It’s Pronounced ‘ZINE

 

 

It hurts our eyes to constantly resort to computers to find an alternative voice that reflect the events of our time. Looks like it’s a good time to seek out the latest in printed thought. Yeah it’s sad that we are squandering precious resources like trees, water and oil to keep the cycle of consumer goods and “self expression” devouring the foundation of consensual reality. That’s why you should send your collection of books and zines that you no longer use to one of the info shops we list each month. Or better yet—start your own local and autonomous info shop/zine library. Your first holdings could be these titles:

 

Dispatches From Rojava by Paul Z. Simons

http://modernslavery.calpress.org/

Originally published as seven dispatches from the Rojava region of northern Syria and posted online. The first six were attributed to an anarchist from the United States, El Errante, with the seventh revealing Simons’ identity and chronicling his journey home.

Having just heard Simons talk before reading this, I was a bit disappointed. But it’s still a great place to start for those looking to learn more about the social revolution taking place in Rojava, and/or for literature to distribute on the subject.

As pundits continue to try to pretend we only have Western Imperialism and Islamic Fundamentalism to choose between, this shows that argument to be less than a straw man. (A. Iwasa)

 

As You Were: a punk commix anthology volume four $10.00

Silver Sprocket

1057 Valencia St.

San Francisco, CA 94110

When I found out that this volume of As You Were was going to be about living situations, I couldn’t have been more excited. The first few volumes of this ‘zine are both some of the best comics and documents of Punk that I’ve ever read.

This volume is a bit different, with far more artists, and in turn, much less space per artist for the most part. It was still rad, just a bit scattered to me, since I was expecting something more like the first few issues.

Liz Prince, Ben Snakepit, and Rick V are among the 32 other artists all worth looking into. Some of the stories are really far out, and other don’t so much deal with Punk directly, but never loose the edge that makes real Punk something you can Love and live all your life. (A. Iwasa)

 

The Rusty Razor $6 +$2 Shipping

Fishspit 1304 175th Pl NE Bellevue WA 98008 or RD Hontiveros P-34034

PO Box 290066 Represa CA 95671

A Split zine by RD who is a prisoner & Fish Spit who is an “Escapee.” You might recognize Fish’s rambling style from Wiseblood zine. You will find that his work in the Razor has similar sloppy verse that aims to be funny and tragic — but comes across slightly bigoted. He could spend more time revising his writing, and energy in considering the kind of audiences that read zines (most don’t like even a hint of racism or sexism). This time around he takes us on a trip to a mental ward and social security offices. It reads like an excited 8th grader.

RD aka “Big Joker,” has work that is hand written and is bent on revolution. He is an ex gangbanger who aims to promote unity and survival in a never-ending living hell. Other prisoners also write about their life outside the law and behind bars. There’s advice about drugs, info on prison conditions and as a whole it’s bursting with personality. They hope to make this publication free to other prisoners across the country so that a prairie fire of resistance can overtake this bleak reality. Any rich people reading are invited to donate to help in this endeavor. (eggplant)

 

Cyborg Legs $5

http://omgpress.tumblr.com

The first third of this story is slow paced – so much so it might confuse you of your own journal entries. There’s listless soul crushing descriptions of life and work in modern day San Francisco. The by-product of doing service industry is examined. Witness the author washing his mouth out with booze to be able to say, “May I help you??” for the 1,000th time. The break in the monotony comes with the author writing poetry — then more drinking. The writing style has the brute defeatism with this stale reality yet still maintains engagement and a lust for life that one sees in the works of Bukowski, minus the misogyny. The last act takes a surprise turn into fantasy. (eggplant)

 

FLUKE #11 $3

PO Box 1547 Phoenix AZ 85001

A handsome production in the classic punk zine format. Interviews that cover a broad interest range, from train graffiti to old punks and bands. Its not printed on a shitty copy machine. And the way it’s put together the pages emote a great care for the subjects. Next issue make the type font bigger will ya! (eggplant)

 

Felled Wrecks#1

$4ppd, $3 in person – 1454 San Joaquin St Richmond CA 94804 or paypal yacobdafisk@hotmail.com

Interviews and insights into obscure art noise acts like the Inflatable Boy Clams, Ornette Coleman and Mark E. Miller. The care brought into examining the work of these maligned people is refreshing. There’s an essay on pain that reveals the physical destruction that comes when doing a radical performance — and it doubles as a travel log of sorts. You’ll find reviews of some recent releases by groups that you probably will never hear. New & different sounds are treated with serious enthusiasm, the likes of which I have not seen since spying the early copies of Crawdady, when itself was essentially a zine (at a time when Rock n’ Roll as it fushioned with all of music.) The small type font, obtuse band names and messy layout make it sort of hard to read at times. But in some ways the anti-art scene that this covers is a self-induced headache. (eggplant)

