zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Zenyaku Part 3 [July 2017]

  

Shaun Craike [art] and Susan Torre [story], www.facebook.com/Zenyaku Trades? No idea. Maybe. If you make a manga-style comic. Just ask; Size: 8.25" x 5.75" Page count: 36

It's hard for me to believe that it has been just over TWO YEARS since I received a copy of Zenyaku Part 2, but there it is right there - my review from May 2015.

So it's just as well that this issue begins with a one-page recap, "The Story So Far..." Basically this guy Drake gets sacked from his job, then kidnapped by The Black Clan [a kind of samurai gang] who tell him that he is the son of one of their former [read: dead] members, so he will be forced to take his father's place. Meanwhile Drake's mother is also kidnapped by this gang, and we learn that she used to be with the King of the Black Clan until she ran off with one of the pawns [low-ranked member]. Guess who? Yes, Drake's father. Part 2 ended with Drake undergoing some intense sword training, and ultimately being presented with a sword - his father's sword!

Pretty cool story so far, right? Right. So like HELL am I going to spoil anything for you. All you need to know is the art is up to Shaun's usual high standard, in fact even higher, and the story is well-paced and captivating, with all the intrigue and mystery of these opposing, chess-like Black and White Clans. Some of the dialogue does seem to be inadvertently comical ["NOW DISAPPEAR, SICKBAG."], but the only real criticism I have is the usual one - the appalling typos. An example - TWO misspelled words in this one speech balloon: "NO, NO, NO, I WOULD NEVER JEPODISE MY BUINESS, LET ALONE MY LIFE." [Also, I noted in my review of Zenyaku Part 2 that even the subtitle was misspelled - all three words! Well, with Part 3 only one word in the subtitle is misspelled. Improvement!]

Anyway... Typo, schmypo. I'm looking forward to Zenyaku Part 4! Mid-2019!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

How to Make Soap Without Burning Your Face Off

How to Make Soap Without Burning Your Face Off
Raleigh Briggs

10 Pages
Size: Digest
Professional Bound in Paper and Card-stock
$3.00 + Shipping





Have you ever, in your entire life, wondered about the magical process of making soap?

Well, if you were one of the people that answered "Yes", then this zine is for you. For the people who said "No", this zine is definitely for you!

While I had always been one to mildly wonder how the process worked, I had never been too interested in knowing until this little joy showed up on my doorstep from Microcosm Publishing!

Bound and beutifully printed on card-stock and nice, ivory paper, this little wonder gives you a step-by-step guide on how to make your own bars of soap!









Raleigh Briggs really seems to know her stuff and clearly conveys that through the text. Not only is she giving you really awesome recipes all the way from beginner to advanced, she also goes through many important and necessary safety precautions when handling some of the ingredients.

Split up into several sections, she'll take you through safety, the process and several recipes in order to complete all of this right in your backyard.






If you want to make it yourself, are curious about the process or just want to learn something new, I would highly recommend this as a top priority. I honestly had such a joy in reading this and really look forward to seeing other things from her!

Purchase your copy here!


Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 07/06/2017; 5:32 P.M. CST

*Disclaimer! SZR (Syndicated Zine Reviews) nor Microcosm Publishing hold responsibility for any injuries sustained in the process of making soap*

Monday, July 3, 2017

Two more London events - July 9th & Aug 12th


London is very much blessed with a whole load of great zine related events this summer. Some have already happened, but two more have come to my attention, so these are the next four that I know about. 

This Sunday 9th July is the London Artists' Book Fair. Filling a gap due to the demise of other artists' book fairs, this new free event has an impressive list of exhibitors here & here. Among the zine makers will be Michael Nicholson of SZR favourite Bio Auto Graphic.



