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


Monday, April 24, 2017

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth – Issue 2: The Gigs

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth – Issue 2: The Gigs

by Russell Barker


A5, black and white, 28 pages

The follow up to the first Lunchtime For The Wild Youth in which Russell revisited the records that sound tracked his teenage years. This time he documents the first 22 gigs he went to.

Issue 2 follows the precedent set in the first issue by again removing technology from the process of making the zine. The result is in keeping with fanzines of the 80s - written on a typewriter, produced on a photocopier, cut & paste, with facts less important than experience.

The contents of the zine are pieced together from a faulty and sometimes very specific memory and a gig book Russell kept for 8 years, in which he stuck tickets and documented every obscure support band. Like Issue 1 Russell’s enthusiasm for music energises each description, and it will have you scrabbling to Spotify to rediscover bands you’ve forgotten or check out bands you’ve never heard of.

Now where are those ticket stubs you couldn't bear to throw out?

Review by Nathan Penlington.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth

by Russell Barker


A5, black and white, 24 pages

The concept behind this zine is simple – Russell sets out to revisit albums that were loved in his teenage years, and not played since.

Russell’s enthusiasm for music is infectious. The zine will have those that were there at the time – in the mid to late 1980s - scrabbling to their shelves, storage units to dig out CDs and vinyl, or to eBay to re-buy their past.

And those who aren't quite old enough to remember will discover something new. It is a project born out of a love for the lost tangible joys of record buying – bunking off school to be the first in line at the local record shop on release day, the zines and community built through exchange and bootlegs.  But it is a zine that gains from being able to listen to almost any album in minutes through the magic of Spotify. Reading LFTWY had me compiling a list of albums and songs that sounded interesting and playing them as a kind of soundtrack to the zine.

Lunchtime For The Wild Youth is smartly executed - straddling the divide between youth and adulthood by removing technology from the process. The zine was written on a typewriter, produced on a photocopier, nothing fact checked using the internet.

The artwork, drawn by Russell's daughter Robyn is a charming addition, and a reminder that music has a power that transcends generations.

This is an infectious zine that will have you itching to do the same with your own wild youth.

Review by Nathan Penlington.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Sayward Barone

8 Pages
Printer Paper - Black and White
Size: Mini
$0.78 + Shipping

Seasons. is a small, folded zine on white printer paper with a small poem that is sure to set big ripples.
In Seasons., Sayward Barone describes in eight, small pages the feeling of when the seasons change. Looking at the poem on the surface is just that, but as you start to dig deeper, you find things that make you see the deeper meaning behind the words.

The one thing that really makes this little poem a success, in my book, is the self-application one can do with it. Mentioned in some of my previous reviews, I love to see a poem or work that not only applies to the writer's situation, but can apply to so many other people.

Seasons. manages to successfully describe feelings of suppression and feelings from the weather in a nice, pocket size package. While I wouldn't read this on a light heart, this is definitely one worth picking up.

Purchase a copy on Etsy
Barone's Social Media: Instagram

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 04/14/2017; 2:30 P.M. CST

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Charlie Haggard

30 Pages
Size: Digest
Printer Paper and Card-stock
$5.00 + Shipping

BEARQUEFT COMIX #1 is the first in a series being created by Charlie Haggard. Bound in an all orange, card-stock cover and printed on printer paper in black and white, this comedic zine takes you through several brief adventures involving originally created characters.

This comic zine has two main stories with several interludes.

The main stories - Planet Man and Slumcat - were both very comedic. The type of comedy Haggard is going at pairs extremely well with this almost grunge-type atmosphere. While I would sometimes consider the black and white printing a downfall in some comics, I felt it worked extremely well for this; in this case, it made it feel like reading the comics in the weekly newspaper (which is fantastic).

