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Xerography Debt #14

Xerography Debt
Issue #14
June 2004

Davida Gypsy Breier, Editor-in-Chief

Donny Smith, Editor

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

Christine Douville, Miriam DesHarnais, Zebulun, Benn Ray, Brooke Young, Matt Fagan, Gavin J. Grant, Dan Taylor, Ellen Adams, Rick Bradford, Gaynor Taylor, Julie Dorn, Randy Osborne, Fran McMillian, & Stephanie Holmes, Reviewers

William P. Tandy, Proofreader

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

E-mail: davida@leekinginc.com
Website: www.leekinginc.com
© June 2004

#15 Due out October 2004. You can pre-order today!
  • Cover by Matt Fagan
  • Back cover by Bobby Tran Dale

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

Distribution: Atomic Books, Quimby’s, SoberBrothers.com, Stickfigure Distro, Outhouse Publishing Distro, Ecolibrium Environmental Shop & Tower Records

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Basic Stuff You Should Know
  • Announcements
The Columns
  • The History of Zines: Lisa Falour By Donny Smith
  • The History of Zines: A Little History on the History By Davida Gypsy Breier
  • It Means its Wank By Jeff Somers
The Reviewers
  • Reviews by Donny Smith Pages 9-13
  • Reviews by Dan Taylor Pages 13-16
  • Reviews by Ellen Adams Pages 16-17
  • Reviews by Fred Argoff Pages 17-18
  • Reviews by Julie Dorn Pages 19-21
  • Reviews by Eric Lyden Pages 21-23
  • Reviews by Rick Bradford Pages 23-25
  • Reviews by Gaynor Taylor Pages 25-28
  • Reviews by Bobby Tran Dale Pages 28-31
  • Reviews by Gavin J. Grant Pages 32-33
  • Reviews by Franetta McMillian Pages 33-35
  • Reviews by Randy Osborne Pages 35-37
  • Reviews by Brooke Young Pages 37-39
  • Reviews by Benn Ray Pages 39-41
  • Reviews by Stephanie Holmes Pages 41-43
  • Reviews by Zebulun Pages 43-44
  • Reviews by Miriam DesHarnais Pages 44-48
  • Reviews by Matt Fagan Pages 48-52
  • Reviews by Christine Douville Pages 52-55
  • Reviews by Davida Gypsy Breier Pages 55-58



        Here we are back again. This time around there are several new faces, as well as most of the usual gang. As I put the reviewer list together I realized how nicely diverse the XD staff has grown – we have a teenager and the parent of teenagers, gay, straight, and in between, and several reviewers are originally from countries outside the US. There is a professional musician, a store owner and retail workers, professional writers and publishers, a mother, librarians, and a subway conductor. The one binding factor is a shared love of zines. XD just keeps growing, in both staff and readership.

        Asking Donny Smith to help edit XD is one of the best things to happen to the zine. His assistance has been invaluable. In fact, a few weeks ago he and his partner Mark (Hain) visited Baltimore and Donny and I spoke to a curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art about a zine component in a future exhibit. They are looking for donations, so see page 18 for details.

        I would like to mention the whole “PBS of review zines” idea here and essentially run our first pledge drive. The larger the zine becomes the more costly it is to print and mail. I’ve tried to keep the reins relatively tight over the years so the finances stayed manageable.

        To give you an idea: It costs about $60.00 to mail the zines to the reviewers for review. It costs the reviewers anywhere from $2-5 to ship them back to me (essentially a forced donation on their part), coming out to another $60.00. Print costs on the last issue were $441.00. Add onto that the cover paper and envelopes - another $17.00. Then there is the $0.83 per issue for shipping costs, plus the postage to distros, and reviewers – about $120.00 for the last issue if I recall correctly. We don’t make any profit on distroed zines because they are sold at a discount. Placing the zines in stores means more people will pick up a copy and hopefully read the reviews and order zines – maybe yours. In the end the cost comes very close to that $3 cover price. Some issues I’ve had to cover $200.00-300.00 of the cost out of my own pocket and some issues we break even. I’d like to see XD break even every time. Oh, and these figures don’t take into account the hours Donny and I put into organizing each issue, plus the time it takes every reviewer to read the zines sent in and review them. I almost forgot – there are the website hosting fees and the time it takes to get the new issues online so people can search for their reviews and read about new zines of interest. Yes, it is a passion for all of us, and we aren’t looking to profit – we just want to create a sustainable publication.

        Over the years there have been some very steady supporters, sending well in excess of the cover price each time a new issue came out to help the zine along. They have in essence ensured the zine was there for everyone. Instead of relying on a few to help with both time and money, we’d like to see more people involved; after all, this is at heart a community project. If you just read the web version consider sending in a buck or two. Or maybe when you send in your order, buy an extra copy for a friend or a local zine library.

        I’ll get off my Sally Struthers Soapbox™ and now get on with the show…


Davida Gypsy Breier

June 2004


Basic stuff you should know


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

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

        Xerography Debt’s reviews are selective. To explain the “system”: Some reviewers choose to review zines they have bought or traded with, some review zines that are sent to Xerography Debt for review, and some do both. Also, I buy zines at Atomic Books (my local zine store), as well as zine events, so if you see your zine reviewed and you didn’t send it in, that might be where Ifound it. Generally the only reviews you will read in here are “good reviews.” Constructive criticism is given, but basically we don’t have the time or money to print bad reviews. If you sent your zine in for review and don’t see it listed, wait a few months and see if it appears in the following issue. I read and then distribute the zines to the reviewers about two months before the print date. If the reviewer passed on reviewing your zine, it will be sent out again for the next issue. So, each zine gets two shots with two different reviewers. Ultimately, many of the review copies stay in the XD archives, but some are donated to zine libraries. Occasionally mistakes happen, postal or otherwise, so if you have a question about a zine you sent in for review, please contact Davida at PO Box 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078 or davida@leekinginc.com.

        XD is available for free online (some reviews and artwork will only be available in print) or paper copies can be ordered for $3.

        If you have an event, announcement, or project you would like to share, please get in touch.

        The lack of paid advertising within these pages is deliberate. Despite reviewing our friends and lovers, we try to be somewhat objective and free to do as we please. Needless to say, this brings up the point of needing some help to keep the machine running...




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

William P. Tandy, Jan and Earl, DB Pedlar, Owen Thomas, A.J. Michel, Fred Wright, Blair Ewing, Christopher Robinson, Anne Thalheimer, Larned Justin, Randy Osbourne, Julie Dorn, Clint Johns/Tower Records, Billy McKay, Dar Veverka, Jeannie McStay, Sandy Berman, Donny Smith, Brooke Young/The SLC Public Library, and several anonymous benefactors.




A note about the photos in this issue. We decided with this issue to start including reviewer byline photos. Now you know more about these people reviewing your zines. Julie Dorn’s photo was taken in front of the Nkrumah Masoleum in Africa. The pez dispensers in Dan Taylor’s were his wedding cake decorations. Davida’s photo is credited to Uli Loskot (City Paper).



Upcoming Events:

The Philadelphia Zine Fest will be held Sunday July 11, at the Rotunda (4014 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104). The Philadelphia Zine Fest is a gathering of small print publishers, zine makers, comic artists, and other DIY creators to trade, display, and sell their work, attend workshops and other events, and hang out and have fun. For more information or to reserve a table, e-mail phillyzinefest@yahoo.com or visit www.geocities.com/phillyzinefest. (Ed.: At press time William P. Tandy, Dan Taylor, and I plan to attend.)


Minneapolis Zine Festival, July 24-25 at the Stevens Sq. Center for the Arts, 1905 Third Ave. S. July 24-Aug. 21 there will be a Zine and Flyer Art Exhibit. For more information, e-mail zinefest@yahoo.com or visit www.zinefest.org.


San Francisco Zine Fest, September 4 & 5 at Cellspace, 2050 Bryant St. Tables cost $10/15 (1 day/2 days) for a half-table, or $20/30 for a full table. Go to www.sfzinefest.com for more info. Admission is free. Join the mailing list by sending an e-mail to bayareazinefest-subscribe@yahoo-groups.com.


Arizona State University Art Museum Exhibition, When I Grow Up..., May 22 – Sept. 11, 2004  includes David Greenberger’s “The Duplex Planet” comic books with illustrations by such artists as Peter Bagge, Drew Friedman, Dan Clowes, Jim Woodring, Chris Ware and James Kochalka. http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu-/whenigrowup


International Expo-Zine, Salt Lake City, UT Sept.-Oct. 2004. Contact Fanzine Exhortation c/o Jorge Arellano, PMB 228, 869 E. 4500 South, SLC, UT 84107
New Zine Libraries

The new Denver Zine Library is seeking donations. Zine donations should be sent to 111 W. Archer Pl., Denver, CO 80223. For more info: http://www.geocities.com/denverzinelibrary/.


The Aboveground Zine Library and Computer Lab is coming to New Orleans and is looking for zine donations. Send the zines to Quickdummies, 6810 Bellaire Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124 or drop zines off at the Bank Street Warehouse during a punk show. For more info: abovegroundlibrary@yahoo.com.


Zines Seeking Submissions

Sins: I need your help on a zine project that I have been trying to get done for almost two years now.

        The project is going to be seven separate zines in a bundle, each on specifically about on of the seven deadly sins. Get it? That means ONE ZINE PER SIN!

        You can write or draw anything that relates to that specific sin, and if you want to do all seven, go for it.

        As of now, all the sins are up for grabs. I only have a few articles. Contact me about what you’re planning on writing and I’ll tell you if that sin is still open. There are 3 professional illustrators (I need more) working on this and I’ve contacted over a hundred different zinesters and writers. This project is going to be awesome. I am really excited about it, and I really want you to add something. I want a variety of writers and topics.

        E-mail me for more info at Denell@hotmail.com (please put “sins” in the subject) or write to me at

Supreme Nothing, c/o Denny, PO BOX 211, Burton OH 44021


Have you ever kept a journal? Have you read anyone else’s? For all those who journal (and those who don’t) here’s your chance to share a story. Send any journal inspired creations to Julie Dorn, PO Box 438, Avondale Estates, GA 30002 or to junieingeorgia@hotmail.com.



Sooner or later, everyone has the opportunity to do the right thing - and then doesn’t all for the sake of being bad. And now Eight-Stone Press (ESP) wants to hear all about it!

BEING BAD is a forthcoming ESP publication devoted to your tales/poetry/artwork of the high road not taken - opportunities to do right not so much missed as forsaken. From childish pranks to petty acts of revenge to good, old-fashioned raunch, ESP knows you’ve been bad (hell, you’ve read this far, haven’t you?).

For consideration, send your submissions to Eight-Stone Press

Attn: William P. Tandy

P.O. Box 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078

or e-mail: esp@eightstonepress.com


Zinester Classifieds at Atomic Books

There is a new Zinester Classified section on the Atomic Books site. It’s basically, a page where people can place calls for submissions and people looking to submit stuff places can go and see what people are looking for: www.atomicbooks.com


New Zine Stores (or at least new to me)

Needles and Pens, 483 14th St (at Guerrero), San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 255-1534; Open Thurs-Sun.12pm-7pm;



Ecolibrium Environmental Shop, 1160 Capuchino Ave., Burlingame, CA 94010 (650) 342-6054.

“We will buy your zines on consignment (or pay up front). Please bring them in or call us. We would like to add to our zine selection but we need your support! Special requests will be honored. All types of zines accepted, unless they are racist or pornographic.”


The History of Zines:

Lisa B. Falour


By Donny Smith

PO Box 411, Swarthmore, PA 19081




DS:What was the first zine you saw?


LF: I think it was my own! That would have been in 1976. It was titled Modern Girlz. Patti Smith was a contributor. I did five issues of it.


DS:Why did you start doing one?


LF: I was a very bored and lonely art student (graphic design and illustration, merit scholarship in my second year there) in Kent, Ohio, and could not find anything interesting to read except for books in their huge library. There were no magazines I could find for sale which truly engaged and interested me, so I decided to do my own.


DS:What was in it?


LF: There were some interviews, some done face-to-face, some done by mail. Chris Butler, who was a musician who achieved some success in the late 1970s (the Waitresses, etc.) and in the ‘80s (he did the theme song for a short-lived but very good TV series called “Square Pegs”) was one of the interviewees. Another was poet John M. Bennett, of Ohio—I interviewed him by mail. Patti Smith sent me some hand-written, hard-to-comprehend rants, and I accepted poetry, artwork, short stories … I liked to clip out strange things from newspapers and make collages, and also to use things I literally found in the street, or which people had found in the street and given to me. Modern Girlz became Bikini Girl, which I published in New York from 1978 until 1991, though it has never officially ended. I used to feel very embarrassed to look at the first and second issues of that zine, but recently, I reread issue two of Bikini Girl, and laughed out loud. I think it’s funny, and I am not ashamed of the crude layout, grammatical errors, bad typing and typography, etc. Hey, for a couple of bucks, people got something pretty unique, showing up sporadically in their mailboxes! And I got a chance to express myself, with no one telling me what I could or could not publish.


DS:How did you go from 25 copies to 10,000?


LF: I’m bipolar, and when I am “up,” I am incredibly focused, productive and capable. I try to play fair and square, too, and be generous when I can, which helps! The 10,000 copies were issue 8 of Bikini Girl, printed offset method in New York, and included in Impulse Magazine, a Canadian fine arts and popular culture magazine for which I was a contributing editor for two years in the early 1980s. I paid for the printing and earned nothing, but was very, very happy to get my zine into so many hands!


DS:What was the zine scene like in ‘70s NYC?


LF: There were a number of shops which sold my zine on consignment. One was New Morning on Spring Street in SoHo. They’d only accept ten copies at a time, and I had to pass by once a month or so, count the remaining zines on the rack, and collect the cash in my hand, but they were very courteous. Since I lived on a budget of five dollars a day, any extra cash I earned was useful for buying myself a hot meal, or feeding a hungry friend. Often, selling zines on consignment by mail got me ripped off, but fairly often, shops were fair with me. Printed Matter on Lispenard Street in Manhattan was very, very good about sending me a proper accounting, plus a check, once a year, but they were rare. Often, I had to ride night trains to places such as Boston, to pick up my earnings and drop off new copies. I located some libraries and museums who’d buy copies from me. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one, the New York Public Library, the University of Buffalo, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden—these are a few who come to mind.


LF: By the time I got to NYC around 1977-78, I was seeing more and more zines and went out of my way to meet zinesters and be supportive. A few zines went mainstream and made it briefly, such as Wet, which was never really a zine, but was a very free-spirited, fun California magazine to deal with. They had a zine spirit.


LF: Some rock music people were involved in zines. Devo did a zine back when they still lived in Ohio! It was a one-page, mimeographed affair, and very funny. I still have one copy somewhere and laugh when I find it and reread it.


LF: Some musicians, such as Half Japanese and the Residents subscribed to my zines and sent me free copies of their records. Others included B-52s, Fleshtones, etc. Members of the Cramps and Nervus Rex, to name just two, wrote and contributed to my zines.


LF: I did a video issue of Bikini Girl in 1991, and took it to radio format in 1988-89. My show was called “The Bikini Hour” and was a substitute program on WFMU-FM in East Orange, New Jersey. I’ve gotten some amazing fan mail over the years, and all three of my marriages were a direct result of my zine activities.


LF: Kindly note: I’m doing a joint perzine these days called Last Laugh / Quiet Days in Saint-Denis. It is published several times a year and is available for a few stamps and a few dollars (see reviews on pages 11 and 17).


The History of Zines:

A Little History on the History


By Davida Gypsy Breier

PO Box 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078




        People like tidy explanations. They like definitions. These tend to give people frames of reference. Urban legends and water cooler gossip thrive under these conditions.


v Zines are rooted in science-fiction fandom

v Zines are a byproduct of punk

v Zines are purely a modern phenomenon


        Or are they? These are all commonly held beliefs. The final statement is like thinking that your generation is the first to discover sex. If that’s so, how did we all get here?

        The history of zines should lead to the same question – how did we get here? Each of us involved in zinedom has a family tree of sorts. After 10 years, I can’t believe how many branches my tree has, but I know my roots.


Circa. 1988-90: Richard pilfers a copy of MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL (MRR) from Mrs. Nichols’s English class and discovers zines.


Circa 1994: Richard buys me a subscription to Reptiles of the Mind (a perzine) and a copy of FactSheet 5 (F5).


Circa 1994-5: I read the reviews in the back of Reptiles of the Mind and in the Medley section of F5 and write away for a bunch of zines. From those zines I find more zines, including Dwan (Donny Smith’s).


Circa 1995: I start my own zine, Slow Leek (a per-zine).


Present day: I’ve published 49 issues of three zines – 50 if you count the one you are holding.


        The spark for all this is that a teenager at South Dade High School forgot a copy of MRR during a class change and Richard seized the opportunity to pilfer what would become my future. In theory, my history of zines stems from MRR, but does that really make any sense? History isn’t tidy. That’s what The History of Zines Project is all about.

        It is our sincere belief that the motivations behind zine creation are inherently human. That the common definitions bandied about regarding when and where zines began have been far too limiting (and literal), ignoring a rich past. Donny Smith and I agree that if a starting point for modern zines has to be set, it would be the Mid-nineteenth century and the invention of the tabletop printing press. The continued proliferation of zines in the twentieth century is also related to technology (typewriters, xerography machines, and computers) and the general populace gaining accessibility to these tools.

        So if my bloodlines start at MRR, my chosen ancestors include William Morris, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The Roycrofters, the artisans of the Arts & Crafts movement, and the designers of the Art Nouveau period. Form and function given equal weight, but with a DIY spirit. My modern day family, who also influence me, are contained within the pages of this zine.

        History is what you take from it, and better yet what you make from it.






By Jeff Somers

P.O. Box 3024, Hoboken NJ 07030




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


“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”  -Elbert Hubbard



...in which your intrepid columnist explores what the term “review” means, and what is and isn’t a review.


One thing that never changes, aside from my gnawing hunger for beer, sweet life-giving beer, is the disruptive force of an opinion, any opinion. We’re all taught from childhood that our opinion counts, that our vote counts, that we count. I’ll leave whether this is true or not to another column; let’s just stipulate that the whole world is made up of cheeky bastards who think their opinions matter, like me and you, you cheeky bastard. The end result? A lot of arguments. Say anything publicly that isn’t plainly obvious or easily proved beyond any doubt and you are undoubtedly in for a fight, bubba, with at least one person who thinks you’re talking out of your ass.

You get a lot of this with zine reviews, of course; I discussed in a previous column the futility of talking back to a bad review. What I’m wondering today is:

1. What, exactly, constitutes a review?

2. Can you catch a disease from drinking strangers’ cocktails when they go to the bathroom, or does the alcohol kill their cooties?

But mainly the review definition thing. One burning (in the case of many diseases, literally) question at a time, though. I’m wondering about what constitutes a review because of an incident which occurred on the Internet newsgroup alt.zines—the Thunderdome of zine-related discussion—a few weeks ago. It went like this:

Whenever I get zines in my PO Box at home, I post a listing of the items received to the alt.zines newsgroup. If I’ve read something of the zine beforehand I’ll comment on it sometimes, but often I just post contact info and a vague summary of contents, usually gleaned from the TOC and the cover. If I have an opinion on what I’ve read or gleaned, I’ll express it. Recently, I posted the following about a zine that had arrived in my mailbox: “I didn’t much care for this, but that’s a personal opinion.” The question is, was that a review?

The publisher of that zine didn’t think so, and took umbrage with me for posting such an uninformative and slipshod review. I’d agree with him if I thought this represented a review. It doesn’t. It’s an opinion, certainly, but if a review was just an unadorned opinion we’d call them opinions, and not reviews, wouldn’t we? I do not consider these opinions to be reviews, even though an opinion, certainly, is the main component of a review. But it isn’t the only component, and I feel very strongly that a simple opinion does not a review make.

What’s the difference between a personal opinion and a review? Well, a review has to contain several components in order to be considered a review: An opinion on the material, certainly; a reason or reasons for having that opinion; an attempt at balance; a formal structure; and, most importantly, the intention of influencing your zine-reading decisions. If you’ll excuse me while I spasm into italics for a moment, that is the whole goddamn point of a review. You can probably get away with leaving out one or two of those (and many reviews do indeed neglect the reasons for their opinions), but you can’t leave out the last component. If the statement is not attempting to influence your choice in zines, then it is not a review. A bare personal opinion cannot be considered a review. It describes one man’s gut reaction to something, with no attempt at justifying or explaining that reaction, or any expectation that the reader will use that opinion as a basis for their own choices.

As another example, I think The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. I actually saw this atrocity in a theater, and paid money for it, back in the lazy, hazy days of my childhood. All I recall is chewing through a seat cushion to escape. Is that a review? No, it’s a personal opinion. Does it make you want to see the movie less? If it does, you’re a lost cause anyway.

Of course, a publicly stated opinion can affect people’s zine-reading decisions. The idea that someone is actually paying attention to what I say is frightening and exhilarating at the same time, making me feel like a Jim Jones-type cult may not be beyond my slim capabilities after all. If enough people, or even a single influential person, express an opinion about a zine, it certainly can affect how that zine is perceived. While this is true, it still doesn’t make an opinion into a formal review, and you can’t hold an opinion to the same standard.

As for my other burning question regarding yoinked cocktails, I will now launch an exhaustive investigation which will probably leave me friendless, bloated, and possibly diseased, with a throbbing 32-pound liver. But it’s worth it. I have dedicated my life to illuminating you cheeky bastards. Now, for god’s sake, mail me some cocktails.


The Reviews

Donny Smith

PO Box 411, Swarthmore, PA 19081




        Spring brought a bountiful crop of zines, so I’m trying to keep the reviews short. No offense, please.

        My zine Libary (sic) Journal should be out sometime in August, from somewhere in Indiana. By the time you read this, we’ll be packing up and probably on our way out of Pennsylvania. Consult my web page for current contact info: http://www.geocities.com/dwanzine


Big Fag 01 (February 2004)

available from Inquisitor Mediarama, PO Box 132, New York NY 10024 USA, for $2; http://www.inquisitor.com/

what it is: an unstapled minizine and a linocut postcard in a clear plastic envelope (nice design)

on the cover: a young man in a sleeveless t-shirt shows off the tattoo on his upper arm

inside: In about a dozen breathless run-on sentences spread over 20-some pages, the story of choosing a tattoo design, which his friends who think he’s changed, or maybe not, don’t understand and don’t think he should get, and how that relates to his ex-boyfriend, whom he still has sex with, and all the gay Republicans he keeps meeting, and what that has to do with the story of his adoption and straight men who flirt with gay men and white gay men who fetishize non-white men. Illustrated with clippings of sexy tattooed men.

quote (which I guess is sarcastic): searching for a reason or something of enough import or enough meaning or enough enoughness for me to want to inscribe it into my own flesh, since intellectually and academically overthinking things has never really been a problem for me in the least bit whatsoever.


