Friday, March 30, 2012

Zine Review: How to Buy Land

How to Buy Land
by Sam Bain
half sized / 28 pages

How to Buy Land features a wealth of personal insight from the author, who has purchased a five acre parcel in the rural Northwest. This zine opens with philosophical musings about homesteading, and then considers reasons not to buy land or how to find alternatives to buying land. There is an excellent section on how to find land. Sam Bain’s zine is not quite as comprehensive as I had hoped but there’s only so much territory (lame pun intended) that can be distilled into 28 pages. Returning to the land and creating roots and community might be the one sane option left to participating in this destructive culture. One needs the tools and know-how to work within (or without) the economic systems involved. More specific information on mortgages and how to obtain one (even with bad or no credit) would have been helpful, yet zines like How to Buy Land are authentic and honest and come from direct experience.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New project: Cuneiform APA

Cuneiform APA: Circulating Unedited Notes Expressing Ideas For Original Reading Material

Cuneiform Amateur Press Association will be launched in 2012 and is open to people who participate by contributing material on a tri-quarterly basis. Due dates for material will be February 1, June 1, and October 1. Mailing should occur later during those months. Contributors are welcome to send up to 4 double-sided printed 8 X 11 pages of original material related to the following topics:

·        Zines & Zine Reviews
·        Micro journals and presses
·        Issues related to paper publishing / publishing in general in the digital age
·        Obscure and lesser known books, authors, zines, and music
·        Letters and writing / Postal mail / Mail art
·        Personal reflections and musings
·        Other topics related to philosophy, reading, life, the universe, and everything.

Central mailer for 2012 will be Frederick Moe. Please mail a minimum of 30 copies of your material to Cuneiform APA attn: Frederick Moe 36 West Main Street Warner NH 03278. Please contact with queries, etc.

Copies of Cuneiform will be mailed to each member who contributes material and a couple of dollars toward mailing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Zine Review: Going Postal (Gallery)

Going Postal

Going Postal was a mail art project curated by Tanglecrafts in Derby UK in 2010. Going Postal features artists’ trading cards inspired by mail, mail arts, letters, and the postal service. Some of the artists who submitted their work are Hazel Fisher, Sam Farman, Danielle Ryder, Melissa Esposito, Judy Alkema  many more. The art ranges from collage to primitive and it all celebrates the connections we create through written and visual correspondence. Going Postal is an exceptional project that illuminates the joys of mail art in its many forms. For more information on Tanglecrafts projects visit

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Zines by Casey Bradley

Easy Sticker Makin’ Guide
How to Make Your Very Own Zine

by Casey Bradley

In this media saturated world, it’s reassuring to find these two excellent mini-comic “how to” zines Casey created for kids in her bookbinding & drawing classes at art camp. Kids love to draw, write & create and these zines share simple to follow steps to help kids connect with paper and pen. The stickers look like they’re fun to draw and make as well. I’m going to share these zines with the grandkids & see what they come up with! 

You will find Casey’s zines here:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Zine Review: How to Be More Creative

How to be more creative more often even if you have a job, responsibilities, & need more than three hours of sleep each night.

half sized / 24 pages

Here's a zine that delivers exactly what its title expresses. Breanne Boland knows how to juggle priorities. She also knows how to make creativity a priority. If you are a creative person working in any medium, the practical advice shared in this zine will be useful, from letting go of your need for perfection to creating small, achievable goals for yourself. Along the way she discusses dealing with energy draining people and situations, and how to stop beating yourself up. There are clear, simple strategies in this zine that may work for you. Everyone needs coaches and mentors - let this zine be one of yours. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Zine review: Takilma

by James the Stanton
18 pages / half sized

This comic / graphic novella is an illustration / interpretation of a dream. James’ artwork is both hypnotic and lyrical, depicting what appears to be two friends and their adventures on the land in Takilma. I will be the first to admit that reviewing illustrated zines and visual publications is not my forte. I know what I like when I see it, and this zine captured my attention and imagination immediately. Limited edition (200 signed and numbered copies) with hand printed covers. 

Zine Review: Deafula #2

The second issue of Deafula is an education unto itself. How many hearing people know that hearing aids and related costs are not covered by insurance? Why aren't we outraged? Hearing loss and the world we call "disability" are "minorities" that anyone can join at any time. We are born with the color of our skin, our gender and possibly even our sexual preferences, but anyone can lose their capacity for hearing, or have a spinal cord injury, or develop MS, Parkinsons, have a stroke, or encounter any myriad of challenges at any time. So why do we as a culture allow things like treatment for hearing loss (which I feel, like all of our senses, is an aspect of our overall health) to not be covered by insurance plans? 

You won't find many zines as informative and well presented as Deafula #2. Here's hoping there are more editions of Deafula in the works.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Zine Review: (Building) Letters In the Attic

(Building) Letters In the Attic
American Hobo Issue #1
$2.50 from
Stephanie Rinker
PO Box 690942
Tulsa OK 74161

Stephanie wrote me a very friendly letter with a request for a zine review. I have a tremendous appreciation for people who reach out!

