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


Friday, June 6, 2014

Coming Soon - A Kingdom of Horror [2014]

36 pages, 11" x 8.5", $?, Daniel Berman, Worldly Film Productions, filmfanatic9966 [at] yahoo [dot] com This is the third issue Daniel has sent me, but I haven't reviewed them before because they completely short-circuited my brain. This time Daniel emailed me and informed me that he was sending his new issue in a Priority Envelope and it should arrive in 6-10 business days. [It also said "For review" on the front.] Well, it arrived today! So I'm going to review it! ...The other two issues seemed to be a collection of articles Daniel found on the internet, but this time he wrote most of it (except for a piece by Skip Williamson - 'The Birth of Underground Comics'). There's no denying his passion for horror and B-movies, in fact he strongly urges: "Let's trigger our inner devil and conjure up a wealth of sinister ideas for all you filmgoers out there who want to be spooked or rattled." Printed on nice glossy paper with many colour images of movie posters and stills, the very unusual and unorthodox sentence structures certainly jolt the reader, at least this reader. In one short piece, 'Do Not Disturb My Sleep' [subtitled 'Making a Movie in the Most Terrifying Place on Earth'] we are bewitched by this arrangement of words: I think, what makes a "horror film" and the other cosmic, always willing to avoid, (in so many words) crap that gets made. They're the environments (take for example: a morgue, surgery room at the hospital, or a rundown mental ward out in the middle of nowhere can frighten easily.) The environment can change the complexion of any frightening flick within seconds as soon as the opening scene appears in front of you. So, what makes these unsettling destinations so scary, well, it could be the decayed bodies scattered on the floor, that could have a contributing factor, right? Many pages include lists of movies, like one page with the title: 'Intended For Mature Audiences Presents Nightmare Worlds'. The short paragraph ends with this warning: In one gigantic disturbing moment I'm presenting several worlds of haunting tales that are no laughing matter to say the least. There follows a list of 26 movies, including Atomic Rulers of the World; Evil Brain From Outer Space; and Robot Pilot. This issue ends with a full page 'Bio-Paragraph about Worldly Film Productions Founder and Editor of At The Movies Daniel Berman'. In a sub-heading titled 'Writing Background' we learn that "Daniel Berman is an up and coming writer for many notable web venues he contributes film reviews to such websites." An extremely strange and unusual zine.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pages From the Cultural Aether : Love and Beauty #1

32 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", $1.00US, $3.00 Elsewhere, The Cultural Aether, 2440 E. Tudor Rd #364, Anchorage AK 99507, USA Some exquisite cut'n'paste action here with love-lorn, yearning lines inserted. The black & white source images are stunning, really fine work. The sort only found in very ancient books I think. I'd love to know where they came from. The author of this zine must have been going through a heartbreaking end of a relationship. Not bitter, simply pouring out his heart's pain, and rather poetically. Welcome To The Cultural Aether #5
36 pages, $3.00 for a 3-issue bundle in US, add $2.00 for Elsewhere, The Cultural Aether, 2440 E. Tudor Rd #364, Anchorage AK 99507, USA More cut'n'paste images from antiquarian books, stunning breathtaking drawings are these; with typewritten lines of prose in word balloons inserted. The author seems lovesick. In my previous review I mentioned an absence of bitterness. Well, that absence is filled here: "Fuck her for driving away. Fuck her for fucking with my mind. Fuck her for not knowing what she wants. Fuck her for being such a fantastic kisser. ...etc." That's more like it! ... The appropriated art is terrific, the accompanying text a mixed bag, ranging from the keenly insightful to the awkwardly light-hearted. But really, bottom line and all that jazz - three bucks is peanuts for so many pages of such awesome art.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bizarrism #13

44 pages, 12" x 8", $6.00 Aust/$8.00 World, by Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket NSW 1240, AUSTRALIA + cathob [at] zip.com.au This issue features Bizarrism's first colour cover, and does so in punishingly vivid style, depicting one of the Ten Courts of Hell at Singapore's Tiger Balm Gardens. (Chris and Cath visited this wonderful place last year.) Each of the Courts is "...presided over by a stern looking judge who passes sentence. ...enthusiastic devils beat, crush, split, disembowel, dismember and saw in half the unfortunate sinners, all of which are portrayed in mesmerisingly graphic detail with lashings of red paint for blood" Also in this issue: Jimmy Savile and the Process Church; Guy Warren Ballard; and my personal favourite of each issue - My Favourite Dictators #7 is Muammar Gaddafi [1942-2011], ruler of Libya for 42 years. Gaddafi routinely demanded that the wives of his soldiers and guards have sex with him. Those that objected were executed. Finally there are the customary book reviews, including the excellent Going Clear by Lawrence Wright [2013], further exposing the sick joke known as the Church of Scientology. If I'm ever sent off to that fabled Desert Island and offered one zine subscription, Bizarrism would be it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Batman and Robin [bootleg]