Call & Response Issue 1 (spring 2004)

available from Gianni Simone, 3-3-23 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama-shi, 226-0027 Kanagawa-ken JAPAN, for $3, 3 IRCs, or selective trade (inquire first); jb64jp@yahoo.co.jp

on the cover: Gianni with a cow

inside: photocopying his zine at work; mail art fun; meals in India; adventures with insects and spiders

overall: great first zine! (though Gianni’s not new to the zine world)


Cash Flagg #2 (February 2004)

available from Brian Marshall, 258 Main St Apt 3, Danbury, CT 06810 USA; no price (but it’s free at Atomic Books in Baltimore); cashflagg13@hotmail.com

inside: reviews of recent movies, which turn into personal anecdotes—with the emphasis on bad horror and youthful geekiness and rag-tag-ness

quote: Shitty people love bad ideas, even more than they love taking good ideas and making them bad. Because they’re shitty people, they’re inheritly drawn to bad ideas, and a snowball effect occurs. I call this trend the Shit Brown Snowball Parade. —from a review of Gothika

overall: hi-larious!

note: Cash Flagg doesn’t seem to have anything to do with filmmaker Cash Flagg (Ray Dennis Steckler), although I’m sure Brian loves Flagg’s movies (and who doesn’t love to see Liz Renay running in a tight skirt and high heels?).


Chumpire 168 (2004)

available from Greg Knowles, PO Box 27, Annville PA 17003 USA, for “free, 1 stamp, trade, etc.”; chumpire@hotmail.com

what it is: a tiny, skinny thing (8.5 x 2.75, 8 pp.)

inside: two pages of musings on current events, followed by five pages of zine and music reviews

overall: Another kind of zine I love. You can read the whole thing in five minutes and you get only the quickest glimpse of the writer, but as you read more and more subsequent issues you get acquainted. He trusts you to be part of the ongoing zine dialog, and eventually you can pick him out of the crowd (even though you’ve never met).

quote: This issue written in a few hours at MJ’s Cafe during screenings of Mel Gibson’s snuff film.


Dog’s Breakfast 1 (2004?)

available from 2617 Emerson Ave S Apt A, Minneapolis, MN 55408 USA, for $2 or trade; jrwbrit@yahoo.com

note: I was going to pass on reviewing this one because so much of the content is just reprints of stuff from the Internet, but how can I pass by an exposé of right-wing hypocrites? Anyway, it’s a first issue, so he gets a little slack.

inside: tribute to iPod; online profiles of gay men, including sanctimonious conservative suck-up Andrew Sullivan, who apparently likes “barebacking” in “one-on-one’s, 3-ways, groups/parties/orgies, [and] gang bangs”; a brief and personal history of the Minneapolis neighborhood around 26th & Lyndale; thoughts on the young men who’ve died in Iraq interspersed with readings of Walt Whitman

Dome Therapy 2nd edition (April 2004)

available from Bloody Mary’s Cool Sister, PMB 170, 40 E Main St, Newark, DE 19711 USA, for $1, 2 stamps, or trade

inside: one short story about war in the Middle East and the funny way God decides to push human free will a little closer toward peace

note: It’s a great story (or maybe the first chapter of a novel?), but it’s even better if you get to hear the author read it aloud. She’s very reserved offstage, but has a radiant voice and an intense presence when reading.  


Etidorhpa #9 (April 2004)

available from Bloody Mary’s Cool Sister, PMB 170, 40 E Main St, Newark DE 19711 USA, for $2, 3 IRCs, or trade

inside: a poem titled “american apartheid”; contrasting two very different writers’ conferences; comparing presidential candidates’ looks; review of Passion of the Christ; a short story about a Christmas visitor to a barely functional workplace

overall: funny, literate, thoughtful; probably one of the best zines I’ve read, ever


Extranjero numero uno (spring 2004)

available from Kris & Lola c/o Lucio Carrasco, calle Obispo 4 bajo, Plasencia 10600 Cáceres SPAIN, for “a modest amount of US$ or euros or your zine”

inside: (in English) anecdotes from US expatriate Kris, his extremeña wife Lola, and friends: Extremadura, storks, Spanish bureaucracy, Spanish impressions of the US, bullfighting, cycling across Galicia

question: Why don’t bullfights feature the salto de la garrocha (the pole vaulting described in the bullfighting article)? It sounds much more athletic and spectacular—and a lot less lethal for the bull. 


Greenzine 13 (November 2003?)

available from Cristy C. Road, 14222 SW 83 St, Miami, FL 33183 USA, for $1.50; croadcore@yahoo.com

overall: I really resisted liking this zine. At first I thought it was all about spewing East Coast liberal arts college sexual politics propaganda, but really (if it is even that), it’s more than that. I kept reading and it sucked me in. The thing I love about zines is that they tell these great interlocking stories that aren’t told anywhere else.

quote: At sixteen I realized how being aware of my physiology helped me understand why the brown skid marks on the interior of my panties shouldn’t be a subject of humiliation. … I wanted to shit on his countertop and demonstrate my physiology for him.

on the cover: pen and wash drawings of young women with hairy legs, mini skirts, seed caps, and backpacks (Cristy provides adroit illustrations throughout)

inside: stories from Cristy and her friends about punk scenes, traveling, rape, activism, and home; not always coherently told, but I don’t know if that’s because of difficult subject matter or because of sloppiness or because of fuzzy thinking

another quote: I went to sleep that night, fulfilled in a way, or atleast to the extent that I was capable of after having a conversation with a women on a bus bench. She dubbed me the total barer of false hope.

        I talked to her about actions i would partake in and she would ask me if the phrase “we’re fucked” was often bellowed by my fellow demonstrators. I said yes and caught the next bus home. And I admit there has been pauses of despair.


Hobnail Review number two (Jan. ‘04)

available from Ade Dimmick, PO Box 44122, London SW6 7XJ UK, for $2 or £1 cash only

subtitle: A Guide to Small Press & Alternative Publishing

inside: publishing-related reprints from zines, calls for work or donations, articles on the cost of publishing and on mail art, letters, and of course, reviews of micropress books and of zines in these categories: radical, art & literature, esoteric, strange, zine scene (fanzines), footie (soccer zines), review, and distro

overall: great to have another review zine!


How to be a good library patron / How to be a bad library patron (2004?)

available from Jerianne, PO Box 330156, Murfreesboro TN 37133 USA, no price (maybe send a library-related trade)

what it is: a mini comic anthology of the good and the bad; my copy came inserted into a standard library book pocket along with an author-title card from a card catalog and a library card in my name to the Phantom Public Library

overall: a treasure


Kissin (no date)

available at Wooden Shoe in Philadelphia for 50¢; hellosophiemol@hotmail.com

on the cover: a heart in gold glitter pen

inside: 10 little stories about kissing (little because the zine is only about 3” x 4”)

quote: the first time i kissed a girl i was quite aggressive. i don’t know why but now i look back on it i guess it’s because i wanted to know what it felt like to be a boy. i grabbed her and pressed her up against this wall and kissed her hard. i don’t remember much else.


Last laugh clxviii / Quiet Days in Saint-Denis tentative part 1? (2004)

available from Bill Blackolive, 1776 N McCampbell, Aransas Pass, TX 78336 USA, for “a few stamps and a few dollars”

what it is: A split zine between Bill and long-time Batteries Not Included and Dwan contributor Lisa B. Falour.

        Lisa writes in a letter to me, “I haven’t done a zine since 1990. I’m not feeling well enough, and also lack the funds and technology to do a project all on my own, so I am gonna team up with another zinester for at least awhile. He is Wild Bill Blackolive, who’s been doing Last Laugh since the ‘60s or something—a really long time. He only has about 35 subscribers—or something. His zine is not for everyone but I usually like it and he’s fun to write to … . Anyway, my zine will be attached to his, and my part is called Quiet Days in Saint-Denis … . And my days sure are quiet, in a kind of horrid way. Some things are good. I read a lot, listen to the BBC radio a lot, cook some, teach English sometimes, goof around with Kris in the apartment, don’t need an alarm clock, and I still shock people when I tell them I really like Saint-Denis. I am so lonely, I talk to anyone—anyone—and everyone seems to hate Saint-Denis and they just wonder what planet I am from (so do I!) and it’s funny, really. … Wild Bill is 63 years old, on SSI, lives in Texas, has no ‘Net access, and is a kind of hippie anarchist beat yeti type of thing. He admits he’s only semi-literate but his zine has brought me a lot of cheer in the past year and he really wants us to team up, if only for awhile, so I’m going for it. … I am doing this on a budget resembling my 1976 budget, when I started zining, but feels like old times and helps me when I have insomnia. (I used to just sit in the dark and get drunk all night.) But the sleep apnea machine has helped a lot. But being sober, ugh, I wish I could get a body transplant and drink again. That’s the truth.”

inside: Bill’s kind of stream of consciousness accounts of living with his mother, walking the dogs, dealing with rednecks, and musing about current events, interspersed with letters from friends and family; excerpts from Lisa’s autobiographical novel The Finishing School and from her accounts of day-to-day life in suburban Paris.

overall: like a long, long, long letter from two old messed-up friends


Object Lesson Issue Two (2003?)

available from M. DesPairagus, PO Box 4803, Baltimore MD 21211 USA for $3

on the cover: a sexy lady gazes at a large celeriac

inside: vaguely vegetable-themed articles on M.’s life: wasting time with The Onion’s personal ads, library weeding and garden weeding compared, Tater Tots, recipes, short short stories, reviews of books, zines, movies, parades, and burlesque shows

quote: I was not fully aware of how desperately I wished to be alone again until the moment after he was trying to get out of my car and I accidentally started to drive away while he was still only halfway out. We talked a few days later and I said I really liked him but just wasn’t romantically interested. He countered by explaining that he was really attracted to me, but just didn’t like me all that much.


Second set out (May 2003?)

available from Moe Bowstern, PO Box 6834, Portland, OR 97228 USA, for $1.82

inside: Moe’s stories about fishing in Alaska, traveling around the country, having an abortion, and all the people’s stories she hears along the way; with a “foreward” by Ursula K. Le Guin

quote: “Yes.” he said firmly. “I play the euphonium.” This kid couldn’t have been prouder to be who he was. He played his euphonium—which is some kind of tuba—in a fife and drum corps that he was heading to meet in Rosemont, Illinois. He paid $1200/year for the privilege of blowing his euphonium with others of his ilk in Rosemont, which is the name developers gave to the cluster of convention centers around O’Hare Airport. On the way to Chicago he read to me (at my urging) from his Christmas book, The Physics of Star Trek. It is one of my favorite adult Christmas experiences.

note: seems to feature some of the same characters as Greenzine


Songs about ghosts issue number two (August 2003)

available from Jasmine Dreame Wagner, 252 Norman Ave #203, Brooklyn, NY 11222 USA, for $1?; http://www.songsaboutghosts.com/

on the cover: three friends hanging out (their photocopied faces covered by photocopied coins)

inside: an autobiographical story about halfway connecting with people (if it’s not autobiographical, she’s done a great job of making it real)

overall: still another zine subgenre I love: the summer camp reminiscence perzine


Thermidor issue #2 We regret to inform you (winter 2003)

available from Kate Amok c/o Erik Osheim, 17 S Chester Rd Apt E, Swarthmore, PA 19081 USA for $1 or trade; e-mail for current address thermidor@bearhome.net

inside: “Eccentrics I Have Known,” including Pro-Life Anderson (his legal name) and 8-Off Spicler, “the Hispanic Hitler” (poet); “Troma vs. The World: An Interview with Lloyd Kaufman”; “D.I.Y. Zombie Gore,” with detailed instructions for cheap special effects; “The Interesting Case of The Showboat,” a creepy abandoned strip club; “The League of Insane Georgia Politicians”

quote: Women are the smart ones in Troma movies. … [Women] save the men in Troma’s War. Toxie’s wife urges him to stop working for The Man. Tromeo and Juliet is all about Juliet. She’s the focus. Sure the [women] are in small clothing, but so are the men. Sure, there are some fucking scenes. It’s R rated. Why not? Pourquoi pas? I like it. A lot of people do. They aren’t porno films. If you want to see women hung up on a meathook, watch TV. Watch Friends. Those women are pansies. Femmies. That’s exploitation. —Lloyd Kaufman


Dan Taylor

PO Box 5531, Lutherville, MD 21094




Dan Taylor has spent the last several weeks trying to block out the ceaseless noise of the cicada army massing in his yard. When he’s not trawling ebay for kool Klaus Kinski kollectibles he’s editing The Hungover Gourmet: The Journal of Food, Drink, Travel and Fun. $3 gets you a copy of the latest issue, which features the writings of Davida Gypsy Breier, William Patrick Tandy, Christine Coleman Taylor and a bunch of people who only have two words in their name. Contact him at PO Box 5531, Lutherville, MD 21094-5531, or visit www.hungovergourmet.com.


THE EX REVENGE PROJECT ($5 from Robin Bougie, #320-440 e. 5th Ave., Vancouver, British Columbia V5T 1N5 Canada. 40 pages, digest sized, color cover. Visit bentcomics.com) Wow, I knew guys sucked, but THE EX REVENGE PROJECT takes it to a new, lower level. Somewhere in the basement, near housewares and men’s accessories.

        I’ve had chicks pull some crazy shit on me, but I never thought about doing the stuff that CINEMA SEWER editor Robin Bougie documents in this harrowing publication. In a quest for “free, interesting porn” Bougie posted online classifieds requesting “nude or compromising shots” of former lovers. What followed was an avalanche of photos and correspondence from men filled with what can only be described as a hateful rage against the women who’d done them wrong, in some real or perceived fashion. Hell, some were never even in relationships with the victims.

        Bougie faithfully documents the correspondence next to stark, black and white drawings representing the photos he received. Shocking and titillating in a caught-lifting-panties-from-your-neighbor’s-dresser kinda way, it’s an art project gone horribly wrong that you’ll have a hard time forgetting.

        Okay, so maybe I THOUGHT about it, but none of my ex’s ever took me up on that whole “tasteful nude photography” idea. And if you’re looking to explore the world of revenge web sites, check out urdumped.co.uk.


FISH PISS Vol. 2, Number 4/Winter 2004 ($6 ppd from Box 1232 Place d’Armes, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 3K2 Canada. 120 pages, 7” x 9”, two-color cover, newsprint insides.) I’m always amused when a zine’s title appears incongruous with the content. Take FISH PISS, for example. While the name makes sense to the DIY fan, artist or old school graphic designer – fish piss is often an ingredient in inks – the title certainly raises an eyebrow and a comment or two as I’m reading it on the beach. Try explaining that contained in the pages of this well-executed Canadian journal are discussions of politics, avant garde cartoons, and a detailed look at the history of the recording industry.

        It’s a pretty impressive package, even if a bit of it is inaccessible to me, the reader, due to language barriers or geography. I was intrigued by the title of one article, Isabelle Bourret’s ‘Shut Up and hit RECORD,’ but they lost me at the first “Avez-vous une enregistreuse?” As Beavis would say, “Uh, what?” Other pieces on Canadian politics were in English, but lost me just as fast. Hell, I can barely keep American politics straight. Seems like dying has somehow turned Ronald Reagan into one of our country’s greatest leaders, not a sinister, lying con-man who – if there’s any truth to what I learned in grade school – is slowly roasting over hot coals at this very moment.

        My (lack of) international language skills and politics aside, FISH PISS is loaded with enough reading material to keep you occupied for hours whether you’re bi-lingual or not. My advice? Don’t miss Vince Tinguely’s applause-worthy piece on the world of K-Tel Records and Ian McGillis’ laugh-out-loud ‘Arguments for the Superiority of Vinyl.’ Also includes an interview with former Minuteman Mike Watt and pages of reviews for audio and print projects that I’ve never heard of. Un excellent puits de publication intéressant chercher.


DIG #2 Winter 2003/2004 ($3 from 2215 Hickory Park Drive, Kingwood, TX 77345. 36 pages, digest size, black on color paper cover with photocopy insides. Visit digzine.com) I love technology in all its many forms, but I’m not hung up on having the latest or greatest this, that and everything. In fact, I listen to LPs as much as CDs, don’t own an MP3 player or game system, and have a dependable (but hardly high-tech) DVD setup.

Another thing I’ve never been able to get into is hacking and phreaking. Reading zines like 2600 gives me a headache because: a) I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, and b) I’m at a loss to find a practical application for whatever it is they’re talking about.

        DIG strikes me as wanting to tap into that whole 2600 audience, but without that mag’s resources or direction. An article called ‘The First Big Hack’ left me scratching my head afterwards because it seemed more like rambling insider gossip than anything. A how-to about recording phone conversations – which I would have a practical application for – left me with more questions than answers. For instance, why would you spend time talking about the use of CD-R/CD-RW when no portable device exists that allows you to record onto the medium?

After saying all that, I’ll also say this – it’s only their second issue. A third is available as a text file from their website and I’m sure a print version will be available soon. Looking back on the first few, hell the first dozen issues of my early zine makes me cringe. There are plenty of technology issues to be discussed in the pages of DIG and I hope they find their voice.


SLUG AND LETTUCE #78 (It says 60 cents per issue, but send ‘em a damn buck you cheapskate. No checks less than $10. PO Box 26632, Richmond, VA 23261-6632. 20 pages, tabloid size, newsprint.) This is one of those publications that I’ve heard mentioned from time to time and I’m glad an issue finally popped up in my review stack. How it got to 78 issues before I saw a copy is really beyond me.

        Were I about 15 years younger than I am, I bet SLUG & LETTUCE would be a pretty indispensable publication. Edging closer and closer to 40 – a fact I’m sometimes loathe to admit or even believe – I had to hold it about three inches from my rapidly-deteriorating eyes in order to even read it. But you know what? Chris(tine) – the zine’s editor – addresses the small type complaint in the first column on the front page, so I should probably just – as she writes – “stop complaining about it.” And you know what? She’s right, and anybody that’s published 78 of ANYTHING is okay in my book.

        S&L reminds me a bit of MAXIMUM ROCK & ROLL and FLIPSIDE, two publications that I did read with regularity about 15-20 years ago. (Where does the time go?) Lots of columns, show reports, band photos, zine reviews, and a healthy helping of audio reviews that are frequently short, to the point and free of the showy and snarky verbal diarrhea that passes for music criticism these days. (One notable exception? The great, pinpoint accurate reviews by rawk and roll legend Jeff Dahl in the pages of CARBON 14 or any publication he graces.)

On first glance I didn’t think SLUG & LETTUCE was for me. The more I read the more I got into it and the more I wanted to read. If you’re looking to stay current – or re-familiarize yourself – with today’s punk scene, get it now.

CASH FLAGG #2 (No price listed but send $2 to Brian Marshall, 258 Main Street, Apt. #3, Danbury, CT 06810. 18 pages, full size, photocopied.) My first zine was a drive-in movie review newsletter, so I’ve got a soft spot in my heart – and head – for like-minded publications. I like editors who have a goddamned opinion (whether I agree with it or not) and slather the pages with a bit of piss and vinegar. Hell, if I want “film criticism” I’ll read some glossy rag I can pick up at Borders.

        Reading CASH FLAGG – which takes its name from one of the many pseudonyms of B-movie legend Ray Dennis Steckler – is like taking a trip back through time to the mid-1980s when zines like this showed up in my PO Box with dizzying regularity. Some lasted an issue or two and disappeared without a trace. Others – like SLIMETIME, GORE GAZETTE, WET PAINT and CRIMSON CELLULOID – lasted for years and became reliable resources for outings to grindhouses and video stores. In still another instance an editor that had published one of the sleaziest cinema rags wrote to say he’d found God and hoped I would do the same.

CF has all the earmarks of an ‘80s film zine… black-and-white movie ads featuring the likes of Burt Reynolds, Stella Stevens and Jim Brown fill the background behind blocks of text that look like they were banged out on a thrift store typewriter. Photocopied images of Don Knotts act as a rating system and the reviews contain personal details that you might wish the editor kept to themselves (such as the puke-tastic review of the final installment of THE LORD OF THE RINGS).

        While I don’t know that I would give the aforementioned Tolkien saga Five Furley’s, I found myself agreeing with Marshall’s reviews more often than not. And I wish that I’d heeded his warnings about the wretched excess of MASTER AND COMMANDER. What I found most interesting about the zine was that beneath the insults and text that seemed geared to shock, the publication – or at least it’s editor – seems to have a real heart. A review of MY FLESH AND BLOOD touches upon his work with the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled while a quickie look at the documentary CHILDREN UNDERGROUND exposes way more about him than his tale of puking during JOE DIRT.


CINEMA SEWER #14 ($5 from Robin Bougie, #320-440 e. 5th Ave., Vancouver, British Columbia V5T 1N5 Canada. 44 pages, comic size, color cover, newsprint insides. Visit cinemasewer.com) Speaking of movie zines that are soaked with enough raw filth to make even ME blush, check out Robin Bougie’s amazing, sleaze-saturated CINEMA SEWER.

        I first stumbled upon CS a year or two ago while killing time in a Tower Records. I was admittedly turned off by its hand-written type treatments, comic-book size and newsprint insides. It somehow made the whole thing feel, I don’t know, disposable.

        It wasn’t until I’d had a chance to pick up a couple copies and really sit down and read them that I realized there was more at work here than met the eyes. Thanks to the appearance of #14 in my review stack I’m ready to dash off some cash so I don’t miss another installment. 

First off, Bougie and Co. know their cinematic shit. You won’t find any juvenile rants or shitty writing hiding behind the zine’s “style.” Hell, what “real” cinema mag of late has done anything as on-target as the ‘Best Endsongs’ list contained in issue #14? And name one other critic who has the balls to admit that BONGWATER BUTT BABES (also reviewed in this issue) belongs on a Top Flicks list alongside the likes of AMERICAN SPLENDOR, KILL BILL and LOST IN TRANSLATION.

        Second, the raw, hand-lettered design, cartoon imagery and Drew Friedman-esque illustration treatments give the zine a look and feel that’s unlike anything else I’ve seen of late. In a sea of sameness, CINEMA SEWER certainly rises to the top.


CULT CUTS #2, #3 ($6 from 13742 12th Ave SW, Suite 94, Seattle, WA 98166. 82 pages, magazine size, color cover, newsprint insides. Visit cultcuts.net) Our final filmic find this issue is CULT CUTS, a review and interview genre film mag that is a worthwhile addition to a growing cinema zine movement that already includes such fine publications as SHOCK CINEMA, PSYCHOTRONIC, SLEAZOID EXPRESS and the mags reviewed above.

Though some of the reviews and articles need a stronger editorial hand, the writers aren’t afraid to express their opinions, which makes a big difference in my book. However, it’s the interviews that really make CC worthwhile. The issues I’ve gotten my hands on have featured chats with such genre stars as Ken Foree (DAWN OF THE DEAD), Jeffrey Combs (RE-ANIMATOR), Tom Savini (I don’t have to tell you, do I?), Rob Zombie (HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES), Ted V. Mikels (ASTRO-ZOMBIES) and a great two-part chat with the legendary Stuart Gordon.