While not breaking any new ground in the perzine genre, (Building) Letters In the Attic recalls a hellish flight from Portland via Phoenix to Tulsa in high summer. Steph’s airplane breaks down and misery ensues. I was breaking a sweat in the middle of winter just reading this. This zine reminds me why I don’t travel by air. The last few pages are devoted to some interesting ephemera, particularly a bicycle postcard from 1893. 

Zine Review: Cheer The Eff Up #2

Cheer The Eff Up #2
lots of pages / half legal / around $3
by Jonas
PO Box 633
Chicago IL 60690

This is a follow-up to Cheer The Eff Up and it appears to be authored by Nikki Turtle who is one of the friends Jonas wrote about in the first issue. I'm a little confused by this zine (but at my age, confusion sometimes comes easily) because in the introduction Jonas writes "what you're about to read is part fiction and part true but all the important parts are true." That throws me a curveball, it's like watching a movie with the disclaimer "based upon true events" which then takes more poetic license than a college full of English majors. How are we supposed to know which are the important parts? In Cheer The Eff Up #2 it all seems important, from every minor detail to the heartwrenching truths that one ponders in dark moments. There is a lot of personal history here & an abundance of honesty. For example "when you hate yourself numb. when you want to curl up & disappear." Who can't relate to this feeling? And who is willing to admit it? 

Through exceptional wordsmithing Cheer the Eff Up says: Let's all find our fourth way to live, and carry our copies of War & Peace. What are you waiting for?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Zine Review: Bitch Craft Volumes One & Two

In the 1980’s when I was reading anthologies like This Bridge Called My Back and books like Immaculate Deception, I would have thought that by 2012 society would have evolved and equality would be ambient in the culture. In retrospect I may have been an idealist. Men and women are still unequal and disharmonious, cultural values toward women are skidding backward toward the 16th century, and both men and women are seen as objects by advertisers, the corporate milieu and each other. Thank the goddess that feminism is still alive and more relevant than ever.

Nicole Harring has created Bitch Craft, a zine that blends crafting with … feminism! Bitch Craft Volume One hits the ground running with a 30 day craft challenge with ideas for projects you can actually accomplish like making greeting cards and decorating jars. There is a helpful section on navigating craft fairs for the introverted crafter, a discussion on self acceptance, info on a very cool DIY music label called Edible Onion (which I have checked out and hope to order some of their releases). Volume Two discusses the Guerilla Girls art movement, making DIY patches, and more. Bitch Craft is a half sized zine featuring recipes, art and more – a true variety zine. For more information email   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Zine Review: Deafula #1

Once upon a time I worked at a “disability” services and advocacy center. I was on the mental health team, but there were numerous departments including a deaf services department comprised of deaf / hard of hearing staff. Communicating with my co-workers became second nature for me. Some of them signed (we had classes to teach us hearing folks ASL), some read lips, some had “interpreters”, some spoke and some did not. I learned that I could call people on the phone using a relay service or directly using a teletype device. I got to know everyone and their method for communicating and tried not to feel too weird being “the hearing guy”.

Most hearing people are clueless about people who are deaf. Deafula can change all of that as the narrator shares her story of hearing loss and compensating in a hearing world. She discusses the differences between deaf and Deaf, and Deaf culture. She also shares practical advice on communicating with deaf individuals. Deafula is exceptionally well written and I can not recommend this zine highly enough for people who want to learn more about hearing loss / deafness / communication.

For more information email

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Zine Review: How To Stay Warm In the Winter

How to Stay Warm in the Winter
by Dr Tropical
Dirt Palace Collective

14 Olneyville Square
Providence RI 02409

 If you live in the north, this zine is for you. I live in New Hampshire in an old, uninsulated house, and spend winters creating strategies on where and when to run electric heaters, which rooms to seal off, how many tons of pellets and cords of woods are needed to avoid freezing for 5 months out of the year. New Hampshire’s state motto should be Live Freeze and Die. So I’m familiar with the techniques and practical advice shared in How to Stay Warm in the Winter. This zine might be helpful for someone new to northern climes. Wear layers. Eat warm foods. When you’re cooking, use the oven for heat afterwards. Insulate. As I write this we've already turned the corner into March and while a Nor’easter is not out of the question, I can already feel the sunlight ready to burst into Spring. But I’ll keep this zine handy for next autumn, when the cycle starts all over again. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Zine Review: Play It, Make It

Play It, Make It
A Tiny Book of DIY Games
by Rio

When I was a teenager, I discovered The New Games Book which was based upon principals of – imagine this!- cooperation. Since then more cooperative games books have emerged with alternatives to the cutthroat games we grow up with that teach us everything about competition and nothing abut real skills and values.

Play It, Make It delves into similar territory by creating games with little more than pens, cards and scrap paper. The games range from straightforward (one called “It’s Categories”) to somewhat more complicated (Werewolf) and the common theme here is creating your own fun without Milton Bradley or the Parker Brothers or the need for a Wii or computer. Play It, Make It is well written with easy to understand instructions and these games seem ideal for a gathering of friends. Play on!