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


Friday, December 28, 2007

Blurt! #1

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/23/07

Blurt! #1 / 1:00 / $2 / 112S / http://www.vinylagogo.com / Vinylaprintprint, c/o Lew Huston, 135 Wapallopen Rd, Nescopeck, PA 18635 /

While Lew’s style was really hard to acclimate to during the first few stories in Blurt!, by the twentieth or thirtieth page, one starts to pick up eir’s literary nuances. Blurt!, and more specifically Lew’s fumbling, bumbling attempts with girls, really is reminiscent of certain parts of Atrophy Zine. No one could possibly find a better deal for $2 than Blurt!, as one will take a large chunk of time wading through tens of stories about seemingly nothing. Getting into Steinbeckian levels of description, there are times in Blurt! where Lew loses the forest in pursuit of the trees; there are a few stories in which ey describes being a merch person for a band, but never once (that I read) does ey say which band ey worked with. As for the layout, everything is sharply reproduced and framed in interesting ways, with certain sections sharing the same backdrop. Some of the stories show Lew as extremely naïve, especially those dealing with eir’s corruption into a drinking machine, but this is what Lew intends to do with the zine as a whole. Lew creates this persona of a small town kid that is perpetually learning, experiencing matters to the fullest. There are certain bits of the small town that never leave Lew’s side, and these bits are what make reading Blurt! so fun! These pieces cover such a wide array of Lew’s life that I really do not know where #2 could go, but I know I will be waiting for it eagerly.

Rating: 6.4/10

Blurt! #2

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/23/07

Blurt! #2 / 1:00 / $2 / 88S / http://www.vinylagogo.com / Vinylaprintprint, c/o Lew Huston, 135 Wapallopen Rd, Nescopeck, PA 18635 /

This time, Lew actually makes a very interesting and compelling narration of the four years of eir college, going through a few significant others and evolving from a naïve teen to a much more road-worn warrior. While there are still a few times during Blurt! that Lew has missed proofreading , the story is crafted to perfection. Any individual that has attended college, even for the shortest period, will be able to draw parallels from their to Lew’s life, and be that much more affected by the content of this issue. The sheer amount of improvement that Lew has made between just two issues is amazing, by the second issue of Blurt! I couldn’t honestly put the zine down until I had finished it. The layout is still astonishingly simple; border, text, sometimes a chapter/section number, but this works for Lew. Blurt! is not your average zine, as Lew is a great enough writer that I could honestly see this being released as a novel, it winning a number of awards, and finally being included as part of the required reading in college campuses the world over. We are left with a decent ending for this iissue, but put forth in such a way that I want to immediately pick up a copy of issue #3 and figure out what has been happening to Lew in the meanwhile. This rapid desire of mine is paradoxical: I may hate reality TV, but I love expertly written zines like Blurt!.

Rating: 8.6/10

Bob #3

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/24/07

Bob #3 / :30 / $2.00 / 32L / Outhouse Publishing, 30 Locust Avenue, Westmont, NJ 08108 / http://www.njghost.com /

The layout of Bob is always something to look forward to, and this issue is no exception. With a smart use of white space, each page gives the reader enough in terms of information without seeming in the least bit cluttered or conversely, too Spartan. Coming out before the Presidential election, this issue of Bob has taken on a more political-themed bent than the previous issue, focusing on the mayoral campaign of a true independent, Tommy Avallone, as well as a rating system for a host of electoral parties in the United States. The latter piece was interesting because it did not just focus on the two major parties and two or three large third parties, but went as far to include the American Nazi Party and the Light Party, which “promotes holistic medicine, … organic foods” and has a leader that “claims the party has “millions” of supporters. However, the editor of Bob falls time and time again into the same pitfall, which is making each and every piece in this issue about 20% too long. Most problematic would be the interview with Bert Katz, which tops the scales at over 8 full pages. Interviews can be interesting, but I felt that this was more of an autobiographical piece instead of a minor focus on an artist. Still, this issue of Bob ends strongly, with a discussion about an artist’s “Constitutional Cow” and the political issues that surrounded it. A nice smattering of influences, the issue struggles through the extreme lengths of the artist.

Rating: 7.2/10

Boggob #27

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/24/07

Boggob #27 / $3 / 36 Pages / Full-Sized / Age Statement / boggob@aol.com / PO Box 4425, Chattanooga, TN 37405 /

While Boggob is one of the better scene-oriented, free (to those Chattanoogies) zines, the fact is that the horror focus of the zine gets annoying fast. The zine isn’t politically correct in the least, but isn’t as bad as say Fat Nugs, and the selling point of the magazine for me would have to be the lengthy reviews. The reviews, while covering bands that are fairly famous (like Story of the Year and Ian Anderson), are written in a very detailed manner, ensuring that all facets of the album are covered. The amount of advertisements in this issue is something that can be looked over, as the zine is one that is free for a large section of its readers. The interviews in this issue are primarily written in a piece-format, instead of the tired question/answer format. Focusing on horror is just one facet of Boggob, while the other focus would have to be on any form of media – this time, we are assaulted by pieces on movies, television shows, and the like. Some of the pieces, such as “Diarrhea of a Madman”, are completely untied to anything else in the magazine – which gives Boggob a random feel that shakes up the horse-with-blinders feel of the rest of the magazine. However, the fiction in this issue is absolutely atrocious, “Hit and Run” being a simply gash short story in which Fenris Lupis (wolf wolf, I get it, har har) is hit by a teacher. If you are in Chattanooga, pick this up, otherwise I see no purpose in paying so much for this zine.

