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.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

two reviews from Anne

Bipedal, By Pedal! #2: Confidential Mad Libs 5.5x7", 64 pages, in color, offset, $4 US $?Can/Mex, $?world
PO Box 14332
Portland, OR 97293

While working on a documentary called “Aftermass” about bike activism and its future in Portland, OR and beyond, Joe Biel received copies of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act in which he discovered that the police in Portland had for many years engaged in illegal spying on Critical Mass in an effort to disassemble and discredit the organization. “What each person sees in these documents is really in the eye of the beholder. But I think it’s only in the police’s wet dreams that Critical Mass would ever start a riot that would endanger the lives of families and children” states Biel, and this book would be an interesting enough read without the twist in which the documents are transformed into Mad Libs, omitting certain words (they’re all printed on the inside back cover if you’re curious, and you will be) at key points in the various documents and citations. Highly recommended.

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

Another Brooklyn review! “The name of this zine is BROOKLYN and that's also what the zine is about, Fred's beloved borough of Brooklyn." I actually was recently driving in Brooklyn for the first time in a long while and caught myself thinking about this zine while waiting at a red light. Anyway, #70 includes a quick piece on the English Kills Art Gallery (plus a photo of a ‘guerilla performer’), “Brooklyn Lexicon & Pronounciation Guide #55” (including an interesting entry on “rollercoaster”), a piece about New Lots and some photos of notable locales within the borough, and because it’s just that time of year there’s also a Brooklyn Wintertime Fable on one Joey the Snowman.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Aren't you sick of hearing folks glibly forecasting the death of print?

We are. Folks have been declaring the end of print in some form or other for longer than there's been an Atomic Books (Baltimore) or Quimby's (Chicago) (that's about twenty years).

"Books are over." "Magazines are over." "Comix are over." "Zines are over." "Newspapers are over." Bah! We're over things being over. Let's make things happen!
So we're declaring next year to be: 2011: The Revenge Of Print! (Frankly, next year was going to be 2011 with our without our declaration anyway. But that "Revenge of Print" part, that's all us.)

Here's the idea - what if everyone who ever made a zine, a mini-comic, a journal, a chapbook, a magazine or any kind of self-made publication of any kind vowed that in 2011, they'd make another? And then they did it! How awesome for us readers would that be? And if that happened, perhaps it would also make for a nice response to all those publishing doomsayers.

"Print is alive if you want it."

So the challenge is this: in 2011 do a new issue (or a new title or project - just do something new!).
Yes, we're making a point. And we've decided to use the very tools credited (this time anyway) with the demise of print to do so - the internet!

Join the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115370015178929&v=info

And who is this "we" that's issued this challenge to self-publishers past, present, and future? "We" are, to date:
Atomic Books - http://www.atomicbooks.com/
Quimby's - http://www.quimbys.com/
Xerography Debt - www.leekinginc.com/xeroxdebt  
Zine World http://www.undergroundpress.org/

And while we're updating our list all the time, so far, the following folks have pledged at least one more issue in 2011:

10 Things, Rhane Alexander, Already Too Much; Never Enough, Angry Violist, Annezine, Brainscan, Aaron Brassea, Caboose, Cinema Sewer, Creatrix, Crimewave, Danger!, Daybook, Heidi Eskgirl, Divine Exploitation Retrospect, Don't Tread On Me, do something!, Drop Out, Exploitation, Fish With Legs, Fluffah, Found Magazine, The Future Generation, Tyson Habein, Happyland, Have You Seen the Dog Lately?, Hoax Zine, Introvert, Kairan, La Trampa del Bulevar, Leeking Ink, Li'l Chrissy, Bt Livermore, Losers Weepers, Musea, Negative Capability, Not Your Nightmare, Paracinema, Psycho Blondes, Reptiles of the Mind, Rigor Mortis, Heather Rounds, Dave Savage, shortandqueer, Slither, Smile Hon You're In Baltimore, Sprak, Syndicate Product, Tail Spins, Teeny Tiny, Telegram Ma'am, Twilight Zone, Undestructable, Colin Upton, Worry Stone, Xerography Debt

We'll be using the Facebook group to provide addresses to publications where participants can send copies of their projects for review, and we'll also be listing addresses to real stores who will consign those very same titles so people can actually get copies the old fashioned way, by walking into a store.

Our list of participants has been growing rapidly. We're hoping you can help us spread the word!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Maynard Reviews a bunch of Zines, October 2010

Rigor Mortis #3 (Sept 2010—the Anger Management Issue)
A Zombie Panic Attack Production
half-size, 64 pages, $3.50
Davida Gypsy Breier
PO Box 11064
Baltimore, MD 21212
leekinginc.com/rigormortis & livingdeadzine.blogspot.com

An intellectually stimulating foray into the zombie genre. The writing here is high-quality; almost academic, but more accessible. The art kicks ass, and there is even a mini-comic style essay about Tony Dodd. "Normal" print articles cover a range of topics, all sharing the horror flick theme. Among them are: a tribute to Z. A. Recht; the evolution of monsters in film; film series called Feast; sexiest monsters in film; Zombietime for Hitler: an expose on how Nazis are featured in horror flicks. Also has reviews of books, comics and movies.