As already posted, on the 15th of July you'll find Weirdo Zine Fest in East London, and on the other side of town the South London Zine & Comic Fair


Back east on the 12th August Breakdown Press presents Safari Festival - new waves in contemporary comics and art. Visit their website for full line-up and details: safari-festival.com

I'll be popping along to all four - so if you see me, please come say hi (this is what I look like). And if you have a zine for review, and are too shy to say hello, just thrust it in my hand with a note. 




PS - I know this is a review site, so these event related posts will self destruct as soon as the dates have passed. But events are the backbone of the zine community, and are the best way to discover your latest favourite zine you didn't know existed. 


Post by Nathan Penlington





Friday, June 30, 2017

Corbyn

Corbyn
by Henry Miller 

10.5 x 7.5cm, 52 pages, b&w with colour cover

£5


Corbyn is a sweet, tragic, hopeful thing. 

Told through the eyes of a 12 year old who notices, that despite the food banks and brutal inequality of contemporary Britain, his dad has discovered something to believe in. Something that would help create a more equal and just society, a society for the many not for the few. That something, of course, is Jeremy Corbyn.  

The art is perfectly suited to the mood - grey and brooding, like a relentless drizzle, or the actualisation of despair. Corbyn will have your heart in your throat, but it is also genuinely laugh out loud funny. That's a hard thing to pull off, but Henry Miller (no, not that Henry Miller) has achieved it in a way that makes it seem easy. 





Recent weeks in British politics have been dominated by the actual Corbyn's growing majority following, bolstered by a economically strong manifesto that seeks to tackle the ability of those with the most money to avoid paying a fair share of tax. He's even had the whole of Glastonbury festival singing his name.

This tiny comic however was written back in 2015 when it didn't seem possible for a politician with morals to actually have a chance of becoming prime minister. Henry Miller writes:  


On the 12th September 2015 Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party with a landslide majority. Game on. 

It is still very much game on indeed.



Check out the first 14 pages of the zine: millertown.co.uk/corbyn

And then buy a copy of Corbyn here: millertown.co.uk/product/corbyn-2



Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Teenage Serial Killer

Teenage Serial Killer - an horrible story
C x Rudler

A4, 52 B&W pages, colour cover. (Please note photos show review copy only, not finished print)

€6 - French & English versions


Teenage Serial Killer is a satirical comic that follows Albert, at the start of school holidays, as he embarks on a killing spree. His dreams of infamy are short lived though, as the constant one-upmanship of arch rival Jordy - the Prepubescent Serial Killer - quickly take their effect on Albert's life. 

What follows is a downwards spiral of Islamic radicalisation via the internet, and interment in a terrorist bootcamp. I won't reveal what follows, I'll let you experience it yourself.


Teenage Serial Killer is reminiscent in style and tone to the genuinely infamous British comic Viz, minus the relentless swearing, and to the anarchic Oink! It succeeds in pushing extreme absurdity but played straight, as if the scenarios were a logical and inevitable outcome. The result of that is pretty graphic at times. It's not going to be for everyone. If you think certain subjects - religion, politics, terrorism - should not be satirised you should avoid this comic. For everyone else, Teenage Serial Killer will make you feel uncomfortable and queasy in parts, but if satire fails to achieve that it isn't doing its job. 

This arrived for review during the weeks the UK suffered two horrific terrorist attacks, and an equally horrific terrorist retaliation. We live in frightening times, but can't let that stop us from laughing.

Both French and English versions of Teenage Serial Killer are available to buy here: harshdiscountcomics.bigcartel.com



Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, June 26, 2017

Notebookdrawings - Vol 2


Notebookdrawings - Vol 2
by Mette Norrie

2017 

A5, 38 pages, colour print.

50DKK (Danish Krone) or approx £5.80

Buy Vol 1 & Vol 2 for 85DKK (approx £10)


Following on from Notebookdrawings Vol 1 is a brand new volume of text and illustration from Danish artist Mette Norrie. For those new to her work it follows a minimalist format - each page is notebook style lined paper, over which have been drawn illustrations in pen and pencil, and captioned at the top in English. 