Rating: 5.5/10

Slug #227

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/24/07

Slug #227 / Free / 64M / 1:30 / http://www.slugmag.com /

The individuals that work to create Slug Magazine are nice. So nice, in fact, that they send NeuFutur 3 copies of the magazine an issue. This issue provides individuals with probably their last glimpse of skateboarding in Utah (or in Utah print) until everything warms back up. In order to hold individuals over until then, there is perhaps the most skateboarding related content in this issue that I’ve ever seen in Slug. There are reviews of boards, different interviews with skateboarders, and the like – enough for those individuals to go into hibernation until the spring, stuffed with the nourishment of material that Slug provided. Beyond the skateboarding information, there are pieces regarding the mayoral election in Salt Lake City, the continued ordeals of Marty Kasteler (a bicycler that was hit by a delivery van), and the story about the importance of Boy George as important in the lives of Oomingmak and Boudica Juicyfruit. The amount of advertisements in this issue feels a little bit larger than in previous issues, but it may just be my own perception. However, as is always the case with issues of Slug, the quality of the writings in this issue are strong enough to make up for flipping through the advertisements. Individuals that want to know what albums they should buy from the holiday season should look into thee very detailed and interesting reviews put forth by Slug. If you are local, pick up Slug. If you have a few extra bucks, throw it to them and they will send you a copy.

Rating: 6.8/10

Brown Eye Pie #5

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/26/07

Brown Eye Pie #5 / $1 / :20 / 44M / http://www.browneyepie.com / POB 172, Muskegon, MI 49443 /

For being called Brown Eye Pie, there is just not enough talk about poop. Sure, the interview that was conducted with the Fleshies is full of brown goodness, but the vast majority of pieces in this issue just do not have anything to do with shit. Other pieces seem to drag on a little too long for proper enjoyment – while I do agree with what is said about suicide (that it is not necessarily a coward’s way to go), the fact that the discussion takes up the majority of five pages in a very small font really makes readers want to turn off. Not to say that there are no impressive pieces in this zine – for example, the brief interludes featuring different types of graffiti is nice, while the pictures of kittens just really make me wonder, as they are just so out of place in this zine. Different pictures also break up some of the longer pieces present in Brown Eye Pie, but to be honest I have no clue who most of the bands that BEP covers are. That would be a positive, but if there are just two pictures and the band name Dirt E. Twat, I honestly have no clue what they sound like. One of the pieces, the center-fold that describes the various nicknames for the pubic regions, has been done to death – while I can understand how it is funny, most people into zine culture probably have seen some iteration of it in the past.

Rating: 6.9/10

(The Incredibly True Adventures of a Kid and His Starship) #1

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/27/07

“The Sex Issue” - Really, the title does better about telling a potential reader about what this issue of the zine is about than any job I could do. Still, the story is about Vermicious Knid’s adventures with outdoor sex and his partner Kelly. The politics of circumstance strike Vermicious Knid badly both times, as the sex is interrupted both times to amusing factors. Now, I’m too much of a wimp to ever have outdoor sex, but what Vermicious Knid describes in the zine really puts me off outdoor sex that much more. I mean, what happens both times (I am purposely being vague to leave the mystique of the magazine complete) seems almost too hard to believe, but are just enough in the realm of the realistic to scare the bejesus out of me. The zine is pretty small, and Vermicious Knid apologizes for it, but it is still totally worth the money ($1 postpaid I believe) that the editor sells it for. This is not an one-shot zine, so you may be able to go get a later issue of this zine, as I am not totally sure if a new issue has been released. The zine is not all text either, and the background pictures really do a good job in foreshadowing events that happen later in the narrative. Send the money or equivalent trade to Lupine Ladies Press, PO Box 543, Accokeek MD 20607.

Rating : 7.8/10

(The Incredibly True Adventures of a Kid and His Starship) #2

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/27/07

(The Incredibly True Adventures of a Kid and His Starship) #2 : The Reactionary Issue / Fourth-Sized / 16 Pages / Trade / Lupine Ladies Press, PO Box 543, Accokeek MD 20607

Jamez’ zines are always just so interesting that I feel that I am just babbling on for about 250 words or so just extolling ey’s virtues. But, if you go through all the layers, there is some actual truth to this worship, as the zine (very short read) details some of the adventures that ey has had in the starship/car Vermes (as if you couldn’t tell!). Detailed in this issue are two random encounters that Jamez had while driving Vermes, including a self-affirmation letter by two guys and a very interesting phrase spoken by a woman. I lump both of these writings together because the styles that they are written in are so similar that they just seem to work well together. The background of each page is a photograph that actually works really well with the piece at hand, something that NeuFutur can’t say anything about. When I brought this zine home, I wasn’t sure if I had reviewed this issue before because I read this zine so much. If you want to get a copy of this, write Jamez. Ey will regale you with many of the stories that makes this zine so interesting and so higly regarded.

Rating : 7.8/10

Burn In Hell, Buddy #3

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/28/07

Burn In Hell, Buddy #3 / Fourth-Sized / 16 Pages / Trade / Lupine Ladies Press, PO Box 543, Accokeek MD 20607

As many people have read my reviews of the first two issues of Burn In Hell, Buddy, I’m not really sure what to say about this zine that I haven’t already said. Done in the same geometric cut and paste style of the first two issues, this issue (subtitled “The Pennsylvania Girls Issue”, details all of the relationships that Vermicious has had during the lifespan of the Starship Vermes. Being updated slightly about Vermicious’ life, the reading audience knows that Vermes is long gone, briefly being replaced by a Mazda, and by Vermicious’ current car, Morgan Anne (which is plush and absolutely fabulous – I had the pleasure to take a trip in it!). The significant others in this issues are just very briefly talked about, again being passed over for the relationship that Vermicious had with Vermes, but there are still very deep emotions being expressed in just a few sentences. For example, in detailing Sara, Vermicious discusses a time in which they left Vermes to play on a bridge, to which V says “If every night had been that god, we would have stayed together forever”. The information put out in each issue of Burn In Hell, Buddy is vital for trying to learn any bit of information from a very secretive Vermicious Knid, and even after meeting V in real life, I still feel as if Burn in Hell, Buddy has been more informative than actual contact.