My favorite part about this comic are the interludes found in-between the larger comics. These little gems made for great breaks between the stories and made for an overall, well-rounded comic zine. The pokes at modern society and art-work made for great chuckles - which is usually a hit or miss with that subject. And the fake ads were golden

All in all, the ideas Haggard has going here work very well together, creating a balance that makes for a well-rounded zine. I'm very glad this little zine found its way to my doorstep. I'm very interested to see what Haggard has to offer next.

Purchase: Here

Charlie Haggard's Social Media as Follows: Instagram

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed 04/08/2017; 4:01 P.M. CST

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Monday, April 3, 2017

SZR T-shirts

Our staff decided to get ourselves t-shirts.

How To Get Abducted By An Alien

How To Get Abducted By An Alien
Krystal Becker

12 Pages
Printer Paper - black and white
Size: Digest
$2.65 + Shipping

This comic zine, bound with string and printed on normal printer paper, gives you a brief guide on how to be abducted by aliens.

The artwork throughout is very "cute" - giving it a more child-like, non-serious vibe. The pictures are all in black and white, which accompany these silly steps to have your chances of being abducted by aliens supposedly higher. While the idea is really neat, I feel like having the pictures in color would have made for a lot better experience overall.

The writing and steps, I will admit, are very amusing, and I like how she plays on this idea. However, I feel that the ending was very abrupt and there could have been room for a lot more in terms of steps.

Needless to say, I know how hard it is to put zines together, and the fact that Becker has put the time and effort to give us a nice, sleek layout is a feat in itself.

In the end, it is an extremely cute idea, with extremely great artwork, that did have me snickering a little throughout.

Purchase a copy through: Etsy

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 4/3/2017, 5:08 P.M. CST

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hi, it's your dad here

A head's up - this isn't an unbiased review, it's a shameless plug for a zine by one of the SZR staff reviewers. 

Hi, it's your dad here
by Nathan Penlington

44 pages, A6.
£3 (+90p p&p UK, +£1.90 p&p rest of world)

Q: What do you get if you combine a piece of rubber tube, 2 pound shop funnels, 16 works of twentieth and twenty-first century literature, and an unnamed fetus? 

A: An experiment in literary incubation in the form of a zine. 

The backstory: my partner and I have just had a baby. It has been proven that babies form attachment to voices they hear while in the womb - naturally a mother's voice is the most comforting noise.

Obviously I was external to the incubation, so we wanted to come up with a way for me to bond with the baby while she was in the womb. 

I had a plan - I made a speaking tube so I could read out every night. This zine is a record of those books and the reasons why they were chosen. 

Featuring works by JG Ballard, Eudora Welty, Jules Verne, Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Brautigan, Raymond Queneau, Rikki Ducornet, Guy J Jackson, Ray Bradbury, AF Harrold, Ernest Noyes Brookings, David Greenberger, Franck Pavloff, Angel idigoras, Peter Manseau, and PT Barnum. Hi, it's your dad here -  is a zine in the form of a pocket sized book, at pocket money prices. 

Limited edition of 100 - all copies signed and numbered. 24 hand drawn illustrations, and my favourite thing, a soft-touch laminated cover. I know, sounds good right?

You can buy a copy with PayPal via my website: nathanpenlington.com - Hi, it's your dad here

Ok, plug over. I can hear a baby crying. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Drawing Is Hard

Drawing is Hard
Michelle Smith

32 Pages
Printer Paper - black and white
Size: Mini (4.25" x 5.5")
$2.00 + Shipping

This is an art zine printed in black ink, with a cream-colored cover and white pages - all on regular printer paper.

When I first saw this zine, I was very intrigued by just the concept - a person with an art degree using minimalist tools and references to create an entire zine of art. Michelle Smith uses a black crayon to draw, from memory, an animal corresponding with every letter in the alphabet.

The layout is very simplistic, containing one animal per page, and as the letters get a little more tricky, Smith uses a little humorous variation (especially around "X") among the drawings. Looking through the zine, I felt very connected to the drawings in that the print quality is so good, you almost expect to feel the crayon under your fingers when you touch it.
I apologize for my dry skin haha
While there is definitely nothing edgy or extreme about this zine, it is definitely a nice little thing to browse through and giggle at when you need a break. This work doesn't take too much of the mind to process, and sometimes that's a good thing. There's no hidden messages or deeper meanings, just cute drawings in black crayon.

