've nearly wet myself from laughing so hard, chasing everyone around saying, "listen to THIS!" His stream-of-consciousness writing style doesn't come across as uptight or "literary," but rather very readable. I get the feeling that Eric just writes like he talks. I'm sure there are some writing purists out there who might disagree, but I think it's a great way to write without your brain getting in the way. Here's a great one: "I read people singing the praises of anarchy well let me ask you this how can we trust people to govern themselves if they can't even be counted on to obey simple rules like "10 items or less"? Or does anarchy mean we abolish supermarket express lanes? If that's the case you can count me out, my friend. No laws is one thing, no express lines...that's just crazy talk, man, crazy talk." Besides, if you send for Eric's zine, you'll probably get one of his great letters, too.
Eric Lyden, 224 Moraine St., Brockton, MA, 02301

Reviews by Bobby Tran Dale

Once again, I am happy to be able to participate in the XEROGRAPHY DEBT experience: the spirited but eclectic review zine with (insert sarcasm here) the intriguing habit of reviewing things that we like, or so I've read somewhere. Yes, dear readers, what follows are zines that I'd felt warranted sitting my butt down and scribbling out a few words on. If you want to read some reviews about zines that don't amount to shit, you'll hafta go elsewhere cuz I won't waste my time writing about them, sorry. Other publications with bigger budgets, staff and page counts can spend their time doing that. But it's all subjective is it not? One man's trash is another man's treasure, eh? Merit and lack of it can be assigned to just about ANYTHING coming out of the DIY press depending on which pedestal you choose to stand on. Objectivity is a truth that no one has a total grip on. With that said, here are a few possible jewels that you may decide to check out, or you may decide that I'm just simply full of...well, you get the picture. Also- if any of you think you'd like me to review anything of yours for an upcoming issue (providing that Lady Davida wishes such!), feel free to drop something my way for consideration. Obviously my penchant is for comics, but I'd like to think that I can review things that don't have too many pictures in them also. My side of the dungeon is:
Bobby Tran Dale
email: botda@aol.com

ROADSIDE #5 (7/2000)
Sarah Oleksyk
$2, 24pp digest w/ color cover
P.O. Box 4789, Portland, Maine 04112
By far, Sarah's comics were the biggest surprise to come out of the lil' stack of zines that I'm writing up. A surprise I say because upon first inspection, I saw comics that were drawn and packaged pretty well (which at times is red flag no.1), but upon reading them: BLAM! ZAP! And POW! They also delivered the goods by kicking me in the pants and demanding that I pay a bit more attention to other creators that may be out there.

Sarah is one of the few zinesters whose art & stories meld together so perfectly into an intensely honest and colorful representation of their creator's vision. In many instances, artists can be trapped in a solitary form but Sarah displays her inking versatility within these 24 pages, easily hinting of how dangerous she might be with even more of a page count.

Opening this issue is "Sophia's Story", as narrated by Mike Henderson. It's a strangely humorous vignette that tracks the decline of his cat's feline sensibilities following a move to a new house, doped up roomies, being fed "X" (that's being drugged, not mailed!) and tweeking out and attacking Mike before finally coming to its senses, or so one would think. A tad short, but hell, it's a 24 page comic.

"Mail Addict" and "Helpful Hints" are lil' pieces that we can all relate to for sure, well, maybe. Hints like "If you need to poo in a public bathroom and are worried others will hear..." and of course, "Bring rubber gloves when going out spray painting on a night before work..." are all essential survival skills right? Hee hee!

My biggest praise goes out to "Loneliness". A short sojourn into Oleksyk's thoughts on... loneliness. It's dreamy, almost poetic and with only a few words provides an insight that a few of us can already relate to and an insight that many will be hopeless to find for themselves. "Solitude isn't always loneliness", a simple statement that resonates the deepness of this strip. Overall, a pleasant experience that I'd like to see more of, to say the least. Leave yer comic book gender expectations behind cuz, with what I've seen here, Sarah's work will gladly trample them and help you reshape your thinking.

With the Amazing Cynical Man (4/00)
Matt Feazell
$1.50 12pp mini
Not Available Comics, 2627 Pulaski, Hamtrack, MI 48212
members.aol.com/cynical man
I've read a number of blathering/positive reviews of Matt Feazell's strips featuring stick people and to be honest, I thought: JUST how dang interesting could strips featuring stick people be? Well, here I stand, CORRECTED! Feazell does a great job taking a seemingly silly thing to draw for comics and wipes up the ...uh...competition. In my book, he deserves all the good reviews that I've read because this shit is pretty cute & funny, dammit! I don't know if the subject matter would have immediate appeal to all, but what does?
This issue offers up the misadventures of Cynical Man who encounters the swirly eyed Mad scientist, Dr. Pweet. Pweet threatens to spray the world with Y2K Virus and send everyone back to 1900 if he doesn't get one gazillion dollars by yesterday. What follows, is Feazell taking the stickperson concept to the nth degree here and throughout the rest of the mini.
Other people have done simple drawings and have the nerve to call them comic strips. Feazell takes simple drawings and manages to turn them into a twisted funky art unto themselves, deceptive in their simplicity for sure. A quick read, but cool shit that's put together with quality and worth a look if sampling small press in any form is your thing to do.
Feazell's website houses some color versions of his strips as well as a peek into his convention sketchbooks. Personally, I'd also like to see a strip in Matt's sketchbook style which gears more towards realism and done with a bit more urgency, hinting of Euro-artist Mobius' work. Take a peek while yer browsing the net!