Inner Swine, Vol 16, issue ½ Summer 2010
Jeff Somers
P.O. 3024 Hoboken, NJ 07030
ISSN: 1527-7704
Subscribe: $5 per year, $6 International, $2 a copy
Free trades

Jeff Somers churns out another one and this is filled with gems for the middle-aged among us. At least the over 40 crowd. I am rather old and freakish because I said “Fuck Yeah” aloud several times as I read this issue. Rants include the closing of a used book store and the trauma of lost browsing this invokes; discarding personal correspondence after we realize that keeping the letters doesn't stop us from growing older and losing connections with that time in our lives; and the best rant about the GAP's advertising creepiness and how it totally misses the over 40 crowd. And it should since we buy all our stuff at Sears.

Lower East Side Librarian Reading Log 2009

Jenna Freedman
$2 cash through mail or paypal
521 E 5th St #1D
New York, NY 10009
Unsolicited trades only for library worker zines.

Jenna Freedman is a zine-expert-librarian. Reviews are rich, funny, and provide just enough detail to give the reader a true sense of zine essence.

Loose Lips Sink Ships, Feb 2010
Sarah May
P.O. 7084
Reno, NV 89510-7084
$2 US/ $2 Can/Mex / $2 World
Yes to trades
Quarter page, 24 pages.

This little zine is a list of kissing vignettes describing the physicality of a kiss and summing up the relationship in a few lines of text. It's tantalizingly personal, not quite erotic, and the combination of all the vignettes paints a tiny epic of relationships that seem to go nowhere, but the journey is truly rich.

This zine stayed with me after I read it.

Regeneration, #7
$2 US/ $3 World; US cash, stamps, paypal.
Trades ok
Ashlee Swanson
Address to change October 2010 so try email address
36 pages.

Perzine that shows Ashlee's entanglement with alcoholism in her early 20s. She really tells it as it is, and the stark reality of what drinking does to folks is disturbing. She bares it all, and the self-knowing self-destruction is a bit hard to take, but it is well written, and the reader really wants Ashlee to triumph over adversity.

Grunted Warning, #1 August 2010

P.O. Box 93
NSW 2021
$1 US, Can/Mex, World
Yes to Trades
12 pages.

News of the Weird in zine format. Wonderful assortment of gruesome, bizarre stories of the macabre and the just plain strange. Some sample headlines: Dead Chef in Freezer; Eight human heads found; and my personal fave – Naked Rage at Brekkie [Breakfast]

RSS feeds can't top this! Oh wait, there are no more RSS feeds. Replaced by Twitter. Yuck.

Node Pajomo, Summer 2010
Node Pajomo
P.O. Box 2632
Bellingham, WA 98227-2632
$1 US / $2 World
nodepajomo@gmail.com (“Email for listings and questions only... keepin' in Postal”)

Zine is a listing of interesting artistic projects. Readers can submit or trade artwork, writing, anything interesting and funky through the mail. It is a totally postal project and Node has folks from all around the globe listed in this zine. Very participatory with readers connecting with readers for artistic collaboration or trade. All this through the regular mail - sticking to paper only, no Internet. Interesting concept, well worth the buck just to see what is going on around the globe.

Omitted #1; Muses and Bruises

Miss Omitted
751 Bushwick Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11221
$2 US / $3 Can/Mex / $4 World
Trades OK
¼ sheet
66 pages.

Perzine of twentysomething woman, reveals her internal struggles in knowing herself and in relating to others in the little-explored realm of how difficult it is for really smart people to find peers, have relationships, and deal with people in general.

I think people tend to gloss over how hard the 20s are, and this journal shows how some of us struggle to define ourselves and determine how to connect with others, or decide if we wish to at all.

Lou Reeder (Corina Fastwolf)
You Can't put your Arms around a Memory (Matt Monochrome)

Matt and Corina
P.O. Box 66835
Portland, OR 97290
$3 US plus 2 stamps
Split zine. Lou Reeder covers the huge influence this rocker had on Corina. Matt's zine is mostly about the punk rock scene, as it is today, looking back on the 80s and early 90s. Includes some brutally honest live show reviews of artists like Welfare State, Michael Gira, Dirty Mittens, Meat Puppets....

My favorite part of the zine is the crossword puzzle based on lyrics and song titles from the first decade of Violent Femmes.

Watch the closing doors #52
Fred Argoff
Penthouse L
1170 Ocean Pkwy
Brooklyn, NY 11230
$10 for 4 quarterly issues, cash only
12 pages.

Mass transit from all over the world explored with essays, anecdotes and photos. Trains are so universal, and I enjoy looking at how the trains look mostly the same, but the stations are all so unique to the places they are built in. And we all look the same when we wait for a train, no matter what country we happen to be in.

Favorite pic: bride and groom kissing on an LA subway platform as a train blurs by in the background. How neat to get married on mass transit! That idea trumps the Star Trek theme wedding.

Xtratuf, the greenhorn issue #6, 2010
Moe Bowstern
P.O. Box 6834
Portland, OR 97228
$10 US / $12 Can/Mex / $13 (Lucky) World
Trades OK
Free to commercial fishing women – must prove with original salty tale. Free to prisoners, no pornographic requests.
7” X 8.5”
160 pages.

Beautiful zine that is really a paperback book of anthologies from over 20 commercial fishing women. Includes salty tales, poems (very few for poetry dislikers), art. Great armchair travel and adventure reading and for the generally curious among us. If you are fan of Linda Greenlaw's Hungry Ocean, this zine is perfection.

The Girls are Mighty Fine, July 2010

Amy Martin
119 Haight St. #5
San Francisco, CA 94102
$7 US
Maybe trade.
8” X 7”
40 pages.

