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, September 24, 2009

Birthing Zine Call for Stories

"I'm interested in compiling a zine of birthing stories, but not only birthing in the conventional way. Did you have a baby? Did your partner have a baby? Did you adopt a baby? Do you know the story of your own birth and would like to share it? Did you choose not to have a birthing story (i.e. abortion)? Did your birthing story end due to miscarriage, still birth, or another ending? What is your story and do you want to share it? We all have different stories, and some are more accepted than others. I'd like to put them all together."

"If you have a story you'd like to tell, please send entries to rebekahb@temple.edu or hard copies to Rebekah B/PO Box 3786/Philadelphia, PA 19125. I'd love to have submissions by December 1st."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NERVES #4- I’ve gotta admit, I do enjoy it when a zine comes with a CD. Unfortunately in this case I haven’t had a chance to listen to the CD, which contains music made by the zine’s author Alex along with a few other songs, but it’s the principle of the thing. It shows that Alex cares enough to throw in something extra. As for the zine itself...well, it was pretty doggone good. Plain text with a few photos interspersed to spice things up. It’s mostly short pieces- Van Reviews where Alex talks about van’s he’s owned, Airport Reviews, and Oral Surgeon reviews (which includes the suggestion “Go to the dentist more than once every 10 years” which is advice I oughta follow) It’s a pretty quick read, but I rather enjoyed it. 16 pages quarter size + a CD Send $5 or a trade to Alex 1920 North Kedzie Ave #3 Chicago IL 60647 www.some-music.org alexh@riseup.net

MILKYBOOTS #6 The author says this is “a diary comic about daily life for Virginia (the author) in simple black & white line drawings.” Now look, I kow the little form you fill out asks a description, but when you’re that succinct about it it really doesn’t leave the reviewer with much to do. Virginia’s own description pretty much sums it up. Though I do beg to differ about the “simple” line art. It’s not exactly highly detailed, but it’s much more than just stick figures. Some of the pages are funny, some are sad, some are somewhere in between and some just are. I liked this one. 16 half size pages. send $2 or trade (maybe) to Virginia Paine 3712 NE 13th Ave, Portland OR 97212 vlpaine@yahoo.com, milkyboots.blogspot.com

CULTIVATOR #1- This one looks just like an old school zine. Cut & paste back when it referred to actually cutting and pasting pieces of paper to each other instead of just making a few clicks on your mouse. The theme of this issue is “Know your place” where the author writes about the place that she both grew up and recently moved back to, the city of St. Catharines ONT. She examines it then and now and I found it quite interesting, especially her discussion of how from one of the largest producers of bikes in all of Canada to a place that barely even welcomes bike riding. Speaking of which, this zine contains a picture of a guy riding one of those old timey bikes with the giant front wheel and the tiny back wheel to illustrate her hometown’s bike obsession. (Yes, I know these bikes are called Penny Farthings, but if I’d have just said “a penny farthing” you may not have known what they were.) (Oooh... I’m totally going to type “penny farthing” into Scribblenauts and see what happens.) At any rate, I got to wondering just whose idea these bikes were? They seem very difficult just to get seated on, they can’t go very fast and they seem quite dangerous to fall off of. Since they didn’t have a lot of electrical devices back then you’d think at the very least they could have taken the time to perfect the design of what they did have. Maybe people really were stupider back then, but you’d think the guy who invented bikes would be smart enough to take another few minutes to make both wheels the both size. OK, I liked this zine. Good stuff. 40 pages, 4.5 x 5.5 Send $2 or a trade to Kate Andres-Toal 16 Atwood St., St. Catharines, ON, L2R 1H1, Canada

RICOCHET, RICOCHET #8- This is another zine that looks like and old school zine. But the typewriter they used for parts of this zine needs a new ribbon. And I can’t quite read some of the handwriting. However, it does come with a free CD and as I mentioned previously, I always like that. I didn’t get a chance to listen to this one either. As far as the overall content of the zine it’s pretty good. Not quite the kind of thing I tend to read but good nonetheless. Some zine reviews, a bit on Prop 8 (which is funny just because they’re from England and I can’t imagine any American zine caring enough to write a piece related to American politics. Not even American politics, but California politics. Maybe Americans are just apathetic goofs.) and dueling restaurant reviews by a married couple who were visiting San Francisco which I liked. Pretty good, but some parts just aren’t as readable as they could (or should be) Half size send $3 US or 80p UK or trade to Colly & Paffy 3d Worlingham Rd, London Se22 9HD UK, ricochetricochet@yahoo.co.uk