Mime Compliant 5 (May 2000)
Jesse Reklaw
Stamp or SASE
PO Box 200206, New Haven, CT 06520-0206, USA
This teeny thing literally could fit into the palm of you hand, it's so cute & small. Running 18 wordless pages as the cover suggests, Jesse Reklaw takes us through the evolution of Democracy. From its ..uhm...grassroots beginnings as a scrawl in a bathroom stall by toilet sitting Joe Schmoe's until it somehow manages to reach the top.

It's an interesting exercise in wordless communication that's pulled off well in such a tight confined format. Reklaw obviously knows his comics shit and effortlessly plays with a variety of visual mediums. This is an example of that. But this should come as no surprise considering this is the same person who's put out the dream comics and anthologies SLOW WAVE and CONCAVE UP. This is 20 pages with cover, a quick read/look, but at the price of a stamp or SASE whatchawaitinfer? Even more of Reklaw's art is showcased at: http://www.nondairy.com/

Aaron Cometbus
$2.00, 88 pp Digest
(#44, 45 available @ 2.50 each)
BBT, PO Box 4279, Berkeley, CA 94704
Without a doubt, upon looking at the cover and thickness of this issue, I was excited to jump right into this sucker. I'd, of course, heard much about Cometbus & this was my first time getting to read one. I was eager to see what all of the fuss was about.

I was mildly horrified to find that the only illustration of any sort to accompany what amounted to a school textbook was sitting right on the covers. 84 pages were left for my short attention span to contend with.

I've since been told that this was a departure of sorts from regular issues and that this probably wasn't the best issue to de-virginize myself on much less attempt to review. Well, fine, but this is the issue before me so here goes.

That said, you purists can find solace in the fact that once I settled in and started reading this mammoth book, I actually got wrapped up in its contents and enjoyed it.

With a lil' help from the inside front cover, I'll cheat and say that this issues delves into the motley groups of people that make up and have made up the collective minds of The Dead End Café. The Café is an oasis of sorts to all peoples at all times of the day, serving food to the hungry and offering its visitors respite from the boundaries and bullshit that normally separate all of us in the real world.

Through crafty and exhaustive use of 33 interviews that really read like vignettes, COMETBUS takes you through what amounts to be The Dead End Café experience with varying viewpoints of how the Café came to be, perspectives of where it's going, and what it's like to actually be part of the whole groove as an employee and customer. Reading the difference in takes on the Café's evolution and perceptions of all of the interpersonal dynamics that had played out makes one almost think of a soap opera rather than a lowly zine. This analysis leaves no room for imagination, giving the reader an impression that they too have almost been there and done that with the folks that are showcased within its pages. It's gritty and couldn't get more slice of life than this. It would be an insult to say this was almost like a giant perzine since the amount of information here is amazing, no, this issue reads like a novel/anthology, and if that's what you find entertaining, then I'd recommend this to you for sure. Overall, I found this to be an interesting and overall enjoyable detour from what I would normally zero in on, but if you need more visuals to accompany your zine diet, this may not be the one for you. For 2 bucks and a lot of reading, it's more than worth a shot to expand your horizons just once and couldn't make a better backpack stuffer.

a buck/stamp? 12pp Digest
886 Longridge Road, Oakland, CA 94610-2445
If you like your perzines no frills, this is probably something to check out. It isn't bogged down with lil' things like fancy fonts, and layouts that production whores like myself try incessantly (with questionable success) to put in our own zines. It's DIY in its most basic: xerox, staple and go. It's quick, to the point and drops you when it's done. Meg tells the reader in her Intro that this issue isn't with its usual silliness, a thing I wouldn't know, but if there's been 87 past issues who am I to judge?

What follows is Meg's somewhat choppy delve into her relationship with Ryan. It's not your typical blathering account of lives and loves, but a sad dark tale of loss and affirmation. Starting from their first encounter at a Punk party in West Oakland, Meg quickly takes us through the evolution of their relationship until the fateful day that Ryan becomes diagnosed with Cancer. A hefty topic if you've been through a similar tragedy with someone you love, and because of this, I found this especially moving. Meg's writing lacks a bit of polish, but in reading this issue, I didn't find it a hindrance at all. In fact, because of the subject matter I think a proliferation of descriptives would have taken away from the personality of the account of this event and turned it into a Reader's Digest piece instead. I wouldn't call this entertaining considering the subject matter. It simply lays its topic in your lap and just is as it is. But if you want to get a quick peek into intensely personal zines, this could be your start. I've seen better printed, bigger perzines with more accomplished writers that attempt to be "intensely personal" that inevitably make their writers come off as just a bunch of whiney sucky titty babies hoping you'll whine with them. Meg obviously writes from her heart, and what you get is what you see, no strings attached. This makes her work all the more gritty and real, a thing that I've found lacking in some of the more "professional" perzines.

