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, March 21, 2012

Posted for The Village Learning Place (donate your zines)

The Village Learning Place is growing our local and small press collection!

Self-published and micro-published works are vital to the library community. They exhibit subject matter often overlooked by larger publishing companies, and provide a platform for local authors to present their works. We are gathering local materials for our catalog including: small-press-issued graphic novels and poetry, self-published cookbooks, zines, memoirs, niche non-fiction, local history, and university press research and literature. It is our goal to use this historic neighborhood venue to showcase the works of local authors and artists.

The Village Learning Place (VLP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit neighborhood lending library, learning center, computer lab, and community garden in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore City. We serve as an anchoring institution, a symbol of community pride, and a partner in creating a healthy and cohesive community.

Because we’re a non-profit, community-run library, we have the freedom to pursue the works of authors that many libraries cannot. This is just one way the Village Learning Place is a unique and integral facet of the Baltimore community.

If you have any works you would like to donate to the collection, or if you have any information that would be helpful to our cause, please contact:

Library Associate Kendra Eaves at 410-235-2210 or Kendra.eaves@villagelearningplace.orgLibrary Services Coordinator Lesley Noll at 410-235-2210 ext:224 or Lesley.noll@villagelearningplace.org 
Douglas Mowbray, Poetry in the Community, 410-235-5712 dmowbray@twentythreebooks.com

We are planning an unveiling reception for this project for National Library Week in April. More details to come!
Save the Dates!

2012 Cruellest Month Poetry and Performance Festival

Reading of The Star-Spangled Banner as Waverly Main Street
 commemorates The War of 1812 Bicentennial: April 1

4 Nights of Readings at Village Learning Place: April 5, 12, 17, 26

1 Day of Celebration at Waverly Library: April 28

Friday, March 16, 2012

I think I just fell in love a little bit (two reviews from Anne)

Okay, so I was a little giddy to find two zines about biking in my most recent review stack. I have a little Portland bike envy going on, since while I live near some fairly vibrant bike culture, there's less of it in the city where I live. In addition, both of these zines are just beautiful objects; I'm always a fan of something that's both readable and able to be admired -- i.e. it's a pleasure to look at it, the layout is clean and compelling, and they're just really nicely constructed. Both zines fit this description.

Bikenomics is a collection of 10 articles that Elly Blue originally wrote for Grist.org in 2011, but they flow very well together. She's working on "a book exploring the bike economy around the country" that will be released in 2013 and this zine is a particularly good start to thinking about some of those concepts. It's a very eloquent look at things as wide ranging as the simple number crunching that 6 tanks of $4 gas add up pretty quickly so that city bike will pay for itself a lot faster than you think to recognizing that though biking can be easy for most, it isn't for all. It's a realistic, smart consideration of a fascinating topic, and the zine is absolutely worth reading (even if you don't ride; maybe especially if you don't yet ride!).

But I really kind of fell in love with Our Bodies, Our Bikes. I didn't really get into biking as an adult until I had a stretch of time where I didn't have a car and had to get back and forth to work (and here there are a lot of bike trails that run parallel to the major roadways). I'm not yet an all-weather rider (I know some folks in Massachusetts are, but I'm not there yet), but then I got into distance riding. Long story short: I kinda fell in love with my bike and with riding. I loved the idea that I could get myself around without relying on a car, and reading about other women doing awesome stuff on bikes (riding to the birthing center while riding out contractions? Holy crap, that's awesome!) just really made me want to get on my bike and go for a ride. There's a number of different stories in this collection, including one excellent piece about what cycling can do to your body (and how that helped one author learn to love her butt), stretches that incorporate your bike, and a super-smart piece for lady bikers about biking and your lady parts. (Seriously! It's an important subject and people don't talk about it enough!)

It's also got the most adorable back cover photo, of a lady ridin' along on her bike, overjoyed to be out in the sun, wearing socks and shoes and not very much else.

You gotta read this zine. It's really awesome. (You can order it online at takingthelane.com)

Our Bodies, Our Bikes
Taking the Lane Volume 5 (Dec 2011)
by Elly Blue
$3 US / ? Can/Mex / ? World
trades: not sure, contact & ask
4.25 inches wide x 6.5 inches wide)
42 pages

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Will Save The Economy (If We Let It) (Sept 2011, 2nd printing)
by Elly Blue
$5 US / ? Can/Mex / ? World
trades: not sure
4.25 wide x 7.25 tall
40 pages

both available from
Elly Blue
PO Box 14332
Portland, OR 97293

Monday, March 5, 2012

Three #2

I raved about the last issue of THREE in a previous post, so I was really pleased to see that THREE #2 is continuing solid, compelling work by queer creators. That's a tall order, considering the amount of praise the title has received as well as Ignatz nominations for one of the previous issue's pieces.) Again, the concept: THREE is an anthology by queer comic artists edited by Rob Kirby (you know him from BOY TROUBLE, CURBSIDE, and the particularly excellent STRANGE-LOOKING EXILE) in which each issue contains 3 new stories by three different creators or groups of creators.

