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Xerography Debt #7

Table of Contents


Basic stuff you should know

If your are reading 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. It is available for free online (some artwork will only be available in print) or paper copies can be ordered for $2.

There is no way we can review everything we receive, but we will try. 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 editor’s love-hate relationship with deadlines, #8 will be done when the trees have leaves.

Xerography Debt is a Leeking Inc., publication. It is scheduled to appear 3 times a year. Issues are $2. Send cash/stamps, zines, and correspondence to:
Xerography Debt, Davida Gypsy Breier PO Box 347, Glen Arm, MD 21057 USA
Email: davida@leekinginc.com; Website: www.leekinginc.com
© February 2002


A few days after I finished the last issue I went for a walk with Patrick on the Havre de Grace Promenade. I told him I didn't think I could keep doing Xerography Debt. The financial cost was too great (even if each and every issue of #6 sold at cover price I would still lose money) and the time I spent writing 17 pages of reviews, coordinating reviewers, and putting the issue together had greatly cut into everything else I was doing. I didn't know what else to do but quit. Then I started hearing from readers who had received the issue. Several people offered to help review and a bunch sent cash and stamps to support the zine. I was feeling a bit more positive about continuing and then the Xerox Corporation contacted me about my alleged "trademark infringement" (see page 3) I realized that for someone thinking about quitting, I was awfully pissed and rather protective of this little zine. Now sitting here in late January, looking at all the great artwork and reviews, I can't see quitting anytime soon. I’m more enthused than ever. There is too much necessity in what we are doing to stop now. Sure there are rumors of Factsheet 5's return, but like Elvis, The Jersey Devil, and Bigfoot, I'll believe it when I see it. We’ll just keep doing what we are doing, it seems to be working.

I think this issue is the best yet and I hope to set a new standard. It is what exactly what I hoped Xerography Debt would become two and a half years ago. I owe a HUGE thank you to all the reviewers and artists, both new and old. So, THANK YOU Fred, Bobby, Androo, Maria, Eric, Patrick, Donny, Erin, Josh, Christoph, Matt, Gavin, Billy, and Violet! Because of you this issue and zine exists.

There is still a problem with finances. I usually pay for the printing, postage, supplies, etc., though a mixture of paid issues, supporters, and out of my own pocket. And it ain't cheap, let me tell you. I have been unemployed for the last 4 months, so about all my pocket has to offer is wadded up tissues. I 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, in an effort to make Xerography Debt and the zines reviewed as accessible as possible, the whole text of this issue and some of the images are available on the leekinginc.com website (www.leekinginc.com/xeroxdebt).

The zine has gotten more popular and the amount of zines sent for review has increased. Until issue #6 I was able to sent a complimentary copy to all of the zines reviewed. That just isn't feasible right now. If I have your email address, I'll try and email a copy of the review and a link to the new issue on the website. If I can afford the postage I'll send a postcard or letter with the review. If I am unable to do this, please bear with me, I'm doing the best I can. Also, if you have sent your zine in for review and you don't see it listed, please be patient and wait and see if it appears in the following issue.

Why did you change the name to Xerography Debt????

In early November 2001, I was contacted by the Xerox Corporation for alleged trademark infringement. It appears they learned of my zine Xerox Debt by way of Tom Hendrick’s website for his zine Musea (musea.digitalchainsaw.com/newdex.html). His site was the primary host for the first few issues of Xerox Debt. It was my understanding, and also that of several dictionaries, that xerox could be used as a noun, verb, and proper noun. (A point I could have argued had I the resources or desire.) I did a little checking and according to, Smith & Hopen, P.A., Trademark and Intellectual Property Attorneys, “Use of the trademark as a verb can inject the trademark into the public domain, thereby destroying all trademark rights. That’s why Xerox Corporation has taken out ads in major newspapers, pleading ‘Please don’t use our name as a verb, as in ‘Xerox this.’” The Xerox Corporation has a major trademark problem on its hands; people commonly say ‘Make a Xerox of this’ even if they are referring to use of a copy machine of an entirely different brand name, i.e., the term ‘Xerox’ is in danger of becoming the generic word for making copies.” (www.baypatents.com/trademar.asp)

The letter from the Xerox Corporation stated that, “It is likely that consumers will be deceived into believing that you and/or your company is a subsidiary of or in some way associated with Xerox or that its publication is backed, endorsed or sponsored by Xerox, or that its publication originates from or is under the control of Xerox...According, we ask that you cease any and all use of the Xerox name and mark or any similar variation thereof or any Xerox Corporation owned mark.” Just in case anyone was under the delusion that I “and/or [my] company is a subsidiary of or in some way associated with Xerox,” this is a malicious and completely untrue allegation. I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it! I responded immediately, “...I was shocked to realize that it appeared that I was supporting your corporation or vice versa. The publications that are reviewed in Xerox Debt are, for the most part, small independent publications reproduced by photocopiers. The meanings in the name were both literal and figurative. It referring to the literal cost of printing the publications, as well as what we as writers owed to the publications. I was disturbed to realize from your letter that readers might think I am “backed, endorsed or sponsored by Xerox, or that its publication originates from or is under the control of Xerox.” I no more want that association than you do.

Effective immediately the name of the publication will be changed to Xerography Debt, referring to the process, which my research indicates is not a copyrighted or trademarked term:

xerography n. A dry photographic or photocopying process in which a negative image formed by a resinous powder on an electrically charged plate is electrically transferred to and thermally fixed as positive on a paper or other copying surface.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Xerography “...electrostatic dry-printing process for the reproduction of images or documents, widely employed in commerce and industry in copying machines...The process was invented by the American physicist and patent attorney Chester F. Carlson in 1937 and first commercially developed in 1950.”
Source: “Xerography,” Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2000 http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2000 Microsoft Corp. All rights reserved.

So, there you have it. And besides, zines owe far more to Chester F. Carlson than some corporation. Chester F. Carlson, we salute you!

“So I think I WILL xerox a xerox of a xerox today. On a Canon copier!”
Rich Mackin (Zinegeeks e-mail list - groups.yahoo.com/group/zinegeeks/)


I would like to keep publishing Xerography Debt and money has been the greatest hindrance, 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, DB Pedlar, Jeannie McStay, Androo Robinson, Donny Smith, Patrick, Janette, Earl, and Patti, Owen Thomas, Sam Cucchiara, Christopher Robin, Anne Thalheimer, Frank Marcopolos, Tom Hendricks, Kevin Eldridge, Josh Bowron, Mark Hetts, Jeff Zenick, and a few anonymous benefactors.

The Home of Zineland Security

By Donny Smith
[Dwan, PO Box 411, Swarthmore, PA 19081]
dwanzine@hotmail.com; www.geocities.com/dwanzine

Have you ironed your mail yet? I considered it, but I’m just too lazy. Even microwaving it is too much trouble. I do wash my hands after handling the mail, but considering that it’s piled up on the same table where we have breakfast and I’m usually eating when I read it — Anyway, the CDC says ironing and microwaving might not do any good. (Or is that just a conspiracy to get us to accept universal irradiation?) Have you received lumpy packages? Envelopes with too many stamps? (If you got the most recent Dwan you have.) We’ve all heard the warnings, so I won’t go into it. We just need to keep informed and use common sense.

I don’t want to belittle anyone’s feelings about recent events, but let’s try to keep this in perspective. You’re much more likely to be injured or killed (or terrorized) by a stalker than a terrorist. And the country’s not going to drape itself in red, white, and blue just for your little old restraining order. People in other countries have been living with these anxieties for years. Hell, people in this country have been. Queer people never know when hate’s going to strike. And while we’re on the topic, some minority groups in this country have levels of malnutrition, infant mortality, disease, miseducation, and violent crime victimization that would embarrass a Third World nation.

To say that terrorists hate freedom is a kind of lie. They might hate us, but we don’t contemplate that possibility because we might find they have good reason. And the people who are protecting our freedom don’t have the best track record themselves. Take John Ashcroft (please). Sure, if we’re U.S. citizens we don’t have to worry about being dragged before one of his military tribunals. But while we’re distracted by terrorists, he’s still in charge of voting rights, reproductive rights, and civil rights in general.

So, zinesters, what can we do? Exercise our freedoms! Write about everything we’ve always written about. Publish your diaries. Document police brutality and political corruption. Catalog your obsessions. Develop conspiracy theories. You can express your gratitude to the New York fire and police departments, but I hope that won’t distract you from entertaining us with cartoons.

Now I’ll get off my high horse and give some practical advice on protecting yourself from the prisoners, child molesters, psychopaths, and others you will meet if you’re part of zinedom:

1) Get a PO Box.

2) Use your first name only, or use a pseudonym.

3) Ask questions. If you get an odd request, don’t send your zine. Instead ask the person something like, “Why are you interested in my zine? How did you hear about it?” Watch for evasive or defensive answers.

4) Trust your instincts. If you get a bad feeling from someone, don’t correspond with them at all.

5) Be suspicious if a correspondent wants to meet you in person, especially if you’re a woman, a transperson, or a gay man. No matter how well you think you know the person, always meet in a public place the first time and always let a friend know where you’re going and who you’re meeting.

6) Don’t correspond with prisoners who mention that they’re getting out soon, not unless you’re prepared for the huge emotional, financial, and possibly legal risks of having them show up at your door. (But if you are prepared for that, ex-cons need all the help they can get.)

7) If you have any concerns at all about a prisoner, write to the warden. Just take the address the prisoner gave you, take off the prisoner’s name, and write WARDEN. Include the prisoner’s full name and prisoner number in your letter. (If you have online access, just type the name of the prison into a search engine or the name of the state plus the words “Department of Corrections.”) But be judicious in what you say to the warden, because prisoners get disciplinary action over the slightest things.

8) If you get mail from a non-prisoner that’s threatening, asks too-personal questions, or gives you a weird feeling, don’t send your zine to that person. In fact, don’t even respond to their letters. If necessary, consult with your local postmaster. The Postal Service can send that person a letter saying to stop sending you mail. The relevant forms are Postal Form 1500 Pornographic & Undesirable Mail, if someone’s been sending you “obscene materials, violence-inducing materials, and some types of mail relating to lotteries,” or Postal Form 8165 Mail Fraud Complaint Questionnaire, if there’s been any money involved. I’m not sure what the form number is for creepiness.

9) Give some thought before you exclude prisoners entirely from your mailing list. They’re human beings too, and this is the reading material they have available:
a) Prison libraries. In some cases a paltry collection of donated materials picked over by Christian fundamentalist hicks.
b) Mail-order purchases. But prisoners can’t use Amazon.com and, in some prisons, can’t order from used book stores. And while prisoners pay “outside” prices, plus shipping & handling, they earn “inside” wages, well below minimum wage.
c) Whatever you send. Many prisoners rely on zines and newsletters for their sanity. We are often their only connection to people like themselves. Imagine if all you had to read was Sports Illustrated, Walmart’s Top Ten Bestsellers from 1997, and the Bible.

For more info:

U.S. Postal Service Safety Updates: www.usps.com/news/2001/press/serviceupdates (if that doesn’t work, just try www.usps.gov)

FAQ’s about Anthrax (Centers for Disease Control) www.bt.cdc.gov/DocumentsApp/faqanthrax.asp

Stop Food Irradiation Project (Organic Consumers Association) http://www.purefood.org/irradlink.html

Stalking and Domestic Violence, 1998 report (U.S. Department of Justice, Violence Against Women Grants Office): www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo/grants/stalk98

Oppose Ashcroft (People for the American Way): www.opposeashcroft.com/ashcroft.phtml

ConspireWire: www.conspire.com/conspirewire.html Prisons (Human Rights Watch): www.hrw.org/prisons

Notice 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 repeatedly molested two girls starting at ages 5 and 6, respectively. In 1993, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is approximately 50 years old.

He has published three zines: Bars, Ishi, and Fem Zine. The first issue of Ishi is 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.

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 some of his zines and letters mailed from outside the prison, so that people he contacts do not necessarily know he is incarcerated. He was released on parole in May 2001.

Fred Argoff

The way I look at it is, starting off the new year with lots of stuff is a good thing. So, when the bursting package from Davida landed in my mailbox at the very end of December, I knew things were getting off to a good start for 2002. Yeah, that was an awkward sentence. That’s what happens when you work without a staff of proofreaders. So before I make myself look even worse, let me shift into “review” mode and see what the official representative of the US Postal Service has lugged to my front door...

First out of the package is Wonkavision, subheaded “your source for independent music and thoughts.” I’m sorry, kiddies, but I can barely force myself to read stuff like this. Real, genuine, legitimate indie music hasn’t got time for anything along these lines—they’re too busy making music! Plus, I must be getting old, because most of the stuff out there today doesn’t qualify as music in my book. If you want to know what’s happening, and this seems like a worthwhile resource, you can pop $2 in the mail to WonkaVision, 670 Inca St., Denver CO 80204. But you can’t make me think it’s on any cutting edge.

JDMZ apparently stands for “Jeffrey Deboo’s Medley Zine,” unless he’s got some kind of secret coded message also bearing those four letters. Issue #10 screams on the cover, “It’s RANT Time!” And so the highlight is a ten-page diatribe that begins, “I’m getting very tired of writing about politics.” But write he does—politics lately is fodder for ranting, so why not? Plus, film commentary, a dash of fiction, and a global warming watch. I like it when someone knows what they want to say, then goes right out and says it. So go ahead and send that $3.00 (plus age statement, which I can’t quite understand being necessary) to Jeff at P.O. Box 930, Gresham, OR 97030-0214.

