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


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pubs Of The Inner West

from Blackguard
20 pages, 8.5" x 6", Ordering info from Leigh Rigozzi >>> leigh[at]bloodandthunder.com.au + leighrigozzi.com This is a collection of Leigh's strips originally printed elsewhere, mainly Tharunka, the UNSW student magazine. It was assembled for the 2012 MCA Zine Fair back in May. Many of Sydney's legendary pubs appear within, including The Lansdowne, The Annandale, The Townie (The Town Hall Hotel, Newtown), The Judgement Bar... but it's the awkward, embarassing, heartbreaking and hilarious experiences Leigh had at these locations that anybody will relate to. These stories seem to have taken place some years ago, shortly after Leigh moved from Tasmania to Sydney. He was 24. In the intro he writes: "Readers are requested not to discuss this publication with me, or to read it in the same room as me. I feel awkward about this stuff. However, I welcome correspondence..." So write! These comix are really great.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Zine Explorers' Notebook #3

from Blackguard
10 pages, 11" x 8.5", $2.00/Trade/Stamps/Letter >>> Doug Harrison, PO Box 5291, Richmond VA 23220, USA This zine is stapled in the top left hand corner. Simple eh? Not so. Like Fred Woodworth's The Match!, Doug uses real actual old school print machinery to print his zine: "Our newsletter is printed on a salvaged Multilith offset press from 1957, and our type is composed using strike-on apparatus from the 1960s and 1970s; this issue, an IBM Executive typewriter and a Varityper. Headlines are by Varigraph. Some printing is done by Multigraph letterpress." [Phew!] ... Real nice layout, clean and readable, terrific old illustrations - the kind you see in very old books (nobody can draw like that any more, aside from currency artists). There's a bunch of zine reviews here (as every zine should have, naturally), the funniest being that of Truman Bentley Jr's Newsletters: "This newsletter is extremely demanding to read due to its cramped, multi-directional layout. I have no idea what this writer is trying to say." Doug's letter column has really taken off, and a pleasure to read. One of the more interesting/mysterious is this part of a letter from PJM: "...I hope you aren't trying to piss people off for the sake off pissing them off..." TZEN3 winds up with some 'Selected News', including a worrying item about the possibility of US post offices closing and what might happen to boxholders. The Zine Explorers' Notebook is something special in the zine world, in fact in the world itself, the whole world! Respect! Send for a copy today!

Friday, July 20, 2012

World Of The News [Review & Counter-Review]

from Blackguard
16 pages, digest size, $2.00, or trade or friendly letter, David Puckeridge, PO Box 491, Freshwater NSW 2096, AUSTRALIA One for the Aussies here. There's a 4-page strip dealing with Aussie politics, so if you don't know who Wayne Swan, Tony Abbott, or Julia Gillard are, the humour will probably be lost on you. I'll admit I'm out of my depth when the conversation turns to politics (I walk away, man), so the funniest part of this strip for me was the news ticker at the bottom of each panel. Example: '"Bombings" the best way to disperse protestors says President Sacha Baron Cohen.' Another long strip is based on Channel 7's Sunrise breakfast program, which I don't watch, so that went over my head too. Then a 2-page strip telling the story of David and his girlfriend May seeing Tim Minchin at the Opera House, followed two nights later with a trip to Katoomba to see singer Gareth Liddiard (from Melbourne band The Drones). Is it coming across that I didn't really connect with this comic? It's true, I didn't. I think comix should be written/drawn for everybody, no matter where they are. Most of this is really only gonna appeal to a small Aussie audience. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Two weeks later... I felt kinda bad about this review - I was pretty sure there would be others who would really appreciate this comic, so when I mentioned this to Chris Mikul last week he offered to write a 'counter-review', so here it is. Thanks Chris! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Stratu is a man of generally impeccable taste, but I fear he sells World of the News short. Political satire is not something zine makers tackle often, and certainly rarely as well as here. Obviously created in a fit of drawing frenzy in May 2012, this zine is full of the events of that never-to-be-forgotten month – the Federal budget and the surplus (make that the ‘budgie’ and the ‘slurpus’), Murdoch and phone hacking, Slippergate... Ah, memories. Puckeridge is spot on capturing the speech patterns of our pathetic excuses for politicians (GILLARD: “..the achievements of this government spoik for themselves…”, ABBOTT: “…this is just another TOXIC TAX…’) and manages to take a swipe at TV current affairs programs at the same time. The other strips in this zine are good but it’s the political stuff that made me laugh out loud.