It's an excellent production and one of my current favorite titles. This issue features three really different stories. The first, "Dragon" (written by Sina Evil with art by Jon Macy) is beautiful, sexy, playful, complicated, and a little heartbreaking: it's the story of two comics artists who meet for dinner and something a bit more beyond that. It's a story about sex and desire, but also about self-discovery. Evil's storytelling pace is superb (it's his first time writing a comic and not drawing it himself) and Macy's art is by turns smouldering and playful. It's a standout piece and a beautifully done collaboration.

The next piece is a playful cartoon jam by Jennifer Camper and Michael Fahy called "Help Wanted" that's a lot of fun. I can't tell you too much abnout the story without giving away plot twists, but it's about Raoul, his boyfriend and boss Leo Rinaldi, Lana (sister of Leo and swanky airplane pilot), the secrets of the samba, and ... well, you've have to read it to find out what happens next. It's a delight that I don't want to ruin for you, but it's one of the most fun cartoon jams I've read in a long time.

The final piece in this issue is "Nothin' But Trouble" by Craig Bostick and David Kelly, which employs very evocative color work. The story initially follows Jimmy, a guitarist and singer, who picks up a fella named Butch, in a love 'em & leave 'em story with a twist. Midway through the story shifts from Jimmy's perspective to Butch's, and the different color backgrounds of the story begin to make sense -- red for Jimmy and aqua for Butch. It's a love story with a couple of twists, but make sure you pay attention to what's playing on the radio in the background on the story's final page.

Overall, THREE is well worth reading for a lot of reasons; the artwork is always excellent, the stories consistently compelling, the series production is one of the most professional I've seen, and the content is diverse, beautiful, and inspiring. I can't wait for THREE #3, which will have work by one of my favorite folks in comics (Carrie McNinch), work from Ed Luce (which looks adorable and full of bear fellows), and a cartoon jam with folks like Diane DiMassa, Howard Cruse, Ellen Forney, and more -- including Rob Kirby himself.

Just order the collection. You're gonna fall in love with it too.

(June 2011)
Rob Kirby
www.robkirbycomics.com (orders via paypal)
$6.25 US / ? Can/Mex / ? World
trades: maybe "for appropriate/similar stuff"
Half-legal (8.5 inches tall x 7 inches wide)
32 all-color pages

Christian* New Age Quarterly: A Bridge Supporting Dialogue

This zine's title is descriptive and accurate. From the statement of purpose on the masthead: "Our intent is to foster communication between Christians and New Agers. To this end, a diversity of viewpoints is featured. Publication does not imply the publisher concurs with the content." These issues feature a letters column with perspectives and comments from readers, articles on such things as shamanism and spirituality, and includes reference materials, advertisements, and other reading including book reviews. Informative and speculative. If you're interested in these subjects, this zine is a good resource for you and will be thought-provoking. Professionally laid-out, cleanly organized, includes color pages on the inside.

Christian* New Age Quarterly: A Bridge Supporting Dialogue
Vol. 20, #1 (Summer 2011), Vol. 20, #1+ (Autumn 2011), and Vol 20, #2 (Winter 2011)
PO Box 276, Clifton, NJ 07015-0276
website: price: $3.50US/ $ 5 Can/Mex / $5 World for sample issue. Subscriptions (4 issues plus supplements) $12.50 US/$18.50 everywhere else.
trades: ? (contact and ask, I guess?)
size: 8.5 tall x 7 wide
page count: 24, 16, 24


More Brooklyn reviews! Say it with me, people: “The name of this zine is BROOKLYN and that's also what the zine is about, Fred's beloved borough of Brooklyn." History, photography, you name it and it’s in here…provided it’s got something to do with Fred’s favorite borough.

#75 is a "special issue" -- to mark the 75th issue, Fred sorted through his "collection of zine stuff" that was planned for (but didn't make it into) earlier issues and put together kind of a "hodgepodge" with all the usual suspects (and of course all about Brooklyn): photographs, the Lexicon & Pronounciation Guide (including "ida know" and "yizzl" -- don't know these? Get yourself some BROOKLYN already!), the Brooklyn version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a neighborhood tour -- all in all, always an interesting read!

PS: The cover is very funny and probably not something you want to read at your desk at work: it's six middle fingers held high and proud by four people...and one primate.

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