You know how sometimes, all you need to see is the title to know you’re in for a treat? That’s how I felt when I saw Scatological Think Cap. The first issue is entirely devoted to poop. And rightly so, to my way of thinking; I mean, after all, what human being doesn’t poop? I think you will pick up some interesting factoids, and may even want to consider that colonic (I’ll just pass, if you don’t mind my saying so!) Issue #2 proves that the title isn’t false advertising—anything is fair game and nothing is sacred—with a rather unique treatment of the Christmas season. No prices listed, so the usual buck or two will have to suffice. Just warn your uptight, prudish friends or relatives to stay out of the room when you get your copy from Josh at P.O. Box 13085, Macon, GA 31208.

Mr. Peebody’s Soiled Trousers & Other Delights. Why do I think Davida sent me this zine just to see what I might say about it? Well, here’s the scoop: as a former copywriter, the first thing I tend to look for in a zine is literacy. If the editor can’t write ‘worth a damn, I’m probably not interested. In this case, Jason certainly can write worth a damn. Maybe worth two damns. His format is staggeringly simple: a diary of the events in his life. The title on the cover ropes you in, and the writing keeps you turning the pages. If anyone can say more about any zine, it could only be superfluous commentary! There—a resoundingly positive review with multi-syllabic words. What more do you want? Rush $3 to Jason Koivu, P.O. Box 931333, Los Angeles, CA 90093. And no, I didn’t misspell “Peebody.”

Here’s the deal with One Fine Mess right up front: I loved the interplay between co-editors Erin Q and Dan. In the Fall ‘01 issue, Erin succumbs to the itch for a job in Manhattan (and subsequently regrets it), Dan asserts his rights as co-editor with The Sandbox (including Fun Facts from the Fringe), and, the two of them hit the road for a Tennessee vacation (Memphis turns out to be something of a disappointment). Fun? No question about it! I wish I had seen this zine before. And what’s this? All it takes to get a copy is two stamps or a trade?! I hope you are reaching for that book of stamps even as you read this. 71 Storm St (Apt 2C), Tarrytown, NY 10591.

Thoughtworm is a perzine, and it seems that Sean has lots to be thinking about. For one thing, he’s facing the prospect of job hunting—right there, the stuff of nightmares! Plus, he has to deal with Palmetto bugs — that’s my stuff of nightmares — the fact that he grew up in New Jersey (hey, Davida, don’t ask New Yorkers to confront information like this!) (ed. asking someone actually from New Jersey would be worse.), a full year since he stopped drinking, and no longer reads fiction. Plus, as he notes, real estate is a nasty business. I always find it fascinating to see how other people observe the world, which leads me to give this zine my stamp of recommendation. $2 to Sean Stewart, 2216 Terrace Way, Columbia, SC 29205.

Well, I guess as long as we’re on the subject of perzines, we should take a look at 28 Pages Lovingly Bound with Twine, about as literally-titled a zine as you’re going to find. Highlighting issue #2 is Christoph’s recent attainment of fatherhood status. Personally, though, I enjoyed his bout of correspondence with ZenDon best. To anyone who knows how to put two sentences together, corporate letters are always good for a laugh. Egad — another zine I liked! Look, these things will happen. $2, or $5 for three issues, to Christoph Meyer, P.O. Box 106, Danville, OH 43014.

Challenger is a fanzine. For those of you not hip to the terminology, “fan-zine” happens to be a specific phrase, telling you that the subject matter is science fiction. Your Friendly Local Reviewer is almost completely ignorant on this basis; R.A. Lafferty and Ray Bradbury being nearly the total of my readings in sci-fi literature. However, editor Guy Lillian III makes the full-sized, 90+ page zine so friendly, almost anyone can feel like a member of the club. Plus, the “Zine Dump” feature is a pretty good resource. If sci-fi is your special cup of tea, then of course you’re on the road with only half a tank of fuel if you aren’t getting this zine. And given the size, the offer of $6 or trade is well worth your time and effort, sent on an ASAP basis to Guy at P.O. Box 53092, New Orleans, LA 70153.

Finally out of me this time, there’s Trans-Nouveau Zine, which arrived in my mailbox minus any soliciting on my part. The editor uses terms such as “free speech” and “lunacy.” I will tell you this much: the type is almost unimaginably small. I wouldn’t have thought you could squeeze this many words on two sides of a sheet of paper. Is it insane ranting? Inspired lunacy? A waste of time? Impossible to live without? Well, as far as I’m concerned, this is what zinedom is all about. Only a pretentious fool would complain about the size of the type or the lack of paragraph breaks. In three words, go for it! $1 and a stamp opens the door (and once you go through, you may not be able to get back), from Karla Fitzgibbens, 127 Walter’s Rd., Barnesville, GA 30204.

Maria Goodman

Getting back into the zine scene is like going to a family reunion where you don't know most of the people you should — you're related to them, after all! And then you get sucked into the flock of kids playing Kamikaze Badminton and you find the snacks and drinks and dogs and you're okay. I used to do Don't Say Uh-Oh and Carrot and now I'm getting my vibes organized into something new. It was a pleasure reading this stack of zines.

December 2001
Kelly Froh
1317 Boren Ave #206, Seattle,WA 98101
$1.00 each, cash, check, or trade
digest size, 16 pages
It's just a sad fact of life that little brothers have to get beat up now and then. (Well, not that sad — my own little brother made it a supreme honor much of the time, like when he cut up my favorite R2D2 eraser — oh, my fists still itch.) Kelly puts her story into the charming form of almost a children's book — read THIS, kids! The drawings are cute, yet disturbing-check out the naked and defaced Barbies, and the creepy dad silhouette on the back cover. I especially liked the list of "Top 10 Names to Call Your Little Brother, Keeping with the Theme of Him Stinking" which includes "PU It's You" and "What stinks in here?" Other Kelly comics, listed on the last page, seem too tantalizing not to read; I'm going to have to write her for Puke Stories and comics about unlucky pets.

#46, July 2001
Ken Miller
ASKalice Art Net, PO Box 101, Newtown, PA 18940-0101
url: http://members.aol.com/satpostman
US stamps, 2 IRCs, or something cool in trade
digest size, 8 pages
This is a mail art zine, but in this issue Ken explains that he might have to put off subsequent issues for a while due to working extra jobs. This is the only issue I've seen, so I can't really review his regular format-. A short story is included called "Tiny's Diner", and the back is covered with Mail Art Contacts-tons of them! To participate in the Art Exchange, send photocopyable artwork or original recordings for exchange from the archives: collages, drawings, photos, paintings, found objects, etc. Replies may take a few months.

Eric Lyden
224 Moraine St., Brockton, MA 02301
$1.00 plus stamp or trade
full size, 24 pages
Eric mentions "rambling" a lot in his zine, and it IS wordy, but it's also painfully honest and nicely lacking in posturing. He gives an account of going to Zinetown Beantown, detailing everything from what he decides to wear, to zine gossip about schmoozing and trading, to how he feels he fits/doesn't fit into the scene. I really liked his self interview called "Me on Writing" which I thought would make me cringe/wince galore, but it really does address issues that anyone who writes has to ask themselves. And answer. Also included: "Rules to Live By and Some Fun Facts" ("I once masturbated seven times in one day. That was a really sad day."), letters, and reviews.

#103, October 2001
edited by Art S. Revolutionary
4000 Hawthorne #5, Dallas, TX 75219
url: http://musea.digitalchainsaw.com
email: 112374.474@compuserve.com
"Will gladly mail free trial copy to anyone in the US"; subscriptions are $6.00 for 6 months or $10.00 for a year. Check payable to Tom Hendricks
half legal size, 8 pages
The subtitle of this zine says "with the latest news I on the ongoing revolution in the ARTS". The back cover is devoted to all kinds of projects and activities, including the intriguing Musea Reading Fund. This is the first issue I've seen and it's a listing of "TV's Best Comedies", a year by year guide from 1947 to the present--precis of various comedies to refresh your memory. From "Puppet Playhouse" and "Our Miss Brooks" to "Leave it to Beaver", to "Benny Hill", to "Three's Company," to everything we all numb our butts in front of today. Ew: "Married With Children" is in there. Yay: "King of the Hill" is in there. It's highly subjective. There is a centerfold with two pages of recent drawings.

Celia C. Perez
2527 N. California Ave, 1st Floor (South), Chicago IL 60647
2 stamps or a buck or trades (see her wish list)
half digest size, 24 pages
Very pretty little zine, nicely put together. Neatness counts, I say! The cover is a gold hummingbird stamped onto aqua cardstock. But it's not all cosmetic: there are well-written thoughts about dreams, goals, everyday life, summer, the poet Pablo Neruda, moving from Florida to Chicago to start a new job (Celia just got her MA in Library & Information Science), and riding the bus. She does other zines as well-the reading compilation zine, "I Dreamed I Was I Assertive" and the Frida Diego catalog. Haven't seen these, but you can check out her website for information. Also, she writes that she'll "be getting a PO box in Chicago and asks that you email her for that information and "any other random silliness you wish".

#5, The Pets Issue
Scout R. Finnegan
PO Box 48522, Sarasota, FL 34230-0522
url: scout.liquidbutter.com
e-mail: scout@liquidbutter.com
digest size, 22 pages
Super-cute and attractive zine with good writing, contributors, and comics. Scout gets a new puppy! Ed's turtle gets caught in a spider web! Delaine might steal your pet! Poopshoot tells the sad tale of a dog who couldn't fly. Scout also presents articles on books she likes, her high school reunion, a perfect Saturday, a list of "Things That Make Me Happy in a Hokey Kinda Way", and zine reviews. Her drawing style is utterly charming; her writing is warm.

Needle North Headquarters: PO Box 300152, Minneapolis, MN 55403; Attn: Corina Fastwolf
Needle South Headquarters: 1174 Briarcliff, Apt 2, Atlanta, GA 30306; Attn: Phlox
$1.00 plus stamp or good trade or cool candy to review
4.25"X11", 16 pages
I thought I would die of jealousy and admiration when I read this zine. 1. Candy 2. Great funny writing 3. Nice people 4. Neat handwriting 5. Hand-colored 6. Cute drawings 7. Actual Bizarre candy wrappers from all around the world. OH MY HEART! I guess Corina and Phlox rule the universe and travel around it, all in the name of CANDY. In this issue: candy from Russia, Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Japan, and from wacky shelves right here in America. The trials, the rewards. "Glucola is also available in an electric orange version. I was not offered a choice and continued to burp LIME flavoring for about six hours. Working for MAD SCIENTISTS has many downfalls. I was part of the CONTROL GROUP." I don't know how I got this far in life without Sugar Needle, but please, everyone, don't make the same mistake! Sugar Needle must be injected IMMEDIATELY. I'm brainwashed, I don't care. This is important. Read it! Eat it!

Billy McKay
PO Box 542, N. Olmsted OH 44070
no price listed-Be fair
digest size, 36 pages
Neat, simple, cute, crazy, well-drawn comics. Each of these is a story; all lean toward the supernatural, monsters, electronica, space, inventions! "Lots of lovely ludicrousness. This also came with a tiny comic, in a tiny envelope, called "drawings "by billy", in which he "tried to turn on the child-like side of my brain as I drew them". They're like genius first-grade psychopath pictures. Agh! Cool!

#4, Fall 2001
Ben T. Steckler
PO Box 7273, York, PA 17404
digest size, 28 pages
Such craziness! Ben's autobiographical comic spins and flips through math-defying, logic-scrambling true stories about his family (four grandmothers? Honest), cancer (he cured it in seconds? Yep), his connections to Roman Polanski and a Hey KooI-Aid girl (surely he's lying? But no!) All drawn with obvious fun. I'm giving bonus points because the cover is silk-screened. Ben also does some other comics and zines-see the back page for details. This issue came with f-ART JOKE #1 (August 2001, $1.00, half digest, 22 pages) where various people take works of art (comics, paintings, etc) and incorporate that never-ending, relentlessly classic, quintessential joke: the fart. You can send him submissions or requests and they'll get drawn fartily.

#4, Winter 2001
Frank J. Marcopolos
4809 Avenue N #117, Brooklyn, NY 11234
url: www.thewhirligig.com
e-mail: whirligig21@aol.com
digest size, 74 pages This is a literary zine which includes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. It's a potluck-you get sex, violence, humor, truth, a little bit of diamonds, a little bit of dirt. My favorites were the story "Blocked" by Cullen Carter and "How to De-Brainwash Yerself in Food Service Hell" by the Urban Hermitt, which is so well-written that I forgave the weird spelling style and after awhile I got submerged and realized it was more like text illustration. The editor says they need more artwork, and payment for accepted submissions is a free copy of the issue you're in. Send a SASE with any work. See issue for more details.

