Xerography Debt #8
Table of Contents
Davida Gypsy Breier, Editor
Fred Argoff, Kate Haas, Androo Robinson, Donny Smith, Mark Hain, Matt Fagan, Christoph Meyer, Erin Quinlan, Zebulun, Josh Bowron, Eric Lyden, Gavin J. Grant, Bobby Tran Dale, Violet Jones, & William P. Tandy, Reviewers
Androo Robinson and Matt Fagan, Artists
Little Ivan and Emilio, Office Assistants
Janette, Postal Attache
Patrick, More than he realizes
Xerography Debt is a Leeking Inc., publication. It is scheduled to appear 3 times a year. Issues are $2. Send cash/stamps, zines, and correspondence to: Xerography Debt
Davida Gypsy Breier
PO Box 347
Glen Arm, MD
© June 2002
#9 Due out around October, you can pre-order today!
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 completely communal, non-possessive sense. We are individual artists and writers coming together to collaborate and help keep zineland flourishing. It is a communal experience from start to finish.
There is no way we can review everything we receive, but we will try. Do your part by ordering a few zines from the many reviewed here and, if you self-publish, please consider including a few reviews in your zine.
If you are interested in reviewing for XEROGRAPHY DEBT, please contact me by mail or e-mail for some rather vague, but supposedly helpful guidelines. All you need to do is write five reviews that will excite people to send money, stamps, or a trade. Due to the editors love-hate relationship with deadlines, #9 should be ready to fly with the geese
I am receiving more and more zines for review. Until issue #6 complimentary copies were sent all of the zines reviewed. That just isn't feasible any more. If I have your e-mail address, I'll try and email a copy of the review and a link to the new issue on the website. If I can afford the postage I'll send a postcard or letter with the review. If I am unable to do this, please bear with me, I'm doing the best I can. Also, if you have sent your zine in for review and you don't see it listed, please be patient and wait and see if it appears in the following issue.
It is available for free online (some reviews and artwork will only be available in print) or paper copies can be ordered for $2.
According to an article I found on Ananova.com, the time spent reading fiction for pleasure in the UK has dropped to 11 minutes a day. Magazines net 5 minutes a day. It went on to state that 40% of people in the UK never read a book. This is what we are up against folks.
There have been a few changes since the last issue went to print. I found a job in February working for a national animal rights group. I am rather happy with my new position. The downside of the job is that I now work in Washington, DC, which is about 75 miles from where I live. The upside is that I ride the train to work, so I am reading more than ever, and even able to take care of my mail in, dare I say it, an expedient manner. There was another unexpected bonus because of the job - finding a locally owned printer to copy my zines. They seem like really nice guys and offered me a great quote on printing this issue. If you are in the Baltimore/DC/No. Virginia area, you might want to check them out. I decided to run the first ever ad in Xerography Debt because I was so happy with their services and deal (see www.speedeeque.com).
I feel I should mention the following as a reminder of something very simple and basic: stupid fights are just that and you should pay attention. My mother has been helping out with the zines for a long time by picking up my mail a few times a week. Recently she was on her way home from the PO with the latest stack of zines and envelopes, when she was almost just hit by a tractor trailer. She was at a red light and saw a truck on the other side of the intersection start to lose control, headed in her direction. She hit the gas and went through the red light. The cars directly behind her were crushed by the tractor trailer as it jackknifed on top them. She didn't know if the person driving the smaller car survived or not. We had a stupid spat that morning and the what ifs disturb me. If she hadn't been paying attention she could have been killed. Even the cop complimented her quick thinking. Just something to think about.
I see Xerography Debt as the PBS of review zines. It is by us, for us, with no financial incentive, just a dedication to small press. If you have a few spare stamps or dollar bills to help support us and the zine community, it would be most appreciated. Also, let me know if you wish to remain anonymous. This issue's sponsors are:
Al Cene, DB Pedlar, Jeannie McStay, Androo Robinson, Donny Smith, Patrick, Janette, Earl, Owen Thomas, Sam Cucchiara, Kate Haas, Anne Thalheimer, Frank Marcopolos, Josh Bowron, Sean Stewart, Jeff Zenick, and Matt Fagan and a few anonymous benefactors.
The Home of Zineland Security
By Donny Smith
[Dwan, PO Box 411, Swarthmore, PA 19081] firstname.lastname@example.org; www.geocities.com/dwanzine
The first weekend in May, Mark and I were in Indianapolis visiting my brother's. Sunday morning my brother came in all excited. "Gorlyn Nun's on CNN!" This was one of our parents' high school classmates in Ohiowa, Nebraska. He still lives on the family farm, maybe 6 miles from our grandparents' farm. Gorlyn was one of the farmers who found pipe bombs and anti-government letters in their mail boxes. So was Mark Holtzen, one of my brother's high school classmates in Davenport, Nebraska.
Now rural Nebraska is about as isolated as you can get without getting into "Ruby Ridge" territory. It's very normal, and very no-where as far as anyone with political or media power is concerned. Not the place you'd expect a terrorist to be interested in.
So a few days later they catch the pipe bomber. He's a goofy kid who wanted to draw a smiley face on the U.S. map using pipe bombs (which I suppose is a performance art piece worthy of Christo). This was to draw attention to his ideas. His father was quoted as saying, "I think Luke wants people to listen to his ideas and not enough people are hearing him, and he thinks this may help."
I'm not telling these stories to make anyone paranoid or to support any government crack-downs. As I've pointed out before, you're more likely to be killed by a family member or acquaintance than a terrorist. But I always have a moral to these stories:
moral #1: You're not immune, no matter where you live. Take sensible precautions.
moral #2: If this guy had had a zine, maybe he wouldn't have felt such a need to draw attention to his writings. So keep on printing! (Wait- I just realized I'm recommending zining as a way of keeping yourself pacified and inert. No! Get out there and change the world! Just don't do anything stupidly violent.)
And now for some practical advice on protecting yourself from the prisoners, child molesters, psychopaths, and others you will meet in zinedom:
1) Get a PO Box.
2) Use your first name only, or use a pseudonym.
3) Ask questions. If you get an odd request, dont send your zine. Instead ask the person something like, Why are you interested in my zine? How did you hear about it? Watch for evasive or defensive answers.
4) Trust your instincts. If you get a bad feeling from someone, dont correspond with them at all.
5) Be suspicious if a correspondent wants to meet you in person, especially if youre a woman, a transperson, or a gay man. No matter how well you think you know the person, always meet in a public place the first time and always let a friend know where youre going and who youre meeting.
6) Dont correspond with prisoners who mention that theyre getting out soon, not unless youre prepared for the huge emotional, financial, and possibly legal risks of having them show up at your door. (But if you are prepared for that, ex-cons need all the help they can get.)
7) If you have any concerns at all about a prisoner, write to the warden. Just take the address the prisoner gave you, take off the prisoners name, and write WARDEN. Include the prisoners full name and prisoner number in your letter. (If you have online access, just type the name of the prison into a search engine or the name of the state plus the words Department of Corrections.) But be judicious in what you say to the warden, because prisoners get disciplinary action over the slightest things.
8) If you get mail from a non-prisoner thats threatening, asks too-personal questions, or gives you a weird feeling, dont send your zine to that person. In fact, dont even respond to their letters. If necessary, consult with your local postmaster. The Postal Service can send that person a letter saying to stop sending you mail. The relevant forms are Postal Form 1500 Pornographic & Undesirable Mail, if someones been sending you obscene materials, violence-inducing materials, and some types of mail relating to lotteries, or Postal Form 8165 Mail Fraud Complaint Questionnaire, if theres been any money involved. Im not sure what the form number is for creepiness.
9) Give some thought before you exclude prisoners entirely from your mailing list. Theyre human beings too, and this is the reading material they have available:
a) Prison libraries. In some cases a paltry collection of donated materials picked over by Christian fundamentalist hicks.
b) Mail-order purchases. But prisoners cant use Amazon.com and, in some prisons, cant order from used book stores. And while prisoners pay outside prices, plus shipping & handling, they earn inside wages, well below minimum wage.
c) Whatever you send. Many prisoners rely on zines and newsletters for their sanity. We are often their only connection to people like themselves. Imagine if all you had to read was Sports Illustrated, Walmarts Top Ten Bestsellers from 1997, and the Bible.
for further reading:
Explosions! Bits of evidence for you! by Lucas Helder (the mailbox pipebomber). [Madison, Wisconsin] Badger Herald online, May 7, 2002, http://www.badgerherald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2002/05/07/.
Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence by Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes. http://ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/181867.pdf or http://ncjrs.org/txtfiles1/nij/181867.txt.
Feeling "pretty lucky" : area residents discuss brushes with explosives by Rebecca Svec. Hastings [Nebraska] Tribune, May 6, 2002, pp. A1, A7. (I got mine as a clipping from my mom, but it's also available online at http://www.cnweb.com/tribune/old/ may02/may06/news1.html.)
Mail security. United States Postal Service. http://www.usps.gov/news/2001/press/serviceupdates.htm.
Profile of bomb suspect shows complex student by Joe Kolman. Omaha [Nebraska] World-Herald, May 8, 2002, p. 1A.
Rural mail carrier keeping close call in perspective by Rebecca Svec. Hastings [Nebraska] Tribune, May 6, 2002, pp. A1, A7.
Studies and statistics. The Fortune Society ("building people not prisons, since 1967"). www.fortunesociety.org/links.htm#studies.
Terrorism : questions and answers. Council on Foreign Relations. http://www.terrorismanswers.com/index/
Notice About Bill Price:
Bill Price is a twice-convicted child molester. In 1984, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison for molesting a 9-year-old girl. He went to jury trial with 5 counts of child molestation. In the early 90's, he repeatedly molested two girls starting at ages 5 and 6, respectively. In 1993, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is approximately 50 years old.
He has published three zines: Bars, Ishi, and Fem Zine. The first issue of Ishi is written as if he is a sexually abused, young girl, and attempts to appeal to the same. Fem Zine is a listing of zines by young women. Zinewriters have reported an increase in orders from prisons after being listing in Fem Zine, which implies he is distributing this to other prisoners.
Distros and zinewriters have reported that he has shown particular interest in zines with topics of rape, abuse and sex, and zines by young women, heavy-set women, and lesbians. He is having some of his zines and letters mailed from outside the prison, so that people he contacts do not necessarily know he is incarcerated. He was released on parole in May 2001.
M. Kitty is looking for contributions for a zine by, for, and about felines. If you are interested in contributing contact: M. Kitty, PO Box 6681, Portsmouth, NH 03802; email@example.com.
Trip Lit is a new travel literature e-zine that is looking for travel stories. For more information contact Heidi@triplit.com; www.triplit.com.
The AA INDEPENDENT PRESS GUIDE offers 1,000 entries and 200 A4 pages. I have not seen a copy, but it sounds worthwhile. The guide comes as a Microsoft Word file on a CD rom. £5.00 (plus £1.00 s/h in UK ;£2.00 outside UK). Dee Rimbaud, 7 Lothian Gardens (GFL), GLASGOW, G20 6BN, UK; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kyle Brave (How2DIY) is working on a zine about DIY Pet Care, and is still looking for contributions from people about pets other than dogs and cats (i.e. mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters, snakes, lizards, turtles, birds, horses, whatever else people have as pets.) He is looking for stories, tips, info, advice on anything related to caring for animals in ways that are DIY, avoid spending tons of money, etc. He is looking for making your own food for your pet, treating or preventing common ailments/diseases your pet may get, stories about how you dealt with specific problems your pet has had, and just anything about health/diet/lifestyle. Contact Kyle Bravo, PO Box 14523, Richmond, VA 23221; email@example.com.
Matt Holdaway is now working for Comic Relief (a local book/comic/zine store) and is looking to stock more zines. The store will pay half of cover price. Contact Matt at 1945 B Berryman St, Berkeley, CA 94709; firstname.lastname@example.org
Stu Hood sent me some information about his online directory of zines at www.shzine.com. They have a ton of listings and links to zine webpages.
Brent Johnson, who runs the Crazed Sparrow Free Rant Collective zine has opened a the Iowa Killed Buddy Holly small press and zine shop @114 1/2 E. College St. #10 - Iowa City, IA 52240; email@example.com. this is downtown in the hall mall.
Dont forget the postage rates are going up again June 30th. See below for a handy chart.
What's this? More zines to review-where has the time gone? I should say that when I opened up the package Davida sent me, more than just zines tumbled out. There was also a piece of a cockroach, the disgusting quotient of which I cannot begin to describe. What is happening to our mail, and where is it being stored before delivery? Now where was I...oh yeah, those zines for review. Quite a variety. So here's what I thought of them, and after you're through reading, you can write me (I'm sure my address will be listed somewhere as one of the reviewers) and aim your feedback directly at the source. Ready? Here goes...
Little Jack Horner? Tom, Tom the Piper's Son? Listen, pal, those were Medieval characters, and it was long overdue for Mother Goose to wake up and smell the 21st century instant coffee. This is what happens in NURSERY RHYMES FOR GLOBAL CRIMES, which I must tell you right up front is the best of this issue's bunch for review. Anthony Rayson updates the old classics with cleverness and a sharp tongue. Need some titles just to whet your appetite? OK-how about Mary had a Murdered Flock...Dumb, Dumb the Voodoo Son...Hey, Drooling Spittle...Fickle, Fickle Massive War...or perhaps Little Boy Blagoyevich. Mr. R. didn't put a price on the zine, but you're going to be severely remiss if you don't slide a couple of bucks into an envelope and contact him at the South Chicago ABC Zine Distro, P.O. Box 721, Homewood, IL 60430.
PSYCHEDELIC DRESSING ROOM. The very title kind of turns you on, doesn't it? This is Clara's first attempt at zinedom, and she's hit upon a radical new idea: she wants it to be a place where unknown musicians can actually have their music published, so that others can play it. A little tentative, which is fine for a first effort. A little sloppy, which is a good quality; I don't like slick professional stuff that masquerades as a zine. So whether you're into music as a creator or end user, this is a project you'll want to see more of. And for just $1, there's no way you can go wrong! You can reach Clara Brasseur at P.O. Box 1043, State College, PA 16804. Groovy, man!
Sometimes, it's nice to take a break from whatever's going on in your own life, and make a quick visit to someone else's. The best way to do this is by reading a perzine. To my way of thinking, the best perzines are the ones that A) have some degree of literacy, and B) don't degenerate into wild rants or screeds. These must be the reasons why I liked GUMSHOE MONKEY (can't quite figure the title, but anyone can call their own zine anything they like.) I suspect Ellen already knows that you don't need "something to say." You just need the desire to write, and the saying part will take care of itself. $1 from Ellen Adams, 5025 Thacher Rd., Ojai, CA 93023.
Surprisingly enough, I don't like every zine I see. This holds true for VERBICIDE. It's subtitled "Deliberate Distortion of the Sense of a Word," and proclaims its commitment to independent literature, music, and art. This is all very good and well, but I'm afraid the professionally published format is completely unoriginal. In fact, while I leafed through the pages, I had to make a conscious effort to stop thinking of three or four other so-called zines that do exactly the same thing in exactly the same way. .I. myself prefer the indies over the corporates,' but not in this particular publication. $3.50 (that's not a zine price; that's a magazine price) from the guys at Scissors Press, P.O. Box 206512, New Haven, CT 06520.
