Saturday, June 30, 2012

Zine Review: Ioway or the Highoway

Ioway or the Highoway
32 pages / quarter sized

Ioway or the Highoway is a per-zine with a variety of content. This issue (January 2010) talks about how people talk about the weather In Iowa, the future of feminism, not having a TV (yes!) and the prolific and wonderful Wesley Willis, whose songs I were introduced to via Songs In the Key of Z. Definitely worth investing a few moments reading! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Zine Review: The Zine Explorers Notebook #3

The Zine Explorers Notebook #3
PO Box 5291 Richmond VA 23220
$2 or trade / stamp / letter
I struggle internally around whether or not to abandon the digital world completely and become a true paper-neter, but I fear that would be a difficult reality to navigate mostly due to my role as a radio DJ – so much information and music is shared online now that to not be part of that world would put me in a severe disadvantage for musical discovery.However, the inability to pay for internet access may become a reality in the near future, in which case the choice will be made for me.
 The “papernet” (for want of a better moniker) is a place that still teams with people, publications, and ideas. The Zine Explorers Notebook, published by Doug Harrison, is an oasis for thought and conversation, and a place to find new zines and zinesters to connect with. As Doug states in his introduction, “ … This is a meaningful way to participate in life. This publication is more than a hobby.”
Doug goes on to share thoughts on the recent Japanese nuclear disaster, nuclear power, his printing process, and more. There are ample and detailed zine reviews, book reviews and even a music review. Several pages are devoted to letters from readers and items in the news. The Zine Explorers Notebook packs maximum content into ten pages, is stylistically highly readable and an exceptional resource. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Zine Review: People With Cameras

People With Cameras
found and arranged by Charles Wray

Remember those scrapbooks full of grainy pictures that your aunt took when she bought a new 35mm camera back in the day? Well here they are – visual proof of ephemeral moments. This is a full color zine (with some black & white) of images culled from the past century with just what the title promises – people with cameras. What makes this collection work is the variety of people, styles of photography, and curious situations that stimulate daydreaming & reflection – who were these folks & what are their stories? The only face I recognized was Dick Cavett – and that’s part of the beauty of this zine – most of the photographs are shot by, and include, everyday people who could be your neighbors or even your great-grandparents. Highly recommended. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Zine Review: One Hundred Fingers of Death

One-Hundred Fingers of Death
by St. Paco (Paco D. Taylor)
7730 East Broadway #925
Tucson AZ 85710
8 pages
$1 or 2 stamps / trade /letter

Quote from the promotional description that accompanied the review copy: Originally written for Kung Fu Grip! #5, One-Hundred Fingers of Death is a tuff lil text that told its author it was bad enuff to make it on its own (as an 8-page zine). 

Bad enuff? (sp) Yeah, but not in the context the author is hoping. One-Hundred Fingers of Death reads like a pissing contest (or as the author puts in, a dick-measuring contest) between the author a friend (and/or the zine reader) regarding how many martial arts movies someone has watched and how to aspire to be a martial arts movie watching master. Hello? Is there nothing else to aspire to in our society? Something that might make a difference to others, or the community? 100 movies in any genre = 100+ hours of your life that you’ll never get back. The tone of the writing in One-Hundred Fingers of Death is self referential and arrogant (ok, in all fairness the same could sometimes be said of One Minute Zine Reviews). Two pages of this zine is the actual list of movies Paco has watched. One page is a commercial for Kung Fu Grip. My strong impression is: skip both the movies & the zine. Get outdoors in the sunshine. Now, breathe. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Zine Review: Photomill #1

Poetic images weave in & out of Kent's writing in Photomill #1 ... this is a perzine that captures lost moments & memories, with stories that meander down barren winter roads and through urban streets.
School buses figure heavily into the stories, which is fun since my spouse is currently a school bus driver.
Photomill #1 is punctuated by long walks & musings with an air of melancholy and introspection. Nothing wrong with that!

for more information write to

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Booklet review: Molding and Casting

Molding & Casting
by Roger Hayward
32 pages / $3

This booklet presents in clear step-by step instruction how to work with metals & alloys to create useful tools and objects. Long wax and sand casting processes are described in detail. This is a craft and an art that can be reclaimed within a decent, well vented garage space. Well illustrated. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Booklet review: History of May Day

History of May Day
by Alexander Trachtenberg
30 pages / $3

Very little has changed in terms of the working person in our culture between 1812 and 2012. We are still being underpaid, people are working multiple jobs and long hours to survive (if you can find a job at all), many people have no health care insurance, etc. “Union” has been branded a dirty word by capitalists and conservatives (i.e. business owners) in our culture.