"Amped: Notes from a Go-Nowhere Punk Band" by Jon Resh
nonfiction, paperback, $4.50, 2001, 159 pages
Viper Press
PO Box 3394 Chicago, IL 60690-3394
(773) 525-4973
(or read book for free at viperpress.com)
This is the story of the band, Spoke, that Jon Resh gave birth to, raised, and let go of when it was the right time (in 1993). Written by a proud father with understandable affection and love, it's like a zine/road diary/expose of how the band began and the adventures and trials along the way. Each chapter is headed with a one word title ("Tour", "Sex", "Zines", "Hazards"), a simple black and white graphic (also designed by the author), and a quote ("Everything must end. Meanwhile we must amuse ourselves"--Voltaire). The book is wall to wall personal essays on Jon's friends, Spokehouse, the Florida college town where Spoke came to be--anything and everything related to Spoke. When I first started reading, I was worried it would be too "inside" to relate to--the jokes, the people--and obviously it's written mainly as a tribute to one specific group. But good god, if you can't be a part of it, what's better than spying in from the outside? These guys are sweet and fun and creative. I liked how they tormented their alien-phobic bandmate with UFO fakeouts and borrowed a stranger's lawn ornament to photo-document their tour. There's no posturing, there's no cooler-than-thou name dropping, no cleverness, no pretense. There is farting and filth and showing off, yeah, but it's part of the territory. If you're in a band or into punk music this will interest you, but it will also probably interest you if you're not. It's that engaging.

*Donny Smith

I’m a librarian in training. Libraries are wonderful havens for the misfits of our society (basically anyone who reads). At some point I realized I was spending all my time in the library, so why not get paid for it?

I’ve been doing zines since the 80s (since 1983 if you count the things I circulated among my classmates in high school, since 1988 if you count when I really hooked up with the large zine community).

My zine Dwan is about half excerpts from my diaries and half other people’s poetry, either in Spanish or English. I publish only pieces I really enjoy (most literary magazines disgust me). You can get Dwan for $2 cash or trade (except issue 31, which is $4 cash). I hope you will be pleasantly surprised.

And, by David Charlton
a Lilliput broadside (LR #122) (Nov. 2001)
*Don Wentworth
282 Main St, Pittsburgh PA 15201 USA
on top: lots of ampersands
below: a long poem about the world
quote: and it will be given to everyone within five miles of each plant / and their leaves crumble like the faces of the aged / and since the borders have been opened the people of each nation cling together / and an Israeli author says we must choose between peace & hope

City, by Jane Siberry (2001)
Sheeba Records, 238 Davenport Rd Ste 291., Toronto, ON M5R 1J6 CANADA
http://www.janesiberry.com/ or http://www.sheeba.ca/
comment: Not a zine, but her career might be of interest.
She self-released her 1981 album Jane Siberry. Then she signed to the (tiny) Canadian label Duke Street, which teamed with (semi-major) Windham Hill to release her 1984 and 1985 albums. She signed to the (major) Reprise / Warner Bros / Time-Warner for her 1987, 1989, 1993, and1995 albums. But since1996 she’s been back on her own label again, Sheeba Records. She’s had hits in Canada, but not the United States—though I did hear “Everything Reminds Me of My Dog” on the radio once. “Calling All Angels” could have been a hit here, since Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and K.D. Lang’s Ingénue were big at the same time. Being on a big label never ruined her quirky style.

In many ways her albums are aural perzines. Collages of things she’s seen and heard on the street. Jazzy stream-of-consciousness improvs. Bits of poems and diaries. She’s done a whole album re-recording songs she wrote in high school. Emotional, smart, and melodic. This is from my 1995 review of When I Was a Boy (still my favorite):

What interests me is that it encompasses so many of the doubts and inconsistencies of my own life: how love causes a daily string of separations, how personality, physique, sexuality—the things that bring about “glorious union”—are the things that tear us apart, that I’m finding my weakest parts are my strengths, that silence is strength, and that my fear of death has made me strong and able to stay alone. (I realized the huge weight I’d been carrying around as the music slowly eased it off my back.)

Siberry’s voice is weak sometimes but the stronger voices of K.D. Lang and Holly Cole never overpower it. Simple rhythms subtly become polyrhythms, then dissolve. Atonal wanderings resolve into pop-y, hook-y melodies, then trail off. Narrative lyrics break into bits and pieces; then narrative repeats, only it’s different. Generations of human emerge from the seas, with bodies full of fire. The child holds her mother: “is she dying? no, I think she’s just been born . . .” (We fight against reintegration into the world. I see myself as a pillar of salt, helplessly dissolving back into the Dead Sea. We hope that our intangible substance will save us, we send out thoughts and love, we call it Soul and want it to live forever.)

I don’t know if the title When I Was a Boy refers to a previous life of Siberry’s or to the one life we have which we constantly re-create. (Emily Dickinson used the phrase a lot. The poems “The Zeroes - taught us - Phosphorus,” “There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House,” and “A narrow Fellow in the Grass” are all relevant here.)

Mark (Boys Who Wear Glasses) says to add that she’s a weirder Joni Mitchell and early in her career was compared to Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson.

on the cover: Siberry looking all wise and arty and elegant
inside: A compilation of 15 of Siberry’s collaborations. Soundtrack songs for The Crow, Until the End of the World, Faraway So Close, and Barney’s Great Adventure. Work with lots of people at Peter Gabriel’s studios. Plus Frank London, Joe Jackson, Hector Zazou, Michael Grey, Nigel Kennedy, Takafumi Sotoma, Morgan Fisher, and Ghostland (most of whom I had never heard of). And a tribute to Laura Nyro.
quote: Every moment spent bent over work / Not cutting corners, doing things with care / Is protection / Is the bridge to carry you through the darkness
overall: magical

A Day in the Life of the Information Desk: a TRANSOM mini-book (2001)
PO Box 77716, Seattle WA 98177 USA
on the cover: a competent librarian
inside: A compilation of questions asked at an public library information desk.
quote: If many of our users knew how to do two things, we would soon be out of business. One is know how to use, or keep, a phone book. The other is know how to spell.
overall: I sympathize. But I think she must be holding back the best material!

Gumshoe Monkey No. 5 (December 2001)
Ellen Adams
5025 Thacher Rd, Ojai, CA 93023 USA
inside: Poems, diaries, unsent letters, cartoons, collages. Ellen’s struggling with loneliness, vulnerability, intimacy, betrayal—sound familiar? She also shows her favorite pictures of kisses and talks about fun things and memories of summer camp. I can’t tell if she’s in high school or college, but it doesn’t really matter.
quote: all these codes and secrets go into my writing. that is all i have left. but really my writing is just myself so it doesn’t even count.
overall: classic perzine

Leeking Ink #25 (January 2002)
$2 or trade
Davida Gypsy Breier
POB 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078 USA
note: Davida offers no financial incentives to reviewers (though I do get to keep some of the non-English language zines she sends me for review). But her zine always inspires me. Because I’m always on the verge of quitting mine.
on the cover: pasted-on color printout of a carnival ride, curlycue cut-outs
inside: Davida’s journals and travelogs; an interview with Linnea Quigley
quote: Signs you are in Baltimore[:] High heels with tube socks.
overall: It just gets better and better!

Michael’s Closeted Page (June 2001)
free if you have Internet access
Winson Shuen
http://www.bcpmx.com or www.rit.edu/~wts4071/dailys/0601.html
inside: Winson hasn’t written much since my review in the last XD. He went to Hong Kong and spent a lot of time on his aunt and uncle’s couch watching TV. He’s wondering if his online diary is too revealing.
quote: . . . I’ve been thinking about the future of this website. I’ve made this website bigger and “better”, but not until last night did I realized that what I’m trying to do is to get attention from people and try to get people to idolize me, which destroy the initial purpose of this website . . . I found myself not caring much about the “traffic” of this website already. I don’t care if no one is finding my website entertaining, because I know all I want from the website is the ability to help others as well as myself. nothing else is important. . . . When I created this website, it was modeled after couple website, such as “thatboy” as well as “sean patrick live!”, which both of them closed down because they had revealed too much of their identity. I finally understand why. I realized that it’s not necessary a good thing when you tell everyone on this planet everything about yourself.
overall: still cute

Minimum Security issue #1 (2001)
Stephanie McMillan
POB 2083, Ft Lauderdale FL 33303 USA
on the cover: scary big-tongued white woman about to swallow a box of Processed Food Thing
inside: Stephanie’s editorial cartoons. She has a distinctive graphic style and a progressive point of view.
quote: — The environmental crisis is obviously caused by overpopulation.
— i know. Other people should modify their behavior.
overall: I always feel intensely guilty after reading her cartoons. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I don’t know.

Multitude of Voices 12 (2001)
Matt Holdaway
1945B Berryman St, Berkeley CA 94709
on the cover: cartoon of a car wreck
inside: Poems, cartoons, and stories from a bunch of different people. The writers I’m familiar with (Bobby Tran Dale, Vernon Maulsby) didn’t contribute their best work.
comment: Why do I cringe at the sight of litzines? Maybe it’s all the “experimental” writing that’s not only intellectually empty but lacking heart. I want personality, emotion, skill, and hard thinking. Is that too much?
quote: In the moonlight, just to the left of the door, a metal plaque softly glowed. It said “BEWARE OF BETTY HUTTON” in clear, uncompromising letters. (Vernon Maulsby)
overall: above average, for a litzine

The Sludge Pond #8 (2001)
send mail or stamps
*Maria K.
PO Box 356, Hatfield, PA 19440 USA
on the cover: a drawing of Maria’s refrigerator
inside: Amazing! Hilarious! Maria’s a genius (and a librarian). I can’t remember if I reviewed this in a previous XD, but it deserves a repeat.
quote: Do you say, “Thank you for your opinion, but let’s remember to respect people’s feelings?” Do you honor your emotions and cry because a five year old just told you your fashion sense is senseless? Or do you do what they would do in an inspiring teacher movie and turn the whole thing into a song and dance number about individuality and free speech?
overall: my favorite zine of all time?

Solo Utah: An account of travel up and down some canyons (October 2001)
*Chris Dodge
4645 Columbus Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407 USA
inside: Chris’s journal entries from a hiking trip in Utah
quote: “Passenger Dodge? You ordered a VAY-gun meal?” I’d forgotten. And what was in that lovely not-quite-a-plastic-bento-box? Two lovely cold mashed potato mounds, marinated in something yellow, dotted with chives and served on two red tomato slices. The presentation pleased and amused me, and confused the young man next to me.
overall: classic travel-diary zine

Sunshine From Darkness: World of Hurt #1 (2001?)
POB 821, Valley Stream, NY 11582 USA
on the plastic cover: scribbled out text
inside: Graceful line drawings. Scribbles. Undated journal entries of work, separation from friends, a mental hospital, shelters, and crazy roommates.
quote: I quit my job to work full time on voices inside my head.
overall: Stunning. Like cold water.

Watch the Closing Doors 17 (Nov.? 2001)
4 issues / $10 (cash preferred)
Fred Argoff
1800 Ocean Pkwy, # B-12, Brooklyn, NY 11223-3037 USA
on the cover: photo of a SEPTA Orange Line station
inside: Pictures of train stations. Reviews of train rides. Histories of train lines.
comment: In the last XD I asked myself why I’d avoided this zine for so long. As I rode SEPTA and read this new issue I realized that it’s because I hate public transportation.
Not that I ever want to own a car again. But Philadelphia’s public transportation (SEPTA) is dirty, expensive, and inconvenient. The train cars smell like diapers or garbage or feet. The windows are scratched and greasy. The seats are torn and stained. Almost nothing runs after midnight (some lines stop running at 8 pm). The trains stop running altogether during slightly bad weather (too cold, too hot, too wet, too windy, leaves on the tracks). The employees are usually unhelpful and often hostile. Their safety record is spotty. And their administration is corrupt (among other things, they sued a little boy whose foot was torn off by one of their defective escalators).
Maybe if I lived in Chicago or New York I’d have a better outlook. But I hated public transportation in Lincoln (StarTran) and State College (CATA) too.
overall: still an excellent zine

[Winson Shuen]’s Journal (October 2001)
free if you have Internet access
Winson Shuen
inside: supplement to Michael’s Closeted Page (above)

* known librarian

Matt Fagan

I have written eight issues of a zine called Meniscus, which bursts with fiction, nonfiction, comics, and songs. I have thousands of degrees from academies around the world. I paint pictures. I can curl my tongue. And when I was 10 I played Joseph of Aramathea in the Church Christmas play. At least one of these things ought to qualify me to review zines

Have You Seen the Dog Lately?, The Obsession Issue - Fall 2001
Digest-sized, 44pp./ $1 or 3 stamps
The Dog is a perzine shared by two sisters and their friends, and though this is the first issue I have seen, their common bond and sense of history is quite evident here. The success of the pieces in this zine is sometimes undercut by the feeling that they are making the Dog more for each other than for an outside audience, but this never keeps them from being entertaining, and just as often serves the stories with an ease and comfort of voice that might otherwise be lacking. “Eggers Banquet” is a transcript of a conversation at an ice cream parlor where four people meet to talk trash about Dave Eggers. There is a piece about some Spanish proverbs they found on the ground, some interesting thoughts on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and a surprisingly meditative story by Jenny about a sort of inner peace she has found through swimming. My favorite story was Serena’s “Escalator”, which focuses on experiences in a women’s self-defense class, and the aftermath of buying her first house with her boyfriend of five years. But the piece is really about learning the best way to cope with conflict, and besides being written from the heart it is also a very well-executed story.
Serena and Jenny Makofsky
465 38th St., Oakland, CA 94609

