Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Zine Review: Making Homemade Inks

Making Homemade Inks
mini-zine / $1.50
Flat Mt. Press
2590 S. Sherman Road
Remus, MI 49340

I wish wish wish wish that there were more zines like this one being produced. As I've expressed before I love learning new skills via zines aka the papernet. Google is not the fount of all knowledge.

Making Homemade Inks is a step-by-step guide to working in your kitchen to make plant-based inks for painting & drawing. There's also a section on modifying your ink for screen printing. Brief but packed with essential information - I wonder if I could make fountain pen inks in a similar fashion?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Zine Review: The Worth of Water

The Worth of Water
half letter / 36 pages / $2
available from Sweet Candy Distro

I've read some excellent self-care zines recently & this compilation is outstanding. Sarah Rose has curated a group of very powerful essays related to mental health & taking care of ourselves in an overwhelming culture. The Worth of Water starts off with a recipe for mulled cider and an essay on John Waters (the filmmaker) then shifts into more serious territory with Craig Lewis detailing the cycle of failure followed by determination to change that many of us go through when dealing with our wellness. Deirdree Prudence contributes her experiences with DBT and how zinemaking has positively impacted her sense of accomplishment. There is excellent information on caring for a trauma survivor (aren't most of us?). Jonas of Cheer the Eff Up discloses his recovery from a horrific accident and struggles with addiction to painkillers following months of rehabilitation.

Every article in this zine has substantial information and insight to offer. If you experience mental health issues, distress, stress, overwhelm, mood swings, depression, anxiety, emotional disregulation or anything that impacts on your emotional wellbeing (and again, that’s most of us), reading The Worth of Water is like having a group of generous and supportive friends reassuring you that you are not alone, and sharing what they've learned on their own journeys. Peer support doesn't get any better than this. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Zine Review: Throat Culture #13

Throat Culture #13
Gonk Publishing
2700 White Ave #3
Chico, CA 95973

A smile dawned on my face as I read the title: Throat Culture. I love it. Then there was an article about the documentary Jandek on Corwood which is a fantastic film chronicling the enigma of the musician known as Jandek who ahs been recording & releasing lps since 1978 but who remains a mystery. (side note: for the most part, I believe there is no real mystery around Jandek – he is someone who has allowed the creative process to speak for itself). So immediately I was taken with Throat Culture, which also has reviews of the documentary about K Records (I still have a Lois Mafeo record somewhere). Throat Culture also features well written reviews of cassette tapes and 7” vinyl, my personal favorite musical formats. What a joy!  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ZIne Review: Record Collecting Matt Pond

Joseph Carlough has done it again.

Joseph is a one-man cottage industry of zinemaking & there is always a sense of wonder and magic in his work. Take one of my personal favorite activities (record collecting) & turn it into a per-zine and ... voila! It goes to the top of my :must read" list. The second issue of Record Collecting is about Matt Pond whose music I have always enjoyed. Joseph reviews each record in relation to what was happening in his life when he purchased the record & how he feels about the record / how the record made him feel. There's also a great interview with Matt Pond in this issue. My advice: read this zine then grab your friends & organize a tour of nearby record stores ASAP.

For more information visit

Friday, June 14, 2013

Musing: The Zine Explorers Notebook #4

The Zine Explorer’s Notebook #4
PO Box 5291
Richmond VA 23220
(a few dollars, trade, letter, stamps)

What struck me as I was reading this issue of The Zine Explorer’s Notebook is … how insular the world of paper publishing is becoming. And that scares me. I’ve read 80% or more of the zines reviewed in this issue. I’ve corresponded with most of the writers included in the letters section (hell, I’m one of them!). I also just finished reading Xerography Debt and had the same claustrophobic feeling dawn as I turned the pages. Where are the new zines and writers? Have they all migrated to the virtual non-reality known as the internet?

As much as I hold publications like The Zine Explorer’s Notebook in veneration, it feels like something is missing in this issue. Content? Doug Harrison opens the issue with a well written essay, and then there are reviews and letters. And that’s about it. Yet regardless of my ambivalence today --- The Zine Explorer’s Notebook is a vital and indispensable publication.