I've been enjoying MARK-TIME for quite a while. The editor is not only into public transit, but often sends me stuff for my own zines (subjects near & dear to my heart). It's basically a perzine, but this guy gets around and sees more stuff than most of us, so his writing never fails to be varied and interesting. If you want more than that out of a zine, you're getting too greedy for your own good. "'Trades, etc." will land you a copy of the latest issue, which I believe is #65--this has been going on for some time. From Mark Strickert, currently ensconced at P.O. Box 6753, Fullerton, CA 92834
When you run across a zine titled THE F-WORD, you don't know exactly what to expect. Is it going to be some kind of rant in support of profanity, or maybe a wild diatribe by a punk kid who hates the whole world? As things turned out, it was none of the above. It's a humor zine! Vol. 2, No. I includes the insidious truth behind Willy Wonka & his chocolate factory, an interview with Marlon Brando (He is Fat), and a commentary on United States military action in Afghanistan that is most definitely not what you think. Plus, an investigation of what might happen if Swarthmore professors corrected first-grade writing assignments. That last piece holds a key to the zine, by the way: these are college guys having fun. But anyone can join in, even if they haven't listed a price on the cover, or provided a real world address. Instead, you must send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the rest of the country went into a frenzy and started chanting "9/11" like some kind of a mantra, King Wenclas turned his eye toward some of the more insidious characters onstage, and produced WAR HYSTERIA! Absolute hardcore flag-wavers will probably declare this to be unpatriotic garbage of the treasonous variety, but those of us with a couple of active brain cells will appreciate the humor (and be just a little frightened by the basic truths behind it.) Although he calls it a mini-novel rather than a zine, it's solidly grounded in zinedom, and I think it's a shame that more writing like this wasn't produced, making it that much more worthy. Three cheers (and $2) to King Wenclas, I say, and rush yours to him at P.O. Box 42077, Philadelphia, PA 19101.
I shall conclude my reviews this time with CRAZED SPARROW FREE RANT COLLECTIVE. When I first looked through issues 112 and 3, I thought, what manner of lunacy is this? "Layout" is evidently a term without meaning for these guys --and then I realized it was intentional. And look-a lot of the stuff is composed using William Burroughs' old cut-up technique. Being a devotee of the man's writings over the years, I could not help but feel a sudden urge to stand up and yell, "Get your copy of this zine now. I mean, right now!" Find your own meanings among the verbiage, and maybe that sparrow will stop looking so crazed. Merely two first-class stamps per issue, from Brent Johnson, 625 E. Burlington (117), Iowa City, IA 52240.
Howdy, it's Kate of Miranda. ($2 to 3510 SE Alder St. Portland, OR 97214). During the daily two hours of sanity-restoration that is a toddler's naptime I write about adventures with and without a baby, report on DIY projects, profile lost companions, muse on various experiences in my less hectic and more far-flung past, and occasionally write up a batch of these reviews for Davida. I'm happy to be here again.
Waiting for Sleep
The debut issue of Waiting for Sleep offers tantalizing glimpses into Cathy's life: a hilarious letter to her disapproving grandmother, assuring her that, among other things, "we date our letters and use proper grammar so as not to reflect badly upon ourselves."; a meditation on what makes a home; the exhausting daily round of a young mother ("what little life I've ever had feels like it's been sucked out of me completely.") However, the theme of the zine - randomness - works against it; these brief glimpses are interspersed with a lot of chaotic, haphazardly written lists ("pastry brush emergency; zygomatic! Give your baby cheerios!") which are distracting and make for a fragmented reading experience. One individual's random thoughts just don't always make for compelling reading. Cathy gets boatloads of credit though, for putting her zine together while in the throes of maternal sleep-deprivation; the zine community needs more input from parents, and I hope Waiting for Sleep will stick around. Issue #1 $1 or stamps Cathy Tullysmith, 409 Water St. Jackson CA 95642; email@example.com
Twenty-Eight Pages Lovingly Bound With Twine
Oh, what a delight it is to come across an unfamiliar zine by a good writer! Christoph, who is relatively new to zines, confides that he still "honestly enjoys" the many predictable zines sent to him by "young male punks with a vague passion for music and young females with a vague passion for feminism and a love of introspective poetry." I, alas, am far, far more jaded - which is why 28PLBwT made such an impression. It's undoubtedly the ex-English teacher in me, but my heart warmed at the introduction in which Christoph vows to reduce typos and improve his writing in content and style. (Take heed, young zinesters!). The highlight of this issue is an account of the recent home birth of Christoph's son, Herbie. From plastic sheets to intense contractions to "birthing goo," Christoph captures the details of childbirth as well as any onlooker can. Especially moving is his description of Lisa, his wife, holding the baby for the first time. Elsewhere are reader letters, a movie review, and a safety lesson comic featuring "Natural Gas Joe," including - bizarre - a scratch and sniff blue flame that smells like a gas leak. 28PLBwT is highly recommended! Issue #3 $2 or trade, 3 issue sub: $5, 6 issues: $10, 12 issues:$18 Christoph Meyer, POB 106, Danville OH 43014
While I feel no compunction about zine writers availing themselves of the resources of large corporations in order to publish their work (i.e. scamming photocopies), and I'd do it myself if I worked for one, I'm less forgiving of someone who rips off our underfunded public schools in the same fashion - and then has the nerve to complain about the quality of the photocopiers. Enough about that. Dave's zine is a journal-style depiction of his job as a substitute Education Assistant in special ed classrooms, and if you've ever wondered what goes on in that environment, read this. Taking teenagers to the bathroom, dealing with a screaming autistic boy, and doing art projects for students who are asleep in their wheelchairs are all in a day's work. On Subbing gives a vivid picture of an educational setting most of us know little about, and it's quite sobering. Although his writing is mostly straight-ahead description, the occasional reflections on his job ("The day went smoothly until it dawned on me that these kids wouldn't live more than ten years.") add dimension. An insert to this issue, "Seattle on $0 a Day" tells of Dave's adventures freight hopping to Seattle and back. Issue #3 $? Dave Roche, 5415 N. Albina Ave. #314, Portland OR 97217; firstname.lastname@example.org
Off My Jammy
The cover of Off My Jammy ("showing the light-hearted side of indie rock and world travel since 1993") features the names of a bunch of bands I've never heard of; however, this did not detract in the slightest from my enjoyment of the zine, nor did it cause me to suffer flashbacks to my terminally unhip HS days. I can only imagine, therefore, how much someone who's really plugged into the indie rock scene is going to love OMJ. In this, the School Issue, members of three European bands (Solex, Console, the Concretes) discuss the types of cliques in their high schools, Boss Hogg's lead vocalist talks about how she's planning to educate her four-year-old, and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney (ok, ok, I have heard of them), expounds on whether Noam Chomsky is a greater linguist than political philosopher! Three generations of teachers (grandma, daughter, granddaughter) are interviewed about their profession, the members of Heidi explain why they wear cheerleader uniforms to perform, and a Filipina zinester contributes a thoughtful essay about language and multicultural education in her country. This is fascinating stuff: intelligent and well written (and the record reviews are a hoot!). I'm impressed with the way editor Lisa has not only combined her two interests, but woven them into a theme as well (recent issue's themes have been Brazil and "hot"). A+ Issue #14 $1.50 PO Box 440422, Somerville, MA 02144 email@example.com
Anyone who has spent time in a public school - no matter on which side of the big desk - will recognize the stuff that goes on in art teacher John's excellent comic zine. From the kid yelling, "Call my house, my father don't care!" to the administrator who instructs him to "just keep the kids quiet," on testing day, this is public schooling in all its raw reality. Most of the zine consists of the account of John's struggle to get a mural painted on a wall in the playground. Naturally, this turns into a odyssey through beaurocracy, and there's a wonderful, triumphant moment when John finally finds a stash of paint in the school basement and his plans begin to come together. The drawings in Paping are intriguing; the characters' faces look like they are wearing masks, with mismatched features - they are riveting. The art in this zine is unique and well-crafted, definitely worth checking out. Issue #4 $2 Paping c/o John, 60 St. Marks Pl., #4, New York, NY 10003
The Edgy-catin' Mama
Editor Nina started this zine in an effort to reach out to other feminist homeschoolers like herself, and the more I read her zine, the more I envy the kids being raised and educated by the cool, feminist mamas who contribute to Edgy. There are articles describing projects their kids are working on (the study of frogs, native crafts, and tracking, to name a few), an essay by a young woman describing how her unschooling experience informs her feminism, and ruminations on the delights and the self doubts of homeschooling. The mamas of Edgy never present themselves as perfect, which is what makes it such a good read. Confessing that she (like all of us) yells at her kids sometimes, Nina acknowledges that of course she wouldn't scream at her adult friends this way, but, "Our friends don't come over to our house and fight with each other from dawn to dusk about who is more stupid." And I love the grumbling about critical relatives who sidle up to a homeschooled child and ask, "How many years older are you than your brother?" in an effort to see if the kid knows arithmetic. Whether you were homeschooled, plan to homeschool, consider yourself a feminist, or are simply curious about alternatives in education, you won't regret sending for The Edgy-catin' Mama. Issue #3 $2 Nina Packebush, 1102 Hiatt Ct., Sultan, WA 98294 firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm in the homestretch. By August I should have my library science degree. Don't know what that means for my zining. Maybe with schoolwork out of the way I'll put out five issues of Dwan per year (always my goal). Or maybe with my new "professional" status I'll have no time for anything but reading library journals (shudder) and attending conferences. Dwan available from Donny Smith, Box 411, Swarthmore PA 19081 USA for $2 cash (free to prisoners); email@example.com http://www.geocities.com/dwanzine/
Archive #1 (June 2000)
available from Wooden Shoe Books in Philadelphia for $1 or possibly from Deanna Hitchcock, PO Box 8131, Pittsburgh PA 15217 USA for $2?
on the cover: a typewriter, "History / Events / Movements / Left out of your textbooks"
inside: Reports on eugenics, conservation, historiography, relativity and the arts, and women in the labor movement.
commentary: I've got mixed feelings about this zine. It was kind of good, but mostly it was like reading someone's high school social studies report. Maybe by a really smart, left-leaning student, but still a report. It got me to thinking about what makes a zine good. I think I've decided that a zine has to offer me something I can't get anywhere else. This is where perzines have the advantage. No-one can really tell me all the personal details of your life except you. Which isn't to say there's no place for book reports, book reviews, accounts of your adventures in readings, etc. But it would be much more interesting to hear your neighbor's recollections about pre-Roe birth control than to hear your version of what John D'Emilio says about the Comstock Laws. I can read D'Emilio's books myself. Which isn't to say that I haven't been guilty of this kind of thing. In fact, I usually devote several pages of each Dwan to reprinting some old thing or another. But in a way that proves my point. The reprinted stuff in Dwan is often my lazy way of filling up the number of pages I need for my layout. So I guess the point is, a really good zine isn't just thrown together. You have to put a lot of yourself into it. On the other hand, I might just be prejudiced against Archive because Deanna lists David Rubin's Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex in her recommended readings as a classic on sex. I haven't read it since high school, but I remember it being disturbingly sex-phobic and misogynistic. Rubin probably single-handedly kept me in the closet for a few extra years. He is obsessed, in a really nasty way, with anal play. He lets lesbians off easy only because he seems to think they don't exist outside prison.
Decades of Confusion Feed the Insect Number 31 (January 2002)
available from 218 Buckingham Pl, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA for $2 firstname.lastname@example.org
on the cover: angelic creature with silvery eyes inside: Dreams and drawings. An interview with the Tuvan band Yat-kha.
overall: This may be the first time I've bothered to read a band interview in a zine. And it wasn't a waste of time! I loved the "true stories." They're the kind of thing I understand (at least every night as I sleep).
quote: These writings are a "choose your own adventure", and a sort of board game. They are also a lithmus test, a rorsach test, a test of your resolve against the magnet mind of the Galaxy Being.
Eighteen Street Stencils Number Three (October 2000)
available from Wooden Shoe Books in Philadelphia for $1 or from Justseeds, PO Box 476971, Chicago, IL 60647 USA; email@example.com for $1 + $1.50 postage (or the set of four for $4 + $2.50 postage)
inside: Pictures of spraypainted stencils from the streets of Philadelphia, Mexico City, New York, Chicago, and Boulder. Advice on using spray paint.
overall: I love this kind of zine. Clean layout, clear graphics, unique documentation. note: Josh of Justseeds says he is working on a book on stencils to be published in 2003 or 2004. He says, "I hope to make it really useful to people with lots of how-to material, history, stories, etc. and yes, I am definitely accepting photos of stencils for the book and photos of any and all street art for future zines."
Pick Your Poison #2 (winter 2001)
available from Nate Gangelhoff, PO Box 8995, Minneapolis, MN 55408 USA for $1 PickYourPoison@beer.com
on the cover: gunfight in a poolhall
inside: autobiographical anecdotes, mostly centered around Rick, a young hoodlum from a Christian family quote: "Mommy! Mommy! I just saw daddy in the bathroom and I saw his PENIS!" "Ha ha!" Rick laughed "Was it tiny?" "No, it was BIG" Rick Sr. strolled into the room and adjusted his tie, face a little red. "Honey, knock before you come into the bathroom" "My dad's such a pussy" Rick explained, turning to us, pointing a finger at him. . . . "Oh, come on you guys!" Rick's mom would giggle, trying to defuse the situation. "Anyone want nachos?"
overall: I'm glad this wasn't me and hope I never live next door to anyone like this. But hilarious nonetheless.
Rollerbones (early 2002?)
available from Bridget, PO Box 19554, Portland OR 97280 USA for $1
on the cover: "Jeweled roller skates, 1920," dancing skeletons, Sanrio bunnies
inside: Fun stories about rollerskating. Almost makes me wish I could rollerskate (but not quite). Backwards skating, speed skating, old-people skating, singing while skating, skating gangs. Plus reviews of skating-related movies. And a little packet of stickers! Oh, and stories of skating and public-access TV! Not to mention skating while shoplifting and skating and mall security guards and skating to circus music in cemeteries at night!
quote: And that is how rollerskating made me feel special.
Rubén's Orphans : Anthology of Contemporary Nicaraguan
Poetry translated by Marco Morelli (2001)
available from Painted Rooster Press at http://www.NicaPoets.org; firstname.lastname@example.org; for $10 + $2 shipping (U.S.) or at http://amazon.com/ for $12.95 + shipping
on the cover: dramatic photos of Nicaraguan children
inside: Poems in Spanish by eight Nicaraguan poets, with facing-page English translations. Four women and four men. At least two of the men are gay, but all of the poets deal with sexuality in an open (but usually ambiguous) way. Many of the poems come from the Nicaraguan zine 400 elefantes.
overall: I started out mistrusting Morelli's translations. I would come across lines like this, from his translation of Marta Leonor González's "1985. Diez años después": The heart I hold in my hands says: slowness of life runs through the blood, It's awkward. But when I examine González's text I think he's probably being faithful to her tone: El corazón que está en mis manos dice: lentitud de vida corre por la sangre, González's style is blunt and inelegant-Morelli says that "It is her way of facing ugliness and abjection while honoring the human within" -and yet tender.
Here's an example from her "Misiva para Simona": Dejaste atrás los miedos cuando tu rostro explotó en herida y tu pecho doloroso no dio cabida a la caricia, fue cuando tu deseo no encontró cuña.
Morelli's translation: You left your fears behind when your face exploded in injury and your raw bosom made no room for endearment, it was then your desire found no chock.
(And though a chock is literally what a cuña is, it's so out of place in the sentence, I really want some other word there. Can't think of a better one at the moment, though.) Morelli does best translating the poets he says are most difficult. Here's a line from Tania Montenegro's "El balón" followed by his translation: G.N. patada la puerta dice no mata gente inocente, ordena calle. G.N. [Somocista security force] kicks down door says he doesn't kill innocent people, orders silence. He brings across the violence of her line as well as the literal meaning. Much of the book has a similar tone-a strange mix of horror, resignation, and fight. As Morelli points out in his introduction, this isn't "revolutionary" poetry, not of the kind the Sandinistas nurtured. But it's not apolitical or reactionary either. It's poetry written by intelligent people living, despite whatever the United States, the hurricanes, or the current government might do to them. quote: Because if there's anything which poetry is for, if there's something that a book can do, isn't is precisely this? . . . To start to break through our indifferences, to crack open the tombs of our isolation, and to begin constructing a space where LIFE is something we share-rather than destroy.