 

East Bay Punk Zine #2

eastbaypunkclub@gmail.com

A ratty looking assembly of paper that highlights music. A lengthy article on the influence that 60′s garage bands has on today’s punk music. Show reviews, photos and a band interview fill out the remaining space. Sadly it seems to cover the acts that play larger clubs. I would like to see more of what’s happening at the underground spaces. At least I found my copy on top of a garbage can on Telegraph Ave — where any self-described punk should be found. (eggplant)

 

NonServi.am

by Jules Bentley

Http://NONSERVI.AM

Twisted shit. Three prose pieces. The first entry seems to be setting out to offend those with delicate senses. Lots of sex dripping all over the streets and living rooms of New Orleans. Anything that moves it would seem. The 2nd piece about a beloved cat goes the populist route – who doesn’t like cats? The 3rd piece dwells on a psychotic thought. The writer is pretty intelligent and has deft control over the language. There’s a lot of phrases peppered throughout the stories that you would find in a highly regarded novel. This particular zine is a benefit to keep a squat in the hands of the community. The silk screened cover looks cool as it exudes the kind of perfected skills to make it that the writing also embodies. (eggplant)

 

Baba Yaga Burns Paris To The Ground

by Wren Awry

Seamsandstory@gmailcom

Baba Yaga is a witch that appears in folk stories where a young woman who is endangered learns the skills to survive. This zine loiters at the intersection of history, fairy tales, feminism and radical critique. Blending factoids about the Paris Commune, women wielding fire, illustrators who worked for oppressive regimes by publishing in reactionary newspapers as well as for fairy tale books, and insights into how the hysteria of witch hunts echoed across time. A smart bit of writing here. It could be printed in the New Yorker but here it is, likely to be on display by some Pirate distro outside some gathering. It isn’t as obtuse and vague as other anarchist pamphlets. It has a bunch of academic leanings (even has a bibliography) but it reads like a conversation. (eggplant)

 

Punk In NYC’s Lower East Side 1981-1991 $5 Microcosmpublishing.com

This is the first issue in series of scene histories published by Microcosm Publishing. This historical tale is told through the lens of the late, Dave Insurgent of Reagan Youth. It documents in great detail beginnings of the anarchist punk movement in Manhattan’s Lower East Side from 1981-1991. The tragic life of Insurgent is followed as he navigates from growing up in Queens with two parents who were Holocaust survivors, to his involvement in the anarchist punk movement in NYC to his drug addiction followed by lobotomy, to his tragic death following the murder of his girlfriend by serial killer, Joel Rifkin. This zine paints an incredible time in history where benches were set on fire by tent communities on the Lower East Side to keep warm and an inside look at the Tompkins Square Park riots. A must read. (Rory)

 

Ker-Bloom! #117 $3

2480 5th Street Berkeley, Ca 94710

It can be ordered online at: etsy.com/shop/artnoose

Ker-bloom! Issue 117 is a lot more light hearted then some of the previous issues I was lent in the past. It contains a short story about while having lived in many collective houses over the years finally (gasp!) contracting scabies from a partner. It’s a quick read and will make anyone who’s ever had to deal with infestations feel a little less alone. This issue is a great zine for the collection and her attention to detail is always great. This issue was printed on a Vandercook Model 4. The cover was made from wood and metal type. The interior used polymer plates and metal type. (Rory)

 

Boy Zine #2 $5

theBOYZINE@gmail.com

BoyZine is an Oakland based zine put together by Cole Becker and friends and focuses on feminism through the lens of teenage boys who do not identify through the traditional understanding of masculinity. The second issue tackles the topic of sex: inter-sectional feminist dialogue pertaining to sexuality, virginity, conversations on how sex should be inherently pleasurable for both parties even a step to step guide on oral sex, and other often taboo topics for teenage boys to openly discuss. This zine is by teens for teens however completely non alienating for any outside reader. (Rory)

 

