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.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Call for Submissions: a tribute to sound idea records and bob suren

Bacontowne's next issue is a tribute to sound idea records and bob suren. the record store closed last month after 13 and a half years. it was the best diy record store in florida and people traveled from all over to visit. we are looking for sound idea related columns, stories about bob and the store and also, we would like to hear from touring bands that have played there. we can also use art, photos and old ads related to the store. anything sound idea related. deadline is december 19, 2008. the zine will be in print and formally released on january 21, 2009. this is coincidentally heather bacontowne's 30th birthday!

marck and heather bacontowne
bacontowne records///sinkhole zine
po box 1063
tallevast, fl 34270

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Call for Submissions: Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore! Transit Stories

Eight-Stone Press – publisher of the award-winning SMILE, HON , YOU’RE IN BALTIMORE! series – is seeking your transit-themed stories, essays, poetry, photography and other artwork for an upcoming special focus issue of SMILE, HON .

Potential topics/perspectives of interest include, but are not limited to: mass transit (including bus, MARC, subway, air travel, etc.); automobile (including commuting, taxis, etc.); bicycle (including city, rural, etc.); and pedestrian ventures. Articles (100 - 2,000 words) are preferably received via e-mail (wpt@eightstonepress.com) as attached Word documents. Image files should be at least 5” x 7”, 300+ dpi (. TIF , .JPG, or .PDF format). All contributors will receive a byline/artistic credit for their work as well as two (2) complimentary copies of the issue in which their work appears. The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2008 .

SMILE, HON , YOU’RE IN BALTIMORE ! is an Eight-Stone Press production, available locally for purchase at Atomic Books (Hampden); Baltimore Chop Books, Music & Coffee House (Ridgley’s Delight); Harbor News (Harbor East) and Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse ( Mt. Vernon ). SMILE, HON is also shelved for loan as part of the Baltimore County Public Library’s Zine Collection (Cockeysville Branch).

For more information, contact:

William P. Tandy, Editor
Eight-Stone Press
P.O. Box 11064
Baltimore , Maryland 21212

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Reviews From Eric

So I have a little zine related problem. A while back I got a couple of bucks in the mail from a guy ordering a copy of my zine. So of course I send him a copy . A couple of weeks later I get my envelope returned to me saying it was undeliverable as addressed. So I go back and find the guy’s order (I always wonder why I save these things, but then a situation comes where I need something I saved for no apparent reason which gives me the go ahead to save everything and anything.) and I compare the address on his envelope (he didn’t include the address on the note he sent which tells me he was a newbie to zines) and find that I did in fact copy down his address wrong. It was something like 4321 Street St. and I wrote 432 Street St. I would assume that since I got the guy’s name, street, city and zip code correct the postal worker could have delivered it easily enough, but the fact is I screwed up copying it down so... whatever. I re-address an envelope, write a note of apology, and drop it back in the mail box... only to have it returned back to me a week or so later with a “return to sender” sticker and a note reading “not at this address.” So now some poor guy ordered my zine and will never receive it because... I don’t know why. I copied the address exactly the same as it was on his envelope to me so he either copied his own address wrong or in the space of a month he moved and left no forwarding address. Either way, some guy out there in Portland OR is thinking I’m a dick for taking his $2 and sending him nothing in return and possibly being soured on the whole idea of zines because of this. I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I respond very quickly to cash orders so this gnaws at me. Plus there’s the very notion that one of the few people in this world who is A) interested in reading my zine and B) actually takes the initiative to order a copy can’t read it. I’m really starting to depress myself now so I will move on to some reviews.