ETC #4- LIFT OFF- A lit zine made up of art and writing of a variety of people, but the main architects appear to be Dan Folgar and Chris Wiewiora. Like most zines of this type it’s a hit or miss affair. I liked the comics, didn’t care much for the poems (and to be fair I never care for any poetry) and I found the fiction to be kind of a mixed bag. It’s definitely a nice looking package with a nice cardboard cover. Lots of care clearly went into the layout and it shows. I’d say it’s worth reading even if the whole thing isn’t your cup of tea. Half size send $4 to ETC zine, PO Box 678421 Orlando FL 32867-8421 ETCzine@gmail.com

WTF? #1: JETSET ANALOG FUTURE- This is also sort of a lit zine, but by only one author. I rather enjoyed most of it. The Dystopian Tales are funny (I even kinda liked the poems) There are a few bits that kinda fall flat, but they are pretty short so I can deal with them. It’s well done, especially for a first issue. Certainly worth a read if you’re into a humorous lit zine kinda deal. Half size, 24 pages, send $3 to DJ Burnett PO Box 131 Fryburg, PA 16326 djburnett@yahoo.com

Friday, September 18, 2009

In My Mailbox 9-18-09


Today may well be the best weather since the formation of the world, at least in Hoboken, NJ. So naturally I put on my walking pants and wandered over to my PO Box. The children teased me cruelly as I huffed and puffed my way there, but I made it! I am an hero.

Aside from some letters (including one from a prisoner who had his issue kicked back because I dared to include a sticker, which is a new reason for the prison system to treat me like I'm trying to raise an army of felons with which to conquer America), I got:

- Worst Future Ever! #1 and #2 ($1 / trade, JD, POB 340971, Columbus, OH 43234; worstfutureever.blogspot.com). A neat, slim digest-sized that considers the various ways in which the future sucks in the imagination. Issue #1 has as a theme the Red Menace and explores films like Red Dawn and Amerika in brief essays; #2 gives the 1990s the same treatment.

- Johnny America #7 ($4 US, $5 Canadian in Canada, 3 pounds for UK, POB 44-2001, Lawrence, Kansas, 66044; www.johnnyamerica.net/store) The McSweeneys of zines returns to my mailbox with a nice-looking issue made of heavy, good quality paper, a nifty purple cover, and many words. Which is, I confess, how I like my zines.

And that was it. I tned to get a lot more correspondence than zines these days, for some reason. Perhaps folks want to keep the mail coming but aren't putting out issues any more - who knows? I myself just went from 4 issues to 2 a year, so maybe it's just the continental drift of the DIY pub world.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2 by Kelly Froh, plus Brooklyn!

both by Kelly Froh
quarter size, 28 pp with color cover (Debbie's Story), 46 pp. (Itch), $2 US/world ?, trades ?
414 12th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102

I love these little comics. The titles are fairly self-explanatory; the first being the story of a woman named Debbie: "She's my mom's sister, who kinda let herself go. She was always cheerful, with pink cheeks. She wore sweatpants, even on Thanksgiving, and still to this day has huge glasses." Debbie, it turns out, has a semi-secret former life, far more exciting than her current one, and it's both a cute read (the drawings and linework are charming) and sort of heartbreaking (in that 'you get what you settle for' sense). The second, the story of a woman in an assisted living home who from time to time would become something of a menace, much to the consternation of the entire staff. Turns out that every five years Dorothy Barry (not her real name!) would go on a rampage of sorts...and to tell you more might ruin the story. Both of these comics are worth tracking down. They're these evocative little books that are charming and I think you'll like them. See for yourself....

24 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 $10 for a 4 issue subscription
Fred Argoff
Penthouse L
1170 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn NY 11230

As was said in an earlier review: "The name of this zine is BROOKLYN and that's also what the zine is about, Fred's beloved borough of Brooklyn." I always enjoy reading an issue when it appears in my mailbox; this issue includes a rewrite of a fairy tale entitled "Jack be Nimble, Jack be Quick, Jack be from Brooklyn" which is, as you'd expect, full of Brooklyn references. It's the first story in an issue that's kind of the Big Book of Brooklyn Fables; Lady Godiva riding through Park Slope, Peter Piper, Humpty-freakin'-Dumpty, ok?, Brooklyn-style nursery rhymes, and so on. I'm not from Brooklyn, though I have a few connections there, but I found the whole thing really entertaining. It's worth reading. I've never read an issue of BROOKLYN! that I didn't enjoy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Reviews

Some today, more tomorrow...