Mini comics featuring a modern Cathy with the f-word and a lot of attitude. Humorous and poignant moments from a single woman's life. Also has autobiographical stores about “Lil' Amy” as a child.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

& bunch more reviews from Anne...

Fuzzy Lunch Box (S/P #2 April 2010)
Laura Nadel
309 Cedar St #34
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Half-size, 38 pages, $2 US; trades maybe

Laura describes this special issue of FLB as “A compilation of letters for Fuzzy Lunch Box written by our captive audience in prison. Some humorous, some informative, some heart wrenching.” As a description, it’s pretty much right on; the content is all letters from incarcerated folks written to Laura and it’s both sort of fascinating and a little unnerving (I mean, you’re reading letters after all, and even though the authors seem to be aware that their letters are being printed it still felt a little voyeuristic reading these letters.) That said, there’s some really interesting material in here, including a comic about the best and worst of prison, and though you don’t get to see the replies from Laura or her co-publisher & sister, Deborah, it’s a pretty fascinating read.

Fuzzy Lunch Box #15 – The Drink & Drown Issue (Summer 2009)
Laura Nadel
309 Cedar St #34
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Half-size, 42 pages, $2 US; trades maybe

The ‘regular’ version of FLB, this particular issue’s real standout is the dive bar reviews, which are hysterically funny. Laura writes that this issue’s about “anecdotal accounts of the twins hijinks while booze infused (at a punk show, almost getting asses kicked) and some dive bar reviews of dives in Santa Cruz CA.” The articles are catchy and funny, and the issue reads like kind of peeking into their lives; one of the dive bars they go to (Asti) is referred to as Nasti and by the end, you’re in on those kinds of in-jokes. Worth tracking down; I’d love to see some other issues of Fuzzy Lunch Box (that’s a hint, esteemed Editor…)

Lynchpin (#1, May 2010)
Willian Brian Mclean
105-56 Donald St.
Barrie ON L4N 1E3 Canada
6 5/8 x 10 ¼, 16 pages, $4 US/Can/Mex World ?, no trades

Description: “Lynchpin is an ongoing series of short comics stories (in the tradition of Eightball, Yummy Fur, and Optic Nerve). The feature story, ‘By the Numbers’ is a biographical tale relatng one half-hour in the life of Alanna Star & an attempted sexual assault. The supplement is a tongue-in-cheek autobio vingnette relating to OCD.” I know, heavy stuff and possibly triggering for people; at the same time, it’s important that people write and read about things like these issues. As a side note, the story does mention that the name of the main character was changed; the form the story takes is the narration of a letter, though you don’t know the background of the story or how it came to pass that it was sent to the author. I’d be interested to see later issues as well to see how the storytelling style develops; it’s a strong first issue.

A.M. vol 3 issue #3 (2009)
By Vezun
PO Box 15394
Las Vegas NV 89114
8.5 x 11 (full size), 32 pages, $8, no trades

Vezun writes: “A collection of comics. Some one panel comics and short stories of different lengths. The genre of the stories different from one to the next as well.” The production values on this collection are pretty high; while it’s mostly black & white, there are four pages of full color (plus the covers). Stories range from some science fiction stories to one-panel illustrations (the titles of which are all listed on a title page) and the artwork is in many cases very detailed. The color work is eye-catching, especially a story called SEEDS, and it all ended up feeling kind of surreal by the end for me. But check out the website and see what you think…

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

(my first piece of mystery mail!)

by James
$ ??? trades ???
255 S 3rd St. Apt 4
Brooklyn NY 11211

My most recent review packet included a cardboard envelope containing a DVD and a little quarter-size zine with a story and some comics about some MTA subway hustling. James, the author, writes about meeting up with another musician, hopping subways, and playing music while riding the trains (a ticketable offense, apparently, as the covers of the zine are reproductions of tickets the author’s gotten). It didn’t include any information, though, about the basics: title, cost, etc. Mystery mail!

Review from Anne: Homobody #6

Review from Anne: Homobody #6
By Rio Safari
half-size, 32 pages, $2 (everywhere?) trades yes
1631 NE Broadway #737
Portland, OR 97232

I was pretty much sold as soon as I read Rio’s description: “It’s my queer comic zine about dudes who like dudes that don’t hit the clubs (homos + homebody)!” The funky painted cover is both eyecatching in terms of how the visuals are arranged (I love the back cover!) and for the color use. Inside the covers there’s a lot going on, from an interview with the Queer Zine Archive Project and another one with Robert Triptow (both charmingly handwritten!) as well as comics by a number of different folks, including Rob Kirby—some of these are short one-page panels and others are longer stories. It’s all pretty adorable and guaranteed to give you a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling.