1/4 size, 16 pp./Priceless
I’m uncertain whether this is a test-marketed installment for a planned series, or excerpts from a work-in-progress, or if Androo even knows yet, but Cryptozoa is a virtually unclassifiable project. Each page is a little glimpse into its own separate, deeper narrative, and though the images never intersect there is a definite similarity of tone. I would call them happy pictures, but there is a desperation just behind them too. I guess I don’t know what they mean, but I really like Androo’s work and Cryptozoa is surely worth the amount of contemplation it asks for. If I had to put it into words (and I do!), I think I’d say the underlying theme is one of people with unremarkable circumstances searching for something sublime inside the mundane borders of their lives. And it is a fun search to join.
Ped Xing Studios
2000 NE 42nd Ave. #302, Portland, OR 97213
pedxing@geeklife.com; www.leekinginc.com

Burnt, #3 & 4
8.5 x 11/$1 ppd
Burnt has a middle-class punk rock sensibility and isn’t afraid to use it! At first I was a little put off by this zine, but I think that was mostly because I didn’t understand where it was coming from. But here’s the deal: collages of photographs and magazine clippings form the background, with stories clipped into individual paragraphs and glued on. The whole shebang is photocopied on ledger paper, center folded, and unstapled. It’s all very DIY. Then I figured out, this is a punk zine going through a midlife crisis. Burnt it permeated by the same issues of politics, class, authenticity and freedom that crowd the handwritten pages of underground punk tracts. I’ve little doubt these folks were responsible for a few of those tracts in their teen years. But now they’re older, growing up, finishing school, giving up some of the punk rock lifestyle but not the ethics that go behind it. They have graduated beyond the rant, becoming more interested in expressing their ideas clearly than in just proving to the world that those ideas exist. The resulting tone is a strange blending of formal and informal styles, a rant filtered through the deductive reasoning process of people who have had to write a lot of reports. Ultimately I found Burnt charming, with its deliberations over how far one can go for money and still retain their uncorrupted ideals, thoughts on the existence of god, and outrage over various miscarriages of justice in our legal system. They make a lot of valid points, and it’s heartening to see these guys carrying on like this. They also have a lot of thoughtful zine and music reviews, which is always a bonus.
400 Park Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054-1737

The Whirligig #3
digest-size, 60 pp./$3
This is the “fiction-fat” issue, so without benefit of having read the previous two I’m going to presume that more space is usually devoted to poetry. But the Whirligig #3 is dominated by five very enjoyable short stories, and I love to come across a zine that can find - and recognize - good fiction. I’m not saying that each story is exactly my cup of tea, but they all have something to offer and the authors are not bullshitting. “In this Slowly Rising City, So Bereft of Company” takes an amusing but spooky conceit and uses it to examine the emotional effects of urban expansion. Author Jeffrey Somers draws a believably surreal world and sustains it even as it disintegrates around his characters. “Christmas Vacation” should appeal to anyone who fancies himself a writer. Ann Sterzinger’s story is the bleak tale of a nearly unsympathetic copy-editor who nearly goes over the edge when he is forced to proof a fifty-page short story by Jim McManus for the new fiction issue. Now maybe it’s because I fancy myself a writer, or maybe it’s because I’ve taken classes led by McManus and been in more than one heated argument with him, but I got a big kick out of this one. The Whirligig is edited by Frank J. Marcopolos, and he clearly knows how to pick stories that can appeal to a range of tastes. This was a good read. Frank J. Marcopolos
4809 Avenue N #117, Brooklyn, NY 11234

Spiked Riot (Girl on gIRL Productions)
Digest, 8pp/$1
Girl on gIRL bills itself as a “revolutionary feminist publishing stunt”, and SR is one of three tracts currently available, according to the information in the back. What this offers is a brief introduction and overview for budding young dykes and feminists who are interested in activism. There are tips on how to spend your money in a politically conscious way (as well as how to decorate the money with fuck-the-patriarchy sentiments before you spend it), a practice chart for beginning graffiti artists, and instruction on how to convert your bathroom into an anti-establishment headquarters, surrounding your guests with revolutionary, queer, anticapitalist tracts and petitions while they are at their most vulnerable. I don’t know how helpful SR would be, on its own, if I were a young gung-ho lesbian. But it would make me believe that there were supportive, friendly people out there who are interested in the same things I am, and who might be able to help me out. For my money, that makes Spike Riot worth it.
G.O.G. Productions
5311 Avenue Du Parc, Montreal, PQ H2V 469 CANADA
www.neoagent.net/girlongirl; girlongirl@graffiti.net

Caboose #1
1/4 size, 44pp./$2
Caboose is a solo stint by Liz Saidel, half of the team behind that perennial favorite, Cul-de-Sac. Fans of CdS will certainly appreciate Caboose, which has the same off-the-cuff and genial tone. I had to smile when I first saw this zine, small and cute, like half an issue of Cul-de-Sac.
Liz shares a story about her vomit-filled youth, which is funnier and less disgusting than it sounds. Her account of “My Worst Job Interview Ever” will make you cringe in the worst way. And when you read about Liz working for the Sanrio store, you would shake your head in disbelief if it weren’t so big and heavy.
I’ve always been a fan of Cul-de-Sac’s style, and Liz is just as strong on her own. If you’ve never read any of her work before, pick up Caboose. You’ll want to get to know her better.

Hot Teen Slut Gets Fucked in the Head (my poetic adventures in porn)
Digest, 32pp/No price, but it was $5 at Quimby’s
This chapbook is one of the funniest things I have ever read. I was laughing out loud on a miserable transatlantic flight because of Cristin’s hilarious experiences on the job as About.Com’s porn girl. I guess spending that many hours evaluating porn every day could make anybody go a little mad, but Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz goes mad in the best way. She tackles all the feminist and moral arguments one might level against her job and makes them insignificant, compared to such incredible job perks as “Beak up with your boyfriend, I will have him inserted into/ an all leather daddy gay erotica piece, where/ his name will be the online gloryhole flashpoint.”
As we go through such poems as “Fucking Made Easy”, “Cristinisabitter-bitchasaurus Rex”, and “I Could Make Money Off of Those Tits”, it’s easy to understand the strange and hilarious journey that sex-overload takes her on. And finally, the reactionary cherry on top, Cristin ends with her gem “Let’s Make Out! (the anti-porn poem)”: “Uh! Let’s get freaky/ over the clothes style/ cuz you get me worked up/ in a not getting past second base way”
So if you love internet porn - and I know you do! - take a break from Hot Anal Web Cam and drop her an email. She has other chapbooks and a spoken word EP too!

Christoph Meyer

Hello, my name is Christoph Meyer and I am delighted to be reviewing for Xerography Debt. It’s a great publication and I’m honored that Ms. Breier has let me be a little part of it. I’m a newcomer to the exotic world of zines so maybe my thoughts on them will have a certain charming naive enthusiasm that all of you oldtimers lost long ago. Because I enjoy reading other people’s zines almost as much as I enjoy putting together my little zine. Now, on with the reviews!

Thought Bombs #17
$2/trade/free to prisoners
Anthony Rayson
PO Box 721 Homewood, IL 60430
Anthony is a good man and he’s fighting the good fight in suburban Chicago to stop a new airport development and bring Anarchy to the masses. His article “Anarchy in the USA” is an inspirational call to action and reading it makes one want to strive to be a better person and do good works.
I like Anthony because he doesn’t fit the anarchist stereotype I have of a young punk who’s more interested in the idea of being rebellious than actually bettering society. Anthony is 47 years old, married for 15 years and has “worked the same boring wage job for 26 years.” He lives among the working class in a little house in suburban Chicago because he is working class. But there’s a difference, a big difference, between Anthony and you’re average Wal-Mart and McDonald’s patronizing suburbanite because he doesn’t fall into the middle-class trap of accepting the status quo; he’s battling the corporate powers and rejecting the materialistic world view they perpetuate even while living what would appear at first glance to be a “normal” life.
After reading Thought Bombs you will see that Anthony is a passionate anarchist dedicated to making the world more free and loving. He is also committed to helping prisoners, and news on their plight, their letters and their artwork are also featured. Besides being a founder of STAND (Shut This Airport Nightmare Down) and its current secretary, Anthony also runs South Chicago ABC Zine Distribution specializing in Anarchist and Prisoner related zines- what a trooper. Recommended.

SORE zine #12/June 2001
Taylor Ball
PO Box 68711 Va. Beach, VA 23471
Taylor Ball edits this zine from Virginia that contains a mix of fiction, autobiographical writing and reviews of zines, music and books. My favorite piece was an excerpt from Mr. Ball’s novel in progress. By the end of the excerpt I was curious to read what happened next. Leaving the reader wanting more is, to my mind, an indication that there’s some good story tellin’ transpiring. Another highlight was a short tale a brief romantic encounter in Spain by Dallas entitled “Spring in Madrid.”
After reading Mr. Ball heap praises on a band called “The Lot Six” (which has but five members - maybe it’s a horrible metaphor implying that the sixth member is you, the listener) I decided to send away for a 7” by them. I’m so out of it when it comes to new music and it would be nice to listen to something recorded in the past 5 years. So I’ll step out of my antiquated musical shell and give something new a listen; I can’t listen to Engelbert Humperdinck records forever after all.
This is a well done zine. I’m looking forward to reading future issues.

Out of the Blue Number 2/December 2001
Larned Justin
PO Box 471 House Springs, MO 63051
A splendid little zine of comics, art, stories and zine reviews that has the noble mission of “showcasing the talented artists and writers of the movement known as “Small Press.” As with any zine featuring a variety of writers, this one is hit and miss. But what is a hit to me may miss you entirely. You can usually find something to like in a zine with this format. What hit me the hardest was a comic entitled “Great moments in Rock ‘N’ Roll” by Joel Orff and an article about Alan Ford comics which are huge in the Balkans. This zine is even supposed to come out monthly. I mean, like, wow! Monthly! That sounds like a lot of work. If I wore a hat I’d say “hats off to you Larned Justin for putting out a good monthly rag” (no pun intended). Oh hell, I’ll say it anyway: “Hats off to you Larned Justin for putting out a good monthly rag.” There.

Idiosyncracy, Issue ichi
Cherry Chick-a-boom-boom Thomas
PO Box 931333 Los Angeles, CA 90093
Ah, a line that’s simple and fun to read- what a treat. I started on page one and didn’t stop until page nineteen and read every word. What more could one ask for?
In this issue Cherry Chickaboom-boom Thomas travels to Japan and recounts her adventures, allocating much space to the cultural shock of being suddenly immersed in all things Japanese. There’s Leonardo DeCaprio and Harrison Ford selling stuff on TV, 3 or 4 vending machines on every corner, $6 Big Mac Meals and no old cars because new cars are a status symbol. It takes a few pages for her to describe the differences in the bathrooms and there are many. The Japanese keep their bathtubs full of water and heated all day! And they even wash off completely before they get in the tub.
This is fun, entertaining and well-paced story telling. Nothing fancy but who needs fancy. I finished and wanted to read more so I sent Miss Chickaboomboom a buck and will be able to read issue ni very soon...

Comfort Creature #6
POB 4251 Boulder, CO 80306
An almost entirely handwritten personal zine all about KAP. I like reading KAP’s (legible) handwriting and I the starkness of the all words and no pictures format. No illustrations and fluff- just pure content.
I enjoyed this zine most when it just told a story. Too much space (for my taste) was allocated to emotions and feelings. The good thing about KAP’s writing is that he has his own style which is usually lacking in this type of writing. His words have an idiosyncratic flow that could grow on me. On every page there is a sentence that surprised me with it’s beauty and originality of thought. But there was the occasional sentence which made me wince because I found it overly poetic and gratuitous. The good parts of Comfort Creature are good enough to make me think that KAP has the potential to write something extraordinary. This issue, while not extraordinary, is full of good writing by a sincere writer with his own voice.

Last Words (I’m a Wrekk #1 & #2) and Brainscan #15 & #?
Alex Wrekk
POB 14332 Portland, OR 97293
She may be a Wrekk but I’m a fool. In the excitement of publishing the first issue of my zine, I went through Zine Guide #5 trading with everyone. Alex Wrekk’s name was listed twice and I sent her two separate envelopes containing my zine. To compound my foolishness, in both envelopes was a short note asking her to trade and the salutation in both notes read “Dear Mr. Wrekk”.
She replied thusly:
First of all I’m a MISS and not a MISTER and second I’m one person. I’ll find a home for the second zine you sent.
Take care, Alex
Oops. My face is red. But with the chiding yet friendly note was the cutest pack of mini-sized zines I’ve ever laid eyes on. Brainscan #? and #15, measuring in at a mere 3” x 2 1/4”, were tucked into a tiny envelope made out of a page from a phone book and sealed with a little sticker. My envelope happens to have the phone numbers for both Cascade Precision Inc. and Cascade Screw Machine Products amongst others. If that wasn’t enough, there was a second small bundle of zines containing I’m a Wrekk #1 and #2 and Curious Constellation. This “3 mini-zine set” is collectively entitled “Last Words: the story of a broken hearted coffee shop girl” and is tied into a little package with dental floss.
Each little zine bundle is available for $1 or a trade. If you want both I’d send $2 or, if you’re an idiot like me, 2 trades of the same zine in separate envelopes.
Besides the pretty presentation, these zines are also worth reading. The Brainscans are poetic musings about life, changes and love, typed and collaged over various photocopied backgrounds. The I’m a Wrekks were the highlight for me. They were mostly about Alex’s broken heart over a lost love. Curious Constellation, which was all poetry, was my least favorite. Brainscan is poetry of a sort and I enjoyed both of them but I think Alex’s talent lies in her prose in which she bravely writes down what’s in her heart and soul for the world to read.

