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.