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


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Brainbug #3 - the Rock and Roll Issue

Brainbug #3 - the rock and roll issue
36 pages, magazine size
slick, full color, professionally produced
$12.50 delivered

Brainbug is an illustrated science magazine for kids. It is professionally produced and has a bar code, but it's 100% zine in spirit, and lovingly made by Olivia Knowles, Jesse Warner, and their cohorts.

This issue has some super heroes, The Super Foods, a late night talk show about bugs, Culture Vultures, Ants & Snails, Digging for Dinos, Tips on How to Rock!, Sushi, and so much more.. all in comic form.

I read it from cover to cover and was never bored. It also comes with a lapel button and a Brainbug trading card printed on canvas, (tucked into a pocket on the inside front cover.)

Simply a treasure you'll want to hold on to forever. Buy it. Buy several.

I can't wait to read #4 - the Space issue

Check out their web stuff...

Review by Jack Cheiky

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Goiter #1

Goiter #1
20 pages, digest
$7 US (delivered)

Very strange. Decent art. Most are single page and unrelated, except a couple that may be semi autobiographical. Darkish. More ironic than funny, but there is at least one attempt at humor. Some have a coherent thread throughout, some don't.

Interesting, unique, memorable, adictive, and strange.



Review by Jack Cheiky

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pathologize This - a zine about mental health

Pathologize This - a zine about mental health
44 pages, digest
$ ??

Although this definitely is a zine entirely about mental health, it could also be considered a feminist zine . The contributors and producers (I'm pretty sure) are all women, and while every piece is dissimilar from every other in style and content, there are consistent themes of struggling for identity and empowerment in a hostile world, especially the patriarchal and exploitive medical establishment. There is a consistent theme of rebellion against despair and the forces that would do one in, both from without and within.

Nothing in here is what I'd call exceptional journalism. But when approached as a collage there is cohesion where similarities compliment and differences contrast, and something both abstract and tangible is achieved.

Some pieces are narratives, some are descriptions, some are simply lists, and some lean more toward literature and poetry. Topics include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and sexual assault. It is not pretty nor happy, but it is hopeful, and it is about taking action and surviving and getting better.

By including many diverce pieces, it also addresses the point that mental health and mental illness are extremely complex, and no two peoples' expierences are the same. There is a vital need for many voices to come forward in this area.

I hope to see more of these.

This was produced in Montreal several years ago. There is a list of distros that carry Sarah Tea- Rex's zines on her wordpress page:


It can be viewed online for free at

Review by Jack Cheiky

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Shelf Life #2 - Adventures in used book hunting

Shelf Life #2 - Adventures in used book hunting
44 pages, digest
Card stock cover
$7 U.S. (delivered)

This zine is for bibliophiles. Written in a friendly travelogue style, Annie and Tim chronicle their adventures searching for used books, reviewing in detail used bookstores, library sales, etc.

Promo copy: "This issue is jam-packed with stories of shelf-combing galore. In "The Pleasures and Perils of the Book Sale" we introduce you to the weird, wonderful world of library book sales and the sometimes fierce competition that can be found there. In "Bibliophiles in Beach Read Country" we tell a tale of jonesin' for better book stores while on vacation in Chincoteague, Virginia. We review a number of stores and sales in Westchester, NY and Fairfield county, CT and describe our favorite finds there. Plus, our experience at one store leads to a meditation on compulsive hoarding. Our "foreign correspondent" Patti Moore (Tim's mom) reports from Venice, Italy on "The Most Interesting Bookstore in the World." And lastly, we share our thoughts on Greg Farrell's graphic novel "On the Books," an account of labor organizing at the Strand Bookstore in NYC... Lots of original photographs and illustrations."

Shelf Life is well written, lovingly crafted, and a lot of zine for the money assuming you are the target audience.

My younger (life is one long road trip) self would have loved this. My grumpy old (stay home and take a nap) self wasn't overly interested. My favorite part was about the people who have no love or appreciation for the books themselves, who come to sales armed with scanners, looking for stuff they can resell on Ebay for a profit.

While I think this is of value to bibliophiles, it has a more limited general appeal. If I was on a long trip I'd rather have three $2 perzines to read.