19CentZine The Newborn Issue Number Zero Fourteen/ Fall 2001
(19¢/Free?/I don’t know)
343 A King Street Charleston, SC 29401
The publisher of this zine just became a dad. I just became a dad! He likes the band Wilco. Hey, I like Wilco too! He also likes a bunch of other bands that I’ve never heard of, but I haven’t heard of many new bands. He likes pot and beer. I’m not sure if I like pot cuz I just say “No” to drugs just like Nancy told me to but I do know from personal experience that beer tastes horrible. This zine is mostly personal stuff and music related features. The best parts were the more personal articles about his hometown and a trip to Europe.

Uncertain Nervous Systems/The Infinite Uses of Infinity
stamps/trades “cash will be destroyed” (send him a buck just to see what happens) Number/Issue? Date Published: August double ought
Love Bunni Press 2622 Princeton Rd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 This zine contains the most densely written articles full of fancy pants 2¢ words that I’ve ever read in a zine. I will pick a random sentence now to illustrate my point... “Skinheads TM drink beer.” Well, that’s a funny sentence to pick out of context, especially with the TM and all, but I’m gonna have to flip through and point at another random sentence and hope that this one illustrates my point better…
“A revelation akin to marking the page
disengaged from a Romanticist’s
sentimentality, conscious of the snares and
foils which constrict the sensual beauty in
Paydirt! That’s just what I was looking for. This zine is page after page of that stuff. But if you concentrate real hard on the words, they make sense. It might hurt your little brain but in the end it’s worth it because the ideas behind the polysyllabic acrobatics (I can make fancy phrases too!) are interesting and worth” reading.
This publication’s admirable intention is to break free of habits and traditions in writing. Or, if not break free, then at least not be a total slave to them. I think that the writing that went over my head succeeded too well.
My favorite piece is about...well, it’s hard to say exactly what it’s about. It starts off about 4 friends sitting around engaged in some sort of musical endeavor which ended with one of them screaming “THE CRYPT...THE CRYYYPT!” with a “quivers Adam apple falsetto.” Then there’s some stuff about a funeral which I think is part of the same piece but it’s hard to tell. There was also a good piece about Star Wars action figures. Although I probably permanently damaged my imagination by playing with toys that just represented scenes in a movie, at least I took care of my toys as a kids because as I write this they are stored safely in boxes at my folks’ house appreciating. At least I can cash in on “The Commodity Fetish.” Cha-Ching!
To appeal to a general audience, this zine could use more good ol’ fashioned storytellin’ between the cerebral pieces just to keep things fun. But something tells me that this zine isn’t intended for a general audience; it’s meant for smart people who understand big words.

Erin Quinlan

The Inner Swine
Volume 7, Issue 4; December 2001.
60 pages, digest
Every so often, I come across a review of The Inner Swine that reads something like, “… a quarterly zine documenting the bottomless alcoholic trials of Jeff Somers and company, with surprisingly good writing,” or “… nihilistic ramblings of wino/editor Jeff Somers, who half-manages to make a decent point once in a while.” And now that I’ve finally read an issue of his zine for myself, I don’t really understand how such assessments are generated. I can’t find any “surprisingly good writing” in it, because the goodness of it all is right there, plain as day. Where are the aimless disclosures of Jeff Somers, the fabled jackass? The scribbles of the man whose essence lays curbside, steeped in moonshine and belligerence? Somebody, orient me; I’m not sure what to make of this person whose word bank and inner narrative are in effect. In this issue: the weird dearth of racial variety in film, proposed explanations for the existence of humanity, tactics one can employ for extracting personal pursuits from a workday, account of a friend’s wedding, staving off thoughts of mortality via ritualized behaviors, measuring time in units other than years, the lessons conveyed to the editor by his assorted hangovers, and a short story I’ve read in unchronological segments, so I can tell you only that, like everything else in The Inner Swine, it contains some really excellent phrases.
$2 or trade to
The Inner Swine
P.O. Box 3024, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Snackbar Confidential
“No. 75; April 1969”
22 pages, digest
This shrine-like scrapbook of bygone consumer goods is smartly lacking any of the unfashionable, smirking irony that would poison its charm and ardor. Original advertisements for products and pastimes offered in the 1960s and ‘70s are adjacent to concise, amused recollections of their heyday. The fact that editor “Willard Dribbleman” appears to have firsthand experience with everything he features is probably an apt testament to our bloated, supersaturated lives. “I remember the cheese-making craze of 1973 as if it were yesterday,” he writes, and your heart can’t help but go out to him. Whether you were there the first time around and want to reacquaint yourself with the wide world of archaic breakfast cereal, or whether, like me, you were born in 1979 and can’t help but stand with your mouth agape in a gesture of cultural rubbernecking, this publication is sure to rouse. As the editor breathlessly asks, “Can you O.D. on too much pudding?” And to my amazement, the incontestable reply is no.
Price unknown.
Snackbar Confidential
P.O. Box 895, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

No. 13
38 pages, standard
When I was 17, I was friends with an oily mob of other 17 year-olds who were responsible for a newsprint zine that looked just like this, and they took their little publication so seriously, and it was so lame and self-important and so riddled with crummy-looking ads for inadequate hardcore bands that I’ve borne a corrosive little grudge against the newsprint format ever since. Sore, however, has aided me in the reevaluation of my bigotry, because Sore is not quite like the other newsprint zines. There are ads, of course, and reviews of records I’m unlikely to subject myself to, but the surrounding essays are not without brains and backbone. In this issue: words in support of patriotism, an account of the September 11 attacks from the perspective of a New Yorker, a handful of nebulous, imagery-heavy pieces by editor Taylor Ball, an upsetting article chronicling the sudden death of the author’s brother, the universal importance of discovering what’s important, and review sections devoted to assorted media. What the writing lacks in professional punctuation is made up in its twitching candor. $1 and stamps/$2/trade to:
Sore, c/o Taylor Ball
PO Box 68711, Virginia Beach, VA 23471

Rev. Richard J. Mackin’s Book of Letters
No. 14
46 pages, digest
It’s always been important for big business to undergo intelligent harassment from the little people, and for years the leading little person has been Rich Mackin, the country’s preeminent — and possibly only — “consumer defense corporate poet.” Book of Letters is honorable to its title: Masked by his wide-eyed, inoffensive timbre, Mackin sends letters and haikus of comment to large companies whose advertisements he is puzzled by, whose lawsuits he is interested in, whose packaging doesn’t make any sense, and whose edible products contain dubious ingredients. And on the page following his letter, he prints the company’s response to it. Though it’s unfortunate that replies issued by corporate headquarters generally have the halting deficit of character that you’d expect from any form letter (“thank you for your interest in our product…”), his outgoing efforts alone could justly command the cost of the zine. My favorite item was a short memo mailed to Del Monte regarding a canned product whose label reads, Del Monte Quality Made With Fresh-Cut Blue Lake Cut Green Beans. Mackin writes, “…since they are fresh-cut, doesn’t that imply that they are cut?…Obviously, they are cut if they are fresh-cut…Does that mean the beans were cut TWICE? I am SO confused right now.” Apparently, so was Del Monte, since they never bothered to reply. But does anybody really need them to?
$2 plus postage to:
Rich Mackin
PO Box 890, Allston, MA 02134

Josh Bowron

Getting mail is so great! Especially that key they put in your p.o. box which declares that a big ol’ package is here for you. Let’s see what Ms. Breier has sent:

A Multitude of Voices #11, is a half-legal sized zine, is copied, and compiled by Matt Holdaway. This was kind of eerie because I got this zine twice in one day, once from XD and once as an order. This issue of A Multitude of Voices starts out with a poem by Holdaway called “Silence.” This poem, in my interpretation, describes what the zine community is all about: Now silently a voice calls out. Silently a voice answers back. Joined by others until A Multitude of Voices can be clearly heard in a land of silence. What follows is a collection of essays, art, stories, and comics whose quality is staggering. My personal favorite was Thien Pham’s on swimming, although it is so much more. A Multitude of Voices is highly recommended, and free! Why not send Matt a stamp or something and get this great zine? You’ve nothing to lose.
Contact: Matt Holdaway, 1945 B Berryman Street, Berkeley, CA 94709

Rat Blood Soup #6 Formerly Willzine, this digest sized zine opens with a glimpse into the perilous world of temp work and data entry. Will really shows the total incompetence and disrespect of management, makes me glad for my job. The rest of the zine is filled with some pretty funny material, especially his bit on the prime time soap opera, “Once and Again.” The most thoughtful piece was Will’s “In Defense of Cover Bands.I Think.” All in all Rat Blood Soup is a very funny zine. However, it does have some pretty low brow humor that I wasn’t willing to stoop for. Also, Rat Blood Soup came with Willzine Pamphlet #52. The title of this pamphlet is “Understanding Burning Man.” It is a very concise, funny, and on the money analysis of this cultural phenomenon.
Price: Will states that he takes “cash money,” but doesn’t specify how much.
Contact: willzine@aol.com

Nowhere to Park is a digest sized personal zine, truthfully I really don’t get into too many per zines, but I liked this one. Nowhere to Park tells the story of our intrepid hero traveling from Oklahoma to Madison WI. He has many adventures along the way, and many more personal insights. This zine could have been great except that the writer forgets to have a good time on his travels. The writer is filled with self doubt, this might turn some off, but it lends a coming of age feel to it.
Price: ??
Contact: pmb 141, 7107 S Yale, Tulsa, OK 74136

Day of Reckoning #4 is one of the roughest, cut and pastetiest zine I’ve seen in a long while. It also happens to be a highly readable zine too. Day of Reckoning opens with a great article on a natural history of the greenhouse effect. There is also an inspiring interview with a woman named Helen, she co-founded a collective in Easthampton MA, named The Flywheel. The only problem I have with this zine is that there is no address and cannot make out the name of the person who wrote the zine. He/She wrote a note to Xerography Debt but the handwriting is illegible. I tell my forth grade students that their writing is their message to the world, don’t you want people to read that message? Well don’t you Mr./Ms. Day of Reckoning? Luckily Mr./Ms. Day of Reckoning types or tries to have decipherable writing in the zine. If you get a chance pick this one up.

Zine World: A Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press #16. When I first opened this I thought it said Are Ader’s Guide. I said who’s Are Ader? Then I realized that I had the legendary Reader’s Guide. I’ve been into zines for less than a year but have heard alot about this one. A Reader’s Guide is broken into two sections. The first part is a series of articles dealing with civil liberties, the strongest of these is a brilliant article from The Match. The second part of A Reader’s Guide is chock full of reviews, highly informative and a must for all those interested in zines. I even sent for a copy to give to me mum, A Reader’s Guide better explains what we’re all doing than I can.
Price: $4.00 in the U.S./ $5.00 rest of the world. Contact: Post Office Box 330156, Murfreesboro, TN 37133

Eric Lyden

Howdy, folks. So how about those dickheads at Xerox? Yeesh...the funny thing is that I imagine that they're paying a bunch of stooges to surf the net all day and search for any possible infringement...lawyer types, gotta love 'em. Sometimes I forget that big corporations are, by their very nature, evil but it's incidents like this that help put it all in perspective.

Now onto my reviews where hopefully you will discover many fine xeroxed publications to read and enjoy- Remember back in the early days of XD when people would organize their reviews into lists? I sort of miss that, so I will do my best to revive that

zines that are Bound by Twine
Fist we have a zine that is called 28 Pages Lovingly Bound by Twine (#1). Certainly not the most creative title I've ever heard, but it certainly is descriptive. This is Christoph's first attempt at a zine and first attempts at zines are very special creatures indeed. It is hard to hate them because even the worst of them is usually so filled with spirit and enthusiasm that you can't criticize it too much. It's like criticizing a five-year-old's finger painting- no matter how bad it is it's just so filled with love that there's just no way you could ever say "it sucks." Happily, this zine really and truly doesn't suck...matter of fact it's quite good. The first issue features a nice and...well, introductory, introduction that explains what this zine is and how it came into existence, an article on Christoph's love of mail and stamps (first issue and the guy is already mail obsessed. I thought it took a while to develop a full-fledged mail obsession...) and the rest of the zine is filled with book reviews and assorted...ziney stuff. The comics were the weak point of this zine and they weren't really bad, they just weren't... all that good. But he only does a few pages of it, so it's no big deal. Overall this is quite a good zine. He has a second issue out as well that I haven't read it yet but if it's as good as the first one it's worth reading. Send $2 or trade to Christoph Meyer, PO Box 106, Danville, OH 43014

My second twiney zine...y'know, it might not even be twine, just a twine like substance. But either way, there's no reason we can't pretend it's twine, is there? Anyhow, the zine is Not My Small Diary #9 which is a spin-off of Delaine's My Small Diary, the difference being that in My Small Diary Delaine writes and draws comic diaries about her day, but Not My Small Diary features other cartoonists doing comics about their days. It's a great concept and a lot of fun to read. As with any anthology the contributions vary in quality, but most range somewhere between good and great, there are a couple that are only OK and just one that I thought was bad which considering this zine is 2 volumes and 80 pages isn't bad at all. My 2 favorite pieces would be Brian Buniak's hillarious story of a mean spirited clown (When I was a kid I liked clowns, but as an adult I find them scary. Funny how that works out, huh?) and John Porcellino's story is great just because John P's stuff always is. I very highly recommend this zine. Send $2 to Delaine 1204 Cresthill Rd., Birmingham, AL 35213; delangel@hotmail.com; www.mysmallwebpage.com

