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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Reviews of Mostly True, ETC, Dwelling Portably, Hell's Half-Acre Herald and Exit 63 from Fred Argoff

Once upon a time, there was a magical, mystical land known as Brooklyn. People traipsed around saying such strange, wonderful things as, "Geddoudahere!" "Fuhgeddaboudit!" and even, "You got a problem with that?" Some of the people from this fanciful country got involved with zines. Producing them, and even reviewing them. So enough with the fairytale introduction already, and let's see what's here to review...

Well, I kept telling myself that I was going to save the best for last, but all my resolve just melted away. So let's begin with Mostly True. There's very little question that Davida only sent this one to me because she knew I was going to love it! Right there on the cover of Vol. 19, No. 7 it says, "The West's Most Popular Hobo Graffiti Magazine," and for anyone who's even vaguely interested in railroads, this one is the jackpot! Railroading adventures, hobos, loads of photos, even old ads. Featured in this issue, the search for Bozo Texino, and the Colossus of Roads. It's really more of a magazine than a zine, but why be a nitpicker? Don't waste another minute, and get your $6.95 in the mail right away, to Bill Daniel at Microcosm Publishing, 222 S. Rogers St., Bloomington IN 47404.

And yet more creativity, this time in ETC (that stands for, Everybody That Creates). The premise is simple: people create things--that is, things like artwork and short stories, and this zine presents them. Issue #2 has a story about bees (watch out! Somebody is going to get stung) and some comics. I, personally, liked the "Real Life for Real" panels, maybe because I relate to stick figures as about the only type of drawings I can manage. It's fun to check in and see what other people are creating, so I say, go for it. $2 from Chris Almond, P.O. Box 678421, Orlando FL 32867-8421.

Dwelling Portably has been around a long time. And the way things are going lately, it appears more and more relevant with each passing day. The premise is that you don't necessarily have to live within the grid. The issue at hand has tips for dealing with dirt floors, various (and very creative) uses for free water barrels, the merits of vitamin D, solar cooking, and plenty more. Also has a summary of past issues--many of which are still available--and a listing of unusual sources, many of which are zines. $1 per issue (6 back issues for $5 or 12 for $10) from P.O. Box 190-L, Philomath OR 97370-0190.

Remember the old sci-fi movie "Day of the Triffids?" Well, don't look now, but... Hell's Half-Acre Herald presents the Texas Triffid Ranch. Did you guess that the subject is carnivorous plants? Congratulations! Featured in the first issue, feeding P. Americana (the good old American cockroach) to your pitcher plant, and the coming of the dragonfruit. There's also a listing of resources. I didn't know that there was an International Carnivorous Plant Society, but there is. Do they sell Venus' flytrap T-shirts, I wonder? In any case, no price listed, so "the usual" will have to do, from Paul Riddell, 5930 E. Royal Lane (#140), Dallas TX 75230.

Next up, we have Exit 63. At least, I think that's the title. The cover of #8 also has Blues in big letters, so I can't say for sure which one is the title. That, by the way, is a demerit, if we have to guess what the zine is called. Anyway, this is the Lust for Lists issue. Our friendly local editor lists the things he did every day, from June 1 through August 17. For example, the list for July 4, representative of the zine: 1--worked most of the day. 2--tried to call Liz. 3--skated a lot. 4--listened to some baseball on the radio. Liz is definitely important to the zine, as she shows up in most of the lists. I hope we're dealing with genuine youth here, or something is terribly wrong. No price listed (pun unavoidable) but if you like reading lists of things, you might want to give this a try, from Matthew Bodette, 6466 Rt. 125, Vergennes VT 05491.

...And they all lived happily ever after. There! We got back to the fairytale theme just in time for my closing.

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