Rating : 7.9/10

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Die Volume 3, Issue 2


via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/25/07

The Die Volume 3, Issue 2 / Free / :30 / Red Roach Press, PO Box 764, College Park, MD 20740 / http://redroachpress.com /

The Die is the equivalent of a college newspaper, although 90% of the material is compiled by Joe Smith, the editor. This issue begins with a number of short news blurbs (a la AP news) and then goes into the crux of the magazine relatively fast – the interview with a Socrates scholar takes up two and a half of the zines 16 pages. The tie to Socrates is the dominating force in this issue, as the later book reviews give a good amount of text space to different works concerning the master philosopher. The other major work that is covered in the book review section is an American classic – A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and the reviewer ties the piece to the eternal problem that concerns those in power – corruption. The zine ends with a number of different reviews and letters – The Die is one of the few zines that only focuses on zine reviews instead of the disproportionate focus that most zines have on music (oftentimes at the expense of completely excising the zine reviews from print). Finishing up this issue with a number of re-printed letters, The Die is a zine that really maintains a philosophy that is open-ended and open for debate, the positive style that is lauded so much in the earlier pages of this issue. There is really no reason that people shouldn’t try o search out a copy of this magazine, as it is well-written, open-minded, and best of all completely and utterly free!

Rating: 7.0/10


Bowlcut : postmodern scissors cutting your hairdo of oppression

via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/25/07

Bowlcut : postmodern scissors cutting your hairdo of oppression / $1/Trade/Half Sized / 24 Pages / bowlcut_zine@yahoo.com

The zine doesn’t disappoint with the content foretold by its title. Postmodernism is followed to an absurd degree, including the most random quotes and instructions : for example, “Imagine Your Favourite Celebrity taking a DUMP.” and “Got PENIS?” For someone like me who loves anything absurdist and or postmodern, this zine is a godsend. While I can’t say that there is that much text-based content, a picture, they say, can speak a thousand words, and does in bowlcut. With a fascination with boobies, the zine is largely fueled by pieces commenting on the silliness of having a double standard between men and women’s breasts and also with the breasts with and without nipples. While some individuals may not see bowlcut as being political in the least or infused with any message, the sharp wit of articles like “Korporate Kitchen”, showing exactly how a cookbook that seems innocuous can be a minion of multinational corporations. If you are a fan of absurdist works or are into visually-driven magazines, please take a look at this. However, if you are easily angered or not a fan of randomness in your magazines, bowlcut may not be your cup of tea.

Rating : 9.2/10

Die Trying #2


via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/25/07

This is a book of pictures that has a little bit of commentary by the editor of the magazine. The editor used to work at a photo lab, and was able to take some of the trash photos home, and this is the product of that scavenging. Each page has a picture, and a little bit of writing, continuing a narrative that, in its brevity, is still able to explore the editors psyche by using other people’s pictures. Personally, something small really gets me with this magazine, and that is the editor’s use of a rubber stamp to show important ideas, as the rest of the text is placed out in a clean writing style. I do have a little bit of a problem with the fact that the editor does not have an opening page with a little bit of their information. If you’ve noticed my use of non-gender specific pronouns, it is because I have no inkling what sex that the editor is. I have an idea, but I really need to stop assigning values to genders. An extremely personal touch is noticed on the cover, as the editor goes and pastes a different picture on each cover. Think about that… every single issue the editor places out for sale is unique, different…and I like that. Send some money to Second Period Industries, PO Box 948, Athens, Georgia 30603-0948.

Rating : 6.6/10.


Breaking Open My Head #2


via NeuFutur Magazine by admin on 12/26/07

Breaking Open My Head #2 / .50 / :15 / 32M / Box 5138, 222 Church St, Middletown, CT, 06459-5138 / 

This magazine goes pretty much everywhere, as it is a personal zine with a very political subtext that is run all through this issue. This is done by an individual still in high school, and there seems to be a lack of smoothed-out philosophy here. For example, there are quotes strewn throughout this issue of the magazine from the French leftist movement of the sixties, even as there are comics present that joke around about pedophilia and anal rape. The zine may be 32 pages, but there is just not that much information to reed; a number of the pages are just pictures with a quotation or blurb underneath of them. The aforementioned French quotations are interesting to go over, even if it means that individuals have to flip around each page of the issue to make them readable. The gold in this issue (besides the color of the cover) has to be in Brendan’s description of being in the same protests as the Black Bloc, as well as one small bit of resistance that ey did in the French subway This is only issue two, so I am confident that Brendan will be able to continually refine and make sharper ey philosophy and overall tone of Breaking Open My Head. The cost cannot be argued with, and there is a genuine sense that Brendan is trying eir heart out here. Give a buck or two (even though it says fifty cents) to the address listed, and try to get the latest issue of Breaking Open My Head from Brendan.

Rating: 5.8/10


Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Juniper #9

via The Sixth Minky by Maaike on 12/10/07
The Juniper #9 is out! Daniel's zine about the importance of guerrilla gardening is a rant worth reading!

He says, "I believe in small, independent, sustainable, local, organic farming because it makes more sense to me. But also because it is one big step in a series of large steps that I feel we need to take in order to free ourselves from our power-hungry addictions & habitual over-consumption."

And he's a guy who lives what he says...works for an organic farm, has his own small garden and lives a simple life. If you're tired of listening to people who have "good ideas" but don't live the life, then give The Juniper a try and find hope in those that practice what they preach. The cost is one stamp! To order:

Dan Murphy
PO BOX 3154
Moscow, ID 83843

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Farming Uncle #108

Indistinguishable from the previous issue.

Dream Whip #14

Dream Whip #14
344 Pages, Pocket Paperback
$10.00 $8.00

Bill Brown is fast becoming one of my favorite writers slash artists. His writing is modest; on the surface monotone, but the imagery is intimate, mesmerizing, and at times compelling. He wavers between his observations of the world around him, and the commentary of his inner voice, which retains a childlike perspective that is fresh, gentle and poetic even when looking at things that are not. This "zine" is a 344 page pocket-sized paperback, full of tiny, handwritten chapters, many titled after the places he travels. In Wendover Utah he builds a bike that glides over abandoned railroad tracks. In Border #2 he travels with volunteers who leave water caches and look for people in trouble in the desert. In Eureka CA he observes an attempt to barter some Humboldt export for a corn dog. The dozens of ultra-short chapters make it easy and convenient to enjoy as many or as few as suites you in a sitting. Although it's all grown up into a book, this is still a wonderful little perzine that's as intimate and creative as anything out there.

