Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Good Mail Day

Regular readers of One Minute Zine Reviews will know that I love an excellent mail day – a day when delightful surprises arrive in my postbox. Canadian zinester small ghosts sent me a generous package of creations just before Christmas. Some of these are exquisitely produced mini-zines created from folding and cutting one 8 1/2 X 11 sheet. 

Our Favourite Books : a reading playlist is exactly that – an eclectic list of books which includes dozens of authors (some of my personal favorites are represented here – Joan Didion, Jack Kerouac, Rilke) and seems like a comprehensive season’s worth of literature.  How to Disappear and Live off the Grid shares survival tricks from 1970’s freedom guides (i.e. avoid the law, avoid cops, use aliases, write in code, avoid people). I’m not sure how practical any of this advice is for the very wired 2010s.

Catalogue is an homage to the Whole Earth Catalog with some fun graphics (mystery bones! Stereos!) Found No. 3 features more cool graphics and collages. Sleep Walks is a 45 page thread-bound literary journal which opens with “all works herein remain the sole property of their creators, printed with permission & pleasure, without profit & for sake of joy & soul, glories to you!”

The poems & stories in Sleep Walks are truly hypnotic – some, like “blood on the tracks” “Irene” and “what love is” are among the best writing I have encountered this year. My only complaint is that much of Sleep Walks is almost unreadable --- no, not due to quality, but due to the photo-reduced small print which make this old dude’s eyes tired! All of the above and more titles are available from

Monday, December 26, 2011

Zine Review: The Film One

Zine Review : The Film One by Mat Pringle

Mat Pringle has assembled a wondrous anthology of 26 illustrators and their favorite films in this zine. Their eclectic tastes in movies range from Raiders of the Lost Ark to The Wicker Man (the original version not the ghastly remake). It was fun to find some of my own favorite films represented: Stop Making Sense, Juliet of the Spirits, Kitchen Stories. Mat’s zines are meticulously edited and the range of artists involved in the project is impressive. I’m looking forward to his next project "The Book One". For more information surf over to

Monday, December 12, 2011

Zine Review: Let's Get Lost #1

Let’s Get Lost #1: Freight Train Diary
by Victoria Yee Howe

Let’s Get Lost is a small, beautifully printed zine that chronicles Victoria’s adventures hopping trains, planning and waiting to hop trains, and travels in the western United States. Let’s Get Lost includes panoramic photographs, railroad maps, and even a sticker of a song titled “The Freight Train Speaks” by Elva S. Daniels. This zine is visually striking, however the writing sometimes becomes monotonous. Victoria’s narrative weaves between past & present, and the best passages carry the immediacy and intimacy of living in the moment. If living rough, catching trains and open highways beckon your wanderlust, Let’s Get Lost should be an alluring read.

Audio Review: Write Back Soon Zine

Friday, December 9, 2011

Zine Review: Paper Crush #4

Postcards (old and new) have held a special place in my heart with their intriguing variety of scenes, artwork, and messages. Postcards were the “tweets” of their era when people corresponded about their lives in longhand through the mail (and thankfully some people still do!). Sending or receiving a postcard is more personal and reflects a much more personal connection than receiving an email. A trip to your mailbox can be a joyful daily ritual fraught with anticipation and curiosity.

Krissy’s zine Paper Crush #4 treats the reader to some postcard history and I learned about their evolution from when people were not allowed to write on the address side of the card to the present day. I learned that there is even a classification for the study and collection of postcards – Deltiology. Krissy even includes a vintage postcard with Paper Crush #4. How cool is that?

For more information check out

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Zine Review: 2011 Twin Cities Zine Fest Encyclopedia

I enjoy compilation zines immensely and because I live in rural New Hampshire and rarely travel, I’ve never had the joy of attending a zine fest. The closest Zine Fest geographically is in Boston, a city that I avoid like Walmart on Black Friday (or any day of the year).  

2011 Twin Cities Zine Fest Encyclopedia is a glimpse into what I’ve been missing. 2011 Twin Cities Zine Fest Encyclopedia is a project curated by Lacey Hedtke. Articles in the 76 page encyclopedia range from the sublime to the silly … most of it made me smile and laugh with wry recognition. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll discover between its covers: Serious DIYers and pizza lovers will learn how to make a pizza oven out of sand, mud and rocks with Fritz Bogott.  Ryan Dow shares an example of jam comics. Robnoxious teaches how to bind a paperback book. Mike Toft unveiled a twelve step program for how to be miserable – and oddly enough I could see myself in all twelve steps. It’s scary when that happens. Sarah Morean’s article on how to start a zine fest is perfect for an old recluse like me – in the event that I get inspired, she details step by step how to organize your own!

