Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oodles of Doodles!

Dithering Doodles # 2,3,4,5
Steven Anderson
259 E 700 S
Apt #9
Salt Lake City  UT  84111

Dithering Doodles seems like the type of comic you create when you let your inner child / adolescent out to play. Steven sent me a generous package of goodies including five issues of Dithering Doodles and two cds! I’m not much of a comics enthusiast, so I’m definitely not the target audience (although some of these issues have a zine-like feel). There’s a manic energy at work here, with each issue having a slightly different pacing and ambiance.

Issue #2 has a running gag about who gets the boot from Dancing with the Stars and some surreal artwork that made me stop in my tracks (in a good way). Beware of the attack of the easy bake ovens!

Number three is almost wordless and is better for it – it feels less busy and more focused. Issue four is radio related (yes!) with a great cover from KNAK 1280 AM Salt Lake City’s “music and news station”. Mix in some retro photographs, references to one of the best psych pop songs of all time “Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow” & voila – instant classic. Issue five sports a color photograph but feels a little redundant in comparison with the others. Overall, Dithering Doodles features consistently entertaining though ephemeral content. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Life and Times of Billy Roberts #34

I grew up in the age prior to the internet. When I was a kid / adolescent there were things like hobby printing presses and of course Xerox machines and it was common for people to produce family newsletters, fanzines, community bulletins and holiday letters. Billy Roberts has honored the tradition by publishing a monthly personal newsletter filled with great content – it's like receiving a note from a good friend. In issue #34, Billy talks about summer weather, camel spiders, DIY rafting on the Rio Grande, his band Fort Hobo, the television series The Walking Dead (Billy watched more episodes than I did before I gave up) and the George Zimmerman verdict. I look forward to Billy’s mailing every month & I suggest sending a few dollars in stamps in his direction & a request to join the mailing list. Thank you Billy for making it a good mail day.

Write to: Billy 1078 S. Camino del Pueblo Bernalillo NM 87004

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Zine Review: Something for Nothing #67

Billy/Idy marks a quarter century of zinemaking with Something For Nothing #67. In this generous digest-sized zine there is an extensive section on the discography of the band 7 seconds and lengthy memoirs from Billy/Idy’s years working at a convenience store. There are also book reviews, beverage reviews, zine reviews, even Indian restaurant reviews. The writing is as solid as ever, and I have to congratulate Billy’s personal journalism on making the subject of a gas station / convenience store into a well-conceived narrative – not to mention 25 years of papernetting! Send a few stamps / bucks to Something For Nothing 516 Third Street NE Massillon OH 44646.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Zine Review: The Recoup #1

The Recoup

The cover of this new zine may look generic but the content is anything but anemic. Recoup editor Joseph Kyle graciously sent me the inaugural issue, and I’m already primed for the second. Recoup is forty pages of absorbing musical journalism, interviews, reviews, and cool photography. Issue one includes interviews with Jacob Slitcher of Semisonic, Norman Branson of Texas Is the Reason, Lisa Carver’s interview of  Joseph Kyle regarding Yoko Ono, and more. The diverse review section ranges from recordings by The Durutti Column to Don Ellis. I'm going to carve out some time to discover many of these releases. 

Music / culture zines are enjoying an energized renaissance thanks to Half-Gifts, Glass Orchid, etc. Recoup is a solid addition for those of us who like our music on the adventurous side. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Zine Review: Postal Adventures

Postal Adventures
a mini zine by Marian Krick

Basic (almost too basic) introduction to the world of mail. I suspect though that people need an introduction to mail these days. My grandkids have probably never received a letter or a card in their lives other than from ye olde zinester. Marian in fact starts out this mini zine by saying that she only ever received mail from her grandmothers until she stumbled upon a mail blog. Oh the beautiful irony - using the interwebs to promote snail mail!

This mini-zine points toward some useful blogs, talks about finding penpals, making envelopes from recycled materials and more. I just wish there were more content - maybe more issues of Postal Adventures are on the way?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zine Review: Glass Orchid #6

If I think about what are the elements I would want to see in an excellent culture related zine they would be:

  • Well researched articles regarding obscure records / music from the past
  • Interviews with less well known musicians
  • Introductions to newer music / releases
Glass Orchid #6 contains all of this and more. There is a lengthy essay regarding the religious folk / folk-rock vocal group The Montfort Singers and their chronology through a transformation into The Mission. This is a group that evolved over a number of recordings from liturgical pieces to full-on rock operas. This issue continues with some surreal comics (the best kind!), a review of gory Hong Kong b-movie productions, reviews of Tame Impala (a band I haven’t heard yet) and part three of an interview with David and Anthony, two unknown folk musicians who recorded one lone and impossible to find LP back in the day.

If you love haunting thrift shops, if your taste in music and culture defies the mainstream, Glass Orchid #6 is required reading. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cascadia Artpost Mail Art Call


Cascadia Artpost invites a correspondence (to borrow a Ray Johnson term) in the form of artistamps, postcards, or other mail art with the theme "Keep the Post Office Public." The theme relates to current attempts in the U.S. to downsize the postal workforce, discontinue Saturday delivery of mail to residences, close post offices, close distribution centers, and add at least one more day to the delivery time for domestic mail.

Cascadia Artpost will publish printed documentation in the form of a brochure with distribution to all contributors. Send your work by September 30, 2013 to:


Cascadia Artpost

4609 Briggs Drive SE, #304

Olympia, WA 98501-5515 U.S.A.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Reluctant Famulus #94

The Reluctant Famulus #94
full letter / 52 pages
Thomas  D. Sadler
305 Gill Branch Road
Owenton KY 40359

When The Reluctant Famulus appears in my mailbox I quickly set aside some time in the easy chair for reading. This zine is always fascinating cover-to-cover, involving a variety of articles by various writers and a considerable letters of comment section.

The Reluctant Famulus usually opens with notes from the editor – this time he muses on a fanzine called Random Jottings #8 about Richard Nixon, then Smithsonian Magazine, 3-D printing, apparitions on Mars, pareidolia, Mark Twain, and then we’re off for the rest of the issue, Gene Stewart discusses the Dan Brown effect on novels, Alfred D. Byrd launches into the history of Kentucky in the Civil War, Matt Howard traces the obscure genesis of rock & roll via Indiana & D. D. Ferguson, and we’re not even halfway through the issue. This is a thinking person’s zine, and I’m thrilled to be invited to the party as a reader. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Zine Review: Whistle Vol. 2 No.1

Whistle Zine
Volume 2 Issue 1

Only 40 copies of this issue produced. Booklet with watercolor paper covers, newsprint interiors inside a hand cut, lino stamped paper envelope. Copy edited by Kaitlin Allen. Designed, printed & assembled in a tiny room by Bridgette Blanton/Lady Grey Illustration & Design in the USA.

On occasion, an art journal will catch my eye and then my curiosity. Whistle Zine Volume 2 Issue One effuses creativity and vision with its blend of artwork, prose, poetry and design. It is a full color zine with crayon, pen and ink and watercolor illustrations. The centerpiece of this issue is a haunting tale by Chris Bird titled "The Sea Books" which is a timeless and imaginative parable.  Although most issues of Whistle Zine have themes - this one is a free floating compilation that interweaves contents into a welcoming dance.