Some are witty play-on-words, others play-on-images - The Reviewer's Diary, Diary of a Social Media Manager - the illustrations are also sprinkled with literary referencesT.S. Eliot's Calendar, Tender Buttons. 


But the pages that really strike a chord are those of a more melancholy, tender, quieter tone with titles like Failed Ideas, Forgotten Magicians, Lonely Gloves Club.  

Cumulatively Notebookdrawings form a kind of visual poetry that takes you outside the world as you see it. And like poetry they benefit from the time and space needed to experience in a physical form. 


The illustrations have been selected from Mette's blog - nbdrawings.tumblr.com. So, take a look, and then support her work by buying a copy of the zine. 

In her shop you can find copies of other zines too, alongside individual prints: norrieart.tictail.com/product/notebookdrawings-vol-2


www.MetteNorrie.com




Review by Nathan Penlington






Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hiroshima Yeah! #146 [April 2017]

  

Mark Ritchie, donbirnam [at] hotmail [dot] com - for a sample issue just send a nice friendly email! [Yes I know in this age of vicious Twittering it seems 'nice friendliness' has gone down the fuckin' toilet, but I know that you, my dear readers, are not like those awful garbage people!]; Trades? Yes! Again, simply send a nice, friendly email and propose your trade! Size: 11.75" x 8.25" Page count: 6 [including one blank page for your Notes].

Another month, another issue of the wonderful Hiroshima Yeah! This issue's cover star is a dog with something in its mouth. I can't tell what it is and I'm not sure I want to know.

Also on the front page are the usual collection of poems. Here's my favourite:

WHY THE HUMAN RACE IS DOOMED
When the young, rich,
thick sports star cunts
and the young, rich,
thick pop star cunts
are all covered in
dusgusting tattoos,
it's no wonder
that the young, poor,
thick infamous cunts
want to cover themselves
in disgusting tattoos also.
And that's why
the human race is doomed.

Page two features Gary Simmons's regular column, '13.2 BILLION YEARS OF HELL', This instalment subtitled: "Further self-pitying existential crises, short-tempered sexual dysfunction, social isolation and the environmental catastrophe of domesticated chicken in the early Anthropogenic epoch. Ya CUNTS" It could be the title of a Gerard Ashworth comic. [Except for that last bit.] Anyway, this time Gary includes an anecdote about a fellow prisoner [from back when he was 'inside'] - "a little old man." "None of the other lags would fuckin' TALK to him, something about dead children in the back of a car..."

Pages three and four contain my favourite part of HY! - Mark's reviews of CDs, gigs, DVDs, and books. The one CD he reviewed this issue that I have made note of to track down is 'Josephine' by Magnolia Electric Co [Secretly Canadian, 2009]. As Mark describes it: a "...stunning array of consoling hymns and heartbreakers which seem to whisper the secret truths of the universe in your ear before disappearing in puffs of smoke."

Page five contains two poems by Jason [Media Junky] Rodgers, and Mark's micro-fiction.

I think I've said this before, but if I had one zine subscription for the rest of my life on that desert island, it would be Hiroshima Yeah!

Friday, June 23, 2017

non-binary zine


non-binary zine - a beginner's guide to understanding non-binary folk
by only two comics / Lee-Anne

A5, 12 pages.

£3


This zine is an informative and friendly guide that explains the terms, concepts, and issues around non-binary gender. Crucially, the zine presents those concepts to people who might find them potentially confusing, in an easy to understand way. It covers the gender spectrum; the meaning of the term trans; gender expectations; pronouns; and the dos and do-nots of supporting non-binary people.




Lee-Anne says:
After coming out, I found I was explaining the very basics of what it means being non-binary over and over again. So I created this resource which I use as a tool to inform friends, family and acquaintances so I can save time and energy. I've found it so useful that I realised others might need a similar tool.
Particularly helpful is the My 'need to knows' page - designed to either inform friends and family of terms to use and who knows what, or to help a non-binary friend better inform you.