Now on to no twine related zines
Razorcake #2
This is a pretty easy zine to review- it's pretty much divided into 3 sections so I'll just take it one third at a time- page 1-30 features columns by various folks including Rich Mackin and...well, quite frankly I've never heard of any of the other columnists before in my life, but they're all good writers and all of the columns are well written and interesting. This is basically a punk zine, so some of the columns are punk related, but they aren't so intertwined in the punk experience that an outsider wouldn't "get" them. The column portion of this zine gets an A -minus. Page 34-55 feature band interviews and...I'll be honest, I didn't even read them. I've never read a band interview that I liked and I'm sure these interviews would be no exception. So I'll give this portion of the zine an incomplete. The third portion of this zine is the reviews. Why I can't read and enjoy interviews with bands I've never heard of, but I can read and enjoy reviews of albums by bands I've never heard of I don't know, but that's the way I am. I especially liked Jimmy Alvarado's reviews for some reason. Not sure why, but I just felt that his were clearly the best. But I liked all of the reviewers, really. They all seemed to know what they were talking about and they didn't come across as pompous know it all's like critics often do. They just seemed like unpretentious guys who like listening to and writing about music. If you're at all into the punk scene you need to order this zine RIGHT FUCKING NOW! If you're aren't so much into that scene you still might find enough in this zine to keep you amused. Must buy if you're a punk, worth checking out if you're not. Send $3 to Razorcake, PO Box 42129 Los Angeles, CA 90042; www.razorcake.com

In Your Room #4
This is an entertaining little zine (I don't mean "little" in the condescending sense, I mean little in the sense that it's quarter sized and is in fact quite small) but 2 things annoyed me about it, so I will get my negativity out of the way first- First of all, nowhere in this zine does it list any sort of price. I guess that's more annoying to me as a reviewer who is supposed to tell you how much to send to order this zine then it is to you as a reader who just wants to know whether it's any good or not, but... well, it's annoying to me and I couldn't sleep at night if I didn't mention it. Second of all - Ok, I like zines done on typewriters. You certainly don't need an expensive computer to make a worthwhile zine, but if you are going to use a typewriter you really need how to learn to type and spell. This zine is full of typos and errors and it doesn't look charmingly quaint, it just looks sloppy. But the writing is the key to any zine and the writing in this zine is really quite good. This issue tells the story of "the Bastard's" (the Bastard is the only name I can find anywhere on this zine so the Bastard it is) trip to Houston to her Grandfather's funeral and the story of 2 hitchhikers the Bastard picked up. It's a pretty quick read, but it's a good one. Send...I dunno, I'd send a buck or a trade or something - to Serene, 914 N. Garden, Bellingham, WA 98225

Miranda #7
I like this zine a whole lot and I think there are 2 major reasons for that - 1) the fact that Kate is a fairly new mother and it's very interesting to read about the raising of a child and the issues she has to deal with and the obvious love she has for Mr. Baby is downright adorable. But motherhood is a topic that's only been featured in the last couple of issues and this zine has been great for longer than that and that's because of reason 2) - Kate is a writer through and through. I was thinking about the articles in this zine and how I could describe them in a review and I realized that most of the articles in here, based on the topics, sound dull as dishwater (Jam making, bike riding, the car pool she took to school as a kid) but when you read them... Kate probably could write about dishwater and make it a fascinating read. I've read several zines about cross country road trips and the like which managed to make what must've been very exciting sound downright boring. But it takes real talent to take the somewhat mundane and write about it in a way that makes it sound anything but and that's exactly what Kate does. And one more thing I must mention. This zine always contains recipes and I find that I always enjoy zines that contain recipes even though I can barely cook. Go figure, huh? Send $2 to Kate Haas 3510 SE Alder St., Portland, OR 97214; bruceandkate@juno.com

Green Zine #11
I love the illustrations in this zine. C Road really knows how to draw and uses her talent to good effect in her zine. God dammit, I wish I could draw...forgive me; I am seething with jealousy right now. But the writing is good as well- mostly auto bio stuff, a little fiction, an interview with a band I've never heard of and some reviews. It's all good (though I dislike the band interview just on principle alone) but I must say that none of it really stands out as great. But the overall package is good, even if it did have too many ads for my taste (ads for zines are fine, but full page ads for record labels? Hell no...) Good zine. Not great, but worth reading. Send... sigh, once again, no price... it's pretty thick so I'd try $2- $3 to Green Zine, 1130 Greensboro Ln., #112, Sarasota, FL 34234; Cabotgal@aol.com; members.aol.com/cabotgal/greenzine.html

Want magazine #1
These guys can call it a magazine if they want, but they ain't fooling anybody. This is a zine. It's a big, nice looking zine, but it's still a zine. This is a very interesting project. It's very nicely designed by Marc Calvary of the Carbon Based Mistake and the theme of this issue is supposed to be decay, though some of the articles have little if anything to do with the decay. The best and longest piece in this issue is chapter 1 of Peter Alilunas novel "Slip Slap" which kinda rambles at points and doesn't have a whole lot focus, but I read through the whole thing with great interest and am eager to see what happens next so I guess that's the important thing. This zine also features a couple of articles that struck me as being somewhat Onion-esque ("Hippy Gene Debunked" and "Edible Celebrities") but both are quite funny and don't just come off as Onion rip offs. But my favorite short piece was the surprisingly sweet story "Dog Show" which managed to be both a very cute story and also made me think. All in all this is an excellent package and I'm eager to see the next issue. Send $6 (I know, and I wouldn't ask you to spend $6 on something unless it was really worth it) to Peter Alilunas 3950 Good Pasture Loop Studio #0162, Eugene, OR 97401 (Geez, what a goofy sounding address, huh?); www.weakmindedpress.com; wantmagazine@hotmail.com

Gavin J. Grant

Gavin J. Grant’s zine, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (www.lcrw.net/lcrw), comes out twice a year. He also runs Small Beer Press. He works at the indie-bookshop website, BookSense.com.

For the Clerisy
There are some cool literary conversations going on the pages of this zine. Bemoaning the present-day lack of decent humor writing, it mostly focuses on book reviews and pieces on humorous books, ranging from H.L. Mencken to Ring Lardner, to lesser-known folk like Robert Byron and Ed Byron. Brant throws in some quotes and excerpts and makes the books sound interesting enough so that I added a few names down on the never-ending To Be Read list. There’s an excellent piece on how we should emulate our slacker president and work less to enjoy life more, as well as one page of good zine reviews, and a couple of pages of letters.
Vol. 8, No. 44, $2/trade, letter, 16pp.
Brant Kresovich
PO Box 404, Getzville, NY 14068-0404

A Multitude of Voices
Free stuff can be worrying, or excellent. I can’t resist it: somebody, somewhere wanted to get their stuff out there so much that they’re giving it away. AMofV tends toward the latter camp. There are some pages in type too small to read, but the content here is good. Lots of art—it reminded me of Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Comics—in lots of styles; and the Contributor’s page at the end gives contact (and often websites) info so that you can go see what else this talented bunch have been up to. However, a lot of the work is uncredited, the reason for this being . . .? Apart from that, I’d pay for this zine. No.12, free, half-legal, 58pp.,
Matt Holdaway
1945B Berryman St., Berkeley, CA 94709-1955

Lilliput Review
Tiny zines full of poetry, at most 10 lines long. Poetry’s hard to review (says me), it’s so subjective. So I liked some, others passed me by. But at a buck a shot (6/$5, 15/$10), it’s a great thing to have dropping through your mailbox. Nos. 119-122, 16pp. (except no.122: a broadside), $1,
Don Wentworth
282 Main St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Verbicide wants to be the biggest, most affordable, highest-cred zine around. There’s some good stuff here: they aim high, getting interviews with Soft Skull Press and some decent bands. But, but, but. There’s a very high ratio of reviews to advertising, it just cuts a bit close to be comfortable. Interesting reading, good price, but, but, but. No.2, $2, letter/glossy cover, 64pp.
Scissor Press
Yale Station, PO Box 206512, New Haven, CT 06520
www.scissorpress.com; jackson@scissorpress.com

Watch the Closing Doors
WTCD is one of those zines that makes you see things in a way you hadn’t before. I take the subway like everyone else in New York; I’m glad it’s clean, I wish it ran to a schedule, but I think it’s a pretty good system. Fred Argoff thinks about it way more than that. Should be given to all tourists to help find their way around. No. 17, $? ($10/4 issues), half-letter, 20pp.
Fred Argoff
1800 Ocean Parkway, #B-12, Brooklyn, NY 11223-3037

Inspector 18
In the two years since the last issue of this perzine, the author still Hasn’t come to terms with the metric system, he’s moved, and he’s had trouble with his bank (sound familiar?). Also tells an almost-scary tale about a kid in his neighborhood with a airgun.
No. 6, $2, half-letter, 28pp.
Michael Jackman
PO Box 3663, Grand Central Station, NY, NY 10163

Bobby Tran Dale

SINtroduction (Reviews from Homoeroticon’s side of XD’s dungeon)
Howdee, GRUE believers! It’s me Botda-da-da, up next with my handful of zine joints that you may wanna take a puff on. Who am I? What am I? Why should you give a rat’s glass about my words on the following pieces? Well, I can’t answer that part since my treasure just may be your trash, but what the hey, aye? We’re all small press and open minded enough to take in new possibilities, right? RIGHT? For those who don’t know the “who?” or “what?” part, I do HOMOEROTICON, a queer comix zine whose archive can be found at www.homoeroticon.com. By email you can reach me here: botda@aol.com.
As usual, I make no claims that my reviews are the final word on anything, they’re just one guy’s take. Small press is full of critics and everyone can be the reigning “World’s Tallest Midget”(as one person has said) at any given time, so put on your subjectivity shoes and check out these works and see if a new experience might await you with the drop of a buck or three.

MENISCUS #7 (WAR! Issue; 56pp.), #8 (Halloween joint; 64pp.) & Domestic Partner of Frankenstein. (Feb. ‘02; 62pp.)
Digest, $3 #7 and 8, $3.50 Frankenstein
Matt Fagan
1573 N. Milwaukee Ave., PMB 464, Chicago, IL 60622
Email: hadmatter@hotmail.com

Every once in awhile I’ll run into zinesters outside of the angry queer punk category who are gay (of course!), but DON’T ask his or her readers to cry in their beer with them as they expound on the miserable and not-so miserable aspects of their lives. Matt Fagan is one of those folks and I like that.

DOMESTIC PARTNER OF FRANKENSTEIN Matt Fagan has shot his load, so to speak, to the top of my lists with the creation of this bitingly brilliant queer comix satire on the whole Frankenstein mythos and gay culture. See the reviews below for Matt's NON-comix work as well.

Dr. Colin Clive has recently moved to the town of Frankenstein, California that's renowned for its unexplained lightning storms. In yet another tragedy brought on by said electric storms, the town's convention center that's hosting the latest ANTIQUES ROADSHOW has blown up. Our dutiful doctor proceeds to go shopping for his own curios and collects the remnant body parts of all of the queeny antiques appraisers for use in his monster creation (and YOU thought there wasn't any REAL use for them!). He runs into Dr. Elsa Carradine who also who happens to be collecting some hearts for herself which launches their own love affair of sorts.

The doctor returns home to his apartment laboratory and proceeds to create his monster. Once alive, the creature and creator are at odds and eventually the deformed newborn disappears into the treacherous grasps of society and finally into the solace of a boarding house on the waterfront. He spends his days alone and unable to bring himself or anyone else any closer to accepting his existence. I should note that being created from queeny antiques appraisers begets a gay motivated monster, and if you're gay and not pretty, as our monster friend is, well, we know that dude's screwed from the getgo in queer society, no? Anyhow, realizing his dilemma and the only solution is to have the doctor build him a mate, our monster returns for help. As they are discussing possibilities they see on the news that there is another electrical explosion, this time at the town's gay pride festival: the PRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN-fucking hysterical. You get the idea. With that I'd suggest picking up your own copy to find out what happens.

This is an excellent commentary on the bullshit plastica that permeates the queer community, but it is done in such an unassumingly witty, & humorous fashion as to not feel militant nor politically driven. Matt eases in his comments with metaphors and satirical takes that the casual observer might miss the truth of some scenes completely. This is a hefty read and thusly, broken up into three chapters. Matt could tighten up the inkworks a bit, but considering the enormity of this project, I loathe to make even that comment since not many small pressers that I have seen have been able to helm such a large comix project on their own, with such a great end result. The absolute strength is the story: dark, brooding, melancholy etc, etc. All I can say is, I wish I were the one who came up with this first!

