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.