Available through Microcosm
Order it Here

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Life in a Jugular Vein: Three More Years of Snakepit Comics

via Feminist Review by Feminist Review on 11/30/07
By Ben Snakepit
Microcosm Publishing

Is it wrong to call a punk underground comic strip "charming?" My Life in a Jugular Vein, the new collection of three years worth of Snakepit Comics could also be described as exuberant, funny, and profane, but overall I was charmed by the simple, clever artistic style and the honesty of one mad-drinking, band-forming, crazy-cursing guy sharing his life.

A hand-drawn diary of its author, each strip covers one day in the life of Ben Snakepit. And just like real life, some days are action-packed, while some are more "watching TV with friends and drinking beer." This makes for occasional slow points between story arcs (which usually take the form of romances or concert tours), but I think that this book works best if you don't try to charge through it all at once. If you're willing to soak up the flavor of Ben's life, you'll be treated to a unique take on both the cosmic and the mundane.

My Life in a Jugular Vein is the second collection of strips, and, although the book starts in media res, it's easy enough to pick up on the cast of characters and locales: a cavalcade of musicians, slackers, punk nightclubs (Emo's!), parties, and living rooms where you could crash on the floor. The book is best when it's experimental: the distorted drawings of other guests at drunken parties, and the weird squiggle-filled portraits of joy at riding a bike or smoking from a bong. It's also chock-full of cultural and geographical references, from punk clubs all over the U.S. to a hysterical rendering of the opening scene of Lost in Translation. Lots of the book has a strong Austin, TX flavor, but Ben travels enough that the cast of characters and locales vary to keep it interesting.

Another point: the heading of each day's strip is the title and artist of Ben's "Daily Listening," so if you enjoy the vibe of the strip, you can fill your iPod with songs to accompanying it, ranging from the classic to the kooky. One paperback edition also comes with a CD of 18 songs featured in the strips. If you love punk, and you love zines, or you're curious about the world of underground comics, My Life in a Jugular Vein would be an excellent place to start reading.

Review by Dominae Petrosini

Click here to buy:

My Life in a Jugular Vein

Check out more reviews at http://www.feministreview.org

Figure 8 (Issue #3)

via Feminist Review by Feminist Review on 12/1/07
By Krissy Durden
Pony Boy Press

I thoroughly enjoyed this zine about fat liberation and body acceptance! I read it cover to cover in one sitting.

After an introduction explaining how overwhelming it was for Krissy to do another issue of this zine and a brief but positive letters section, the reader is treated to an interview with Marilyn Wann. Wann, who is probably most widely recognized as the mover and shaker behind the zine Fat!So? discusses what she has been doing since her book was published in 1999 and offers her ideas for ending fat oppression.

Next Krissy writes about her experiences taking a yoga class especially for people with big bodies. At the end of the essay, she includes tips for "fat girls" who want to practice yoga and a list of yoga resources helpful for people with large bodies.

The yoga section is followed by interviews with four women who participated in FATASS pdx, a Portland, OR cheerleading troupe for fat women. I especially enjoyed the three cheers that were part of the squad's performances, with words of inspiration such as, "Hey, Hey You/Watch what you say/Cuz your self-worth/ain't about what you weigh" and "My derriere is double-duty!/Wigglin', Jiggling, somethin' vicious/MY BIG FAT ASS IS FLESHALICIOUS!" I wish I could have seen FATASS pdx perform! Unfortunately the group is now in hiatus, but there is hope that it will be revived, maybe with new cheerleaders. Krissy tells us, "Anyone can start up a FATASS in their own town and we highly recommend it. Besides the absolute fun, chub love and awesome fat positive lyrics you get to shout at people—you get Pom Pons!"

Also in this issue are "Lessons in Fat History" (featuring the Fat Liberation Manifesto), "Hope among the Horrid" (a report on the myths of the obesity epidemic and the health at every size movement), "Inspiration Is Everywhere" (more about fat liberation from Marilyn Wann), a resource list for learning more about being fat positive in a fat negative world.

Unfortunately, Figure 8 is published sporadically. Two years went by between the publication of issue #2 and issue #3, and issue #3 seems to have been published in 2005. I'd really like to see Krissy put out Figure 8 more often. The world needs her sassy and well-written rants against fat oppression and body hatred; the world needs her ideas on how to stop such nonsense.

Review by Chantel C. Guidry
Check out more reviews at http://www.feministreview.org

Friday, November 30, 2007

Zine Review: Scam #5 1/2

Zine Review: Scam #5½

via Trading Stories with the Leaves by Trading Stories on 11/29/07

Arnold Zwicky wrote an interesting post for Language Log recently, about the blurred edges of technical and everyday words. He pointed out how "the common-language use of epicenter for the central point of an event" is slightly different from its original jargon meaning: "Technically, it's the location on the earth's surface over the place where the earthquake event happened, undergound."

When Erick Lyle named Scam #5½ "The Epicenter of Crime: The Hunt's Donuts Story", borrowing the phrase from a news broadcast, I suspect he was using epicenter in the common-language sense. But the technical meaning is perhaps even more fitting, because Hunt's Donuts — beneath the "OPEN 25 HOURS" neon sign — was the point where the underground centre was reflected on the surface. It was the place where the petty criminal underworld of San Francisco's Mission district met the world of the upstanding citizenry.

You can read part of the Hunt's Donuts story in a March 2000 article in the SF Weekly. By that time it was called Magic Donuts, and the city was trying to force the new owners to shut the place down, using their tactic of suing "Mom and Pop" store owners for social problems beyond their control. But if you want the full story, the real story of Hunt's Donuts on 20th and Mission, you need to read Scam #5½.