This is just scratching the surface of the exceptional contents of the 2011 Twin Cities Zine Fest Encyclopedia. It reminds me of early issues of Mother Earth News from back in the day that featured a little of everything. Or snippets from the Whole Earth Catalogue. This is a zine that you can open randomly and thoroughly enjoy.  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Book Review: Think It Over

Think It Over: An Introduction to the Industrial Workers of the World is a small booklet by Tim Acott, printed at the Eberhardt Press. Full disclosure: I am highly sympathetic to worker’s rights. A century ago we had seven day work weeks, sixteen hour workdays, no vacations, no health care for workers, no safety, low wages and no protections for working people. Oh wait a minute – it sure feels a lot like that NOW.

While I support most of Tim Acott’s ideas, I’m not so sure I support his ideology. This booklet seems filled with “black and white thinking” … it’s either “this” or “that”. Personally I think this type of divisional thinking is outmoded. Nostalgic pining for the days of the Wobblys isn’t going to bring back worker prosperity. 100 years of unions have not achieved much change in the socioeconomic system. Old ways of thinking are not going to evolve the essential changes we need to create a sustainable culture.

On the other hand, our corporate profit and greed driven economy has turned most Americans into zombie consumerists and placed us on a collision course with disaster. We’ve seen it firsthand in the past 30 years, and even moreso since the crash of 2008 and non-recovery since. It’s just a preview of what is to come.

Nicely printed 30 page booklet – but Think It Over doesn’t leave much to think about in the long run, or really stimulate thinking for yourself. I suggest watching the Zeitgeist films instead. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Zine Review – Drastic Frivol #1: Travel

Drastic Frivol is a digest sized, collaborative 46 page zine co-written by Erik Guttman and David Bowler. Each take turns presenting vivid first person essays. Rarely have I opened a zine and been completely transported to another place and time. Within seconds I was riding on a dusty, heat drenched Guatemalan road carrying a cargo of rescued cats. Journeys through France and Germany, The Gambia, and even Afghanistan follow.

The narratives in Drastic Frivol flow together like small streams of consciousness in a parched desert. Philosophical musings about the nature of place merge with searching for ways to express the sense of wanderlust --- but something more. Drastic Frivol presents moments of awe both internal and external … those moments that one seeks through connection with a foreign place, of being fully present where one is in the world, in the moment.

Drastic Frivol is infused with captivating, literate prose writing and comes with my highest recommendation.

Drastic Frivol is available by request. Please send email to The cost for the zine itself is USD $2 or EUR 1.50. Postal costs are in addition: US $1.50, Mexico $2.25, Canada $2.00, Germany EUR 1.45 and the rest of the world $3.00.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Zine Review: Angry Violist #4

Angry Violist #4
22 pp / $4

Angry Violist #4
22 pp / $4

Zines that exude passion for making and appreciating music are scarce and wondrous. Angry Violist is a zine for anyone who enjoys veering off the path of mainstream music into new sonic territory. Angry Violist #4 features absorbing articles with a spotlight on Krautrock bands, an excellent point for point comparison of punk music vs. folk music, an interview with Vicki Aspinall of the Raincoats & more. As an auld folkie, I had never thought about the similarities between folk & punk music, and now I’ll listen to punk with a different sense and awareness.

The introductory pages reads “This zine is for string players who are angry at being forced into some straight-laced classical music mould & who make (or want to make) ugly, experimental and non-conventional sounds with their beloved violin/viola/cello and for anyone who likes interesting, non-conformist, far out music.” Can I get an amen, somebody, or at least a right on? Angry Violist is a zine that remind me why I love paper zines – quality writing, variety, and to learn something new. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Zine Review: Rad Dad #20

Rad Dad #20

In a culture that seems hellbent on dehumanization and consumerism, there needs to be voices of fatherhood, for fatherhood. Everyone benfits when men work not only for social change but for personal change. Children need fully present, flesh-and-blood fathers.

Rad Dad is a voice in the proverbial world of publishing wilderness, a zine for connecting with positive, progressing parenting. Issue #20 is 38 pages, illustrated by Brian Heagney with articles by editor Tomas Moniz and numerous contributors. Our challenge as fathers is to raise children and grandchildren in loving ways, being radically honest with them and ourselves. The tide of capitalist, materialist, negative, narcissistic culture is against us. Reading these articles makes me feel less alone. Rad Dad is highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in raising healthy, open-minded children. That should be all of us. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Zine Review: Eefing Yodeling Throat Singing & Hollerin'

Eefing, Yodeling, Throat Singing & Hollerin’: A Musical Miscellany

Send some bucks to
David Tighe
4804 Memorial Drive
NE Calgary Alberta
T2A 2R1 Canada

Beyond the realm of the bland banality that passes for pop music in western monoculture, there is a world of music to be rediscovered. David Tighe is an explorer of and journalist from the musical outback.