Ellen Adams

5025 Thacher Rd., Ojai, CA 93023



I’m Ellen, and I just finished #9 of my zine SEPTEMBER COMING SOON.  It’s a buck, trade or a nice long letter from you.  In addition, I run a zine library in Ojai and would gladly accept donations of any kind, be it comic, zine, or otherwise.


FUZZY LUNCH BOX #6 30 pp/$1 & 2 stamps elsewhere US/$2 elsewhere/maybe trades/Laura & Deborah Nadel/309 Cedar St. #34/Santa Cruz, CA 95060/


Zinesters Deborah and Laura are twin sisters writing about pretty much whatever they feel like.  There’s a bit about going back to college, a reprinted unsent refound letter, fiction (?) about an outcast seventh grader in PE class, taking hormones to stop menstruating, an e-mail forward about hangovers and a rant about being tall.  Ranting weaves its way into most of these articles, but usually with a sense of humor, sometimes smart alecky, sometimes understated.  In between the pages of a basic block text layout, quirky cut and paste from magazines can be found, which though funny, borders on filler.  All in all, an amusing zine from an unusually dual perspective.


CLAMOR #24 64 pp/$4.50(US), $6 (Can.) Subs $18(US), $25 (Can.)./ PO Box 20128/Toledo OH 43610

A very people-positive mag, CLAMOR offers write ups on DIY fashion labels, activist muralists, anti-racist actions, prisoner art, a rockin’ article on free jazz, and all the while life in the proverbial passive voice, placing more emphasis on what we can do, rather than what is not being done.  Not only that, but the folks at CLAMOR do it in a way as equally professional as it is accessible.  A fantastic art selection and layout complements a wide array of perceptive, eloquent, damn good writing..  Even the ads are cool! Definitely worth checking out.  (Plus it comes with a free stencil to help you get to work beautifying your own neighborhood.)  Yeah Clamor, yeah!


MY LIFE AS A LIAR #1/$2 US, $3.50 Can/Mex, $5 elsewhere/maybe trades/Gaby Moss/PO Box 309/ Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276-0309

When I got the package of zines to review from Davida I was on my way to lunch, and when I got there I lay them all out on the table and my friend Toby picked this one up and started reading it to me.  Soon enough we forgot about lunch just to sit and dig this zine.  MY LIFE AS A LIAR proved to be a joint zine made up of lines of typewritten words with comics running in and out and between them.  Gaby gives accounts that are sometimes hilariously sad and sometimes sadly hilarious but ultimately just honest and true of unwanted tennis lessons, the unspoken downsides to being a gifted child (something I’d never thought about before), an anticlimactic school trip to Canada, and getting busted for kicking a boy who deserved it.  Her stories leave lots of open and unanswered questions, blanks that Caitlin fills in with humorous, edgy but also affecting comics and drawings.  What a zine.
RRRL GIRLZ Summer 2003/$2/PO Box 3466/Eugene, OR 97403

Ha!  This zine is great!  These rural rockin chicks are self-proclaimed “mad farmers, hip gardeners, and country living gals who want to recruit.”  Enviro savvy and pro-dirt (not to mention hilarious), contributors write about the perks of hanging your laundry out on a line (“Cute undies hung out at the right time could catch the eye of that special farm boy and/or girl.”), a Mad Farmer manifesto (“Be joyful though you have considered all the facts…Give your approval to all you cannot understand”), some politics, some poetry, some composting, and a poem called “Tractor Tramp.” Original and way fun, RRRL GIRLZ is a great read for the mad farmer girl in us all.


BRAINSCAN #20/$2 & 2 stamps/Alex Wrekk/PO Box 14332/Portland, OR 97293

Here we have a hefty perzine with engaging typewriter-oriented layout, lots of pages, and lots of good words of memories.  My favorite piece was halfway through (which means page 32), called Making Boundaries, where Alex writes about the imbalance of not having room for a girl you just can’t seem to forget.  She laces a recount of a chance encounter with this girl with split up memories of how they became friends and how their friendship ended, with money owed and hearts broken and a reluctant foot still in the door.  She writes, too, in a piece called “Dear Utah,” of how her first home defines her, even after she’s moved somewhere else and tried to move on.  BRAINSCAN is a really beautiful zine.


WENDY MAGAZINE #4/$1, no trades/wendymagazine@yahoo.com

A zine that seems to be made more for the editors’ amusement than the reader’s getting it, WM is made up of a random (with emphasis here on the random) assortment of articles that all turn out to be gags.  With plenty of drug and bodily function references, warped cut and paste ads and an “article” on Michael Jackson killer, there’s a lot to muse through,in addition to some weird and funny comics.  A good zine to read when you need a break from the more serious side of zineing.

OFF-LINE  64 pp/“free, like all things should be” but donations are accepted/Clare E. Cocco and Vincent J. Romano/35 Barker Ave. #4G/White Plains, NY 10601

For someone who likes pictures and fancy fonts, this zine is Times New Roman text-heavy.  But it’s got some cool vegan recipes—cranberry corn muffins, tofu omelets—which gives you an idea of what the editors are eating, and if you are what you eat, I’d guess that these folks are leading pretty green and conscious lives.  Well, I think I guessed right.  Starting the zine off with a Jean-Paul Sartre quotation and then jumping into a critique of Memorial Day, this zine focuses on the hot and heavy of war, violence, peace, not paying your taxes, and politics, politics, politics.  Granted, I get antsy and have to go climb a tree or something when it comes to reading any zine over 30 pages, but OFF-LINE is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the sedentary time needed of the reader.  Definitely not a read-it-all-in-one-sitting kind of zine.  The writing is all quality and heartfelt, but maybe just a little more up your alley than it is mine.


Fred Argoff

1800 Ocean Pkwy. #F-10

Brooklyn, NY 11223



Well, look at this, wouldja? I’m sitting here in my apartment, minding my own business, and this package arrives, full of zines for reviewing. How time flies! It seems like only yesterday when I was banging out reviews for XD13. Oh, well, nothing is going to get done if I hang around chatting idly, so let’s see what was in the bulky envelope this time around, shall we? As always, compliments, comments and violent disagreements can always be sent my way, should you feel inspired.


Here’s Last Laugh/Quiet Days in Saint-Denis, a collaborative effort between Bill Blackolive and Lisa Falour. Once upon a time, I wasn’t sure how I felt about perzines. But now I’m decided: I think they’re fascinating. So many people complain that their lives are boring, uninteresting. But if they put it in writing, it’s like you’re standing by a window looking at some positively riveting scenery. Try as you might, you just can’t walk away. And if you can think of something better to say about a zine like this, I’d be interested to hear what it is. Run quickly to rustle up $5 (it’s a fairly hefty work) and send it to Bill Blackolive, 1776 N. McCampbell, Aransas Pass, TX 78336.


So here we have Andrew Mall, writing essays over time, and one day he decided to put them together in one place, creating a zine he’s titled Living Proof. Mass media (uh-oh; there might be trouble on the horizon!), personal belief systems, a little photography and the first chapter of a personal novella. Not only did I enjoy the writing, but his typography leading off each piece is interesting, too. Quarter-letter size, so you can put it in your shirt pocket for easy transport, $3 postpaid from Andrew at P.O. Box 14211, Chicago, IL 60614.


As noted right at the beginning of this zine, loss comes in many forms. And we all experience it—show me a person who claims never to have dealt with any kind of loss, and I’ll show you a liar. So here’s Loss, a collection of pieces by various people, all on that theme. It has the potential to make you sad, but it also has the potential to give you strength when you have to live with or through a loss of your own. OK, I confess that my favorite piece in the zine was the one written by a 6th grader, about a lost glove that she needs back, ASAP. Just $2 from Julie Dorn, P.O. Box 438, Avondale Estates, GA 30002.


What’s this? Zine World. Come on, Davida, are you kidding? What hat did you pull my name out of, asking me to review the current Bible of zinedom? Well, all right. Let’s give it a shot..

        When Factsheet 5 was around, it became popular to take potshots at it, complaining about everything from bias among the reviewers to commercialism. Then Seth Friedman couldn’t handle it anymore, and the whole project went bye-bye. Complain, complain, complain, and see what all those complainers got? No central source for the whole zine community. As the old song says, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

        Thank heavens someone like Jerianne walks among us. Through sheer dedication, she’s turned Zine World into the center of the zine world. The banner of free speech gets waved here, and, well, there are more zine reviews than you can shake a stick at. If anyone was to ask me, I’d say that I don’t think they’re biased at all, though it probably won’t be long until the complainers ooze out from beneath their rocks once again. When they do, I will volunteer to help Jerianne squash them.

        Meanwhile, what are you ? Or, as I should say as a native-born Brooklynite, waddaya waitin’ faw? Take $4, put it in an envelope, and send away for your copy of the current issue. I mean, NOW! Zine World, P.O. Box 330156, Murfreesboro, TN 37133.


Finally out of me this time we have Watching the Wars, a little poetry chapbook by Franetta McMillian. Normally, I’m not much for poetry zines, chapbooks, whatever. But as it happened, I enjoyed this quite a bit. Maybe because it’s so topical, what with the situation in Iraq looking more and more like a replay of Vietnam every day. But let me climb down off my soapbox, and note that $2 lands you a copy of this well-printed little project:Franetta, PMB 170, 40 E Main St, Newark DE  19711



Julie Dorn

P.O. Box 438

Avondale Estates, GA 30002



Julie is currently experiencing mild reverse culture shock after her final move from Ghana to the U.S.A.   Though she will miss the palm trees and the relaxed version of herself that existed in the tropical country, she’s happy to return to the land of permanent addresses, mail, strawberries, sweet corn, lilacs and good tap beer.  You can get her infrequently printed zine, Junie in Georgia, for $2 at P.O. Box 438, Avondale Estates, GA 30002.


MUSEA #131 

4000 Hawthorne #5, Dallas, TX 75219

8 pp. Free.

From what I can gather from the website, Musea is a zine for art and the art revolution.  It supports independent artists outside of the corporate world and offers a venue for artists to show their work and seek reviews from other artists.  They guarantee feedback of every conceivable field of music, art, writing, film, etc.  However in this particular issue, the zine consists of a regularly featured collection of monthly art questions (44 of them in all.)  While there’s not much to it, I did enjoy reading all the tough trivia.



3510 SE Alder Street, Portland, OR 97214

28 pp. $2

I love this zine.  It’s actually one of my favorites, and truth be told, this is the best issue I’ve ever read.  There are times when motherhood scares me.  I can’t really believe that I’ll wake up one day and miraculously enjoy talking for hours about diapers, the Baby Gap and just how cute my baby is when he/she spits up all over him/herself.  I yearn for realistic, artistic, interesting moms who don’t jettison their entire identities in the name of all things Baby.  That’s why Kate rocks my world.  She’s not only the kind of mom I want to be one day, but she’s also a cool lady and someone I’d love to have as a friend.  In this installment, Kate talks about her experiences at the PDX Zine Symposium, her wonderful and poignant story of how she wanted a girl (I cried), the fun discovery of a pirate band and the usual features of the Motel of Lost Companions, tasty recipes and book reviews.  Even if you don’t want to be a mother, I would highly recommend Miranda.  Kate is funny, sassy and produces a great zine.  (Note:  Kate is not sure when and if another issue will be made after this one, but back issues are available.)



PO Box 190-L, Philomath, OR 97370

20 pp., $1

        Well, let’s see.  This zine is pretty much self-explanatory.  If you live somewhere other than a house, this is the zine for you.  Wanna move into a tool shed?  Find alternative sources of energy, clothing, fuel or food?  Order DP.  The beginning looks a lot like a message board with random short postings from people sharing knowledge of free food, floating islands made from plastic bottles, crossing the Mexican border, herding horses and milk goats through the Idaho mountains and other related topics.  My favorite quote:  “Imagine there is a bizarre shopping mall that will admit you only if you wear medieval armor or nuns garb, and agree to bow low if you encounter the mall king.  I might go there for something I esp wanted and couldn’t easily get elsewhere or make.  But I would not go often or stay long.  That is how I regard ‘conventional’ society.” 

        For someone like me, who enjoys dwelling in a house in the city, DP is more of a glimpse into an alternate lifestyle than a zine I’d like to get on a regular basis.  However, even though I’ll never reuse dried-up markers by dipping them into ink or sell all my stuff so I can fit into a tent, there are a few nuggets of ecological/ethical information to help fight the overwhelming power of blind consumption and waste.


PO Box 3024, Hoboken, NJ 07030, 60 pp., $2

What can I possibly say about this zine that hasn’t already been said?  If you’ve ever worked in an office and were stunned at the stupidity of your co-workers, you will love this zine.  If you’ve ever drunk too damn much too damn often, you will love this zine.  If you’ve ever recognized that the world is populated with assholes, including yourself, then you will love this zine.  This issue’s topic is ads, but only on a sort of perfunctory level.  The main attraction is the random but compelling mixture of skewed advice, grandiose drunken tales and Jeff’s sardonic spin on young urban semi-professional life.  Highlights include a hilarious hiking adventure in “Don’t be Eaten by Bears,” praise for city living, a Guide to Hangovers and my favorite—Part II of the “Book of Days,” a haunting, authentic ghost story.  If you’ve never read this zine, do it.  Do it, dammit!   It’s for your own good!



Fred Argoff, 1800 Ocean Parkway #F10, Brooklyn, NY 11223-3036, 24 pp., $2?

It’s really entertaining to read this zine and share just a little bit of Fred’s enthusiastic pride about all things Brooklyn.  Photos, historical trivia, lexicon and pronunciation guides, bad driving stories...there’s something for everyone.  As someone who’s always dreamed of living in New York but knows I’ll probably never actually move there, it’s fun to live vicariously through Fred and pretend that this complex, wonderful city is my home too.  He’s a dedicated soul, and as a reader I can tell how much research he does to find out more information about the city.  So if you’ve ever wondered about the bridges in Brooklyn or wanted to vent about those damn snooty Manhattanites, this zine won’t disappoint.



Roxanne Carter, kore@lip-gloss.org or http://persephassa.com, 40 pp., $6 in the U.S., $8 world

This prose poem/novella is seemingly inspired by two quotes:  “Our love of each other was like two long shadows kissing without hope of reality,” by Anais Nin and “At the tea-table she reins omnipotent, unapproachable.  What do men know of the mysterious beverage?  How clumsily the wretched creatures attempt to assist the witch-president of the tea-tray; how hopelessly they hold the kettle, how continually they imperil the frail cups & saucers, or the taper hands of the priestess.  To do away with the tea-table is to rob women of her legitimate empire,” by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. 

        Like most fine poetry, I can understand it on an intuitive level, but I’ll be damned if I can find words to explain it to others.  Let me try, since that’s the point of my review here, isn’t it?  The Tea Party is a sensual, beautiful, slightly confusing collection of 27 short chapters weaving the tale of three tea sisters—Mary, Chelsea and Alba—and their swooning friendship, devilish and heartbreaking boys, perfect love, cats and gardens.  It holds such imagery as “when he attempted...her skirt swallowed her up overwhelmed her so she vanished in its folds yards of taffeta suckling her skin her lips dripping kisses she knits her fingers together in consternation in constellations she catches him in her mathematics.”  A definite splurge in terms of money...it’s hard for me to justify any zine that costs this much.  But if you’re in the mood for something different and flouncy, this just might be worth the dough.



Pixie, 508 Whispering Oaks, Moore, OK 73160, 84 pp., $2

There are many things I discovered too late.  Had I found them earlier, I believe they would have shaped me into a totally different person than I am now.  The list goes on and on—from music (Fugazi, The Smiths, PJ Harvey) to authors (Edward Gorey, Adrienne Rich, J.R.R. Tolkien) to lifestyle choices (feminism, activism, vegetarianism.)   Most of all, I wish I would have stepped into the world of zines ten years sooner.  The first time I saw a zine was my junior year in college when my friend, Erik Moe, made one.  However, I didn’t actually understand zines until five years later when I saw the East Village Inky and felt inspired to create one of my own.  It’s one of those things that I can’t prove, but I know in my heart that had I been a zinester during those turbulent days before college, I could have not only worked through a lot of personal crap, but I would have felt connected to a community outside of my suffocatingly small Wisconsin town and that alone would have fundamentally changed my viewpoint of the world. 

        For this reason, I have a lot of patience for high school zines.  I’m particularly forgiving of the ones with the usual cut and paste blocks over obscure photos, angst filled poetry, the self-exploration/self-doubt see-saw and the exuberant use of exclamation points.  For the most part, The Dead Bell is much better than most.  Pixie’s young, but writes well.  Her topics are scattered, but they’re heartfelt and thought provoking.  And she’s way more sophisticated than I EVER was in high school about the media, female empowerment and the transient nature of being a teenager.   Inspired by the Sylvia Plath poem, “Death & Co.,” the zine covers a lot of territory - e-mail spoofs, flunking her driver’s test, why she loves Hanson, Madlibs, a Tool concert, her father’s death and its aftermath, recipes, school complaints, personal fav lists, the battle against conformity, comics, self-defense techniques, sexual assault, crafts, a fascination with death, eating disorders, tattoos and lots of other random tidbits.  My complaints are pretty common for the genre:  she references people (usually close friends, I assume) with no context or description, she doesn’t attribute the photos/artwork serving as the background behind her typing, and some pages are so visually busy that it’s hard to read.  But by and large, I really liked this zine and look forward to seeing the next issue. 


Eric Lyden

224 Moraine St., Brockton MA 02301



Howdy there, Debt heads. (Yes, I’m going to keep using this term until it catches on) How are things? I’m not doing too well. My car went ka-blooey on me so I had to get a new one which pretty much drained my savings so now I’m back to being more or less broke which is a very depressing state to be in. But you don’t care about any of that, do you? You just want to read my opinions on various zines, so I’ll get right to it.



Quick word of warning about this zine- it’s not a good idea to read this while on break at work. Because while you’re reading the boss may walk in the room “What are you reading and why are there penises on the cover?” and ... look, there’s just no good way to explain to your boss why you’re reading strange little magazines with dicks on the cover. (Then again, I also got weird looks for reading Naked by David Sedaris at work. Apparently the very idea of a book with the title Naked is shocking to some people. I think maybe I work with stupid people...) As they say in the intro to the first issue, “the purpose of this zine is to discuss sex as the everyday Joe has it. Please pardon our brash bluntness about the subject.” And this zine is quite blunt, but it’s also very funny. It’s certainly not for everyone, but I’m pretty sure you know whether or not you’re the type of person who would enjoy a funny zine about sex. This zine features Fun Sex Facts (such as how the Prince Albert piercing got it’s name), Bizarre Sex Laws (where if nothing else you’ll learn why Merryville, MS is so aptly named) Sex News Stories (a disturbing number of which feature dudes hacking off their willies) porno movie reviews, sex tips and more. At 20 pages, I wish each issue were longer, but if that’s my main complaint I guess the authors of this zine are doing OK for themselves. If you only want to try one issue I would start with #2 because it’s slightly funnier, but I think you oughta just bite the bullet and get both of ‘em.

Send $2 each and an age statement saying you’re over 18 to Dusty and Misty, PO Box 2142, Madison, WI 53701-2142; madwizpunk42@hotmail.com


MODEST PROPOSAL #4 This wasn’t in my stack that Davida sent me, but I’m gonna review it anyway. For some odd reason my latest obsession has been stand up comedy. I’m not sure where it started or how it happened and it’ll probably fade away as quickly as it came, but for now I’m all about the stand-up and as such a zine that features many interviews with stand-up comedians and features reviews of comedy CDs and has other comedy related features is right up my alley. And if you’re a fan of comedy it might be right up your alley as well. Like anything that tries to be funny a few bits just fall flat (“My Friend Ernest” and “Tent City Jail - A Case Study” Neither piece is the least bit funny, but at least they’re both pretty short). This issue also features entertaining interviews with Bob Odenkirk (who, by the way, is just too funny and talented to be doing those fucking beer commercials he’s doing. But I guess the poor bastard needs the money) Lewis Black, Patton Oswalt, Paul Krassner, the former bass player for Trik Turner (which believe it or not is one of the zine’s highlights) a few folks you’ll recognize if you watch a lot of Comedy Central and a couple people I’ve never heard of in my life. It also features some other funny features, but I’d hate to do a second laundry list just after I did the last one. I could just combine it all into one long laundry list, but that would be overdoing it... see, kids, don’t ever let anyone tell you that reviewing zines is an easy gig. Anyhow, this is a funny zine. I liked it and you should order it, unless you have no sense of humor.

Send $3 to Modest Proposal, PO Box 3211, Tempe, AZ 85280




URBAN HERMITT #18 Another one not in my stack, but I think it’s one worth mentioning every few issues or so just because it’s just such an awesome fucking zine. This issues features Hermitt’s adventures on tour with the Scottish Oi! band on some sort of benefit tour to “save the monkeys.” To tell the truth, I haven’t finished reading it yet as it’s well over 100 handwritten pages, but I’m about 2/3 of the way into it and it really is entertaining as all hell. And it even features a cameo by Aaron Cometbus which just goes to further prove my theory that Cometbus is the axis which all of zinedom revolves around. (actually, it might not be Aaron Cometbus- he’s referred to simply as “my zine hero” but I’m pretty sure it’s him) Urban Hermitt is one of my longtime faves.

Send $3 to Urban Hermitt PO Box 460412 San Francisco CA 94146


The Comics of Yul Tolbert - One adjective you always have to use when discussing Yul’s comics is “interesting.” Some, like PEOPLE TEND TO REMEMBER THEIR DREAMS WHEN THEY WAKE UP DURING THE REM STAGE OF SLEEP, will cause you to say “Oh, he’s doing one panel cartoons to describe the dreams he had. That’s pretty interesting.” while some, like ARE WE ON MARS YET? will cause you to say “Oh,  he’s using the characters of Daria and Jane from the MTV show Daria to explain how and why we should make a manned space flight to Mars. That sure is...interesting.” And then you have WHINO THE WHINY CAT #2.

WHINO #1 was a cute little gag about a cat who just whines all day, but #2 features a fight Yul got into on some message board using the Whino persona which leads into a piece with Whino is a space defending the Earth Alliance from the Minbari Federation, a strip featuring Brant Hekelstone - Master Cynic, a strip explaining how time travel “really” works and, of course, a page of Whino discussing human cloning. After reading his comics (and also due to his frequent appearances in the letter column of  ZINE WORLD) I can’t help but think that maybe ol’ Yul is something of a tinfoil hat wearing crackpot, but I have to admit that there’s something about his comics that I find compelling. The guy has a point of view about the world and isn’t afraid to express it no matter what people may think and that counts for something in my book. Just send Yul a few bucks (or maybe a trade) and order some comics from him. I’m sure what he’ll send in return, but I’m sure it’ll be interesting on some level.