Bruiser Brody's Scrapbook, Your least favorite issue ever
Kiyoshi Nakazawa
$2.00 52pp digest
D.J. Fanclub, C/o DM2, 3324 Rowena Ave, apt. A, Los Angeles, CA 90027-2958
OK....hmm...not quite sure where to start with this one. Well, let's just say that upon completely reading this issue, I was left with the thought: "What in the hell was that about?" This by no means is a dig on this zine, but admission that, no, I definitely was not prepared for the stream of consciousness sojourn that made up this issue. Thus, I should say that its quirkiness might make it inaccessible to some folks. It comes at you almost like a person with disassociative identity disorder with all of their voices wanting to speak to you at the same time. DJ effectively sucks the reader into his mental ramblings utilizing an array of fonts, pictures and reminisces that could easily leave you discombobulated at the end. This is probably the work of the Devil to those of you out there who are easily confused, so buyer beware. But if you want originality and experimentation in your reading, this will easily fit into that category.

I was quickly sucked into this production by DJ's tales of being a kid in Japan. I'd spent a period of time out there as a kid, so it wasn't hard to groove to tales of watching Japanese television full of samurai and superheroes and emulating them in such games, as he and his brother called them, as "Chit! Chit!"(after the sound of Samurai swords clashing during battle). What follows this initial bit of deceiving coherence are bits and pieces of roommate issues, wrestlers, landlords, credit card issues, and bunches of emails with everything flavored with a bit of the land of the rising sun. This is well done and definitely out of the realm of the usual suspects in zine land. It's so funky, I can't help but applaud its uniqueness. Like rather than tell you about his stolen credit card/identity issues in '97, the actual credit bills are printed with handwritten notes attached. I found myself studying his transaction records like I would my own. This kind of approach just pops in and out of this issue. I've seen similar zines do this before but not to this effect. I dunno if this is a masterful use of a visual medium to convey his message or if I just simply have too much damn time on my hands! If you want to see a good example of someone NOT following the rest of the zine flock, pick this one up for your collection.

Steve Gevurtz
32 pp mini, 50cents
5272 NE 8th Ave., Portland, OR 97211
I have to give Steve praise for this, his first zine effort. JOURNAL SONG is another surprise that I was happy to stumble into...well, kind of. I don't find other people's dark, brooding laments/narratives to be a source of entertainment. There are quicker ways than ordering someone's zine to get that fix if I wanted, it's called Ricki Lake. What I find engaging is how Steve manages to take some shitty experiences this past year, write about them and present them to you in a stylistic/ noire-ish fashion without making one feel as if he just needed a shoulder to cry on in putting out this zine. Steve writes from the perspective of someone who is on his way to owning the issues that he writes so honestly about (if he doesn't already!), thus making what appears to be a lil' modest zine all the more compelling. It's that deepness that sucked me in and if that's entertainment, then so be it. Making it seem less like journal entries than snippets from a funky novel also helped a great deal.

Through use of simple cut and pasted type over images of xeroxed notebook paper, Steve takes us through the development of his relationship with Henry via a mutual friend of theirs. Both had broken up with their girlfriends just shortly before meeting one another. Steve then takes us through the beginnings of their relationship which involved lots of liquor, lamenting to each other of their relationship's demise until eventually, after one too many liquored up nights, Steve wakes up in Henry's bed unsure of what exactly had happened but offering: "I like to think something happened between us. I'm not so sure he feels the same way". A brutally honest revelation considering the lament for his lost love only paragraphs before. Following the "Henry" piece is an account of Steve's journey to Ohio to meet up with his sister in an attempt to make sense of all that had just passed. More introspective writing follows and we are allowed entrance into his psyche as he attempts to process everything.

Steve's writing occasionally feels choppy and almost disconnected from their source, but that's the strength of it in this presentation. The cut and paste is broken up effectively to guide the reader through the narrative accordingly and the starkness of the stories/entries paired with the no frills layout are all complimentary and used to great effect. Whether this was done intentionally or not is irrelevant. It works. For a fledgling effort, and at fifty cents I can't complain.

YOU SAY TOMATO #3 (July 2000)
The Sports Issue
June (editrix)
$2 digest 24pp
PMB #315, 4756 U. Vill. Pl. NE, Seattle, WA 98105
As the title indicates, this is the all Sports issue and is made up of responses to 15 questions posed to a variety of zinesters, friends and vanpool buddies by editrix June. What saves this issue from being just another boring issue based on one topic discussed by only aficionados is the fact that the questions allow for a fairly diverse range of answers from a range of people. And because of this, there's room for sometimes amusing insights from the respondents about just what makes/has made their sports clocks tick. Reading about sports is not an area that I'd find routinely appealing, in fact, appalling is more of a word I'd use. Reading about sports fills me with about as much excitement as a Root Canal after an amputation without local.

However, I hafta give June her props because in assembling this issue she's managed to make it all read like a dern perzine of sorts, subtly catering to our voyeuristic interests. Thus, the subtitle is a tad misleading and doesn't really hint at the fact that this issue is really a little more accessible than it appears. I picked this ish up crossing my fingers that I'd make it through and was pleasantly surprised that I did because, yes, it IS accessible even to probably the most "perzine suspicious" like yours truly. It was interesting to read through the answers with the same sort of curiosity that one would have reading a message board. You know, where you keep reading the postings because you wonder what the next person is gonna say. The questions start immediately and the answers follow. It's very simple. June would have lost this reader if she'd started this issue with a lengthy dissertation about the joys of sports as I've seen others do before. She didn't, thus I was able to easily read through this issue with no pain at all.