Eefing, Yodeling, Throat Singing & Hollerin’: A Musical Miscellany is a quarter sized zine that reads like a mini National Geographic for the about-to-be musically initiated. The zine starts with David’s being shown an lp by Billy Hutch, His Harmonica and Orchestra titled “Eefing Down Home”. This discovery leads to research on the vocal technique of eefing and its potential origins. Further musings revisit Throat Singing (I enjoyed the mention of Paul Pena and the documentary Genghis Blues) and then plunge into the natural history of yodeling.

Back in the day, Citizen Kafka and Pat Conte used to co-host the coolest radio show on the planet called The Secret Museum of the Airwaves, exploring seldom heard cultural pathways. David’s zine is like an abridged secret museum on paper. Can elephants play bagpipes? Is the Esperanto language alive and musical?  Was Hawaii the 49th State?  Eefing, Yodeling, Throat Singing & Hollerin’: A Musical Miscellany presents astute writing, great surrealist artwork, discographies, and leaves this reader wishing some of the articles had been expanded upon. It is a laudable point of departure, and I hope David shares more of his explorations with us via zine form in the future. Highest recommendation – no hesitation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Bibliophiliac's Little Book of Basic Book Craft Skills

The Bibliophiliac’s Little Book of Basic Book Craft Skills
By Meliors Simms
$2 + shipping

Slim, beautiful, informative zine that introduces the reader to the tools of book crafting.
Book artist Meliors states “It’s intended as a public service in the interest of better book making.” Meliors discusses materials, cutting, folding, adhesives, and what you need to know to start your making your own handmade books. The Bibliophiliac’s Little Book of Basic Book Craft Skills is cleanly written, easy to understand, and includes a few resources for beginners. 

The revolution will not be televised - it will be creatively printed, shaped & bound! Get out your paper & get to work! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Zine Review: The Music One by Mat Pringle

The Music One: A Mat Pringle Zine
40 pp /

I could write this review using one word: delightful. No – two words. Intensely delightful. My heart soared like a kid in a candy store to find some of my favorite musicians anthologized here with beautiful illustrations and some words of the artists’ thoughts on the musician / LP chosen for their illustration. Mat Pringle writes in the introduction “Take a handful of music-obsessed illustrators and designers and ask them to do a portrait of the favourite band or musician and what do you get? This zine.”

Among the musical and artistic pleasures found within:

Mulatu Astatke by Lewis Heriz
Canned Heat by Darryl Norsen
Nick Cave by Matthew Williams
Francois de Roubaix by James Fry
Voice of Seven Thunders by Alex Jako

and many more. My one complaint (if complaint it is) – a zine like this would benefit from a mixtape soundtrack ... music and art and words to expand the consciousness beyond the tedium of radio playlists. Only 150 copies of The Music One were printed. Forgo this zine at your own peril, ‘tis a creation of beauty.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Zine Review: Hawaii 1778-1959 From Western Discovery to Statehood

Hawaii 1778-1959
From Western Discovery to Statehood
The Simple History Series #5
By J. Gerlach
34pp / $4  available from microcosm

So what did we learn in school today? I’m a New Englander and Hawaii was never even mentioned in my schoolbooks when I was growing up. Decades of American history get ignored, and as a culture we’re so distracted that we barely even know our recent past. Who, other than those whose lives were directly affected by it, can relate the recent history of Hurricane Katrina, for example, and the government’s non-response to those left ravaged, homeless and heartbroken in its wake?

We need to know where we came from, and what lessons can be learned from the past, in order to comprehend the present and chart course for the future. The Simple History Series #5 distills the history of Hawaii from Captain Cook through becoming the 50th state. This is a brief, well written primer on Hawaii, and we learn about its tribes, kings, queen, and American economic and military conquests of the island. Native Hawaiians culture has been decimated, and this zine begins to explain how. It is a good point of departure, and invites deeper research and learning. 