Yul Tolbert, PO Box 02222, Detroit, MI 48202





KIMO SABE is a new zine from Marc Parker who used to do AZMACOURT. This zine is pretty much a journal of what happened to Marc and what Marc did from 2/15/04 to 3/14/04. There’s some entertaining stuff in here, but the problem is that he didn’t edit the boring stuff out. I guess maybe that’s the whole idea of the zine - just do a straightforward journal of what happened, warts and all, but... OK, free writing tip for all you kids out there - if you’re ever writing and you find yourself listing what you watched on TV that night you really need to do a little editing because nobody really cares. For that matter, if you find yourself mentioning any TV show more than five times you really need to just edit out all the mentions because it makes you look a tad obsessed and I don’t think you want your readers thinking you’re obsessed with “The O.C.” This isn’t a bad zine. It’s actually pretty good, but it would’ve been a lot better if Marc would’ve expanded on the interesting parts and cut out the boring parts.

Send $1 to Marc Parker, 2000 NE 42 Ave #221, Portland, OR 97213 (Holy cow, a zine person living in Portland, OR! Now I’ve seen it all.)

www.zinethug.com (by the way, zinethug is a pretty good zine review website. It’s not updated too often, but it’s still worth checking out...)



This is basically a program for a museum exhibit on comics that took place in Baltimore, MD. Its purpose is pretty much just to promote the exhibit, but there are still several original strips, mostly based upon both how and why the exhibit came to be or just based on the comic medium in general. For something that’s essentially an infomercial it’s really pretty damn interesting and informative. Worth checking out if you’re either interested in comics or are interested in learning about comics. For ordering info I guess you can go to http://www.mica.edu/comics


PO Box 2235, Fredericksburg, TX 78624




Rick Bradford writes and gathers news and reviews about zines, comics and other good stuff at Poopsheet, which may be found online at http://poopsheet.blogspot.com but will have its own domain very soon. Pathetic and lonely, he often checks his mail at PO Box 2235, Fredericksburg, TX 78624 USA. Just released: a mini-zine of silly poetry written by Ricko and illustrated by Jim Siergey. 50¢ or a couple of stamps. Thanks for reading.


CABOOSE #4: The Ridiculous Issue

($1.00 from Liz Mason / PO Box 476802 / Chicago, IL / 60647 USA. E-mail: lizsaidel@prontomail.com)

Liz Mason, I’m pleased to report, is an entertaining writer. This is the second CABOOSE I’ve read and both were a lot of fun. Perhaps my favorite piece in this one is an article entitled “If You Are Nice Maybe I Will Do THE DANCE For You”, in which the author proudly discusses the routine that begins with “I can do my dance to this!” and the workout videos that spawned THE DANCE. Her enthusiasm is so great and her observations so amusing that I truly wish I could go to Chicago just to see THE DANCE. In fact, I’d pay good money for just a video of it. THE DANCE has me in its grip and I’ve never even seen it.

Some other things I really enjoyed include Liz’s recollections of working at a renaissance faire, the karaoke update (partly because it’s such a bizarre otherworld to me), abandoned tattoo ideas and her kiddie porn (uh, that is, naughty drawings she did as a kid). There’s a lot of funny stuff here – more than I’ve mentioned – and a buck for this is a steal. Go check it out for yourself.



($2.00/£1.00 from Hobnail Press / PO Box 44122 / London SW6 7XJ / ENGLAND)        The tone of HOBNAIL REVIEW, “A Guide to Small Press & Alternative Publishing,” is quite similar to that of Violet Jones’ THE FREE PRESS DEATH SHIP (In fact, a couple of articles on mail art are reprinted from the latest DEATH SHIP) – and I mean that in a good way. There aren’t quite as many reviews/plugs but I suspect that section will grow. It’s still impressive, however, and is certainly doing well at promoting fringe culture in addition to the usual suspects (politics, lit, etc.). Reproduced in this issue are several zine excerpts, including an interesting one regarding Microsoft (a plea to consider alternatives). Also included: an article on the dilemma of small publishers, the aforementioned mail art introductions and bits of relevant news. If you miss the diversity of FACTSHEET 5 (R.I.P.) you should check this out.


MOPY #11

($1.50 US/$2.00 NZ from Moonrocket Distro [http://www.moonrocket.co.nz/] or Darren Schroeder / PO Box 1961 / Christchurch Mail Centre / Christchurch 8015 / NEW ZEALAND. Web:


After editing the New Zealand anthology FUNTIME COMICS for several years, Darren Schroeder decided it was time to start making his own comics and MOPY is the result. Although the drawings are somewhat crude and simplistic there’s much to recommend in the writing. Don’t get me wrong; the artwork does the job and it shows that the artist has studied the form. For example, the first piece in this issue, a one-pager, juxtaposes narration that must surely be by someone who’s been put in a nursing home with visuals depicting the growth and removal of a tree from a yard, it’s lifelong home. The text and images have nothing to do with one another, yet they do. This, by the way, is my favorite strip in the issue.

My second favorite is a two-page autobio bit about running into a “lost love” in a train station, the woman represented by Venus de Milo. It’s charmingly effective even if it is slightly over-romanticized.

From having read a couple of previous issues I know that I haven’t much cared for the previous “Stand-Up” strips as they’ve simply been vehicles for corny one-liners. I was pleased, however, to find that this issue’s stand-up routine is interrupted for an actual story. What does a bad comedian do when he’s finally told he’s not funny and shown the door?

I enjoyed this. I think Darren’s up for trading comics, too, so I’d encourage you to drop him a line and check these out.



(PO Box 348 / Flemington, Victoria 3031 / AUSTRALIA. E-mail: silentarmy@comic.com. I believe this is available in the States from Top Shelf: www.topshelfcomix.com)

If you’re curious about the comix scene in and around Australia, a good place to start looking is this issue of the PURE EVIL anthology. There’s lots of good stuff in here, a bit of it by familiar names but most of these cartoonists will be new to anyone abroad. None of the pieces are too terribly long (none over six pages) so it’s a nice showcase for a large number of artists. Some of the work that really stands out for me: the “City of Tales” comic by the Oats Comics guys, Stefan Neville and Clayton Noone; a creepy dream by Neale Blanden (at least, I hope it was a dream); “I’d Like to Give My Dog to Uncle Sam”, a hilarious (er, I mean “patriotic”) WWII song illustrated by Susan Butcher and Carol Wood; Nicki Greenberg’s “Bug” in which the heroine romances a toaster; Kieran Mangan’s disturbing pet story (it’s a cat-sized beetle, for cryin’ out loud); Antom Emdin’s lovely one-pager (as always, wish there were more!); “Punkin Moon” (by Lachlan Conn, I think, and reminiscent of Mat Brinkman); and David Nichols’ “Evil Empire”, a bizarre mix of personal lives and surreal advertising.        But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s other nice stuff by Peter Savieri, Ben Hutchings, Mandy Ord, Glenn Smith, Nick Potter, Q-Ray and still others. Along with the late, great SICK PUPPY/ATOMISER, this is one of the best anthologies I’ve seen out of Australia.

For more info on many of the contributors, check out this page at the Quickdraw site: http://www.qdcomic.com/pureevil.



(Becky Strom: artgrrl28@hotmail.com)

This is kind of a cross between diary comics and sketchbook doodles about Becky’s trips to New York City. She hangs with friends, rides the subway, goes to art exhibits, attends a NON signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe and other imaginable stops in NYC. There are a few sequential strips in here but mostly it’s scene, scene, scene – which is fine with me. I like travel comics, especially when the artist actually draws the places they visit. It provides a pleasant, vicarious experience and now I want to go to NYC.



(PO Box 434 / San Marcos, TX / 78667 USA. E-mail: propergander@sanmarcos.net)

Every town should have a cool free paper like PROPER GANDER. In fact, every town should have several! My favorite bits in this collection of anticomics are Richard Visick’s strange comic about being hassled in the john, Andrew Schoultz’s energetic illustration of a propellor-powered birdhouse and Chris Cilla’s one-page commentary on the war in Iraq. There’s other stuff to recommend, too, including work by Marcel Herms, Claudio Parentela, Grady Roper, Andrew Goldfarb, Kathleen Lolley and others, plus a few zine and record reviews to round everything out.


Gaynor Taylor

PO Box 380431. Cambridge, MA 02238



Caryatid Rises – Hope

A collaborative zine with poet Marilou Awiakta. Women, writing, hope.

$3 – e-mail for trades


Just as my batch of zines arrived I received a ‘notice to quit’ letter from my landlady. Finding somewhere in this insanely rent-bloated city that would take in my family has swallowed up a whole month of my life. I nearly had to go back on my commitment to XD but I’m glad I stayed up at nights reading.  I thoroughly enjoyed these zines, even though I was a one-woman tough crowd this month. 



        In this. the “DIY edition”, Randie sets about providing copious tips and pointers for making your own media. On the cover she declares that “mainstream media may be injurious to health,” and living in a nation that spawned a cultural monstrosity like The Swan I say “Amen”.  She gets advice from   seasoned alternative media creators like Amy Schroder of Venus Magazine and What’s Up Magazine’s Jesse Post. They give out energizing counsel, hopefully enough to inspire even the most timid would be ziner to get going.( And even if it’s not, she gives a final exhortation to give it a try in a short “op-ed” on the last page.) Randie also touches on other expressive media - rock and film. I have to say I am hooked on the idea of creating my own drive in movie theatre. Great idea. She also lists some films that are a healthy antidote to Hollywood’s shop dummy presentation of women, and personally I can’t say good enough about Whale Rider, Notorious C.H.O. or Bend it Like Beckham.

        There were two comments about how “’real’ women really do have curves” and actress Jamie Lee Curtis “showing the world what a 40 year old woman really looks like” that elicited a clenched jaw response.  I know what Randie was trying to say here – that it’s refreshing to see different shapes of women on screen for once - but the comments really struck a nerve.   I feel compelled to make the point that every woman is a “real” woman - fat, thin, plump, buff, butch, curvaceous, rangy or voluptuous - and we can’t break the stranglehold mainstream media have on women’s self esteem by inadvertently creating new ghettos of “real” womanhood ourselves.  At 40, I feel depressed by the idea that looking my age apparently means I am supposed to become bland, my appearance devoid of creativity, or sexuality. Maybe I don’t have purple hair anymore, but a soccer mom I will never be. Jamie Lee Curtis rocks for many reasons, but she is no more representative of all 40-year-old women than Britney Spears is of all 20 something women.

        Ruffled feathers aside, I am completely positive about this zine. It’s sharp, well put together and filled with helpful resources. The writing is articulate, and its mission clear and focused.

37 Home St., Malden, MA 02148





        I thought the title was really appropriate for a parenting zine – so much of Punk was about throwing yourself in, giving it a try, and learning on the hop. That just about sums up what it’s like being a new parent. I really wanted to like this zine but I found it a bit limp, and I struggled to read the handwritten pages. Gabriel seems like a good bloke, but little of his writing stayed with me, I hardly got any sense of him, beyond his obvious pride in his family. He mentions that he is Christian, has anarchist leanings but none of the why or wherefore. It seems lightly conversational, the kind of chatter you might have on a station platform. I wanted to know much more about him, about being a dad, what it means to him, what his ideas are about raising his children, how he divides the parenting with his wife, if he has had to undergo any kind of changes, culture shock and so on. It’s a first issue, and I get the sense that this zine is testing the water before the big plunge.

19251/2 7th Avenue, Greeley CO 80631



Clamor describes itself as “diverse coverage of politics, culture, people, media, economics and sex and gender”, and I can’t put it any better. This issue is devoted to many interpretations of the theme, “ Faith – how the world makes it through the day”. It’s not a primer for meditation or ethical living – one aspect of the diverse and bold coverage is that you get a very mixed bag indeed. Some articles like the interview with poet Saul Williams, or Chris Crass’ “Colours of Resistance” profile, are vibrant and illuminating, some are very informative but a tad stodgy like the essays on organized labor and the lack of attention white activists pay to activists of color, and one or two articles are tiresome, self congratulatory cant. From my list of favorites there is a well-written article spotlighting the peddling of sectarian violence in India. The mind-numbing brutality perpetrated by Hindus and Muslims against each other gets a lot less press these days than the rosy “India.com” articles, yet there should be international outrage. I liked j-love’s verbatim conversation about faith with friends. Neal Ungerleider’s essay about the near derelict theme park devoted to the Bible – “Holy Land USA- would have more than justified the cover price for me. The photos by James Saul give a tantalizing glimpse of High Kitsch. I will definitely have to make a journey down there to see this place for myself because the essay in its entirety is like one of those unsettling dreams you have where you wake up shaken and worry about the state of your mind.

        The zine is so beautifully presented I nearly died of envy. I’ve found myself spending idle moments dreaming about having the funds to print something so sleek.

Become the Media

P.O. Box 20128, Toledo, OH 43610





This zine will be difficult to put back in the review pile. I hugely enjoyed it. I can’t remember when I laughed so much at a zine other than East Village Inky. It invents the dialogue from a design production meeting at publishers Dorling Kindersley. These creative geniuses are responsible for the “dumbing down” of children the world over with paper waste like their pointless “Touch and Feel” books. The success of the zine’s shtick lies in the absolute plausibility of the dialogue. To best review it I have to let the zine speak for itself. I am squarely in editor #1’s corner. (Silky cushion squarely of course.)

E#1  What’s the gimmick for this one again?

E#2 You know, kids will get to feel the textures of shapes…you know, like circles and squares”.

E#1 “What texture does a circle have? I just don’t get this.”

E#3  Well how about we take a piece of basketball and call it a “bumpy orange”. That would be a circle.

E#1 Why not have a piece of basketball and call it a basketball?

E#2 Come on, you need to use your imagination.

I get so pissed at corporations who market crap to kids and BOP’s excellent parody inspires me to take a new tack and look for the humor and absurdity instead. 

ASKalice Art Exchange Net

PO Box 101, Newtown, PA 18940-0101 USA





        Much imitated but still unrivaled, EVI is consistently funny, clever and visually appealing. Much as I support mama-zines, I find myself wanting much more these days than breastfeeding yea or nay. EVI always inspires me to stay creative, not to collapse myself into my family. For me, Ayun Halliday demonstrates that the key to healthy parenting is in living a satisfying life. She writes, acts and parents in tandem, and nothing has to be sacrificed for the sake of the other.

        In this issue, one of her finest, Ayun deals with almost preternaturally tenacious head lice, the embarrassment of one’s child decanting pints of pee into a friend’s new bed and synchronized in-flight vomiting. She tells a wicked story, and it takes an uncommon gift to be able to render moments of parental hell in such a way that can make another parent simultaneously laugh out loud and curl their toes in sympathy. I conducted a quick straw poll of the mothers on Walden Pond beach this Friday and every one of this diverse bunch thought the zine was hilarious and was interested in procuring a copy.

        I roared with laughter at the cartoons of the angelic, flyaway-haired Milo committing acts of prolonged cruelty with an imaginary snake, or beaming whilst greeting people with “I’m gon’ kill you wit a Gun.” Before something similar happened to me, the No-Violent-Toys-Not-Ever-Mother, I was ‘somewhat judgmental’ about kids who did this. I’m worried about coming across as a completely crazed fan but I have so much admiration for Ayun for making potentially crow-eating moments so damn funny. If you are reading this and thinking “My child will never xyz” I respectfully suggest you invest in this zine and put it away for the inevitable day your throat aches from swallowing your pride whole. Even then – maybe precisely then – Ayun will make you laugh long and hard.

$2; PO Box 22754, Brooklyn, NY 11202

www.ayunhalliday.com/inky/index.html; inky@erols.com



        I love poetry but I’m a bit nervous of poetry zines since I’ve read some truly terrible ones. LR is the Volkswagen Beetle of poetry zines, however. It’s well designed, filled with quality, and it’s, er, small. The poems are insightful, touching, even witty. I particularly appreciated “Zen Review” which ends its mock submission guidelines with,

“Overstocked with poems about sore knees,

monkey minds and one-hands clapping”.

        At the risk of seeming crass, I think some of the zine’s success lies in its tiny format. The poems are short enough to slip in under the radar of poetry prejudice and hopefully pique an interest in new readers. One of the most emotive moments in reading this zine was seeing a photo of a tribute to the late poet Albert Huffstickler on a gas station sign. How beautiful to see a poet so universally loved. How rare.  Alongside the photo they print “The Plot,”

It’s about how

we lose ourselves

then find ourselves again


Lilliput Review is definitely on my list of “must buys”.

3 ½ x 4 ¼; $1 each or SASE + 2 stamps

Don Wentworth

282 Main St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201



Fertile Ground is one of the most thought-provoking mama-zines out there. Parenting can bury you under an avalanche of conflicting emotions. Writing about this often deteriorates into cloying sweetness or ugly self-righteousness. FG sidesteps a lot of these pitfalls, favoring instead wry work like Andria Brown’s essay on surreptitiously finding out her unborn child’s sex and struggling not to blurt it out to her husband, or Traci Burn’s writing about the family rituals that connect mothers past, present and future. I was totally gripped by Vanessa Ross’ first hand account of her San Francisco City Hall marriage to her wife. She really captured the excitement, the optimism and the “stand up and be counted” activism of the month long wedding spree.

The thing about “thought-provoking” is that some of the thoughts are negative. I absolutely loathed an essay about a scheduled caesarian section.  We all know that c-section is scandalously overused in the US just we know, at the same time, millions of women and newborns are saved by this surgical procedure worldwide. My problem with the essay was that it was such a sorry piece of self-justification. That the medical profession could so effectively sell a scheduled c-section to an intelligent woman on its convenience factor shows how tragically out of kilter obstetric practice has become.  What a depressing, unwitting social commentary that this particular mother has worked out that having a scheduled c-section will guarantee her her full precious 12 weeks at home with her newborn whereas labor, and an unpredictable due date, will not. I totally support her right to speak about her decision just as I insist on my own right to be appalled.

2084 Court Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104




I write for Motherload so it feels a bit compromising to review it. Perhaps I should tell you why I write for it and that can be my review. Motherload doesn’t strike any poses. It’s not trying to be hip (although it is), doesn’t set out to re-educate you, or mold you into any kind of parent. It’s a zine that puts a lot of energy into creating something not just entertaining but visually beautiful. Its creator, Elizabeth is multi-talented – a photographer, singer-songwriter, writer, mother. I feel the same way about her work as I do about Ayun Halliday’s, that it inspires me to keep going, to keep all my plates spinning at once even though I may have to invest an enormous amount of energy in doing so. Motherload has beautiful photographs, good poetry, essays on hope and on trying to pass on cherished values to a child.

Digest, $2?

Box 51404, Eugene, OR 97405



Bobby Tran Dale

3542 Fruitvale Ave.PMB #141

Oakland, CA 94602-2327



SWEET HOLY CHEESES! How cool to be back with a chance to chop it up about more comix & zine creations from the small press. It’s no secret that my preference is to check out comix publications, so pass the word onto others or send them on in to the Davidatrix and you might get a chance for review…if you’re good. In the screamtime, here are the reviews. And remember, kids, if you’re having a zinely crisis, ask yourself: What would Satan do? That said, it’s time to rock:


UnNihilistic #1 Jan/Feb 2004

32 pp Digest; Price: $1 (May Trade: Contact first)

Kieran O’Hare

529 5th Street, Apt. #2R, Brooklyn, NY 11215

E-mail: KMO225@NYU.EDU

        In one of the comix from UnNihilistic called “I Probably Hate You”, a panel blurts: “The problem with gays is that they have anal sex and as everyone knows sex should only be had for reproductive purposes…” a ghastly statement to any queer’s ears, but then it goes on to say “…whether consensual or not”. It is this kind of kooky, kind of offensive-kind-of-not politicin’ and general fuckedupedness that inhabits Kieran O’Hare’s comix that I found pretty humorous and harmless. The comix contained (there are six) strips, are drawn in a style reminiscent of the editorial cartoons found in your political section of your local paper. How appropriate that this collection contains O’Hare’s politics and life in its varying shades. It’s not particularly a zine, not particularly a graphic novel, (it’s too small), just a hodgepodge of ideas put to ink as the intro suggests. The longest piece within, “The Adventures Of Snakeboy” had probably the best humor factor of all of the pieces. Obviously inspired by current events, the strip chronicles our Prez and great thinker George Bush’s handling of the Iran crisis….oops! I mean the Iraqi crisis (see the strip for this reference). With the situation overseas escalating, Bush calls in his bilingual nephew Snakeboy to handle the situation. The piece is mildly offensive, probably even moreso if you are of Middle Eastern descent. But considering that we all have differing interpretations of what’s really going on these days, and who’s really the bad guy, it’s hard for me to slight the humor here. I managed to glean a few chuckles from even the lower brow politically incorrect stuff, so what the hell, someone else might be able to as well. In “Jealousy” we get 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness ramblings via a talking head before a panel of words. In “Ted’s Problem”, an alcoholic’s life gets the eye and closes with quite the true statement “Hi, I’m Ted and I’m not an alcoholic…I’m just an asshole with a drinking problem”. Hee hee. Overall, I rate this as a fun comic collection. I dig O’Hare’s inking style especially. Nothing particularly serious or offensive (well…). It’s done pretty well and I think some folks may be interested in checking this work out. For a buck, it’s not gonna bust yer budget to take a peek. My one gripe that I have with this comic is despite the line drawings having been reproduced and laid out nicely, the text is incredibly small. If there are issues or work to follow, hopefully, that will be looked into and corrected. That said, this issue gets my thumbs up.


Peeps et Beans - A Sweet Story (2004)

20pp Mini; Price: $2.00, limited to 100 copies.

Ben T. Steckler

POB 7273, York, PA 17404



        OK: Ben Steckler is gonna track me down and silkscreen my face with a bunch of little “Peep” chicken candy things just like the one on the cover and those inside this mini. But hell, he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. This entire comic is written entirely in French, so of course, being the schooled comix whore that I am from reading…well.. looking at Manga and the original “Metal Hurlant”way back in the day, I figgered I’d be able to easily follow the (keyword) visual sequence of events here. Well, I think I kind of have an idea: It opens with little Peeps (Remember, kids: the candies, not the homeboy type). Suddenly, they are assaulted by projectile, stubby penis-like jelly beans. One of the lil’ Peeps runs into a microwave located conveniently nearby and turns into a giant American super Peep and squashes all of the assaulting penile jelly beans much to the delight of the threatened French Peep population. And thus it went.

        I know Ben is pretty dedicated to his comix and getting his stuff out there, so I don’t knock the brothuh for the work. But this has gotta be the one mini of his that I like the least. It’s cute, but the fact that it’s entirely in French and the sequencing doesn’t make up for the language barrier within these short amount of pages, which makes this a limited-audience publication for sure. Even at only 2 bucks, I’d still hafta at least expect to be able to read it to give it more of a recommendation. Ben, if you don’t get back to English next time, I’ll write your next review entirely in Vietnamese. You have been warned.