Review from Anne: Rigor Mortis #3 (Sept 2010—the Anger Management Issue)

Review from Anne: Rigor Mortis #3 (Sept 2010—the Anger Management Issue)
A Zombie Panic Attack Production
half-size, 64 pages, $3.50, full color cover (it’s appropriately creepy & grisly, as you’d expect)
Davida Gypsy Breier
PO Box 11064
Baltimore, MD 21212
leekinginc.com/rigormortis & livingdeadzine.blogspot.com

Okay, so the cover completely creeped me out (which I guess is kind of a compliment to Bojan, who did all of the art in this issue), but once I got in and reading I actually really enjoyed this issue; I’ve never been a fan of gore/zombie films in any serious way, but I dig monster movies—so I totally got a kick out of the “Sexiest Monsters of Filmland” article (and I totally agree with the winner, by the way). RM is a phenominally well-put-together zine, with fantastic layout (nothing feels crowded and there are some absolutely-perfect-for-the-material fonts being used). But you should get your hands on it because both the writing and the art are very well done. (And if you’re into the gory stuff, RM is a total must-read.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Call for Entries: Syndicate Product: THE META-COMICS ISSUE

The META-COMICS ISSUE will include comics and essays ABOUT comics and sequential art. You certainly DO NOT have to be an artist to contribute – essays are very much welcome and encouraged!

Some potential ideas:

+ The creative process of drawing comics: Where do your ideas come from? Why do you draw comics?

+ Comics-related disasters: From the cat knocking over the ink bottle to basement floods that resulted in floating longboxes.

+ __ broke my heart: As a comics reader, the most soul-crushing, genre-destroying, why-the-hell-am-I-still-reading this storylines you’ve endured in mainstream comics. Why did you stop reading some titles?

+ Creative space: Where do you draw? What rituals do you perform? (E.g., Lynda Barry always begins a drawing session by writing out the alphabet a few times with a brush and ink.)

+ Reading comics: Are there comics that left you so emotionally wrecked that you’re scared to read them again? Flipside: are there books you have to re-read every year?

+ Collecting comics: Are you a Wednesday regular? Did your mom throw out your collection when you went to college? Have you ever sold off parts of your collection for rent, food, or more comics?

+ Comics and relationships: Friendships and romances found or lost over comics.

+ Memories of stores past and present: Good and bad stories from the comic shop. Did/do you work in a comic shop?

+ Inspirations: Artists, teachers, storytellers?

+ Tangentially related ideas: Terrible, little-seen comic book movie/TV adaptations. Tales from actual comic book conventions.

+ Previously self-published comics (either print or web) are welcome if they relate to the topic.


Comic artists: Final art size should reduce to around 4.5 x 7.5 inches. Four pages maximum (but if it’s really good, this can be negotiated). B&W only. Send art as 300dpi TIF files if grayscale scans, 600dpi TIF if bitmap scans. Also, once entries are in, I may be looking for small illustrations to accompany some of the essays.

Writers: Between 400-1200 words is acceptable. 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, rambling, unwieldy, or needs editing. Send essays as OpenOffice, MS Word, or plain text files, or paste the text into an e-mail.
Contributors will receive a copy of the final project.

Due date and where to submit: First deadline is JANUARY 7, 2011*. Submit your entries to syndprod@gmail.com . 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.

SYNDICATE PRODUCT is a (largely) compilation-based zine, formerly titled LOW HUG* (1998-2004), published A.j. Michel. SP has published compilation issues on throwing things away (#11), pack ratting (#12), record store memories (#12), television (#13), and cleaning (#15).

Contributors (both comic artists and writers ) use personal stories relating to the issue’s topic. For example, in the television issue, there weren’t stories on “how Lost is the greatest show ever”, but instead essays about breaking and buying new television sets, and early television addiction. The cleaning issue was not about “keeping house”, but about the heartbreak of clearing out a family member’s house after death, and disinfecting Lego blocks after they were unspeakably fouled. If SYNDICATE PRODUCT were a radio show, it would be a micro-This American Life with staples.

The Syndicate Product Covert HQ Blog – which covers much more than the zine and published much more frequently – is at http://www.syndicateproduct.com/. Browse the catalog on Etsy, at syndprod.etsy.com. You can reach me at syndprod@gmail.com.

* (Fun fact: The name was changed to SYNDICATE PRODUCT in 2005 after LOW HUG was mislabeled as a sex zine too many times. Fun fact #2: There are new challenges with this name, because “syndicate” is often used as a verb, as in “to syndicate product” (i.e., content). Final fun fact: SYNDICATE PRODUCT was the original name of K-Tel Records, and the inspiration for the zine’s name.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review from Anne: Onesies

ONESIES (issue 1, spring 2010)
By Whit Taylor
5 x 7.25, 16 pages, $3 US $4 Can/Mex, $4 world, trades “maybe”
4 Midwood Terrace
Madison, NJ 07940

“Onesies is a collection of some of the slice-of-lie, one page comics that I post on my blog” writes Whit, and the selections in this zine are funny enough that it led me to check out the website. There’s one strip in here, debating the possibilities if Saint Patrick were out & about today what might happen as a result (“get into a brawl at his own parade? What would he think about green bagels?”) Overall, cute. Worth checking out—have a look at the website & see what you think….)

Review from Anne: BROOKLYN! #69

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

Another Brooklyn review means I again mention one of my favorite catchphrases:: “The name of this zine is BROOKLYN and that's also what the zine is about, Fred's beloved borough of Brooklyn." #69 is a little different, though: “we won’t be stepping outside the borders of Brooklyn, but we will be focusing on the subterranean, which happens four times a year in my other zine project, Watch the Closing Doors.” You heard right: it’s a crossover issue! It’s armchair straphanging and just as fun as other issues of Brooklyn, with photos of amazing stained glass panels, a quiet Fulton Street station, and some interesting history as well as tips for riding (front window of the lead car on an express elevated train).