The New American Anthem ...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Zine Review: We'll Never Have Paris #7: Modern Fire

I know I'm reading a great zine when my jaw drops at the end of a story with deep recognition of some shared human moment. We'll Never Have Paris is a non-fiction literary journal with writing that weaves together a sense of place, presence, longing and loss. Every prose piece (and the poetry) in this issue are infused with the creative spark. Shaheim Jackson considers fire in the modern world. Betsy Housten visits a one-off art installation at a disreputable, soon to be bulldozed motel and has an epiphany. Merlon Dunkster narrates his work experience at an art museum. Vincent McClosky dreams. These are a small selection of the hypnotic narratives found within the pages of We'll Never Have Paris. Writing of this caliber lingers in the consciousness long after the page has been turned. For more information contact

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Zine Review: Zine Name

Zine Name is a fun 16 page template for your average zine, including pages for rants ranging “from here are some thins that made me laugh / cry / react in a crazy way” and “I hate _________ you should too and here’s why” to “continuing the epic saga of an unhappy love affair” … in other words just about everything you’d expect to find in a perzine. I suspect Zine Name was intended more as a tongue-in-cheek parody than a “how to” guide… either way Zine Name is funny and succinctly lays out the tried & true path of many a zine. Try hunting for a copy at Quimby’s if you’re interested in checking it out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Video: Organizing the Bookshelf

I found this via Martha Grover's blog ... way cool. This is what happens when you read too many books while tripping. Or something.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Zine Review: Zine Capsule

Zine Capsule is a zine written and edited by Kim Schwenk with other contributors & is a brief but helpful resource on how to preserve our ever-ephemeral paper zines. There are numerous benefits to collecting and preserving zines through libraries and private collections (or collective collections). Zines are a snapshot (or a panorama) of our culture, meaningful creations full of passion and zeitgeist (but you know that!). Zine Capsule includes tips for archiving paper and techniques for long-term storage in both hardcopy and digital modes. Beware the pesky silverfish! For more information contact

Monday, October 24, 2011

This looks intriguing ...

Now if I could only scratch together the $$$ to order this zine! Prism #2

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zine Review: Libraries I Have Known by Ayun Halliday

Libraries I Have Known
A zine by Ayun Halliday
$1 /  8pp
PO Box 22754 Brooklyn NY 11202

To my mind, the library is a sacred community space where all are welcomed. I have been a trustee of my public library, and spent most of my adolescence camped out in a reading room with a book open. Ayun Halliday’s handwritten / illustrated zine is a personal compendium of numerous libraries she has visited and is a fun read. I was happy to see my state of New Hampshire represented in the mix!  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Zine Review: Dithering Doodles #1

Dithering Doodles #1
36pp half sized
$3 from Steven Anderson
259 E 700 S
Salt Lake City Utah 84111

Steven was kind enough to send me issue #1 of his new handwritten / comic zine titled Dithering Doodles. I was pleased to learn he’s only a year or two younger than me and we grew up with some of the same pop culture icons – I had no clue that anyone else out there was hooked on Lost In Space & drew pictures of the Jupiter 2 like I did when I was a kid. Not to mention his love of finding old 45 rekkids! I started collecting 45s at the age of 8 and never looked back.

But this review isn’t about me (hey it’s not always about you I have to remind myself) it’s supposed to be about Dithering Doodles. I’m curious to see how he sustains this excellent zine with future issues. Some of the material felt a little like padding, though most of it had creative spark to spare. The You Tube moments are priceless – blending old and new media perfectly. Who remembers the Generation Gap? Steven does! Where will you find a rogue Christmas tree? In Dithering Doodles. Like a cool prize you used to get for collecting so many Bazooka Joe comics … send for your copy today.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Zine Review: Atlas of Childhood #2

Celia Perez is the editor of Atlas of Childhood a zine about children’s books. If you have kids, grandkids, or just enjoy children’s and young adult literature, this zine is a wonderful resource. Issue #2 starts off with an article by Sandra Knauf  of Greenwoman talking about her childhood comic books … which brought me right back to my own childhood, when I used to read Casper and Wendy and Richie Rich and watch HR Puffenstuf, Kung Fu and Dark Shadows on TV, so Sandra and I consumed some of the same media back in the day! Atlas of Childhood #2 also includes a very cool excerpt from the zine Mark of Cain : A Story About Ink and some in-depth book reviews. Atlas of Childhood is exceptionally well written, edited, and presented, and highly recommended by this old zinester granddad. For more information write to Celia at

Friday, October 14, 2011

Zine Review: Musical Mysteries

On occasion, a zine arrives in the mailbox that might sit on my desk for weeks (or months), and when I finally pick it up, I’m completely captivated. A primary example is “How did Arthur Miles learn to throat sing and other musical mysteries?” by David, who edits / writes / publishes No Quarter. My father was a cowboy singer (from New Hampshire, no less) during the 1930’s and I am fond of the world of old 78’s that seem to come out of left field with deep music from the cobwebs of the last century. Even in the digital age, older songs and music are going undocumented or extinct. Thankfully, dedicated musicologists are unearthing gems and preserving them for future generations.
I once heard an April Fools report on NPR that sound preservationists had agreed that the best way to store and catalogue music is on durable 78 rpm shellac. In some ways, it might be true – we still have some of the recorded repertoire from a century ago, but with technology racing out of control, where will our era’s music be found (and in what format) a century from now?
This zine is 24 pages created in 24 hours. Totally absorbing. Who ever heard of a throat singing cowboy? And to add to the mystery, “Lonely Cowboy” is the only known recording of the enigma that is Arthur Miles.
For more information contact