The Sludge Pond #8A (early 2002?)
available from Maria K, PO Box 356, Hatfield, PA 19440 USA for free
on the cover: the interior of Maria's refrigerator (full of strangely phallic items)
inside: Maria's musings on numbers, putting things in order, weeding books in the library, doggie names, urinals, door-closing, finger-picking, deodorization, and so on. Maria always dwells on the difficulties of interpersonal relations, usually in a kind of one-sided way; i.e., she's painfully shy. But in this issue she explores a new kind of difficulty: Did Maria have a boyfriend?
quote: . . . (as opposed to the most essential items-to-be-washed, which, in most cases, are, of course, nonbinding underpants).
[Ed.: Donny really likes this zine. This is the second time he has reviewed it in as many issues. Please, everyone, get a copy today, unless you want to see it reviewed again next time.]
Winson's Life (last viewed March 2002)
available from Winson Shuen at http://www.winsonshuen.com/ email@example.com
on the "cover": pictures of Winson in action
inside: Winson's journals
overall: I believe I referred to this as cute in past reviews, which I don't think he likes (even though it's true). How about vivacious? note: This site replaces Michael's Closeted Page, reviewed in past Xerography Debts. Winson tells me, "Everything is new there, all except the spirit of the website. It's a stage above MCP, simply because I'm older now [than] I was back then for MCP. The new website is newer, and more energetic, and more real than MCP because this represent the real me, not Michael." quote: Maybe I'm just sinking toward my bitterness one step at a time. O great, one more thing that I'm not sure about. Just where is my life heading anyway? up? down? hell? well as long as I'm somewhere.
Zines (April 2002)
possibly available from Ellen A, 5025 Thacher Rd, Ojai, CA 93023; firstname.lastname@example.org if you ask nicely or send a few dollars
on the cover: a collage of zine covers inside: a history of zinedom, with an overview of the current scene commentary: Now, even though this is someone's high school report, she didn't just read some books about zines and summarize those. She dug into primary materials, she interviewed a bunch of zinesters. This is original research, but it's still readable and fun and very personal.
I used to do a zine called Boys Who Wear Glasses. Or maybe I still do, I'm not sure. I've got the zine writer's quandary of trying to earn a living. To any of you who might remember BWWG, over the past couple of years I've gone through jags of writing frenziedly with a new issue in mind, but then it all just seems like crap when I'm done. I'm in the slow process of trying to put something together for a web-site because it seems so much easier.
I'm still working at an art museum in Philadelphia, although I've now risen (or at least moved sideways) to the position of Assistant Curator. I'm curating an on-line exhibition of the permanent collection, which is a huge project. Right now I'm in the process of looking at the 12,000-plus works on paper in the collection, and trying to select 500 prime examples. I've come to the realization that I'll probably get no further professionally without getting a Ph.D., which makes me feel like throwing up, especially when I consider the words of an old friend who said that being in a doctoral program is a lot like being in the Army.
Available from Alvin email@example.com
One of my favorite zines from years past has gone the e-route. You can keep up with Alvin and what's going on in his life with periodic e-mailings that are sort of a wee mini-zine. Don't fret that they're small-- Alvin manages a dispatch about twice a week. Recent postings include Alvin's attempts to secure a loan and become a small business owner, reports on attending the world premiere of the stage version of Hairspray in Seattle, sightings of celebs around town, and the minutiae of every day life. Alvin also goes to see a lot of bands, so you can live the Seattle music scene vicariously. Just like the paper version, Ugly Boy retains the tone of being written by the world's most congenial curmudgeon.
Available from Mark Hain, P.O. Box 411, Swarthmore, PA 19081, $1 |
I've still got a bunch of copies of this now years-old one-off collaborative project with the fabulous Maria Goodman. As you can see, I'm trying to overcome my trepidations about self-promotion. I'm tired of being an anonymous schlub, and besides, I want to have these zines off my hands by the next time I have to move. Ugli Fruit is our tribute to the joys and sorrows of food: thrill to our smarty-pantsness in a long, entertaining conversation on many facets of the subject. In addition, I make fun of some weird candy, and Maria relates her experiences with eating disorders in one of the most wonderful, moving pieces of zine writing I've ever read. Plus a whole lot more. We had fun with this collaboration, and I think it shows. See for yourself.
Pick Your Poison #2 (winter 2001)
available from Nate Gangelhoff, PO Box 8995, Minneapolis, MN 55408 USA for $1 PickYourPoison@beer.com
Pick Your Poison is a compelling, disturbing, hilarious, well written account of the stultifying effects of suburbia on testosterone-addled teenage boys. As I read the exploits of Nate and his crew, I kept thinking "Is this really true? Were these kids really such bad-asses? How did they get away with all this?" My own reaction to suburban teenagerhood was to withdraw from everything and shut myself in my bedroom. Guess I'm just jealous. About half of the zine is devoted to the saga of Nate's high school friend Rick, who, in rebelling against his clueless, wishy-washy, fundamentalist parents, metamorphoses from disaffected junior-oaf into a drugged-out runaway covered in self-incised Satanic tattoos. Fascinating. It all affirms that adults are stupid and have their heads up their asses and that teenagers are stupid and obnoxious. Although Nate reveals he's of the type that purposefully revs his car engine to irritate people, a type in my book that are right in there with assholes who have to constantly hawk loogies all over creation, let their damn dogs take a crap in the middle of the sidewalk and not clean it up, or have hollered conversations into cell phones, I still recommend his zine.
Weird N. J. #16 Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and
Best Kept Secrets.
Available from Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran ("Publishers/Editors/Everything") @ Weird N.J. Inc., PO Box 1346, Bloomfield, NJ, 07003 for $4 www.weirdnj.com
What a great concept-- New Jerseyians write in to relate their experiences with the weirdness of their state, from supernatural and inexplicable to quirky and charming. Longer articles include readers' accounts of getting creeped out by the abandoned town of Wallpack Center; getting the willies from an abandoned slaughterhouse; getting freaked out by an isolated stretch of road habituated by violent white trash and location of a bridge graffiti'd with the legend "Kill Yourself"; getting the heebie-jeebies from unpleasant characters in eerie Button Woods, and not helping a man found tied to a tree deep in the forest. Other articles include an account of the inexplicable disappearance of a mysterious recluse's house; a report on the controversial early 20th century ethnographic study on a supposedly imbecilic family; an expose of Thomas Edison as an asshole (tell us something we don't know!). There's sections on ghosts, UFOs, caves, tiny houses, tombstones, architectural ornaments, and local characters including Yahoo, the Lump Man, the Boody, and Wavin' Willie. Plus there's literally about 100 more tales, some disturbing, many humorous. Weird N.J. is a professional-looking but still funky 88-page treasure.
Climax By Jake Johnson 41/4 x 51/2; 70pp; $2 cash/stamps/trade
Jake Johnson has created a 2-month documentary of his orgasms, painstakingly handwritten in his steno book and then photocopied on these pages. The concept is very simply declared on the cover: "I had 38 orgasms between July 2nd and August 24th. I wrote about every one of them." This is neither the best-written nor the most fascinating per-zine project I have ever read, but there is something undeniably engrossing about Climax. One of the most exciting aspects of personal zines is the voyeuristic quality - we all know that when you write a perzine, you open a window into your life and all your readers get to peek at you through it. Well, Jake had chosen to open his bedroom window, his bathroom window (and, in one instance, the window to a public restroom.) It's like when the people across the alley are fucking with their curtains open - you don't necessarily want to watch, but hey, free porn! What saves Climax from being mere voyeurism is the fact that Jake does end up conveying a sense of a personal journey being undertaken. Through the cum-goggles, we begin to see how and why certain orgasms are more meaningful than others, and how his masturbation habits start to change because he knows they will be documented (it is, after all, impossible to observe behavior without the very observation itself affecting the behavior of that which is observed). And even, eventually, a feeling of impending love. Very raw and unedited, but Climax is executed with inoffensive good humor and is worth checking out. I'd even let my Mom read it!
Klempner 214 By Harold Penis Digest size (horizontal); 40pp; no
price listed (a couple bucks?) firstname.lastname@example.org
The artwork of this comic book hits me as a strange combination of pornography, postindustrial cyberpunk, and manual schematics. The story, such as it is, has a fluidity and surrealism that is enhanced by the deliberate foreignness of its presentation, so even if what you're seeing doesn't make sense, precisely, you accept it in the same way you would accept your lack of understanding while watching an Eastern European children's cartoon. I wouldn't attempt to write a book report about Klempner 214, but there is a narrative to follow, with pervading themes of rats, lust, and metamorphosis, all presented with a loving nastiness that I found thoroughly absorbing. To my knowledge, I have not encountered Mr. Penis' work before, but I really like what I see. Also included in this mailing were 2 teeny little square mini-comics: "Good Morning, Mr. Ramsbottom" and "Good Old-Fashioned Wisdom", both written by Ryan Matthews and illustrated by Harold Penis. They're both funny and hyperviolent with an almost innocent cuteness to them, and made a fun companion to the larger work. But I have to say I'm more interested in seeing further examples of Harold Penis drawing his own stories. The back of Klempner 214 implores the reader to contact Mr. Penis "for more comics in this interesting series", and I think that's a pretty good idea.
The Charming Deceiver Digest, 16pp; $1 By Kelly Froh 1317 Boren
Ave. Apt. 206, Seattle, WA 98101 K.email@example.com
At one time or another, we've all sat in the audience, projecting our foolish romanticism onto that mesmerizing charmer up on the stage. For Kelly Froh, that charmer comes in the unlikely form of Monty Banks, a polyester-shirted, black-glasses-wearing middleaged piano man. Now quit your mocking! It's not about looks, you shallow dogs! This sort of crush is about persona, charisma, that indefinable something that makes a star! The Charming Deceiver is an illustrated story about Kelly's aborted attempts to engage Monty in conversation, to make an impression, to insinuate herself into his mind the way he had done to her. Whether you believe it or not, whether or not you would have done the same, this story is all too true and familiar, fraught with frustration and heartbreak. And it's completely adorable to boot! So cough up a buck, ya tightwads, and read it for yourself.
100 Jockeys digest, 24pp; $2 By Kelly Froh
Talk about truth in advertising! 100 Jockeys is the most accurate and precise use of titles since the Mike Figgis film The Loss of Sexual Innocence, but this zine is way less boring and won't waste 2 hours of your life. Within these pages are - you guessed it! - one hundred drawings of jockeys, inspired by Kelly's love of going to the track. Maybe you've never thought much about jockeys. I hadn't. But look, there's a hundred of them here! How could you go wrong?
OK Commuter #2 digest 80pp; #3 digest 76pp; each $2 by John Solo
c/o OK Commuter 99 Park Avenue #361-A, New York, NY 10016
This is my new very most favorite zine. Perhaps because of my complex history with public transportation, or perhaps because of my soft spot for punk-rock faggots, or maybe I just like writers who don't suck. In any case
Here's the premise. JJ is a punk rock faggot who currently disguises himself as a corporate shill to make money in the big city (compensating for this shamefulness by using the money for good causes, like Food Not Bombs, and selling his zine cheap). He gets to and from his job via train, and we know what that's like - except trains in New York are even better than the ones where you live.
Every time he's on the train, JJ writes in his little pink steno pad - and he appears to do so with the sort of dedication that most of us can only dream of. Every so often he types up the stuff from his steno and unleashes it on the world - photocopied on pink paper, for authenticity - in the form of OK Commuter.
And what, you ask, does this punk rock faggot write about? Well, lots of stuff! He's got a bunch of time to kill on those trains!
Some of it is just the sort of random rhapsodizing and opinionated reactionism we all feel when trapped in an enclosed space with people unfamiliar to us - the difference is that JJ possesses an eloquence and clarity (even when rough and unedited) that is sorely lacking from the notebooks you peered into when eyedropping on the guy next to you that last time you rode the train. You actually want to read what JJ is writing!
He chronicles the headgames one can play with fellow passengers (trust a punk boy to know how to do it write) or people on the sidewalk (the sidewalk is a part of the commute, so it counts). Elaborate strategies for getting the perfect seat, and stuff about work that is largely informed by his position as a corporate impostor. The whole shebang smacks of urban anthropology and will seem especially meaningful to any of us who have ever felt like interlopers in our day jobs. His writing is peppered with clever neologisms for which he includes a handy glossary
EYEDROP noun: To optically eavesdrop. To shoulder surf. To look over someone's shoulder to see what they're reading.
SAM acronym: Sidewalk Alpha Male. A SAM is the person on the sidewalk who never changes their course and makes you get out of their way.
SRO adj: Short for Standing Room Only. This term means "almost sold out", such as when a punk like me takes a job with a multinational corporation.
As far as I'm concerned, OK Commuter is everything a perzine ought to be: thematically oriented - but just enough to keep it from being disjointed, not so rigid as to feel constrained. As honest as a diary but written with an audience in mind. And well-written, with a cleverness and humor that never feels mean-spirited, even when it probably should be. This isn't a jobzine, a queerzine, it's just a cool, good zine that transcends its pigeon holes with mass (transit) appeal!
P.S. JJ will you marry me?
Out of the Blue #5 $2; Digest, 36pp P.O. Box 471, House Springs,
MO 63051 firstname.lastname@example.org
Out of the Blue is a showcase for writers and artists of the small press, so don't count on a lot of consistency. This is definitely one of those entities whose content will be determined by whatever you send to the intrepid editor, Mr. Larned Justin. Regarding issue five, I was a little disappointed by the prose - don't get me wrong, I'm all for writing it raw and then setting it free upon an unsuspecting world. But these are not confessionals or rants, but rather stories - and to me, stories require a greater degree of revision and care than is evidenced in OotB. Now, before you light the torches and convene the mob, allow me to explain. I did not find them to be terrible, mostly just underdeveloped. I was not engaged as I read them, and you never want your reader to be susceptible to distraction. You must trap your reader within the inescapable confines of your prose and not relinquish them, at any cost, until the last line. And another good rule to remember: there are about 3 authors in the entire universe who have the ability to write in vernacular and actually pull it off. No matter how good you think you are, you are not one of them! So don't.
That said, there is still plenty to enjoy about OotB. "Repetitive Motion of Adjourn" was strangely compelling, both in structure and content; I read it several times. There's also a whole mess of comics to enjoy. And to top it all off, Larned includes fourteen pages of reviews showcasing both zines and comics, including reprints of their covers and inside details. Nobody could ask for anything more from a reviewer!
Eight-Stone Press Presents Practicing for Solitude Digest 36pp;
$2 By William P. Tandy P.O. Box 963; Havre de Grace, MD 21078
The prolific Mr. Tandy brings us yet another nicely written (and attractively packaged) collection of stories, in this follow-up to his Golden Globe nominated, multiplatinum tour-de-force Smile Hon, You're in Baltimore!
Practicing for Solitude is something along the lines of "serious humor". Much of the motive here is political - much writing, these days, is inevitably political, unless you try very hard to keep out all politics (in which case the writing becomes political anyway, if only by virtue of its conspicuous absence). But Mr. Tandy sort of slips in sideways, acknowledging the effects of 9-11 because, well, because we all have to, in one way or another. But mainly his stories are about real life, about the details and minutiae and occasionally ridiculous gravity of those details - for which 9-11 serves as a foil.
Here is this story, this story about how you typed this document and put a period where there should not have been a period. Damn you! This is the end of the world! Which is funny enough on its own. But how much funnier if we're not allowed to forget about things that are actually important.
