Friday, August 22, 2014

Zine Review: Red Kitty Volume Two

A few decades ago, writer Margot Adler chronicled the new American pagan movement in her book Drawing Down the Moon. Scores of zines like Green Egg promoted new thought and new spirituality. It seemed as if we as a culture might dawn into an age of Aquarius.

Perhaps I am jaded, but it feels like now (2014), any belief north of Christianity in this country is shunned, ridiculed, dismissed, or even persecuted. Red Kitty Volume Two: Sycorax is both a welcome specter, yet alternately frustrating.

Visually, Red Kitty Volume Two is absolutely gorgeous, including black & white and color photography. The content leaves me scratching my head, and I guess is not to be taken seriously despite the editorial introduction which states "This issue has a fun spirit ... but it was the desire to reclaim 'witch' as a symbol of power, not derision, that led us to choose Sycorax as our theme."

So, within its pages we are treated (or maybe tricked) to a list of the ten best witches ever (most of whom are fictional - why does one need fictional witches when there are so many flesh & blood witches to celebrate?) and ... some silly "spells" found on the internet. Even the photographic portfolio titled "Elementals" seems like it belongs in a zine that parodies pagan poseurs. I'm confused as to the actual intent behind Red Kitty Volume Two ... it disappoints whether it's meant to be serious or humorous or both simultaneously.  

You can find a copy here: 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mishap 33 Volume 2

It's punks vs. nerds ... no ... wait! Look! Up in the sky! It's ... Mishap #33 Volume Two!!!

I've been basking in zine goodness recently & I want to shout out much appreciation out for Ryan Mishap who sent part two of Mishap #33. How many zines can claim to have a volume two of the same issue? Tis a rarity indeed.

Volume Two continues the book review format. Ryan closes his introduction to this edition by saying "One thing has never changed about me: I always wonder and ask why. And I usually turn to books for the answers."

Bibliographic zines are a joy - and Ryan's reviews are concise, describing in varying detail the essence of books he has read.  Once again, beautiful black & white panoramas of Ryan's travels provide a visual break from the text and could comprise a zine of their own.

Write to Ryan for more information on his zines: PO Box 5841 Eugene OR 97405.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stink Eye vs. Operations Manual split zine

What’s better than reading an issue of Operations Manual or Stink Eye? Reading both in a split zine! Jesse Hogan and Marx Aviano are two exceptionally creative zinesters & have joined forces to express their perspectives on their lives in 2013. Marx has a sense of humor that is just twisted enough for me to appreciate – yet there is an undercurrent of pointing towards serious issues in our culture that need urgent attention. Like yesterday!!!

Jesse creates visually stimulating collage work & inspired visuals. She includes zine reviews and a tribute to the death of film as we knew it. I hope that there are future collaborations planned – every page is a delight. Now, stop reading this review & go forth on the interwebs & find a copy. Scram! Get!   

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Zine Review: Reglar Wiglar #22

Reglar Wiglar #22
Chris Auman
8.5 X 5.5 / 40 pages / $5
154 Division St. #1
Madison WI 53704

This is the first printed issue of Reglar Wiglar in almost ten years, which was regularly produced between 1993 and 2005. Where does the name Reglar Wiglar come from? Chris suggests that a viewing of Errol Morris’ documentary Vernon Florida will reveal all. I remember watching Vernon Florida back in the day but don’t recall the reference.

Reglar Wiglar is a lot of fun, bordering on goofy at times. Chris includes a history of his various jobs and income producing projects over the years.Then silliness ensues: fictional “forgotten” American music masters are profiled; there is a list of the top ten numbers (yes, numbers) and a cartoon featuring … a cassette tape. Cool stuff for people who grew up reading Mad Magazine.