Arthur Miles - Lonely Cowboy, Part One

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Zine Review: Functionally Ill

In issue #9 of functionally ill, Laura-Marie talks about the excellent Icarus Project and becoming involved in advocacy groups with the support of a friend. She writes about the LGBTQ Mental Health Reducing Advocacy Project, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Committee, and a disability rights gathering. Also, she poses a very significant question: “Do you think there’s a problem that I’m disabled by psychiatry and at the same time want services?”

In functionally ill #10 Laura details a conversation with her partner Erik about how her symptoms (or her crazy) manifests. She also talks about mad love and friends who cut themselves.

One significant way people are going to recover from mental health issues is by telling their stories, sharing what works and what doesn’t work, finding real supports and friends, creating mad run alternatives to the system and questioning the dominant paradigm in psychiatry that snowballs people with medications that soon turns people into walking zombies. Zines like functionally ill, peer to peer communication and networking are a significant part in changing that paradigm. For more information on her zine contact Laura-Marie at

Friday, October 7, 2011

Zine Review: Gag Me With A ... #3

When someone has generously sent you their heartfelt work, even draws a little heart on their hand written note requesting a non-partisan review, can one with good conscience give some difficult feedback and offer objective, constructive criticism? Gawd I hope so. Tis ever my dilemma.

Gag Me With a … #3 The Summer Issue is a compilation zine that is thoughtfully edited and skillfully presented. Deirdree Prudence has put a lot of care into creating and editing this zine: it shows through on every page. The content is another story. I’m maybe getting too old or maybe I am too distant from the “punk” scene to appreciate the fierceness of some of the writing here. While the visuals in this issue are enticing, most of the writing left me scratching my head. I think there’s a saturation point where too much nihilism, rough living, smoking, drugging, drinking, moshing, etc just makes no sense to me. Personally, I just don’t want to live like that or read about it. We live in a culture that has violently trashed the earth, if we are to heal the earth and ourselves we need to stop trashing ourselves. While I appreciate the inclusive nature of Deirdree’s zine, including micro fiction, poetry, photography, etc, varying the subjects explored would go a long way toward making this zine more readable.

One piece that did grab my attention was “The Two Faces of Persephone Pomegranate” which illustrates so clearly the masks we present to the world every day while we hide our true selves from those around us. It’s a sad reflection on our culture that can’t seem to accept our real selves beneath the mask. In the end it tears us apart and fragments our souls. I could feel the author’s pain dripping from the page, living with the dichotomy of two selves.

Here’s the zine’s mission statement taken from facebook: Gag Me With A... was created to bring writers & artists together to share their hearts with the world, bringing smiles & laughter & a broader knowledge of the international counter-culture scene through reviews, short stories, deliciously eccentric true life stories & adorably strange mythologies to each & every reader who holds it in their hands.

What an amazing mission! I wish more zines that this kind of objective. Please bring on the mythology, the counter-culture, the laughter, and heart and Gag Me With A has the ingredients to evolve into something amazing.

More information can be found at

Monday, October 3, 2011

Audio Review: Shotgun Seamstress #3

Zine Review: The Fascinating History of Perfume

The old saying “you learn something new every day” may be cliché but it is true. I enjoy finding zines about subjects I never thought of investigating (Moe Bowstern’s Alaskan fishing adventures chronicled in Xtra Tuf for example).

Devan Elyse Bennett has created a slim 12 page tome on perfume. What, I thought, could be more trite and banal than perfume? Yet from ancient times onward, scents and concoctions have been intricately entwined with human development. This zine is a broad (and true to it’s title – fascinating) overture on the subject. My one complaint – the illustrations photocopied way too grainy and dark. If this was intentional for artistic sensibilities, it doesn’t work. If unintentional, reprinting the zine for clarity gets my vote. It feels like the illustrations have something important to add to the informative text, and they are lost in xerography.  More information (and a potpourri of good reading) can be found at 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Zine Review: Pukka Joint Massif

Pukka Joint Massif #3 is a classic cut n paste zine featuring crisp black & white graphics both straight up and manipulated to imaginative effect. PJM is a substantial, half sized zine full of comment and reviews of mail art and zines along with relevant contact information. PMJ is the first cousin of the Node Pajomo zine, which I didn’t realize until reading the introduction thoroughly. If you are at all invested in keeping mail art and paper zines alive and healthy, I suggest sending a few bucks for recent copies of both Pukka Joint Massif and Node Pajomo to PO Box 2632 Bellingham WA 98227-2632.