Electrochemical Kaboom #1 (42pp, $2); #2 (24pp, $1)

Andrew Penland (aka Andrew Octopus)

149 Newfound Street, Canton, NC 28716

DrFrankn1@aol.com; http://andrew_octopus.tripod.com/theoddityfactory/

        These two zines are probably the most difficult zines that I’d had to review in awhile. I’ll try to explain. Electrochemical Kaboom is the zinely manifestation of the creative, schizophrenic genius of Andrew Penland. By just reading through the zines and first glance, one would be pulled away from the rather uninviting layout (it’s arguably utterly chaotic or extremely sloppy, depending on where you stand on this thing. I think I’m in between in these two cases). These will require a tad bit more effort to read in some folks’ eyes. Most “mainstream” zinesters will want something a bit more accessible. But for those who like their dose of inspired madness, you will be greeted with poems, prose and pen inks that range from lucid and insightful to downright crazy. I almost was going to give these two paper productions total thumbs down if not for the fact that at the back of the zines (I forgot to mention, the issues read BACK TO FRONT or RIGHT TO LEFT, btw.), but on the back there’s a link to Andrew’s website which really showcases his talent for music and the arts mediums as vessels for his creative output. This broadens my view quite a bit regarding Andrew’s work. It also outshines his zines’ production regarding this review. This virtual portfolio is what truly supports his dark vision best. As far as the zines themselves, this is unfortunate for sake of this review.

        Now, this won’t be the first time that I’ve not really liked someone’s paper output and steered folks more towards their websites to get some real meat and potatoes. So let me, unsurprisingly, break a little XD form and not focus so much on the zines (get ‘em if’n ya wish), but *do* take a moment to run by the listed site to see a gallery of full color paintings and collages that REALLY showcases the bizarre and inspired goings on in this guy’s head. After perusing the site, I was better able to appreciate what Andrew was trying to do with the zines. His mixed media ranges from truly disturbing to darkly humorous, and I really dig the madness that he walks with. It’s unfortunate that a simple zine can’t support the reproduction of such work. I’m glad there were listings that directed me to the rest of his stuff. I can’t give total props to the zines just yet. If in the future, more of what’s displayed on the site can be incorporated into the zine itself, I’ll have a change of heart. In the meantime, quirky pieces on the web such as “Crucified Clown” which looks like some demented child drew it, to “Underground Economy” and “404 Error” which taps into the darker sides of the viewer’s brains, all deserve a look by fans of the fringe arts. You may not like all or anything that you see there, but it’s free, so ya have no excuse to not look.


Invisible Robot Fish (Issue: X, 16pp, price: 2 Stamps)

Futuristic Toasters (2004, 16pp, price: $1)

Billy McKay

PO Box 542, N. Olmstead, OH 44070

        Here are two digests from Billy Mckay. If you’ve read my review of Mckay’s work before, you’ll remember that he should be a prime candidate for my glowing reviewing. In this instance, I hafta say these are probably the weakest efforts from the pens of the man. In Invisible Robot Fish we have “The Timed Comic”. In it, a safecracker (Remember, kids Part 2: it’s one who cracks a safe, not a saltine cracker that is safe.) who busts open a safe and escapes in his rocketship only to find his booty to be an unbreakable comb (and he has no hair). My beef with this, even though it’s an older piece, from McKay is that the inks are all done in a scratchy scribble style. That’s all fine, but I prefer the thicker lined, more psychedelic inking that McKay does, much like what’s depicted on the cover. In his other works, even if the story or content was sparse, the inking gave adequate eye candy and insight to the guy’s creativity to keep me interested and appreciative of the effort. In this case, it doesn’t do much for me. Luckily, it’s an old “reject” piece as it’s stated on the inside cover, so maybe the next issue will be back to being filled with the artwork and kookiness that I really dig.

        In Futuristic Toasters, we have a selection of …well…futuristic toasters that were drawn by a variety of artists, then compiled into this here collection. From monkey toasters to War Of The Worlds toasters then to dog toasters that deliver the goods via their booty, it’s a cornucopia of toasters, toasters and …uh…toasters. You get the idea. I’m not too into sketchbook style comix being printed up or toasters, so this fell into the wrong hands for sure. But I know a number of folks who really dig that area of publishing (the sketchbook thing, that is), so who knows? You might as well. Me: I’ll wait for McKay’s next publication.


Americanjism Book One (Summer 2004)

Graphic Novel,108pp b&w

Price: $12.00 ppd. Domestic, $16.00 ppd. Int’l.; Check or MO, Cash should be sent CERTIFIED.

Make funds out to Joseph Denny

P.O. Box 432, Sag Harbor, NY 11963

        OUCH. Let’s begin this last review by saying, you truly will either like this or completely hate this large tome of (for most people) offensive comix by Joe Denny. It’s pretty relentless with the social jibes and scenarios. But just so that you know what you are getting into, keep in mind that the intro page reads: “Fuck you…with love, Joe Denny”. So know that Denny really doesn’t give a damn about what you think. That said, Denny throws everything at everyone: Gays, transsexuals, Jews, Muslims, races, etc., etc., (ad infinitum or ad nauseam- you decide). The jism…err….JIST of this comic, actually this graphic novel, chronicles the life of your typical sordid American family. Members such as “Grownkidman” masturbate throughout and screw family members. Mom was an ex-nun and hooker. Dad’s a pastor/priest (or whatever you call them pulpit-pounders). And speaking of members, there’s a lot of those as well. And I don’t mean the family kind only. There’s blaspheming the churches. There’s drive-through abortions (while you order your McBurger-things, of course). There’s brains that were transplanted into tanks to serve as hall monitors at school (to harass the “colored kids” as it reads). I think you get the idea. No one is safe from attack, so in that sense, all is fair as far as I can tell. The question is, can the casual reader stomach it?

        I will not give this large body of work a negative review, though some may think me crazy for not. It’s not my arena of preferred comix, but nonetheless it’s an ambitious piece and I appreciate the effort. I found some of the humor rather funny at times just because, hey, many times, political incorrectness is the funniest of things. I mean, the more you are not supposed to laugh at something, the more funny in a twisted sort of way it becomes when the opportunity to laugh at it arises (funny, though you’re saying to yourself “oooooh uh uh!”). Oftimes, that works quite well fer me. But truthfully, after about 30 pages into this, it started feeling more like an assault than a witty, well timed and executed comix experience so I needed to break up the reading over a few nights or I’d never have gotten through this book. Toilet humor and any other fringe type of joking usually works best as hit and run quips rather than panel after panel of such barrages. And for that, some points get knocked. The illustrations are ok and seem to complement the feel of everything well. You will have to decide if you want to take the twelve-dollar plunge to find out for yourself if it’s to your liking. As a societal “fuck you” it works well, though I think a little more moderation on Denny’s part could’ve easily maintained his desired offensive tone and worked the humor a little better. Take away 50 percent of what’s contained in Americanjism and you’d still have a finalist for the “Offensive Comic Of The Year Award”. It’s not particularly deep and I think some folks will dig this. If you stick yer tongue firmly in cheek and not take it too seriously, it might be worth a shot. Some of you will want nothing to do with it. I applaud Denny for not giving a damn and putting it on paper. I would like to see more substance in his content that taps deeper into that drive and anger that fuels his work on the next go around.


CONCLUSION: EEEEE! Game over, dudes, game over! Looks like this is it for my section of reviews, folks. Hopefully, I’ll see ya’ll next go around. Until then, keep drawlin’ and keep floodin’ the D’s mailbox with yer creationisms!

Gavin J. Grant

176 Prospect Ave.

Northampton, MA 01060

www.lcrw.net; info@lcrw.net


Gavin J. Grant is a freelance writer, editor and publicist. He will be on the Perpetual Motion Roadshow  (http://nomediakings.org/roadshow) soon and if the Bush Junta re-ups their Supreme Court Subscription for the next four years he expects his dual citizenship application may languish. He publishes books and zines from Northampton, MA, and occasionally fiddles with his website: www.lcrw.net.


In this series of reviews we’re going to suppose that everything is a metaphor for being illegally elected, for breaking international torture conventions first put in place by the US about 150 years ago and later included in the Geneva Convention, and for being an isolationist head-in-the-sand non-member of the International Criminal Court and bought and paid for by various multinational corporations.


Passions: A Cooperative Press Association is a worthy attempt seems to be a federalist set up here which basically prints anything coop members send in. Since its founding the USA has warred with itself over its federalist leanings and in today’s political climate there is no place for it. Secret New York-based programs to put together coop zines is not going to stop the “President” from blundering through yet more laws on his way to Four More Years of Fascism.

No.35, $3.50/trade, letter, unpaginated, Ken Bausert, 2140 Erma Drive, East Meadow, NY 11554-1120


Cutlip attempts education, freedom of expression, and other old-fashioned notions that will be quashed by the vertically-integrated media’s ignoring of same. Energy, excitement, fighting and escaping the system (Hobo Life Now!): the 2005 Draft will take care of this sort of thing.

#1, $1/trade, half-letter, 42pp, Bob, PO Box 1379, Grand Rapids, MI, 19501


Factory Wounds has good cover & interior art (by Don Baker of Merge) which may divert O’Reilly and other attack dogs but Jacob’s three stories of strangenesses won’t protect him after PATRIOT II passes the House and Senate. We don’t need psychics to tell us that the people (can’t say citizens because some of us aren’t and even naturalized citizens can be deported now) of the USA now have to adjust their mindset to live with the daily threat of terrorism from private or government-sponsored groups. Just as Italians, Germans, Spanish, Moroccans, Japanese, and many others live with the daily threat of extremists choosing them as a target, now so do we. Does this mean the end of fiction which does not take this into account? No, it does not. However, the government has being doing terrorizing their own for years (think of the Wobblies, the ‘50s commie scares, the ‘70s was a bad time to be an activist {mind you, so is the present day}) and I don’t expect they will stop any time soon.

#7, $1/trade, letter, 22pp, Jacob Snodgrass, 6648 Eastland Ct., Worthington, OH 43085


Sansevieria has been going forever and is devoted to alternate history and is generally a pretty good read. This one deals with Canadian politics, the Northwest Passage, and a number of interesting ideas for alternate histories from recent newspaper or journals. Also: the US government’s untruths about a July 1916 explosion in New York which was the work of saboteurs (which we will update to terrorists for the sake of the copyeditor) but was announced as being caused by an accidental fire. Don’t worry, little New Yorkers, Big Brother has long been watching over you.

No.60, $?, letter, 14pp., Dale Speirs, Box 6830 Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 2E7


Opuntia all letters and reviews. Dale doesn’t sit in the sleep-state popularly known as watching TV, instead, he makes zines. This one flips between reviews, indexes (indices?), and perzines. He also takes a look at Canadian science fiction. Which is where we must be living, yet aren’t. The New Yorker has been providing weekly reports of secret government programs which some of the other media conglomerates still aren’t carrying. This is not a far right vs. center right (the political being apparently speechless and afraid to attempt to shape the national narrative) issue, this is about our present and future choices on (Trollope warning!) The Way We live Now.

No.53.1B, $?, half-letter, 16pp., Dale Speirs, Box 6830 Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 2E7


Merge takes on the corporate-industrial state in the guise of an evil kitten issue. Zine reviews, some subjectively good art, some not — same with design. The rule of thumb here is the more fonts and typefaces the better. However, on the unreadability-due-to-font-excess he talks a good talk, but II’ve seen way worse in large and small mags/zines. The International Criminal Court, if the USA were not one of the few outstanding non-signatories, would clear him of font abuse charges.

#3, $2, half-legal, 32pp., Don Baker, 1205 28th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98117



Howdy Neighbor. Watching the neighbors is a basic fact of life in a police state. How does one get ahead of the pack otherwise? Of course, Orwell covered this in 1948 with 1984, but Annie and cohorts show that the sordid depths of “reality TV” works just as well in print but without quite the bad taste one might experience from watching people undergoing plastic surgery. Do you know the name of your Block Captain? Who is in the Reserve? (That matters less, since they’re stuck in Iraq until Bush & co. let them go.) What do our international neighbors think of us? Check out www.guardian.co.uk for one view.

$?, half-letter, 20pp., Anne Dayton, PO Box 832, Peck Slip Station, NY, NY 10038



Drown: a Novella. Is there room for beauty and imagination in the New World Order? Mermaids? Dreams? Teenage girls? I suspect only the latter and only then as a market for cigarettes (last time I looked it was the only demographic with a rising uptake level, go marketing dept.!) and so on. The narrator, haunted by ghost memories of a politically freer time, searches for love, the innocence of an unbought voting machine, and the End of History. Or maybe not. Surreal, beautiful, typographically informed (even if as so many web-influenced texts do it occasionally utilizes the blank line rather than the indent for new paragraphs), this surreal story is recommended for those wishing a short escape from the left, the right, the Left Behind, and so on and on and on.

$8 (9, Can/Mex, 10 RoW), 52pp., Roxanne M. Carter. Moving soon, so e-mail only for now: kore@lip-gloss.org, persephassa.com


Fran McMillian

PMB 170, 40 E. Main St.

Newark, DE 19711



I have been doing zines for about 12 years now. Currently, I'm involved in the publication of two zines: Etidorhpa, my perzine and Dreamstreets, a local literary zine based in Newark, Delaware. Upcoming projects, two one-offs: The Confession of Nathan Cross, which I hope to get out before the political conventions hit and 15 Beautiful Places along the Robert Kirkwood Highway, a photo essay showcasing accidental instances of beauty along what must be the ugliest stretch of asphalt in the state.


i sighed with the sea & the sea sighed back at me “Notebook Entries 1998-2003”: This very attractive publication consists of excerpts from Roxanne’s diaries spanning a five-year period. Though at first the unconventional grammar and run-on paragraphs were a bit daunting, after about ten pages or so I found myself falling headlong into the dreamscape of Roxanne’s life: dancing in clubs, hanging out with good friends, falling in and out of love, haunting vintage clothing stores. Roxanne has a delightfully quirky way with words. Imagine Anais Nin, Bjork and e.e. cummings collaborating. It’s definitely worth the ride. Just one problem: towards the end of the zine, I got the feeling a couple of pages were missing as sometimes the paragraphs seemed to skip several sentences between pages. Mini, 112pp Contact: Roxanne M. Carter, no mailing address given e-mail: kore@lip-gloss.org, website: persephassa.com Price: $10 US, $11 Canada/ Mexico, $12 World, Trades: maybe, but e-mail first


DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE by Holley Cantine: This is a reprint of a science fiction story written by Cantine several years after he stopped publishing The Retort. After some intense involvement in the fractious world of New York leftist politics during the 30’s and 40’s, a man comes into a modest inheritance and decides to depart for the country for a simpler, more harmonious life. He purchases a small, secluded tract of land, builds a cabin, supports himself with various odd jobs and begins to indulge an interest in the magical arts. But he only masters one spell: that of doubling. At first, our narrator only uses his newfound skill for practical purposes like doubling food and firewood, but then he decides to double himself several times over so that he can start his own Dixieland style marching band. All is well until... (I can’t tell you everything!) A wry commentary on how some of even the most innocent of intentions can unravel. Digest, 16pp  Contact: The Free Press DEATH SHIP, P.O. Box 55336, Hayward, CA 94545 Price: Free/ donation.


Merge: “Hyberculture in Distopia, I think” No. 2, Fall 2003: A well-presented zine consisting of brief personal sketches, sharp short stories, and some stunning and unusual artwork that’s very well reproduced. (Who’s his printer? I want to know.) My favorite pieces were “Seeing Things” about visiting a friend who honors a dead pet in a very original way and “Diablo Trees”, an atmospheric short story about a man who discovers the secret meaning of life — just before he falls into a hole and disappears forever. But it’s all good. Digest, 32pp Contact: Don Baker, 7205 28th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98117. e-mail: donbaker@seanet.com Price: none listed, contact first.


The Die Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 2004: The centerpiece of this issue is a thought-provoking meditation about the fate of solitude in the electronic age inspired by Sven Birkerts’ book, The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age. There are also some reports on some of the ways the current “war on terrorism” is corroding some our most precious civil liberties. Thoughtful reviews and a short, but lively letters section round out the zine. I really liked this. Clear-headed and mature writing about current philosophical issues. Contact: Joe Smith, P.O. Box 764, College Park, MD 20740 e-mail: redroachpress@yahoo.com website: redroachpress.tripod.com price: free Trades: yes


Junie in Georgia/Ghana No. 13: This thoroughly enjoyable issue covers various aspects of Junie’s adventures in Ghana such as attending an anti-war protest (and seeing some very weird Bush insults like, “You Mr. Bush Man Oil Mosquito”) shopping, and battling vicious ants that eat holes in your laundry. I really got a feel for what’s it’s like to live in a foreign country. Oh and bonus: there’s real Ghanaian money on the front cover! Digest, 32pp Contact: Junie in Georgia, P.O. 438, Avondale Estates, GA 30002 e-mail: junieingeorgia@hotmail.com Price: $2.00 Trades: yes


Pouèt-cafëe No. 6, Fall 2003: A small and striking poetry zine hand-stitched and printed on recycled paper. My favorites pieces in this issue are Joanne Epp’s poem “In the Kitchen, Afternoon” about two women discussing a miscarriage over tea and Ann Weinstein’s brief personal essay, “A Found Story”, about moving and selling off a large portion of her library only to have to buy back one of her books for a writing class. There is also a listing of Canadian poetry zines that accept pieces written in English. Digest, 24pp Contact: La Petite Fée, 6595 St-Hubert, P.O. Box 59019, Montreal, QC, H2S 3P5, CANADA e-mail: lapetitfee@sympatico.ca Price: $3.00 +2 stamps US, $5.00 + 2 stamps Can/Mex, Subscriptions also available, please e-mail Trades: yes


Moonlight Chronicles Book No. 40: I must admit I wasn’t ready to like this as much as I did because at first glance this compact illustrated journal seemed a wee bit too New Agey for me. But as I read this zine in bit and pieces one rainy day at work, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Some people have such joy and wonder at the simple things in life that it’s contagious. By the time I finished reading D. Price’s tales about his job as a cemetery caretaker, Sunday afternoon drives, and his relationship with his father I had this goofy smile on my face. The playful line drawings add to the celebratory mood. Mini 100pp Contact: D. Price, No snail mail address listed. Website: www.moonlight-chroncles.com Price: ? Trades: ?


Literary Fan Magazine No. 1: Karl “King” Wenclas, one of the founding members of the Underground Literary Alliance, has a skeleton’s worth of bones to pick with the arts establishment. He’s mad at poet David Berman because he challenged ULA members to a read-off, kept canceling out and then claimed it was all the ULA’s fault the read-off never happened. He’s mad at National Public Radio for setting themselves up as a phony alternative. He’s mad at the Chicago Reader for wasting tons of good paper on bad literature. If Charles Bukowski wrote a gossip column, it might read something like this. A good thing to take to bed with you after you’ve received a mailbox full of rejection notices and are dreaming of blowing up the New Yorker. Digest, 24pp Contact: King Wenclas, P.O. Box 42077, Philadelphia, PA 19101, website: www.literaryrevolution.com Price: $1.00   


Randy Osborne

P.O. Box 1912

Mill Valley, CA 94941



I write the afternoon of June 7, 2004, from the city by the bay, where at this moment the sun shines, protestors march and vague terrorist threats loom large over a crowd of about 16,000 biotechnology leaders from 57 countries, whilst yours truly taps his keyboard on the fourth floor of a Sutter St. hotel against an XD deadline and awaits the major earthquake – such catastrophe forecast for this part of California by two groups of seismologists for September or, really, any day.

We’re trying to find an apartment. The project in itself has become a thing dripping with coincidence and fraught with a strange anxiety and bad dreams that I hope to elucidate in the next issue of BIG PINCH WORLD, when I am clear of deadlines (XD and otherwise) and if I have not met the final one. That is, if I do not perish.

        San Francisco proper has turned into a sort of tumbleweed ghost city, populated by misshapen beggars slumped in doorways where they hold out their paper cups, and by desperate whores losing their shapes along with everything else, and on weekends by wild-eyed, package-laden tourists who lumber aboard the street cars for one last ride.

        Rents are “cheap,” though – less, anyway, than during the bygone dot-com foolishness. But we’re not looking hard downtown, focused instead on the outlying land of redwood and eucalyptus, some distance from the mad screaming drunken filth, from the ding-ding of all-night conveyances, from the pale bodies walking around with hope blasted out of them. Not that we can escape tectonic shift by crossing a bridge, but beauty lies over there.

Did we make it? Check at the top of this text block. If the address gives a West Coast locale (and if I got the information to Davida on time), then we did, somehow. Write to me. Send for BIG PINCH WORLD, of which a few copies remain for two bucks each. Be of good cheer while the tremors hold off. There is life.




Apart from Bukowski and two or three others, I find almost no latter-day poetry bearable (least of all the sad Bukowski knockoffs). I feel I must don a powdered wig to read the verse of yore, so that’s out also. What am I left with? Prose and masturbation, since we have no TV. But I got through the last page of this zine with no complaints, even if I was just as confused as ever by poetry. It does no good to mash a bunch of images together if you lack some feeling or idea behind them, even if you have a fancy hat, but lucky for us the right magic happens enough times here. From AUTOCAUST, I especially like John Grey’s “The Guy in the Mirror”: “His eyes are like the busted windows / to the crummy tenement he lives in. / If his mouth sunk any lower / it could suck up the floor crumbs.” In the tiny booklet Someone Called, all the poems are by the same guy, and pretty good. And brief, such as “The Supreme Egoism of Reincarnation,” which goes – in its entirety – “No soul / has ever left / to make room / for you.” Both from www.seventenbishop.com; P.O. Box 617547Chicago, IL 60661. No price for SOMEONE CALLED, but Autocaust is $2.



Themed “Beyond Tourism … traveling around the world & around the block,” this one gets put afloat by an interview with Greg Witt, mandolin player from Bloomington, Ind., who is building a 25-foot sailboat on which he intends to live and travel (he’s not certain where but he’s starting in Lake Erie). “I really wish I would have designed the boat myself, but I didn’t know anything about boat building or anything about boats,” Greg says. He likes to learn as he goes, and has “made some bad mistakes that are now just part of this boat.” He says he’s probably not going to test the boat before putting it into the waters of Lake Erie. He’s not even sure how he’s going to get it launched. “The place I rent the trailer from probably won’t want me to dip the whole trailer in the water, so I may rig up some sort of rail system or something else.” Witt figured the boat would cost about $1,000 to construct, but it’s topping out at four times as much. Witt gave up his job frying donuts at the coffee shop and “started eating out of the trash,” which is how he plans to get along in the times ahead. “I’ve got a problem where I don’t really think things out very well,” admits Witt, who is the skinniest man I have ever seen, possibly from the Dumpster regimen. The interview with him is worth the price of admission, but there’s also fine material on conscientious foreign travel, how Toronto’s SARS trouble put the “outright failures of neo-liberal public health policies” in the spotlight, and a profile of Oregon’s North Portland Bikeworks, plus a harrowing account of Avail lead singer Tim Barry’s train-hopping experiences. $4.50 from Clamor, P.O. Box 20128, Toledo, OH 43610.