And, sometimes you need things like that. ~

Purchase a copy through BlackShellPress on Etsy: Drawing is Hard

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 3/26/2017, 9:26 A.M. CST

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Kate Berwanger

8 pages
Size: Mini
Parchment Paper
$3.25 + Shipping

DRUG. is a flash-fiction by Kate Berwanger which describes the momentous heart-beats directly after a huge break-up.The (now previous) significant other has just walked out the door, and the narrator is left kneeling on the rug that once held so many precious memories.

Kate manages to brilliantly describe these terrible moments of a rough break up in around 400 words and does so in a way that is both heartbreaking and personal, but very easy to relate to. The descriptions and emotions are brilliantly described in that you can feel the gut-wrenching sensation the narrator is feeling just as it is occurring. The narrator is left on their knees absorbing what just happened while also reliving the past in a way that is sure to leave you gasping for air.

Printed on folded parchment, with a picture of the rug printed on it, the text is in a cut-paste type format which really suits this feeling of disconnection, yet sound mindedness in a time when one's emotions are in a flurry..

In the end, DRUG. is flash-fiction that makes you remember and ache for someone that could so easily be yourself.

Purchase on Etsy:  DRUG.

Kate's social media are as follows: InstagramEtsy

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed 3/25/2017 12:56 A.M. CST

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Vice - Issue 5 & 6

Vice - Issue 5: Living Film & Issue 6: In the red

by Shayan Shafii 

16 pages, 6.5cm x 10.5 cm. B&W, stapled. 

$2 + postage

Vice is a great little pocket zine, with an old skool cut & paste style that is an aesthetic nod to the punk zines of the past.  

The content is a collection of music reviews, cartoons, stories, lyrics, images, and snapshots taken directly from experience. 

Issue #5 (October 2016) considers what happens when you experiment with sleep deprivation, what it's like working in a call centre, and the consequences of owning long living pets. 

The latest issue #6 (January 2017) examines the people riding Amtrak trains, plus poems and stories inspired by "the time for love, hate, and all kinds of intangible imbalances". 

In short Vice is a varied, interesting zine. And like the best kinds of zines - it fits in your pocket for those moments when rather than thoughtlessly scrolling through your phone, you can reach out and feel genuinely connected. 

To order contact: shayanshafii {at} gmail {dot} com

Check out details of past issues here: geocities.co.jp/shayanshafii/underground-society/vice.html

Review by Nathan Penlington.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Gaysi Zine - Issue 5

The Gaysi Zine - Issue 5

156 pages. 28 x 22cm. Full colour. 

INR 400 + INR 50 (Delivery charge within India -  see below for international rates)

The theme for the latest issue of The Gaysi Zine is desire in its tangle of emotion, instinct, passion and confusion, in its myriad of voices, perspectives and realities. As the editors outline in their introduction, storytelling is the key to insight, and 
"the zine in many ways is an attempt at providing a common platform for all these different realities, not just to give them a way to the world and hence become something shared, but also to come together to paint a bigger picture of where we are as a queer conscience".
The zine achieves that and more. The content is clearly lovingly curated, beautifully designed, with a truly international range of contributors. It is by turns provocative, evocative, and erotic.

The contents range from documentary comic strips, short stories, poetry, guides to help you achieve multiple orgasms and improve your scissoring technique, to personal memoir. 

To quote the editors once again: 

"Desire is our weapon against an automated existence". 

Don't deny your desire to get your hands on The Gaysi Zine. Order a copy now. 