12 pages, 8.5" x 6", by Ryan Vella, grizzleguts [at] live [dot] com for ordering info Batman and the Boy Wonder fight The Joker and Poison Ivy (there's been another escape from Arkham Asylum - "the third this week"). It's a Vella production so you know what that means - badass art and hilarious dialogue and trash talk.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Publications Received: Hand Job Zine #4

Publications Received: Hand Job Zine #4

The folks at Hand Job Zine sent me a wonderful note along with this issue of their lit-zine. It reads in part: "We are a UK zine on our fourth issue, and like to keep the righting very British so there may be a few dubious slang words in there for you. You seem to share our love for the printed word though, which is the main reason for sending this. We need to keep it alive instead of reading on migraine inducing machines."

Amen to that. Hand Job Zine is definitely keeping the tradition of underground lit zines alive and well. There's poetry, art, short fiction, and too much cool stuff to mention in this issue - made with real sweat and tears by real hands and real people. I love the anarchic feel that is captured in these pages. No gods, no masters. No shit. Hand Job is the kind of zine that stops talking about freedom and revolution and actually does something.

For more info try:

Hiroshima Yeah! #108 Feb 2014

Hiroshima Yeah! #108 Feb 2014

Hiroshima Yeah 108 feb 2014

4 pages, 12" x 8.5". The Usual, contact HY! at donbirnam [at] hotmail [dot] com

A MEGA BIG thanks to Kapreles for recommending this zine.

I'm afraid this is another 'Somewhat Late To The Party, Fuckity-Fuck It! Dept.' deal, but as a wise frog once said, better late than never!

What we have here is two or three pages stapled in the corner, issued every month by Mark Ritchie and Gary Simmons from Scotland. It employs a nice small font so even though it's only four pages, it's really jammed with content, and that content is rich. I mean it's RICH.

You may not believe it when I reveal the following - this zine has poetry that does not suck ass. However! Read them and you will find it so. Really good poetry here! Example:

Minimum Amount
I prefer using
the self-service checkouts
in supermarkets now,
for the minimum amount
of human interaction.

In recent issues Gary has been contributing a column from prison, '1.5 Years Behind Bars' which is extremely interesting, not only for the fact that it was Gary's first time in the slammer and when he went in he was 52.

Mark writes really enjoyable-to-read album reviews [rare] spiced up with info like where he bought the album, and for how much, like one was in the bargain bin; another was given to him at a gig by a friend... He also writes about gigs he attends, and these include the whole night, from leaving home, stopping for a bite to eat and drink before the gig, and how much each pint cost at each place.

There are also book reviews and short fiction.

HY! is so great! I must not miss any more issues!

Unbelievably Bad #11

Unbelievably Bad #11

Unbelievably Bad 11 Unbelievably Bad 11 Contents

68 pages, 11.5" x 8.5", $8.00pp, excreted by Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill NSW 2203 AUSTRALIA + unbelievablybad [at] optusnet [dot] com [dot] au

Goddamn it was so GREAT to find out recently that not only was there a new issue of Unbelievably Bad out, but two new issues since the last one I read, which was UB9. [I was gonna link to it, but I now see that I didn't even post a review here. For shame! I'm an asshole - if you needed further proof, there's Proof #1,000,023... But here's my review of UB8...]

Loads of good stuff in this issue, like an interview with Chinese Burns Unit [retard metal art wizard Glenno Smith's current band]; Five Gross Metal Covers (including Carcass's exquisitely goretastic 'Reek of Putrefaction']; Part 11 of UB's Never-Ending Interview with the Wizard of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis; a piece about life in a travelling band by Mike IX Williams of EyeHateGod; interview with Sydney band The Warm Feelings (which contains a really great and funny LSD-taking anecdote); a really really great tour diary by Dead USA. I underlined and circled a bunch of parts of this, one of them is this, about band Norska: "I hope they make it to Australia sometime, they have that low-end punish vibe that makes tubby blokes in black T-shirts salivate." ... There is loads more in here, including an interview with Philip Hansen Anselmo, who I understand is and has been rather influential in the 'heavy music scene'. So, by now you should know if you need this or not. If you're still reading you probably do, comrade.