MENISCUS #7 sports a hand screened/printed cover and contains a good range of pieces by Fagan in his unique writing style. “Me In Amsterdam” chronicles (Duh!) Matt’s travel to the land of hash smoke amongst other things and the disappointment of Amsterdam’s porno stores, along with a number of other episodes during this trip with friend Tirza. Fagan drops fictional props to movie director John Carpenter elsewhere in the issue with his own tale of dog walking horror. Further in we are treated with an account of Fagan finally getting the opportunity to sit in on a Jerry Springer Show taping with then boyfriend, Aaron. “All My Vermin” chronicles Fagan’s “codependent relationship with vermin” which I found highly amusing at points. Pet owning and people’s deep interest in it, is STILL to this day, an amazing and mysterious concept to me (ME: Four legs=food; PETS: we call that a “boyfriend” here). Interspersed amongst this eclectic blend of fiction and not, are spot pieces; declarations & certificates of war against certain individuals and groups like a smug news cast team, the living dead (yes, we have that problem here in Oakland as well), and crackass video store customers that haunt Fagan’s realtime job. They’re all amusingly veiled auto-bio spots. If there were one piece in this issue that got me close to the gag reflex, it would be “Just For You”; an ode/declaration of love type of piece, that I guess I’d hafta be the lovey type to appreciate. “Just for you, I will…I will…I will…” and so it goes. *GAG* This is not to demean Fagan’s writing here. He just comes to the plate with flowers and pretty words in a relationship, I come with whips and harsh language. Not the best combo in this reviewing instance.

MENISCUS #8- Content-wise, this issue is an excursion from that of #7. Regardless, I’d found this issue as interesting because it wasn’t a rehash. And although one could argue that this is just another autobio/journal entry issue, it is peppered throughout with insight to Fagan’s creative process which interesting because Fagan IS talented, as well as colorfully written accounts of “the usual” stuff. A breakup, then a new boyfriend from last issue, the first time showing his paintings, writer’s block etc-all chronicled in an almost storybook encapsulation of one chunk of Fagan’s life. ”Michael & Me” follows and opens Fagan up even more with an almost hysterical but true confessional about his Michael Myers/Halloween fetish that reads like mine with the Bride Of Frankenstein. He only needs the tattoos. And closing out the issue are snippets of video hell courtesy of Fagan’s job as a clerk.

Matt Fagan offers unpretentious writing that all at once can be serious, humorous, honest and engaging in its creativity and presentation. Fagan doesn’t stagnate and plateau on the usual mundane drudgeries of life that many perzines feel obligated to do, but instead presents it as is and moves the hell on. It’s a refreshing example of queer writing that you don’t need to be gay to appreciate. Whiny sucky queen zinesters take note, and st8t supposedly open minded small pressers expand your horizons and prove the diversity in your zine diet and check these out.

WORDS & PICTURES #5 (34pp; $2.50)
8 1/2”x7”, Cardstock covers
Thien Pham
EZ Cheese Comics
12528 Saratoga Ave., Saratoga, CA 95070
Email: tindog@hotmail.com
If you are familiar with my comix work, it should come as no surprise that comics similar to “Words & Pictures” don’t exactly rank up high as my favorite style of storytelling. For the most part, I think that much of the acclaim for a lot of small press, slice of life comix of “note” amounts to a bunch of cliquish bullshit that I can do without. It then becomes the burden of lesser known comix of equal if not higher caliber to struggle for attention whilst X, Y & Z comix get the acclaim & review space simply because they’ve kissed the right ass, knew the right reviewers, got the right layout person etc., ad nauseum.

In the instance of Thien Pham’s “Words & Pictures”, I would love to see this work knock some of the above hinted at comix to the side or at least be added to the same lists of essential small press reading for those of us who are sick of the usual hodgepodge of academically inclined lists of purported independent “good” reading. This could work just as well if not better and would rekindle my long ago interest in this mode of storytelling.

This issue delves into the lives of (basically) three people and the dynamics that erupt from their connection(s) to one another. This is the only issue that I’ve seen, so if this is a continuity work, I couldn’t tell you. However, being that this issue’s story stands well & is self-contained, it really doesn’t matter. The characters are depicted moving through their day in a series of pretty well designed & sequenced panels that give the reader perfect pace & pauses. For the most part, the characters lead rather unspectacular lives which many of us could relate too, well, except for the main character Steve who just happens to be a bizillionaire wunderkid. Luckily, he’s a misogynist asshole as well (a little redundancy there), so maybe relating to him might be a little difficult for most of us.

About a fourth of the way in one of the characters ponders, “This whole world, everything is in constant motion. Everything’s got to be somewhere else, even these birds”. And with this sequence I was struck that (DRRR!) this story was in fact an intentionally crafty study of the movement and art of life, the relation and unrelation of all of these things that participate in it, rather than an assembly line comix depiction of boringass people doing boringass things. I didn’t particularly care so much about the characters themselves as I did the familiarity of their thought processes and observations that they’d had as they went about their business in their rather mundane worlds. It is Pham’s skill as an artist and storyteller that coerced me into finishing. It’s all kind of deep without being incredibly profound and pretentious (As you can see, unpretentious comix are the flavor of the month around here, folks!)

Pham’s work is free flowing with thick, expressively lined, chunky inkwork that pairs well with this book and what it needs to communicate to the reader. Arguably, one could say that this Pham’s simple style wouldn’t work in another narrative the same way, but it doesn’t matter, since it works perfectly here. Pham’s sense of production and design shines through and offers an aesthetic, all from one person; mind you, that is sorely lacking in much of small press. Pham’s lettering did feel a little rushed at times, although the fast hand script was obviously part of the stylistic presentation of the work. I can’t hang the issue for that. Overall, it’s a cool read, and one to check out if only for its fine example of clean, uncluttered, small press presentation.

OPGANG LARUM (1 of 3 to be published)
$2.50; 36pp, Digest
Paul Houston
3811 NE 7th Ave., Portland, OR 97212
Email: phoust@angelfire.com
By far this is visually, at least, one of the funkier anthology comix that I’ve had a chance to see in small press in awhile. Paul Houston collects a diverse range of skilled artists to populate this issue then provides a good amount of the storylines.

The opening story “Fast Break” put me into an opinionated quandary. Ron Wilber provides superb, pro inkworks that you wouldn’t normally find in “lowly” small press comix. The story itself, however, wasn’t as interesting, which isn’t a comment on Houston’s writing skills by any stretch of the imagination, but rather the fact that this reviewer detests sports related comix, as well as “To be continued” strips. In fairness, I would have preferred to have read this story in its entirety, since the sports related subject matter could have easily been knocked to second with my opinion if I had a full story to balance it out with. But alas, such is the peril of reviewing continuity comix.

Emmet Taylor provides inks & narrative to Desperate Measures”, about a young couple who are about to have a baby and have to resort to “desperate measures” (surprise!) to keep their heads above water. The story was a tad vanilla flavored in its dramatics, but enjoyable nonetheless. The visual highlights of the issue included Chad Woody, Bill McKay and Andrew Goldfarb, all of whom provided beautifully psychotic illustrations to stories that did and didn’t make any damn sense at times. Their work was too absorbing for me to pay any attention to any storyline that existed anyway. This is like a smaller version of some of the eclectic SUNBURN comix anthologies. Houston has my attention with regard to his skills as an editor and writer since this issue has strong visual & content appeal. A thumbs up here. Now if it could only be one giant magazine sized issue.

32pp Digest
$1 in person, $2 by mail, or a trade.
JB Thomas
PO Box 163463, Sacramento, CA 95816
This is a moving & dark comic about Talula, a young girl who just wasn’t like all of the other kids. Another outcast from societal norms who finds solace in the accepting world of sleep. There, she can dream and escape the unforgiving nature and relentless psychological torture of the daytime world.

Unfortunately, her introversion, which first raised questions from her peers & family about her mental stability, finally climaxes with the usual social fix-all of psychotropics, and then with grave finality with sweet dreams for Talulah. Don’t think too hard on that one.

This comic is almost disturbingly misleading in its presentation. The comics are cleanly and simply drawn. They are inviting in their ease on the eyes, and almost storybookish in look and narrative style. But the story itself is grim. It’s a great combination for this comic that plays very well. A couple of the pages felt like they were there simply to take up space i.e. the panels didn’t necessarily have to fill the whole page to have the right effect, but that is small beans. I didn’t think I’d enjoy this comic at all upon first glance but I ended up appreciating it because it is unique. We all know the usual line “Don’t judge a book” blah blah blah. It’s small press artistic concept pieces like this that are always a joy to run into because it affirms that there are still creators out there pushing the envelope in their originality and not just content to put out “safe” mass appeal work.

$1, Digest
Almost Normal Comics
PO Box 12822, Ft. Huachuca, AZ 85670
Email: flesh_on_bone@yahoo.com
URL: members.tripod.com/almostnormalcomics
I had some reservations about GRAVEDIGGER’S TALES, from the same publisher, in a past XD. I didn’t hate it by any means. I just didn’t think it was as enjoyable or as fully realized as this compilation happens to be in comparison. This is a compilation of comic strip horror odds & ends and freaky news clippings.

WEE, the purveyor of this small press sojourn says: ”Somewhere along the way all the little voices in my head started screaming for me to release them…so I’m left with the choice of a pen or a pistol as my tool to exorcise these freaking creeps from my mind”. With such an intro, I knew this issue was springing forth from the same wellspring (or is it HELLspring) of creative psychosis that I find myself dipping in oftimes. Through it all, WEE manages to keep tongue firmly planted in cheek.

The comic strips are brief sojourns read almost like pages from one of the “Big Book of’s” with horror & the supernatural being the focal point of course. “Gator”-Three destitute individuals encounter a legendary Alligator -human hybrid, “Sick & twisted stories for good little girls and boys” offers readers news clippings of bizarre deaths (the Oakland brothers was …uh…”fun”) and harks to a watered down version of Rotten.com. “Granny’s Gallery of Ghouls” offers 1 page illos of a variety of monsters as well as pen & ink exercises that content-wise probably come closest to being the filler in this issue if there was any.

The best piece by far, was simply titled “Death”. I won’t go so far as to say that I was moved by it. But the main character is a little boy (you creators need to leave these poor lil’ chittlens alone in your works!). He takes the reader through a number of his encounters with death that struck more than one familiar chord with this reviewer. I had never seen a strip take these disturbing anecdotes in a character’s life and recount them with such a fairy tale-like flavor. It was well done. Maybe it was the boy’s big eyes, or the fact that he was a tot, who knows, maybe I WAS moved after all. Whichever, it was an excellent job.

For a buck this is one super deal. Dark comix, the artwork fits perfectly and there feels to be more conceptual momentum with this effort. If there was a low point in this issue, is it read too quickly because it was fun and would work well with doubled up pages in the next issue.

OUTRO: It’s been a pleasure choppin’ it up once again. And as Howard Cruse says: “Keep on keepin’ on”, or sumthin’ like that!

William P. Tandy

“We’re predators, after all,” writes Jeff Somers [The Inner Swine 7(4), P.O. Box 3024, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030], “and we’re all born with the ability to focus on one thing consciously (prey) while keeping track of lots of other things (things trying to prey on us, the organization of our hunting party, distant noises, etc.) so use that power.”
A solid, convenient theory that Somers employs to define the unique ability of homo sapiens to multitask. And, under normal circumstances, the logic holds its own.
But what about those strange telephone calls on the first day of November, from a hunchback in Hoboken, graciously promising a return trip to the South Lands in exchange for a ride?
“Pick me up,” the hunchback insisted. “You can use my car. Pick me up, and I’ll drive back.”
I looked out the window at the little Ford Escort that would die hideously a few short years later, going the wrong way. Hoboken, huh? Two hours north. A hell of a walk.
“Well,” I said.
“There’s one small problem,” the voice interrupted. “I have the keys. You’ll have to go to my house first to get the spare set.”
“That’s all?”
“That’s it. Oh, and I think you’ll probably need to fill the tank, too.”
“Listen,” I said. “I don’t feel well. Besides, you shouldn’t have wandered off.”
“Wandered off!” the hunchback hissed. “You bastards left me!”
“I wasn’t driving. And besides, we didn’t move. You did.”
True, no one could be certain how long the hunchback had been out of sight by the time the Halloween parade ended. But the rest of us had remained planted on the dirty steps of the Village bar, the previous night, long after the parade ended, despite the increasingly chilly reception of the dirty jokes that Jesus had been passing out like cheap communion wafers. “What do you want, people?” proclaimed the Savior. “You’re standing on four miles of sin!”
“I wanted to get a better view,” said the hunchback.
“Better than the other 800,000,” I said. “Hoboken’s not a bad start. You might be right. Maybe the other ten of us got lost. Speaking of which, why don’t you try calling the man with the keys?”
Grumbling, he hung up. About an hour later, the phone rang again.
“Look,” the hunch wheezed, something between desperation and the sound of life wanting out.
“You’ve got to come get me. I called my family. They won’t do it. I called everyone else. Nothing.”
Which naturally left only one option.
“Alright,” I said. “Why don’t you take a bus down to Toms River. I’ll drive the half-hour to pick you up from there.”
“I don’t know where the bus station is. I’m not even really sure where I am.”
“Try calling a cab.”
“Great!” the hunchback snapped indignantly. “And where am I supposed to take this cab?!”