Check out Gaysi zine online here: gaysifamily.com/tag/gaysizine

To order visit: instamojo.com/GaysiFamily/the-gaysi-zine-issue-5-156-pages-mrp-400-del

**For International Delivery: please write to gaysifamily@gmail.com with the subject lines ‘Booking The Gaysi Zine – mention the number of copies’, and the Gaysi family will take it forward from there.**

Review by Nathan PenlingtonMy reviews of previous issues are here

Monday, January 23, 2017

If you're into it! - Episode 1

If you're into it! - Episode 1: Hit the dance floor!

By Celeste Inez Mathilda

64 pages, 8.5x5.5 inches. 

$4 / trades / PWYC

In the interest of transparency I must state up front - I LOVE CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE. 

(For those of you who might not remember Choose Your Own Adventure books are those in which you are instructed to choose between two or more options at the bottom of a page, then you turn to the indicated page number to continue reading).

The original series is very close to my heart - my last project was a live interactive documentary about the books that inspired a generation*. I have a collection of hundreds and hundreds of books and zines that have used the 'Turn to page...' structure familiar to every Choose Your Own Adventure reader - everything from popular culture to parody.

This is all by way of saying - you can imagine my response when Celeste emailed to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing this zine!

Consent is an hugely important topic, particularly in a climate where actions of those not given consent often go unpunished, and are often not punishable. Despite the potential heaviness of the themes the writing in If You're Into It! has wit and a lightness of touch, and uses some of the tropes of Choose Your Own Adventure to good effect - particularly if you choose to follow a situation that ends badly.     

If you're into it! uses a gender free central character, you - much in the same way Edward Packard conceived of his original books. Taking it further, Celeste expands that fluidity to every other character you meet too. Setting up the story as an 'erotic, or not' adventure gives the narrative drive and anticipation, but using the decision making of the reader to explore different facets of consent I think really works - coupling desire with awareness of others. (It stands directly in opposition to the reprehensible Behind Closed Doors for example, another choose your own style 'erotic' adventure but in which you can live out your fantasy of being raped by clowns. No, I. Kid. You. Not.)

There are more zines planned in this series that overlap with the story started in this issue. I'm interested to see what other avenues of consent are pursued - many of which have the potential to be more subtle, serious, or complex. 

If you're into it! is really well executed, handled with humour and understanding - go support!

Buy a copy via Etsy: etsy.com/listing/476189444/if-youre-into-it-episode-1-hit-the-dance

Or contact ofcourseyoucandistro [at] gmail [dot] com

*One of the lasting outcomes of that project was becoming friends with Edward Packard - the originator of Choose Your Own Adventure - who at 86 is still writing and creating. His latest book It's a Miracle It Wasn't Worse, published this month, is a memoir throughout which he considers the consequences of choice and the ramifications of not actively choosing but coasting. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Friday, January 20, 2017

Terminal Punk

Terminal Punk

Black & white, 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ 40 pages, illustrated.


V.Vale is responsible for the mind expanding counter culture publishing company RE/Search. Throughout the 80s and 90s RE/Search was crucial for treating the work of JG Ballard and William Burroughs with reverence long before the universities caught on; publishing anthologies about once taboo subjects such as body modification, and the history of women and tattoos - subjects that have had a renaissance of late before ultimately being co-opted by the mainstream. 

RE/Search have also published work of zine interest - re-issues of the influential punk zine Search & Destroy started by V.Vale in the late 70s (while he worked park time at City Lights Books), and the ground breaking collection of interviews with zine makers in Zines! Vol 1

V.Vale is counter culture personified. So he is in the perfect position to talk and write about Punk, not just as a short-lived music phenomenon, but as an ethos and aesthetic with relevance today. Terminal Punk is a series of interviews and conversations that reflect on the terminal philosophy of the Punk movement - not the spitting and safety pins Punk has been reduced to by the corporate machine - but the aesthetics, influences, history, and social outlook, that fuse into a way of living.   

