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.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

THERE FOR US

THERE FOR US
Anna Sellheim & Tillie Walden

12 pages, 5.25 x 8 inches, B&W, $4 (?Can/Mex, ?? trades)
http://annasellheim.storenvy.com/products/19522903-there-for-us

This is a great little comic; it's a positive account of both authors' experiences at Planned Parenthood. Each author wrote and illustrated their own stories, and they're different from one another but no less powerful -- their drawing styles are well-matched and both stories are compelling. It's important to show a diversity of perspective, especially in support of women's experiences, because Planned Parenthood is such an important resource to so many people. Highly recommended. (Note: there is a way to read it online without buying the comic, but if you're able to buy the comic I recommend doing so.)

CAT PARTY #3

CAT PARTY #3: The Collectible Cat

by Katie Haegele
illustrated by Caitlin Peck

28 pages, 5.5. x 8.5 inches, $3 US (? Can/Mex, trades??)
https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/9894

This zine is pretty clearly what it says it is: it's all about cat collectibles, particularly second-hand stuff like mugs (one in particular with a snooty Siamese, which I of course thought was great) and jigsaw puzzles, cat lamps and cross stitch samplers. The writing style is lovely and fun; it's a delight to read and the illustrations are perfectly matched. I'd argue that even if you don't love cats (full disclosure: I do, no surprise there) you'd still dig this zine. It's a lot about the object itself, the weird knickknack, the odd cat lamp with glowing eyes and the mis-priced bone china mug with the Siamese on it. It's pretty charming; I recommend it.


AMERICAN INDIAN READY TO WEAR CATALOGUE 2018 (May 2018)

AMERICAN INDIAN READY TO WEAR CATALOGUE 2018 (May 2018)

by Joey Clift
12 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, $5 physical/$1 digital US (? Can/Mex), no trades
11615 Victory Blvd Apt 8
North Hollywood CA 91606
Joeyclift@gmail.com
https://redcatpress.com

Description: "From Iron Eyes Cody to Native American sports mascots, The American Indian Ready to Wear Catalogue is a 10-page mini-zine featuring all of the fashion tips you need to be the only type of American Indian that white society will allow you to be: a racist caricature." Written by Joey Clift, member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, and illustrated by Janet Myer, member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, this one is worth checking out; there are are important points to consider here and the author and illustrator are straightforward and to the point. For example, one of the "on sale" items in the catalogue is titled "President Andrew Jackson / Fuck That Guy" and the description reads "Only 200 years later, people finally understand that the president who signed the Indian Removal Act into law kind of sucked!"  This zine is very effective satire, pointing out the "Retired New Ager" (both female and male) and "The Urban Indian" (among others) to call out these racist caricatures -- some of which remain so prevalent in American culture (sports teams like the R******* [this is how it's printed in the zine, so I'm including it], and the Land O'Lakes Butter Maiden, etc.) that you might be surprised to find them included (but, really, you shouldn't be). This zine will make you think twice about some these racist caricatures; it's well worth getting a copy.

TWILIGHT WORLD #24

TWILIGHT WORLD #24
20 pages, 5x8 inches, $3 US ($3 CAN ? MEX), trades yes
Don Fields
266 Ramona Ave
Grover Beach, CA 93433
oddlystupid@yahoo.com
donosdump.com

"Yer standard perzine" says the description on the review sheet Don sent in, and he's not wrong; it includes a piece about the author's return to LA for the 2017 Long Beach Zine Fest that's the center of the issue (and there's great photographs). It's an interesting tour through LA (and some tips about places to get a snack or some tasty dinner) as well as a great read about the different zines that Don picked up at the zine fest (some names you'll recognize, and some will be new). The issue also includes two reviews (with a note that some were left out due to space, so maybe we'll see those next issue). It's an interesting read, and particularly for the combo of zine fair and travel in the LBZF piece, and trades are accepted!

