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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, March 17, 2009

Maynard Reviews some Zines (March 2009)

Opuntia 66.1 November. 2008 ISSN 1183-2703
Dale Spiers
Box 6830
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2P 2E7
$3 cash for a one-time copy, no US checks or US stamps

Oil, oil and more oil. Dale Spiers discusses the driver of modern industry with alacrity. He assures us that Armageddon isn't really at hand, we are just going through yet another awkward economic convulsion, caused, in part, by oil speculators dumping their once-precious black-gold. Personally, I was hoping for Armageddon, as I don't want to have to save for retirement anymore.

Dale also reviews Reinventing Collapse (Dimitri Orlov, 2008). No one knows economic woes better than Russians, but this book will be an unpleasant wakeup call for us spoiled Westerners, whose privately owned dwellings and industries are completely subject to the value of our currency. In the recent Russian collapse, the currency was worthless and people had to rely on barter. This was possible because their housing and major industries are owned by the State, so at least the communities stayed together as housing ownership was unaffected. City dwellers could also go about living as they could use bikes and public transit to get around.

America's impending collapse will be spectacular. So horrifying, in fact, that I am tempted to dig a pit and fill it with Spam and gold bars. The future collapse would be fascinating if I didn't have to participate.

Think how lives will change with no money, no jobs, no cars and no cable! It's primitive as can be. Anyhoo, upshot is we'll have to rely on each other, learn to mend and make do, and give up our selfish, isolated, environmentally detrimental lifestyles, which is a pity because I enjoy having my own bathroom.

Also included are zine reviews.

When the Spam runs out, think of the good old days when you could read zine reviews on the Internet.

Sugar and Spite Presents
Angry Carrot and Diabolical Pea
Ali Thompson and Mikkie McGregor
PO Box 95
Runnemeade, NY 08078

$3 Other titles by these authors are reviewed below and prices vary per title.

These are the chronicles of a murderous pea and carrot who specialize in sophisticated riffs on great moments in history, and ironic illustration of text. Format is a quarter sheet with a quotation and accompanying crude stick-figure drawing to illustrate the concept in the quote.

My only admonition to the authors is the labeling Stairway to Heaven as a great tragedy in History. You young whippersnappers have no idea of the health benefits the DJ population derived from this song. Many years ago, before automated radio, Disc Jockies would play this classic, 6-minute tune, so they could go take a leek. This song is great on so many levels, but the thing that impresses me most is Led Zep was on some pretty heavy drugs and were able to hold and slide a tempo like nobody's business. Mega cool.

If you favor crude, yet erudite drawings, this will bring a grin to even the most jaded, history-major-cum-baristas out there.

Sugar and Spite Presents
Sad Robots
Ali Thompson and Mikkie McGregor
PO Box 95
Runnemeade, NY 08078
$3 Other titles by these authors are reviewed below and prices vary per title.

Brief allegory of the coming Age of Robots and how they sort of appreciate what they lost when they destroyed humanity. Deeply disturbing, but in a good way.

Sugar and Spite Presents
Revelation Chapters 1-11
Ali Thompson and Mikkie McGregor
PO Box 95
Runnemeade, NY 08078
$5 Other titles by these authors are reviewed below and prices vary per title.

Jesus help me! I am a huge sucker for the Book of Revelations, so forgive the Rave for this zine; it probably isn't as great as I think, but I am extremely biased with this sort of thing, and am unable to remain in the proper “reviewer” stance and have shifted over to hopeless fan.

The authors take the best of the Scripture, add some crude drawings, vivid color, and viola! A masterpiece.

The Four Horsemen illustration – alone - is worth $5.

ETC #1 Everybody that Creates: Regret
PO Box 678421
Orlando, FL 32867-8421

This zine has uneven content, and a lot of poetry, so if poesy makes you puke, skip it.

There are some gems in here. Poetical standouts are Song of Songs by Christopher Almond; Doctor Holdout by Curtis Meyer, and the Untitled Comic by Chuck E. Folgar.

This last offering, Untitled Comic, is the highlight of the zine for me. It's a brief comic which is a painfully funny study of what it's like to reveal all the wrong parts of yourself to others whom you wish to impress, and they subsequently reject you.

32 pages, half size
$2 US, $3 outside US, trades accepted
Ashlee Swanson
8150 W 30 ½ St. #306
St. Louis Park, MN 55426

For those of us who trembled at the thought that there was no replacement generation of zine-creators, think again. Ashlee Swanson's excellent zine on the confusing, twentysomething experience is a fine representation of the next generation of zinesters.

Ashlee captures that feeling of random, drunken-free-fall life. It's the oddly-in-between-time, when one isn't a teen, and isn't exactly sure who or what one is. I am still waiting for this period of life to come to an end, but I am a very slow learner. Ashlee shows us how she stumbled her way through her first years living on her own, and what she experienced as she learned about herself through her relationships with others.

Hand-lettered, slice-of-life style makes you feel you really know the author at zine's end.

Absent Cause, #2, January 2009
PO Box 1568
NY, NY 10276
$4 US; $5 Can/Mex; $5 World (includes shipping)
Trades OK
96 p; size: 5.5” X 8.5”

Essays and poems from numerous authors– mostly essays with a central theme of self acceptance or becoming part of a group.

The essays are top-notch, well-written, and highly engaging.

Topics include an interview with rocker Amanda Palmer; fat acceptance; the Muslim experience – one in NY city and one in Egypt; obsessive disorders; transsexuals; horror and fantasy fiction; poetry; and some amazing graphic and photographic art with very strong, sexual images.

The essay that made me stop and think even more than usual, is Andria Alefi's essay “Arab in the American world (or the other way around).” A first-generation, Arab woman describes her complex identity as an Arab-American; Arab-American mistaken for a Jew, and a daughter of immigrants. This essay is a generous, humorous, and complex take on the American Experience.

The revelation of the fear within the Arab-American communities to be themselves is heart-breaking.

The history of immigration to America is one of hazing. And that is for the folks who came here voluntarily. We have forgotten “Irish need not apply” and “No Italians Allowed” on the door of the local watering hole that was a hallmark of the turn of the last century.

Arab-Americans today are suffering a double-whammy of normal American xenophobia and freaky global politics resulting from stateless warfare techniques, which has been cruelly and incorrectly associated with Islam.

Can the Republic survive this episode and preserve Constitutional Integrity? We have an unpleasant chapter of American history to refer to: how we treated Japanese-Americans during WWII. I pray we have learned our lesson from this less-than-glorious period of our history.


Ali said...

Hi, Maynard! I'm Ali from Sugar and Spite. Thanks for the review. I appreciate it.

If you guys wouldn't mind, the address you listed for us is incorrect. Could you possibly change it?

The correct address is:

PO Box 95
Runnemede, NJ 08078

Thanks again!

Andrew Culture said...

This highlights what's really great about the world of zines, just when you think you're getting a handle on things a publisher comes along you've never heard of! It's great!
Andrew Culture

(my siggy)
My Zine Distro...

librarian666 said...


I have corrected the zip code in the address.

Many apologies. And thanks for letting me know.