MY TIME ANNIHILATOR- A BRIEF HISTORY OF 1930’S SCIENCE FICTION FANZINES- I got a zine pet peeve. A lot of zinesters today think that zines started with the Punk zines of the 1970’s which is just not true. I don’t quite know how far back you can trade modern day zines, but you can definitely trace a straight line from zines today back to the sci-fi zines of the 30’s as this zine attempts to show. It all starts when the author of the zine finds something called “The Fanzine Index- From 1937 to the Present.” which was about 1952. He tries to do some research, but reaches dead ends until he finds a fanzine collection in Temple University and finds that this is his “ticket to a lackluster world of 1930’s zine trades, cancelled postage stamps, lazer battles and types” I thought his findings were quite interesting and would be of interest to any zine geek. What really struck m as funny was how little has really changed. The same basic breeds of people do zines now as did them then. 1/4 size, 30 pages, no author listed but I got my copy for $1 at this link right here- http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/2841/
THE RAINBOW CONNECTION- RICHARD HUNT, GAY MUPPETEER- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (though I don’t quite understand why I find myself saying it so often)- if you don’t like the Muppet Show you’re probably an asshole. It’s possible there are some non-assholes out there who don’t like the Muppet Show just like there are some non-assholes who don’t like the Ramones, but a dislike of the Muppet Show is certainly symptomatic of asshole-ism. At any rate, I’ve recently been going through a Muppet phase so I was pretty excited to see a zine about the Muppeteer who did the characters of Scooter, Statler, Beaker & Janice and the Sesame Street characters Gladys the Cow, Forgetful Jones & Bert’s nephew Brad who I mention just because I always got a kick out of him. Like me the author was also a Muppet fan who found herself going through a Muppet phase when she found that Richard Hunt died of AIDS in 1992 which got her curious about him and his work sp she made this zine about him and his work and the subtext behind it all. In addition to being a biography of Richard Hunt it also features short biographies of some of the female Muppeteers. Must read if you’re a Muppet fan. gaymuppeteer@gmail.com 1/2 legal, 82 pages I got it for $7 at Microcosm and the link is here-http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/2858/
HUNGOVER GOURMET #11- This is the “super sized” final issue which is kind of sad since it was a fine zine, but I guess it’s better to call it quits than to keep on going and doing it half assed. This is a zine about food and this issue is fairly coffee-centric with writings on coffee from a variety of writers. Everything from a history of coffee to a piece on coffee enemas to why Dunkin Donuts is better than Starbucks. But my favorite piece in the issue was Louis Fowler’s article “Stupid Size Me” in which he attempts to make it through a whole week on only $20 worth of groceries because apparently some politician said people wouldn’t need welfare if they only spent $20 a week on groceries. There’s no attribution to this quote so to be honest I have no idea if any politician said anything of the sort. It sure sounds too stupid to be true, but politicians being what they are I wouldn’t put it past them. And the article is entertaining enough that it doesn’t matter. Not only is it funny, it also makes a serious point about why so many poor people are so obese. This zine is god stuff all around. half size, 44 pages, send $3 to Dan taylor, PO Box 5531, Lutherville MD 21094-5531 www.hungovergourmet.com hungovergourmet.blogspot.com editor@hungovergourmet,.com

Friday, September 11, 2009

(Summer 2009)
by Pjm
4 ¼ x 5 ¼, 24 pp., $1 US/ $2 world, no trades
PO Box 2632
Bellingham, WA 98227

”Mail art contact zine in the spirit of Global Mail!” joyfully proclaims the information form stapled onto this zine, billed as an “analog beacon in the digital fog” and it’s kind of charming. It’s a pretty extensive listing of different Mail Art projects from a variety of different people throughout the world and folks are encouraged to send in their information. The deadlines are the fifteenth of March, July, November and the issues are published on the first of April, August, and December. Good resource if you’re into mail art.

(Summer 2009)
by Randy Robbins
digest-size 36 pp., $3 US/$? World, trades okay? (email to check)
PO Box 17131
Anaheim, CA 92817-7131

”With all the zine trading going on I had a lot of zines to write up, and thus Narcolepsy Press Review was born, mostly all zine reviews” writes Randy in the zine’s introduction, and he’s right: the bulk of this zine is reviews (well-written and very interesting) and also includes a very compelling autobio piece about the publisher’s heart transplant in early 2008. Certainly worth checking out for that alone.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Worst Future Ever (#1)

WORST FUTURE EVER #1 ("The red menace")
digest, "8 pages folded over"
$1 (US), $2 (world) ("for US, I will accept one stamp also"), trades OK
c/o J.D.
P.O. Box 340971
Columbus, OH 43234

J.D. sums up this first issue pretty succinctly in the zine description on XD's zine review info sheet: "The focus of this zine is how people imagines the future would turn out for the worst. This issue concerns people's fixation of a global communist takeover. To that end, movies like Red Dawn, and TV shows like Amerika, are analyzed from a personal perspective." For a first issue, the layout is uncomplicated and the zine well-organized. It's fairly text-heavy, though there are images incorporated into the text. I think, in time, there might be more to it; the issue itself is somewhat short and the reviews and analysis very much come from a personal perspective (what high school teacher has his or her class watch Red Dawn over and over again?! Yikes!). It'll be interesting to see how this zine develops in later issues; I'm not sure if the theme will switch from "The Red Menace!" to something else, but we shall see...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Anne Reviews In Waves

To start, quick reviews of zines I got in trade (so I guess trades would be okay?)