Girl Talk Is A Scorpio

from Blackguard
32 pages, digest size, $2.00 or trade or friendly letter, Jim Hayes, PO Box 1459, Marietta GA 30061, USA + assemblyplantmarietta Jim admits in his intro that he's been writing an essay on Pittsburgh musician Girl Talk for a year now. Is this it? Girl Talk are mentioned throughout, but so is a lot of other stuff. In fact much of this comes across as stream-of-consciousness after many days without sleep. It's all about music though (aside from the few references to ejaculating on newspapers and copies of Moby Dick), referencing The Doors, The Ramones, Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin ... but then names I'm unfamiliar with: Dash Snow, Zowie Fenderblast, Thomas Kinkade. Who they? Where's the Google button? Jim also throws in observations of modern music, "...all this techno music is just drug music - flashing lights and some type of uber-ecstasy called "molly"" and repetition - the pronouncement that "The entire art world is just a bunch of rich kids taking drugs" appears three times in bold type. There's a lot going on here; a lot going on in Jim's head. He's a good writer and reading this I felt a buzz. I'm impressed when a writer can assemble words and ideas like this. It's pretty cool. Now I gotta go Google Girl Talk. And Dash Snow. And Zowie Fenderblast. And Thomas Kinkade.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Carnato Baa

Booklet Review: Carnato Baa

Carnato Baa and the Coolest Skateboard in the Universe
16 pages / $1 ?

Carnato Baa (or is it Ba?) has a lot of brothers, and a lot of adventures. He receives a skateboard as a birthday present and … I won’t tell you what happens next. Fun drawings accompany this cool booklet / zine for kids. Created by Evan Harris, a zinemaker since 1994. Long live booklets!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Billy Childish is Dead

Weekly Recommendations, Week 24: Billy Childish is Dead

When I started writing these weekly recommendations at the beginning of 2012, I commenced by recommending the band, Thee Headcoats, fronted by an English gentleman who goes by the name, Billy Childish. Well, my interest in Billy Childish and his music has not waned, and so nearly six months later I am recommending a great, little documentary about the life and times of Billy Childish entitled, Billy Childish is Dead. This film, which was released in 2005, was obviously done with a very low budget and without the use of high quality video and editing equipment; however, that is actually quite fitting considering that it’s a film showcasing a man who despite his prolific contributions to the world of art, writing, and music, has very little interest in fame and fortune and has probably (without pretentiousness) made it a point to avoid such things. The film consists of various interviews with people associated with or interested in the life of Billy Childish, including bandmates, friends, lovers, and associates. Billy Childish himself is also interviewed, and his comments, stories, and quips were major highlights of the film for me. Mixed in with the interviews is footage from various shows that Billy Childish and his myriad bands have put on over the years. The footage includes performances by the Pop Rivets, The Milkshakes, Thee Mighty Caesers, Thee Headcoats, and The Buff Medways, as well as some solo stuff. The live footage was another big highlight for me, so I was pleased that the DVD included a lengthy bonus segment with extended versions of some of these performances as well as additional ones. This film is a great introduction to the world of Billy Childish, and I would implore you, if you aren’t already acquainted with the works of Billy Childish, to make yourself so. In my opinion, he is one of the few raw, genuine, unexploited, and unapologetic artists out there in this big, crazy world saturated with commercialism and pretended talent.

One of my favorite Billy Childish quotes from the film:
“The Beatles put the idea in mind that you could be in a group, and punk rock put the possibility of actually really being in one without really any talent.”