Review from Anne: TIME: A Trees & Hills Anthology (Sept 2010)

TIME: A Trees & Hills Anthology (Sept 2010)
Edited by Colin Tedford and Daniel Barlow
Half-size, 64 pages, $5
Available through www.treesandhills.org

Trees and Hills is a comics collective based in Western MA, Vermont, and New Hampshire that aims to bring together creators to share resources, make comics, and build connections.(Full disclosure: I’m part of this group and I did the cover for the new anthology). TIME is our eighth anthology--each one is organized around a theme of some sort and includes a fun little extra (TIME includes a teeny 2011 calendar as a bonus). Not one comic in here is about being late for a deadline! But we do have space ninjas battling zombies through time, camp math (how time seems to slow down @ summer camp), time travel, great moments in time, how to prioritize time over money, and other related adventures in and with time. What I like about this anthology (and I’d like it even if I weren’t in it) is the wide range of different artists and styles that give it a really different kind of feel. It’s fun in a way that’s really striking and feels a little looser than other anthologies in the T&H series; I think that might have to do with the more abstract feeling of the theme (how do you do a piece about time, for example? What kinds of things does “time” make you think about?).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Great review from Roctober


"This is less a zine review zine than a Zine Revue zine, for while they do review tons of zines (often having varied reviewers contemplate the same publication) what they really do is put on an amzing show about the history, mysteries and magic of zines in general The mechanics of publishing, the philosphy of zine-ism, the search for the first zine, a Where Are They Now of 90s zinsters, a journey into "non Profit" status, and more More MORE! This is basically a multiple zinegasm!"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seen in Istanbul

Note: Meaning unknown. Until a few years ago, the letter x was forbidden in Turkey (also q and w). Thanks to Donny Smith for sending these!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Review from Anne: Meniscus #17

Meniscus #17
(June 2010)
By Matt Fagan
Half-size, 26 pages, $3 (…?)
c/o Brainstorn
1648 W. North Avenue
Chicago IL 60622

I found this actually kind of inspiring: I like Matt’s comic style very much (lots of bold lines) and though the story itself is kind of heartwrenching (awesome store in weird financial straits) it’s really evocative of the kind of art that comes out of a difficult situation where your job and your identity and such are kind of bound together. I don’t want to say too much out of fear of giving away the beautiful cadence of the way the story’s told, but I’ll say this: shoot Matt an email and get your hands on this issue, because it’s a standout.

Review from Anne: Math Ed Zine #1 and Math Ed Zine 0.8: Km/Ky REMIX

Math Ed Zine #1 and Math Ed Zine 0.8: Km/Ky REMIX
By Owen Thomas
quarter-size, 8 pages, $2 (?) trades? (go check out the website...really)
POB 9679
Columbus OH 43209

So, these two zines appeared in my mailbox with a little note on the envelope saying “for trade or review.” First thing: I don’t understand them. Second thing: they look really cool. MedZ #1 is “the hip-pocket lingo” issue—basically a glossary of math terms. Apparently the blog’s been up since June 2007, and I got into the idea that maybe these zines were done by a grad student: “i’d just put out #1 (“the hip-pocket vocab”, a crosslinked glossary for elementary logic, sets, and number theory originally prepared as scholarly apparatus for a set of lecture notes i used to supplement “math for poets” classes)…” which, honestly, sounds like a rad idea, “to shove ‘em more or less at random into mailboxes of faculty i’d enjoyed talking to and hope to spark up some conversations about me and the weird stuff i get up to.” Neat, no?

Review from Anne: Absent Cause #4 (Survival)

edited by redguard
half-size, 84 pp with color cover / $3 US $4 Can/Mex $5 world trades preferred!
PO Box 1568
New York, NY 10276
redguard@gmail.com, redguard.etsy.com

ABSENT CAUSE is generally billed as being about "underground cultures, hidden histories, feminist and queer sexualities, body image, chosen families and radical politics; vampirism, the gothic, horror and the macabre; surviving abuse, coping with mental illness/dangerous gifts, self-harm and suicide." Each issue is organized around a different theme; it’s an anthology with a wide range of contributors and perspectives. What I particularly enjoy about this zine is not just its international scope, but the interviews and first person pieces about a range of approaches to the theme (as ever, you might want to approach with caution if you have particular triggers and there’s some potentially NSFW things afoot.) I love also that there’s color art included in the centerfold; this issue includes an image called “Neatly Daily” by Natalie Perkins that’s really beautiful (check out her work at definatalie.com). Includes some music and zine reviews as well. Worth checking out.

Review from Anne: BROOKLYN! #68

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 (and I love mentioning every time I write a review of a new issue: “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, even with a completely baffling cover photo (turned out to be of lots and lots of Brooklyn pickles, as Brooklyn is the new home of Guss’ Pickles). Full of photos of Brooklyn (and Park Slope parades), an article about Midwood, a piece about why Brooklyn! will not become an e-zine plus “The Mother of All Brooklyn Bus Rides”, and a really, really funny “Brooklyn Lexicon & Pronounciation Guide #54.” (I gotta track down the other 53….)

New review of Xerography Debt #27


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Watch the Closing Doors #50 and Brooklyn! #67
Fred Argoff, Editor
Brooklyn! is $10 for four quarterly issues…and “read carefully: payment in cash!”
20pp; lots of pictures, trades ?
Penthouse L
1170 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11230-4060

(I’m not sure how much Watch the Closing Doors costs, but I bet you could write & ask).