One of the questions was "Has sports changed your life in any way?" Respondent Jeff said it best: "Sports has made me feel small and weak most of my life". Simple and not incredibly profound-but deep to many of us, and a comment I probably woulda made myself if asked. Then Pussy Gavani, the stock trading amateur proctologist in June's vanpool replies with: "No, I'm gay". Here, here! Overall, a light, decent read. I would have encouraged use of more spot illos to break the text up and enhance the fun feel that this issue has. But I'm one of the one's who's been made small and weak by sports so if I guess if I want scary pictures I should probably pick up a comic book instead.

The Gestation Issue
22pp rough/ $1 + .55 post.
377 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19711
Presented in BOOTY is what amounts to journal entries done entirely in comix form. Taken from the past six months of her life, Anne takes us through such moments as her AIDS Walk in Philly where some of her fellow teammates blow her off, but she manages to walk anyway and raise 609 bucks for the fund. She also chronicles the travails of going after a Phd, and arguably the best strip of her collection is "Millennium". In this piece Anne babbles on about losing her girlfriend buddies because they keep getting into relationships. Well, "babbles" is probably an insult considering the fact that Anne brings a bit of depth/insight to these episodes of loss that she's experienced. In this instance she's lost three buds in one year and doesn't get to participate in the wedding of one who supposedly was a good friend. In the same strip she pays homage to Smashing Pumpkins at an in-store signing. She comes face to face with lead Billy Corgan and basks in the bow that he bestows upon her after she thanks him for staying overtime to greet fans.

Anne puts a lot of spunk into her strips and I commend her for it. I felt this read more like a journal with lots of pictures than an actual comic. Overall, it's humorous and honest encapsulations of her life's moments. Her drawings in general are pretty rough, but there's a cuteness and character to them. I would suggest, as a fellow artist, that she take a good look at what makes her comics HER COMICS. In doing this I think she could develop the underlying style that she naturally has, create even bolder images as well as have more of an impact to the pieces that she writes.

DRAW PAT (June 2000)
Patrick J. Lee
$2, 30pp digest
280 N. Florence St., Burbank, CA 91505-3618
If you've seen or heard of Patrick J. Lee's TIME'S UP comics then you could probably imagine that DRAW PAT is not the best issue to recommend as an introduction to this guy's work. It features none of his true-to-life comic stories that he is known for and is simply a joint made up entirely of portrait interpretations of him as done by over 20 comic artists. Pat had held a contest spoofing those old "Draw Me" ads that you'd see in comics where you'd try to draw the cartoon character depicted, send it in and some "art professionals" in somewhere, USA would grade your work and send it back to you. Here we get scrawls from Andy Hartzell, Ariel Schrag, Dave Lasky, Mike Tolento and Delaine among a few of the notables that attempt to put their touch upon Pat's cherubic mug. There's a broad range of styles represented here.

As a comic book, I couldn't possibly say rush out and send for this- there's nothing to really read here. I'd rather suggest that you order his REAL comics that DO showcase his talents because that's where the real meat is. However, I do give Pat big phat juicy props for turning out, with tongue somewhere in cheek (hopefully) one of the most ultra narcissistic zine projects that I've seen in awhile. I think, on that level, this zine is goddamn fabulous and I mean that. It's been my experience that everybody secretly and not-so-secretly wishes to enshrine themselves in some fashion. It's true, and if you say that ya haven't thought about it, you're lying and will burn in hell very shortly. Pat takes it past wishful thinking and just does it. You just go boy!

36pp digest
1.74UK (+25p p&p UK, or $4 concealed cash)
Slab-O-Concrete, PO Box 148, Hove, BN3 3DQ, UK
I almost didn't review this issue simply because I found some of the pieces hard to follow. It's a UK comic, and as the unsavvy American some of the humor just went over my head. However, I think it would be a crying shame if some of you out there who do enjoy comics with a UK kinda flavor missed out just because I didn't get the whole picture.

This is an incredibly well done, slick production and it would be a discredit to call it a mere comic zine. This is scripted entirely by Gavin Burrows and illustrated by a stable of talented artists. In it, Burrows takes the reader through sarcastic assaults on the many faces of society. In a "Dead Loss", a few hipsters decide to go check out a local haunted house expecting a night of traditional frights & spookiness. Upon arriving, they find that a corporate entity has replaced spiritual ones that they'd hoped to encounter. Yes, the corporate demons have encroached on even the ol' haunted house market. All polished, packaged and ready to sell to the next mindless consumers. A humorous strip, but in this time of daily corporate takeovers, it really is almost scary and an effective commentary on what has touched all of us at some level during our lives. And in "A Bite to Drink" we get even more horrors. Hideous cell phones have invaded our daily lives and interrupted one too many conversations with their annoying ringing, have they not? Here, Burrows underscores this sentiment with a superb piece involving a vampire who's just about to bite his victim. You can guess what comes next. It's fucking brilliant and a scenario with implications that transcend the humor of its fictional pages.

This production has a production quality and charm to it that many zinesters wish they had and receives an "A" for product presentation. If you want to go international with some of yer zineing, hell, this might be a place to start.

SUNBURN #14 (Summer 2000)
Karl Thompson
PO Box 2061, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 3R4, Canada
I tend to love anthologies. They appeal to me because there's almost no better way to get a sampling of other artist's work in one spot. SUNBURN hails from Canada and features twenty pieces by artists such as Jim Siergey, Brad Yung, and Glenn Smith among others. If you like variety in your comics, you must pick this up and then order the zines of the artists that you like most...well...the ones that have zines, that is.