Review by Jack Cheiky

Friday, August 21, 2015

I Belong Here - Stories from a woman who is always living

I Belong Here - Stories from a woman who is always living.
20 pages, digest
$3 U.S. (delivered)

Kristin Stadum gives us a friendly collection of first person prose in small bites. The general theme might be travel, or chance encounters with strangers. 

Each page has a text box set in a panel of art. Most pages contain a single vignette, though there are a few that carry over to the next page. The pieces are diverse. Nothing mind blowing, but the writing is crisp, and there is an accumulated appreciation of the voice with each turn of the page. Intimate and pleasantly unexpected.

I would like to see more.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Crow Town

Crow Town - Drew Forrest Hoad

A5, 28 photocopied pages on 80gsm acid free Fabriano paper. Hand sewn binding.
Edition of 50. Published by Ladette Space, edited by Daniella Valz Gen.


It bodes well when the first page of anything quotes Charles Fort, obessive collector of the obscure, the unusual and the unexplained, free-wheeling absurdist writer with a healthy resistance to dogma in any form.

Drew picks up this mantle with Crow Town - a psychogeographical exploration of psychic, mystical, mythic, proto-historic connections and deviances - combined with personal and literary coincidences - to create a map of an unseen, unsuspected, occultic magick London. Drawing heavily on the work by luminaries of alternative history such as Iain Sinclair, and the maverick work of Stan Gooch Crow Town leaps through definitions and meanings of place names - a fictional and actual etymological analysis of name and space. 

It is an interesting if at times dense read, it feels like to get the most from it you need to disconnect the rational and embrace the supra-natural aspects of the brain. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Belfie Annual 2013

The Belfie Annual 2013 - Elena Colman

A5, 16 photocopied pages with rubber stamped front and back cover. Hand bound. 
Also includes a signed and numbered artist's arse print

Edition of 50. Produced by Ladette Space. 


Think of this as a contemporary re-working of Yoko Ono’s infamous 1966-67 art piece Film Number 4 (Bottoms) – an 80 minute film of the rear ends of 365 ‘saints of the time’.

At the time Ono said about the piece:

In 50 years or so, which is like 10 centuries from now, people will look at the film of the 60’s. They will probably comment on Ingmar Bergman as meaningfully meaningful film-maker Jean-Luc Godard as the meaningfully meaningless. Antonioni as meaninglessly meaningful, etc, etc. Then they would come to the No. 4 film and see a sudden swarm of exposed bottoms, that these bottoms, in fact belonged to people who represented the London scene. And I hope that they would see that the 60’s was not only the age of achievements, but of laughter. This film, in fact, is like an aimless petition signed by people with their anuses. Next time we wish to make an appeal, we should send this film as the signature list.*
Forty-seven years later we live in a very different cultural climate, where it is almost more shocking if you have never revealed your private parts in public, where the media is obsessed with almost bottom of every celebrity and near-celebrity on the planet.

The Belfie Annial – 2013 is a nod a wink to all of this, a selection of selfies reduced down to the most backwards facing portraiture. Topped off with a neon pink arse print made by the artist.

More about Elena's work here: thecolmansingularity.com

*1968 Interview with Tony Elliot, Time Out Magazine. flickr.com/photos/yokoonoofficial/3304679559

Review by Nathan Penlington

Friday, August 14, 2015


Gorge – Elena Colman

Produced by Ladette Space

A5, 16 photocopied pages on black paper with separate page of text printed on A4 tracing paper. Sewn binding. 

Limited edition of 30. 


This is a really hard zine to review, not because I don't have anything to say, but because I don’t want to give anything away. There is always a huge joy in exploring, of not knowing, and in surprise. I just want you to get your hands on a copy, and when you first start to turn the pages examine that feeling. 

Understandably your response will be different to mine, but for it me, this zine contains the essence of early of JG Ballard, condensed to a haiku-like artist’s book. 

Gorge was produced by Ladette Space - 'an experiment in making a gallery in your home and a home in your gallery'. It is a project enthusised by a diy aesthetic, that carries through to handmade publications and zines. Ladette Space were kind enough to send me a huge package of zines, reviews of which will follow over the next couple of weeks. 