OPUNTIA 65.1- Sixty five issues. That’s a whole lot of issues, man. Props for Dale Speirs for making it that far. Since this issue is 65.1 that means it’s a review issue. Apparently the format of Dale’s zine revolves every 4 issues. It goes from a review zine to a per zine to an index to an APA zine. The bulk of this zine features a few in depth book reviews, several pages of zine listings that give a nice overview as to the zine’s contents, excerpts of various things Dale has read (which quite frankly went over my head.) an interesting bit on running a club zine and a bit on the state of zinedom where dale gives a year by year comparison of how many zines he’s received for said year. This is a nice, low key zine and Dale seems like an interesting guy worth getting to know. 5.5 x 8.5 16 pages. Send $3, a trade or a letter of comment to Dale Speirs Box 6830, Calgary Alberta Canada, T2P 2E7

MARAUDER #1 and 2- These are auto bio comix with some fiction thrown in. Truth is I enjoyed the auto bio stuff, many of which revolve around his old fast food job, getting high and sometimes both. The fictional stories revolve around the author traveling through time with a talking parrot which just didn’t do it for me. They were sort of a framing device, but I would have been perfectly happy with for auto-bio stuff. I did really like the drawing style and overall it was pretty entertaining. The good parts were very good and the bad parts weren’t that bad. 28 pages 8.5 x 11. Send $3 or maybe a trade to J. Sumii PO Box 140696 Boise ID 83714 jsumii@hotmail.com http://www.jimsumii.com/

HIGH MAINTENANCE MACHINE #21- This is one I got at the Boston Zine Fair and it has actually become something of a favorite of mine, having read exactly 2 of the 21 issues. These are diary comics mostly revolving around Matthew, his wife, and his cats. These comics kind of remind me of James Kolchaka’s though I’m not sure if there are any real similarities or if it’s just the fact that they both do diary comics and have a slightly similar drawing style. It can’t be easy doing a new comic strip every day and having it be both funnier and more insightful than pretty much anything you’ll se in your newspaper comics section, but Matt pulls it off beautifully. 36 pages half sized. Send $3 to Matthew Reidsma 31 Walnut St Somerville MA 02143 http://www.reidsma.com/

GERANIUMS & BACON #5- Another favorite from the Boston Zine Fair. More mostly auto bio comics by Cathy Leamy (I say mostly because while I can’t be sure I’m fairly certain the story about digging up a medieval mecha battle suit in her grandfather’s garden may not have really happened. ) I particularly enjoyed the story about Cathy going to the Filene’s Basement bridal sale just to see what it’s like. It’s an annual event and ever since I was a wee sprat I’d see clips of this on the news and I never understood the point of it all. It always just looked to me like a bunch of crazy woman literally tackling each other to get cheap dresses. It seems to me like it’s about as far away from fun as you can possibly get, but these maniacal mobs of women always seem to be smiling as they pummel each other for wedding dresses so what do I know? But thanks to Cathy I now know what it’s like so I have no more lingering curiosity about it. I like when people experience things I’m curious about but will never do and really never want to do. At any rate I like this zine a lot and you should too. for info e mail cathy@metrokitty.com comics.metrokitty.com

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Extranjero #7 (review by Davida)

Unas vacaciones en el extranjero, a foreign holiday

I received this issue just before I went to Germany for a work trip. I decided to save it, figuring it would heighten the reading experience of reading about an ex-pat returning home for a visit while visiting a foreign country myself. I was not disappointed. Kris has lived away from the US for some time now and in many respects the ways of “modern” American life are now as foreign to him as I’m sure Spain once was. He noticed the plethora of electronic goods in his parents’ home, but chooses not to own a TV at home in Spain. He is overwhelmed by the supermarket, which is more like a department store, as well as all the stomach medicines needed for the gluttonous. He takes Lola to places of his youth, as well as places offering “a true American experience” – at least as far as Pennsylvania goes – a gun and outdoors MEGA-mart. They also spend an idyllic week in the Virgin Islands. It was definitely interesting hearing Kris’s take on the US from a now outsiders perspective.
Trade or donation/Digest/28 pages
Kris & Lola, Calle Obispo 4B, Plasencia 10600, Caceres, Spain

Syndicate Product 13.0, The TV Issue (review by Davida)