I enjoyed all the stories in Practicing for Solitude, and even the poetry ( and I usually want to puke when I read poetry). But my favorite was "Joey Ramone is Dead", because I'm looking for a job as an editor. Mr. Tandy writes of his one-time editorial assistant position in which he had to read really bad poetry from America's heartland for eight hours a day, and in this story he hypothesizes about how much worse that job would be now, in the wake of September 11.
Good call, Tandy. I'm gonna be a bike messenger instead.
The Profane Document Digest 40pp; and The Last Temptation of
Cactus Digest 36pp; each $5 by Morris Stegosaurus; email@example.com
The best way to experience the works of Morris Stegosaurus is to hear him perform them, because Morris is one of the most exciting readers around. But even on the page there is a fullness of energy, of excitement and tragedy and love. Even as his poems reach the depths of hopelessness, he contradicts the despair of reality with a childlike whimsy that none of life's cruelties can defeat. I've had the pleasure of listening to him several times in Chicago, and if you're lucky you can catch him at a poetry slam somewhere. But for everybody else, you can still fill that Morrisvoid in your life by picking up these chapbooks.
The Profane Document is from January 2001, when our Mr. Stegosaurus was living in Jersey City and performing on the slam circuit in New York. Aside from the obvious perk of featuring two photos of Morris (naked, in a doghouse!), there are also some truly delicious morsels here. Like "And Now a Word from Our Sponsor!" in which one man on a nationwide quest to finally discover a soap that contains lotion ("it needn't have much, maybe only a quarter") is thrilled to meet another man, who spins him a fabulous tale of a soap that just might fill the bill. You can read of a young traveller's ongoing oracular encounters with the Magic Cactus of Torment. And let's not forget Morris' hilarious "In Defense of Doggerel". Not just anybody can pull off a rhyme that simultaneously utilizes and subverts all the tropes of Really Bad Poetry. He invokes the Gods of Good Taste who issue a divine decree outlawing doggerel, citing all its bad points, to which Morris responds:
On hearing this drivel, I'm filled with annoyance,
For though I'm not gifted with special clairvoyance,
I strongly suspect that of all of our verse,
Dog'rel's not bad! There are others far worse!
Dog'rel is fun, and it lightens the spirit
Of anyone willing to sit down and hear it.
It keeps the mind agile, and passes the time -
Who cares if it butchers the meter or the rhyme scheme a little bit?
From March 2002 comes The Last Temptation of Cactus which, as you may suspect, revisits the Magic Cactus of Torment. Overall, this is a more serious and personal book, though certainly not without its light moments. This collection will take you on a disparate journey, from the Emperor of Forbidden Wonderment and a highly ambitious puppy, to the very best thing I have ever read about September 11. Once you realize that yes, it's true, the kind of person who would fly a plane into a building is the same kind of person who would run around in the rain, using their umbrella to poke ducks instead of for its intended purpose, it's quite logical to follow Morris to the conclusion he reaches.
So listen, coming from a guy who really doesn't read poetry, and especially doesn't buy chapbooks, I encourage you all to pick these up. And there's another, older one too, called All These Things I Do, I Do for Love, which is also great, but I can't find my copy right now so I won't say any more about it. Just get them. And read them out loud. Read them like you mean it.
Laundry Basket: Tales of Washday Woe
Laundry Basket is a classic concept executed with consideration. It is a little zine containing a collection of stories about laundering, laundromats, laundrocentrism, laundrophiles, and other such trivialities. Included in the margins are frivolities in the form of clever laundromat titles, (That Missing Sock, New York, NY - Soak-a-motion, Chelsea, MA for instance) and subsections with important dates in laundry history, etc. It is a healthy outlet for one's vicarious voyeurism in the form of recollection. Few expressions can transform the mundane to charming the way a quarter page zine can. one off $1 or equivalent trade; 30 pgs. A.J. Michel, P.O. Box 2574, Champaign, IL 61825; firstname.lastname@example.org
"It takes time for word of mouth and title familiarity. Unless your name is Tom Clancy . . . you're not going to fly off the shelves no matter what. Oh, unless your name is Cometbus." -- Atomic Books website
Cometbus is a terrifically executed zine containing vastly more than two dollars worth of pathos and vision. This volume is a three part compendium of interviews with people who experienced, participated, witnessed, and/or survived a movement to return to a "natural" state and either squat on or purchase acreage outside the establishment of the city. The interviewed subjects are diverse and engaging. Aaron's questions are sensitive and knowledgeable. Cometbus is a bold visual statement and nearly manic text exhibition that belongs in your collection. #48: Back To The Land; $2; approx. 70 pgs. back issues available for $2.50 through BBT P.O. Box 4279, Berkeley, CA 94704
In the last issue of Xerox, I mean, Xerography Debt Eric Lyden wrote "Remember the early days of XD when people would organize their reviews into lists? I socta miss that, so I will do my best to revive that" Actually I don't remember it because I wasn't involved in zines back in those carefree, untroubled times. But I do like the idea so I've also grouped my reviews into lists. Thosefive lists being 1.) Zines by DB Pedlar 2.) A Trip to Quimby's 3.) A Letter to Jeff Somers 4.) Zines From Davida
Zines by DB Pedlar
Skunk's Life #19 $2 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" 60 pgs. DB Pedlar, 25727 Cherry Hill Rd. Cambridge Springs, PA 16403
A pleasantly odd and highly readable zine. Just good plain fun. There are a couple of fictional pieces and some "Musty Dusty Book Chat". I mean, who in their right mind doesn't enjoy a little Musty Dusty Book Chat. The author, DB Pedlar, is even learning how to draw and shares some of his first effortswith us. The quirkiest part of this pleasantly quirky zine is a "Cranky Section". The Cranky Section contains "nudity and references to nudity" but he also warns that many people will be disappointed. This section is sealed shut with a "cranky seal" which must be broken to read the presumably mild smut within. Why do I write "presumably"? Well, because I never broke open the cranky section. It's not that I didn't enjoy the zine. It's just that try as I might, I couldn't bring myself to open it. I eyed that seal over and over thinking of how satisfying it would be to rip into that cranky section. Even now as I write this, my copy of Skunk's Life is lying on the table in front of me, taunting me with its promise of smut. But there's something about this little drawing of a lady holding her hands out to warn me to stop that actually makes me stop (see fig. 1). I want to break the seal but I just cant' do it. A doctor could examine the seal and confirm that it is indeed virginal and unbroken; no man has violated its chastity. Although I must admit that while I never actually penetrated the seal I did take a little peek inside. Taking the zine in my hand I squeezed it between my thumb and fingers. My thumb on the spine and my fingers on the opposite ends of the pages so that the pages separated into a football shape as illustrated in figure 2. And thusly I peeked inside. Something about the promise of smut that makes one want to peek even if you know its not going to be very smutty. I couldn't see much. I read a sentence or two then, feeling guilty, shut the pages and haven't peek inside again. I might be splitting hairs here like in former President Clinton's definition of sexual relations. But the seal is still there and I'm sure my story would hold up in a court of law. This is a good zine and I recommend you send for a copy. But I also recommend that you do as I did and not violate the maidenly inner sanctum of the cranky section. The tantalizing promise of a thing imagined can be much better than the actuality of a thing possessed.
Contessa's Tome #6 $2 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" 36 pgs. same as Skunk's
The main feature of Tome #6 is a biography of D.D. Palmer, the founder of Chiropratics. It's pleasant to read a history zine. Historical Biography is a welcome change from reading yet another zine about, oh say, punk music. The zine starts off with the fictional adventures of the Rouge Readers. I believe that the fiction is used as an introduction to the main feature in each issue. I'm on the fence as to weather I like the fiction. I'll have to read another issue or two, I mean tome or two, to decide for sure. But it's a weird, wacky, quirky idea and that's what makes zines Fun. I have a special fondness for historical biography. I devour them like a lonely housewife goes through paperback romances. I had never heard of D.D. Palmer nor read anything about chiropractic medicine so this was a good introduction to them both. Go ahead and send $2 to Mr. Pedlar and read a copy. You can always read about someone's cross country car ride, a new band or the poetry of some poor misunderstood soul later. Give a history zine a chance and learn something.
A Trip to Quimby's
I recently went on a trip to Chicago with my wife. We met each other while attending school in Chicago so it was good fun to wander around the neighborhoods we used to live in and see how they had changed over the years. I had sent a copy of my zine, Twenty-eight Pages Lovingly Bound with Twine, to Quimby's to see if they would carry it and I got a reply saying that they would. Since this trip was forthcoming, I decided to just deliver my zines in person and check out the store. I'm glad I went. Quimby's is a great store. It's a shame that there aren't more stores that sell zines. The only other one I've heard of is Atomic Books in Baltimore. If you're ever in Chicago or Baltimore make a point to stop by these places and purchase some underground literature. I dropped off a few copies of my zine and bought a few copies of other peoples efforts. It was fun to shop for zines in person rather than ordering them through the mail. Don't get me wrong, I love mail, but it was really nice to look at the zines before I bought them. At Quimby's I purchased 6 items, all reviewed below.
Quimby's zine #1:
Cells by Scott Mills 7" x 5" 22 pages PO Box 0345, Abingdon, MD 21009-0345 www.bubbaandsmoot.com This either costs 1 or 2 bucks, I'm not sure. The cover says two bucks but the price tag at Quimby's was $1 so I paid $1. This little comic about two prisoners and their friendship left me wanting more. The fact that it left me wanting more says that it was good. However, in order for it to rise from good to very good it should probably be at least twice as long or combined with other stories of equal size into one book. I was just getting into Mr. Mills' story and drawing style when the comic came to it's quick ending.
Quimby's Zine #2:
Cometbus #45 $2.50 ppd. 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" P.O. Box 4279 Berkley, CA 94704
I bought this one because I had to. It's the super-duper number one zine and all so I felt obliged to read a copy to see what all the fuss is about. I mean, he is #1 in the Zine Guide poll after all. And even though that was a little sarcastic, being #1 in a poll of zine publishers and readers does mean something. Obviously a lot of folks really enjoy reading Cometbus. I saw some copies of Cometbus for sale at Tower but why buy something at a big, crappy corporate store when I'm headed for Quimby's soon. So I bought this at Quimby's, have now read it and here's the verdict: It's good. Not great, but good, though it does have moments of greatness. It's not my favorite super #1 zine but it's definitely above average. This issue, which I'm assuming is representative of the zine in general, consists of 23 stories - all hand written in neat block letters, all told in the first person and all are, presumably, autobiographical. Aaron has an interesting life and it's fun to read about his adventures. He writes in a simple, honest unpretentious way and still manages to be sensitive and poetic. The only thing that stops this zine from being better (and this is just my personal preference) is his habit of getting sidetracked. Aaron is a keen observer of people and their quirks but I'd like to see a little more action and a few less descriptions of emotions, and roundabout tangents. Sometimes a good aside can really add some oomph to a long-winded story that lacks variety just like in this book I once read a review of. This book was a work of fiction but had all sorts of footnotes and side stories and anecdotes throughout it. Although I never even saw a copy of this book, I liked the idea of using lots of long-winded anecdotes and I incorporated it into a bizarre piece of fiction that I was writing and it really worked out well. The story turned out pretty good; one of the best I've ever written as a matter of fact. But the trouble with Aaron's wondering prose, like the above tangent, is that it doesn't always add to the story, interesting as it may be. His prose works best when his emotional descriptions and observations and sprinkled amongst some action. The action is the flour in Aaron's fruitcake that holds all the artificially colored, chemically bright, yummy pieces of fruit together. The fruit pieces are what Aaron is good at and the treat of his prose but without the flour, that is the action, you're just left with a handful of sickly sweet fruit bits, longing for a fruitcake. I sure do like fruitcake. Most folks make fun of it but it's tasty stuff- not my favorite or anything but a holiday treat nonetheless. Well, it was a treat before I became vegan since it's made with something like a carton of eggs. Zinesters sometimes knock Cometbus because it is so successful by zine standards but it deserves to be since it's full of wonderful writing. Just try a little fruitcake with an open mind, you may like it.
Quimby's Zine #3
Monozine $3 8 1/2"x 11" PO Box 598, Reisterstown, MD 21136 www.monozine.com
This is a zine with a simple concept: people write in with their stories of illness, trauma and bodily harm and these stories are printed herein. Just a brilliant idea for a bit of light, fun reading. All the stories illustrate the frailty of this human body we inhabit and it's just plain fun to read stories of people's misfortunes. Certain people love to tell the most disgusting and painful things that ever happened to them, and conversely, certain people love to hear these stories. I'm proud to say that I stand squarely in both camps. Not only did I read this zine and enjoy it but afterwards I felt compelled to write a story of my own. I don't want to spoil all the stories in here by telling the best ones but I will quote one little bit that had me cracking up. Someone was relaying a story of actually dying. The doctors at the hospital brought him back with the aid of a defibrillator - you know, the two paddles they rub with goo, put on your chest and "Clear!" They had to shock him three times with the defibrillator and he says, "I was fucking charged $300 for each one". It had me laughing out loud. But the opening story "Soaked" by Skizz Cyzyk is amazing. Pure, gross 100% entertainment. Monozine has a glossy color cover and a bar code but it does have "zine" in the name. Regardless it's a fun little read.
Quimby's zine #4
Book Happy #6 $5 8 Y2" x 11" Donna Kossy PO Box 86663, Portland, OR 97286
I love books and I love this zine. This publication, like Monozine, is another concept zine with a brilliant, simple concept that makes for some fun light reading. The entire zine is book reviews but even a nonbibliophile can appreciate this because the books reviewed aren't the latest hip releases, best sellers or classics. This is a zine dedicated to reviewing the bizarre and the wacky. I read a lot of books and most of them come from discount bins, used bookstores and thrift stores. If you love to read and you get books from these sources, you have to spend many hours browsing through vast discarded piles of printed material. But while browsing, every now and then, you'll stumble across a rare book so odd that you just have to buy it and read it I had no idea that there were other folks out there who got a kick out of reading these rare and bizarre gems. The highlight of this issue was a review of a book that is about... well, it's about... Actually, no one can really tell what it's about and that's what makes it so fascinating. This is fun reading. The zine may cost $5 but it's well worth it. Very highly recommended
Quimby's zine #5
True Life Story Swear to God #1: Magic: The True story of a Real-Life Romance $2.95 Tom Beland PO Box 9020278 Old San Juan Station San Juan Puerto Rico 00902
A "Real-Life" boy meets girl story told from the boy's point of view. Tom's has weird tastes in entertainment (He likes Disney Land and Stevie Wonder) but I really like this comic. It's well drawn and the story flows nicely. The story may be a cheesy but a little cheesy romance never hurt anyone and it even has a happy ending.
Quimby's Zine #6:
I ain't' gonna review this zine because I didn't enjoy it. Why waste time belittling another person's labor of love.
Zines From Davida
Fragments #2 $2? 81/2" x 11" PO Box 28253, Santa Ana, CA 92799 www.mindspring.com/~fragments
This issue has a theme: Power. Usually I find themed issues to be disappointing. They are often lacking in either dept or variety. Often there will be a couple of pieces that are, at best, tangents touching on the theme at one insignificant point, and often these tangents are nothing more than filler to beef up the issue. Fragments #2 isn't like that - it deals with the subject of power head on, all out, 100%. That's not to say that this zine tackles the idea of power in great depth; it hits on ideas here and there, skipping from one to another. This, however, isn't a drawback because it is written more with the intent of making one think about the concept of power rather than exploring the ideas presented with academic depth or precision. The layout is well thought out and neat, and the art is interesting and well chosen though it is often clipart. Fragments #1, which dealt with the theme of Disintegration, is also available although 5 years passed between the release of issues 1 and 2. Fragments #3 is in the works. The theme will be Strategic Nonviolence and the author offers the qualified promise that "Fragments #3 will probably be published more quickly than #2."
