Zine Reviews

Small Print Reviews

We got some cool responses to the zine reviews in last issue as well as getting a bunch of publications at the S.F. Anarchist book fair. The info shop that houses the Slingshot office had some days to make over the space – especially our zine library. Keep an eye for more work parties in the future to continue cataloging our entire collection. Hell! Stop by during our open hours and browse till your eyes fall out. If you do a zine we’ll take some to sell and one for our library.

SPEW #1 & 2

Spewdistro.tumblr.com

A punk zine out of the scene around Berkeley’s Gilman St. club. It is refreshing to see something coming from there to represent the changing counter culture & see first hand young people grapple with the world at a time the club itself is in a new chapter of renewing itself from the baggage of its past. Booze, art, stories from the gutter and a display of attitude makes for a cocktail that becomes Spew. (eggplant)

SOLASTALGIA

emmaji@riseup.net

The back cover tells us that this zine bloomed out of copy machines “spring equinox 2011″, a time of transformation and internal revolution, even for those with heavy hearts and full minds focused on the disarray that our planet faces today. Solastalgia, we soon learn through a quote by the neologism’s founder, Glenn Albrecht, is “the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault…a form of homesickness that one gets while one is still at ‘home’”. With this emotion at hand, the writer pulls us through the damage as we wiggle with unease in our seats — nuclear power industries, mass radiation, extraction industries. Connected to these concerns among others are the mental health issues that follow – ecoanxiety, global dread, a sense of powerlessness, dauntingly the list goes on. Poetic tips for calming one’s mind are soothingly speckled between global worries, as well as some sweet windows into the writer’s life: “Through a lifetime of activism, I have had to learn to focus on horrors without losing love”. Much of this mag is lyrical prose spilled during a winter trip the writer took through the US while hoping to curb her despair. Our relationship with the anifmal world, homelessness, tree-sitters, and the death of a friend also play vital roles in her writing. Much of the text was written on a typewriter and the whole zine is hand laid-out with beautiful black and white imagery on each page. My favorite written piece is the exchange she shares with a midwifery student who tells her about death doulas, who act as midwives for the dying. This zine is a successful display of love as well as a reminder to be loving through all of our courses and shades of ominous contemplation. (Bird)

ROT #2

avocado@riseup.net

Rot returns and speaks through soothing and sometimes swelteringly hot fairytale-like imagery — a tale of “furious inspiration” and shaky hands, a queer squatter episode of “The Girls Next Door”, an incantation imploring you to feed yourself with personal mythology meanwhile stressing the importance of “learning about and appreciating the ancient rites of others without appropriating and regurgitating them”. I appreciate how each page exists on its own and is balanced in detail much like a shrine or sacred space. If I’d found this mag instead of the hidden adult garbage that the past generations stashed, my childhood mind would’ve been blown for the better. Future kids will be thankful to discover and bury this raw and wondrous publication under their mattresses or hammocks, simultaneously feeding themselves Katrina’s imagery and contemplations while masturbating to some genuine punk soul. (Bird)

BRING ON THE DANCING HORSES

$2 PO Box 1282

Fullerton, CA 92836

We are taken to a place beyond the “No Trespassing” signs to abandoned community centers turned into squats, to unlicensed roadside campgrounds, and to derelict amusement parks on the verge of being converted into yuppie condos. Is this a note to future societies of primitives? It has a nomadic lawless edge to it as the narrator and their friends move from Portland, Oregon to Vermont, then to the junkyards of NY City. The writing is at times dense and other times plain spoken. The reflections and revelations they convey happen in short bursts. At first I thought I was reading a poetry zine. Then as I got into the flow I started to see it as a cross between CrimeThinc (with its ideas) and John Steinbeck (with the intense attention to details of our natural world and our unnatural systems at play with human lives). (eggplant)

FIFTH ESTATE

This long running, underground magazine strives to attract intellectual radicals and greasy counter culture types, but do they actually get either? The result of this “D.I.Y. Issue” is a bit hodge podge, which makes reading it seem like an oversized zine. You got the usual radical news items and articles alongside interviews and cultural pieces. Some of the latter is half-digested before it was printed. The editing suffered badly by the death of the editor. So the mere gesture that people pulled it together to finish his work testifies how the movement is made up of many hands. (eggplant)

FILLING THE VOID

PO Box 29

Athens, OH 45701

A very methodical look at people liberating themselves from a dependency on alcohol and drugs. By methodical I mean each of the 8 people interviewed are asked roughly the same questions. The result I believe is to aid and assist the reader wishing to get sober and not feel so alone. I found it hard to relate to at first since I’m not “in recovery,” and I found the repetition to be boring. But once I sat through the questions I found some usefulness in checking out people coping with their pain. I guess also knowing half the people via the punk scene made it have more dimensions than it would have had otherwise. Readers will get frank conversations of people’s struggles as they intersect with relationships, the party scene, the punk scene, Alcoholics Anonymous, Rehab Clinics, and self-made rules. (eggplant)

CONNECTING THE DOTS

Ctdzine.tumblr.com

Kind of an ugly publication made by UC Berkeley students that I found available at the new student food co-op. After forcing myself to read it I did a double take – the second article is on one of the underground resources of Berkeley that is sometimes referred to as “Pinball Palace.” Many Slingshot staff frequent the palace but have not yet spoiled its cover. The piece is almost journalistic and Beat-like. The other articles turn out to be a good mix of humor and intelligence with some aspects closer to journalism than journal writing. This gives a refuge from the official paper on campus – The Daily CAL, which is often alienating and shitty. Also featured is a useful campus calendar. People like to pretend that the computer has replaced the necessity of a printed calendar, so I’m happy to see what’s going on around town. (eggplant)

RESTLESS LEGS #5

316 Main St.

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Bryan’s zine is like an espresso shot at a punk run café. It is small enough to fit in your pocket, a burst of black spaced-pages that seeps with style. The content is unabashedly punk, with emphasis on anarcho-politics and personality. I want to know how he gets photos to look the way he does. (eggplant)

PORK#1

PO Box 12044

Eugene, OR 97440

Goblinko@gmail.com

I first heard of this before seeing it. It was described as a cross between Slingshot and Vice magazine. True it has Vice-like elements, pop culture overload with photos of throw away cultural items, interviews with bands and weirdo artists, with large photos throughout it – often with nearly naked women. Overall it has a busy layout. Its seeming glee in transgressing any sense of PC would make it distant from Slingshot. When looking more closely I found Sean “Goblin’s Armpit” behind the scenes with his partner Katie Aaberg. Both of whom have done tons in the underground and may have a good plan with this bit of paper, which so far includes injecting intelligent discourse in their milieu of Portland to people who have a lot competing for their attention. (eggplant)

MISSION MINI COMIX

Commix.org

I recently got the “Obscure issue,” which pokes fun at being an overlooked comic. The art has some of the best elements of underground comix that has raged since the 60′s. (eggplant)