A “multi-media outlet aimed at the subversion of mass media and the emersion of thought into pop-culture,” GK promotes “constructive hedonism and the explication of abstract thought. Style cannot prevade substance because they share the same grounds.” The band reviews and mullings-over of such ideas as paranoia and pattern, along with angry doodles, are eclipsed by the very-funny “Crackwhore Chic: Not just an addiction, it’s a lifestyle!” right in the center of this unstapled zine that kept falling apart on me, making it difficult to read. Among the tips: “Buy earth tone makeup. Anything to increase the look of sleeplessness, drug addiction, or bruises or bleeding of some sort.” Also: “Stop talking to people. If you do have to talk, make it at least somewhat bizarre. Act like nothing has changed while doing this.” An odd piece of work with good anarchist intentions. “$1 each and around the same price for shipping,” so I guess $2 to 24569 Tuscany, Eastpointe, MI 48021.


Wanting to provide something away from the “corporate-dominated television and Internet media,” Claire Cocco and Vincent Romano provide a fat, kindly-toned zine that manages to be as interactive as any of those bad things. Lively responses to lively letters from readers, plus essays and a gripping, agonized story by Claire called “Ocean-filled,” about trying to save a drowning victim. Vincent has designed a game called “Uninhibited Life,” which is not nude Twister like you’re thinking but one of those revelatory, semi- confessional games, sort of like “Truth or Dare” but with a “definite dork factor,” Vince writes. I’m in! Just let me finish responding to these e-mails. Free (donations accepted) from Vincent Romano, 35 Barker Ave. #4G, White Plains, NY 10601



The just-keep-going, Chicago-based WIGLAR (it’s been around for a decade from what I hear) wraps a bright green cover around pulpy pages that include interviews with Masters of the Obvious guitarist Paul “Jet” Caporino and the anarchist Rat Patrol bike group. Matt the Rat, leader of the Patrol, says nobody in the group has been able to catch a rat. “Some people have been talking about catching them and eating them,” quoth Matt. “I had an idea for a pole coming out of the front of the bike so that you could kind of snap down. Definitely if you’re on foot you can’t catch them, they’re too fast.” Rat Patrol members – about 40 of them – make their own bikes. WIGLAR also offers reviews of records, DVDs and zines, along with comics, but the Rat Patrol Q&A is what makes this one worth $3 to 1658 N. Milwaukee Ave. #545, Chicago, IL 60647. www.reglarwiglar.com



This one wasn’t in my review packet but I thumbed it at Tower and could not stop reading. All about Jerianne’s loss of her sister in a small-plane crash, and subsequent family sorrow (another death; read for yourself), it’s marked by a plainspoken, almost hard-bitten melancholic style, with practical tips on how to help your survivors avoid post-death messes related to lack of estate planning. The job-hunting passages seem out of place after this other dark material; I mean by this only that the “can’t find work” lines sound like those from a multitude of lesser, but still-good zines. Get it for $2 from Jerianne at P.O. Box 330156, Murfreesboro, TN 37133-0156. Write to her at jerianne@undergroundpress.org.



Chris Griffin’s story of his “problems, issues and uncertainty, sweet victories and unbearable losses” in his first season drag racing import cars. “My practice run was in the right lane and I don’t know if I had mentioned it yet, but I hate the right lane with a passion,” he writes at one point. You’ll have to like racing to like this 60-pager, which I wish included more of what Chris hates and loves in the sport (or out of it), and why, and how. Well put together, though, and educational. $2 from Knucklehead Press, P.O. Box 307663, Columbus, OH 43230.



Brooke Young

SLC Zine Library

210 E 500 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84111



The mail guy at the library is named Paul. I once tried to describe Paul to my aunt and she left with the impression that he looked just like Shakes the Clown. This is not a totally inaccurate description as Paul is an angry man with frizzy red hair who likes to drink beer at the bar across the street from the library. Whenever I ask Paul how his day is going he always answers with a sigh, “Pretty shitty, Brooksie.” The fact that Paul makes sure all zines mailed to the library arrive on my desk and that he calls me Brooksie secures his high placing on my Top Ten List of Favorite People. Please send mail for Paul to deliver to me at The Salt Lake City Public Library/ 210 E 400 South/ Salt Lake City, UT 84111 or just e-mail me at


Just make sure you don’t call me Brooksie.



Includes Mishap #14 volume 1 and 2 as well as #14 step-child

This is a collection of zines in one cool package. I tend to like things called “fun packs” and “fun packs” that have a Hieronymus Bosch painting decorating them get big bonus points from me. I have to admit that the Bosch images and the Peter Bruegel painting on the first zine gave me some pretty high expectations for these three zines, which were only partly realized. Volume 1 is dense. The introduction is 5 pages of single spaced type that can only be described as a ramble. The introduction seems to be about a Death March and the cyclical nature of human history, but because no examples from actual history were used to bolster his argument, I can’t be sure. Also he uses the dreaded “wimmin” which is such a turn off for me. Like some fake made up word “liberates” me as a woman and frees me from a dreaded past were no female ever triumphed and all women were victims. Whatever. Volume 1 is the most political of the zines and the tone lightens a bit in the other two elements of this “fun pack.”  All of my snooty academic issues aside, I did enjoy reading these zines. I liked the fact that Ryan acknowledged that it might be possible for close minded anarchists to be kind of annoying and that he included some interesting pieces of fiction. Also I kind of cried while reading his cat story.  If you have a spare three hours send a $2 donation or a trade to the very prolific Ryan at PO Box 5841/ Eugene, OR 97405/ redchile@efn.org



I like libraries and I like librarians. It’s not our fault that librarians are cool, so don’t blame us just because we seem to be infiltrating zinedom all over the place. This zine is a vegetable themed delight that starts with a rather delicious appetizer about using The Onion personal ads to find dates. The zine later moves towards its main course with a fascinating discussion of how to properly weed library shelves of books that are no longer needed, which is a topic often misunderstood by non-librarian types. There are even book reviews of vegetable themed books like Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, or my all time favorite children’s book George and Martha by James Marshall. To this day I still feel that the proper place for split pea soup is in someone’s shoes and obviously the author of this zine agrees with me. This zine even, albeit briefly, mentions the movie SLC Punk which is a movie near and dear to my heart mainly because my heart happens to live in SLC.  OBJECT LESSON was entertaining and well written from start to finish and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Send $3 to Ms. M. Despairagus/ PO Box 4803/ Baltimore, MD 21211



ZEN BABY and I have a love/hate relationship. I love its well-written and interesting insights into the world of transgender living. By the same token, I hate its often painful layout and when I found myself squinting while trying to read a zine review I kind of gave up. The author of the zine, Christopher Robin, is highly intelligent and has some fascinating things to tell the world if you can make it past the many fonts, the collages, and the words placed on top of other words. As for the actual content of the zine, there was a really lovely tribute to a person beaten to death for their transgender lifestyle, a nice description of a road trip to Reno, and some notable poetry. For me, a very boring white girl living in a pretty boring place, zines like Zen Baby are endlessly fascinating so I hope that #11 improves its look.

Send some money to Christopher Robin/ PO Box 1611/ Santa Cruz, CA 95061


MUSEA #128-#130

The fact that Tom Hendricks publishes his zine MUSEA in such a consistent fashion is like a nice warm security blanket that I wrap myself in on cold nights. Musea is like no other zine which is a testament to how interesting Hendricks is. In #129 Tom decides in a bold move that no one else has ever done more art in as many areas with as high of quality and who am I, simple zine reviewer, to disagree?  Issue #128 is a dance themed extravaganza while #130 is about Tommy. For a free zine the quality is really pretty amazing.

Send all inquiries to Tom Hendricks/ 400 Hawthorne #5/ Dallas, TX 75219





I almost forgot to review this zine but last night right before I fell asleep I saw its cover in my head and thought, “D’oh! I hope I remember to write a review in the morning!” The fact that I almost forgot this zine is in no way an indication of its quality but more of a glimpse into my scatterbrained head. This zine is pretty slick, mainly because it used to be a magazine, which it isn’t a bad thing at all. The layout is clear, the photos are professional, and the writing is well edited. As an extra bonus, the articles are really pretty interesting. One of the longest pieces in the zine is a discussion about the handling of the proposed designs for the World Trade Center. The magazine also asked its readers the question, “What does war look like where you are?” and the answers it got were worth the price of the zine. My favorite piece was written by Joe Territo and is about the random relationships that are formed between employees and customers at coffee shops.

Send $3 to PO Box 300743/ Midway Station/ Brooklyn, NY 11230 or e-mail editor@heremagazine.com


Benn Ray

1100 W. 36th Street

Baltimore, MD 21211




I am sorry. I meant to review more. Really I did. But then I was side-tracked by a million other things. Oh sure, when you’re young and full of vim and vigor (or gin and vinegar), you’re a word machine. You’re a power typist. You can tackle any writing that comes your way. Hell, you can even blog. But I was split between doing reviews and brushing up a piece of Patrick Tandy’s new Smile, Hon, You’re In Baltimore, some stuff for an upcoming issue of Chunklet, a sidebar for an upcoming issue in Clamor, as well as a regular bi-weekly column for a local neighborhood newspaper, and my own weekly e-mail zine The MobTown Shank (e-mail mobtownshank@atomicbooks.com). On top of that, I’m an adjunct English professor at a local university and I co-own Atomic Books. Oh, and in my spare time, I’ve been working on my own diary comics zine that may or may not ever see print. And I don’t say all this as a form of a pathetic “woo-hoo lookit me” sort of play. I say this as a way of explaining why I didn’t write more reviews, and why I’m sorry.



by Robin Bougie

CINEMA SEWER’s Robin Bougie embarked on what he thought would be a quick and easy way to get some free porn. He announced to various websites that are part of an online Ex Revenge subculture (embitted people who like to circulate photos of former lovers naked, having sex, etc.) that he was working on a project, and for people to please send him pictures. Bougie was overwhelmed by the response he received. He was also overwhelmed by the pain, bitterness and hostility a lot of these exes still felt toward lost lovers. For THE EX REVENGE PROJECT, Bougie collects select correspondences from the embittered who are circulating photos of exes, and then illustrates the pictures and includes those illustrations with the e-mails (it ends up looking much nicer than if he decided to use the photo and then blurred or barred the faces) about the pictures/relationships/etc. Sweet Jesus, the bile that comes out of these guys makes my skin crawl. No, it makes me, for the first time ever, completely ashamed to be a man. For example, one contributor explains the photo, “She was in the middle of panting like a retarded bitch and groaning like an idiot. Of all the women I’ve had sex with, her sex grunts were the stupidest sounding. She sounded like a man.” (And this was one was tame compared to the other letters.) Bougie manages to turn blatant misogyny on its side. In what could easily be a celebration of hate toward women here reads as a testament to the ugliness of men when hurt in love. But by the end, it’s hard to hate these guys, they just become too pathetic. It’s all so compellingly sad.

Robin Bougie

#320 - 440 East 5th Ave., Vancouver, BC V5T-1N5 Canada



by Various

For those of you who don’t know what FOUND MAGAZINE is, it’s a publication that collects together found notes, letters, pictures, and objects and puts them on display for your fascination. For example in the newest issue, there is a note that has been fucking with my head since I read it. Found by Hannah Won, of Seattle, WA, it is a small post-it looking piece of paper that contains handwriting that simply says, “Did your toothpased explode... How does this happen?” Now, of course, I want to know how this happened? I’m not too crazy about multiple page found letters (like one that goes on for 4 pages that clearly has been through the wash - I’m sure there’s a pay off to reading it, but I don’t have the patience) or multiple pages from found journals, and this issue has a couple of these. I tend to like the shorter founds like the one on the very last page, sent in by Melissa Walker. It’s is an index card that must have been posted on a bulletin board somewhere that reads, “For Sale (New) Set of his & hers gold wedding bands. (Never used) $50.00 727-818-2883.” If I wasn’t certain that the phone number had been altered, I’d call it and ask whoever answered the phone to tell me their story. And that’s the charm behind FOUND, it’s impossible to know the stories. But the fact that you find a letter proclaiming eternal love discarded gives you enough information to start filling in your own back story. #3 contains the best, most heart-wrenching find yet. Stuffed behind a radiator in a dank basement storage room at Brown University a box was found. When opened, it nearly exploded with letters from a young couple from the mid-80s. This is the story of Jamie and his girlfriend Mika who decided to take her junior year abroad, in Japan. The frequency of Mika’s letters to Jamie show that not only does she write her love every day, she writes him letters several times a day. There are thousands of pages filled with a tight scrawl, drawings, pictures of her and even delicate, hand-crafted mobiles. The letters suggest that Jamie writes her back. Well, at first. About halfway through the stack, the seemingly inevitable happens when Jamie hooks up with another girl. At this point, Mika’s letters seem to increase in both length and frequency.  And just when you think you can’t feel any worse for poor Mika (who, in one picture, is stranded in 1985, on the beach, holding a small round rock up to her face, with her totally 80s hair windswept in a Cure sort of way), there is one final discovery that rips your heart out, throws it on the floor and pisses all over it. Well, I’m not a big fan of spoilers, so check out FOUND #3, it’ll be the most enthralling $5 you spend this month (add $2 by mail).

FOUND Magazine, 3455 Charing Cross Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108-1911




by Brian Dubin

        2 new autobiographical mini-comics from Atomic Books’ newest employee and the drummer for Double Dagger, Brian Dubin. These comics are rough around the edges, (for example, Dubin fucks up the layout in both in the exact same place - which in itself provides a laugh), which totally adds to the charm.

        In I WENT ON TOUR, you get the feeling Dubin is in the back of a van trying to scribble out his comic as Double Dagger moves on to the next show.

        In I REALLY STEPPED IN IT THIS TIME, the illustrations become slightly more polished while Dubin discusses his real life misadventures like pissing himself at an art supply store, psycho-chicks, and even getting a job at Atomic Books.

If you know Dubin, his comics wonderfully convey his personality. And if you don’t, you should check out his mini-comics and get to know him.

3019 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21218


Stephanie Holmes



The sound of clinking wind chimes makes me stare lazily at the screen. It’s summer and lovely. I’m feeling acceptance and tired from traveling. Where did I go? First there was an interview for a spot in The University of Illinois at Springfield’s PAR journalism program. I’m a runner up waiting for a seat – someone drop out please! Unlike beauty pageants, there are no crowns for the runner up in the world of journalism. I also went to a funeral, a graduation, and The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock. Yes, I got crushed out on those big black glasses of Hollys. Second wind, I’m ready for another spin. Thinking about notions of privilege and taking risks. I want a new city so desperately, pondering notions of quality of life versus moving for sole employment. I’m sick of the latter. The missing ingredient for making such a dream come true is money, how sad. Anyway, if anyone knows of a swell journalism job let me know. I’m a hungry reporter who just wants to fit like a puzzle piece in her community and stay there. Shameless that plug was, I know. E-mail me at ourgirlsunday@yahoo.com.


FOR THE CLERISY Good Words for Readers #53 (Jan. 2004) legal size, 16 pages, no price listed. P.O. Box 404, Getzville, NY 14068-0404. E-mail kresovich@hotmail.com or biggestfatporker@yahoo.com.

“Readers are sexy.” The first line of the zine is provocative. FOR THE CLERISY is designed for people who read for pleasure. It begins with dialogue on yoga and transitions into commentary on society’s overindulgence FOR THE CLERISY also tickles the hush-hush sentiment of tolerance and to accept, comfort, and relate to everything from war to obesity to entitlement culture. FOR THE CLERISY makes reading seem provocative with its tales of young, attractive English teachers using instruction as a cover for hooking in “Yet Another Vanished World-Childhood Years.” FOR THE CLERISY gives “News of the Weird,” a staple of many alternative weeklies, a run for its syndicated money.


Whirligig Pulp with a Pulse #8 (Winter 2003) digest, 60 pages, $3

Frank J. Marcopolos, 4809 Avenue N #117, Brooklyn, NY 11234-3711.

E-mail editor@theWhirligig.com or www.theWhirligig.com.

Reading Whirligig is the next best thing to going on summer vacation. It belches pleasurable sentiments. It’s a nice read packed with lean short fiction and non-flowery poetry. Whirligig seems to be a favorite in the zine world with so many advertisements from other reads such as “The Urban Bizarre” in place. My face contorted with smiles at the hidden landmines and pointed political stances that were all packed neatly in fine fictional form. The stories weren’t built on topics I’d seek out knowingly, but I found myself decadently engaged in Whirligig’s pages. I can only strain to imagine what these writers’ lives are like and what their day jobs are. Fascinating! If only I could be a fly on the wall or a catch in Whirligig’s web.


THE KNOCKING SHOP a.k.a. Duhhh #8, digest 103 pages, 50p/$1

Anthony PO Box 47, Bradford BD8 7TX,  UK

This isn’t the romance issue, and Anthony P. will be the first to tell you. He deems such a fact coverworthy, so, perhaps, no one is shocked over the inclusion of the vintage “Playboy” cover of Sherilyn Fenn. When I read THE KNOCKING SHOP, I can’t help but think of a dirty dusty apartment soaked in whiskey or fine or not so fine ale. The zine is full like a flavorful shopping list of whatnots: white bread, masking tape, organic carrots, dancing hula girl for dashboard, and black socks. There are also strange band interviews so full of cackles and antagonism that they could serve as a sequel to the film “Withnail and I.” Outside of his crustiness, Anthony P. is wonderfully candid, giving girls a glimpse of what the boys are really thinking. He comes clean in the best ways. He’s not acting Emo or trying too hard to shock people. He’s bloody honest! And that is a courtesy so undervalued these days.


RRRRL GIRLZ Reapin’ What You Sow Vol. 3 #4 (fall 2003) digest, $3, trades accepted, free to prisoners.

P.O. Box 3466 Eugene, OR 97403

RRRRL GIRLZ offers practical low cost advice, and green tips based on sensibility. RRRRL GIRLZ uses vintage pop art and turns phrases to inject a little black humor inside (see Betty’s Puss Pleasin’ Popovers for morning after love). These girlz love to cook, but RRRRL GIRLZ is more than a recipe swap. Fall is around the corner and this issue is packed full of canning, harvesting and salmon-swimming advice. It’s also gives sage wood working advice and point by point suggestions on how to build a wooden fence. Who needs The Home Depot women’s how-to workshops when you have the Girlz giving practical advice and illustrating the potential pitfalls of various project undertakings?

THE DIE Vol. 2 (summer/fall 2003) broadsheet, free subscriptions, cash donations accepted. Joe Smith, PO BOX 764, College Park, Maryland 20740. E-mail readroachpress@yahoo.com or visit the Web site http://redroachpress.tripod.com

This issue includes discussions of news bits and peaks into Smith’s realm of domesticity before hurricane Isabel washed over the East Coast like a lion last fall. There is something very sweet about Smith’s quiet candlelit house. I especially like the images of Smith sitting at a table laboriously writing and recording his thoughts of potential disaster, which begin with thoughts about the calm before the storm. It seems everything in his life is in place, his wife likely retreating quietly in her creative catacomb nearby. Smith admits to himself, and to readers that he finally understands what self-sufficiency is without the advantage of dishwashers and other modern conveniences underfoot. His thoughts, the quiet only disrupted by harsh winds and the blare of a passing fire engine, urge him to investigate. He uses Ralph Waldo Emerson’s philosophy and Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” as tools. Smith also includes some great zine reviews. My favorite draws in the reviewing techniques of another writer. He debates whether less is really more with another man’s overuse of plain-Jane prose. And he also briefly ponders why one man’s zine, a labor of love (why else would you do it?), receives half-baked attention, which Smith recognizes because of his fractured allegiance to his own day job. I love Smith’s snarky and understated humor so much that I wish he would move into the empty apartment next door to me.


MERGE (summer 2003 beta version 1.0) digest, no price listed

Don Baker, 77205 28th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98117


MERGE explores Emerging Hyberculture through stream of conscious type essays, poetry and short stories. MERGE hollows out a position, yet it begs readers for a definition of Hyberculture. There are postmodernist references to truth and its weakened state. Word play runs rampant in the passages, “try a Cubist cigar,” Baker invites. He bludgeons thin (as opposed to rich or fat) e-mail communication, speaking of the irrelevance of edits because raw material, so weak, is unworthy of change or improvement. Just when things seem a little far out there, he also does some reporting to bring back a sense of what’s real and known to us. There is one touching story about a woman named Sarah. Sarah began creating art after discovering she had a cancerous tumor. A series of things happened to propel Sarah’s recovery. People held pebbles for Sarah connecting her to the earth, and she created art with the will of recovery for each step of her illness from discovery to radiation. The text is crisp and pictures are sharp, grainy, and shrunken representations of textured, fantastical, and futuristic-seeming artwork.



P.O. Box 617547

Chicago, IL 60661



        Hello, maybe you have read reviews of my work?  In any event your visit to seventenbishop.com is always welcome.  We are always at work generating some type of criticism or speculation and exist to inform and entertain.  Thanks for your continued support if you are one of those who has been there and back with us.

        Currently I am making available my audio zine “When Cows Give Birth to Piglets on the Moon”.  For a buck or trade you’ll receive a compact disc collection of music from all over the spectrum and the ‘liner notes’ are available online for perusal.  There are currently three issues and another in the works.  To preview you can navigate/explore http://seventenbishop.com/wcgbtpotm.html.  If you place a 2 or 3 after the alphabetical bit previous to .html you can see the other options.  Keep in touch!

The CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting #2


6 or more copies 90 cents

Snail Mail Contact:

Valiant Death Records

22543 James River Dr..

Carrollton, Va. 23314



Microcosm Publishing

5307 N. Minnesota Ave.

Portland, OR 97217-4551


        When I opened this one color mini I figured, “Oh shit, here comes another slanted, biased, quasi-factual reactionary device designed to focus my cultural rage into random activism.”  Really, I think that way. Instead I found a balanced position paper that corroborates items that I have read over the last twenty years.  It is amazing that conspiracies are as widely dismissed as they are dispensed.  There is an overwhelming amount of information that definitively proves the claims outlined here.  This issue chronicles “the history of US chemical biological testing and development, how the HIV virus cannot scientifically be related to AIDS, CIA and military documents requesting the creation of a virus with the clinical description of AIDS, and how AIDS death statistics have been inflated for the last 20 years when the supposed ‘miracle cure’ drugs kill the patients even faster than AIDS.”  It is unfair to this sweeping publication to offer a synopsis here in XD. 

        ORDER ONE NOW.  If you don’t know this information who will?  If you are ready XD you’re probably not a small-minded person or an idiot.  You can handle the truth.

        This magazine is difficult in context but it is very important to see all the information grouped together.  In Chicago there is a “Church bus” that drives around town called the Night Ministry.  According to sources they used to give “assistance” to denizens of the night be they junkies, homeless, runaways, prostitutes, etc.  Often this “assistance” included a free “vaccination”.  You fill in the blank.

