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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sex Without Roles: Transcending Gender

Sex Without Roles: Transcending Gender
Eli Sachse
34 pages, 5.5. x 8.5 inches, B&W, $4
via Microcosm Publishing

"I'm writing this zine for gender explorers, and for those who love us" the author writes in the preface and that seems like a pretty good way to start this review. "This zine is meant to expand all of our vocabularies. In no way is this meant to be a 'how-to' or a guide to sex and dating." This zine is an interesting read for many reasons; it's written in an approachable first-person writing style, but it's also packed with lots of non-judgmental information for the reader to consider as they themselves think about gender, gender roles, and gender norms. As I was reading, the author's voice is really clear and personable; it's a direct writing style and makes important points; it's valuable reading and I highly recommend it. Though it seems like it's most closely matched for queer folks who are beginning to transition or think about transitioning, the fact is that there's a lot of good information included regarding self-exploration, consent, knowing what you want, and other things that are bigger-picture important when thinking about exploring gender and sex and desire.

BDSM FAQ: Your Antidote to Fifty Shades of Grey

BDSM FAQ: Your Antidote to Fifty Shades of Grey
Faith G. Harper, PhD, LPC-S.
30 pages, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, $4 via Microcosm:

The author is a counselor who writes about how "I started getting more and more younger couples coming to my office with questions and concerns about BDSM." She links this happening to the larger popularity of 50 Shades of Gray, people trying our that roleplay and "feeling..well...skeeved out." So after answering questions, Dr. Harper starting thinking more about those questions, and then teaching classes at a local & woman-owned toy store in San Antonio, and then using that varied material to react this zine. It goes from the basics ("Ok, then. What is BDSM?"), includes some terms & lingo (switch, safe words, and more), as well as some important information. It's a guide that covers her most frequently asked questions in more of an information-imparting way, not a manifesto or a exact how to, and it includes an anonymous BDSM story as well from someone who "wanted to share some of what she saw as a warning to other to make sure they are safe and protected in the community." Clear, crisp composition; factual and straightforward writing. The reader is never lost in this zine.

BEARQUEFT COMIX #1 (Spring 2017)

BEARQUEFT COMIX #1 (Spring 2017)
Charlie Haggard
120 Gallagher Street, Unit A
Huntington, WV 25705
smelldog@gmail.com, comix@bearqueft.com
chaggard.com, comix.bearqueft.com
30 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, B&W (color paper cover), $5 US / $6 Can/Mex $10 world, trades yes

Described by the author & creator as a "collection of original comics, illustrations, and fake adverts" this is a pretty crisply designed and printed book with comics (Planet Man, who smells terrible), sketches I thiiiiink the artist did as a child (it's not totally clear who drew then and when, but there's a lot of "Jerry" who looks a lot like Fred Flintstone, and these hilarious 'art critics' who provide some commentary on the pieces), and some other artwork. Some cussing; not for kids; there's a mighty lot of bodily functions references in here (and some random naked folks) but there's also this great little bit at the end where you get to fill in the blanks and add your own dialogue, which I thought was pretty fun. Overall, it is pretty much a random collection of comics and illustrations, as well as a few fake ads thrown in there for reasons I'm not as sure about, but for a first issue it's generally well composed and designed. Let's see what #2 brings!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

2 one-offs from Allison Leonard

2 one-offs from Allison Leonard

Choo-choo Charli: The Cat With The Train-Track Back
4 pages, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2, $2 US $3 Can/Mex/World, trades yes

5 Stages of Recovery: My Bipolar Odyssey
4 pages, 8 1/2 x 5 1/2, $2 US $3 Can/Mex/World, trades yes

33 Oaklawn Street
Hutchins, TX 75141

So these two zines are both pretty straightforward in their descriptions; 5 Stages is "a version of coming to grips with having bipolar disorder" and Choo-choo Charli is "2 stories about my cat Charli, with quotes and pictures." Both of the zines are black & white and have crisp, open layout; readers don't get lost while they're reading through the material or get sucked into irrelevant details. The pages don't feel crammed with information or with type too small to read. They're both fairly short; at just 4 pages each, you'll likely be left wanting a little more like I was. I'll be interested to see future writing from this author; we'll see what other topics she takes on in the future!