There is no email contact or website for this zine. I recognize the irony of using internet blogs to promote the papernet, and both PJM and Node Pajomo abstain from that irony by staying strictly offline. If 2011 is the Revenge of Print, maybe 2012 could be the Revenge of Mail … we could write real letters and maybe help save the postal service in the process … before a tremendous resource is lost to the tyranny of technology, budget slashing and governmental neglect.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Zine Review: Martha Stewart's Prison Reader of Blather & Malarkey

Dear Tar,

I’m calling you Tar because you said I could call you Tar. You don’t sound like a boring person unless you’re a lot like me. I had three kids, own my house (well the bank owns it), and write for my own sanity.

Anyone who bursts on the scene with a zine titled Martha Stewart’s Prison Reader of Blather & Malarkey is worthy of my attention. You’ve created an amazing zine here in every sense. I wish more zines had cool quotes and a table of contents. I wish more zines had a vision of presenting a variety of writing – essays, fiction, poetry, parables. I also wish more zines had patron saints of Jackalicism.

While we’re still above ground we need to struggle against depression and oppression. I appreciate how your zine does both, with a twist of lemon. Your welcoming comments made me think you were Richard Brautigan reincarnated “I’ve waited my whole life for you to get to this very sentence.” And your Zounds! A Confession echoes my own recent musings about the current and future state of ink on paper. I will never abandon books and print for the tyranny of technology.

I’m looking forward to future issues – if they’re going to be this engaging, bring on the Blather. And the Malarkey.

Note: Readers can find this zine by clicking on this link or by sending $3 cash to Tarnation Collins @ PO BOX 4377, Tulsa, OK 74159

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Zine Review: 8-Track Mind #101

After a decade since the “final” issue of the classic zine “8-Track Mind”, Russ Forster has created issue #101 – not so much about 8-tracks but a meditation on zines vs. blogs. Electronic vs. paper communications and information sharing is one of the sweeping issues of our time, which is given little attention by the media or educational institutions. For decades the cultural clamor has been to mindlessly embrace all new technology – and in the space of just 20 years we have seen a serious change (possibly disruption) in the way people read, think, communicate and process information. The internet generation has spawned less dialogue, a bloated glut of disinformation, and people making snap judgments and opinions based on very little truth. Twitter seeks to limit people to 140 characters of expression. Libraries of rare and significant books are being replaced with computer screens. People don’t write letters any more. And we’re not getting any smarter, or wiser from any of it.

We’re sacrificing our souls (8-tracks) for convenience (mp3s) and sacrificing our physical connection with objects like records and tapes for bits & bytes in devices and downloads that make corporations like Apple billions in profit.

Ok, this is sounding more like an editorial than a review (it is). Zines like 8-Track Mind are the panacea for a blog-infested world. (You may be reading this on my blog or in my paper zine … truth is, my paper zine will be here long after the blog is deleted … also … how many of you are actually reading this blog, anyway?)

This issue is packed with 38 pages of writing taking a long look at the analog vs. digital culture. Contributors include Malcom Riviera, Peter Bergman, Kim Cooper, Dan Sutherland and many others. My heart soars when I read thought provoking zines like 8-Track Mind. I may not be more enlightened after pondering it all, but at least it affirms there is still much coolness to be found in the zine world … and that’s just fine with me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zine Review: 45 Jive #5

Full disclosure: I'm a record geek and most of all I love those 7 inch vinyl "45's" ... so when I heard about this zine it was imperative that I take a look. 45 Jive #5 (great rhyme!) includes an essay on 1960's songwriter Ellie Greenwich, reviews of obscure 45s from back in the day, a spotlight on early Motown tunes and an essay on one of my personal favorite guitarists of all time, Gabor Szabo. Music zines that turn you on to new sounds are a delight to discover, and this slim zine edited by Tuna is well worth seeking out. For more information email

Here's a tune I discovered through the zine! Electric Garden by Dawn Chorus.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zine Review: Zine Dump #28

One way to support recursive writing is to write a zine review about zine reviews. Or better yet – a zine review about zine reviews of zine reviews. This is so much fun, it could go on ad infinitum.

Guy Lillian III was kind enough to send me Zine Dump #28 – the print version (it is also available from Of course, your intrepid DJ prefers the paper realm.