Vale explores the DNA of Punk, outlining the three fundamental elements that form its make up: Black Humour; DIY / Anyone Can Do It; and Mutual Aid. Even if you don't think Punk is 'your' thing, if you have only the smallest interest in the creative process you'll take something away from reading this zine. Throughout Vale stresses the need to increase our awareness to fight the distraction culture we live in - making, distributing, and reading zines is still a significant way of doing that. 

As Vale says, "Until we have a perfect world I don't think Punk will ever be dead or obsolete".

Buy Terminal Punk direct from RE/Search researchpubs.com/shop/terminal-punk-zine-philosophy-w-i-p-by-v-vale

Signed copies are available from Rough Trade in the UK for £5: roughtrade.com/magazines/terminal-punk-zine-philosophy-w-i-p-by-v-vale-signed-copies

Review by Nathan Penlington

Monday, January 9, 2017

Munster Times #19 [August 2016]


38 pages, 11.5" x 8", by Matt Ryan, email mag [at] hotmail [dot] com for ordering info, and check out Munster Times Zine on Facebook

I heard that last year Melbourne was voted [not for the first time] 'The World's Most Liveable City', and it seems that I've discovered yet further proof the award is legit right here in the shape of Munster Times, a zine which - if I understand correctly - is FREE and can be found in Melbourne pubs where bands play. If I found a zine like this at the Townie here in Newtown, I would be over the friggin' moon! The closest thing we have is Unbelievably Bad which is $9.00 an issue [although of course no other zine comes close to it in terms of awesomeness - it's absolutely worth at least that much [UB#16 was also where I first read about MT!]].

Anyway, and even though yet again I'm late to the party on this one, as mentioned it's thanks to Unbelievably Bad [#16] that I wasn't even later.

Matt seems to be pretty heavy into the Melbourne live music scene, so most of his zine is taken up with interviews of bands and singers/musicians. These interviews are terrific. These kind of interviews are often terrible, with a great gaping chasm apparent between interviewer and interviewee. Not here. The subjects seem to know and respect Matt and the interviews benefit greatly. In this issue, Matt interviews The Rebelles ['60s girl bubblegum pop Phil Spector Wall of Sound-type band]; Teagan Robinson [Melbourne singer also interviewed in MT#14]; Them Rumblin' Bones [genre-defying pub rockers?]; and Lisa Crystal Carver [Rollerderby Zine, named by Playboy 'Best Zine Ever']. This was my favourite interview here. Lisa Carver has the greatest answers to interview questions. Example: Matt's first question, "How has 2016 treated you so far?" Carver: "Any year I'm still alive is a good year." [I am shamefully ignorant of Lisa Carver and her work, I'll admit it, even after Jojo so many times telling me how great she is.] I found out from this interview she wrote a book, Drugs Are Nice, which I will be tracking down a copy of the second I finish this review.

There's also a terrific review of the Stooges documentary film Gimme Danger. Matt writes at the beginning: "I aint a film person, so every chance this review sucks." I predicted it wouldn't, and it didn't. Not a Stooges fan myself [not even a Radio Birdman fan! Oh, the shame!!], this review has motivated me to track down a copy of THIS, TOO! Check out this great line... "... the talking heads are kept to the bare minimum. ... No hack from Rolling Stone who wasn/t even born when the first LP was released, no cockhead stadium rocker who claims the band was an influence when his band sounds nothing like theirs, and no Bono." And his final comment: "I wish someone could ave hit me in the head with a frying pan so I could forget the Stooges music and I could rediscover them all over again."

Finally, the tables are turned and Matt's mate Vic Meehan interviews HIM. "...thanks for aving me in my own zine Vic, love ya tons."

At the end of every interview, Matt asks the person what their favourite album is by The Fall. [Mark E. Smith is his absolute hero of all time.] The only thing missing from this issue is Vic asking Matt what HIS favourite Fall album is!

[Note: Munster Times is chock full of weird typos/spelling - it reminded me of Don Fields in his excellent Twilight World zine - but for me it's just part of the charm of both zines. I'd much rather have a great zine with lotsa typos than a boring shit zine with none.]

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