This zine also includes easily the most disturbing band photo I've ever seen. It gives me the CREEPS, man. Behold! Wait! Cover your eyes! >>>

Unbelievably Bad 11 FEL

Gladhand Comix #2

ADULTS ONLY! 32 pages, $4.00, 8.5" x 5.5" by Jay Bee >>> thecomixcompany.ecrater.com + thesach [at] gmail [dot] com More depraved tales of sick mutants and robots. And people too! Jay Bee himself even appears in one of the longer strips - 'Louisediseasy and Her Pal Weesee'. When Louise has sex with a kind of alien pancake, Weesee is shocked to meet Jay Bee, then proceeds to lecture him when Jay Bee admits to worrying about where this comic is going. "S'not like you're Crumb or Bagge. This' pretty lame shit. And putting yourself in the strip? Superlame!" Well, Jay Bee shouldn't have put himself in the strip because he subsequently gets brutalised by the robot thugs who left pancake alien for dead. Dev 12 ("The most original cartoon robot, ever!") is back. One strip is another one of his dreams, this time featuring a Manson Family type cult. The other one is Dev 12 with his friend who works at a... at a place where they look after giant scarabs. [This one really reminded me of William S. Burroughs.] The weird thing isn't the scarabs; it's the workplace relationship dramas that unfold. Here and there are one-pagers that take aim at selfies, and reveal what's on 'our' minds. We all know this stuff, it's just that Jay Bee has drawn it. Haw! Great job!

Toil #4 : Starting Over

40 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", 3 bucks or trade, edited by Kimberlee, Power of Paper, PO Box 27456, Albuquerque NM 87125-7456, USA + powerofpaperzines [at] gmail [dot] com This issue of Kimberlee's work zine has the theme 'starting over'. There are a bunch of contributors who tackle this theme in their own ways, but my favourite is Becky Wolf's 'No More Waiting', about her last day waiting tables in a restaurant. I really like the paragraph about the staff finishing up for the night and hitting the booze. "Waiting tables makes you drink. The schedule, the stress, the pace, the pocket money. Everybody's on the verge of alcoholism." Coming in a close second is teresaiswar's 'Stink', in which she admits to knowing "...the difference between the scent of standard shit and clostridium difficile shit. I know the smell of shit when a person has taken a ton of medications, the smell of the first shit after an elective knee surgery when the GI tract has come out of slumber, and I know the smell of shit when a person has blood in their shit, which I liken to wet aluminium foil on cavity-infested teeth." Also, not a bad cover from that bastard Stratu!

Midwest Mixtapes #2

28 pages, 9" x 5.5", The Usual, MidwestMixtapesFM [at] gmail [dot] com Put together by a group of friends in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Midwest Mixtapes is mainly a music zine with album reviews and band interviews, but also a few movie reviews, root beer reviews, a restaurant review, a local photographer interview, a video game review (Super Meat Boy), and sightings of Will Smith in the Fargo-Moorhead area. ... I've really gone crazy underlining and making notes in this issue so I'll go straight to all that... PxM interviews Evan and Dan from hardcore band, Power, and Evan says this about another hardcore band called Wreck: "They're doing real, like, obscure riffs and stuff that isn't jammy, but it's real technical. Some kids just might not get it." Then when PxM asked them about how their tour has been, Evan says, "Canada was awesome, they hook it up super hard. If you can ever go there, go there." ... Then a little bit later, PxM begins a sentence with, "I'm not going to lie..." which I really should report to Dudes Magazine's Pancake Master [see review]. I really enjoyed this interview I guess mainly for the language. Hook it up super hard? I've never heard that before but I like it. I'm gonna use it. ... The centre pages is a double spread of Will Smith sighted around town. It's just a cardboard Will Smith propped against things. Very funny. There are also comments alongside each one by Big Willy, a little anecdote about each shot. MM describe him this way: "Will Smith is the last healthy human alive on the planet, hiding from the infected hipsters of the downtown area..." ... The other pages I underlined mad style was an interview with Midwest [Iowa] singer-songwriter Andrew Johnathan, which is unintentionally funny, "Not only do you fall in love with his lyrically genius abilities and his melodic guitar, now along comes banging drums, soulful electric guitar, and rhythmic bass." This kind of writing seems out of place. But it's funny! Another funny aspect of this interview is that twice Johnathan begins a sentence with, "I can openly say..." I wanted him to throw in a few "I'm not gonna lie..." Finally, when asked about his favourite part of touring, Johnathan admits, "I get to go a lot of places I haven't been, along with a lot of places I have been..." Anyway, this one was a thoroughly enjoyable zine.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Kobb Log #8

36 pages, 11" x 8.5", $5.00, Kobb Labs, PO Box 30231, Pensacola FL 32503, USA Another terrific issue from Dr Bill here, the highlight of which is an extensive [21 pages!] overview of jungle babes in movies - 'Jungle Queens of the Silver Screen' by Jim Ivers. Going right back to the silent era of the '20s, Jim covers each decade up to the present day. I found myself madly circling this one and that one. Great stuff. That's the bulk of the issue - the rest is reviews of "weirdfilms" by both Dr Bill and Jim Ivers. Always a wonderful read.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Keeyok Tales #3

