Boldly Going Where No Zinester Has Gone Before: Zine Reviews

Zine Reviews

Å¡! Baltic Comics Magazine #10 Biedrība Grafiskie stāsti
Robežu iela 18-4
Rīga, LV-1004

Each volume of the Latvian Å¡! is centered around a theme. The concept pushing #10 into the world is “sea stories,” which half of the time means the beach. The beach marks our entry into the dominant geography of the ocean. The beach offers us comfort in the face of the open sea. These comics, done by Baltic artists, as well as artists from abroad, explore the fears and joys that accompany human relationships with the sea. The 146-page publication is perfect-bound and printed in full-color. Twenty-nine artists contributed to this issue.

Something for everyone. (joey)

Datacide: Magazine for Noise and Politics #11 C. Fringeli c/o vision

P.O. Box 591 CH-4005 Basel, Switzerland

MRR-style publication with stories in the front (business), reviews in the back (party). Seemingly these cats are talking less about “noise” in terms of non-musical sound specifically, than as a generic term for electronic music in Europe. This issue includes pieces on raver politics, right-wing elements in martial industrial & neofolk, poetry, and reading recommendations. Layout is so plain you’ll be looking around for ketchup. (joey)

Artifacts of Light

Carefully presented photographs of empty landscapes. Black frames border these glimpses into silent films that never were. Light finds its way to the viewer twice removed: once through the photographs, and a second time through photocopy (this is a conservative estimate… if one considers the number of times an image can be copied for a zine, it could be much more). The graveness of the photos seems to hint at the world-weariness mentioned by the author, an Albuquerque-to- Oakland transplant, at the end of this collection. Recommended punk-house coffee

table zine. (joey)

North American Yob

P.O. Box 4912 Thousand Oaks, CA 91359

The mind behind Southern Californian zine BACON IN THE BEANS is back with a new one. The font gets just as small as previous issues, so bring out your magnifying glasses and enjoy. Starts out with a story about sexual segregation at a Florida KFC continues on with bad advice and all-around degeneracy with a soundtrack. This issue has a couple of comics, including a page full of puns by Slimey Valley legend Joe Franke, of 80s fanzine LIFE IS A JOKE. The author promises an answer to the riddle “Who’s the one posing? The punker or the sheep?” in issue #4 so stay tuned. (joey)

Scam #9: Damaged 1011 Bedford #3 Brooklyn, NY 11205

Long-time writer Erick Lyle spent his 2012 researching the story behind Black Flag’s “Damaged.” And did he put some work into it. Lyle’s work included interviews with all of the bandmates about the recording that he wouldn’t hear until 1988. For not having lived it the first time around, Lyle does some serious footwork to make this a worthy addition to the Black Flag Library (c). Chronicles the war on the punks by LAPD. Understand that police story. I will always have respect for the band that provided my first glimpse of an anarchist lifestyle. It was all through a fourth generation copy of Decline of Western Civilization playing at my local record store. Seeing that they managed to live in closets, without understanding exactly why, and avoid rent to make music was awe-inspiring and terrifying to a me at 12-years. Hopefully this zine will make its way into the hands of unknowing youth in a

similar way. (joey)

Scream Queens interview Yacob/Melting Wreck

An accompaniment to the Yacob/Melting Wreak cassette split. Got this one at a house show with what change and lint was in my pocket. This zine contains a transcript of an on-air interview with solo electronics manipulators Yacob and Melting Wreck. Both seem to drift in and out of the Oakland scene with many hats. These cats are pretty political, which made for an exciting interview. The facilitators of the interviews are a collective of DJs who call themselves the Scream Queens, who have a radio show every Wednesday night from 10 pm to 12 am. Like the tape it is meant to supplement, this zine has a side A and B for each interview. Included are life-size reproductions of the Yacob/Melting Wreck tape’s art. (joey)

Nancy: A Queer Zine #1

“Hail to the Nancy! Effeminate queers are my heroes.” These are the words that open Alex Creep’s zine. NANCY is a day-dreaming manifesto for the effeminate queer with pop culture on the mind. References include “My So-Called Life”, Marilyn Manson, Lady Gaga, Glee, Ziggy Stardust, and more. Like clip-art, Creep’s cartoons create homes for themselves among the text. The images, both hand-drawn and software-illustrated, feel like escaped characters from 1930s Betty Boop shorts. For all you World Wide Web potatoes, be sure to see Alex Creep’s online presence, which is a meeting place for glitched-out GIFs, music videos, and digital mixtapes. (joey)

The Core

This colorful comic by Dieter VDO is the European answer to Johnny Ryan. Four short stories manage to incorporate aliens, body-builders, Smurfs, and monster dance parties in just sixteen pages. Full of shiny nudity and violence. Unlike Ryan, Dieter is a bit more playful and less dogmatic. Very phallic art. One representation of poop inside. The people at Hirntrust seem to put in extra effort to make sure degenerate art like this is circulating in the world. (joey)

Size Queen

Surrealist digital photo-collage on glossy paper. Why he isn’t the official portrait artist of US Presidents might explain the problems the US faces on a whole new level. These portraits devalue the subject matter, highlighting the absurdity of power. Yes, that is Lincoln as a unicorn. Theodore Roosevelt has two space-surfing dinosaurs flying out of his skull. Richard Nixon is high on lawn gnomes. Thank Lachlann Rattray for SIZE QUEEN. (joey)

Shit Your Pants and Do the Death Dance #3 and #4 $2 or trade

SYPADTDD (!) is made by a bay area teen who goes to a lot of shows, listens to a lot of new albums, and then records it all in his zine. What I like about the authors record reviews is that he sometimes reviews each song on the album and when referring to an album he doesn’t like, he says stuff like “it’s not really my cup of shit.” The band interviews are funny and entertaining and with each issue getting progressively better, issues 3 and 4 go hand-in-hand, showing that the author has found his niche and even have him showing more of himself through the writings that were not found in issues 1 and 2. Highlights in issue 3 are the cool flyers for upcoming shows and ads for his OWN zine. And, in issue 4, the readers are finally clued in as to what the death dance really is. There’s no way you could flip through the pages of this zine and get bored when both the writing and eye-catching cut and paste style on every page is frantic, fun, and drenched with humor and attitude. I look forward to many more issues and catching up on all the latest bands and shows through the author’s (enthusiastic) point of view.(vanessa x)

Jealouzine: Hellousy is Real #2 $2,

The stories in this Jealouzine are all very personal and very real. Each contributor has written (or drawn) their own experience with jealousy, a topic that’s not so easy to talk about. The stories range from very serious self-help style essays to fun and amusing comics about queer jealousy, where the author creates a new name for her jeawlousy as “chillarity.” My two critiques would be that some of the handwriting and fonts were too small to read but I was able to understand them, and I would have liked to see a male perspective, as this zine had all lady contributors. Regardless, I found each story to be important and inspiring and Jealouzine shows how different our triggers, our feelings, and our relationships can be. This is not just a zine, but a conversation piece and a chance for the reader to reflect on the subject and work through their own feelings of jealousy. If you’ve ever dealt with jealousy or are currently dealing with it and want a DIY therapy session, pick this up today! (vanessa x)