The Mystery Sauce by Brendan and Denny, 5 1/2 x4 1/2 PO Box
44021, Burton, OH 44021 Price: ? (try a trade or stamps) email@example.com;
This is a little zine that doesn't have too much content since many of its few, tiny pages are entirely taken up with illustrations. Not that illustrations don't qualify as "content"- it's just that most folks, myself included, tend to breeze over them after - a quick glance. But for some reason I kept flipping through this little zine a rereading it. I'm at a loss as to what I was rereading it for when I have so many unread zines I'd like to get to. But I just kept looking through it and the fact that it drew me in says something.
Brooklyn! #35 by Fred Argoff 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" 1800 Ocean Parkway,
#B-12, Brooklyn, New York 11223-3037;
There is no price per issue but $10 gets you a 4-issue sub. A zine all about Mr. Argoff's hometown of Brooklyn. He's up to issue 35 and you can tell just from that that this guys loves Brooklyn. I read this zine a month or so ago so I'm having trouble recalling it in detail. Most of the stories focus on the history of Brooklyn and there are also a few photos which came out a little too dark when Xeroxed, uh I mean, reproduced by the method of Xerography. Since I'm having trouble remembering this zine I'm going to take a little break now and reread it... ...okay, all done. I liked even better the second time. There's a story about baseball stadiums which was interesting even though baseball, along with most sports, is boring. The history of stadiums is probably the most interesting aspect of baseball come to think of it There is also a story about some huge natural gas tanks that were something of a local landmark that were destroyed through by a controlled implosion. Ever wonder about the border between Brooklyn and Queens? Well you can read about that too. I like the concept for this zine and look forward to reading more issues.
A Letter to Jeff Somers
The Inner Swine $2/$5 4-issue sub 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" Jeff Somers, POB 3024, Hoboken, NJ 07030 Rather than review this zine in the traditional manner I'll just use a leter I wrote as a bit of fun. I enjoyed The Inner Swine but haven't got a reply to my letter yet.
Dear Mr. Somers,
Hello my name is Christoph Meyer and I recently sent you issue 3 of my zine, 28 Pages Lovingly Bound with Twine, and you, in turn, sent me Vol. 8 Issue 1 of The Inner Swine. Thanks for the trade. Having now read an issue of your zine (except for the article on Laying out a zine on a PC), the main point I got from it was that you really want people to send you money. As examples, I site the following:
1. "The first 50 persons who send me cash in the mail will receive a
congratulatory phone call from Misty Quinn"
2. "Send me letters. Letters with dollar bills inside preferably"
3. "Send me some money."
4. "Remember the old TIS saying: Fuck you, pay me."
5. "The Inner Swine wants your money so badly we're willing to publish this zine just to get it."
There were a few articles, all well-written and thoughtfully done, but I believe they were just a means to an end (see e.g. 5). So in spirit of kindness, I am enclosing one golden dollar because I think it will bring you more happiness than it could ever bring me. I can only pray that I'm in time to get a phonecall from Ms. Misty Quinn.
Stay in the Black,
Danville, OH 43014
I suppose I should put my introductory paragraph to decent use and sketch the bright, nimble apology owed to those unlucky persons whose stamps and trades were sent to the black hole of my apartment in exchange for ONE FINE MESS, the zine I "publish" with my even less communicative half, Dan. Those who have ordered it must understand that Dan and I have just the shortcomings to make us stink at doing anything whatsoever, much less a fanzine: an inefficient, lumbering creative partnership; editorial focus upset by the vaguest distraction; chronic weekday lethargy; vodka-marinated Saturday nights - these account for just a smattering of the factors that conspire against our nearly imaginary printed efforts. Lately, though, we have been graced with a very decent cause for sloth: Six days ago, after a year of fiendish preparation, Dan and I got married. There were gold rings and a cool rock 'n roll soundtrack and cheesecake and a roster of uncontrollable guests, with the whole mess of elements colliding on Cape Cod, several hundred miles from where we actually live. So, I send my apologies to everybody; I was adrift in a white taffeta netherland, and I'm honored to finally be back among the living.
The East Village Inky
No. 14; January 2002; 40 pages, pocket-size
Of course, whenever any zine publisher who isn't me gets good reviews all over the place, I immediately blast off into a lonely stratosphere of spitting, disorderly jealousy, so my claws were out for the universally venerated EAST VILLAGE INKY before I even thumbed its bitsy pages apart. Two dollars and a non-negotiable no-trade policy for five handwritten letter-size pieces of copy paper? Please. Well, I'll be damned if the EVI isn't the most exciting zine ever foisted on my person. Why? Because editor Ayun Halliday hand-writes and illustrates the thing with small, passionately funny depictions of her husband - 2002 Tony-award-winner Greg Kotis, no less - gyrating naked in the family's Brooklyn apartment; her young children misbehaving in silly getups; places to buy decent underwear in New York; subway chronicles; guerilla-style approaches to self-promotion; "advice" for fathers; braving the gym in substandard workout gear, et al. That's why. Because her writing is clever and wise and funny and grown up and effervescent. Because she's supercool and lives in New York. That's why. And I'll be damned if I didn't go right online and buy THE BIG RUMPUS, the zine's sort-of companion paperback, which has similar themes and is a bubbling faucet of excellence unto itself. Damn you, Ayun Halliday, and damn your great, big, inimitable vibe. $2 Ayun Halliday 122 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ayunhalliday.com
No. 7; 26 pages, digest
Well, I'm not sure I could ever produce a publication like this, but I adore it. It's simply laid-out, thoroughly proofread, lightweight, tidy and unboring. The writing is agreeable and sane and carries throughout a levelheaded, deliberate tone that soothed the split ends of my short-circuiting internal grammar spazz. In short, THOUGHTWORM is a nice, nice zine, with easygoing personal essays brought to you in a pleasing, 10-point, serify font by Sean Stewart, who has by now just polished off his last semester in what he affectionately calls "library school." He writes about his library experiences and impressions of the field so far; the near-death trials of his cats, Fiznit and Scratchy (Fiznit has been twice ignited, for instance); run-ins with unsavory proprietors at his local hardware store; thoughts and information about veganism; and an explanation of the zine's cover. He writes in his introduction that his address may be changing soon, as he is interviewing for full-time library positions in other cities, so check his website for possibly updated contact information. His zine is worth tracking down. $2 or trade Sean Stewart 2216 Terrace Way, Columbia, SC 29205 email@example.com; www.thoughtworm.com
No. 20; Spring 2002; 62 pages, digest
When Dan, my husband and co-publisher, was assigned to a nearby school district for 16 weeks of student teaching (a requirement for obtaining a teaching certification in New York, where we live), he was pleased to find himself working the beat alongside Claire Cocco, a young woman enrolled in the same graduate program, a person described to me frequently as "smart and cool." Imagine Dan's glee, then, when he mentioned something to her about our zine, and she said, "Zine? What do you mean, 'zine'? Like zine?" And Dan said yeah, and she mused that that was funny; she does a zine with her significant other, too. This coincidence will seem ordinary to artistic yokels proliferating in the dormitories of Olympia, but in our neck of the woods, we're grateful for whatever we can get. In any event, the name of their thing is OFF-LINE, and the name of the significant other is Vincent Romano. And now that everyone's acquainted, I will state that I enjoy OFF-LINE. I like how right away, it lurches into an inflammatory seven-page conspiracy theory about the reported events of September 11th. I don't agree that the Trade towers collapsed due to a U.S.-government-planned internal demolition operation, but it's always good to see that somebody does. I like it. I like the photos. I like how Claire is a teacher and Vincent works for a magazine, just like Dan and me. I like how a zine that includes a diary of political dreams can also include a little paragraph extolling the assets of the movie Groundhog Day. I'm just glad interesting people exist so close to home. Free or trade Claire Cocco and Vincent Romano 35 Barker Ave., No. 4G, White Plains, NY 10601
Women's Self-Defense: Stories & Strategies of Survival
No. 1; 53 pages, half-legal
I don't know. I mean, it's a collection of narratives, sketches and poems penned by women who've suffered either sex-based harassment or physical assault, so a reviewer cannot really in good conscience offer guidelines such as, "That part when the stalker follows the girl home is a little feeble - I think the story might've had more zing if the stalker were trotting along in the back end of a horse costume," yet that is my impulse. Because like many compilations, this zine is built on a fine idea but distributes blotchy results. There is a short piece by somebody named Rachel, for instance, who reported chasing a band of male intruders from her house with an oversize kitchen knife. The story, however, is utterly without tension, fear, fury or triumph. The grammar is so crummy, and the lack of detail is so confounding, and the typos are so abundant that the power of her account is trampled into the welcome mat. Maybe those with inspiring stories and without the inclination to familiarize themselves with prevailing usage guides can be interviewed instead. The essence of the zine is fine, however, and to better it I think the project's coordinator, Ariel, need only check spelling, help tighten the details of submissions, and avoid presenting them in a rounded, childish font. The high point of the zine comes at the end, where Ariel extracted the moment of empowerment from each woman's story - the part where the victim punches her attacker, or advises him to fuck himself - and prints them together in a long list of options for people who find themselves in similarly lousy circumstances: "I ran." "I found a new place to live." "I flung him against the rock." Good stuff. $2 or trade, probably Ariel PO Box 411621, Chicago, IL 60641-1621
Still Afraid of the Dark
Winter 2001; 32 pages, digest
This is a personal zine whose prominent players appear mainly as pronouns. Many of the stories chronicle the weird, overpowering, fleeting intensity of Winifred's close friendships with other girls - one who traveled far from home and returned for a kiss, one who apparently left the scene and remains for Winifred a matter of consuming fixation. The author also remembers a brush with an eating disorder, not understanding the appeal of sex before having it, and seeking guidance from a lame-o psychic. Also: thoughts on motherhood, taking birth control pills, how to bamboozle your employers when working as a nanny, and interleaving doodles like those you might find in the notebook margins of teenage girls: intricately rendered eyes and lashes, disproportionate faces, and dreamy, looping patterns. Unsettling and vivid. $2 or trade Winifred PO Box 286, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693
Josh Bowron does Scatological Think Cap, now celebrating its third issue!
Wow! Davida has hit the big time. In the June issue of the Utne Reader, which is the "best of the alternative press," Xerography Debt is listed in the "Street Librarian" section. Along with Davida; Donny Smith, Fred Argoff, and Violet Jones are listed as "reliable sources." Well, while these nuevo riche publishing magnates light their cigars with one-hundred dollar bills, here's some zines for the rest of us.
1.) Musea #106(!); half legal, 8 pages, $free trial copy, $6/6 months, $10/year. Musea, 4000 Hawthorne #5, Dallas, TX 75219 It's small, but gee whiz Musea is packed. Issue 106 is the "Radio Issue." There's a great interview with a radio pirate and a very informative piece on all the b.s. surrounding the Telecommunications Act of 1996. All this and more!
2.) The Inner Swine-volume 8 #1; digest size, 60 pp, $2 or subscribe: one year=$5, two years=$9, life time= 8. Jeff Somers /Editor The Inner Swine P.O. Box 3024 , Hoboken NJ 07030 I am aware that The Inner Swine was reviewed in the last issue of Xerography Debt, but goodness cannot be overstated, so The Inner Swine is a well written zine by a very prolific writer, hell he's even got a book out there (my check's in the mail, Jeff). Jeff professes to hate humanity, but I know that he secretly loves us all. Either that or he's the world's biggest asshole. Whichever it is, The Inner Swine is worth your time and money. Regardless of Jeff's "leaps of logic," his essays will make you laugh and think, well at least chuckle and scratch your head. Plus, the introduction column, "What the Fuck's Been Goin' On," is likely to be the best title ever set to paper.
3.) Confidential #10 digest size, $? Meg P.O. Box 1529, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 You know how sometimes when you wake up and it's still early, so you just feed the cats, maybe get a drink of water then go back to sleep? Then you have a short nightmare which is followed by a great dream. This is how I feel about Confidential. I've never seen this zine before, and frankly, the first eight pages or so kind of freaked me out. I didn't know what was going on, and then this nightmare wove itself into a lovely dream. Up close, Confidential is a collection of brainstorms, marginal considerations, and mini-collages. From a distance, and viewed as a whole Confidential is a type of free associated Rorschach test, giving us a glimpse into the mind of the writer.
4.) Which writer has a deep affection for his/her particular setting and can't stop lovingly referring to it? OK, which writer is always slipping into some strange dialect that is almost unrecognizable from Standard English? Finally, which writer's work is packed with back-history, making it hard to put down? If you said J.R.R. Tolkien, you'd be right; but if you said Fred Argoff then you get credit too. Brooklyn!, to me, is like reading The Lord of the Rings because they both lovingly tell of a far off land that is utterly alien to me in every aspect, at least to me way down here in Georgia. Brooklyn! is a great zine by Fred Argoff, who possesses real writing talent and is a heck of a nice guy. Brooklyn, for those unfamiliar with the city, at least geographically, is best read with a good road atlas; so one can follow the adventures of our intrepid hero Frodo I mean Fred. Hey, don't be a wisenheimer, do yourself a favor and send Fred a couple of bucks, or better yet $10 for four issues, a subscription baby! Fred Argoff 1800 Ocean Pkwy #B-12, Brooklyn! NY 11223
p.s. Warning: reading Brooklyn! could cause certain impressionable people to start using words like "wisenheimer" and "baby!" to punctuate their vocabulary.
5.) Ptoletown Toons, digest size, 4pp, $? Thomas S. Sciolino 19 Bridgeman Street, Buffalo NY 14207 Truthfully most comix (please note the "x" on the end to denote my "in the know" attitude) I just don't get. They're either too high brow or purposely vague. Ptoletown Toons is neither. The best comics, (notice the "cs" ending, denoting that I am speaking of the larger medium of comics, or sequential art) like the best comedy, makes us laugh at our own humanity, all the while pointing at something higher and larger. Several of the short three or four paneled Ptoletown Toons have stayed implanted in my mind for several days. Thomas would be happy to know that some Ptoletown Toons have won a prestigious place on my refrigerator along with Ziggy and Family Circle.
The Death Ship, $?, thick tabloid size. Review zine with some excerpts. The Death Ship will get you excited and/or pissed about zines and freedom of the press. Highest recommendation. Send at least $5 (my estimation) for this beautiful labor of love, it's worth it! Violet Jones, P.O. Box 55336, Hayward, CA 94545
Doris #19, part one of the Doris encyclopedia. Cindy is in love with a lot of things, and this "ABC" leaves you elated and angry, the sign of great writing. Send $1.50 or $1+2 stamps to Cindy, P.O. Box 1734 Asheville, NC 28802.
Wonderella Printed: The catalog is just as fascinating as the zine I got. Wonderella Printed specializes in works that operate in some kind of obsolete vernacular that just might be telling the truth. But really, I don't want to know for sure. Send them a couple of bucks for any of their zines, you'll also get the catalog, then make up your own mind. Wonderella Printed, 1204 Neilson Street, Berkeley, CA 94706
Hello Xerography Debt readers. Since I am a very stupid person who waited until the very last minute to get my reviews done I have no time for a clever introduction. Sorry.
Well, I guess I'd better just get this one out of the way. See, I received this zine in the mail with no note or acknowledgement as to why exactly they sent it, but I noticed on the front first page that someone had stamped the words "Review Copy" on there. So I guess they want me to review them. Normally I wouldn't write a negative review because it seems to be a waste of time, but they asked for it so... this zine sucks. 80% of it is ads and the other 20% sure as hell isn't worth paying $2 for. If you're in the market for a mail order bride or are looking to make big bucks stuffing envelopes at home then send $2 to Farming Uncle, PO Box 427, Bronx, NY 10458. If you're not looking for either of these things this zine will be of no interest to you.