Brad Yung who does the "Stay As You Are" strips provides some of the wittier, more humorous pieces. For example, his piece on false advertising. Two characters ponder deep stuff like, just what the hell IS "fresh frozen" and "fresh-squeezed from concentrate"? Funny shit that seems deceivingly simple but definitely calculated for best effect by Yung. Another interesting piece was "Kitty City" by Glenn Smith. Honestly, I had no idea what the hell this five page tweeker fest was about other than it involving a bunch of anthropomorphic feline things in a...uh... kitty city. But Smith's art is so beautifully twisted in its line work that a need for coherence was not really necessary. Bizarre, but another good example of the diversity that is found within these pages. If you insist upon reading your comics straight through, then stay far away from this. This is not a place to feed your continuity fetish. It's a choppy read like most anthologies and would surely drive you bonkers. If you want a sampling of artists out there in the small press, then by all means pick this up. It's put together wonderfully and a great starter if you're new to the scene.

Reviews by Davida Gypsy Breier

I tried to review zines I hadn't reviewed before, or zines that weren't already reviewed by someone else in this issue. The following are primarily zines I acquired from May to the end of August (there was one exception, because that bastard Cali is too damned good).

Picks for the issue:
1000 Interlocking Pieces
For The Clerisy
Have you seen the dog lately?
Olivetti Revolver
We are Gathered Here Today
Big World
Watch the Closing Doors
Sharpies and Shorties
(This symbol + indicates a pick.)

Personal Zines
It seemed like I received more personal zines in the last several months than usual. Or perhaps some if my favorite zines just happen to be personal zines, and thus appeared to stand out more. There are several that could arguably be placed in a literary category, but I've reviewed them here because the voice of the writer is what impressed me most. Here are a few good personal zines...

I've raved about Jason's zine before and his latest issue is another stellar publication. This issue has a more serious tone, such as his grandmother's funeral, but Jason's skill as a writer allows him to talk about painful subjects without resorting to whining or losing the verbal accuracy his more humorous essays contain. He has the talent and a family history (with "the tendency to kill") to become a great modern southern writer.
Current issue $7 (July 2000)
Jason Adams
390 Roxbaro Place
Florence, SC 29505

The contents of ALABAMA GRRRL offer a good glimpse into the life of a twenty-something, activist, bi-sexual librarian living in Lawrence, Kansas. In addition to that, she does an especially nice job with her layout and design
Current issue #8 (August 2000)
PO Box 297
Lawrence, KS 66044

This issue is filled with the angst, conflict, and confusion that fill the fissure between youth and adulthood. Stephanie is getting ready to jump the fissure by leaving everyone and everything she knows behind and moving to London to study dance.
?$1 (trade)
Current issue #3 (August 2000)
Stephanie Reinauer
(address good until July 2001)
7 Cranston Rd.
Forest Hill
London SE23 UK

Rachael has started art school as a part time mature student. Three weeks into term, one of her classmates stole a vibrator she was using as a prop. This is an artistic look at the incident.
Current issue (July 2000)
Rachael House
7 The Old School Buildings
St. Clement's Yard
Archdale Rd.
London SE22 9HP UK

This new zine reminded me of SEMIBOLD, in style, subject, and tone, and coincidentally, they both are from Chicago. Very good debut issue. My one criticism would be that there is a bit more style than substance. I would like to have seen more detail and description in some of the stories, such as "Road Trip!" Too much cold fact without sight, sound, smell, and persona. But that's what issue #2 is there for, right?
Current issue #1 (August 2000)
Abby Koch
PO Box 06311
Chicago, IL 60606

Madison was nominated for three Ignatz awards this year, and all were well deserved. CUCKOO is Madison's very personal account of dealing with dissociative identity disorder, the causes and the consequences. She continues to reveal the past and shows how this manifests in the present. This even includes how she dresses and grooms herself. This is very powerful reading.
Current issue #10
Madison Clell
Green Door Studios
2000 NE 42nd Ave. #302
Portland, OR 97213

The Love Issue.
A very enjoyable zine of the pop-culture obsessed, erudite, girl-woman variety. At moments it reminded me of HAVE YOU SEEN THE DOG LATELY? While the topic is love, this extends not just to romantic love, but obsessions with actors, Emo Phillips, Grease 2, England, Sanrio, and a dictionary. It also include things they hate such as earwigs, horns, and tuna melts. A fun collection of essays.
Current issue #5 (January 2000)
Julie Halpern and Liz Saidel
PO Box 6074
Buffalo Grove, IL 600089-6074

How's this for a coincidence: In his introduction Eric writes about the other "Eric Lyden's" he found out about online. One of these Eric Lyden's writes to me asking about this guy he saw mentioned in XEROGRAPHY DEBT (the online version). Eric Lyden #2 also did a zine. I introduced the Erics and stepped aside. Yeah, so anyway, this is another every increasingly personal look at the life of Eric Lyden (#1). He offers his views on drugs and drinking and relays his work experiences, culminating in his 4 year long position at TJ Maxx. He has odd encounters at the supermarket, and offers us all "More Fun Facts About Eric Lyden You Didn't Know." These include his goal of owning a dog named Rufferto to having hairy nipples.
Current issue #3
Eric Lyden
224 Moraine St.
Brockton, MA 02301