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Toy Camera

Zine Review: Toy Camera

Once upon a time, creativity flowed from within us, not from gadgets, technologies and apps. Toy Camera Zine explores the world of photography with inexpensive cameras and real film, with a focus (ok, pun intended) on the Holga. Lomography.com describes the Holga like this: the unassuming Holga is here to save you from a future of digital pixels and images shared on small screens on cameras or phones. We have all become numbed with photography, there is no denying it, but a chunky camera made almost entirely of plastic has been put on this Earth to save us. It will reawaken your vision, fill you with joy, make you see beauty when you thought it had disappeared forever, and bring out sunshine on a cloudy day.

Nicci’s zine is filled with fun ideas and projects for playing with toy cameras, along with some basic operational info about the Holga, and some examples of her own artistic vision. Toy Camera Zine is quarter-sized, 29 pages, hand sewn binding, printed on high quality paper and available from Sweet Candy Distro.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Railroad Semantics #1

Railroad Semantics #1

Railroad Semantics #1 by Aaron Dactyl Microcosm 636 SE 11th ave Portland, OR 97214 . Railroad Semantics No. 1 is a collection of train hopping stories, pictures, newspaper clippings, and letters put together in a somewhat collage-like fashion, and like a collage, it often sparks curiosity in the viewer (reader) and then abruptly changes directions. The descriptions of life on the rail with all the sunsets, contemplative solitude, and vast landscapes are excellent and are the soul of this book. I couldn’t help wanting to know more, however, about the author, and the people he encountered along the way. I loved the pictures of the various travels and all the correspondence written on the walls of the boxcars - unfettered and uncensored- and I really enjoyed the writing. Railroad Semantics is a unique snapshot of a world that most of us will never experience on our own, and a one that I look forward to reading more about in the future.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Zine Review: The Zine Explorers Notebook #3

Zine Review: The Zine Explorers Notebook #3

The Zine Explorers Notebook #3
PO Box 5291 Richmond VA 23220
$2 or trade / stamp / letter
I struggle internally around whether or not to abandon the digital world completely and become a true paper-neter, but I fear that would be a difficult reality to navigate mostly due to my role as a radio DJ – so much information and music is shared online now that to not be part of that world would put me in a severe disadvantage for musical discovery.However, the inability to pay for internet access may become a reality in the near future, in which case the choice will be made for me.
The “papernet” (for want of a better moniker) is a place that still teams with people, publications, and ideas. The Zine Explorers Notebook, published by Doug Harrison, is an oasis for thought and conversation, and a place to find new zines and zinesters to connect with. As Doug states in his introduction, “ … This is a meaningful way to participate in life. This publication is more than a hobby.”
Doug goes on to share thoughts on the recent Japanese nuclear disaster, nuclear power, his printing process, and more. There are ample and detailed zine reviews, book reviews and even a music review. Several pages are devoted to letters from readers and items in the news. The Zine Explorers Notebook packs maximum content into ten pages, is stylistically highly readable and an exceptional resource.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dudes Magazine #19

