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 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!"