Guy’s writing is straightforward and crisp. Most of the zines reviewed are connected with sci-fi fandom. He shares enough information so that readers can form a real sense of the zine and its contents from Alexiad to Warp 78. Though I am not much of a traditional science fiction reader, it is affirming to know that communities of print are crystallizing around adventurous literature. Zine Dump is a highly enjoyable resource.

Write to Guy Lillian III at 5915 River Road Shreveport LA 71105

Friday, September 9, 2011

Zine Review: Sowing and Dawning #4

Back in the day, when I was 16 years old, I stumbled across a book at the library that was so intriguing I read it in one sitting and turning each page thought “I wish I could write like that.”  That book was In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan. Of course, we can’t write like that, since each person’s wordcrafting is unique – every one of us brings our own distinctive voice to the printed page.

There is no one writing in zine circles today like Rick Visser – and that’s a wonderful thing. Sowing & Dawning #4 is the most ambitious perzine I have read in 2011. Sowing & Dawning is prosaic and literate, spellbinding and dreamlike … a substantial journal that sprawls across two books (book one and book two) sewn into a paper holder. Creating our lives is an ongoing art of being in the moment, and Rick is an artist. Since in this narcissistic culture+ we spend so much time documenting our lives from the banal to the crass, it is heartening to see someone document their life with such clear, inclusive flourishes of language and attention to atmosphere and emotion.

You can check out his blog to order via paypal at Rick states that he would prefer to receive letters, zines, mixtapes, maps, baked goods, dried goods, books as barter for his zines. Write to Rick Visser 146 Knickerbocker Ave Apt. #1 Brooklyn NY 11237.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Zine Review: Yard Sale! #10

Harley R. Pageot's life path has been entwined with the music he has loved, from grunge to punk to indie rock and indie pop. His relationship with musical endeavors is central to Yard Sale! #10, a well produced zine. I enjoyed Harley's clean, minimalist writing style. He recounts an interesting story about playing skating songs on a CBC Radio 3 live broadcast. and how he and his friends created the Broken Arts Collective with the vision of bringing together diverse artists. Yard Sale! is published four times a year and is an ambitious project.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Annie Murphy - I Still Live

I Still Live - Biography of a Spiritualist by Annie Murray illustrates the story of Acsha W. Sprague who was born in Vermont in 1827 and became s well-known spiritualist speaker. She began work as a teacher at the age of twelve and taught until she was twenty. She then became very ill and was crippled by a "scrofulous disease of the joints," which was possibly a form of arthritis. As her condition worsened, she became bedridden. At the age of twenty-seven, she had a spiritual awakening in which she was told that angels were around her and needed her to tell others of their message of eternal life. Her health gradually improved and she embarked on a lecture career, carrying out her mission. Sprague was considered a trance lecturer and gave her first public speech at South Reading in July of 1854. She was a reformer on such topics as the position of women and conditions in slums and prisons, and an advocate of temperance and the abolition of slavery. She was considered a religious leader for the Spiritualist movement, which attracted many women because it enabled them to speak in public before audiences of both men and women. Sprague was also a poet. Much of her work still remains unpublished today. Some of her poetry was published in "The Banner of Light," "The World," and "The Green Mountain Sibyl." She died of a severe illness, designated as brain fever, at the age of thirty-four.

Annie Murphy has created a book like no other, infused with sensitivity and transcendence. She weaves Ascha's story into her own (and back again) through hypnotic drawings, and carefully chosen words. The result is both lucid and dreamlike. Books that merge art, history, biography, philosophy and personal journeys so seamlessly are exceptionally rare. I Still Live is 60 pages, oversized, and available from I Still Live gets my highest recommendation.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Zine Review: The Juniper #14

I'm finally sitting down to review this slender and friendly zine written by Dan Murphy. The Juniper 14 starts out with Dan saying "Cooperation is a pretty good mechanism for survival." If only most of western culture felt the same! Dan gives words to thoughts and topics I have pondered most of my adult life. We live in an era where the choices we make will affect the very viability of our species. To support endless war or to wage peace? To continue to allow countless millions to starve to death or learn how to feed ourselves safely and sanely? To care for the ecosystem like it is the last precious thing on earth ... or have the earth spin into the future with thousands of species (including humans) extinct.

The change that needs to be embraced is not one huge change, but billions of small changes in our lives. Unplugging and being present in the here and now.

The Juniper is a step toward positive change. A newsletter for gentle souls who seek harmony with the earth. Oh, and also for people who want to learn how to build a portable stove, make buckwheat stuffing, and edamame hummus.