In Lyle's story, the Magic Donuts dispute is just the latest episode in a long history:

... the story of Hunt's is both less and more than news. Its a rumor, an illicit history, the pull of the gravity of the epicenter of crime. At 20th and Mission, battles to control the identity of the Mission have been acted out again and again, between ever changing sets of police and thieves over the years. In the story that follows we have the Irish cop who shut down the mission's Latino bars as his father shut down the city's gay bars. We have the young kid who couldn't beat the Hunt's sponsored team on the baseball diamond who grew up to try to shut down the shop as police captain. We have the Latino teenagers who hung out in front of Hunt's framed for a cop's murder in the famed trial of Los Siete de la Raza.

Hunt's Donuts was a microcosm of the Mission community, capturing both its successes and its failures, its hopes and its tragedies. Established by a pillar of the business community but condemned by the police, it was simultaneously a place where families would buy donuts after mass on Sunday and a place where drunks and junkies would trade goods of dubious provenance. In Scam #5½, Lyle brings the place alive on the page.

We see Hunt's through the eyes of its owners, its customers, the growing Latino population, the police — both sympathetic and otherwise, the drunks, the punks, and the yuppies moving in and gentrifying the Mission. Ultimately, Lyle is sad about Hunt's closing after 52 years as a Mission institution, and it is easy to see why: love it or loathe it, Hunt's Donuts was in the thick of things. Scam #5½ is a comprehensive social history and a pleasure to read.

Erick Lyle, Scam #5½, ¼ size, 32 pages.
Available from Paper Trail, Needles + Pens, McPheeters and Microcosm

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hobson's Choice

Hobson's Choice #2
28 Pages Digest
$1.50 US, $2 other,

Mostly fiction vignettes about sex and drugs and violence. Not bad; not great; good mix of writers. Good for on the bus, standing line, in the head, etc.

Daniel Dominowski
908 Woodhill Tr
Augusta GA 30909


My Fat Irish Ass

My Fat Irish Ass #(Minus)8:
44 Pages, Full Size
$2 or $20 for all 9 issues

Tomfoolery and blasphemy in big, easy to read print. Refreshingly childish with something to offend everyone. You can't help but love and admire a man who takes the time to run a meticulous reverse-Nigerian email scam. The altered Blondie and Family Circus cartoon are hysterical, and his scathing comments on the Washington Political scene are spot-on and FUNNY.

MFIA, PO Box 65391, Washington DC 20035

Friday, November 16, 2007

Zine Review: No Better Voice #30

via Trading Stories with the Leaves by Trading Stories on 11/14/07

Zine cover - No Better Voice #30

In No Better Voice #30 Jami has opted to stand back and showcase her friends' work. She has pulled together a disparate collection of contributions; some are fictional, some are factual, and there is no apparent overarching theme.

The strongest piece is from Christina LaRose. It is the story of a young girl progressing through a ballet school, and it is a love-hate story. It is the story of an abusive relationship, of a culture that inflicts physical and mental pain but promises happiness: "a world of pain—a world of pain ensconsed in a smile".

I was drawn in by the first-person perspective (perhaps it is autobiographical?) and despite having no experience of ballet lessons I could nonetheless feel the horrible conformist pressure being put on the protagonist. Her body is the wrong shape, and she must be bound to eliminate unsightly curves:

When I get home, I pull the First Aid kit out of the medicine cabinet and roll ace bandages over my breasts, my waist, my hips. I am a shrinking creature, a mummy. I jokingly wrap a bandage over my face. Dad walks by and laughts.

"You've bandaged yourself out of existence!" he says.

I smile yes, yes, yes beneath the medicinal smell of the cloth covering my eyes.

While No Better Voice #30 is worth reading just for this story, there is plenty more to read. I also enjoyed Jenny Bloomer's "Shark attack!", a story about how wearing a dress turns her into prey at the bar, a target for sexual predators. It is evocatively illustrated by LB.

For something a little different, Shaun Allen has contributed a fascinating short history of the Revolutionary Union Movement in the US auto industry in the late 1960s and the 1970s. The movement was made up of several small union locals that challenged not only employers but also the tame-cat United Autoworkers, which had a poor record on including black workers in its leadership positions. Inspirational stuff, though the movement was short-lived. It's nice to see some history in a zine like this.

Jami Thompson (ed), No Better Voice #30, 1/4 size, 32 pages.
Split with Marked for Life #2. Available from Eye Candy, Stranger Danger and Paper Trail.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Zine Review: Marked for Life #2

via Trading Stories with the Leaves by Trading Stories on 11/6/07

Zine cover - Marked for Life #2

It's easy to see why Sage Adderley describes the tale of her young family's move to a new city as a "love story". She and her husband, Garrett, seem genuinely to have fallen head-over-heels for Philadelphia during a brief visit — less than a day — during a family holiday.

Their excitement is palpable from the outset:

We parked and got out of the car to let the girls stretch and we began being tourist. We walked away from center city and towards the more residential area. We saw multiple community gardens, sides of buildings covered with mosaic tiling and city parks filled with children. My husband and I fell in love. We looked at each other knowing that we could call Philadelphia home.

There begins an exciting adventure as the Adderleys tumble towards their new goal, crashing through obstacles like finding work and accommodation, transporting belongings, and settling their young daughters in a new town.

Sage's descriptions in Marked for Life #2 would make anyone want to live in Philadelphia. She sees a place of history and culture, with free concerts and community gardens, churches and bicycles and craft markets. Her daughters, Emily and Bella, have made new friends and enjoy visiting the Philadelphia Zoo, which Sage regards as "[t]he best zoo I have been to."

Love stories can be tedious if all we hear are the lovely things the besotted says about the object of their affection. A good love story recognises that there are two parties to a relationship, and gives us an insight into both. The real joy in reading Marked for Life #2 is in learning about Sage's ideas and hopes for her family. Her love for Philadelphia is not for its streets and buildings, but for its multicultural community and the opportunity it provides her children to learn and play and grow.

These issues were raised by Mike Kraus in A New Tomorrow #23, through his introspective consideration of the role of place in his life. Sage doesn't slow down much to reflect in the cautious way Mike does — she is too busy with home-schooling and concerts and family visits and proselytising Philadelphia — but the two zines sit very comfortably together, and I recommend reading both alongside each other.