Good Words for Readers
You learn about Brant's life indirectly by learning about his interests and experiences. This issue covers internet addiction, exercise, men fighting the "do I look fat?" demons, Japanese politics and history, spy thrillers he has enjoyed, zines he likes, and some great letters of comment and responses. I've grown increasingly fond of FOR THE CLERISY.
$2/trade/letter of comment
Current issue Vol 7, No 39
Brant Kresovich
PO Box 404
Getzville, NY 14068

From one of the editors of CUL-DE-SAC, GET WELL SOON, is an account of Julie Halpern's stay at a mental hospital in 1991 because she didn't want to go to school. The stay helped, but not in the ways that the hospital or her parents expected. An interesting, honest look back at adolescent events through the eyes of an adult.
Current issue #1
Julie Halpern
PO Box 6074
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-6074

Stationary and Mail
They set the standard for fun, witty, pop-culture per-zines. THE DOG has a well-deserved rabid following. Isn't that enough to get you to send them a dollar or your own creation? If not, this issue is devoted to all things mail and stationary related. Letters, postal terms, mysterious postcards, The Beats, and reviews. They also have an issue filled with the best of The Beats, dating back to 1988!
Current issue Spring 2000
Jenny, Serena, and Megan
465 38th St.
Oakland, CA 94609

This is a charming little zine by a 27 year old married library student. She is also Mexican-Cuban-American, trying to get pregnant, and superstitious, which make for an interesting change of pace from standard zine subjects. Included in this issue are essays on racism and zines in libraries, as well as entries from her journal.
?$1 (trade)
Current issue #3
Celia Perez
214 S. Cedar St. #3
Tampa, FL 33606

It took me well over a week to read the first issue I received of THE INNER SWINE, as I was limited to reading at red lights on the way to and from work. When I received the second issue, it jumped to the top of my zine pile queue and I read all 60 text-dense pages in one sitting. A criticism I've seen noted of Jeff's zine is that it is egocentric. Granted, Jeff is Jeff's favorite subject, but it is a subject that is presented warts and all, with humor, and never seems to veer into whining self-absorption. Despite the frequency of his issues, the quality is high. His enthusiasm for the written word flows off of the page. The issues I've read are a mixture of well-written fiction and personal pieces. Recommended.
Current issue Vol 6, No 3 (9/00)
Jeff Somers
293 Griffith St. #9
Jersey City, NJ 07307

This is an excellent personal zine. Not only are the topics well thought out, but the presentation is impeccable. This issue offers a personal account of the hell of Woodstock '99, as well as concert-going experiences of many contributors (including me). There are articles on "Law and Order" and Anita's "Aural Obsessions."
Current issue #4 (May 2000)
A. j. Michel
Station A
PO Box 2574
Champaign, IL 61825-2574

This issue contains days by Donna Barr, Bobby Tran Dale, Androo Robinson, Jesse Reklaw, and many more cartoonists. Each shares the events, large and small, of a single day. Delaine also publishes MY SMALL DIARY.
Current issue #8 (August 2000)
Delaine Derry
1204 Cresthill Rd.
Bimingham, AL 35213

"This has to be the best name for a zine I've ever seen!" That was the first thing I said when I pulled the issue from the envelope. Cali has done for the per-zine what he has previously done for well-researched recent and past history zines in DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR and DEGENERATE. This offers an interesting and honest exposure of Cali's life, from past girlfriends to shitty jobs. He's lead a colorful life and this is the tip of the iceberg.
Current issue #1 (Sept 2000)
Cali Ruchala
100 E. Walton #31H
Chicago, IL 60611

This is a cut-and-paste mix of poetry, prose, and essay. The strongest piece in the issue is about the women of World War II. She includes short accounts of various women's actions and heroism.
Current issue #1 (Fall/Winter 99)
PO Box 1544
Santa Barbara, CA 93102

One of the cool things about doing XEROGRAPHY DEBT are the unexpected zines I receive. I've read about this zine for years, and I'm sorry I didn't get in touch with Ken sooner. The issues I've read so far have dealt with moving, visiting Iceland, and the art of Barbara Cooper, and I've enjoyed them all.
Trade/stamp/something cool
Current issue #39
Ken Miller
PO Box 101
Newtown, PA 18940-0101

Finally! Frances' fans had quite a wait for this issue, but it was well-worth it. This issue has the usual component of a fantastically original and time-consuming centerfold, as well as lots of mentions of books Frances has been reading. Unlike past issues, this one gets more personal, and much of this issue is dominated by what has been going on in her life.

Current issue #7 (June 2000)
Frances Biscotti
PO Box 8782
Erie, PA 16505

This reads like 2-3 zines combined into one. Sarah has some strong beliefs and this zine is a platform to express many of those ideals. She taught a class called "The Art of Protest" and creating a zine was part of the process for her. Lots here about education, prisoner rights, human rights, South Africa, and Chile.
Current issue Vol 1
Sarah Eaton
613 Dolphin Annex
Fripp Island, SC 22920

I'm sure my objectivity, what little there once was, is now entirely in doubt. With that said, Patrick has a way of setting a scene, introducing characters, and capturing dialogue. This particular volume (each of his issues are independent from one another) details his friends' wedding. He is unwittingly drafted into the festivities and makes the most of his torment. Get this.
June 2000
Patrick Tandy
PO Box 963
Havre de Grace, MD 21078

This issue looks at the girl Jessica was and the mother she is about to become. She also reports on her wedding. All this through the eyes of someone who went on tour with her band during the first trimester of the pregnancy.
$1 and stamps
Current issue #7
PO Box 12839
Gainesville, FL 32604