Hey, I just noticed something- it should be "An Ape", not "A Ape." Now that I look at it she does the same thing throughout the whole story- A adventure, a umbrella, a ant, etc...then at the end she mentions AN chicken. Go figure. I assume this is a style choice and she's not just completely ignorant to all the rules of grammar... now that I notice it I find it annoying, but before I noticed it, it didn't bother me at all...Anyhow, this is just a really cute little comic. The plot revolves around an ape climbing a tree and if I go any further than that it'd ruin it so I'll just say it's a very odd and funny little tale. Send $1 to Missy Kulik, 24 Longvue, Cambridge, PA 15003.
This is a pretty cool idea for a zine. The editor of this zine, Roger Whiting, travels to various cities across the country, finds random folks on the street and asks them 2 questions. This issue the city is Boston and the questions are "What advice would you give to the people of Boston?" and "What have you learned from the people of Boston?" Some people have rather clever pearls of wisdom to impart on us, some folks don't seem to have much to say at all, and a lot of folks just bitch about how people in Boston can't drive. (They're right. People in Boston can't drive, but that's why Boston has such a good public transportation system.) Interesting concept and worthwhile read. Send a buck or 2 or a trade or something to Roger Whiting 17604 N 39th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85308; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Rich Mackin's Book of Letters #15
See, now the rest of you chumps sending your zines to be reviewed in XD could learn a little something from Rich because stapled to the back cover of Book of Letters is a little piece of paper containing all pertinent zine info - the price, address, a summary of what the zine is all about, back issue availability, etc. Why don't the rest of you guys do that? Sure makes it a lot easier on us reviewers...anyhow, what is this zine about? Well, in the words of Rich himself "'Consumer Defense Corporate Poetry' a collection of amusing and unusual letters to and from corporate America. Rich gets a little more political, aggressive and just plain weird in this one." Eric isn't exactly sure why Rich refers to himself in the third person there...maybe I'm supposed to pretend I wrote it myself, but I'm thinking that if every zine reviewer copied that and pretended they wrote it themselves it'd look awful suspicious. I dunno, but I've been a fan of this zine for a long time. To me it's almost the perfect political zine because it's tremendously entertaining and funny, but at the same time it makes serious points about the Gap and Nike's sweatshops and the general evilness of Wal Mart and... even the flat out silly stuff he does like his never ending quest to find out what exactly the 2000 in Lever 2000 stands for is eye opening because it just points out how completely absurd most advertising is. This zine will change the way you look at the world around you. Even if all it does is make you giggle when you see Lever 2000 in the supermarket, it will change the way you look at certain things and that's about all you can ask of any zine. Send $3 ppd (he accepts some trades, but if you send a trade and he disses you don't come crying to me about it) to Rich Mackin, PO Box 890, Allston, MA 02134; www.richmackin.org; email@example.com.
The Leighton Look
This isn't really a zine per se. It is, as one of its reader's described it "it's more like a letter from someone I've never met." I couldn't have said it better myself and I'm glad I didn't have to try. For some reason Rodney Leighton (writer of the Leighton Letter) has sort of a grumpy old man vibe to him. I'm not sure why because he doesn't seem to be that old and most of the time he doesn't even seem to be that grumpy. Each issue is 6 8.5 x 11pages- no pictures, no fancy layouts, just 6 typewritten pages nothing fancy about it. The 2 issues I was sent are mostly reviews of various things people send him in the mail that he likes interspersed with a short personal anecdote now and then. He says one person told him it was unfair of him to not review things he doesn't like because maybe his advice could help them improve and his reply was basically "But if I encourage them they'll just send me more crap I don't like." and that sort of cracked me up for some reason. I'd say that you had to be there to fully get it, but it wasn't really that funny to begin with, it just struck me funny for some odd reason. Anyhow, I liked this zine like object. It's kind of odd, but rather charming. Send something Rodney will like to Rodney Leighton, RR3 Tatamagouche, NS, BOK 1VO, Canada.
Mr. Peebody's Soiled Trousers and other Delights #14
2 things I've noticed about personal zines- 1. Very few are done by guys. 2. Too many are done by whiny little crybabies who just spend page after page talking about how sad they are. Boo hoo hoo, you're sad. Give me a reason as to why I should give a crap. Anyhow, Mr. Peebody is A) done by a guy and B) spends little if any time whining about how sad he is. If you ask me that alone makes it worth reading simply because it's something of a change of pace from most zines. Actually, this may come out sounding arrogant, but this zine actually reminds me of my own in some ways and I like it because of that. This zine is usually a daily journal of Jay's everyday adventures, usually covering one month at a time, but this issue he actually covers 2 months for the price of one. How lucky can we get, huh? To be honest Jay doesn't do a whole Hell of a lot this issue, but he makes what he does do entertaining enough that you don't even notice the lack of action until Jay points it out. Funny, well written and gives you a nice glimpse into Jay's life. If you're asking for any more than that you're way too picky. Send $2 or a trade to Jay Koivu, PO Box 931333, Los Angeles CA, 90093; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Muuna Takeena #8
This is a review zine from Finland. It just occurred to me that I have no idea what the title means, but that's OK. I like this zine. I read it from start to...(get ready. Lame pun alert...) Finnish (!Hahahahahahahahahaha! Oh I am a clever one...) and didn't get bored once. Not sure what more I can say about a review zine other than that the reviews are all well written and seem to know what they're talking about and all the reviewers show some personalities and the reviews don't feel like they were written by the Review-O-Matic 5000. It's a little too...I dunno, American considering it comes from Finland. You'd just expect it to be somehow more exotic all things considered, but other than the supplement reviewing Finnish zine in the Finnish language (which I tried to read, but I couldn't Finnish it... lordy, look at me using the same lame pun twice...) it reads exactly like any review zine coming from the US. I really have no idea what that even means. I think I'm just babbling, but if you're looking for a good review zine send $3 to Timo Palonen, Ortitie 4 C 24, FIN-02100, Vantaa, Finland; Palonen@mbnet.fi
This is a really funny zine full of bad roommate stories. Very funny stuff. As a general rule roommates are bad. Hell, as a general rule living with anyone is a major pain in the ass. I say you should just live in your mom's basement until she dies, then you'll inherit the house and be spared the horror of having to live with anyone. I dig this zine a whole bunch. Send $1 or trade to Rebecca, PO Box 1582, Piscataway, NJ 08855-1582; email@example.com.
Gavin J. Grant
Gavin J. Grant's zine, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet (www.lcrw.net/lcrw), comes out twice a year. He also runs Small Beer Press which just published two books by Carol Emshwiller. He pays his rent by working at the indie-bookshop website, BookSense.com. He's yawning as you read this.
Watch the Closing Doors
A special issue that focuses on the Manhattan subways: All underground, all the time (except for that pesky bit of the No.1, there are apparently no elevated trains left in Manhattan). Fred's enthusiasm shines through once again, even if the photos are still kind of muddy. This is a shame, since a lot of the text springs off from the wide ranger of pix. For Murder Can Be Fun fans, there's the story of the Times Square IRT Crash of August 24, 1928, where 16 people were killed and 100 injured. No.18, $? ($10/4 issues), half-letter, 20pp., Fred Argoff, 1800 Ocean Parkway, #B-12, Brooklyn, NY 11223-3037
Nice design. Excellent intro where Josh rages and moans and wonders why he bothers, why he isn't drinking, sleeping, doing something -- anything! -- else...before he says "Writing makes me happy." That made me laugh a lot. Michael Quinones goes over the same ground with his piece on writing an essay for a grad school application, and there are some fictions (maybe?) that left me so-so. Why is it worth your two bucks? Two reasons (hey, a dollar each!): The first is the horrendous tale of a guy who had to undergo a "symbolic ceremony" before his bar mitzvah. That "ceremony" involved his penis and blood being spilled.... You'll have to read the zine. Then, reason two of two, the reviews. These aren't the usual reviews of books and music, they're of sex toys and lubricants and they're pretty hilarious. Vol.1, no.2, $2, half-letter, 34pp., Josh Bernstein, 28-07 38th St., 4L, Astoria, NY 11103
Zine World/A Reader's Guide to the Underground Press
Is it possible to review a review? Isn't there a danger one of us will disappear into the mirror, get trapped, and be stuck in a world where all the letters point the wrong way? Ok, I guess I'll try and avoid that by sticking to the basics. Hands-down the most useful feature is the US Postal Rates chart on the back cover which, since I didn't bother buying a new chart for my scale (the rates are about to go up again, anyway), I use at least once a week. (Also loved the front cover of this issue.) Inside, it's a smorgasbord for the soul, a buffet for the brain, etc. etc. Hundreds of reviews (although the ezine reviews end with this issue), articles on zines, censorship, how to make books by hand. It's all well written, and it's a great read. As of this issue they're changing their name back to Zine World. No. 17, $4 ($100 and it's your for life!), letter, 70pp., Box 330156, Murfreesboro, TN 37133
J. Smith apparently works for a pro-forestry newspaper -- and writes a nice' story about his work and the attitudes there. The Die bills itself as a zine of "Culture, Ecology, Literature, Philosophy." And what does that all come down to? Politics. First issue has a good, long look at what "survival of the fittest" means. There are also a few pieces on recent Supreme Court rulings -- it's great to see these gathered together instead of being lost in the back of a newspaper. In the second issue J. looks at Robert D. Putnam's very interesting pop-culture book, Bowling Alone. Putnam decries the loss of the "third space"; after work and home, the place people go to socialize, whether it is a church, bars, coffee shops, bowling alleys, etc. J. isn't completely convinced by Putnam, but it's a great article. These two issues are a great start and you can't beat the price. Add your own catchy tag line here. Vol. 1, Issue 1, Issue 2, Vol.1, Free, letter, 8pp/10pp., J. Smith, Red Roach Press, PO Box 764 College Park MD 20740
Clamor is a pretty cool magazine. It's like a best friend who works for a nonprofit: They're enthusiastic and informative without being preachy, and more fun than any of your old-world media types. And, they're hosting the Underground Publishing Conference in Bowling Green, OH on June 22-3. There's a bit of a step back from the microscope-on-the-US view with a report from Argentina and a look at white privilege in the anti-globalization movement. Clamor are a bit worried about the dearth of voice from the left, since the Democrats are basically Republicans now, and would like you, the reader, to step up and do something. Not a bad idea. No.13, $4.50 (6/$18), letter, 74pp., PO Box 1225, Bowling Green, OH 43402
I admire Don Wentworth's persistence. Lilliput Review comes out 8-10 times a year and that means he must read a lot of bad poetry before he comes up with the ones he publishes. The art is pretty good quality, the poems range from funny to thought-provoking. No one's getting rich, no one's getting hurt. The writers get published, the reader has something small to read while the kettle is boiling, or the tea fusing. Nos. 123-4, 16pp., $1, Don Wentworth, 282 Main St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201
This is my favorite of the bunch, and then, as I'm writing this review, I realize it's made by a guy called Sean Stewart. It's definitely not the same guy, but there's a writer with the same name whose novels I've really liked and who is just a great guy. To find this is by another Sean Stewart makes me wonder if all Sean Stewarts are great. Probably. Thoughtworm is one of those beautiful zines with stickers and pictures on the cover (like Leeking Ink!) that has a good handfeel. (If handfeel's a word, and if it isn't, it is now. Use it the way food writers use "mouthfeel," one of the more satisfying words out there. "Mmm, Quorn has a great mouthfeel." Oops, I digressed.) The cover shows Sean and Malinda's tattoos -- both have a cicada, but one is the negative of the other - and Sean tells the story behind them. He's also (by now) just finished grad school, and -- wonderful news for some library or school -- he's a librarian. Now I'm thinking he's something between a great writer and Parker Posey in Party Girl. Sean writes really well on being a vegan, and then rather hilariously on his local hardware store, which is staffed by incredibly over-helpful old men. He also sort-of, kind-of realizes that, maybe, he's got that "male pride" thing where he won't ask for directions because he knows, dammit, how to do it himself. I love all the qualifiers here: There's a bit of painful self-knowledge going on in there, and it's fun for the rest of us (who suffer from no such things as male pride nor self-knowledge, no sir!) to see. No.7, $2, half-letter, 26pp., c/o Sean Stewart, 2216 Terrace Way, Columbia, SC 29205
Bobby Tran Dale
Good Goddess-YES it's that time of the month again, dear bleeders! It's review deadline time! And being the obedient manservant that I am to my taskmistress, Davidatrix's command - I deliver unto you these printed pleasures (or DISpleasures) to command for yourself if you wish. Outside of my moonlighting stint here at XD, you can find me at my gay job all day: Homoeroticon.com ('course, that's IF my server is still allowing it to be hosted by the time you read this) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Now check out these reviews and decide fer yerself if they deserve to be woo'd or boo'd! (A few last minute notes/info on latest releases have been added to some of the following reviews).
Long Tail Kitty "Heaven" (36pp, mini) Lark Pien, 999 Wisconsin Street n.3, San Francisco, CA 94107 Email: email@example.com
Soul sistuh Tweet is sangin' & bangin' "Oops...Oh My " in the background and distracting the hell outta me. Listening as someone sings the praises of their masturbation whilst I'm trying to sing the praises of an incredible artist like Lark Pien don't exactly make the best of uhm bedfellows. OK...there - it's turned down, so now, hear this: This work really kicks ass in that subtle, kinda unsuspecting, funky lil' way.
Long Tail Kitty depicts duh Long Tail Kitty, who finds a lady who's sitting distraught upon her porch over the passing of her pet bunny. Long Tail Kitty sends one of his/her/it's nine lives, in this case life #9, up to heaven to send a last message to the lady's deceased bunny. You'll need to find out for yourself how Pien works out the dynamics to this little episode. The finale, though not entirely new, still feels refreshing, touching and well done. Pien's excellent use of the medium shines in her calculatingly restrained illustrations that still manage to pack a punch, delivering inviting simpleness & warmth in their tonal layers yet still retaining an air of zinely quirkiness that keeps it from crossing over into the usual Alternative concept drivel.
My praise to Pien targets her art, plain and simple, with the story being the finishing touches that accent the entire body. Her work is clean and feels uncluttered with just the right amount of toning to add warmth and depth at the right places without feeling forced. I say that her illustrations are simple yet they still retain an air of urgency that clearly ring through to the initiated eye. I admit to being put off by the aesthetic of her work upon first glance because of the obvious yet coincidental (?) Japanime/Pokemon-esque look to the Long Tail Kitty character. I had Japanime fed to me growing up in Japan and now have an aversion to anything remotely bug eyed or cute. Had I known better to just take a longer than a quick glance through the pages, I would have kept this towards the top of my list of comix to review a coupla XD's back.
It would be a disservice to simply toss this in with a large number of other comix zines that rank amongst the dime-a-dozens. There is, obviously, more artistically at work here than a narrowly focused drive to just quickly print up something on a copy machine and call it a product, which is a disease many others could be accused of perpetuating. This is a funky, edgy work that proves that there are hidden jewels in the small press.
I would contact the artist to check on availability of this and more current work.
LAST MINUTE INFO: Stories From The Ward #6 is the most recent work of Pien that I've been able to dredge up from sources, though have yet to see.
Spook-i-est (7/2001) Digest, 36pp, Send a TRADE or a BUCK Billy McKay, P.O. Box 542, N. Olmstead, OH 44070
I've long thought Bill McKay's artwork was just beautiful in its inspired, erratically inked psychosis. I've seen bits in other zines and of course, the last issue of XD. So, to finally get a chance to check the work out from the man himself, well, here's some ass kissing just waiting to happen.
