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