The zine is available from the Only Two Comics Etsy shop: etsy.com/shop/onlytwocomics

And they will also be at the Weirdo Zine Fest in London on 15th July.

For more comics visit only-two.tumblr.com



Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, June 19, 2017

RIP Rodney Leighton [19?? - 2017]

[Thanks to Dann Lennard for passing along the sad news.]

Rod was one of zinedom's most likeable and readable characters. His appearance in any zine's letter column could ensure that zine would be a keeper. Even though I had personally lost touch with him, his letters in recent issues of Ken Bausert's quarterly 'The Ken Chronicles' were the highlight of those zines. He sure will be missed by many. His writings are collected online here for the benefit of humankind >>>

SUBDUDE Issue #1

SUBDUDE Issue #1
By Mick

24 Pages.
Bound: Staples
Size: Mini
$3.00 (postage included)

SUBDUDE Issue #1 is a zine published by an author who goes by Mick.




Bound in simple cardstock and printer paper, SUBDUDE - not accidentally misspelled - offers a publishing from "a piece of community that [he] really didn't know what to do with." And let me say, this piece manages to encompass a whole lot more than just a piece.

The prolific and intelligent ideas expressed in SUBDUDE Issue #1 are some that seem to fill your head with knowledge and ideas and "what ifs".

Major topics discussed in this zine include anything from religion ro social media and face-to-face conversation - ways to connect and plug into the real world.

Mick manages to express extremely intelligent ideas in his writing that do make you question some things humanity has come to. The writing and flow go hand in hand in creating a well rounded zine with ideas to make you think (in a good way).

To purchase your copy, you can e-mail Mick at subdudezine (at) g mail (dot) com 

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 6/19/2017; 6:25 P.M. CST

South London Comic & Zine Fair - 15th July

South London Comic and Zine Fair

Saturday 15th July

12-6pm


It seems London is spoilt for zine fairs at the moment - and now two on one day, on opposite sides of the city! This one in South Norwood, and the Weirdo Zine Fest in Hackney.

Don't worry I've worked out easy way for you to go to both. 

1) Start in Hackney, as that fair finishes an hour earlier. 

2) When you're done browsing and buying, walk 15 minutes to Dalston Junction. 

3) Jump on the train for 40 minutes - use this time wisely, eat, drink, read some zines. 

4) Voila! Another fair awaits.


SZR - doing your planning for you, so you don't have to.


South London Comic & Zine Fair: facebook.com/events/105441513377738

Weirdo Zine Fest at Sutton House: facebook.com/events/716759361828973


Post by Nathan Penlington

Friday, June 16, 2017

It's All Downhill From Fear by Gerard Ashworth [September 2016]

 

20 pages, $3.00, by Gerard Ashworth [Contact [???] Gerard is hard to contact, being as he is out of the loop, technologically. If you want a copy, contact sstratu [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll make sure he gets your message.]

It took a while to get around to reading this [could be my quote of 2016] - Gerard gave this to me when we shared a table at the Manly Zine Fair back in September. Historically, I go into a new Ashworth production with a sick sense of dread. They can be so dense and inscrutable! Really hard to understand! And to add insult to psychological trauma/injury, he makes fun of the reader constantly for his or her limited intelligence! *Blub!* But this one is easy to read! ...Or maybe I've gotten smarter? No, impossible! In short, I could say not only do I not remember the last time I enjoyed an Ashworth comic so much, but I do not remember the last time I enjoyed an Ashworth comic. ... Amongst the really great autobiographical stuff where he exposes his 'quirks and idiosyncrasies', there are also terrific comic stripped versions of a Godley & Creme song, 'I Pity Inanimate Objects'; and Gerard's 'girlfriend' Sabrina reciting "the greatest Beat poem of them all", 'Tomorrow Is A Drag', from the 1958 movie 'High School Confidential'.

Notebookdrawings - Vol 1


Notebookdrawings - Vol 1
by Mette Norrie

2016 

A5, 26 pages. 