Half size, $3
c/o Vincent Voelz,
575 12th Ave #3,
San Francisco, CA 94118;
vvoelz@gmail.com, http://www.breakfastzine.com/

A new favorite for me (and very well might be for you). It’s fall here in New England, and that means cider doughnuts, and the timing of this zine in my mailbox could not have been better. This issue’s loaded with donuts—“new insights into donut phylogeny” graces the cover – but there’s other food goodies in there, from Hawaiian cuisine to a guest piece by Gianni Simone about funky New Year’s eats in Japan. But man oh man do I want to go to Voodoo Doughnuts something fierce now.

The Ken Chronicles #12
Digest size, $2
Ken Bausert,
2140 Erma Drive,
East Meadow, NY 11554-1120;
passscribe@aol.com; http://thekenbausertchronicles.blogspot.com/
Described pretty accurately elsewhere here (has everyone else been reading this longer than I have?) as a slice-of-life zine, I enjoyed reading though the back issues I was sent. Straightforward, funny and well-written, worth your time & money.

...and the first wave of what surprised me in my mailbox this time:

by Carolee Gilligan Wheeler
6 ¼ x 7 1/2, 52 pp., $4 US/ $5 world, no trades
PO Box 19706
Stanford, CA 94309

Described as “Prague, regret, anticipating, letdown, Berlin, loneliness, heartsickness, jet lag, travel, running away” this zine is oddly haunting and heartsick. It stayed with me long after I’d finished reading it, not only because it presents such a muted view of Prague and I’d just started planning a trip to Prague when I read it, but because the composition is so visually evocative and beautiful even when Wheeler’s writing about being miserable: “with my eyes and mind I can see how stunning and impressive Prague is, but my heart is cold” she writes, and she’s so stark about this chill that you begin to feel it as well. It’s not a cheery read, but it’s beautifully produced and I am so totally a sucker for pretty handwriting. (I am, however, inspired to make my own Prague zine if I go…!)

(half-legal?), 60 pp. $5, no trades (but a host of subscription options; check out the website)Small Beer Press
150 Pleasant St. #306
Easthampton MA 01027

I’ve only recently become something of a fan of LCRW; it’s a literary magazine with beautiful production values; impeccable layout and the guts of the thing are good too: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, a comic by Abby Denson, and quirky spot illos by Anna Sears. It’s made me want to start reading new short fiction again, and I’m always really excited when it appears in my mailbox because it’s never hit a wrong note with me. Lovely as ever (and congrats to Gavin & Kelly on their best reason to miss a deadline!)

PERMANENT INK (#11, Summer 2008)
5 ½ x 6 ½, 36 pp. $?, trades? (print run of 500?)
PureInjoyment Press

Near as I can tell, this zine’s about photos of graffiti. There’s some prose text and some cut & paste zine aciton, but for the most part this zine reproduces graffiti art. Kind of interesting, kind of weird, might be your thing. Covers look hand-screened, which is a nice touch.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Call for Entries: COMING CLEAN

After zines about the laundry (Laundry Basket), grocery shopping (12 Items or Less), and cooking (Potluck), this was inevitable. The next issue of SYNDICATE PRODUCT is all about cleaning... house cleaning, washing the car, even picking up the yard debris. (However, it's NOT about laundry, as that's already been done. It's also not about packratting, as that's also been done.)

A few possible ideas:
+ apartment or house move in/out cleaning stories
+ making your own eco-friendly cleaning products
+ I hate to BLANK (dust, vacuum, clean the gutters)
+ biggest cleaning disaster
+ living with a hoarder or a neatnik
+ the most disgusting abandoned item found in the back of the fridge or shoved in a cabinet
+ what I learned about cleaning from my family/friends/ex
+ my biggest cleaning challenge is BLANK


Writers: I'm not going to get too hung up on length for this issue, but I would say between 400-800 words is a good size. If you need to go longer, please do. If the writing is good enough, people will want to read it to the end. I'll let you know if a piece is simply too huge.

Comic artists: The zine will be Digest Sized. Final art size should reduce to 4.5 x 7.5 inches. You can have two pages, but this can be negotiated if needed. B&W only, the zine will be photocopied. Send art as 300dpi TIF files. Also, once entries are in, I may be looking for small illustrations to accompany some of the stories.
Contributors will receive a copy of the final project.

Due date and where to submit: OCTOBER 11, 2009*. Submit your entries to syndprod@gmail.com, either by simply pasting the text into an e-mail, or as an OpenOffice, MS Word, or plain text document. If you want to mail them, send them to: A.j. Michel, PO Box 877, Lansdowne, PA 19050.

* Due date subject to extension if needed, as it usually is.