I'm dissapointed though to have not known about the exhibition that accopanied this zine. According to Elena's website it consited of: 

gin and tonic fountain, artificial cave, black light, crepe paper, ferns, sequined fabric, humidifyers, pink light bulbs, looped video. 

I know, right? Sounds amazing.      

Buy Gorge here: ladettespace.bigcartel.com/product/elena-colman-gorge

Information about Elena's work can be found here: thecolmansingularity.com

Review by Nathan Penlington

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Morrissey: Misery in Bitesize Chunks


Morrissey: Misery in Bitesize Chunks - Raechel Leigh Carter

6 x 9 inches. 46 pages. 
Edition of 100, published by Tinynoggin. 

Morrissey - everyone knows who Morrissey is right? Miserable. Daffodils. The Smiths. Songs like This charming man and Heaven knows I'm miserable now. But that’s where my knowledge of him ends, and I guess it does for the majority of people who know him only through his music. 

In 2013 Morrisey published his autobiography, matter of factly titled Autobiography. Unfortunately the book is more of a hinder than a help to a greater understanding of his life. Thankfully, Rachel Leigh Carter has stepped in to bridge that knowledge gap. Morrissey: Misery in Bitesize Chunks is an adaptation of a blog that was started to help people who were struggling through the 480 pages of his life story. 

“Anyone who has read (or tried to read) Autobiography by Morrisey knows it’s not the easiest of reads. It took me well over a week to read 130 pages and I knew other people who struggled with it too. So I thought I should do the world a service and read it on behalf of those who couldn’t manage it but wanted to get the nub and the gist of the whole brouhaha”. 

Illustrated by nicely drawn pen and ink images of Morrissey through the years. It is perfect for fans of Morrissey or the favourite miserablist in your life. 

Visit the Tinynoggin shop: Etsy.com/uk/shop/tinynoggin

For more Tinynoggin: tinynoggin.wordpress.com 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Gaysi Zine – Issue 3

The Gaysi Zine – Issue 3

120 pages. 21cm x 25 cm.

Rs. 150 + Rs. 30 for delivery charges pan India. (See below for overseas order details)

I've been stuck for a way to do this zine justice in a short review. Gaysi Zine is an extremely well put together collection of short stories, poems, and texts that defy neat categorisation, coupled with a diverse array of illustration, photography, and art. The visual imagery takes a delight in the handmade, in the hand drawn, and the handwritten, all of which gives the writing an extra element of intimacy. So much so that it often feels we are being let in on a secret. 

It is that sharing of personal experience that I love in zines, and how - no matter how far outside my own limited range of experience - it allows you to connect with a stranger in a profound way. That is how I felt reading this issue of Gayzi Zine. Many of the themes surround trust, intimacy, and honesty - all dealt with wit and intelligence. 

The work in Gayzi Zine reaches out beyond the queer scene in Delhi and will connect with you wherever you are. There is so much to explore, that all I can suggest is order a copy and wait with anticipation for a thud through your letterbox. 

For ordering information visit: instamojo.com/GaysiFamily/the-gaysi-zine-edition-3

Check out Gaysi on the web here: Gaysifamily.com

Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, August 10, 2015

Dee's Dream

Dee's Dream
36 pages, digest
Card stock cover, black and white
$7 plus shipping

Description from distributor: "A 32 page digest zine of three Dee's Dream stories plus a bonus comic! The Contents include the stories The Cosmic Wombat, The Patriot Parlor, The Rose Bull, and Dee's Drunken Rage..."

Nice art and production style. I like the heavy use of black on one set of pages, then the heavy use of white on the following pages. I had a hard time following the story line because some of the pages were upside down and seemed out of order. It's possible she was taking some kind of artistic licence that was over my head. It's also possible that this was a misprint I got for free in a bundle at a recent zine fest. Either way, I'd want to get that cleared up before paying $7.

Undoubtedly, Dre Grigoropol is a talented and persistent artist, with many other titles out.

order & contact info:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

My Snow Globe Life #1

My Snow Globe Life #1
20 pages, digest
$3 U.S. (delivered)

This one is by Johnnie B Baker, the proprietor of Budget Press, and is about his obsession with collecting and stealing snow globes, usually from places he visits, (like a Spam factory, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,) and much to the chagrin of his mother.