Dispatches from Rojava

By Paul Z Simons AKA El Errante

This 20-page travel log is a firsthand account of the Rojava insurrection, through the eyes of an American journalist. The zine offers a glimpse of communities such as Kobane and Serekaniye continuing to function amid violence or aggression by ISIS, Assad, and the Turkish and American states. The dispatches foreground the experience of Simons as a (white) foreigner for whom much of this is new, which creates room for some fresh anarchist insights, though sadly at the expense of local voices. Spending time with soldiers, Simons was privy to information regarding logistics, organization, and other institutional knowledge. Most importantly, perhaps, his dispatches confirm older reports regarding the influences of Abdullah Ocalan, Murray Bookchin, and other anarchist or far-left thinkers on the way Rojava’s organizing has unfolded. Ironically, critical analysis of institutions and ideologies at play in the uprising is notably absent, as time and safety constraints probably hampered deeper investigative work. At times, the author’s writing style (e.g. random flair and a hetero love scene at the end) brings the zine dangerously close to the genre of older Orientalist adventure writing. Thankfully, though, these dispatches are refreshingly free from the kind of Orientalist tropes, racist caricatures, shallow analysis, and reckless speculation that one may find in mainstream media. The zine assumes little previous knowledge, and is accessible to the general reader. (khanosaur)

 

Malevolent Europe: Regarding Refugee Oppression and Resistance at the Borders

By anonymous ill-will-editions.tumblr.com illwill@riseup.net

This 16-page zine includes a little bit of everything. Historical background, personal observations, social analysis, numerous photos, and quotes from survivors all support the author’s calls for direct action to help the large group of Syrian refugees finding their way through Central Europe. Written in late September of 2015, the zine lacks up-to-date information regarding reactionary policy or violent reaction from skinheads against the refugee camps and their residents. Written for a European audience, it also omits suggestions for Stateside activists who are not connected to the camps by land. However, it illustrates well the disparity, even early on, between European humanitarian discourse and the reality of refugee experiences. Witnessing police brutality, barely livable conditions, and inadequate provisions, the author cites these and other indignities faced by people navigating Europe as “refugees” as opposed to tourists or citizens. By reading the camps as prisons rather than waystations, the author effectively exposes the oppressive logic of borders, and the contradictions of “aid.” By applying a radical critique of a liberal intervention, this zine may help the reader develop frames for resistance and revolt against borders in general. (khanosaur)

 

Rice Harvester #14

$2 PO BOX 40786, San Francisco, CA 94140

This is the last issue of a twenty year zine that documents the life of Greg Harvester, a punk from Alabama who has lived, traveled, and played music all over the US. Greg now resides in SF and is still making music and heavily involved in the DIY punk scene. In this issue, Greg talks about trauma and the anxiety of living in a tech filled city. Those new to Rice Harvester will learn that Greg was shot in the face several years ago while living in New Orleans and is still reeling from the trauma of that event. There’s a first hand account of the shooting written by his friend Sarah who wrote the essay three years after it happened. Sarah rushed Greg to the hospital that night and her story had me sobbing, it was very unexpected and a perfect example of why sharing our trauma with others can be powerful and healing for both the author and reader. There’s a fun interview with 510-BAD-SMUT that documents the Bay Area hotline’s origins. The interview reads like a time capsule of how the Bay Area underground has changed over the years but still remains a cultural hot spot for DIY shows, movies, plays, protests, parties, and why an underground hotline can be useful for those looking to connect with others offline. Greg lists all the issues of Rice Harvester that he’s ever made, equipped with a brief summary of each and there are short and funny show reviews towards the end. Issue 14 is a nice farewell to a zine that has traveled and been born in so many places. Get this issue while you still can and read Greg’s writing in Maximum Rock N Roll and on his tape blog, Remote Outposts. (Vanessa)

 

No Gods No Mattress #25

$3 – Enola D. PO BOX 3936, Berkeley, CA 94703

Every time I get a new issue of No Gods No Mattress, I have to make sure I’m in a quiet place, usually my bed, and that no one is there to distract me because NGNM is my favorite personal zine ever! I love to read each issue as if my friend is telling me really juicy secrets because that’s what reading this zine is like. I love Enola’s writing and haphazard layout style, it’s as if each issue is made in a hole in the wall with whatever scraps that happen to be lying around. In issue 25, Enola talks about all the people they’ve ever loved, hooked-up with, or had crushes on. It made me want to write something similar because it was so personal and engaging and I couldn’t stop reading. There are also continental breakfast reviews where Enola and their friends hit up hotel and motel breakfasts and try to pass as hotel guests but end up disappointed with stale pastries and having to be surrounded by business people. I could relate to Enola’s struggle with trying to find time to write while living on the fringes and also trying to prioritize their self-care regimen. I always feel comforted by this zine and Enola’s writing makes me feel so many different emotions. A must read! (Vanessa)