Full disclosure – I contributed to this issue. However, I always enjoy A.j.’s compilation issues and pop cultural analysis, which one of the reasons I contributed. One of my favorite pieces was Celia Perez’s youthful recollections of being obsessed with the mini-series “North and South”. She and three friends even went so far as to write letters to one another in character. She also contributes a piece on telenovelas. Ken Bausert recalls the first TV his family bought and still has the “portable TV” his brother came home with around 1949. Kris (of Extranjero) writes about viewing 9/11 on a small B&W TV in rural Ireland. Eric Lyden contributes some fun facts and Gianni Simone attempts to explain Japanese reality TV. A.j. delves into TV music and how you no longer even need a TV to watch TV.
$3/Digest/28 pgs
A.j. Michel
PO Box 877, Lansdowne, PA 19050

Fish with Legs #12 (Review by Davida)

Fw/L is one of my favorite perzines. It could come off as 36 pages of rambling, but it is interesting rambling. Eric touches on some difficult subjects – his cat Buddy dying and the health of his grandparents – but much of the issue is dominated by Eric’s stint as a juror. I can understand his desire to get out of it, but also the curiosity of wanting to be involved. It turns out to be a drug case, one where the legality and the morality are at odds. I kind of wanted to add the “dun-dun” of "Law and Order" while reading it. There is also a section of fun facts, including an act of civil disobedience/performance art in the 8th grade. It is always fun to spend time with 36 pages of Eric.
$2/Digest/36 pgs
Eric Lyden
224 Moraine St., Brockton, MA 02301
ericfishlegs@aol.com or eric.lyden@gmail.com

Worry Stone #1 (review by Davida)

Jerianne started this new zine as a way to bring forth and clarify much of what worries her. She is in a relationship with a legally blind man with diabetes and they have a young child. Add in a career and a house and there are more than enough anxieties to go around. Much of this issue centered around diabetes and Denny’s experiences with the disease. Youthfully recklessness and not having insurance both impacted his health and ultimately his vision, but he was able to retain some vision in his left eye thanks to surgery. It was an interesting look at being the partner of someone with major health issues and how she views/fears the future.
PO Box 330156, Murfreesboro, TN 37133

About My Disappearance #1 and #2 (review by Davida)

I used to love Dave Roche’s zine On Subbing, about his trials and travails as a substitute teacher. Then Dave disappeared and I didn’t hear from him again for several years. These two issues delve into why. Dave health begins to deteriorate and over the course of two months he becomes a shell of his former self, weighing about 100 pounds and not wanting to see or talk to anyone. He is ultimately diagnosed with Crone’s Disease, a chronic digestive disorder. He is nursed back to health by his father and various medications. The first issue deals with his first flare up and the months of recovery he experienced. The affects of the disease are not simply physical, and how Dave views himself, his fears, and his desire to be around others are all deeply influenced. The second issue continues his chronicles of dealing with Crone’s, but Dave is also1) hit by a car and breaks two bones, 2) hit by another car, 3) moves to Philadelphia and is jumped and beaten unconscious, and as a result moves back to his family in the Midwest.
$1-2?/Mini/52 pgs (#1), 24 pgs (#2)
Dave Roche

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In My Mailbox 11-5-08

Hey there,

Funny thing: My PO Box is always jammed full of stuff, but there're fewer and fewer actual zines. Weird. I get a lot of correspondence from folks, and I still get a fair amount of single-issue orders or subs through the mail, but fewer and fewer zines.

Still, the ones i do get are generally excellent:

- "SMile, Hon You're in Baltimore" #10 ($3, William P. Tandy, Eight Stone Press, POB 11064, Baltimore, MD 21212; www.eightstonepress.com). Sturdy, good-looking zine from the somewhat brilliant Bill Tandy. Without reading a wiord I know it's gonna be cool.

- The Ken Chronicles #9 ($2, Ken Bausert, 2140 Erma Drive, East MEadow, NY 11554-1120; passscribe@aol.com) Further entry in the new(ish) perzine from the former editor of Passions. Ken mentions the drying-up of printed zines as well, and is adjusting his print run downward so that only trades and people he knows want a copy get one, so if you're interested, request one directly.