In Spook-I-est, McKay presents the tale, or more accurately, the storyboard (for there isn't much to read except the interspersed "chapter" cue-cards) of two monstrous creatures that get into some altercation that leaves one of them one eyeball short of a complete set. The damaged monster flees to the backyard shed and retrieves a chainsaw to exact his/its vengeance. Shall I tell you the end? Naaaaw ..! For a trade or a buck, I think you can muster up the energy to mail off for this visual delight and find out for yourself. Bulbous eyes abound, as do twisted, and physically morbid characters. The "world" that McKay depicts is like a cross between Nightmare Before Christmas and Pee Wee's Playhouse yet with an original flair of its own, so don't let my comparison of his work to the other two tweeky masterpieces lead you to think of some copycat work, because it's not.
I was a little disappointed that this was such a quick read since I wanted to see McKay work in a longer narrative form, with a much more extensive workout of his characters and bizarre imaginings. So if you want huge narrative content in your reading, don't pick this up. But if you want to see some beautifully funky illustration unlike much of the supposed twisted art that some think that they're doing, then get this. It's a wonderful primer to see this dude at work. It has an almost storybook quality, almost childlike .childlike if you're one of the Addams Family kids. McKay rocks! More please.
Berzerker (My life In Your Back Pocket) #1; $2.00, 42pp, chapbook Berzerker c/o, Durwood, PO Box 2181, Issaquah, WA 98027-0098 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.berzerker.net
As the subtitle suggests, Durwood's Berzerker is quite literally snippets of his life in your back pocket. I stumbled upon this zine at the end of April 2002 while surfing the net for queer punk related titles (so don't let the fact that this was originally released in 2000 spook ya). I wanted a copy, paid for it via Paypal and received it a coupla few weeks after.
Now, what makes this any different than any other perzine that someone might offer? I can't really tell you that, you can decide. All I know is I had no problem sitting down and reading this one straight through one afternoon and haven't regretted the measly two bucks I'd spent on it since. Durwood offers up a cross section of vignettes such as his introduction to the birds and the bees, figuring out how to masturbate, working with Carrier Pigeons in his youth, his parental role that he shares with his lover, Leonard, to finding out the medical reasons behind his bladder problems that had plagued him in his younger years on up.
Durwood writes at times in a calculated, crafty manner, as if the intention was always there that an outside audience would read his work. In other instances, his writing gets that sketchy, staccato feel like he's written this stuff for himself and himself only. And sometimes it's an erratic mix of narrative momentum that add to the charm and appeal of this zine. I left reading Berzerker feeling as if I did get an opportunity to share some insight into someone else's experience and history. Many perzines give you glimpses that don't particularly make you feel any closer to the author in the end, nor make you give a shit that there might be more to purchase to see what else they might offer fellow zinesters. In this instance, I did like Berzerker and would be quite interested to see, or know if there was an issue two that will be or has been published. This is honest and engaging without being syrupy at all. The layout is clean and well done. No sloppy type but with just enough content edge that you don't lose the flavor of the underground roots and aesthetic from which it's sprung.
Bog-Gob (#19; 32 pp The Horror Special; Fall 2001, #20; 50pp Winter 2002-5th Anniversary Special); Standard size, $2 ea., $8-4 issue sub. R.H. Graphic Design, P.O. Box 4425, Chattanooga, TN 3740 Email: email@example.com Website: http://members.aol.com/boggob
I've got a small stack of Bog-Gob back issues in front of me, but I'm going to commit cardinal reviewer's sin by going back to issue #19, the horror issue which predates (drrr!) issue #20, the 5th Ann. Issue & most current offering that pulls some reprints from past BG's and serves as an excellent read & primer to the run.
But first, let me say of BG in general, that it is a cool & funky medley of all kinds of sh*t. Is it punk, headbanger, a review zine, uncategorizable? It's all of these things/ in the middle etc, and if you like a variety in your zine snacking, this could fill a void in between those long train rides, meetings, classes etc. It's that kind of thing that you can take along, and not need to commit lengths of time reading because there's bunches of short articles and stuff that pack the issues. I carried these in my briefcase to read in between case meetings!
Issue #19: opens with a kickass article "Capitol Punishment Reservations?"- That details the various modes of disposal that man has concocted to rid society of its criminals throughout history. It's compelling reading given its brief 2 pages that leave bloodlusters like myself scouring the net for impulsive follow up reading.
Mia Wallace tackles the religious reactionaries that sprung up like cancers during the months following the 9-11 attacks in "Aftermath". Wallace takes to task the fanaticism of the blind sheep on both boards claiming god to be with them as well as people's equally blind, hero worship of media figures. It's a well constructed, finely articulated "fuck you" to such things and packs a good punch. The last time I'd read anyone's words regarding the 9-11 aftermath and the bullshit opportunists/religious fanatics etc., etc., that popped up to "lead" the way for all of those who were too stunned to think on their own was Mz. Luci Furness's scathing editorial over at Satan2000.com's site. Mz. Luci's was unapologetic and scathing in its truth. Wallace's comes pretty close with less words yet still resonates with a powerful & honest commentary
Elsewhere, there're horror flick reviews, a joint on surrealist Edvard Munch, a cool piece on Urban Legends, a handful of comix and so on. This issue goes into my zine "keeper" archive.
BG is already pretty damn diverse, so rightly so, that I didn't like all of the things in the stack of issues that I have. But just like you wouldn't like everything in a regular periodical like "People" that you'd find on the newsstand, you shouldn't need everything in BG to form fit you. But in this case, I'd take an issue of BG and the surprises it might show me any day over an issue "People".
LAST MINUTE ARRIVAL: Bog-Gob #21, Spring 2002, 2 bucks: This issue literally came in the mail the day I'm sending off these reviews. More of the miscellany, but a simple tweeky must-have for the hysterical "Jesus Sport Statue" depicted on the cover (The J' man at the batting mound with some lucky uhm soul, ready to hit a home run, to the big house maybe?) .yes .yet another for the keeper zine files!
Out Of The Blue #3 Digest, $2.00, subscriptions $24.00-12 months Larned Justin, PO Box 471, House Springs, MO 63051 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To the initiated, this is the kinda comix zine that I dig. I love this medley stuff since I get to sample bits and pieces from artists all over the small press who I'd likely not ever hear about otherwise.
Justin compiles 14 contributors who offer up stories and strips in a variety of ranges. If there were more solid stories holding this together and not as much of a random feel to this compilation, I'd call this an anthology. Among those featured is a humorous one page strip by Ben T. Steckler of Get BenT comix who answers the mystery of how the world is REALLY going to end, as well as a coupla riot pieces by Dale Martin in "Continuity & Vine" that poses two men stranded on close but separate desert islands. Spot illos such as Tim Wilkelman's "Rap Police" who tell a detained soul, at gunpoint, to "Put (their) hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care!" are just the tip of the iceberg for this compilation that is also peppered with zine reviews. At times it felt like work was placed in certain spots to fill space and probably could have used some layout/design to make said images pop, rather than have that filler effect. Outside of this design peeve to tighten up and solidify the content's presentation/aesthetic, I don't have anything to really bitch about on this. It's a fun, eclectic read.
On the inside back cover, Justin also gives readers an opportunity to become authorized agents for OOTB in a clever aside to boost circulation. Anyone can drop $2.00 plus a 57 cent stamp and get the printmasters to an issue of OOTB to begin selling their own "instant" comix zine and keep the $$$.
I have my own comix already, but when Justin wants to extend this what's-mine-is-yours offer and make me an authorized agent to his credit cards and bank book, I'll be right there;-) Justin has some cool sh*t happening here that won't break your banks to check out. It's compilations like these that first helped me build some of my contacts in the small press and I'm glad folks like Justin are continuing to showcase other artists.
Silverfish 2002 (April 2002), HA (March 2002) $1.00 each, 12pp digest size Cryin' Shark Studios, C/o John Q. Adams, 92 Vine Street, Lockport, NY 14094-3031 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.jqadams.com
In "Ha", Cryin' Shark Studios takes readers waaaay back to the spring of 1985 and a recounting of author Robt. Rex Jackson's then quest for some acid hits. What follows is a familiar story to those of us who've been on such dope runs, that at times, left many of us wondering if we'd been suckered & left with bogus goods as the lead characters believed themselves to be during a handful of moments in this issue. Find out for yourself if they did or did not get their "Lucies". It can be humorous in its telling if you've been in such a spot and can fill in the blanks with your own recalls. The last page was hysterical because the same thing happened to my friends and I once.
In "Silverfish 2002", the cute (?) little Silverfish critter things make for the SPX 2000 convention to wreak havoc. What you then have with such a premise is an obligatory small press cameo issue that has the Silverfish stir up trouble with the likes of artists Ben T. Steckler, Keith Knight, Dean Haspiel, Evan Dorkin and Scott McCloud. It's a quick, fun little jaunt with the digs about Haspiel's alcoholism most humorous. Next time, Cryin' Shark Studios should pair their Silverfish dudes with Godzilla to squash all of the snooty zinesters and their tables.
There's a lot of heart in these ambitious, unpretentious little productions by CSS. They're fun ideas that aren't meant to be incredibly profound and should be approached as such. If there were a suggestion box, I'd like to see the guys tighten up and fine tune their inkworks, in areas such as detailing backgrounds to give their comix more visual momentum and depth. It was a little distracting at moments when I stalled on some panels because the characters were just floating in space even though I knew exactly where they were supposed to be in the story. Tidy that up a bit and the fun, very accessible aspects to CSS's comix work can only go up.
Attempted Not Known #7 $1.00, that standard comic book size, 16pp Peter S. Conrad, P.O. Box 64522, Sunnyvale, CA 94088 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.peterconrad.com
Peter S. Conrad delivers, in this issue of ANK, a good, even handed variety of strips that fall somewhere between the *kindasorta* high-brow and low-brow categories that are worth at least a few good chuckles depending on what you find humorous, and worth at least a moment of reflection when Conrad aims his creative zeal towards reality. Some strips in this collection are obviously created with potty humor being the obvious slant, and others are insightful & honest in their oftimes metaphoric interpretations of the world.
"Mr. Mulch", a bald headed, in this case comix artist, opens up the issue in a strip that has him heading to the 2001 APE Con to present his portfolio to a number of other artists/publishers. He is met with rejection and comments of creating work that amount to someone drawing with his ass/pulling the work outta his ass etc etc ad infinitum. Finally, Mr. Mulch decides to shove a pen up his ass and create an illo that he then presents to the same naysayers, and is met with much delight and approval in the finishing panel. On one hand, I found the gutter humor just wrong, wrong I say (wink)! But on the other hand, and I know Conrad wasn't trying to get incredibly deep with the piece, it still is a pretty scathing critique of the pompous naysaying punkbitches that can inhabit the realm of the small press .you know the type ..artsy fartsy clique-ish, world's tallest midgets . The ones that go "And WHAT do you do?", with that elitist, sarcastic tone.
Anyhow, onward: In "Mutations", Conrad gives readers a series of one pagers that depict characters morphing into other things by the last frame. In one, a man sits down at a computer and he begins to cocoon until finally the cocoon thingy breaks open and an angel pops out on his way to heaven(?). A comment on the vegetation that occurs when many of us sit at the screen? Are we actually wasting away until we die, endlessly, mindlessly surfing? Is Conrad even trying to get this profound? As you can tell there's much room for interpretation and I like that. What can easily be interpreted as silly and nonsensical can be just as quickly require some thought to the deeper meaning that it might represent. It serves as a reflective moment and momentum switch in his work just when some of the gutter humor starts to get a little too much.
As I had said, the variety in this issue is appealing. Conrad handles his styles with ease and it doesn't look like he's uncomfortable with any of them. Not too much of anything, and just enough what's there, that for a buck, I'd be a cheap, comix bitch to complain. OH! And check out Conrad's site for some humorous one panel 'toons.
The Comics Rosary: The Joyful Mysteries (A coupla bucks? Free?), digest, 28pp Gene Yang Email: email@example.com
The ironies of life continue: If you are familiar with my work, you'd immediately think that my delicate fingers my carefully coiffed head my svelte, satanically inclined queer body would simply burst into an unglamorously hellish, screaming queen ball of flame by simply gazing upon this comix zine. Well .safe to say, whether it be through the Blessed Beast or the holy father, I have survived in Gloria Gaynor fashion to review Yang's somewhat inspired "Comics Rosary".
For those who don't know, " the Rosary prayer is a meditation on the significant events in Jesus' life, known as the Mysteries " In this comic work, Yang allows the readers to make dual use of his wares. First, read the issue straight through for an encapsulation of Jesus' young life. In this fashion, Yang's simple, uncluttered artwork & narrative that sources the original biblical text, works perfectly. It reads unthreateningly in a Sunday school kind of way, unlike, say, a preachy Chick track that, more often than not, spews propaganda and over the top religious rhetoric testifying to the glories of god. I can appreciate Yang's work for this unobtrusive presentation. It feels as if he is really creating from the heart and place that houses his spiritual beliefs. It is, as his logo suggests, "Humble comics". If it weren't such, and any less than the quality that Yang delivers, I'd have enjoyed ripping this comic to pieces.
The dual "use" of this comic comes in when you, the reader, decide to cut out the cartoon panels and string them together as instructed to create one big comics rosary complete with prayers on the back. I'd be the last person to know if it's been done before, but it's a cool idea, and if someone came up with such a thing back before I became a wayward sheep, hell, who knows where I woulda went? Yang gets my props to this novel idea, though I don't know how practical it would be in its use without laminating the pages.
Yang's work is easy on the eyes, and easy to get into almost TOO easy.but then maybe that's the whole point right? If this strikes your fancy, you may wanna email him for availability.
Last minute info: Monkey King, a full sized comic, is Yang's following & most recent release.
I Am What I Am (The Journal Of A Practicing Curmudgeon) #1 (2002) $2.00ppd, 28pp, digest Rick Bradford, PO Box 2235, Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a last minute addition: I'd always thought that Rick Bradford might be a pretty cool person to shoot the shit with in person judging from his writing style that I'd seen on his Poopsheet reviews website and other words of his that I'd run into on the net.
Here before me is I Am What I Am, his auto-bio zine's first issue, and I think even more so now, that ol' Ricko seems like even more of a pretty likeable dude. The cover sets the tone, that what's inside isn't meant to be some horrid diatribe on the miseries of his life, but more a free flowing dip into his journal pages from November 3, 2001 through January 31st, 2001 and chronicles among others things, his rise from a temp slave to a full-on company operative, to he and his lady Annette's final days in Cali and having to let go of his newfound job.
Bradford writes like he's right there telling you this stuff himself: Just bullshittin' without the bullshit, if ya know what I mean. It's humorous, goes down easy and really does bring readers in close, so voyeurs take not. Fun touches are entries about such things as what zines came in the mail and his almost daily, songs that he wakes up to (real songs that he dreams about), that are then balanced with more introspective entries such as his thoughts on the effects of the 9-11 attacks, As well as the accountability of people.
The production of this issue earns my cheers as well. All of you zinesters who haven't discovered that "miracle" copying technique called halftoning/dot screening, take note. Bradford includes some snippet photos sporadically through this issue that are done in such a fashion. It's small, bitchy beans, but I appreciated this little attention to detail since it drives me fucking bonkers when I see photos in zines that are reproduced without this feature. Cheers baybeh!
END TRANSMISSION: So ends my latest romp into zinedom diddley doo-dahs. 'Til Hex time !