56 pages, 8.5" x 6", $5.00, by G-Man & J-Stew >>> find 'em on facebook at Phatsville Comix "Not many people know this, but aside from doing kick-arse comix, J-Stew and I are in a fairly successful 2-piece rock band..." So begins this collection of comix about Giles and J-Stew's band The Inkubators - "It's got "ink" in the title, and it sounds like "masturbators." In the same way they covered their trip to San Diego Comic Con from conflicting perspectives, so they do so here. Giles's version has J-Stew begging him to have a jam and maybe start a band. J-Stew's version has Giles begging J-Stew to have a jam in the hopes of starting a band. It's very funny. But wait! This bizarro world that you're not sure which parts to believe is expanded and complicated (and made even funnier) with the addition of strips by their friends, like Cam-El's 'I Was At Inkubators 1st Gig!' and Brett Weekes's 'The Masturbators'. I really got dragged into this mad spazz rockin' comix world. Great stuff.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Trim #1

ADULTS ONLY! 32 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", $4.00, by Aaron Lange >>> aaronlangecomix [at] gmail [dot] com + www.aaronlange.com published by The Comix Company Here's a new title from the super talented and funny Aaron Lange (see my review of his last comic, Romp, here). But wait a minute. His comix go deeper than simply being 'funny' - the heart and soul of it is some of the heaviest black humour you'll find. And that's good! ... So first up, before the real grim funniness arrives, there's 'Damien Hirst and Me'. The only thing in here that's not a comic, only text. Each point about Hirst is matched with one about Lange. Like this one: Damien Hirst found a patron in Charles Saatchi, who offered to fund whatever work Hirst wanted to create. I sometimes borrow money from my dad. Next is 'At the bar with... Vietnam Tom'. Vietnam vet 'humour' is pretty old, let's face it, but Aaron has a unique spin on it, since Tom (name changed) was a real Vietnam veteran who Aaron actually knew and hung out with. The strip is a collection of things Tom said. There's three pages, and on the last page Aaron drops a bombshell that will really hit you in the guts. Great, strong stuff. Another very funny strip is about William S. Burroughs 'wanna-be's'. The young bohemian proclaims, "When I grow up I wanna be like William S. Burroughs!" A bystander asks, "Are you sure? Do you really want to..." and each subsequent panel illustrates 'highlights' in Burroughs's life, like: "Get hooked on heroin? ... Kill your wife? ... Have a crush on THIS guy?" [Allen Ginsberg]. Then a one-pager, 'Zen Cop'. But the main feature is next. The 14-page 'Dog and Kitty', a brutal autobiographical tale of drug days, and hooking up with the couple of the title - a dealer and his missus, both of whom were into bestiality. This is fucking heavy shit. You're gonna laugh, but it's not an easy laugh because you keep reminding yourself these are real people, and this stuff really happened. Do I have to note that this one is 'recommended'? Get it, big boy.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

High Falootin' Funnies

ADULTS ONLY! - 36 pages, 7.5" x 5.5", $4.00, by Jay Bee >>> thesach [at] gmail [dot] com + thecomixcompany.ecrater.com The feature of this one is a 26-page strip, 'Wow, You Draw Comics?' It begins normal enough. A guy is in a coffee shop drawing comics when a girl walks up to him and starts chatting. She really likes comics! The guy can't believe it. I mean, this never happens in real life. Before you know it, the girl invites him back to her place where her flatmates also draw comics. At this point I was sure this was gonna end up a really bad idea, and I wasn't wrong. Back at the girl's place, two guys appear and they soon drug their visitor, then rape and torment him in various other ways. One of the most twisted aspects of this scenario, however, is that while this is happening, the two guys come across like professional comics editors. It's very strange and sinister, and even funny (in a pitch black sense). There are a few short strips at the end of the book. One of them has a robot being released from robot prison. [JB has got this really great and unique thing going on with robots - see my review of his recent Gladhand Comix #1.] Another one-pager, 'Fuck Me!', has JB (?) walking down a street, torturing himself over autobiographical comix. The final 3-page strip, 'He Got No Chopz', presents the nightmarish (for a comics artist at least) scenario of JB at his drawing table being verbally abused and ridiculed by two of his own characters, one of whom is Dev-12 from the previously mentioned Gladhand Comix. Yikes! Wow, JB seems to be quite prolific right now (no doubt thanks in part to Dexter Cockburn and his The Comix Company). Good for us!

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