Of the 150 or so snow globes he's collected over the years, eleven are featured here. Each one comes with an account  of its acquisition.

A very quirky read. I liked it.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

a few mini reviews for a heat wave

a few mini reviews for a heat wave

Bookin' It DIY by Allysa G
a responsible guide$4.00 /14 pages/ Half size

Time to dip into my recent archives & write a few reviews. July heat has been intense; not weather that is conducive to reading (unless maybe you're stretched out beneath a tree in a hammock). These zines, however, are perfect for a breezy summer read. 

DIY type zines tend to be my favorite genre. If you're interested in booking bands and musicians, Bookin' It DIY will get you pointed in the right direction with clear, useful information. Folks playing music for one another is a complete joy & a way to stave off the tyranny of the music "industry". WHat better time for a concert under the stars than Summer?

How to Send a Letter is a fun mini-zine that reminds us there are a million ways to send a letter. Or ... you can just send one! I found this one on etsy.  

Another mini-zine treasure I found on etsy not too long ago is Gatherer: A Pocket Foraging Handbook by Isabella Rotman. Mother Earth created everything we need for our survival. One doesn't need a PhD in botany to learn how to feed yourself in the woods and fields.  Gatherer: A Pocket Foraging Handbook is a beautifully lettered and illustrated guide to common wild foods: wild leeks, dandelions, fiddleheads & more. Concise, yet packed with useful tips and a brisk, enjoyable zine. 

When all else fails during a heat wave you can enjoy a nice cool ... ginger beer! Annie Soga has written and illustrated a fantastic field guide to ginger ales, packed with historical info and beverage reviews. Lots of love (and tasting) went into this zine - gorgeously printed and presented; if I weren't on a self-imposed nutrition plan, I would be sipping some Chelmsford Golden Ginger Ale right now (which wasn't reviewed in this zine.) 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Showtime - part 1

Showtime - part 1 by Antoine Cossé

13.7 x 18.7cm - 46 pages. Breakdown Press.


I have a confession to make – I was a boy magician. I loved magic more than anything, there is even video evidence of me performing a routine I’d put together as a 13 year old – records change colours, a silver ball floats mysteriously in the air, a lit candle vanishes. And now, well, now I’m a part-time mind reader. The idea of magic, of sharing a moment of astonishment, is something that gets in your blood.

So, as soon as I flicked through Showtime I knew it was for me. This issue is part one of a comic book series ‘charting the stellar career and mysterious end of the world’s most famous magician’. It is a melancholy read (the blue ink helps to add to that feeling perhaps), sparse text creating a silent film effect. You are drawn into a world set in the near future through a series of moments that capture points in the life of the protagonist – his greatest performances, his broken relationships, his emotional beginnings – fragmented by what look like sequences from old magic instruction books.

It is a compelling read, and a promising start to a series.

Buy a copy here: breakdownpress.com

For more buy Antoine: antoinecosse.tumblr.com

Review by Nathan Penlington

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Screever – Issue 7

The Screever – Issue 7, Spring 2015.

A6, 48 photocopied pages, limited to 150 copies.


I’ll be honest, I had to look up the meaning of the word ‘screever’. The definition according to Collins English Dictionary is:

1.      a person who draws on the pavement with chalk and earns money from the donations of passersby

The Screever uses the pavement in a wider metaphorical sense, drawing attention to people and things you’d miss otherwise. 

It’s a great little zine, well put together, diverse, consistently interesting, and the features really illustrate how artistically and culturally vibrant the DIY scene is in the Midlands. Interviews in this issue are with Stourbridge’s Temple of Boom music venue, ‘one of the strangest sounding bands you’ve heard’ The Perverts, comic creator Patrick Scattergood, record label Wolf Town DIY, and zine maker and obsessive diarist Becky Kidner (see this recent post about Becky’s zines). Plus music reviews, puzzle pages, and a recipe for vegan gummy bears.

You can't really do better for £1. 

And this is The Screever blogspot: thescreever.blogspot.co.uk

Review by Nathan Penlington

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