from Blackguard
88 pages, magazine size, $5.00, Editor-in-Chief: Nighthawk, Dudes Magazine World HQ, 6819 Minnesota Ave, Saint Louis MO 63111, USA + www.dudesmag.com + dudesmagazine [at] gmail.com Some great stuff in this issue. Of course list fans will enjoy 'Dudes Picks' where each contributor picks his or her favourite Jam, Flick and Vittles of the month (and there are 19 contributors this time). Rin Tin Tin recounts a story about how he learned of editor Nighthawk's unorthodox butt-wiping technique. Apparently he stands up, turns around and faces the crapper to achieve this. ... Pancake Master contributes a very funny rant about people who like to start sentences with "I'm not gonna lie, but..." When this happens, Pancake jumps in and says, "I didn't think you were gonna lie..." and points out that these idiots can be assumed to be otherwise lying unless they use this dumbass stipulation. Half the Dudes seem to be in bands, or involved with the music business somehow. Nighthawk books bands around St Louis, and sometimes he goes on tour with friends' bands and works on the merch table. This would explain the big punk rock presence in DM. In this issue, you get interviews with Too Many Daves, Holy Mess, The Copyrights, and Andrew W.K. There's a double page spread, 'Tony Pails & Pony Tails', with many pictures of dudes with pony tails. This becomes a new term in the Dudes Glossary: Tony Pail - any Dude with a pony tail. Pancake Master reports on Star Trek : The Exhibition at the St. Louis Science Center, and his quest to watch all Trek series (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager). Nighthawk contributes his third and final installment of the Treeman saga, 'Adventures With Treeman'. J-Man reviewed my cut'n'paste zine Grunted Warning #14. Thanks J-Man! It reminds me I really gotta do another one of these, which I haven't done since GW#14 back in December 2011... The 'Dudes Glossary' in this issue is one of the most extensive ever. Highlights: Dudeicure - cutting your fingernails and/or toenails Poobs - pubes that have poop on them, usually on the balls, resulting from wiping back to front. Tony Pail - any Dude with a pony tail [... oh wait I've already covered that one, but it's hilarious enough that it doesn't matter... "Hey Tony, Nice Pony!" Dudes Magazine is not for everybody that's for sure. And it sure as shit is not 'right on', but then again who wants to read a 'right on' zine anyway? I like DM so much that last week I went back and re-read all my back issues. Awesome bus reading, Dude.

Graffiti Zine

'Zine Apothecary': Lacey Prpic Hedtke has over 2,500 zines in her garage

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Growing Things: A Guide for Beginning Gardeners

Growing Things: A Guide for Beginning Gardeners
digest, 40 pages, $3 ($1 shipping in US; $2 outside)
Growing Things is a little zine that Joshua put together out of desperation after seeking for a good zine about basic gardening to include in his distro (Ms. Valerie Park Distro) but not finding anything suitable. With promptings and contributions from friends, he took the initiative to produce the publication that he found lacking. Joshua starts out by making it clear that he and the other contributors are not experts and have no formal training in gardening (especially the science thereof), and that there are myriad ways of going about things. What works for one may not work so well for others. I am pleased that he stated this upfront because as an avid gardener (and as someone who is trained in the profession), I did find a few of the things in this zine to be a bit “off” from my experience and perspective. However, I also agree that everyone’s gardening experience is unique, and in fact, Joshua’s summary of the zine provides very succinct examples of how starkly different the experiences of gardeners can be and how, as I have always felt, gardening is a trial and error, seat of the pants adventure regardless of how long you’ve been doing it or how trained and educated you are concerning it. The content of the zine is exactly what you would expect from a zine about basic gardening: making garden beds, container gardening, planting, weed control, insects, composting, seed saving, watering, plant nutrition, etc. A bit of the writing is less about the how-to and more about the joy of gardening. All in all it’s a very informative zine and a great introduction to the world of gardening. Joshua was correct in (albeit reluctantly) deciding to put together the zine he had been wishing existed, because the outcome is a very approachable, well put together, straightforward gardening primer.
Ms. Valerie Park Distro
PO Box 2645
Olympia WA 98507

Monday, July 9, 2012

Xerography Debt #31 [June 2012]