“I commute, work, and shop alongside Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Orientals, and all sorts of less-defined people every day,” Somers writes in his article Living in Monochrome. “Oh yeah, and white mutts like myself.”
No doubt a few of them drive cabs. And I’ll bet most that do, regardless of race, color, creed, or ethnicity, particularly when faced with a wheezing, unstable hunchback of uncertain motive, would have little trouble finding the airport, the train station, and quite possibly even the bus depot.
The lightened bus was just pulling away when I arrived at the station in Toms River that night. I pulled up to the curb where the gnarled, grotesque figure stood. He got in the passenger seat without saying a word.
“So,” I said, breaking the silence a few miles later. “NJT bus, huh? I’ve ridden my share of them. They’re not usually too bad. Not too dirty, generally on time.”
“Yeah,” came the agitated response from the dark. “Fucking great. Whatever.”
The hunchback wasn’t ready for Somers’s Hoboken, a place where evolutionary status has less to do with personal or political persuasion than, say, the shape of one’s spine. His form was all wrong, too twisted, not fluid enough for a town that hosts a talent like Somers, whose writing is so clean, so smooth, and so tight that looking at it should probably be a crime, at least until it turns eighteen.
The Inner Swine 7(4)
$2 or trade
Jeff Somers
P.O. Box 3024, Hoboken, NJ 07030

The best thing I ever noticed about Indiana, based on personal experience, was how close it is to Ohio. Personal experience and a job with Census 2000 taught me that the best thing about Ohio is that it can easily be typed with one hand. Paulo hails from Indiana, but despite his proximity to the Buckeye State, it’s impossible to type his name in a professional and dignified manner without the use of both hands. The “a” alone ensures this, given the relatively close quartering of the other four letters. It stands in defiance, reflecting the character of undumb, Paulo’s glimpse of the world as it appears when flushed through the eyes of a Hoosier punk.

Under the circumstances, the renegade “a” could stand for any number of things – alienated, antagonistic, anarchic. Anything. Who knows? Does it matter? What it does is its own business. And that appears to be the primary point that Paulo wants to drive home.

Were undumb a piece of utter crap, nothing more than a clichéd hairstyle and a trip to Hot Topic, the author would still be eligible for a modicum of credit. It’s too easy for some coastal, big-city “punks” to cast a derisive glance downward from their ivory double lattes and brand anyone with a Heartland zip code who attempts to stick his or her face above the herd a mall punk. It’s a strange practice, indeed, similar in no small way to devouring one’s young.

But undumb, despite a few minor scrapes with editorial chop, is just what its Orwellian title suggests.

“No matter how innocent I am,” Paulo writes, “cops always inspire fear in me when I see them in the rear view mirror.” The crude sketchbook likeness of an oncoming police car, lights ablaze, that accompanies this caption is not meant to impress the reader on the basis of any formal artistic prowess so much as manifest the warped, sinking sensation one feels when he or she realizes they’re after me.

Country mice or city mice – each knows the mouser in its blood, and in that moment the differences vanish without a trace, like freeze-dried marshmallows in a cup of instant cocoa.

As one might expect, undumb is rife with stories of harassment and grief from the Man. Cops are a problem, even when they’re not the problem. Like anyone else, however, they do on occasion defy one’s expectations, as Paulo admits his own surprise at police interaction on a non-confrontational level. By such an admission, he generally manages to stay clear of the abysmal good-and-evil dichotomy that consumes so many on all sides. I don’t like cops, either, as a general rule, but I can’t deny the existence of a few good ones.

And let’s not forget those Nazi punks, shall we?

undumb #2
3572 W. State Rd 10 #7, Lake Village, IN 46349

Murder Can Be Fun.

The title alone thumbs Its nose at convention, all those spoilsports who favor angles like “capital punishment,” “burden of proof,” and the elusive and often arbitrary “justice” over the vicarious satisfaction of seeing someone get it, particularly when they’ve got it coming.

In such cases, there are generally two camps: those who enjoy it (or at least acknowledge their curiosity) and those who lie about it. Don’t deny it, you rubbernecks; in a Perfect World, Clint Eastwood would be famous for Bird covers and Schwartzenegger would be languishing on some third-string Euro weightlifting circuit for the middle-aged. But that, friends, is not the case.

MCBF author John Marr might not be the one throwing the switch, but unlike the man behind the mask, his well-researched tales of murder, cannibalism, and the ultimate Wild Card, Mother Nature, make no effort to conceal his interest in the affair. In a world where murder can be fun, death is every bit as integral to life as, say, sex. Everything else is metaphor.

An old professor of mine chalked the impotence of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign up to its convenient failure to address the “positive” side of drugs. They’ll show you all the bad, he claimed, the crime, the damage, the blight, the health risks, and by heavily focusing on this demand that you steer clear.

That’s fine in theory, but what about the little matter of getting high? Emphasizing the negative does not negate the reason for which many people use drugs in the first place.

There are, granted, debatable points to this issue. But most people that drink alcohol in any capacity are well aware that they risk getting intimate with a chunk of chilly porcelain. And regardless of the best efforts of any deity to whom they desperately implore, it won’t be long before they’re once more kneeling in homage before the altar. For this reason, many people learn to recognize the Line, the point to cut out, put it down, let it go, and ride the buzz. The rest of us find no humility in confession.

Mr. Marr makes no bones. He just enjoys poking them with a stick.

Some people celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus every December 25th; others engage in Saturnalia.

Regardless, bartender, we’ll have another round.

MCBF #12
John Marr, PO Box 640111, SF, CA 94109
www.slick.org/MCBF; JohnMarr@slick.ORG

Davida Gypsy Breier

The reorganization of Xerography Debt has meant that not only could I devote more time to editing and design, but I could choose just a few fantastic zines from the grand assortment to review. These are the zines that particularly struck me in recent months. I know we can create our own media and culture, because we have. These zines exemplify why I publish Xerography Debt. Fred, DB, Cali, and Brant react and write about a world I know or one I want to know exists, not the shiny, deceptive world the media tries to inveigle us with. They are also great writers...and well, I quite like to read.

The Picking Scabs at Show
or Lincoln Bulletin 101
or Dwan 31

I knew I should have written the review for this when I read the issue because my overwhelming enthusiasm would have been even more palpable. I've been reading Donny's zine Dwan since I first got into zines, but this issue blew me away. As an angry young queer in Lincoln, Nebraska in the early '90's Donny chose cable access to manifest his frustrations. The performance art piece entitled "The Piss Show" created a flood of controversy, which is still causing aftershocks to this day in the House of Representatives. Donny's narration of the events using newspaper articles, show transcripts, his diary, and letters is completely engrosing. It shows how a single action or seemingly small series of events and decisions can have unpredictable effects. It also offers a look at politicians and censorship using events that are easy to relate to. This is truly one of the best zines I've ever read. Highly recommended.
132 pages (digest)
$4/free to prisoners
Donny Smith, Box 411, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Sobaka! Issue #8
Sobaka! (formerly Delusions of Grandeur) looks at the world though the eyes of individuals who want to tell the truth about what they see. This is actual news and social/current events, not the spoon-fed pap on the evening news. #8 discusses the events of September 11th with a global perspective. Cali speaks of the elderly Indian couple that were beaten on September 12th in Chicago by a group of white kids. Ruslan Mahmeddov offers his first hand account of being part of a fundamentalist Muslim group. He adeptly explains his experiences, "For me, this was a short episode of my youth. In America I have seen religious marketing toward youth, either of the 'Promise Keepers' mass movement type or simple Protestant evangelism. And I don't regard my experience as any different. Every kind of religious extremism follows similar principles. It has the same end." A history of the CIA in Afghanistan, persecuted Soviet publishers and poets, Cali's travels to Uzice, underreported wars, and an exposé on mail order brides round out the issue. Highly recommended. So much so, that I bought three extra copies to give away.
50 pages (digest)
Cali Ruchala, 100 E. Walton #31H, Chicago, IL 60611
www.diacritica.com; cali@diacritica.com

America at War: The Musical
A Collaboration Between the Editors of Skunk's Life and Brooklyn!

I loved the concept behind this zine - Fred Argoff and DB Pedlar discussing anything and everything they see fit in letters that were never meant for publication. The comments and reactions they have pre and post-September 11th are revealing. Fred is a native New Yorker and is quite proud of his city, yet still critical of the leaders and politicians in the US. Their discussions also give way to baseball factoids, the history of air conditioning, subway pissers, coffee, the history of Halloween, as well as the daily lives and interests of two prolific zinewriters. DB also prints opinions on 9/11 from two other writers, which offer entirely different, rather war mongering and nationalistic, viewpoints
48 pages (digest)
DB Pedlar, 25727 Cherry Hill Rd., Cambridge Springs, PA 16403

For the Clerisy Vol 9, #44, January 2002
Brant's zines remind me that I need to write more letters and I need to read more books. Again, this is a zine by someone who has lived beyond US borders and can offer up rational dialog and opinions on current events. He is also an avid reader and in this issue he discusses David Lodge, Milan Kundera, Patrick O'Brian, and Francois Raucat. Zine reviews, a long letters section, experiments on prisoners, yoga, oh, and I also learned why lake effect snow occurs.
20 pages (full size)
$2/trade/the usual
Brant Kresovich, PO Box 404 , Getzville, NY 14068

Oblivion, a Statistical Analysis of Youth Culture Issue #10/Fall 2001
It has been a long time since I was teenager, but I still enjoyed this great youth-oriented zine. One hears a lot of derisive comments about "kids these days!" Well, according to government statistics on violent crime, kids aren't the problem, adults are. Violent crimes committed by kids have been decreasing since 1993, but rising for adult offenders. There is another article about how California now has a minimum age of 14 for the death penalty, despite the declining youth crime rates. "Reading, Writing and Verbal Torture" looks at school harassment and "Compulsory Aducation" takes Channel One to task. Whether you are a 14 or 41 this is a wake-up call for youth rights.
32 pages (digest)
Subscriptions $10 for 4 issues
PO Box 95227, Seattle, WA 98145-2227
www.oblivion.net; oblivion@oblivion.net

(In the last issue I ran the following review for Meniscus. Matt very kindly, and politely, wrote to say that I had not only his address wrong, but his e-mail address as well. I corrected it on the Xerography Debt webpage, but the damage was already done in print. I felt rather bad about this and decided to run the review again. If you sent your zine for trade or $ to buy an issue and you didn't hear from Matt, it was my fault, sorry!)

These were fun issues that the old F5 would probably have described as "medley." There are stories of a landlord and a hole in the roof, song lyrics, attending a Jerry Springer taping, fiction, and more. The introduction to his comic, The Blood of Christ (#4) is an interesting examination of being paid as an artist/writer. He "quantifies joy" by applying his daily wage to the hours he poured into the comic, then he asks several people how they would value the comic. He also takes us with him to Amsterdam. Meniscus is a fun read.
$2 #'s 1-2, $3 #'s 3-4
Matt Fagan, 1573 N. Milwaukee Ave. PMB #464, Chicago, IL 60622

Normally there is a section on places to buy zines and a list of other review zines, but even with an additional four pages, there was no way to squeeze in this information. It was included in Xerography Debt #6 and is also on the leekinginc.com website. If you need a copy of these lists, please write or e-mail and I will send you one.

A few last minute announcements:

Beantown Zinetown 5, “a zine fair and fun event,” will take place March 30-31 in Boston, MA. Rich Mackin (Book of Letters) is organizing the event. Free table space is offered. Anyone interested in proposing workshops, acts, or other activities should contact Rich at richmackin@richmackin.org; PO Box 890, Allston, MA 02134; (617) 782-2656. For more information visit www.richmackin.org.

The 2002 North American Anarchist Gathering is set for June 6-9th, 2002 in Lawrence, Kansas. For more information contact PO Box 297, Lawrence, KS 66044; (785) 331-4435; naag02@hotmail.com; www.prague-index.org/naag/

Thanks for reading, now get out there and order and trade some zines!

The Reviewers
Androo Robinson
Ped Xing and Cryptozoa

2000 NE 42nd Ave. #302, Portland, OR 97213
Cover design, reviews page 12

Billy McKay
Tile and Invisible Robot Fish

PO Box 542, N. Olmstead, OH 44070
Artwork pages 1, 2, 5, 10, 22, 40, back cover

Fred Argoff
Brooklyn! & Watch the Closing Doors

1800 Ocean Pkwy. #B-12, Brooklyn, NY 11223
Reviews pages 7-8

Maria Goodman
Don't Say Uh-Oh and Carrot

2000 NE 42nd Ave. #302, Portland, OR 97213
Reviews pages 8-11

Donny Smith

PO Box 411, Swarthmore, PA 19081
The Home of Zineland Security pages 4-6; Reviews pages 13-16

Matt Fagan

1573 N Milwaukee Ave, PMB #464, Chicago, IL 60622
Reviews pages 16-19

Christoph Meyer
28 Pages Lovingly Bound with Twine

PO Box 106, Danville, OH 43014
Reviews pages 19-22

Erin Quinlan
One Fine Mess

71 Storm St., Apt 2C, Tarrytown, NY 10591
Reviews pages 22-23

Josh Bowron
Scatological Think Cap

PO Box 13085, Macon, GA 31208
Reviews pages 24-25

Eric Lyden
Fish with Legs

224 Moraine St., Brockton MA 02301
Reviews pages 25-27

Gavin Grant
Lady Churchill's Rosebut Wristlet
Small Beer Press

360 Atlantic Ave., PMB 132, Brooklyn, NY 11217
www.lcrw.net; info@lcrw.net
Reviews pages 27-28

Bobby Tran Dale

Reviews pages 28-32

Violet Jones

PO Box 55336, Hayward CA 94545
Reviews pages 33-36

William P. Tandy
Eight-Stone Press

PO Box 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078
esp@leekinginc.com; www.leekinginc.com/esp
Reviews pages 37-39

Davida Gypsy Breier
Leeking Ink & The Glovebox Chronicles

PO Box 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078
davida@leekinginc.com; http://www.leekinginc.com
Reviews pages 39-41

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