Brutal Honesty #2

.25 or trade

“send a nice letter & a stamp and/or your zine & I’ll

give you one of the first issues.”

Rebecca North

415 Trenton Blvd.

Sea Girt, NJ  08750


There are a few rules in Zinedom many of which are unknown to me.   A group of these rules probably exist in the following category:  “Do not under any circumstances use your zine to coerce of persuade any other party into behavior detrimental to themselves or others.”  Brutal Honesty #2 adheres to this in a charmingly quaint collection of punky maxims (complete with ball point hearts for emphasis) and cultural snippets.  Though difficult to discern the work of Rebecca from the work of fortune cookies this is a fine example of Emo DIY.   Rebecca has a lot of questions and many holistic personal decisions to offer.  If you have the patience for a smiley face spin on feel good Emo then this issue is for you.  “You can’t expect people to follow/ your advice and ignore your example”.  Brutal Honesty is not “punker than you”, it’s “punk like you”.


McDonald’s ‘71:  Success . . . and Then Some!

Technically this is not a zine.  Bear with me while the story unfolds.  This long play vinyl is a thrift store masterpiece.  Apparently, this stage show collection of songs was distributed at the annual McDonald’s convention (held in Hawaii in 1971) to franchise owners in order to galvanize their corporate allegiance.  From what I can tell, the music here is the soundtrack to the motivational presentation.  The album opens with a tribute to Hawaii and quickly introduces a Sid & Marty Krofft style scenario where a world renowned chef (Alexander, the metrar of the world) has become aware of the success of the McDonald’s franchise.  Alexander steals out in the night to discover the secret of this fantastic food.  He finds a key to a franchise outside and enters.  When inside he is confronted by animate representatives of the menu.  A Gestapo big mac, a sassy French fry, a swingin’ hippie shake, and a brassy hot apple pie.  After complimenting them all on their various merits the food enter an argument which lovingly culminates in an “Up With Food” song about all being “In The Same Bag”.  From this point the record offers a collection of re-enactments.  Some are of families talking about how beneficial the McDonald’s experience is and others are instructional skits that take place in franchises that are not doing things the McDonald’s way.  The record closes with some inspirational canons about pride in management and being “the man”.  I’m not kidding.  I’ve collected weird ass records for a long damned time and this is one of the strangest ever right up there with Buck Warren’s tribute to O’Hare Airport and Rabbi Abraham Feinberg singin’ about peace, love and tranquility.  I am reviewing this album in this context because I have transferred this music onto compact disc and will make a copy available to YOU (with no cover art or further explanation) for a buck (postage) or a suitable trade.  Seriously, if you enjoy popamerica cultural windows you will not be disappointed.


Miriam DesHarnais

PO Box 4803, Baltimore MD 21211



        So my credentials as a publisher are slim with only two issues to my name. The premise of Object Lesson is this: about once a year I pick an object (or class of objects) and use it as a framework to ramble on about my life as a librarian, frequent heartbreak sufferer, food-lover, and general minx. So far it’s been playing cards and vegetables and I’m working on an issue about the mouth. Some of my slowness can be attributed to the amount of time I spend writing for a free magazine about Baltimore’s various bizarre attractions. Dental museum! Kinetic sculpture! Animal fashion shows!

My credentials as a reader are sound. Just look at the scary drifts of paper throughout my house. I’m even wearing a “Reading is Sexy” t-shirt right now.


Waiting For Sleep # 4


Born to Lose Press

409 Water St., Jackson, CA 95642.


14 pgs, $1 or stamps or trade.

        What we have here is an exhausted young mom, struggling to fit parenting in with being creative on too few hours of sleep. We gots some high highs “Dinner is a big production…stacked plates full to overflowing with a representative from three food groups at least, and tastes better than dinner from most of our frequent going out restaurants” and low lows “Fuel for another day of melancholy, frustration, desperation. Sleeping pills, my only friend”

        I got the sense at the start that she was just too damn tired to consider audience so what we get is like a diary page with all a diary’s good and bad points. The most interesting thing about Waiting for Sleep is the way Cathy goes in the span of 14 pages from reluctant to write to clearly cheered by having finished/accomplished something. Not much more than a glimpse of a life, but enough to make me verbally thank my feline child for being so easy to tend.

        A quick read, the pages are a good balance of (nice) handwriting, doodles and photos, with enough blank space to let things breathe. Clearly she’s smart and has a take on parenthood that’s different from that of some older first time mom zinesters. Though some parts made me want to holler (if you give your two-year old Frappucinos and candy you can’t, in my opinion, really complain when she jumps on the furniture) I could see reading more.


For the Clerisy | Good Words for Readers #?

Brant Kresovich

PO Box 404, Getzville, NY 14068



        The work of a damn talented writer whose book reviews are things of beauty- honest and unpretentious, scholarly, yet accessible. This issue focuses on writings about trying times with quite a bit of military memoir reviewed. Not usually my genre but, far from boring me, Brant’s writing encouraged me to think fresh thoughts about current affairs.

        For the Clerisy is clearly a product of an intense love of words and an even stronger love of community. Though mostly text it’s in columns and spaced for easy readability. I carried it around for days, happy whenever I had to wait in line or in a lobby because I got to read bits. Besides reviews and letters there’s a super photo essay on glasses as pop-culture shorthand for intelligence (and sometimes foxiness). As a disclaimer I should note that bespectacled librarians like me are total suckas for this sort of zine.


Watch the Closing Doors #26

Fred Argoff

1800 Ocean Pkwy. (#F-10), Brooklyn, NY 11223

22 pgs. $10 cash for the next 4 issues

        Zines about a single thing or obsession can polarize readers. If you’re into 8-tracks, thrifting, anarchy, whatever the subject, you’re likely gonna eat up something all about that pet interest. Unfortunately everyone else might be bored. Writing that sucks you deeply into a subject you had no pre-existing stake in is powerful stuff. Fred Argoff’s very detailed exploration of mass transit in Queens was something I’d been looking forward to reading since reading several reviews saying he’s the kind of writer that draws readers in.

        WTCD’s most endearing quality is a chatty tone that assumes the audience is as fascinated by train routes as the editor is: “Do you like tight, screeching curves? There are a couple on the #7 line as it wends its way through the Long Island City section…Appetites whetted? Good, then let’s do some straphanging in Queens…” The photos and clear simple layout also help set the stage.

        The best parts are those that focus on the human element of the train riding or designing process- for example “Queens Madness” and “Chaos Day” about people’s bafflement and panic when trains do not run as expected. The picture of the “Queen’s Sign to Nowhere” is great for exposing how people can focus on the future or past at the expense of the present : a sign put up in the Forties for a line that was never built has been hanging at 65th street station, confusing people ever since. 

        Ultimately I was a bit dissatisfied with the focus staying so tightly on the trains and routes themselves. As much as I admire solid research I needed more of a reason to care about things like the date the Rockaway division of the Long Island Railroad joined the IND division of the New York City subway system. I’m generally a fiction reader cause that’s often how ideas and history penetrate my mind best. But if you can see the beauty of pure information and meticulously observed minor history take a ride with Fred Argoff.


Supreme Nothing #16

PO Box 211, Burton, OH 44106



29 pgs. price?

        For no good reason at all it took three e-mails and several pages of this zine to dispel my erroneous assumption that Denny is a gay man. I think it’s cause I have a male cousin Dennis whose parents sometimes call him Denny. Oops! In Denny’s sixteenth issue of Supreme Nothing she reprints scraps of her life –sent and unsent letters to boys, livejournal postings and old diary entries. She’s easy to relate to and has a gift for self-awareness and bringing outsiders into her inner life. It can be confusing to keep all the names straight and I wished more than once to have the previous issues on hand to get the background on a particular person. But this is also a sign that she engaged me, even during her self-declared worst issue. Though the presentation is understated I still got a vivid feel for the minutiae of Denny’s life- a little fight with her mom, a vibrant summer night drinking with some cousins during a beach trip, and many happy and sad moments with friends. Part of what touched me was her desire for and appreciation of connection with her readers, as well as her self-awareness about why she needs to share and document so much. If you hate diary zines this might not be the one to win you over. If, like me, you sometimes wonder what strangers had for lunch and like being reminded that your personal crises are actually commonly experienced mini-dramas, then Supreme Nothing will hold some charm of it’s own.


Whirligig- Pulp With a Pulse #8

Editor- Frank J. Marcopolos

4809 Avenue N (#117) Brooklyn, NY 11234-3711


61 pgs. $3

        Oh, fiction zines, you get a bad rap. The sad truth though is that you sorta deserve it, for, along with poetry, you are where self-publishing most often goes awry. I’ll always remember the first line of a classmate’s short story that really drove home the dangers of amateur fiction. It was “I am running with a human liver in my hat.”

        Whirligig is better. Not perfect, but more good than bad, with some genuinely strong work. Mike Cipra’s The Great Prairie Dog Vacuum is a standout. It contains several of my least favorite themes of short fiction - failed relationships, drinking, dead animals and inscrutable women with artsy names. Yet he whips up a fresh, funny, fast-paced whole that I read more than once. Lyn Lifshin’s accessible poetry is a neat balance of specificity and message- “She curled near me/ in the kitchen, my/ cat, not yet the age/she’d grow to.”

        There were also quite a few stories I couldn’t get through at all, but, like I said, that liver story did something to me.


Snowmonkeys #2

Snowmonkeys in Japan

Megan Whitmarsh

1600 Avenue 56, Los Angeles CA 90042



        My two Snowmonkeys comics are all worn out because they get more charming with each read. Slim, reserved-looking monkeys Dotty and Oslo are partners. Neckerchief-wearing Dotty loves music, while Oslo loves science. In Snowmonkeys Two, the pair goes on many vacations, encounters squirrels that ask stupid questions and writes pen pals. They also see their cat’s ghost (Oslo tells it to get off the table, Dotty reminds him it doesn’t matter), and send a present to a mysterious TV personality named Senor Tragico.

        Snowmonkeys in Japan is a split comic with a Japanese artist. Dotty and Oslo visit a pig and elephant couple in Japan. Oslo talks science while Dotty plays pachinko, gets drunk, and encounters sentient sushi. They also visit many lowbrow tourist attractions, learn of Senor Tragico’s secret Japanese life and see their ancestors the snowmonkeys, who are quite tall.

        The second half finds the monkeys and their friends Linus and Margarita on still more vacations, both in Japan and the United States. It is untranslated but the pictures stand well alone balancing consistency in drawing with a different, equally quirky sensibility. I love this type of cross-cultural exchange. Although it is not as special to me as issue 2, Snowmonkeys in Japan still fills me with a perfect sense of how life can be both expansive and cozy.


Here it is # 1

Erin Tobey

1102 W. 6th St. Bloomington, IN 47404

$1 (a total steal)

        Ok, this autobio-comic is pretty much perfect. I was trying to think of a better way to say it, but that’s all. Erin baby-sits, gets a crush, and reflects on how to express herself after a long time not doing so. That she has doubts about whether or not she should be making art is boggling- her bittersweet words and simple drawings, all the humor and sadness, flow together into something rare and life-affirming. Best buck I spent last winter, hands down.


Good Times- A Collection of Four Comics

Kelly Froh


25 pgs $2

        Kelly’s work centers on dating ordeals, her digestion, pets, family and jobs. I like it quite a bit. This one was done in 2002 in a twenty-four hour period as part of a challenge to cartoonists from altbrand.com. It’s a good example of her straightforward, funny style and raw enough that it serves as great encouragement to try one’s own hand at comics. There’s a story about how she and her father act when they are mad, one about getting drugged while on vacation and a splendid account of internet dating wherein she discovers that many guys lie about the same thing (and no, it’s not that.)


Tranzilla #1/Tranzilla #2

Citizen Rahne Alexander



$3 each or both for $5

        Tranzilla may not be the perfect Christmas gift for your Great Aunt Louise. But the appeal of this tale of a tranny who turns into a fire-breathing beast after mad scientists mess with her hormone supply has considerably broader appeal than you’d think. The quality of drawing is inconsistent but the goofy plot and snappy dialogue pick up the slack. Watching Missy expose the evil Dr. Clone and torch street harassers is a nice change of pace from standard fare.         The second issue is about infiltrating the all “Women born Women” Michigan Women’s Music Festival from Camp Trans. It might require a bit more background than the first. Then again, the best moments should appeal to anyone with a sense of the absurd- Missy’s cat, left behind while Missy combats hetero-sexism, fumes at the TV screen “Figures. My one night alone with HBO and it’s a talking animal marathon. Why are talking animals always so stupid?”


Composition Book

Shannon Zirkle

PO Box 411, Mount Airy, MD 21771


33 pgs, Prefers trades, or 2 stamps + $1

        Have you read the teenzine-cum-hipster-novel Please Don’t Kill the Freshman? Well, this account of one girl’s school life is the complete opposite of that. Whereas the now famous Zoe Trope is all precocious self-awareness and counter-culture wryness, Shannon Zirkle is totally, awkwardly normal. From toddler scribbles to a college admissions essay, her school writings brought me back to childhood and adolescence in an immediate and powerful way. A teacher’s spelling corrections on Shannon’s essay about her father’s death and the bubbly handwriting in a squirm-inducing letter to a boy highlight that these documents are real, real, real. It’s intense, sad as hell, comforting and inspiring watching a person grow up over the span of  thirty-three pages. A very cool first zine.


Caboose #4- The Ridiculous Issue

Liz Mason

PO Box 476802, Chicago, IL 60647


56 mini-pgs $1 (a bargain!)

        Liz doesn’t know me but a few years ago she was responsible for reinvigorating my interest in writing in a big way. I wrote tons as a teen. It was therapeutic but not so good to re-read later. As a new grown-up I still wanted to write about myself, and even to print it, but wasn’t sure I should to unleash more gloom on the world. Liz (along with her Cul-de-Sac co-editor Julie) gave me a new goal to strive towards: I want to be just half as pee-your-pants funny as Liz Mason.

        “The Ridiculous Issue” is decidedly the best Caboose yet. Liz proudly displays her most laughable attempts at coolness, artiness and dance-floor flyness from all phases of life. She presents stupid tattoos (“Born to Organize”), lists of ridiculous names she calls her cats, college radio mad libs, reviews of groundbreaking workout videos and more failed projects, misguided obsessions and dorky extra-curriculars than one girl should rightly have. So thanks, Liz. Now will you do “The Dance” for me?

Matt Fagan

1573 N Milwaukee Ave, PMB #464 Chicago, IL 60622





        Way back when I was in high school, I published three issues of an underground newspaper, and contributed to several issues of a second one.  My first experience with censorship came when I was received three days’ suspension for my project (a dirty, lowbrow comedy paper called the Marshfield High School “Deep Throat” which was, contrary to your gutter-minded assumption, based on the name of Woodward and Bernstein’s informant).  I used my time away from school to write more dirty, lowbrow comedy stories.

        I’ve been publishing my perzine Meniscus for the past six years, so I still know a thing or two.  But these days I am usually drawing comics, mostly a series called Love about Jack and Pokie, the best gay couple in all the land.



Digest-size, two volumes, 96 pp.; $4

Delaine Derry Green

1204 Cresthill Rd., Birmingham, AL 35213



        The eleventh issue of NOT MY SMALL DIARY is 96 big fat pages, split into two digest-sized volumes and fastened with safety pins.  For those unfamiliar with the premise, Delaine Derry Green publishes a zine called My Small Diary, which is largely presented in comic form.  This secondary, long-running project is filled with diary comics from contributors, and is kept distinct from Delaine’s perzine by the title NOT MY SMALL DIARY.

        This is NMSD’s first theme issue, dealing with events in the lives of the artists that took place prior to the age of twelve.  And what an issue!

        I found myself wondering whether all the contributors are really this good, or whether there are just so many submissions that Delaine is free to pick and choose and simply stuff the issue with all these great comics.  There is so much strong material that I am reluctant to single anyone out; with 47 artists represented it’s hard to pick even a double handful of names.  I’ll just say that this issue is about equal parts artists whose work I have read before and those with whom I am unfamiliar, but it was about 98% terrific!  At only four dollars for the set, this comic collection is a bargain that I was not willing to put down until I was finished.  Childhood recollection seems to bring out the best in these talented cartoonists, who work with a great many styles and storytelling techniques.  And as a cartoonist I found it inspiring to see such a variety of approaches.  I’m kicking myself for not contributing!



Digest-size, 16 pp.; $1

Billy McKay

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

        A comic story about a luckless little man (or monster?  Billy knows better than anybody that the line between them is very blurred) whose misfortune begins to change when he finds an enchanted whistle.  THE GLUM is whimsical and funny, but as always the real treat is Billy’s magical artwork.  Whatever his personal influences (Edward Gorey?  Maurice Sendak?) he has truly crafted a signature style.  It’s entirely his own, instantly recognizable and rendered with a professional air of effortlessness.  The result is a new bizarre fable from Billy’s wonderful, alien mind.

        The comic has a color cover, and is comprised of full-page illustrations that could pass for tarot cards from another dimension.  I am not entirely sure that Billy McKay is from Earth.  If not, I sure would like to visit his native land.  His comics make me wistful for Billy’s world, real or imagined.



6½ x 5½, spiral-bound, 16 pp.; $1

Also from Billy is SHOT BY A RAYGUN #7 PRESENTS: ATTACK OF THE ROBOTS!  This issue takes the form of a photo-collage with cardstock covers, and it’s a tribute to D. Young.  Described as a mysterious individual with whom Billy corresponds, Young is an artist from Milan, Illinois who specializes in making “robots” from electronic detritus like television tubes and ceramic insullators.  Billy has digitally integrated pictures of Young’s robots into photographs from real life, such as subways, construction sites and pictures of children at play.  Like much of Billy’s comic work, the effect here is one of curious visitors to our world, standing out more than they realize, perhaps behaving a little inappropriately because they don’t understand our customs.  It’s… well, it’s cute, but I mean that in a totally forthright way.  It’s good cute, not the other kind.



Digest-size, 24pp.

no price or contact information

edited by Zack Gardner

        On the last page of this comix anthology by a bunch of art students, editor Zack Gardner describes it as a “farewell issue” before graduating from art school.  He also rails against comics, zines, and those selfsame art students, before expressing hope that nobody paid any actual money for this publication that cost him nothing to make.

        Well.  It’s hard to get any more excited about a zine than its creator does, and indeed the comic reads more like an act of desperation than a labor of love.  Even with several amusing moments to be found, the collection feels disjointed and hasty, with no guiding hand to give it a cohesive finish.  Gardner was clearly more concerned with filling the pages, or including something from each of his friends, than he was with ensuring that he got everybody’s best work.  However, I am inclined to be forgiving, for a couple of reasons. 

        First, in a practical sense, putting together a zine at the end of school is a tall order, an ambitious undertaking that will never yield the best results.  So he deserves some credit for pulling it off at all. 

        Second, having to depend on contributors increases the difficulty by a factor equal or greater to the number of contributors, and that difficulty is only compounded if you are working against the clock. 

        Lastly, art students really do suck.  They’re colossally flaky and unreliable (when I was in art school, I took a collaborative writing class in which four of us were supposed to create a comic book for the final.  Long story short: I wrote and illustrated the entire thing myself.)

        So.  If you find this anthology lying around for free, as Zack apparently intended, pick it up.  There’s some funny stuff, and several artists with different styles are represented.  But if you have to buy it, you’re a sucker.


FLUMMERY #naught

4½ x 5, 24 pp.; no price.  A buck?

Box 345 , Abingdon, MD 21009


        There are three artists represented here in FLUMMERY.  One of them I really didn’t care for (the punchlines were on the cheap and easy side, and struck me as perfunctory, but the art was okay) and the other two were sort of interesting.  What worked best, in fact, was how the whole thing hung together; the comics I liked the least actually created this very linear, predictable counterpoint to the comics that were more out-of-bounds.  And I’m sure other people would get more out of the comics I didn’t enjoy; they weren’t bad comics, just not my cup of tea.  They were still better than Dilbert, Drabble, or any number of other strips with lucrative syndication deals.



¼ size, 28 pp.; 50¢ or 1 stamp

PO Box 697, Portland, OR 97207

        The latest COMIXVILLE begins with an interview with Ben, creator of the acclaimed diary comic SnakePit.  Conducted by the affable Sean Stewart (Thoughtworm), the five-page Q&A has Ben fielding questions about the effect that SnakePit (and its unanticipated popularity) has had on his life, and his relationships with friends and lovers who find themselves as characters in his strip.  A nice look behind the scenes of a life lived, at least selectively, in public.  And Ben seems like a pretty decent guy.

        The rest of COMIXVILLE, true to form, is devoted to one-page overviews of DIY comics.  This zine travels under the slogan “a quick, little guide to self-published comics,” and the word guide is an important descriptive term.  COMIXVILLE is not a review zine, addressing no more than a few sentences to each title.  And they don’t distribute the zines, so it’s not a catalogue either.  As a guide, it’s something in between, doing the comic artists the service of whetting the reader’s appetite, and asking so very little in return.

        This may be the final issue of COMIX-VILLE, so get it while the getting’s good.



¼ size, 100pp.; $5

PO Box 109, Joseph, OR 97846


         Brother Dan, our resident Hobo Artist, lives this amazing life that could never possibly satisfy me, and yet when I read his MOONLIGHT CHRONICLES I find myself carried away with envy.  He is a family man with the soul of a drifter, sharing his home with nature, sharing his heart with his children, and sharing it all with everybody through the pages of this zine. 

        Just some of the amazing things you will find herein are stories about alternative housing (from dugout huts to yurts to full-on grownup tree forts), a simple breakdown of the principles of Buddhism, and a miles-long inner tube trip down an Oregon river.  Now, I am from rural Oregon myself, and while some of you may read this man’s voice and start screaming hippie, I have to say that there is a character to the Hobo Artist that could only exist in Oregon. 

        This is a man who cares deeply about his community, his country and his environment.  This is a man who is truly devoted to a woman named Lynne, the mother of his children, a woman to whom he has been unmarried since they met in 1975.  This is a man who prefers his half-buried homemade home to the more sterile comforts of a “proper” house, is excited to help his son with a school art project, and whose life (lived on such a small scale) is probably far more meaningful and satisfying than that of anyone you will ever see on television.

        Yeah, it costs five bucks and that’s kinda steep, and normally that might color my perception of a zine (I’ve railed against more than one zinester for pulling those types of pricing shenanigans), but MOONLIGHT CHRONICLES really delivers your money’s worth.  This is a full emotional experience.  Damn if I didn’t wish I had me one of those tree forts.