Zines with Specific (perhaps even obsessive) Focus

This new zine is devoted to "not-so-typical historical subject matter." "Darker Shades of the Birth Control Movement" is a fascinating look at Margaret Sanger and her ties with the eugenics movement. Also in the issue, conservation, Einstein, and women and the labor movement.
Current issue #1 (June 2000)
Deanna Hitchcock
PO Box 8131
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

I love to travel and now I've found a (maga)zine that loves to travel even more than I do. If you are thinking of traveling anywhere in the world off the beaten path, this will give you the resources and ideas to make it happen. Articles include cheap airfares, how to be a courier, working overseas, and reports from travelers.
$3.50/$5 Canada/£2.50
Current issue #16
Jim Fortney
PO Box 8743
Lancaster, PA 17604

Everything you ever wanted to know about Brooklyn, but didn't know who to ask. (Also see pages 7-8)
$10 for 4 issues
Current issue #30
Fred Argoff
1800 Ocean Pkwy. #B12
Brooklyn, NY 11223

DB has created something very nifty here with his educational history zine. His latest endeavor, which partners him up with Fred Argoff (BROOKLYN! And WATCH THE CLOSING DOORS), reveals the mysteries behind the mapping of Antarctica. How could a man in the 1500's know details about the land mass that wouldn't be discovered until this century?
Current issue #4 (September 2000)
DB Pedlar
25727 Cherry Hill Rd.
Cambridge Springs, PA 16403

Trash History for the Gentle Reader
Cali has an obsession with twisted history. This issue looks at the madness of Burmese kings, something that seems to go with the crown. Yes, that's right a WHOLE issue devoted to insane Burmese rulers. Only in zines will you find something like this. #3 looks at Jean Paul Marat (whom many of us know from art history class as the dead guy in the tub). He also looks at Indian and colonial relations after Thanksgiving. His website offers several original pieces, so if you like his publications, check there, too.
Current issue #4 (August 2000)
Cali Ruchala
100 E. Walton #31H
Chicago, IL 60611

Find Food for Dumb Shits
This is a cute, clever zine I picked up at the UPC. It comes with several recipe cards. It also offers personal experiences, including the vegetarian nightmare of thinking you are ordering bruschetta and being served beef-liver pate. They are looking for submissions.
33¢ stamp/trade
Current issue #10
Laura and Nick
PO Box 1471
Iowa City, IA 52240

A zine about surviving exposure to the mainstream I've often wondered how book deals work and this zine explains Jim's experiences, as well as several other writers'. A thought provoking look at success and the problems involved.
Current issue #2
Jim Monroe
10 Trellanock Ave.
Toronto, ON M1C 5B5 Canada

Infiltration at Sea
This helps sate my travel demons by reminding me all the places there are to explore close to home. INFILTRATION is about going to "places you're not suppose to go." This time out, Ninj and his contributors sneak onto boats.
Current issue #15
PO Box 66069
Town Centre PO
Pickering, ON L1V 6P7 Canada

This issue (in addition to a newspaper article and friend's recommendation), actually motivated me to buy a cd by a local Baltimore band. Of all the music oriented zines I've ever read, this was the first one to influence me like that. Niki is passionate about music and this debut issue makes that evident… Oh, and she was right about the band, too - I loved the cd.
Current issue Vol 1, No 1
Niki D'Andrea
PO Box 84152
Phoenix, AZ 85071

Scott likes words so much that he has devoted a whole zine to them. This offers slang, trivia, and looks at new words. If you would like to offer Scott your definition of "snarky," I'm sure he'd like to hear from you.
Current issue #3
Alden Scott Crow
PO Box 445
Clements, CA 95227

All humor all the time. This is just damned silly and you'd be denying yourself if you don't send Milky Puppy some money or zines.
Milky Puppy
958 Rambleberry Ave.
Pickering, ON L1V 5Y5

Fred LOVES trains and this zine is a tribute to that. (also see pages 7-8)
$10 for 4 issues
Current issue #12
Fred Argoff
1800 Ocean Pkwy. #B12
Brooklyn, NY 11223

Zines with a Literary Bent

A clever little story about a Teflon cooking pot and the ire it inspires after three camping experiences.
By Zack Strong, Editor A.S.Crow
Silly Geese Press
PO Box 445
Clements, CA 95227

This offers a good medley of fiction, essay, interview, review, and more. Well-written, solid stories, and vivid images. This is what zines can and should be.
$3/$4 international
Current issue #6
Gavin Grant
73 4th Ave. 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11217

A Literary Journal
A mix of fiction and personal experience. A good debut issue. I'd like to see what he does with #2.
Current issue #1 (Spring 2000)
J. Brown
15886 Manufacture Ln.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649

Lovely little collections of short poems.
Current issue #112 (July 2000)
Don Wentworth
282 Main St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201

DB is the biggest champion for under-published writers that I know. #17 offers another DB Pedlar - Fred Argoff crossover, and surprise, trains are involved. Always a treat!
Current issue #17
DB Pedlar
25727 Cherry Hill Rd.
Cambridge Springs, PA 16403

This is a thick volume of fiction, poetry, and essays. There is a wide variety of styles and content, so you are bound to find a few pieces you like.
Current issue Vol X, No 3 & 4
Mike Nowak
PO Box 1238
Simpsonville, SC 29681

