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. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Zine Review: Bookstore Thief

Bookstore Thief recounts an armed robbery at a bookshop where Carrie worked over a decade ago. Take a breath and ask yourself: a robbery at a bookshop? Without heroics or histrionics, Carrie chronicles her experiences during the robbery and the aftereffects on the bookselling crew, which quickly divided into two distinct groups - those who had been present at the robbery, and those who had not. Bookstore Thief is infused with a clear, philosophical narrative.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Zine Review: Somnambulist #17

Martha Grover graciously sent me Somnambulist #17 for review. This is the second or third issue of Somnambulist I have read, and I’m noticing the small qualities I appreciate about this zine:

  • The writing is consistently cohesive and crisp (how’s that for alliteration?)
  • The design and layout are clean and reader-friendly
  • There’s a “what’s in this issue” page
  • You can subscribe to it!

Somnambulist #17 features a story by Jordan Karnes about infatuation with the very dead John Lennon and a very alive boyfriend named Jon. It’s a rare story that makes you laugh and cringe at the same time. Martha Grover writes about the plastic gyre, something most of us would rather not think about … and that’s just the first 9 pages. You can contact Martha at PO Box 14871 Portland OR 97293 or visit her zine blog at … until I can afford a subscription I’m hoping Martha sends me her future zine creations!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zine Review: Philly Dudes Collective

"Women's issues" are human issues - men included. We all interrelate on every level (unless you live in some post-feminist Utopian society). The Philly Dudes Collective states that their mission, in part, is to "create safe spaces for open, critical & honest discussions on the subject of masculinity ... we do not seek to create a consensus of ideas but rather open a dialogue". Their zine chronicles the collectives open workshops which have explored sexism & the punk ethic, sexual assault, and white male privilege. Men confronting rape and assault is essential. After all, probably 95% of all sexual assaults are perpetrated by men. Institutional patriarchy has harmed every culture for 5,000 years and is still going strong - hell, there are countries where women can't even legally drive. We live in an era when we need to embrace true and positive masculinity. This means expressing emotions, feeling deeply, using our leadership and relationship skills to create balance and harmony in the world. You might call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.