And that was it for actual issues. My office has become a wasteland of disorganization, so I have this creepy feeling I had a load of thing to add in here that have been lost. Wouldn't surprise me. What with the drinking and all.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

an alien here by leah angstman (review by Anne)

alternating current
$3, including shipping (out-of-US add $2)
2 inches wide by 2.75 tall (1/16 size)

I love this concept so much I didn't want to screw up the description, so I'm borrowing their website's words: "an alien here is the first book in our series of Pocket Protector books. Pocket Protectors are a continuing anthology of pint-sized 1/16-page-size, charming chapbooks, containing 15-30 poems each (depending on length), that are part of an ongoing series showcasing a different poet each month. an alien here, the first in the series, contains 18 previously unpublished poems and cover artwork by award-winning underground author leah angstman."

Seriously. These books are tiny and fantastic. I believe there have been two others published (check out their website & blog for details) and though I haven't read those other books yet I imagine they're of the same caliber of angstman's work. They're published every month, and "poets are chosen by invitation only" (which I have to confess I kind of love). angstman's work is vivid; always the right word for the right moment, emphasis precisely placed, graphic by turns but always very compassionate. Even when responding "i have nothing to say / but/ yeah" to post-coital odd phrasings from one's lover, angstman's context evokes real feeling in the reader. They're passionate and daring (other reviewers have used this word as well; I repeat it because it's apt). Her poetry shows a precision that's sometimes hard to find, and this volume showcases 16 of her pieces, ranging from a longer piece like the sprawling "1926" through to shorter pieces like "on the level." My favorite, the terse "i don't respond to hey baby" is vivid and gives the reader concrete, precise images all pearls and carnivals and Pepsi. Highly recommended, especially if you're interested in poetry.

Below Noon #3 (review by Anne)

Below Noon #3
c/o Angie P
P.O. Box 42123
Portland, OR 97242
angie97202 [at] gmail.com
$2 USD, trades OK, 1/4 page size, 49 (?) pages

How exciting! I reviewed Below Noon #2 by Angie P. a while back and now I've got #3, published in May, in front of me. It's still a small zine with a mighty lot of wallop: I'm eager to see #4 when it's finished. The form is the same, listed out on a lovely contents page (the design elements in this issue seem much stronger than in #2). Remember, we're reading what Angie called in issue #2 "experimental story-telling" with "2 main sections: one with somewhat structured stories...and another section that's more improv." The structure holds, here; it's still an engaging read, the design/aesthetics are very strong, and the cover's particularly cool.

The section "postcards to some kids i knew in elementary school" is evocative and fascinating: it's something I liked in #2, that sense of brevity (well, you're forced into it because of the space on a postcard) but with the feeling that there's a much larger story behind the one you're getting. It's captivating. There's a lot happening here, and in such a small space, that the tight organization really helps move it forward. I'm waiting for the next one...

Absent Cause (review by Anne)

Absent Cause #1
by redguard
754 Washington Ave #4R
Brooklyn, NY 11238
redguard [at] gmail [dot] com

$3 US, $3 Can/Mex, contact first for everywhere else, +1$ for shipping
trades yes, 8 1/2 x 11, color cover, 44 pages

"Explore the dark side with Absent Cause: underground cultures, hidden histories, feminist and queer sexualities; chosen families and radical politics; vampirism; the gothic and horror; surviving abuse, coping with mental illness, self-harm and suicide. Through writing, art work, photos + comics, we explore the myriad ways they intersect."

Sounds like a pretty wide range, no? But that's a pretty accurate description of the things you're going to see in this issue. It's a first issue, which often is interesting, exciting, and a little messy, and Absent Cause #1 holds to that. This arrived with "Sometimes Things Get Confusing When You're Mentally Ill" (a half-size 8-page zine for $1). Both are pretty heady stuff, about the author's struggles with depression, PTSD, being a father and with being married. "Triggers abound," redguard states in the introduction to the mini, and that's an apt statement to keep in mind for BOTH of these zines.

