Who and What We Are

Xerography Debt is a review zine for zine readers by zine writers (and readers). It is a hybrid of review zine and personal zine (the ancestor to many blogs). The paper version has been around since 1999. This blog thing is are attempt to bridge the gap between Web 2.0 and Paper 1.0. Print is not dead, but it is becoming more pixelated.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Maynard reviews a bunch of zines

Dwelling Portably 1980-89
Edited by Bert and Holly Davis
ISBN 978-1-934620-08-3
Retail: $8
Paperback ½ size, 178 p.
microcosm.com

With the imminent collapse of the Western financial world looming, we all need a copy of this resource favored by hikers, campers, hobos, dumpster diving hipsters, and armchair travelers.

This zine is what MacGyver would read on his day off. Need to make a knife holster out of scrap leather? Get some sketches. Hypothermia worries? Gotcha covered. Need a review of Primitive Life Skills video? (Where can I get a copy on DVD?) It's in there. From building a fire to pest prevention to waterproofing matches, improve your current hobo lifestyle or prep for doomsday with this handy book.

3-2-2-1
Pod Post
P.O. Box 170271
San Francisco, CA 94122
$5.00 US, $6.00 world
No trades
4.25” X 5.5”
Email contact: mail@podpodpost.com
Website: podpodpost.com

Library geeks, and any other folks pondering the meaning of our disposable, isolating culture, will love this sophisticated, extremely appealing zine. It's scrap-booky in feel, but slick in production values. Layout is really tight, well done, and engaging. The content is self-questioning and a thinking-person's eye candy.

Split Zine:
I'd start a revolution but I don't have time by Jolie Noggle
Riot Grrrl by Hannah Neurotica
Jolie Noggle
655 Martin St.
Greenville, OH 45331
No Price given
½ size
Email contact: mrsnoggle@yahoo.com

Back to the old, tried and true, copy-machine-generated, angst-filled collection of essays on being a girl, liking music and the whole She-Power of the late 90s and early 2000s. It is amazing how much has changed in just a few years! But it is fun; full of heart and spunk; and takes you back nearly a decade.

Inner Swine, Vol. 14, issue 2, June 2008
Jeff Somers
Subscribe for only $5.00 per year in the US, $6.00 in Canada
Trades considered.
½ size, 60 p.
P.O. 3024
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Email contact: mreditor@innerswine.com

Well, what more can I say about the Inner Swine: a veritable institution of zineland, with the focus being on what it means to be a guy. This issue is true to form, and my favorite bit is the Refusal to Twitter. In this hilarious commentary on the egotism involved in the whole Twitter movement, I found myself in total agreement (once again) with Jeff and his near-Luddite view of the whole technology-driven social scene and how it continuously erodes our humanity and communication abilities with each new “breakthrough.”

A sad note, please send Jeff encouraging email as he noted he feels kind of tapped out with the whole zine thing. His next issue is called No Future. He has covered a LOT of ground in the 200 years he's been writing, and it's only natural to do a “best-of” issue. Let's hope that he'll sharpen the saw, do some sort of retreat and recharge the creative battery. He didn't actually say he was tapped out, but with a title like No Future, what other conclusions can one jump to?

The CIA makes Science Fiction Unexciting #5: the things you may not know about Iran/Contra
No name given
$1.50 postage paid
Microcosm Publishing
222 S. Rogers St.
Bloomington, IN 47404

This little zine is for a conspiracy theorist with only minutes to live or with ADHD. The author has a gift for summary that is astounding. You'll read this and feel like you actually understand the Iran/Contra affair. In this day and age, it is both enlightening and depressing to see that our government has been remarkably consistent: bad for years.

The author goes into the history of our meddling in oil-related foreign affairs, which started innocently enough at the end of WWII, when we were the last English-speaking empire standing. It pretty much goes downhill from there. As time passes, it becomes less obvious when we are aiding friends across the sea and when we are bungling in the jungle or desert.

In order to continue this meddling once it gets on a scale large enough to be detected by the press, our gummint decides to tamper with the Constitution. Iran/Contra was a glaring example of how the folks in charge clearly ignored the foundation of what makes this country tick. Their violations, and the lack of repercussions for the transgressors haunt us to this day.

The founding Fathers would be absolutely furious if they could see us now.

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