My own plans to move to another city with my partner are still some months away, our train fares are paid, and we have signed on to start new jobs when we arrive; yet I still feel apprehensive about leaping into the unknown. It is very reassuring to read about a spur-of-the-moment intercity move that has been so successful, and that has made Sage and her family so happy. I will be keeping Marked for Life #2 near to hand to remind me that these ventures should be more exciting than scary.

Sage Adderley, Marked for Life #2, 1/4 size, 32 pages.
Split with No Better Voice #30. Available from Sage's own Eye Candy, as well as Stranger Danger and Paper Trail.

Zine Review: Skin Deep #2

via Trading Stories with the Leaves by Trading Stories on 11/6/07

The importance of zines to fascist organising is explained in White Noise:

Over the years an underground network of nazi skinhead magazines[,] "skinzines", had been constructed. ... With the politicisation that being in contact with other skinheads brought, it was common to find that an address over a period of time went through three stages: a skinzine address; contact for a skinhead crew; then finally a contact point for a fascist organisation.

Zine cover - Skin Deep #2

With that in mind, Deep Skin #2 is a must-read for anti-racist campaigners. It is a beautiful skinzine written by a violent racist... poet. Make no mistake, this is a serious bonehead: "Its for the dude who doesn't want to be a total gay if he is just trying to write some poems. So you can fuck off."

The zine is characterised by childish handwriting, naive sketches, bad spelling and a preoccupation with homosexuality. A sample:

Regret I had one time

I am sorry I forgot you at home
I am sorry you didnt get to party
knife/since dad that homo left you are
my best friend
the block of concrete meant nothing
to me

Like all good satire, Skin Deep #2 is effective because it is so accurate. Poems about "knife" and boots and being "too fucking tough / to have friends / or love" skewer the ultra-masculinity of the racist scene. And when the nazi twins are in the headlines, complaints about "weak" kids books are spot on: "my son doesn't need some fuzzy tiger teaching him how to be a fag".

I hope some real boneheads accidentally read this zine and see what utter morons they are.

Anonymous, Skin Deep #2, 1/4 size, 36 pages.
Available from Microcosm.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Super Shorts #1, White Elephant Productions

via Small Press Newsroom by -AF on 10/25/07

Super Shorts #1, White Elephant Productions. Jeff Brister writer, Alex De-Gruchy writer and Darrel Miller artist and writer. Full size comic, color cover, black and white interior pages with grey tones. 12 pages. Printed by Ka-Blam.

Well this is a very short comic, with three short stories. First we have Captain Mighty in BULLET PROOF by Darrel Miller. This story was drawn simply, but well. Sort of a parody of Shazam it seems. A surprise ending. Slow Day by Jeff Brister and Darrel Miller. The story has a bit of an edge, "It's just fun. Even when people want to kill others." This super character has no problem with an alien. Too bad this didn't have more going on...it was just starting to build up to something. Recruitment Drive by Alex De-Gruchy and Darrel Miller. This story has more going on and the art has more detail showing that Darrel can do more if given the right story perhaps...I liked the premise of auditioning for a super-villain to join the team with unexpected results. The ending was good. Overall I'd say that if they all worked together on a story that was more like 24 pages, and let Darrel take his time and work on the art a bit more as to backgrounds and such....they could have something here. I see on their blog that they plan to have issues out on a regular basis. That is good to hear as they will surely improve by staying at it. I'm eager to see more by these guys and hope they take more time and develop more of a story. I liked the art in each story, especially the last one. Maybe if they keep some of these characters going, they can find their voice and really get something going here. I liked the fact that each story was a comedy and hope they stay this course. Oh and the cover is very simple but effective. Like the silver age Fantastic Four font on the cover, nice touch. (3 out of five "super" stars) The book has no price but does have some contact info in the inside back cover: www.supershorts.blogspot.com or email Darrel Miller: dm52082@hotmail.com or Jeff Brister: brister.jeff@gmail.com or Alex De-Gruchy: rockand jack@yahoo.co.uk

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

NEW STARS anthology available now

via Cartoonist Conspiracy by Colin Tedford on 10/24/07

The Trees & Hills Comics Group's latest anthology NEW STARS is now available for online purchase at Trees & Hills Comix Distro! The anthology debuted at SPX in October 2007, and since that month also marked the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, we took that as our theme. We're not some kind of fascists, though, so every piece didn't have to be about Sputnik itself - most of them do relate to space in some way, though. This all-ages anthology by the Trees & Hills Comic Group features an eye-popping full-color cover by Gregory Giordano and comics by Daniel Barlow, Marek Bennett, Miles Cota, Colleen Frakes, Cat Garza, Chris Grotke, Jade Harmon, Tim Hulsizer, Matt Levin, Keith Moriarty, Kathie Mullen, Raymond Prado, Matthew Reidsma, Colin Tedford, and Anne Thalheimer. 5.5" x 8.5", 52 pgs. $3.00

Monday, October 22, 2007

Homeland Insecurity

Homeland Insecurity

Three films by Bill Brown. The first 15:00 minutes, Hub City, is a brilliant, moody, mesmerizing, stark, and often stunning piece of audio-visual poetry about Brown's hometown, Lubbock Texas. He perfectly taps into that strange timelessness certain rural areas exude, and further goes on to capture the surreal effect one gets when mixing that with more modern things like doppler radar and UFO sightings, and then mixing in the longing, quiet solitude of the landscape. Absolutely outstanding. The middle film is a music video. The third film, The Other Side, 43:00 minutes, was shot on a 2000 mile journey along the U.S.-Mexico border. Filmed on both sides of the border, this avoids the pitfall of making an overt political statement and focuses instead on the often overlooked circumstance that between the U.S. and Mexico there is a third culture that has always been there. There are whole landscapes of people who cross the street from one country to the other to buy milk and eggs. While it doesn't give answers to current issues, it sure makes you think.

order from Microcosm

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Zine Review: Mend My Dress #5

via Trading Stories with the Leaves by Trading Stories on 10/15/07

Zine cover - Mend My Dress #5

Subtitled "Girl love, girl revolution, stories of friendship", Mend My Dress #5 is a joyous memoir of childhood friends and crushes:

monkey bars. she smelled like watermelon shampoo and dirt. she had soft brown eyes and she could run way faster than me. she never showed off. i fell in love with her as hard as a second grade girl can.