I’m in a slight state of disbelief at the number of issues of each of these publications. The introduction to Watch the Closing Doors makes mention of that title’s 50th issue (which is hugely impressive, and even more so when you consider that Fred Argoff’s published two titles that have reached that milestone) and mentions that the theme of that issue is crossover. So it seemed to make sense to review the two zines together. (One’s about subways, one’s about Brooklyn---no surprises here!--so it seems straightforward enough: an issue about subways in Brooklyn!). Mostly reading these issues make me want to visit New York; I’ve always been into train travel, and the idea of a subway line acting like a veritable “elevated sightseeing tour” is pretty excellent. Similarly composed, with a beautiful combination of written history and photographs, they’re both compelling reads and are kind of a nice pair to read together anyway.

Scenes of America and ed markowski – 15 poems
(Liliput Review #s 171 and 172)
Liliput Review
c/o Don Wentworth
282 Main Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
$1 each (or SASE and 2 stamps), 6 for $5, 15 for $10, trades?

Basically, these are tiny zines (19 pages, quarter-size) packed with poems and illustrations. There’s a whole list from which to pick (I guess you’d have to write and ask for the list?). LR is published quarterly, shipped two issues at a time, and every 4th issue is a broadside that features the work of a single poet. I love the concept.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reviews from Anne: The Famous Hairdos of Popular Music

The Famous Hairdos of Popular Music, Volume Four - Aretha Franklin, Winter
Ethan Krause, ed.
$3 US only; maybe trade
18 pp; digest, 16 images
PO Box 11872
Milwaukee, WI 53211

I'm not sure you could find a more descriptive title than this zine's; the
concept's pretty basic but the results are extraordinarily funny (and the
construction/layout is very nice).. I had to go to the blog to check out
the other Famous Hairdos, especially when I found out there was a
Morrissey issue.  Side note: I would still love to see that one-maybe it
was in the stack tragically devoured by the Postal Service Monster last
month; they actually delivered an empty, torn manila envelope encased in
that pre-printed apologetic plastic bag they put around damaged mail. I
hope someone in the post office is reading and loving that pile of
zines.Anyway, self-described: "drawings by friends and strangers,
submitted by mail or in person, affixed to one xerox of a famous
musician's hair." They're very funny.

Keywords: art, parlor games, Rorschach test, culturejacking

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Maynard Reviews some zines (March 2010)

Eaves of Ass: Promise & Theft
US: $3 or trade
36 pp.
Craven Rock
10511 Phinney Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98133

An aspiring writer struggles to maintain a semi-vagrant, alcohol-laden lifestyle, whilst writing and driving a cab. The collection of food stamps is an ironic bonus. I wish I had the guts to live this way, but I insist on a life of quiet desperation. Worth a read, especially if you are a struggling artist, desperate to generate creative output in an environment that has multiple drags on creativity.

The Baltimore Bicycling Manual, Issue #1, December 2009
Stephen B. Thomas

User-friendly guide to riding a bike for commuting or recreation. Offers pragmatic, frugal-minded advice on gear, tools, bikes, and attitude, for biking is a mind-over-matter activity.

Also gives a summary of some state law requirements in Maryland, with some tongue-in-cheek commentary.

Has advice on selecting both new and used bikes with insight into appropriate bike style and price ranges. Includes info on bike shops and venues for used bikes in and around Baltimore.

£1/€1.50/$2 incl postage, free to prisoners
18 pp.
PO Box 74

A collaborative zine comic with pages drawn by alternating members of a 2 person, woman/man team, that chronicles a trip to Cairngorms National Park and other parts of Scotland.

A joyous chronicle of hiking, cafes (including a vegan co-operative cafe), train travel, Edinburgh, and meeting up with friends along the way.

Exuberant, simple, cheap, fun travel with friends: life doesn't get any better than that.

The Famous Hairdos of Popular Music, Volume Three - Morrissey, Fall 2009
Ethan Krause, ed.
$3 US only; maybe trade
34 pp ; 16 images
PO Box 11872
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Start with “a single, Xeroxed image of Morrissey's famous hair”; add whatever primitive line-art the muse suggests; and Voila! - an amusing, purely visual zine. Includes blank postcards for the reader to add their artistic flourishes to add to the hair image and mail back to the zine editor for future zines devoted to Prince, Barry Gibb, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin.

Keywords: art, parlor games, Rorschach test, culturejacking

The Silk City Series, Issue #1, (May 2009) and Issue #2 (June 2009)
Eric Nelson
$2.50 US; trades ok
9 pp.
160 South 3rd Street, Apt 3
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Short narratives that give glimpses into some rather painful lives. The dialogue is especially effective in showing, with remarkable clarity how drugs and alcohol infiltrate life, in a moment-by-moment way. The second issue is particularly powerful as it shows mostly through dialogue how people who love each other are forced to lie to each other in a don't-ask-don't-tell way because of their relationship to drugs. It also gives a non-user great insight into what life is like for those who are involved in being a dealer and user. The thing that is so alarming is the casual, business-as-usual tone that Nelson gives to these brief stories.

Monday, February 22, 2010

In My Mailbox 2-22-10

Well, I'm still alive, keep going to my PO Box regularly, and keep posting these reports. I must be on some cool government lists by now, right?

This week, we found the following things in our PO Box:

- Worst Future Ever! #2 ($1/trade, JD, POB 340971, Columbus OH 43234; worstfutureever.blogspot.com) The theme of issue #2 is the go-go 1990s, with a review of films, TV shows, books, and cultural movements, all packed into 15 digest-sized pages. A dollar for 15pp of thoughts. You simply cannot go wrong.