Last Word Press has reissued this booklet which was originally published in 1929 with subsequent editions. Knowing our history is essential for our learning curve & this booklet delves into the history of the labor movement and its relation to May Day, a call for solidarity, strike, and mutual aid. Highly recommended. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Booklet review: Common Edible Plants of the West

Common Edible Plants of the West
by Muriel Sweet
64 pages / $7

Last Word Press has reissued this booklet which was originally published in 1962.Common Edible Plants of the West is generously illustrated and full of practical information about the uses of plants that grow in the western US. This guide includes both common and Latin names, clear descriptions of numerous species and their uses.This is knowledge that urbanvores need as we spiral into ever increasing disconnection with the Earth. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Booklet Review: Carnato Baa

Carnato Baa and the Coolest Skateboard in the Universe
16 pages / $1 ?

Carnato Baa (or is it Ba?) has a lot of brothers, and a lot of adventures. He receives a skateboard as a birthday present and … I won’t tell you what happens next. Fun drawings accompany this cool booklet / zine for kids.  Created by Evan Harris, a zinemaker since 1994. Long live booklets! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Zine Review: Toy Camera

Once upon a time, creativity flowed from within us, not from gadgets, technologies and apps. Toy Camera Zine explores the world of photography with inexpensive cameras and real film, with a focus (ok, pun intended) on the Holga. describes the Holga like this: the unassuming Holga is here to save you from a future of digital pixels and images shared on small screens on cameras or phones. We have all become numbed with photography, there is no denying it, but a chunky camera made almost entirely of plastic has been put on this Earth to save us. It will reawaken your vision, fill you with joy, make you see beauty when you thought it had disappeared forever, and bring out sunshine on a cloudy day.

Nicci’s zine is filled with fun ideas and projects for playing with toy cameras, along with some basic operational info about the Holga, and some examples of her own artistic vision. Toy Camera Zine is quarter-sized, 29 pages, hand sewn binding, printed on high quality paper and available from Sweet Candy Distro. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Zine Review: Pulling Ink

Pulling Ink
by Rio

The best zines are ones we can learn something from – a skill, a hobby, or a new perspective. The subtitle to Rio’s zine is Build a One Color Press & Start Screenprinting. Rio’s directions are clear and concise.The novice will learn about the screen, making a stencil, photo emulsion, ink, substrates, and a step-by-step
guide to building a press. Reading this zine makes me want to try screenprinting a cover for a future issue of my Paper Radio zine. Pulling Ink is well illustrated and is highly recommended for those delving into the printing arts for the first time. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Zine Review: Cloud Factory #2

Cloud Factory #2

Cloud Factory feels unique among zines – both meandering and sharply focused at the same time. Ryan Homsley is a prisoner and Laura is a zine creator and Cloud Factory is their mutual creation born from correspondence between them.. In this issue Ryan and Laura discuss what the title Cloud Factory means and Laura’s financial, physical, and mental challenges in publishing and editing the zine. They also discuss historical moments that had impacts upon their lives, authors who have influenced them, and more. Ryan is a powerful writer who navigates his interior world and opens glimpses, then vistas, for us, the readers. Playing In Hurricanes is one of the finest pieces of writing I’ve encountered so far this year. Ryan’s artwork is striking and sometimes surreal bordering on disturbing at times – it’s an unfiltered gaze into his creative psyche. A sequence called “Cell Ten” was both incisive and harrowing. Cloud Factory is a zine that speaks truth on every page and brings us to places of darkness, light, and humanity.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Zine Review: Sprouts

Sprouts: More Comics About Food
$5 / 56 pages

Sprouts is the eleventh in a series of comics anthologies from artists living in New Hampshire, Vermont & Western Massachusetts. The comics range from simple to complex. Personal favorites include a comic featuring the virtues of carob by Glynnis Fawkes, Bill Tulp’s expose of monoculture & the imminent danger our food supply is facing, and Colin Tedford’s story about the Winchester School Garden. These anthologies are always both educational & highly enjoyable.