Opuntia 65.5, August, 2008 – Letters to the Editor
Sixteen pages, halfsheet.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 2E7
$3 Cash, trade for letter, zine, letter of comment
No stamps or checks.
Dear Reader, at last, I can provide some insights into the enigma that is Dale Spiers. This dude is an ecclectic, amazing intellect, but I often wondered what he did for a living. How could his enormous reading habit be supported in both his professional and personal lives in modern times?
Apparently, he is a hybrid of Kerouac and MacGyver who works for the Calgary Parks Department as a Trouble Calls Supervisor. How cool is that? A man who is literate in economics, history and popular mechanics, who drives an enormous truck, helping those in distress! A modern Superhero! Okay, enough editorializing and onto an actual review....
Topics in this edition of Opuntia, Letters to the Editor, issue are split between the price and future of oil and Dale's highly entertaining job.
The oil discussion is lively, although out of date; oil has dropped through the floor. Gloat no more, Ye Northern Sheiks.
Dale describes his job in scenarios. At the conclusion of each troubleshooting scene, he punctuates with a great catch phrase: no further action required. I think I'll end as many emails, in my professional life, this way as possible.
It's Fuchi, No?
Author of this hilarious thing, please contact Leeking Inc with price and contact info and we'll gladly amend this review.
This is everything I wish for in a zine – a totally bizarre experience that is somewhat crude and very funny. In my envelope of delights containing It's Fuchi, No? there is a 2008 calendar, which features a creature-a-month, pleasantly mooning the reader. The drawings are so hilarious in their expressivness and artful crappiness. In fact, crap makes an appearance in August!
Also included were Kappa cards (sized and styled sort of like Tarot Cards): amusing factoids and illustrations, describing a mythical, child-eating, sometimes charming, but mostly murderous creature. Here is a sample:
“Kappas are mischievous. Sometimes they like to engage in harmless pranks like loudly breaking wind (There's a Japanese phrase, Kappa no he, which means 'just a kappa fart'. It means much ado about nothing.) or looking up ladies' kimonos. But don't be fooled into thinking that Kappa's just one of the guys. He will kill you given the chance. He prefers to eat children, but he will eat an adult.”
On the verso of the card is a great and crude drawing of a farting, turtle-like creature with a wild, monk-like hairdo.
The third goody in the envelope of delights is a small zine collection of cartoons aimed at being less funny than Ziggy. The author admits it was an ambitious, but self-proclaimed failure. I agree, for as un-funny as some of the cartoons aim to be, they are still damn funny. Much funnier than Ziggy. The author sums it up best, “...I think I failed. I think my comics are actually funnier. That's not to say they're funny: they're not. They're just no Ziggy.”
The Divine and Breaking Wind has touched the author of It's Fuchi, No? and I rejoice.
The final item is a collection of chinese cookie fortunes, stapled together. The fortunes caused me to guffaw aloud. Here are a few:
“You will be engulfed in thighs.”
“Don't shave, it'll make your head look small.”
“Must you constantly deal in chicanery?”
“Your friends value your loyalty and your manipulability.”
The Juniper #10.5 – Summer of Slow
P.O. Box 3154
Moscow, ID 83843
Send a stamp, first class mail.
Likes letters to the editor, needs help with distribution.
A delicious Black and White minizine: photos of Dan Murphy's gorgeous garden, even in B&W, you can smell the Earth, and taste the sweet, soft summer air as it caresses the vegetation.
It's cold out where I am, and there is a dusting of snow, now getting to be more than just dust. I am feeling sorry for myself so even this scrap of summer provides succor to a suffering soul.
Carrots and Condoms, Winter 2008
P.O. Box 163327
Sacramento, CA 95816
$3 well-concealed cash
On a personal note, this zine struck a chord of memory with me: that feeling I had just after college, where the working world was so repugnant, so horrible, it drove me mad with despair.
I didn't discover the desire to farm or to somehow create a Portland, OR where I was; I went down in flames of defeat.
So, to you, Coco, you go girl! Keep the passion alive and change the world because NOW is the time. Korporate Amerika is on the run; we are going to have to re-invent the American dream; and you, my dear, young soul, are just where you need to be.
This zine, to me, examines our connection to Nature, and what we can do to heal the dysfunctional relationship that agribusiness and modern life have caused us. As a species, we suffer from a gross separation from the Earth.
Coco describes the Permaculture movement and relates her excellent time spent with this new wave of hippies and Kerouac-inspired hobos.
What Permaculture aims to do is to create a lifestyle that has as close to zero impact on the environment. Recycling on steroids. Think composting, sod huts, heirloom seeds, companion planting, any sort of technique to allow us the bounty of Nature without causing her pain.
The zine itself is a great resource for learning more about Permaculture and organic farms that employ work-traders (highly-educated-itinerant farmers). Two organizations, of the many listed, are Mountain Homestead Community in Oregon and Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri.
The zine has an exhaustive listing of organizations and is chock full of ideas for those who would like to participate in the Permaculture movement.
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.