- Smile, Hon, You're In Flagrante ($5, adults only, WP Tandy, c/o Eight Stone Press, PO Box 11064, Baltimore, MD 21212; www.eightstonepress.com) This a fine, thick zine that's been going strong for a long, long time. I give this an award for best title in a while, frankly. And I think more long-running zines should do sex-themed issues.

- Blog Love Omega Glee (no price listed, Fred Wright, 4414 Baintree Road, University Heights, OH 44118; http://wredfright.blogspot.com) Props to a "blog book", although this feels more like a promotional mailing than a zine proper. Hell, if I'd posted an entire novel to a blog I'd be seeking ways to get folks to pay attention too! And B.L.O.G definitely deserves some attention.

- Zine World #28 ($4 US, $5 CAN, PO Box 330156, Murfressboro, TN 37133; www.undergroundpress.org) Yahoo, Zine World lives! Me love long time zine review zines, baby, and TIS is reviewed in here too, which just makes me love it more!

That's the highlights. I got some stamps, some letters from prisoners, and a few disturbing things I've buried in the backyard, but those are only discussed in person over beers.


Blog - http://www.jeffreysomers.com/blather/
The Inner Swine - http://www.innerswine.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Reviews from Anne - Poiesis and The Ken Chronicles

quarter size, $4 (plus $2 shipping for US, $3 shipping for non-US), 64pp
by leah angstman
quarter-size, $5 (plus $2 shipping for US, $3 shipping for non-US), 64pp
both available from
Alternating Current
PO Box 398058
Cambridge, MA 02139
alt.current@gmail.com, http://www.alt-current.com/

I have a love-hate relationship with poetry zines; if they're done well, I
love them. For me this means not only reading well-written poetry, but
also that the chapbook or zine in question has crisp composition, where
the layout doesn't overshadow the writing. Both of these chapbooks are
published by Propaganda Press, which is "the not-for-profit small press
portion of the Alternating Current Arts Co-op that works hard to make sure
writers have an outlet for inexpensive publishing and distributing."
(Awesome, no?) They're pretty objects; full-color covers, clean layouts,
and I've never seen something come through Alternating Current that didn't
have these same high production values. POESIS is an anthology with more
than 50 different authors included, whereas SOME MISPLACED JOAN OF ARC is
all leah angstman's work. I found both compelling, for different reasons,
though I tend to go for single-author chapbooks a little more. Angstman's
work never disappoints me; her language is vivid-always-and crisp, whether
she's outlining extended airport delays with "standby passes / turning to
dust / in our pockets" or pride literally going before a fall in "bangs
are than on which the world hangs." The anthology feels like an anthology;
it's hard to have a feeling of cohesion in such a large assortment of
authors, but at the same time, there's going to be something in there for
everyone. Both are worth checking out if you like poetry chapbooks.

Digest size, $2 ("postpaid, a fair trade, or a letter of comment.")
Ken Bausert,
2140 Erma Drive,
East Meadow, NY 11554-1120;
passscribe@aol.com; http://thekenbausertchronicles.blogspot.com/
Okay, if you haven't been hipped to this zine by now, here's how Ken
himself describes the new issue: "the usual mix of home-related madness,
some local travel photos, a trip to my nostalgic museum, and a dose of
philosophy for a change." I missed the bee story from issue #13, but
apparently crickets have taken their place and invaded.it's a perzine,
obviously, all about Ken, but it's well-written and kind of hip. There's
something captivating about it (in some ways it reminds me of Fred
Argoff's BROOKLYN!, actually, the new issue of which I just received and
have not yet finished reading.). You'll like TKC, I think, especially if
you're into perzines with a little bit of nostalgia (who else goes looking
for a VCR these days.?).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Review from Anne: Absent Cause

ABSENT CAUSE #3 (Oct 2009)-"death, dying, undeath"
By redguard
half-size, 72 pp with color cover  and 60 pg supplement/ $4 US $4 Can/Mex
$5 world trades OK
PO Box 1658
New York, NY 10276
redguard@gmail.com, redguard.etsy.com

I really enjoyed reading ABSENT CAUSE #3; the zine's billed as being about
"underground cultures, hidden histories, feminist and queer sexualities,
body image, chosen families and radical politics; vampirism, the gothic,
horror and the macabre; surviving abuse, coping with mental
illness/dangerous gifts, self-harm and suicide." (And sometimes all in one
issue!). I think I saw an early issue of this zine back in 2008 that felt
kind of like first issues do: interesting, a little messy, still finding
its way.  #3's an impressive way from that; in three issues, it seems like
its really found some footing.

Absent Cause remains an anthology with a wide range of contributors. #3 is
organized around the theme "death, dying, undeath" and  explains pretty
nicely why there's a literary supplement: When the call for submissions
went out, a great deal of poetry and fiction pieces were submitted.
"Absent Cause isn't a lit zine, and I have no desire to make it one"
writes redguard in the introduction. So instead of simply abandoning the
work, the literary supplement was published.