William P. Tandy
THE TRAIN KEEPS A-ROLLIN'
It's reaffirming, as an American at breakfast in the New World Order - besieged by the full front-page onslaughts of fuel-injected superstars and the war-hawking frat goons in the District - to find, for a dollar, the road-worn mugs of Jack Kerouac, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, and the incomparable Woody Guthrie on the slick, digest-size pages of Ventilator #7 (Ventilator Magazine, 1270 8th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: www.ventilatormag.com; $1.00). Co-editors Arne Johnson and Sara Coppin invoke the spirits of those who crossed this nation countless times over, found heaven and hell and everything in between, and in writing about it all, made themselves forever part of that landscape. No day spas or thousand-dollar plates for this crew. Or McDonald's, for that matter. Each line in each face chiseled by exquisite joys or sorrows. In those grooves, the soundtrack of one's life. And every one unique.
Not that the finest linen or denim can be found without flaw. While sharing Kerouac's youthful wanderlust in her opening article, Coppin laments the sexist vein that coursed throughout the Beat spirit.
"A woman who refuses to settle down is seen as a bounder, going from man to man, rather than commandeering her own way," she writes. "[A]s I pored repeatedly over Kerouac's ecstatic rants about boyish groping in cars speeding down starlit highways, I could not help but recognize that I was kinda rooting for the wrong team."
But her comments are not jabs at the "King of the Beats" so much as the next restless step down the same interminable road that Kerouac himself followed - living, breathing, laughing, crying, fucking, writing madly all the way - until he could go no further.
And the next car comes along
Spend enough time on the back of a garbage truck and you'll be surprised how much you can learn about a man by the trash he sets out. And no one throws as much away as we do right here in America, god love us. We're an open book. (In fact, it wouldn't surprise me, Tom, if our landfills were, at this moment, swarming with al Qaeda. Better send out a Code Red*.)
And no syndicated cartoonist understands this better than Derf. His full-sized, 50-page comic Trashed: True Tales from the Back of a Garbage Truck (Published by Slave Labor Graphics, PO Box 26427, San Jose, CA 95159-6427; Website: www.derfcity.com; $6.95) hilariously encapsulates his rancid days clinging to Cyclops, an ancient, caustic behemoth stripped to its last gear. The year is nineteen-hundred-and-seventy-nine, and in the heat of an Ohio small-town summer, the future author of the weekly strip The City takes on ranting elderly residents, steaming bags of dog shit, porta-potty maintenance, and trashcans brimming with old auto parts. Heavy old auto parts.
Trashed is steeped in the sweat, piss, and vinegar that can perhaps be best appreciated by those who've huffed it, putting in an honest day's work cleaning up other people's shit while dodging the errant spurt of hopper juice. As for those who come no closer than leaving the week's newspapers, stuffed with their spawn's soiled Pampers, out for the recycling detail, Trashed can at best offer a few suggestions as to why you return home to find your cans in your trees.
Taking a decidedly different tack is Derf's self-published My Friend Dahmer (Published by Derfcity Comics; Website: www.derfcity.com; $2.95) in which he relates his real-life high-school association with notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Shunning his trademark sarcasm, Derf tells the sad and horrifying story of a teenager so estranged from society, so detached from humanity, so numb, that even the bullies at school eventually give up picking on him. The book is peppered with unheeded portents one can't help feeling bother the author on a somewhat regular basis.
"There are lessons to be learned in Dahmer's story," Derf writes in his introduction. "It's my belief that he COULD have been saved .that his victims could have been spared their horrible fate. If only some adult in his life had interceded while there was still hope. Just one is all it would have taken."
And while Derf successfully avoids macabre exploitation, neither does he attempt to excuse Dahmer for his crimes. No one is beyond guilt to some degree, including himself.
"A word of warning," he includes in his introduction. "If you're a serial killer 'fan,' if you're some teenage goth dork with an unholy attraction to Dahmer, don't write me. I don't want to hear from you. In fact, I'd prefer you didn't buy this book at all."
What's most impressive about Derf is not merely his range of subject matter, but his adept storytelling, and how sharply his artwork accompanies those stories. Rare is the storyteller who is a masterful illustrator, rare is the cartoonist who can tell a good story, in words and pictures.
And Derf wears both hats smartly.
*Or is it orange?
CLOSE YOUR EYES AND CHEW
After reading Betty Maple's "Mo Hotta Betta" - subtitled "A Spicy Salsa Tale" - in The Hungover Gourmet #5, I almost feel an indigestive twinge of guilt for all the bad things that I've ever said about Ohio.
Maple, a past contributor to the Gourmet, hails from Millfield, Ohio, and, like me, you're probably wondering just where the fuck that is. I've been to Ohio several times, but never once, that I can recall, to Millfield. And perhaps that's where I went wrong. Never having met a Buckeye so devoted to self-inflicted culinary delights as to include in her article five recipes for salsas and hot sauces. And while her chili con queso dip does call for one "loaf" of Velveeta, at no time does she suggest a dab of French's mustard or a cup of crumbled Nilla Wafers.
Dan Taylor's own "I Liked You Better with Your Shirt On," however, strikes a little closer to home. In this piece, the Gourmet editor details his caloric intake through the atavistic heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and it aint all funnel cakes and lemonade. As Bismarck, I think, noted, those fond of political policy and sausage should never watch them being made. And yet we suffer no shortage of pundits, or Bob Evans restaurants. And it took more than Kelly McGillis scrubbing her tits to keep Harrison Ford down on the farm.
Like Taylor, he simply closed his eyes and savored the flavor.
Davida Gypsy Breier
I should explain something to you all, so you understand the sacrifice and work involved in making this here zine. You see, I hate stacks. I hate clutter. I seriously cannot handle messy papers all over my desk. It drives me insane. Yet, I opted to try and edit a review zine, which is the grand-breeder of stacks. We make our own hell that's for sure. Now I have to deal with stacks of zines that needed to be reviewed, stacks of zines that need to be read, stacks of zines that need to be mailed to the reviewers, stacks of actually reviews, stacks that need to be donated to a zine library, stacks that need to be archived you get the picture. I am forced to deal with my compulsive ways by keeping the stacks hidden in corners of my bedroom and office (god forbid they get mixed up). And as a side note, I was so busy all spring that when I went to Connecticut for work in April I took a huge box of zines with me and spent that Friday night at the Red Roof Inn in New London, CT getting zines for this issue organized and packaged up for the reviewers. Just me, the dog, and hundreds of zines spread all across a double bed with a dubious design in a cheap motel on a Friday night. Anyhow, if you sent a zine after mid-April, it is probably in the box under my desk waiting for issue #9.
An Entertainment Desperately Trying to Convince Itself of its Own Existence
I know that Bobby Tran Dale wrote a lengthy review of this zine in the last issue, but I really felt the need to comment upon it myself. There have only been a few zines that stuck with me until they became a common reference point in my own head. Matt discusses his break-up in terms I can understand - like cutting his hair. It is personal in a way that made me very comfortable, and made me want to sit down and write Matt a letter, hoping we could discuss some of what he wrote about. He can toss around obscure horror and offbeat movie references with the best of them, without once coming off as pretentious. He is obsessed with Michael Myers (Halloween) and I felt compelled to tell him my weird childhood reaction from just reading the novelization. This is one of the best-written, most interesting personal essay based zines I have read. I keep thinking about it, and if you read a copy, maybe you will too. Recommended. $3 Matt Fagan, 1573 N. Milwaukee Ave., PMB 464 Chicago, IL 60622; firstname.lastname@example.org
Midnight Mind #3 On the Road in America
This is closer to a book, than a zine, weighing in at 140+ pages. Issue #3 is an anthology of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry based around the idea of cars. In a way, it is like The Glovebox Chronicles all grown-up and without all the comics and surveys. If you miss the now slumbering Glovebox, you might enjoy this. Issue #4 will showcase Chicago as a theme. $8 Midnight Mind Magazine, PO Box 1131, New York, NY 10003; www.midnightmind.com
Tight Pants #9, 8, & 6
Ms. Tight Pants is evil. What else can you say about a woman who makes you laugh out loud on public transportation with a bladder filled with that morning's coffee (the worst!)? This is the section that almost caused me, a grown woman, to pee her pants, "However, on that fateful day, I was too naïve to consider bra selection before I left the house. As a result I, while I was making out with Shawn, I realized, to my horror, that I was wearing THE NASTIEST BRA KNOWN TO MAN! This bra was disgusting. This bar said, 'I clearly know nothing about the fine art of lovemaking, for I routinely choose to cloak my breast in a dirty ugly-colored undergarment full of holes that looks like it was bought at Kids R Us. I am NOT a sex object!'" (issue #8) It was funny because it funny, but it was also funny because I could relate. When I first, ahem, shacked up with my beloved Patrick, I was rather relieved that I had the forethought to buy all new underwear before the trip, as most of them had been chewed and abused by the dogs. I only did it because I didn't want the customs agents laughing at me; I never expected he or anyone else would see me in them. Nevertheless, I was glad I had a few decent pairs of drawers with me. Tight Pants is ribald, witty, well-written, and a lot of fun. I've thoroughly enjoyed all the issues Madeleine was kind enough to trade with me. Well, aside from that one picture in issue #8 that even she describes as "The Nastiest Photo Ever." Found homemade porn. Need I say more? $1 or 3 stamps Madeleine, 918 17th St. East, Apt #1, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Rejected Band Names #7
Moving, finding a new job, and the death of two family members are all covered in this issue. It is weighty material, and possibly some of Jerianne's best as she struggles to put into words feeling and emotions that are not easily contained inside or on paper. Her sister was killed in a plane crash last year, and her sister's husband dies shortly thereafter by his own hand. She leaves California and returns to Tennessee in August 2001. After September 11th, she faced trying to find a new job in a world that grew more uncertain by the moment. It is hard to deal with national tragedy, when personal tragedy is so much closer. Her article on her job search hit close to home, very close, in fact, if it weren't for the distance I'd swear we went on a few of the same interviews. This is more real than most zines will ever get. At times it is hard to read, but life is hard. Recommended. $2 or Trade Jerianne, PO Box 330156, Murfreesboro, TN 37133-0156
Pulp With a Pulse
I like to read fiction, and for that I find myself limited when it comes to zines. However, Whirligig is like a goldmine of good fiction. Frank Marcopolos does an excellent job selecting short stories. The stories include a showdown between trickster Zeus and boy-lovin' Socrates; getting to know your robber; a young Japanese-American woman returning home for her father's funeral; Jeff Somer's tale of a roommate that is never met; a tale of art and artists gone bad by Cullen Carter; and a tryst gone wrong. I was entertained from cover to cover. $3 Frank Marcopolis, 4809 Ave. N #117, Brooklyn, NY 11234; email@example.com www.thewhirligig.com
I Am What I Am #1
The Journal of a Practicing Curmudgeon
This is so damned simple and works so well. Rick uses you basic journal format to describe his life and thoughts. The journal entries are filled with moving, family gatherings, daily occurances, zines, comics, movies, television, weird things he sees, songs in his head, and more. It could be boring, but Rick really makes it work. Sometimes simplicity works best and this is a prime example. Very nice. $1 Rick Bradford, PO Box 2235, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Urban Pantheist #3
There is nothing better than finding out an old favorite, which had disappeared into the zine ether, has a new issue out. I read Jef's new issue right away and when I was done, I realized I wished this was my zine. Simply put, this is a zine about urban wildlife. It offers so much more though. Urban wildlife, like many other details obscured by a hustled city setting, go largely ignored. One of the coolest moments of my trip to London was watching a city-dwelling fox cross in front of the taxi after midnight. Jef would understand that moment. In this issue he discusses crows, hawks, water fowl, the citizens of the park near his house, animals in Rio DeJaneiro, birds adopting the manufactured sounds of mankind, salamanders, and snakes. My interest in wildlife knows no bounds, in fact you shoulda seen my fancy dance trying to take the garbage out this morning, avoiding throngs of slugs out playing in the rain. Jef Taylor 140 A Harvard Ave, #308, Allston, MA 02134 email@example.com
The Inner Swine Collection
The Freaks are Winning
You've read enough reviews by me and other XD reviewers to know that we pretty much agree that Jeff is a damn fine writer. The Freaks are Winning is a collection of early and recent Inner Swine essays. He even lumps all his wedding stories together in one chapter. If you have read an issue or two (or even 6) of the Inner Swine and are curious about older issues, this is an excellent place to start. I found myself re-reading many essays and enjoyed them the second time around. $9.99 Jeff Somers, PO Box 3024, Hoboken, NJ 07030 www.innerswine.com firstname.lastname@example.org
New Postal Rates
New Postal Rates Ounces 1 $0.37 2 $0.60 3 $0.83 4 $1.06 5 $1.29 6 $1.52 7 $1.75 8 $1.98 9 $2.21 10 $2.44 11 $2.67 12 $2.90 13 $3.13 Postcard $0.230 Priority up to 1 pound $3.85 Media Mail 1 pound $1.42 2 pound $1.84 3 pound $2.26 Effective June 30, 2002
I had heard of this Canadian based (and legitimately Canadian biased) review zine, but didn't read a copy until I met editor Emily Pohl-Weary at the UPC. I was very impressed with the articles, as well as reviews. Well worth your time.
PO Box 203, Stn P, Toronto, ON M5S 2S7, Canada
This new well-produced publication covers zine reviews, film reviews (microcinema and independent), multimedia (ie, an episodic series that is Internet based), and comics. I really enjoy the diversity and scope of the topics covered.
PO Box 21141, Oklahoma City, OK 73156
Well-written, lengthy reviews by someone who loves zines. How can you go wrong?
4 or 5 stamps
PO Box 9651, Columbus, OH 43209
Nice selection of zine listings, mail art, book reviews, and more. 16 pages.
$3 for sample copy/trade/or letter of comment
Box 6830, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 2E7
QUEER ZINE EXPLOSION
This is a long list of small press resources, zines, books, music, videos, and more for and/or by the Queer community.
2 33¢ stamps/IRCs/$1 overseas
PO Box 590488,San Francisco, CA 94159
A READERS GUIDE TO THE UNDERGROUND PRESS
Jerianne has taken over as editor of ARGttUP. I like what she is doing. The news section was as interesting as the reviews and helps remind us why independent media is so crucial.
$4 (cash, stamps, or checks with pay to left blank only)
PO Box 330156, Murfreesboro, TN 37133-0156
Thousands of zines listed. The surveys, which rank a zines popularity within several demographics, seem to attract attention, both positive and negative. This issue offers a forum on zine related topics, with hundreds of responses from zinewriters. Great resource.
PO Box 5467, Evanston, IL 60204
Zinehead reviews review zines, letting you know where to send your zines or where to find some new reviews. He also has a list of international comic anthologies and distributors.
PO Box 2061, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 3R4 Canada
Places to Get Zines
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ECHO ZINE DISTRO
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Thanks for reading, now get
out there and order and trade some zines!
Ped Xing and Cryptozoa
2000 NE 42nd Ave. #303, Portland, OR 97213
Brooklyn! & Watch the Closing Doors
1800 Ocean Pkwy. #B-12, Brooklyn, NY 11223
3510 SE Alder St., Portland, OR 97214
PO Box 411, Swarthmore, PA 19081
Boys Who Wear Glasses
PO Box 411, Swarthmore, PA 19081
1573 N Milwaukee Ave, PMB #464, Chicago, IL 60622
710 N. Bishop, Chicago, IL 60622
28 Pages Lovingly Bound with Twine
PO Box 106, Danville, OH 43014
One Fine Mess
71 Storm St., Apt 2C, Tarrytown, NY 10591
Scatological Think Cap
PO Box 13085, Macon, GA 31208
Fish with Legs
224 Moraine St., Brockton MA 02301
Lady Churchill's Rosebut Wristlet
Small Beer Press
360 Atlantic Ave., PMB 132, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Bobby Tran Dale
PO Box 55336, Hayward CA 94545
William P. Tandy
PO Box 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Davida Gypsy Breier
Leeking Ink & The Glovebox Chronicles
PO Box 963, Havre de Grace, MD 21078