The essence of the Zine Community

This is basically a magazine for the people by the people. Very text dense and filled to the brim with well-written content.
Current issue #4 (Aug/Sep 2000)
Jen Angel and Jason Kucsma
PO Box 1225
Bowling Green, OH 43402

Musea is a great anti-corporate art, pro-independent media zine. I look forward to it every month, and I have for a long time.
First issue is free/$6 for 6 issues
Current issue #93 (Sept. 2000)
Tom Hendricks
4000 Hawthorne #5
Dallas, TX 75219

Flotsam, Jetsam, and, (dare one say) Detritus from Under the Bed at PedXing Studios
This is a new mini from Androo (go gaze at the cover again now and you'll see who I'm talkin' about). Collected here are several one-panel "gag" strips. There is also a multi-page strip titled, "The Man in th' Moon's Personal Effects." You must get this! Also from Androo is...

A Tale Told In a Day
This is another of Androo's 24 hour mini-comics, written and drawn in the space of a day. It is the tale of a dwarf called South who has grown weary of his job. Recommended!
Androo Robinson
2000 NE 42nd Ave #302
Portland, OR 97213

It is hard to describe WBG, as it takes its flavor from whoever the contributors are that issue. Get an issue, try it out, and consider joining the circle of artists and writers that call the GAZETTE home.
Also from Jeff, SKETCHBOOK DRAWINGS FROM JUNE & JULY 2000. More of Jeff's simplistic, yet beautiful renderings of places he goes and people he sees.
Current issue The Power of Ghosty
Jeff Zenick
678 Industrial Dr.
Tallahassee, FL 32310

Places to get your zine reviewed

I had heard of this Canadian based (and legitimately Canadian biased) review zine, but didn't read a copy until I met editor Emily Pohl-Weary at the UPC. I was very impressed with the articles, as well as reviews. Well worth your time.
Current issue #12 (Spring 2000)
PO Box 203
Stn P
Toronto, ON M5S 2S7

Well-written, lengthy reviews by someone who loves zines. How can you go wrong?
Current issue #9 (Summer 2000)
Owen Thomas
PO Box 9651
Columbus, OH 43209

Rejected Band Names presents...
Jerianne, who writes REJECTED BAND NAMES and reviews for ARGTTUP, compiled this listing of zines she picked up at the Alternative Press Expo in February 2000. There are over 40 zines reviewed.
PO Box 13838
Berkeley, CA 94712

This is a long list of small press resources, zines, books, music, videos, and more for and/or by the Queer community.
2 33¢ stamps/IRCs/$1 overseas
Current issue #17 (August 1999)
PO Box 590488
San Francisco, CA 94159

Like a thick zine phonebook. Thousands of zines listed. #3 has a long article on zine libraries. #4 came in the mail as I finished this, more details next issue.
Current issue #4
PO Box 5467
Evanston, IL 60204

ZINEHEAD reviews review zines, letting you know where to send your zines or where to find some new reviews. He also has a list of international comic anthologies and distributors.
Karl Thomsen
PO Box 2061
Winnipeg, MB
R3C 3R4 Canada

Some Good Places to Get Zines

3565 N. Morris Blvd.
Shorewood, WI 53211

155 Harvard Ave.
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 782-1313

1854 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-0910

PO Box 55462
Atlanta, GA 30308

508 S. Fifth Street
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 413-0999

A Few Great Zine Related Things About Baltimore

A fantastic zine and alternative literature store.
1806 Maryland Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 625-7955

They support local writers and have a zine review column. Send them a copy of your zine.
Zine Pool, c/o City Paper
812 Park Ave
Baltimore, MD 21201

Band I mentioned in the MUSIC GEEK review
P.O. Box 50127
Baltimore, MD 21211

Fantastic selection of music (cd and vinyl) books (new and used), and a section of zines.
425 E. 31st Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 243-6888

And lastly the people responsible for this issue:

Androo Robinson
Cover, reviews pages 10-11, reviewed page 31
Send a stamp for a catalog
Androo Robinson
2000 NE 42nd Ave. #302
Portland, OR 97213

Eric Lyden
Reviews pages 6-8, reviewed pages 15, 25
Current issue #4
Eric Lyden
224 Moraine St.
Brockton, MA 02301

Fred Argoff
Reviews pages 8-9, reviewed pages 14, 26
Quarterly issues are $2 each
Current issues Brooklyn! #30
Watch the Closing Doors #12
Fred Argoff
1800 Ocean Pkwy. #B-12
Brooklyn, NY 11223

Donny Smith
Reviews pages 12-13
$2/free to prisoners
Current issue #28 (March 2000)
Donny Smith
PO Box 411
Swarthmore, PA 19081

Scout Finnegan
Reviews pages 14-15
Current issue #3
Scout Finnegan
PO Box 48522
Sarasota, FL 34230

Bobby Tran Dale
Reviews pages 16-23
$4 (and an age statement)
Bobby Tran Dale

Davida Gypsy Breier
Reviews pages 24-33
Davida Gypsy Breier
PO Box 11064
Baltimore, MD 21212


If you are reviewed, remember that the reviewers are doing this out of a sense of community and a love for zines. None of us are getting paid. A quick thank you goes a long way to motivate us to keep trudging along. I can't guarantee I'll review everything I receive, but I'll do what I can. If you would like to send a zine (with a note!) for review direct it to: Davida Gypsy Breier, PO Box 11064, Baltimore, MD 21212

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