7 x 8½, 24 pp.; $2 ($3 Canada)

by Larned Justin

PO Box 471; House Springs, MO 63051



        This collection of comics is very, very silly.  Quite definitely the jokiest item I received this time around, full of one-joke panel cartoons (“The Matrix Really Loaded”) ongoing strips (“Boatload”, which is all about the hijinks aboard Noah’s ark) and other strange larks, with riffs ranging from science fiction to classic horror.  Justin seems to derive equal pleasure from terrible puns as he does from bizarre surrealism, so there’s a little bit of everything to be found in NUT.  And if his re-imagining of Once Upon a Time in Mexico starring an all-Looney Tune cast is a bit of a head-scratcher, at least he admits up front that it won’t make any more sense than the source material.



  x 4, 24 pp.; $1


1357 W. Augusta #1, Chicago, IL 60622


        billy is a real life artist.  And not one of those sucky performance artists who try to turn everything into some big, Meaningful event.  He is an amazing guy who actually lives as if all the world’s a stage, and if he’s not out there performing he is just over there, in the wings, putting his costume on. 

In the fifth issue of PROOF I EXIST (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the best zine title ever) billy examines his own methods as a zinester and a performer, taking some time to step back a little bit from the way he lives his life, taking a moment to understand it better.

        The result is a very interesting and thoughtful zine (well, the first result is a very interesting and hilarious performance that he describes therein; I won’t spoil it for you, but trust me, it’s awesome) that makes me love billy even more.  Like Dan from Moonlight Chronicles, billy has a lifestyle that I could never commit myself to living, not with the genius fervor that he demonstrates.  But what a life, man.  I’m happy just to know him.  And if I didn’t know him, I’d still be happy just to read his zine.



¼ size, 32 pp.; $2

Inquisitor Mediarama

PO Box 132, New York, NY 10024


        Normally I am leery of any publication that could fall under the category of “queerzine”.  I suppose that most of the queerzines I’ve encountered have catered almost exclusively to the woes of coming out, or the sexual misadventures of uninhibited young lust.  Subjects that I have long outgrown, if I ever really related to them at all.  But recently, since I began to publish Love, a comic book about a gay couple, I have attracted the attention of more and more people who create queerzines.  And I receive them for trade.

        So when a zine arrived in my mailbox emblazoned with the title BIG FAG, I was not excited.  That name sounded so preoccupied with its own homosexuality that I was certain the zine would be an alienating read.  And even now, having been won over, I’m still unsure why BIG FAG was selected as the title of a zine that’s really about so much more.  But hell, my zine is called Meniscus, so who am I to talk?

        Yes, the writer is gay, and romantic relationships are dealt with in these pages, but this is a queerzine in only the most basic way.  BIG FAG is a zine about identity, with the author struggling to find emotional footing after the breakup of a long relationship that subsequently becomes redefined as a sexual friendship.  Muddling this process is a group of friends who have known our hero for a long, long time, and have deeply ingrained impressions of the kind of person he is.  Their resistance to his personal change is a constant roadblock, as his experiments with identity butt heads with their preconceptions.

        Bringing the proceedings to an even deeper level, the author has also been researching his adoption records for some time, trying on a much larger scale to discover who he really is.  But he finds that the name he has always believed to be his own is only a fabrication, and will never lead him to his birth parents. 

        These emotional stories are set off by a parallel quest: he wants a tattoo.  He discusses his reasons for this interest, and details the trouble he’s had deciding what kind of design will have special meaning for him, and what it should represent.  All of these questions and quests feed into one another, and by the end of BIG FAG, he’s found some answers.  But the questions he asks are as big as life, and nothing in the zine or in reality is easily solved by the last page.  All this queerness and selfness and politicalness gets whipped up into a stream-of-consciousness fury that tears through the zine like fire, and the writing never fails to engage.  The second issue should be available now too, and will be well worth picking up.  BIG FAG is a portrait of a man in transition, and captures all that energy right on the page.



Digest-size, 24 pp.; $2

Eric Lyden

224 Moraine St., Brockton, MA 02301-3664


        Okay, so this is a bit out of date, and even I have already read a couple of reviews for FUN FACTS.  But Eric traded this zine to me a little while back, and it was so enjoyable that I had to put in my two cents before it was too late.

        Growing out of a short feature that ran in Eric’s perzine Fish With Legs, the original “Fun Facts” was merely a little list of details about Eric that provided a few moments of light entertainment when put together.  What could possibly be easier or more self-importantly cathartic than that?  But when people responded favorably, he began to produce subsequent “Fun Facts” features in later issues.  Finally, he opened it up to his friends and family in the underground press and put together this entire zine of FUN FACTS, by such luminaries as: Delaine Derry Green (My Small Diary, who cannot and will not drink carbonation), Androo Robinson (Ped X-ing Comics, who has had four barista jobs but doesn’t drink coffee), Davida Gypsy Breier (Leeking Ink, who was named after her mother’s dog) and Matt Holdaway (Multitude of Voices, who never purchased salt until he was 29).

        Yeah, it’s a big puff piece, like if somebody compiled a whole book of sidebars from Cosmo.  This is not a zine about substance.  It’s not going to change anybody’s life, but FUN FACTS will certainly put a smile on your face.  You’ll not only learn some interesting truths about your favorite zinesters, but also get a strange sense of what they believe is interesting or important about themselves, and in some cases see a glimpse of the free-associative process that helped them build their list.

        Twenty-three folks contributed to this project, which is a quick and entertaining read.  Definitely worth a couple of bucks, and with a cover by Delaine!


Christine Douville

6595, St-Hubert, C.P. 59019

Montréal, QC Canada H2S 3P5



CHRISTINE DOUVILLE is a Montreal poet & the editor of Pouèt-cafëe litzine. She collects, reviews, and distroes zines (Le Petit Marakkesh zine and small press distro). Write to her or send her your zine for trade, review or distro at: 6595 St-Hubert, P.O. Box 59019, Montreal, QC, H2S 3P5, Canada or e-mail her at lapetitefee@sympatico.ca.

Streeteaters #20, “Best of” issue

Edited by Paula Belina, Streeteaters Productions, P.O. Box 1783, Station H, Montreal, QC, H3G 2N6, Canada, streeteaters@hotmail.com.

$2, digest, 22 pages.

Paula is one of the most active zine personalities in Montreal- she is the instigator of the monthly Streeteaters Artist Market, held the last Sunday of the month at Zeke’s Gallery in Montreal, and wants to start a zine lending library in addition to publishing Streeteaters. I raise my hat to Paula for making sure the zine scene stays healthy around here. Well, this comp zine really looks like a zine! I’m always a bit disappointed when a zine doesn’t offer me the dose of cut and paste I crave. Streeteaters is visually satisfying- a good mix of handwriting, typewriting, collages, photographs and drawings. The covers are usually nice- pieces of pictures or color copies glued to the black and white main image. This issue is the “Best of” issue, so I recommend it if you haven’t read any past issue. My favorite pieces in #20 were the excerpt from the “Drunk issue”, the page of local zine gossip, and Mathieu Rainville’s untitled poem - poetry editor Larissa has an eye to spot good poetry when it’s sent her way!


The Big Canoe

Kristen Gallerneaux, Fat Cat Handbound Books, 524 Pitt St. W., #301, Windsor, ON, N9A 5M2, Canada


$5 postage paid for a bagged set also including “The Canada Day Deer”, “Tom Small of Montreal”, “September 18” and “Windfall Lake”, or equal trade. Mini.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome a new artist to the comix scene! Kristen Gallerneaux’s comix feel like little prophecies… Although it has been inspired by the artist’s constant ferry rides back and forth to the mainland during a summer spent on Manitoulin Island, The Big Canoe has the energy of a fantasy tale. This mini accordion comix only has nine drawings, but I liked it and felt a certain bond with the character… My favourite of Kristen’s latest comix!


The Canada Day Deer

Kristen Gallerneaux, Fat Cat Handbound Books, 524 Pitt St. W., #301, Windsor, ON, N9A 5M2, Canada,


$5 postage paid for a bagged set also including “The The Big Canoe”, “Tom Small of Montreal”, “September 18” and “Windfall Lake”, or equal trade. Mini.

I don’t know if Kristen describes herself as a poet, but this mini-comix made me think of a double haïku: six drawings and a tough and abrupt little poem involving a deer, a car, stars over the dark road, and ugliness somehow turned beautiful by Kristen’s choice of words.


398 #4 (July 2003)

Elizabeth, zine398@hotmail.com,


$1 or trade, half-digest, 32 pages.

This is the first time I read this zine of fairy tales, mystery, hope and magic. Printed on pink and yellow paper and with a star punched through the front cover, you can see that Elizabeth puts a lot of care in the visual presentation of her zines. The contents are interesting, too. Selected excerpts from the works of H. C. Andersen, Lucy Maud Montgomery, etc., are published along Elizabeth’s own fairy tales; there are also reading recommendations, a review of a fictional novel, plus 4 pages of short zine reviews. Nice concept- definitely an interesting read!


The Secret Adventures of Library Pages (August 2003)

Elizabeth, zine398@hotmail.com,


$1 or trade, half-digest, 24 pages.

For those who have always wondered what it is like to work at the library… This is a one-shot zine from Elizabeth, who also does 398 zine. Elizabeth had a dream job at her local public library she unfortunately had to quit when she moved away to go to school in another city. The Secret Adventures of Library Pages details some of the fun anecdotes that happened during the 21/2 years she was working there, complete with stick people drawings and inside jokes. Seems like a lot of fun... I wonder if they’re looking for new staff at the library?


TRUNK STORIES #1, Nov. 2003

William Smith, 470 Prospect Ave., Apt. 3D, Brooklyn, NY 11215, trunkstories@earthlink.net, www.projectpulp.com

Half-legal, 44 pages, $5 ppd US and Canada, check, money order, or Paypal payment accepted

This semi-annual litzine publishes fiction, poetry, essays, and movie and comix reviews. Like every new literary magazine, it promises to do things differently, and to offer “unique gems […] that have fallen between the cracks of traditional fiction magazines.” In addition to the editor’s own contributions, five fiction writers, one reviewer, one poet, and one illustrator contributed to this debut issue. While I didn’t enjoy the fiction that much, Veronica Schanoes’ essay, “Magic, Misery, and Youth” was interesting, and I hope to read more of her work in upcoming issues. The cover illustration is also particularly nice. By the way, Trunk Stories welcomes your submissions; include a SASE with your paper submission, or submit by e-mail at the address above.


INGLESIDE NEWS #13, 5th Anniver-sary Special, Summer 2003

IsaBelle Bourret, 5591 St-Laurent, Lévis, QC, G6V 3V6, Canada,

orangeblue_zine@yahoo.com, www.geocities.com/orangeblue_zine/minis.html

Half-legal, 48 pages, $2 ppd US and Canada, $4 World

This is the last issue of Ingleside News perzine before it changed its name for Orange & Blue. This is also the 5th Anniversary issue, so in it you will find excerpts from issue 1 to 10. You will also find out how IsaBelle came to create Ingleside News, why she chose that title for her perzine, and why it was first published in English, then in French, and is now published in both languages (this issue was translated from French by the author; it is also available in its original French version). Issue #13 ends with tips on how to create an independent publication: contents, format, fonts, appearance of the text and cover, binding, expedition… Plus 3 pages of zine recommendations.


ORANGE & BLUE #0, The Intro Issue

(see contact information under INGLESIDE NEWS #13)

Digest, 40 pages, free if you order a regular issue, otherwise, $2 ppd US and Canada, $4 ppd World, inquire first for trades

This Intro issue is meant to help a first time reader of the English version of Orange & Blue perzine to understand its creator and her world better. There is a long rant about how different and isolated IsaBelle feels from the rest of the zinester community because of the language and cultural barrier. The rest of the issue is much more interesting: presentation of Québec city, Lévis, and IsaBelle’s neighbourhood; presentation of Marcel, the coolest character in the neighbourhood, and of Malenikiy, her cat; a few words about her favorite radio shows and movies, and her recording habit; what the colors orange and blue represent to her, etc. My favorite part is the drawing that goes with “The composition of my heart”, a patchwork of IsaBelle’s heart, with the names of people she loves written in each part.


ORANGE & BLUE #14, Fall 2003

(see contact information under INGLESIDE NEWS #13)

Half-legal, 32 pages, $2 ppd US and Canada, $4 ppd World, inquire first for trades

I love IsaBelle’s perzine, but this rant about how different she is, is beginning to bother me a little. While it might have its place in the Intro issue (see previous review), it comes off as slightly pretentious here in her editorial and in her article “I’m not so fucking scene”. Also, IsaBelle should look around before declaring she’s the only one doing a zine in French in Quebec: there are litzines such as Steak Haché, L’Ascaris, C’est Selon, etc., and there’s also Fiat Lux, in her own city. Let’s just say this rant thing kept me from enjoying this issue as much as I should have. But now, about the fun stuff in issue #14: “The Lost Art of Letter Writing”, an article by D.B. Pedlar; explanations about how much IsaBelle hates bikes and why, and about why she refuses to drive a car; her effort to find a lost friend; a list of games she used to play when she was a kid; etc. Plus reader letters and zine recommendations.


ORANGE & BLUE #15, Winter 2004

(see contact information under INGLESIDE NEWS #13, pg 54)

Digest, 36 pages, $2 ppd US and Canada, $4 ppd World, inquire first for trades

At last, IsaBelle is back to making her savory perzine after her slightly megalomaniac episode (see review of #14)! Orange & Blue is one of the most colorful perzines I’ve ever read- the lady’s got personality (a must for a good perzine), and the layout is great. In this issue: an article about a locker at IsaBelle’s former apartment that she plans to sleep in when she won’t be able to catch the last ferry home when spending a night in town (I look forward to her report of her first night spent in her “Corner”…); a report of a hair-cutting misadventure; a long entry about her first-ever photocopy scam; plus the regular stuff (reader letters, zine recommendations, etc). Of all the issues of O & B I’ve reviewed for XD, this one is my favorite!


Davida Gypsy Breier

PO Box 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078




My name is Davida and I like the tactile feel of paper, long walks off short piers, and the sound of Tony Todd’s voice. If you write to me I promise to feel bad about taking too long to reply.


So I had this great idea – I’ve been unable to reply to mail as quickly as I would like and thought, “What if I do all my reviews in the form of letters!” I was all pleased with myself and a few weeks later I sat down to write the reviews and saw that it was a bit precious (bad precious, not good precious) of an idea and simply came off badly. I realized I just wanted to write one letter/review I should have written in the last issue and when I had the chance. That letter is as follows:


Dear Jenny and Serena,

I’m sorry for being a coward. I had Have You Seen the Dog Lately? in my stack for review for the last issue. Then before I could write my review I learned of Jenny’s death. I tried, but I just couldn’t review it. I think of Jenny all the time now. She was an amazing, funny, intelligent, beautiful woman, and truth be told I even had a wee crush on her after I met her in person in 1998. Reading the Old School, New School, Unschooled issue I’m struck again by how much was lost with her passing. Serena, I sincerely hope that you, Steve, Megan, and Dr. Eileen continue publishing the Dog in her spirit and memory. I know of no other zine that can deconstruct, cherish, and mock everything from the couture of teachers to outsider artists to Henry from “Alice.”



$2 from Serena Makofsky, 465 38th Street, Oakland, CA 94609


Girls are Not Chicks Coloring Books

Using what would be considered traditional images, Jacinta and Julie have created a coloring book for the modern child. The text that accompanies the seemingly familiar images includes, “We pledge allegiance…to all girl bands, pro choice rallies, witchcraft and voodoo” and next to a Rapunzel, “This time, she has some power tools, a roll of duct tape, a Tina Turner album, and a bus pass.” A very cool idea. They have another coloring book coming out from Soft Skull in the fall.

$4/28 pgs/half-legal/Trades rarely

Jacinta Bunnell and Julie Novak

PO Box 325, Rosendale, NY 12472



It’s You by Corn Mo

If you are aware of Corn Mo and enjoy the musical stylings of the man who brought you “Busey Boy,” you’ll likely enjoy his zine  - filled with his short bizarre little tales. If you like short bizarre little tales, you’ll enjoy Corn Mo.

SASE/16 pgs/mini

Jon Cunningham

383 South First St., Brooklyn, NY 11211



Marginal Doodling #1

As a rule, I think first zines should be encouraged and also receive a special dispensation from bad reviews. That said, Marginal Doodling appears to have been written by a young, angry punk in detention. It is raw and crass, but the section on hippies vs. punks was actually kind of funny. If I can be so pompous as to offer suggestions – print on both sides of the paper (it’s not punk to waste paper) and flesh out your ideas more (the whole Hot Topic rant has been done to death). Record and show reviews and a favorites list also included.

2 stamps/5 pgs/letter


7200 Highland St., Springfield, VA 22150


Mr. Big #3: Something Darker

This is a lovely comic book. The pen and ink style is right up my aesthetic taste alley. The inhabitants at a pond have been dealing with the loss of their citizens by Mr. Big, a large snapping turtle. Just as they start banding together to fight Mr. Big, a much more dangerous predator appears. Great color cover. Recommended.

$1.50/24 pgs/digest/trades maybe

Matt Dembicki

3148 Hartwick La., Fairfax, VA 22031




Elephant Mess #11

This is a compilation of articles from the first 10 issues of Elephant Mess. It has a very journal-like feel, but was somehow inaccessible for me. I don’t think I’ve ever described a zine as such, but it had a very emo feel to it. If very internal and personal zines are your thing, you’ll likely get more out of this than I did.

$1/2stamps/44 pgs/mini/trades

Dan Murphy

875 N. 9th East, Mountain Home, ID 83647



Etidorhpa #9

I met Fran at a reading Donny Smith organized. I enjoyed the story she read and we traded afterwards. I read Etidorhpa and did something I’ve almost never done – I asked Fran to consider reviewing for XD. Based on her writing abilities and points of view I thought she would be an excellent addition. That in essence is my first recommendation for her zine. My second is the zine itself. She balances the rare art of the split per-zine and lit-zine. We are updated about her job problems, get her reactions to two very different, yet similar, writer’s conferences, hear her political views, and her reaction to The Passion. Then the second half of the zine is a well-written short story. Also, her layout is flawless. Recommended.

$2/2 stamps/3 IRCs/56 pgs/5x5/trades

Fran McMillian

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


Extranjero (Foreigner in Spanish) #1

I have seen Kris and Lola’s names around in letter columns for a while now and this is their first attempt at joining the papernet. Kris is an American who moved to Spain to be with his Spanish girlfriend (now wife). He shares his life in Spain though a foreigner’s eyes. The problems with immigration, the storks that live in his neighborhood, and his wife’s views on America. The only part I didn’t enjoy was the article on bullfighting. I could understand writing about it in context to where he now lives, but paying to attend a bullfight is simply wrong to me. Nice presentation done with an old Olivetti typewriter and glue sticks.

Donations in US$, Euros, or IRCs/28 pgs/digest

Kris and Lola

Calle Obispo 4 Bajo, Plasencia 10600, Caceres, Spain


The Inner Swine V10,#1

He’s been reviewed elsewhere in this issue, so I’ll just say that if you like Jeff’s fiction, definitely pick this issue up. His three-part short story “Book of Days” is fantastic!

$2/60 pgs/digest/trades

Jeff Somers

PO Box 3024, Hoboken, NJ 07030




Potluck! A Cooking Compilation

I love the The Low Hug Life Maintenance Series. A.j. does a great job not only coming up with topics, but also finding contributors and producing a splendid looking zine. At heart this is about cooking – there are remembrances, cooking for love, cheap cooking, yearned to cook something perfectly, and more.  The Who’s who contributor list includes Hanne Blank (Unruly Appetites), Steve Bojanowski, Jessica B. (Kubba), Lauren Eichelberger (Are We There Yet?), Delaine Derry-Green (My Small Diary comics and Not My Small Diary comics), Christine Douville, Matt Holdaway (A Multitude of Voices), Julia Janousek, Ellen Knutson, Greig Means (Zine Librarian Zine Best Zine Ever, Clutch comics), A.j. Michel (Low Hug), Vincent J. Romano (OFF-Line), Stephanie Scarborough (The Cheap Vegan Pleasant Unicorn zine distro), Sean Stewart (Thought-worm), Dan Taylor (The Hungover Gourmet), and I confess, I contributed as well. She created 14 different covers with spot color and even includes a ribbon bookmark to keep your place (just like a real cookbook). Recommended.

$2/36 pages/7x4.25

A.j. Michel, 112 Muir Ave., PMB 1057, Hazelton, PA 18201

lowhug@yahoo.com; lowhug.blogspot.com


Ladyfriend #6

For Ladies and All Their Friends – The Food Issue

I was in Chicago for work a few weeks ago and my first stop was Quimby’s. As I waited to meet up with Matt Fagan I browsed the shelves. It says a lot about zine addiction that I walked into the store with zines in my backpack, more at the hotel, and would be attending a large book event (lots of freebies) over the weekend, and yet I still walked out of the store with several more zines to read. Ladyfriend was one of them. I wasn’t going to review it, assuming it had to have been reviewed already, but looking over the last few issues and the XD Index I didn’t see it. The theme of this issue is food and the articles vary wildly. There is an article on community supported agriculture, foodie fiction, “The Atkins Conspiracy,” recipes, eating in El Salvador and Ghana, GMOs, and a story about cooking sauce with a terminal relative that is both funny and touching. Fun stuff if you like food.

$3/48 pgs/digest


1951 South Canalport, Suite 3F

Chicago, IL 60616



Electric Mariposa #1

Collected Musings

Within the first two sentences I assumed this zine was written by a female high school student. I was somewhat off put with myself for that snap reaction, but as I read on, I saw that I was right. That is neither judgment or criticism. Once you outgrow certain mindframes it is hard to fit yourself back into them. Like first jobs or sweaters dried on high heat – there’s no going back without a fight. Cassie describes Electric Mariposa as, “The zine of people places smells colors flowers textures feelings senses art and writing…” She lists her dreams, fictional pieces, and poems. Many have the feel of creative writing classes, but I could be wrong. It is a great first issue, but if I could fit back in that sweater I would have enjoyed it all the more.

$2, 2 stamps/22 pgs/half-legal/trades-maybe


PO Box 96, Spencertown, NY 12165



I’m Johnny and I Don’t Give a Fuck, Episode 5

This zine never ceases to impress me. At first the detailed documentation of a punk house and its occupants seemed like it might be a bit monotonous. It wasn’t. The house had a life and rhythm of its own and that came through in Andy’s writing. It was his rough and tumble home for nearly a decade. People came and went and the landlord continuously neglected their needs. The end offered a very surprising twist. Recommended.

$3 in person/$4 by mail/88 pgs/mini


PO Box 21533-1850 Commercial Dr., Vancouver, BC V5N 5T5 Canada


Guess What’s in My Pocket

Another Unbearable The Cosmology of the Babynous Cult Purge Zyne

Imagine the test tube baby of Found, mail art, and a zine, genetically modified by a mad scientist (played by Salvatore Dali). Nearly every page offers an original artistic endeavor, from water colored paintings to stamping to collage. I’m not exactly sure what to make of it, but I like it!

110 ½ State Ave., Bremertowne, WA 98337

Price?/40 pgs/4x11

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