50DKK (Danish Krone) or approx £5.80



Notebookdrawings is a charming zine by Danish artist Mette Norrie. It follows a simple, minimalist, format - each page is notebook style lined paper, over which have been drawn illustrations in pen and pencil captioned at the top in English. 

There is a wistful melancholy to many of the illustrations, but each page breathes freely with visual and verbal humour, together they form an enchanting take on the world. 


The illustrations have been selected from Mette's blog - nbdrawings.tumblr.com. So, take a look, and then support her work by buying a copy of the zine. 

In her shop you can find copies of other zines too, alongside individual prints: norrieart.tictail.com/product/notebookdrawings

www.MetteNorrie.com



Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, June 12, 2017

Idle Ink #1 - Madness


Idle Ink #1 - Madness

A5, 24 pages. Cardboard cover. 

£2 + p&p

The first issue of Idle Ink is a collection of short stories and illustrations on the subject of madness. Each piece reflects different facets of the theme: insanity, self-deceit, violence, control, and power.

"With enough practice, a person can convince themselves of almost anything"

says J.L. Corbett at the start of She Outruns the Humdrum. A particularly apt analysis of all the characters in these stories. 



The zine features work by J.L. Corbett, Jenny Nolan-Lee, K.R. Tester, L.L. Kipling and Dazz. The authors' influences include Douglas Adams, George Orwell, and Neil Gaiman. But there are also touches of Ray Bradbury, particularly in the stories that walk the border between character driven narrative and sci-fi. Which is no bad thing, I'm a big Bradbury fan.




It's an engaging start to what I hope will become a long series of zines focused on new writing by emerging authors. 


Buy now via Etsy: etsy.com/uk/listing/529891809/madness

Or visit Facebook.com/IdleInkHull


Review by Nathan Penlington


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Max Powers is the Atomic-Man! #1 [Fall 2015]

   
8 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", Alan Peters, PO Box 24276, Ventura CA 93001, USA

I wrote to Alan after seeing his great comics in a recent issue of Steve "The Dith Dood" Anderson's Dithering Doodles. I sent one of my diary comics hoping he was up for a trade, and my answer arrived a few months later [we operate on Small Press Time, you understand] in the form of three comics - this one [...Atomic-Man!]; The Future-Nauts [Summer 2014]; and The Incredibly Unstable Tromp [November 2013]

Political Correctoids are not invited to Alan's show, since one of his signature scenes [which I've seen appear three times already in the handful of comics I've seen of his] involves the heroine taking a shower.

One thing disturbs me and that is the dates on these comics - the most recent being from 2015. So unless I don't have the complete picture, the only recent work of his that can be seen is that appearing in Dithering Doodles. Hopefully we will see more new work from him soon!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Weirdo Zine Fest - 15th July, London

Weirdo Zine Fest 

15th July 2017

Free entry, open 12:00-17:00

Sutton House
2 Homerton High Street 
E9 6JQ 
London

Nearest station is Hackney Central.




Sutton House is an East London Tudor house built in 1535, now owned by the National Trust. Throughout 2017 they are running a series of events and exhibitions developed by, with and for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) communities under the banner of Queered:
"Sutton House has always had a bit of an identity crisis. The oldest house in Hackney has been through many changes, which makes it one of the most unusual and unexpected National Trust houses. Much like Sutton House’s varied and colourful history, the word Queer is fluid and ever-changing and the definition is continuously contested. Queer is a way of thinking about things in unexpected ways."
The Weirdo Zine Fest on July 15th is a self-publishing fair celebrating DIY cultural production by radical and marginalised people. It will feature over 20 stallholders including:

Apples to Zines j-applebee.tumblr.com 
Queer Arcana Queerarcana.etsy.com
That’s How It Feels For Me http://rinflum.tictail.com/
Eliza Agar Press https://elizaagarpress.tumblr.com/
Lindsay Draws http://andsomeplyers.bigcartel.com/category/zines-and-prints
Sick Fucks https://jetmoon.org/performance/ddwt/
Charlotte Cooper and Simon Murphy http://charlottecooper.bigcartel.com/
Rachael House/Red Hanky Panky http://www.rachaelhouse.com/fanzines.php
Forever Incomplete www.etsy.co.uk/shop/foreverincomplete
Liv Wynter // WHEREISANAMENDIETA
It Snipped My Heart (Nova Cox and Kate Dansette)
Chisel Tip zine chiseltipzine.tumblr.com
Dysphoria Collective http://dysphoriacollective.bigcartel.com/
Only-two https://www.only-two.tumblr.com/
Sister Ectoplasma Distro - https://www.sisterectoplasma.co.uk/
Cross Words Zines - kirstywinters.etsy.com
FatFemmeFabulous
Vampire Sushi Distro www.vampiresushi.co.uk
Synchronise Witches Press Cherrystyles.co.uk
Cool Schmool Zines - http://coolschmool.bigcartel.com/ 


For more details see the Weirdo Zine Fest Facebook event: facebook.com/events/716759361828973

More about Sutton House Queered: nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-house-and-breakers-yard/features/sutton-house-queered



I'll be visiting, wearing a Syndicated Zine Reviews t-shirt. If you see me, please come and say hi.
Post by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hash Brown Comix #1

  

24 pages, 10" x 7", $? email Editors Dan or Oli for ordering info >>> danieljhayer at gmail dot com or olihastings9 at gmail dot com 

It's thanks to Glenno that I finally got a copy of this new Sydney comix anthology. [Long story deleted, but available here.] ...
 We all know how much comix anthologies can SUCK - it's usually only a question of how much? So it is impossible to overstate how surprised and relieved I was to find that Hash Brown Comix is really great! It is absolutely imbued, suffused, and steeped in the raw and deranged spirit of the finest Underground Comix 'spirit'. One strip [by co-editor Oli Hastings] is about the real life tragedy of Sydney's Luna Park Ghost Train fire in 1979. This strip is so great, and part of its greatness for me is that I don't know how much of the detail within is historical fact, and how much is the product of the artist's imagination. ... Other strips I really liked were Dominic Proust's tale of unrequited love with a tall girl; co-editor Dan Heyer's very strange school teacher; Kaylene Milner's Soviet record collectors; and another Oli strip about his veneration of Rowland S. Howard.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Random Notes 2017

Random Notes 2017
Matthew Rooney

26 Pages
Hand Bound
Size: Mini
$2.00 + Shipping
Random Notes 2017 is a collection of comics hand drawn and bound by Matthew Rooney. The covers are all different to order. The work contains comics from an incomplete comic book as well as several done by Rooney on a flight from Paris to Montreal.

This zine is entirely unique. I was pleasantly surprised by the entire thing as a work. The child-like drawings and obscure comics are definitely something you don't see everyday. The artwork in itself takes on an almost theme of what the author was trying to convey. With every page turn is a new surprise.
If you're into the quirky, comic side of the zine world, the price is a bargain for the surprises you may find in here.

You can email Matthew Rooney to purchase you copy ($2) at mjjrooney (at) gmail (dot) com.

Website: mjrzines.tumblr.com


Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 05/29/2017; 11:10 A.M. CST

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Berserkotron #1 [2016]

 


76 pages, 9" x 6", by David Robertson [Fred Egg Comics],email: d1robertson [at] hotmail [dot] com and check out www.fredeggcomics.com

I found out about David and his comics from a letter I received from "The Dith Dood", Steve Anderson [Dithering Doodles]. He mentioned he had just finished writing a letter to David Robertson, another comics dude, so naturally I followed this 'lead' and we ended up trading comics.

Berserkotron is about two high school kids, Bert and Ronnie. Ronnie builds fighting robots. Bert is into chemistry. When Ronnie shows Bert his latest fighting robot, he asks him to paint it. Bert agrees, kind of reluctantly, but it will give him a chance to test the "magic paint" he recently created.