There are stories about wanting to be sisters, fits of schoolyard jealousy, playing in the garden and just "loving our days together". There are stories about man pants and short hair, and thrift store adventures, and first kisses. It is impossible not to be swept up by the excitement in Neely's voice as she describes her friends and the good times they shared.

Occasional references to dark events (the subject of earlier issues) make Mend My Dress #5 all the more interesting: these are the girls that helped Neely get through an incredibly difficult period of her life.

I'm reluctant to use the phrase "coming of age", but it's hard to avoid, since the zine covers friends from pre-school through to high school. Each represents a new level of maturity, but without preachy introspection. It doesn't matter whether Neely's writing about holding hands in pre-school or going to punk shows in high school, you can remember those feelings.

It is a rollicking read that will make you think about your own childhood friends — you'll remember the stupid things you did together, and wonder what they're up to now.

Neely Bat Chestnut, Mend My Dress #5, 1/2 size, 20 pages.
Available from Eye Candy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Time Warp Comix #1 and #2-Weird Muse Productions

via Small Press Newsroom by -AF on 10/9/07

Time Warp Comix #1 and #2 from Weird Muse Productions. These are the start of a mini comic series by editor and artist Dan W. Taylor. This first issue is on orange paper stock, 8 pages with covers. $1 ppd per issue. Dan has started up this series as a mini comix project dedicated to the memory of Clay Geerdes and Comicx World / Comix Wave. Some of the contributors worked for Clay back in the days of Comix Wave and some just want to tip their hat to Clay by contributing to this series. First strip "I Remember Clay" by Jim Valentino. A great short story about Clay and how he inspired creators to "Just Draw!". Next story is: "Just a Couple of Geezers" by Vjtko. Very good art and story and the back cover is by the late, Michael Roden. Which is nice to see. Michael passed away in August of this year and the small press community will miss him. #2 has work by David Miller, Jim Siergey and Michael Roden. Another great issue. Oh, and you don't have an authentic copy of Time Warp Comix unless it is signed by Dan W. Taylor! (5 out of 5) Wish these were more than just 8 pages.
$1 ppd per issue (I know of at least 4 issues out by now) Dan W. Taylor/1833 Guntle Rd./New Lebanon, OH 45345 or get them at: http://weirdmuse.ecrater.com

Hate Song #2- Fred Grisolm

via Small Press Newsroom by -AF on 10/9/07

Hate Song #2 is a collection of some of the web comic Hate Song by Fred Grisolm. This is a 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" book with color covers and black and white with gray tones interior of strips. Very nicely printed I should add. Cover price $3. The strip is about Berry and Lewis two guys that move into a house as they are nephews of a Mr. Laudermelk. The brothers are very strange and one is actually shooting at school kids with rifle (something that I don't think should be in a comic to give kids more ideas along these lines.), the other is collecting his fecal matter in the freezer and documenting it in a notebook for research. Strange stuff to be sure. Even though this is wacky weirdness the art is so good that you follow along and can't resist wanting to read more about these characters. I'm sure Fred is just pushing the envelope here to get attention, something I'm sure will happen when more people read his comics. There are 3 bonus pages with descriptions of some of the characters, in the back. (4 out of 5) He didn't put in any credits, how to order or any other info than a few web addresses hidden in the back of the book. Oh, there is a very strange one page strip (mature audiences for all of this stuff by the way.) and it does credit the artist Jamie Dee Galey. "Fred and Jamie". I happened to have some of these nice creators from Canada sitting next to me in San Diego this year. Their books were very popular. I'll be reviewing more of their work here soon. You can purchase this book and more like it at: www.hatesong.com/items just scroll down the page a bit to see them. Also read more at: http://hate-song.livejournal.com/ and http://boxcarcomics.com/ click HERE for a online interview with Fred Grisolm that I just found on the net. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2007


via Small Press Newsroom by -AF on 10/3/07

Press Release:


Posted by: "Floydman" blackmirth@hotmail.com

Tue Oct 2, 2007 11:02 pm (PST)

If you are looking for a magazine full of
small press news and reviews, articles, columns, comics, letters,
ads, and a whole bunch of other stuff we can't think of right now,
then get on the ball and get your copy of Ka-Whump! #3 hot off the
presses and featuring a look at the women of small press, including
interviews with Willie Hewes (Amaranth), Shawnti Therrien (Am I
Immortal), Charlene Chua (Slam Bang cover artist) and Marianne R.
Petit (When I was Three), plus Mr. Emergency creator Wade Busby gives
us a guide to surviving comic cons from BOTH sides of the table,
Allen Freeman and Dan Nauenburg wrap up this year's San Diego Comic
Con International in words and pictures, Comics by Nauenburg, Pavlet,
Wright, McEnany and Montero, over 65 reviews of small press comics
and zines and much MUCH more wrapped up in a stunning front cover by
Sonia Leong (Romeo and Juliet: The Manga) and a dark yet hauntingly
beautiful back cover by Shawnti Therrien!