from Blackguard
48 pages, digest size, $4.00, edited by Davida Gypsy Breier >>> davida [at] leekinginc.com + www.leekinginc.com >>> send your zine for review to Davida Gypsy Breier, PO Box 11064, Baltimore MD 21212, USA After reading this, I wrote to three of the zinemakers reviewed, and I now realise that each time I mentioned that I read a review of their zine in the new XD#32. 32? Jumping ahead a bit there. Anyway, here's the new XD! So it looks like, after 2011 being the Year of the Revenge of Print, 2012 is the Year of the Revenge of the Revenge of Print. OK. But you better think of something else for 2013. XD31 welcomes new reviewer and columnist Carlos Palacios. He lives in Germany but discovered zines in his native Peru. Awesome! Welcome aboard, Carlos! In his debut column, Carlos writes about the importance of words, especially the written word. The other columns - Joe Biel reports on an e-book experiment conducted by his author wife after being urged by one of her Twitter followers to do so, that she would make a killing compared to print sales. Ha! Guess what. It didn't work out that way. ... Jeff Somers contemplates 'Zine Longevity' (most of the people doing zines when he started aren't doing 'em anymore). ... Al Burian reports on trying to live the punk life in Germany, culminating in a raid at the vegan restaurant where he worked. Yikes! ... To wrap up this issue's columns, Gianni Simone reviews Aftershock : Artists Respond to Disaster in Japan, the comics anthology Adam 'Sun Dogs' Pasion put together following the March 2011 tsunami. Then 30 pages of zine reviews. Reviewers this time around: Anne Thalheimer, D. Blake Werts, Davida Gypsy Breier, Eric Lyden, Fred Argoff, Joe Biel, Julie Dorn, Liza Mason, and Stuart Stratu. (That's right! Me, that's who!) ... Interesting to compare this and last issue. A big page drop off here. XD30 had 64 pages. XD31 has 48. I thought it was a faster read than usual. I also notice some reviewers MIA: Gavin J. Grant, Kathy Moseley, Matt Fagan, and Maynard Welstand. Where they at? Well, page count drop off and all, XD still has bang for your [4] buck[s], and if you're into zines (which you should be!) you will order a copy. And send your own zine in for review! ... What?! You don't have a zine! What's wrong with ya? Get fuckin' busy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Phatsville Comix #17

84 pages (!), digest size, $?, for ordering info email >>> fatankle [at] yahoo.com First of all, wow! that amazing wraparound cover by Benjamin Sea. Second of all, is this anthology getting phatter, I mean fatter? It feels real chunky, chunkier than ever! ... I just checked my review of Phatsville #16 and yes indeed, the new issue is expanded by twenty pages. It's also the 10th Anniversary Issue, since Phatsville #1 came out in 2002. In honour of this milestone, there's a page of photos of the Phatsville 'Phounding Phathers' [2002], then photos of these in more recent years showing the terrible toll time at the comix coalface has wrought upon their once hideous-free mugs. Ugh! ... No, really, but one of the pics is of the awesome full-back Phatsville tattoo [designed by Anton Emdin] sported by Giles. Man, that's dedication. Respect! ... But on to the actual comix... Highlights in this issue: J-Stew's 'Hear Ye! Hear Ye!' rant (Yes! This shitty new designated seating rule in Aussie cinemas is fucking retarded. Last week in a near-empty cinema here in Sydney, right when the movie was starting, some young douchebags came up to me and mumbled, "Uh, sorry, uh, I think you're in our seat..." The seats all around, front and back, were empty. There were (plus or minus one) six people in that theatre. What the fuck? The incredulous look I gave them must have been sufficient because their spokesman said, "Uh, that's cool, we'll just sit here...") ... Where was I? Ah! Highlights of Phatsville #17! There's also a very clever two-page strip of palindromes by Ben Hutchings (he can draw good, and he's brainy! Huh. Huh.); Shaun Craike's strip 'Access Denied, Bitch' is hilarious - Shaun gets called into the P-Ville HQ and told his new strip has gone too far... Giles's 'Jesus Saves!' strips hits the target on the blasphemy front, and is very funny (even broad-minded Christians oughtta find this one funny), yet very 'safe'. Next time do one featuring Mohammad. That's much less safe, as some Danish cartoonists will attest to. And yes, that's a dare, a challenge, a theological comix gauntlet thrown down! Heh heh. On the minus side, what the hell is this endless, boring (yet well drawn, but damn near unreadably lettered) and "to be continued' 'Boy Lord Mayor' strip by Will Kelly doing in here? Serialised strips in comix anthologies suck. The Phatsville editors need to fuck this off, and suggest Kelly do his own comic. Nevertheless! The pluses kick the minuses out the door here. If you want a real good, pure Aussie comix anthology with no damned foreigners, Phatsville fits the bill. And Happy 10th Anniversary, dudes! Here's to the next ten!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Romp #3