Fracking Can Be Fun (one-shot 2017)

Fracking Can Be Fun (one-shot 2017)
Dr. Milton Godswill, Director of the Federal Association of Knowledge and Experimentation (F.A.K.E.)
8 pages, 5 1/2 x 4 1/4,FREE--US ONLY; email your snail mail to the yahoo email above for a free copy, trades yes

The publisher's description is: "A satirical science experiment that teaches the principles and pleasures of fracking." This is a short, small satirical zine about fracking using one's digestive system as a model for what happens with fracking -- think baked beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts; you get the idea. The zine's layout is crisp and clear, using the 1950's style Dick-and-Jane illustrations from old manuals.  (Note: remember! satire! don't do what they say in the zine!)

A WHOLE MESS OF BROOKLYN (94, 96, 97, 98)

BROOKLYN! (#94, #96, #97, and #98)
24 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 $10 for a 4 issue subscription
(PAYMENT IN CASH! Fred adds: US currency please!)
Fred Argoff
Penthouse L
1170 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn NY 11230

If you're new to BROOKLYN, here's the details:  “The name of this zine is BROOKLYN and that's also what the zine is about, Fred's beloved borough of Brooklyn." Issues generally tend to be more photography based, which gives you a real sense of a lot of hidden or off-the-beaten-path Brooklyn. If you dig history, architecture, urban spaces, etc. you'll absolutely want to check out this series. BROOKLYN is a long-standing series that's an intersting read even if you're never been to Brooklyn and maybe never will. It's all about Brooklyn (no surprise there), but it's always a combination of history, photography, and other Brooklyn related things, including Brooklyn-related zazzle.com stamps. Fred obviously spends a lot of time sweating the details, and the overall effect is very cool.

I've been a longtime reader, and I dig it. The layout -- every issue! -- is clear and crisp, and you're never lost while you're reading. #96 is all about graffiti in Brooklyn, and is very picture-heavy. It's very cool. #97 includes stops on the Brooklyn World Tour (pictures of Brooklyn-related things throughout the world). There's architecture, interesting pictures (especially ones from the Brooklyn of years past), art on the street (including Beriah Wall's ceramic coins made in Red Hook and then left throughout Brooklyn for anyone to find), and the much-loved Brooklyn Lexicon &; Pronunciation Guide #77. I'm not sure how I missed #94 from earlier reviews, but it's great: all about Brooklyn and subways (a reprise of a much-earlier theme, but still pretty grand) and #98 literally arrived just as I was finishing reviews and trying to meet deadlines! #98 is another Brooklyn History special issue and it's "so saturated with history, you wonder how it doesn't burst at the seams." There's a book review of Gay Talise's The Bridge (about the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, lots and lots of pictures, and some really fascinating Brooklyn history.

Brooklyn's fun to read, and always interesting; it's worth your time to check it out! I hope at this point folks get the idea that getting a subscription is really the way to go, since there's special issues, theme issues, photography and so on. I always feel like I've learned something new every time I read an issue!


review from Anne: STRATU'S DIARY COMIX (Feb 2017)

10 pages,  11 inches x 8 inches, 4 (B&W) $8 (color) /same Can/ same Mex / same World. Trades: "yes but only comix"
color cover (I think it's hand-drawn!)
Stuart Stratu
PO BOX 35 Marrickville NSW 2204 AUSTRALIA

This is a diary comic in "about my real life" writes the author & artist. "Just like a diary, but with drawings!" Since I last read Stratu's Diary Comix, they're now in color; apparently there's an option where you can get them in B&W or in color, depending on your preference. This issue is mostly about -- as the cover says -- Instagram mysteries! Seoul trip! Kakao friends! Strategy meetings! I've reviewed it before and it's fun if you like diary comics; each strip has three panels that detail stuff that happens during the day; mostly about instagram this issue but also going out for food, travel to Seoul (which is a super-fun sequence), and other random odds & ends. I really like the color version more than the B&W one, but it's still entertaining if you like diary comics. It's mostly portraits / talking heads, especially with drawing different instagrammers, but it's neat. I like it and it's worth checking out. I dig quirky color work, and the colors in here provide some interesting contrast and detail that makes the images pop.