There's a link to Dan's blog over in the "cool places to visit" section.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Zine Review: Operations Manual vol. VIII

The world is full of information that I wasn't aware of, and wasn't aware that I needed to know. After reading Operations Manual VIII: Die Auferstehungs-Ausgabe I am now able to levitate, make an Illuminati pyramid hat for my cats, create a secret society, plan my next Deer Island vacation and win the "ten people who claimed to be Jesus" quiz on Family Feud. 

Seriously (?) I have to ask myself: how cool is this zine? And how cool is it that Marc sent me four issues?

If the old cliche variety is the spice of life is true, then Operations Manual is the spice of zines. Graphs, charts, comics, sarcasm, a fuck-it list (I'll do it in the next lifetime) ... there's a lot of creative content packed into issue VIII. Not sold on this zine yet? It's free. Check out the link in the sidebar. 

More reviews of Operations Manual to come. Piece Out. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Zine Review: The CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting #3

Gena Mason is the author of this well produced and well researched zine that brings you information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, data mining, wiretapping, eugenics, and numerous incidents in which our rights to privacy have been raped by the government. Is any of this really news? No. It's all in the public domain. At times this zine goes way out there - talking about chips implanted in human subjects that transmit data about our dreams - but I'm guessing that 75% of this zine is based in reality.
I get paranoid just writing a review about it, wondering what lists it'll land me on.

This zine is available from Microcosm.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Zine Review: Crescent City Stories

Nicki Sabalu created the Crescent City Stories zine in August 2007, almost two years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and created historical proportions of devastation. Since 2005, a patchwork mosaic has emerged slowly of the death of dreams and the restoration efforts embodied through Katrina survivors. For authentic journalism on the subject of Hurricane Katrina's effects on New Orleans I suggest watching Spike Lee's documentary When the Levees Broke.

Crescent City Stories is a small, handwritten zine that captures snapshot moments and feelings from the time Nicki spent helping New Orleans residents in the aftermath of the storm. It was way too brief a zine for its subject matter, and while I realize this is essentially a "perzine" is it cries out for more stories and other voices. Copies are available from Ms. Valerie Park, my distro of choice.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ut-oh: The Zine Reviewer Dilemma

First, I want to say I am grateful for people who send me zines to review. Delighted bordering on Ecstatic. 

I wrestle with whether or not being overly "critical" is something I want to do with One Minute Zine Reviews. While I celebrate the work people are creating with paper, I don't subscribe to the theory that all zines are created equal. In order for me to write a thoughtful (I hope) review of a zine I need to connect with it in a fundamental way. If I can not relate to a zine yet it expands my universe and stimulates my mind, I will revisit it until I can distill words to share with others. If I can not relate to a zine, and would never order / buy a copy for myself, I sit with an ethical quandary: To review or not to review. That is the question.

A number of zines that fall into the latter category have been arriving lately. To those who reach out to me I say a heartfelt "thank you" ... even though I may not review your zine.

Speaking of thank you ...

                                                          Thank You Issue 2

 ... the communique that accompanied this zine said "just looking for some feedback on this issue. Good, bad, or ugly." 

That invitation resolved my ethical dilemma about this review. The zine is beautiful, my review is possibly ugly.

Who this zine might appeal to: sex and/or skateboard obsessed adolescents who live in Casper Wyoming.

Great visual / graphic presentation. Awesome advertisement section. Otherwise: Zero captivating content. Maybe the content will evolve. Maybe people in Casper Wyoming love this stuff. The one thought I had as I stashed this zine in my "to recycle or give to someone else" pile is ... I wonder if Dirty Dave has read it. And what he might have to say. 

You can email for more information. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Zine Review: Twilight World #10

One of my pleasures is receiving a zine that I know I'm going to enjoy before I even crack the cover, and Don-O doesn't disappoint with Twilight World Number Ten. Most comic books & the film Xanadu are not my thing, yet Don-O's writing makes them seem fascinating through his boundless enthusiasm. In this issue he recounts adventures in Sedona AZ doing battle with panoramic vistas, strange vortexes and bad Mexican food, a brief stint working in a comic store (with the bosses wife from hell - who can't relate?) a review of a monster box set from the Firesign Theatre (I have got to check these guys out) & more. Take a trip through Don's creations (if you dare) by checking the link out over in the blog margin.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zine Review: Smiling Disease

Have you ever been enticed by or happily surprised at discovering artwork, graffiti, or stickers placed where you  least expect them? Smiling Disease is a comprehensive guide guide to public stickering condensed into a few well conceived pages. Scott guides you through the process of creating stickers, placing them strategically, and the ethics of stickering. In an era where corporations constantly inoculate us with their consumerist messages, Smiling Disease shows you how to speak your mind creatively through art or word. Smiling Disease is available through Microcosm.