It's a 48 page steal at only $3.50 plus $1.00 a pop!
Order by snail mail with check or money order to:

Robert L. Sumner
311 N. Widow Creek Rd.
Otis, OR. 97368

or PayPal $4.50 postage included to floydman@ka-whump.com

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Backseat Drivers #1 #2 #3 #4

via Small Press Newsroom by -AF on 9/29/07

Clint Basinger is the artist, writer and publisher of Cosmic Moustache Comics. His first series is Backseat Drivers. #1-4 tells the complete story so you really need to get them all. You'll be introduced to some very strange characters with some very strange powers. The art is wonderful and reminds me of comics of the 60's like ZAP Comics mixed with more modern works like Mark Martin's Gnatrat. But really you just have to see it for yourself. The story is hard to follow at first but just stay with it and some of it will come clear eventually. There are lots of funny bits here and there and it totally doesn't take itself seriously and that is where the fun lies. You never know what is going to happen next! Totally unexpected adventure yarn. Get these books now, before everyone discovers Clint's work and buys them all up! He has some new comics in the works such as "The Cosmic Norseman versus The Unbelieveable Laundry Detergent Man, Electric Ninja Punks and Lobster Tales. (5 out of 5) Highly original work here.
Get the COSMIC-PACKAGE: All 4 comics, A T-Shirt and a Sketch shipped for $20.00
Or get a T-Shirt shipped for $12.00, or get a Cosmic Moustache for only $5 with the purchase of 2 or more comics get a Moustache for $3. Or just the comics for $3 each. Anyway write to Clint at: Clint Basinger/10404 Campground Road/Lewisport, KY 42351 or email him: clintbasinger@hotmail.com or check out this link: www.comicspace.com/cosmicmoustachecomics


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hobson's Choice #1

Hobson's Choice #1
20 Pages, Digest/Chapbook
$1 US, $2 Can/Mex, $3 elsewhere

Outstanding. One of the best I've read in ages. Mostly prose with a bit of (very rough) original art. Odd and intriguing, it's hard to tell what parts are fiction and what parts are not. Seemingly random paragraphs delineated by changing fonts, flow one after another, with a couple longer vignettes mixed in. There's a definite cohesion from beginning to end. This could be written by a mentally ill person trying to write serious literature, or a clever person purposefully blurring the lines, or a technically good writer who either has a very short attention span or who spliced together a bunch of odds and ends and leftovers. Unless you happen to know the writer, there's just no way to be sure. But in any case, the writing is just plain good. Moves along at a good pace and is a quick read. More please.

Daniel Dominowski
908 Woodhill Tr
Augusta GA 30909

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Zine Review: Bright Lights #2


via Trading Stories with the Leaves by Trading Stories on 9/23/07

Zine - Bright Lights #2

Bright Lights #2 is young without being naive. Sure, Katie writes about her PE class and her relationship with her mother, but it's not all angsty whining. These subjects are largely platforms for her thoughts on social class and the homeless.

So, for instance, Katie's complaint about PE is that "swinging around a racket in a stuffy tennis bubble makes me feel like a snob"; her arguments with her mother are political, about the causes of homelessness.

The second half of the zine is almost meditative, with some peaceful thoughts about rain and clouds:

One of my favourite things to do is just walk around aimlessly in the rain wearing a thick hooded sweater. I love to feel the rain collect on the bridge of my nose while I watch people hussle around like ants.

Me too!

Katie Joa, Bright Lights #2, 1/4 size, 20 pages.


Zine Review: 8LETTERS #1


via Trading Stories with the Leaves by Trading Stories on 9/23/07

Zine - 8LETTERS #1

I don't have a tattoo. I have thought about it, but since I'm not passionately committed to the idea, I'm sure I'll regret it later -- I picture Derek Vinyerd covering up the large swastika on his chest.

But not all tattoos can be covered up, and I've often wondered how their owners deal with their regrets. 8LETTERS is "a little book of knuckle tattoos", and it collects interviews Johnny NoPants conducted with strangers he met on his travels. He asks people what they have tattooed on their knuckles, why those eight letters are significant, and what the consequences of the tattoos have been.

There are flashes of humour, like Shawn showing his "FUCK NYPD" to the police, or this exchange with Kimya:

8- Do you ever wish you had different knucklers?

K- the only other ones that I though[t] would be fun, but I wouldn't rather have, would be Capri sun or juicebox.

8- I'm glad you got LAFF LOUD.

For many of the interviewees, the tattoos are an expression of defiance against the system. These people are making a statement that they don't want to fit in. As Kimya says, "I wouldn't work at a place that wouldn't let me have them".

Usually I enjoy this kind of screw-the-Man attitude, but in 8LETTERS #1 it's mostly just depressing. Zane tattooed himself while sitting in his high school class; two months later, he's already unhappy that "because of the exclamation marks, people cant really read it", and he's dropped out of school. Lil J had his done in prison, to remind him of his former life. Josh, too:

He told me how he went to prison, and got "25to Life" tattoed on his knuckles, but after getting released he wanted to remove them to "get a decent job." He couldn't afford to get them laser removed, so he tore them off himself with a razor blade and packed them in salt. This left him with scars in the shape of 25to Life.

None of this has brought me any closer to wanting a tattoo, but it was definitely an interesting read. I'd love to see a follow-up with some of the interview subjects, to see what they're doing and whether they still like their tattoos in another five to ten years. Unfortunately, their transient lifestyles -- as Lil J's knuckles put it, "HOBOCORE" -- mean that's highly unlikely. I'll just have to cross my fingers that things turn out okay for them.

Johnny NoPants, 8LETTERS #1, 1/4 size, 32 pages.
Available from Microcosm.


Zine Review: The Jaws of Life


via Trading Stories with the Leaves by Trading Stories on 9/13/07

Zine - The Jaws of Life

This brilliant mini-zine is a bizarre biography.

A first attempt was written about encounters with the yeti, but this was aborted due to typewriter difficulties. Instead, we are treated to a handwritten explanation of Gorbott's extraterrestrial origins. He writes:

i was transported to earth in some sort of space ship. i think something must have gone wrong in the cockpit, because i was dropped off in arlington, texas.

The illustrations were produced by "allowing my subconscious to dictate the movements of the pen rather than my critical conscious." I think this means he wasn't looking at the page while he drew, and the results are a series of slightly disconcerting but still recognisable portraits. The subjects do not bear any relation to the text, but somehow that seems to make more sense.

The Jaws of Life is very well executed. Gorbott's casual style and sense of humour avoid the potential pitfalls of silliness and pretentiousness. Instead, the zine is imaginative and playfully absurd, and it leaves the reader wishing it was longer.

The Gorbott, The Jaws of Life, 1/8 size, 12 pages.
Available from the author.


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