What I really loved about Berserkotron was the great dialogue between Bert and Ronnie, revealing the complex dynamics of their friendship. You really get the impression that although these guys are friends, like many high school friendships [or even friendships in general], the clock is ticking on how long it will be before a major falling out. To add to the mix is another robot builder, Henry, who comes across as a snotty, spiky-haired jerk who for some reason has it in for Ronnie, and thus Ronnie's robot, which he aims to annihilate in an upcoming 'Robot Wars' competition.

One final thing I wanna mention - something rarely found in comics but so great and welcome when an artist takes the time to do it - is at the end of this issue is a ten-page section of sketches, doodles, scribbles, and the background story of how Berserkotron came to be. Great stuff!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Loserdom #25 [November 2016]

 


56 pages, 8.5" x 6", contact Anto at loserdomzine at gmail dot com for ordering info + www.loserdomzine.com

I saw Anto's announcement of this momentous 25th issue on We Make Zines so I emailed him, and he emailed me back, we agreed to trade zines, and now 23 days later here I am, I've read the whole issue and now intend to convince you to get a copy for yourself. Actually, I'm not going to do that. I'll just write down what I liked about it, or if I didn't like it, what I didn't like about it, and you can read what I've written, or not, do what you like. How about that? Good. OK...

Here is yet another party I've arrived late to - this one even later than all others [except for The Match!, that is - that's a record that will not be broken since the first issue came out in 1969, when I was two. Haw!] Oh well. That's OK. Unless I absolutely love it and decide it's the best zine I've ever read, but there are no back issues available at all...

I like what Anto wrote in his intro/editorial about seeing so many shitty things happening around the world and feeling bogged down and irrelevant - "It brings me back to the question: what is my motivation for making a zine? Loserdom is part of the Irish DIY punk tradition of zine making - a basic principle of which for me is: make your own culture, stop consuming that which is made for you and question. Winning or being the strongest isn't the be all and end all, it's ok to lose."

Loserdom #1 was born in June 1996. [A big year! David Puckeridge's Gristle Fern #1 and my comix anthology Sick Puppy Comix #1 were also born in 1996, but mine [and David's] came out in April, so I'm the sempai!]. I find I'm struck by an envy of anybody out there who has been a reader from the beginning. And then to wonder what happened to all those people who got a copy of Loserdom #1...

My favourite piece in this issue is an interview with independent Irish filmmaker, Graham Jones, who "...releases his films for free on YouTube and has written a manifesto-style article about a movement of indie filmmaking which uses digital technology to produce and release films called Nuascannan [Irish for 'New Film']..." Just one tidbit from this great interview is this one: rather than make a graduation film in third year of film school in London, like every other student did [clamouring to use the equipment], Graham chose to master in theory. So he found and interviewed 30 independent filmmakers around London, transcribed every word they said, and this was subsequently published as a book by the British Film Institute. His first film was How To Cheat in the Leaving Certificate [1996[!!]]; the most recent, Nola and the Clones [2016]. I intend to watch both on YouTube this week!

Also in this issue, a short piece about the need to repeal the Eighth Amendment [Irish Abortion Law]; 'Plastic in the Ocean' - a shocking article about plastic crap floating around the world's oceans, including a gigantic area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, "estimated to be about 10 times the size of Ireland"; interview with bands Una Bestia Incontrolable [Barcelona] and Alps [Ireland]; a bunch of album and live music reviews; and most importantly - reviews-wise - zine reviews! including Maximum Rock 'n' Roll #396 the 'Do Zines Suck?' issue that I went to some length subsequently to order a physical copy of [I ended up emailing MRR because on their website it seemed they only had a PDF version for sale, but not so! Thanks Arielle!]

Loserdom is really great. A zine that deserves to have lasted 25 issues, and deserves to last 25 more.


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