All of this musing makes me reconsider my own zine activities. Maybe my reviews are becoming passé. I’m certainly not writing to the level of quality I am capable of. Sometimes I just sound like an overgrown fanboy. People rarely send for a copy of the print version of One Minute Zine Reviews, does it make a difference whether I continue to publish it or not?  Maybe there are more than enough zine review venues already. Maybe I need to shift the emphasis of what I am doing. Maybe it’s time to step away from blogging, and learn the real art of DIY printing. Maybe there are other remedies for my malaise like starting a cassette label with no money, which is something I’ve been thinking about for a few decades already.

I had too much to dream last night.  

Zine Review: Bookstores and Baseball - The Fourth Inning

Bookstores and Baseball: The Fourth Inning
40 pages / full color

I’ve had the good fortune to read all five issues of Bookstores and Baseball, and this one is where the zine seemed to hit its stride & round the bases. David writes about the birth of his daughter Olivia, we get a battle of the book festivals, two articles written by David’s son Gabe, about abandoned ballparks and team mascots respectively, a visit to Book People books & more. David and Gabe’s writing tone is always spot on, it’s like listening in on a conversation unfolding in the author’s mind. Bookstores and Baseball is one of the best reads of the season – worthy of the world series. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Zine Review: After Volume 1

After – Volume 1 – December 2012
By Chris Campbell and Katey Rissi
half letter / edition of 50 / $5

After reading “After – Volume 1” I can only hope that there will be a Volume Two.
After embodies creative energy in paper and print – a beautiful, substantial project merging artistry, narrative and design. The note I received with the zine reads “It’s a stream-of-consciousness collection of stories & thoughts & art about the future. We've been creating stuff under the ‘After’ umbrella for a while now, and plan to make a book of vignettes as well as an installation piece that expand upon some of the ideas in the zine. All art/design is by Katey and all writing is by Chris.”  This issue starts off with a speculative short fiction that grabbed my attention titled September 29, 2039 which offers a glimpse into where society may be evolving / devolving to. A poem that beings “There is a vacancy now …” is one of the most striking poems I've read in the past year. After is highly literate and highly recommended. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Zine Review: Searchlight

by Annie Sui
16 pages / half letter / edition of 50 / $5
Searchlight is an ambitious art & photography zine, with some brief essays woven throughout. Though some of the images seem mundane, I enjoyed the way that the photographs were framed. Searchlight includes a section that seems out of place called “PGD Incorporated” which seems to be a satirical / futuristic and possible protest piece. One of my favorite pages is titled “Last Lines to Novels I Probably Won’t Write”. Searchlight also features creative work by Mike Sudolsky and Dorothy Howard.   

Monday, June 3, 2013

Zine Review: An Inside Job by Sylvie Michaud

Okay. We all know that we lead stressful lives. Every day, most of us work at thankless jobs with paychecks & benefits that keep shrinking, many of us deal with difficult bosses, customers, co-workers, family members, and random people we encounter on a professional or personal basis. If you watch TV “news”, add ten points to your stress score! Our very culture seems hell-bent on self destruction. In the midst of this, we have to maintain some sort of equilibrium in order to survive when what we need to do for ourselves and our well-being is thrive.

Sometimes we place all of our attention outside of ourselves, when the real waters we need to navigate are within. Spirit, soul, mind. Sylvie Michaud’s mini-book “An Inside Job: 32 Ways to Inner Peace” presents very clear, concise capsules of self-care concepts. She writes about turning down the noise, loving one’s self, letting go, being of service, and other methods to restore balance in our lives. A few sentenced on each topic speaks volumes.

This is nothing here that you haven’t heard before but we all need reminding. An Inside Job: 32 Ways to Inner Peace is highly recommended. For more information email

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Zine Review: Think About the Bubbles #5

Think About the Bubbles #5
8 pages / half letter / full color
$3 + a stamp
PO Box 374
Moorhead MN 56561

 Cool full-color zine exploring concepts of loves & fears (polar opposites) with gorgeous illustrations and comments related to both categories. A lot of thought & creative vision went into producing this zine! I’d “love” and not “fear” the opportunity to read other issues of Think About the Bubbles