It leads to an interesting division. As you might expect with poetry and
fiction about death, plus a few full-color pictures (one of which is super
-NSFW), the literary supplement is kind of dark and some of it is sort of
disturbing, and you might want to approach with caution if you have
particular triggers. AC #3, however, didn't seem to have that same
sensibility or feel to it, even though a fair piece of it has to do with
corporeality and illness, featuring striking interviews with Leslie
Feinberg (who I knew) and Pussy Power (who I didn't and was really excited
to read about!), along with very good, compelling poetry and prose by a
variety of authors.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In My Mailbox 2-2-10

So, my PO Box continues to be a source of wonder and hilarity, not to mention the occasional crumpled dollar bills. Yahoo for crumpled dollar bills. It amazes me that I got a PO Box in 2001 (about six years after starting my zine; for the first six years I actually did everything from my own mailing address, until the dead rats and death threats started filtering in) and I still have it, and I'm still getting cool shit in the mail there every week. not as much as I used to, but then I'm so lazy about making connections and staying in touch with people, that's not surprising.

(Side Note: Am I the only one in the universe who routinely discards envelopes? I can't tell you how many times I bring home a bunch of POB mail, throw away envelopes after opening and organizing, and then days later when I go to write these little posts there is absolutely no contact info in the zine itself. It drives me nuts. But maybe I'm a monster who does everything wrong.)

Anyways, this week:

GET WELL ($3 / trades preferred, Chris Estey, 5247 15th Avenue NE #301, Seattle WA 98105; chrisestey172@gmail.com). A nifty-looking zine with stories, reviews, some artwork, and a nice overall look and feel.

THE KEN CHRONICLES #14 ($2, Ken Bausert, 2140 Erma Drive, East Meadow, NY 11554-1120; passscribe@aol.com) Another issue of Ken's extremely per perzine, always done in a simple, crisp layout with a lot of words and pictures. HUrrah for Ken!

XEROGRAPHY DEBT #26 (Microcosm Publishing, 833 SE Main St. #108, Portland, OR 97214; www.leekinginc.com). I am, of course, both a columnist in this zine and the subject of frequent reviews within its pages, so I therefore declare this to be the greatest zine not published by Jeff Somers, ever. AVAST!

That's it. The rest of my loot was in the form of checks from distros, letters from prisoners, and junk mail from various people who think I am a real legitimate business (I once got a small biz credit card app for Oinking Sow, Inc, and I was tempted).

Stagger on,


Blog - http://www.jeffreysomers.com/blather/
The Inner Swine - http://www.innerswine.com

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I Screwed Up

See this super spectacular cover over there to your left? Well that was done by Matt Fagan (Meniscus). I screwed up the credit in the new issue and want everyone to know Matt did that snazzy cover...and that I am an idiot.

Sorry, Matt!

Friday, January 8, 2010

In My Mailbox 1-8-10

Hey all,

Happy new Year, Zinesters. Or Ziners. Or Zine Publishers. Or DIYers. Or whatever. To start off the new year I went to my PO Box to see what goodies had been sent. Without further ado:

- Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore #12 ($3, WP Tandy, c/o Eight Stone Press, PO Box 11064, Baltimore, Maryland 21212; www.eightstonepress.com) This has become one of those comfort titles in zines, wherein I am very glad to see that it continues. In a culture that is often so transient, there's something great about a title that just goes on and on and on.

- Fed Up Mag #12 (free, ie.myspace.com/fedupmag) This is as minimalist as they come, which is not a bad thing: 7 digest-sized pages of 2-column text. Discusses print zines and layouts, photography, and cycling in its usual acerbic way.

- Tenebrous Thaumaturgy #3 (Andrew Conde, GCDC, 2120 East B. Street, TOrrington WY 82240). Fiction, art, poetry from Andrew - as well as a shout out to me own bad self.

That's it, aside from a truly, disastrously unintelligible letter from a prisoner I puzzled over for a few minutes, trying to glean even a mote of sense. Sigh.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Call for Zines - ART of ZINES at Anno Domini

From Anno Domini:

We at Anno Domini are resurrecting our Art of Zines exhibition (a former annual event) and we are contacting you because we are still in need of great zines. We believe zines are one of the last frontiers for freedom of speech and self expression and we need it now more than ever.

We are especially interested in art, music, poetry, photography and other creative disciplines but are open to all zines in any format and content. Current and past issues are accepted, one copy of each is adequate. (If you choose, you may send zine multiples and/or promo cards and we'll put it out on the counter for the taking.)

Our audience is very diverse at our openings, we typically expect 800+ people to come through and the exhibit will run for approximately 6 weeks.

Please note we do not return zines, nor will we sell them (they are just for exhibit and enjoyment purposes), but we do induct them into our zine library so they may live on.

The opening is on First Friday February 5th, 8pm 'til late. We'll have live bands and zine makers in the area are invited to be present to sell their zines (please let us know if you'd like to sell at the opening, there are no vendor fees nor commission on sales, but all spaces must be reserved.)

We'd like to have all the zines in hand by January 16th, 2010. Feel free to contact us should you have additional questions or would like to reserve vendor space.

If you are a Zine DISTRO (or have a collection you'd like to contribute) and can send larger quantities (100+) of various zines, we would be willing to pay for ground shipping and make sure your business cards are made available to our patrons.

Lastly, we would appreciate it if you could extend this invitation to other zine makers, forums and / or blogs so they may have an opportunity to exhibit as well.

We'd love it if you can contribute - please let us know!

peace, and thank you!
Cherri & Brian

Anno Domini // the second coming of Art & Design
Attn: Art of Zines
366 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95113

email: Cherri@galleryAD.com
website: www.galleryAD.com 
phone: 408.271.5155