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.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reviews from Gavin Grant: Floation Device, Ker-Bloom, Oh No, the Robot, Prints Not Dead, Lazy Boy, Musea

No.11, $5, half-letter, 64pp., Keith Helt, 1242 Dean St., Woodstock, IL 60098. floatationdevice@gmail.com
Picked this up at some point (this issue came out in 2005) at Giant Robot in San Francisco. A long way to go for zines, but those were the days when a cross-country trip to get some reading material seemed like a sharp idea. And it was: this is a great zine. Keith gave all his stories to different comics artists to illustrate so, while he looks into his relationship to zining over the years, the many illustrators give it a ton of different looks. It’s almost worth the $5 for the cover which you could frame or just put up on your wall. It’s a great idea and his sense of joy at being part of the zining community is catchy.

No.74, $2+stamp, quarter-letter, 8pp., artnoose, 5532 Baywood St., Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Yay! A Manifesto! This issue of the long-running letterpress-printed Ker-bloom! is titled “Pittsburgh Relocation Project” and it’s very persuasive. Artnoose and partner moved there so that they could have their “Dream Shop”—a print shop (see www.craftycards.net for their other print stuff) in the ground floor of their house. A year later, it’s done and now we should all move there. This zine makes it sound like an idea we should all be considering: free bikes and free screenprinting are both available, there aren’t many cops, there are loads of punk families, punk rock brunches (that may be an oxymoron, but it gets the meaning across), and so on. As economies around the world wait for China to start selling dollars and begin the big collapse, artnoose says Pittsburgh is readying itself for the apocalypse. Read the zine and get on your bike.

No.10, $2, half-letter, 12pp., Chris Morix, 23 Crystal Villa, Warman, SK, SOKOAI, Canada. ohnotherobot@hotmail.com

A set of short stories about a guy, maybe Chris, who hates much about life including dating, marriage, and other forms of partnership hooking up with a friend and wondering how it will go and whether it will last, some of which are illustrated by naïve-styled color illustrations. There are some great lines here: “The end is when you get to relax after the climax, take a deep breath, and begin plotting a way to do it all again.” It’s hilarious, mercifully short, and ends in a way that points to larger, weirder things. Something like Joe Meno meets Kevin Brockmeier.


Andrew Coltrin, Look for Signage, PO Box 40782, Tucson, AZ 85717, look_for_signage@yahoo.com

I love that when I read a good zine and google it I find a whole new bunch of interesting people. I just looked up Andrew’s other zine, Bony Landmarks, and came across a well-established distro shop (www.parcellpress.com) that looks like the next place on my buy tour of the internets. Um, right, liked the zine, too.

No.1, $2 US/$4 world/trade, quarter-legal, 80pp., Mike Baker, PO Box 1174, Tallahassee, FL 32302. gomek@comcast.net

Mike gives the reader fair warning for what to expect in his preface: it’s a trip through how fucked up he is, so don’t read it if you’re easily offended. It starts off gentle with a couple of letters from prisoners and a photocopied “fag story from the fifties.” Then comes, as it were, the exciting stuff: episodes of his sexual experiences that run the gamut. There are also a couple of nihilistic short short stories that didn’t do much for me.

No.163, $?, half-legal, 8pp., Tom Hendricks, Art with Craft, 4000 Hawthorne, #5, Dallas, TX 75219. tom-hendricks@att.net

Reprints an older essay of Tom’s, “Pentalium,” in which he calls for a Wiki-style collaborative world history to be written. (Does Wikipedia count? Not sure.) There’s also a nice short piece of MUSEA history that will mess up future historians. The last essay is on new ways to know the past. The last of these is astrology, so how you take it will depend on whether your mind is made up on that or not. I don’t think the past will be able to be read by looking at where the sun was or who was born on which days and so on, but maybe you do. I did like checking out his music at hunkasaurus.com.

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