ADULTS ONLY! 40 pages, digest size, $5.00, by Aaron Lange, aaronlangecomix [at] gmail.com + aaronlange.com + thecomixcompany.ecrater.com You know you're in good hands when you flip the cover and the page 2 letters column has feedback from the likes of Jim Blanchard, Pat Moriarty, and Noah Van Sciver. Moriarty writes, "I haven't seen material like Romp since my days at Fantagraphics when Eros was paying all the bills. But yours is funnier and better drawn." Aaron Lange sure is good at drawing, and his stuff is very funny, mixing in porno comix, extreme black humour, women's issues, Jabba the Hutt, and hilarious glory hole shenanigans. Better get yourself a copy before Romp receives an Eisner award and you won't be able to afford the Deluxe Hardcover Collected Edition. Order the first three issues NOW or regret your mistake FOREVER!

Goofy Funnies #3

ADULTS ONLY! 32 pages, digest size, by Dexter Cockburn thecomixcompany.ecrater.com Fudster Pudwhacker is laid up in the school nurse's office, "What a drag!" he says. Well, knowing the horny hi-jinx Dexter's characters get up to, I'm sure it won't be a drag for too long. And surprise! It isn't! Enter student nurse Pickles (last seen in Goofy Funnies #2). She practices a pretty cool form of alternative medicine. ... Next up, Dexter ratchets up the weirdness factor with Bosco the bear on a picnic with his sweetheart - they soon get to getting it on under a tree, yet little do they know a beehive is above. The bees wonder what the heck is going on below, all that banging on their tree! The beehive falls and gets stuck on Bosco's head, he's still porking away but trying to get his head beehive-free. His sweetheart none the wiser, she's getting an extra buzz from Bosco's wild and desperate movements. ... Then an 'Arts & Crafts Dept. - Do-It-Yourself Tijuana Bible!' ... The next strip introduces a new (I think) character, Ugly Eunice. "The poor girl ... Body of a Greek goddess but a face like a can of smashed assholes." Reminds me of the Seinfeld 'Two-Face' episode. Haw! (Although I gotta admit I thought the 'ugly' Seinfeld Two-Face was still hot.) ... There are two more strips ('strips', heh heh, geddit? huh? Strips? Me so funny!) - the Goombay Smasher with Trixie in 'Fuckin'' (subtle, right? nice.); and Marty Marz, space explorer ... he's good at exploring 'spaces' ... oh man, am I on a roll or what? If you want hot, funny, smutty comix, Dexter's got the goods for you. Get some!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

ButtRagMag #10

from Blackguard
ADULTS ONLY! 32 pages (not including the sheets of toilet paper stapled inside), 11cm x 14cm, $? buttragmag13[at]gmail.com If you're an assfan you've come to the right place. ButtRagMag focuses like a laser on butts and all booty-related bizniz. After an intro by editor Jaimie, Dexter Cockburn's strip 'Buttmeister Fuller!' features the butt-infatuated Buttmeister 'abusing' the latest issue of his favourite zine (ButtRagMag, of course!) There follows many pages where butts and bungholes are depicted in all their rear-ended glory. There's another Dexter strip ('Down The Ol' Rabbit Hole'), a Jaimie strip ('Bonerators in Punkass Grabbrs in Ballstown') and interviews with 'punk-ass' bands The Hickoids, The Chumps, and The Lower Class Brats. Best interview question and answer? Q: What's your favourite toilet paper? A: Joey from Lower Class Brats - "The kind that comes out of the freezer from having fire hole."

Monday, July 2, 2012


Zine Review: Sprouts

Sprouts: More Comics About Food
$5 / 56 pages
Sprouts is the eleventh in a series of comics anthologies from artists living in New Hampshire, Vermont & Western Massachusetts. The comics range from simple to complex. Personal favorites include a comic featuring the virtues of carob by Glynnis Fawkes, Bill Tulp’s expose of monoculture & the imminent danger our food supply is facing, and Colin Tedford’s story about the Winchester School Garden. These anthologies are always both educational & highly enjoyable.

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