Absent Cause is an anthology with a huge range of contributors. There are some fascinating interviews surrounding race, gender, and culture, and there are some incredibly disturbing full-color pictures included in this issue (it's bloody, eye-catching, and might freak you out even if those are not your particular triggers. If they are, you might want to approach this issue with caution). They're well-done and evocative, and not included for shock value, but they did shock me. The zine is well-crafted and uses a sharp, crisp layout and design; what I wanted to know more about was if there was an overriding theme to it. I couldn't in the end decide what that theme might be, and though the focus seems a little undecided in places I'm not sorry that I read it. In future issues, I'd be interested to see if themes do develop. The next issue is due out in January, so in time I suppose we'll see.

Invincible Summer --an anthology--by Nicole J. Georges (review by Anne)

(because today's the day with the extra hour, i am making up for lost time)

Invincible Summer --an anthology
Nicole J. Georges
many illustrated pages--fancy book bound
ISBN:0-97269967-6-8 Microcosm #76053)
Microcosm Publishing
222 S. Rogers St Bloomington IN. 47404
jessie [at] microcosmpublishing[dot] com
(cost? not sure. email for details)

Reprinted in October 2007, this collection covers the first 8 issues of Nicole's zine, started in 2000 when she first moved to Portland. This second edition (the first was printed in 2004) includes more material--more drawings of dogs, material that wasn't published before, other new bits. Not having the first edition to compare with the later one, all I can say on that is that the book is pretty substantial and there are an awful lot of very cute dog drawings.

You could actually apply that phrase--an awful lot of very cute--to the entire book. There's a collection of the drawings from her 2006 calendar, which totally made me want to do my own (in addition to the crazy-busy let-me-stump-it-again monster millinery thing). In fact, the whole thing was kind of inspiring; like that feeling you get when you read a really, really good zine and it somehow lights a fire under your butt, this book made me want to bust out my pens and draw. I've been working on a long book project (nothing to do with the slowness that is booty #22) that's taking a long time to do and reading through this one made me really excited to get back to it.

It's sort of like sifting through old letters; by the end I felt as if I'd caught up on five or so years of an old friend's life. There's an easy familiarity to her work and it's an enchanting kind of read. Highly recommended.

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet 21 (review by Anne)

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #21
made by: Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link
with help from: Jedediah Berry, Michael DeLuca, and Annabel Link
issn: 1544-778203
available for purchase online (see below) or at
Small Beer Press, 150 Pleasant Street #306, Easthampton, MA 01027
$5, 60 pgs, totally worth it.

This volume is in the stack I've been meaning to get through; I've been so slow on this that this twice-a-year volume actually lapped me (they're on to #22, which you can see at the website listed above). It's odd, because when I opened the package of zines, it was the first one where I went "Whoohoo!" (I do that sometimes) and wanted to get to it first. And then a thousand small things got in the way (and one slightly more major thing. I started a business: mymonsterhat.com).

But for the first time pretty much ever, I'm actually glad that I waited. Weirdly, I have two work-related connections to this volume; the one I can tell you about (remember, I work with test secure material) involves someone handing me a copy of Carol Emshwiller's Carmen Dog, which I quite literally only finished earlier this week (fantastic read, by the way). And, of course, Gavin J. Grant is a long-term, frequent XD contributor. And, as if all this wasn't enough, they're also based in Easthampton in a building very near to where I'm spending the afternoon.

I love these kinds of overlaps. So often I receive zines where there is none of this stuff, where it's arrived almost entirely out of the blue, which is fine but sometimes feels totally impersonal (even if that zine is a perzine full of exactly that sort of information). I very much enjoyed reading LCRW #21; it's primarily fiction but also includes poetry, nonfiction, and comics. The layout and design is impeccable: crisp, clean, beautifully formatted. Carol Emshwiller is a regular contributor and the material itself covers a wide range, from odd boarding schools to a strange co-worker writing code (I don't want to say much more for fear of giving it away), and there isn't a single wrong note in here. Literary zines are sometimes a tough sell, but this one shouldn't be--it's well worth the time and money. (And there are even subscription options which
include chocolate...)