The Skunk Journals #2

THE SKUNK JOURNALS #2

DB Pedlar
12 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, free upon request or trade (US/CAN/MEX)
25727 Cherry Hill Rd
Cambridge Springs PA 16403

THE SKUNK JOURNALS #2 includes 5 different pieces written by DB Pedlar on a variety of different subjects plus some illustrations. It begins with two philosophical questions asked in the previous issue, with some answers, followed by a piece about "Sticking Together" (which is kind of about the Free State Project and the Porcupines and Freeman's Couch; I don't totally want to ruin the weird story here so I won't say much). Next up is "Breath of Life" (sort of about traveling to a doctor in winter and sort of what happens once the author gets there), a prose poem and drawing called "Hey Ride" (well, think hayrides), and then the final piece, "Are My Eyes Out Of Focus Or Just Bleary With Tears" about a youth summer program, is the longest and most detailed of the pieces within the issue. I'm not sure if it's part of a much longer planned series or themed issues or what, but it'll be interesting to see where it goes!


Friday, November 2, 2018

BROOKLYN (#101)

BROOKLYN (#101)


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 interesting 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. Brooklyn is a series which works cumulatively as well as in single issues. I've been a longtime reader, and I dig it. The layout -- every issue! every time! -- is clear and crisp, and you're never lost while you're reading.

#101 is a special theme issue, all about Brooklyn buildings; "don't plan for bridges or trains" Fred writes. "Fuhgeddaboutt bucolic parks and empty streets in desolate industrial districts." Instead, it's about  factories, houses, schools (as well as a Brooklyn Lexicon & Pronounciation Guide -- #80 in fact -- which is one of my favorite parts of this series!) with lots of pictures and detailed explanations, of gargoyles (well, a chimera), Brooklyn gingerbread houses, and what might be the smallest house in Brooklyn. 

Obviously a subscription's the way to go here, to get the full Brooklyn effect, but it's a great series, meticulous in the planning, and worth a read. Don't miss out! 

SUBMERGING (#8 -- Summer 2018)

SUBMERGING (#8 -- Summer 2018)


Brett Essler
PO Box 469
Patterson NY 12563
submergingwriters@gmail.com
submergingzine.wordpress.com
24 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, B&W (full color cover, cardstock), $6 US / $? Can/Mex $? world, trades maybe

Submerging is a zine/chapbook featuring personal essays, fiction, and photography printed on 80# gloss text and a 100# gloss cover (some issues have had color covers, but this one is B&W). This issue is subtitled "where we are in the story" and includes stories, poetry, and photography. It's a limited run of 125 copies, all printed in June 2018 in Philadelphia.  It's a lovely little saddle-stitched chapbook with stories about travel and different places in the world, memories of places and things and people; if you're into chapbooks and literary work, you'll enjoy this zine. The layout is crisp and clear and precise; everything is in its right place and the eye doesn't stray or wander. The zine feels substantial in your hands because of the paper weight; it's a lovely little book.

Sexing Yourself: Masturbation for your Own Pleasure (Sept. 2018)

Sexing Yourself: Masturbation for your Own Pleasure (Sept. 2018)

52 pages, b&w, 5.5x8.5 inches, $4 US (? CAN/MEX, ? World), ? trades
Faith G. Harper, PhD, LPC-S, ACS, ACN
https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/7455

Well, this zine is pretty clear about what it's about. It's part of a series of zines by Dr. Faith G. Harper, and this one starts with some historical explanation of why society "in the grand tradition of ruining anything fun" decided that "the art of self-love" was dangerous, led to "weakness, disease, and insanity" and so forth. (It also includes some interesting history about the invention of the vibrator.) The zine debunks these myths and goes on to explain why masturbation is important, how to figure out what you like and what you don't, sex toys and vibrators (and some pretty frank talk about how to shop for them if that's of interest), as well as some basic information for non-cis folks, and even includes parenting tips and resources to learn more! The main message here is very clearly "do everything in your power to fight the societal message that masturbation is dirty, sinful, or something to be embarrassed about." There's a lot of good and interesting information packed into these 52 small pages; it's well worth your time to read.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Through A Basement Window: The Collected Comix of Clark A. Dissmeyer 1984–1986

Through A Basement Window: The Collected Comix of Clark A. Dissmeyer 1984–1986 published October 2017
156 pages, 7.5 x 9.25 inches, 7.99 US (pretty sure; see below)/ ?CAN/MEX, ? World, no idea about trades (I'm guessing probably not?) 
by Clark Dissmeyer (author), Marc Myers (editor), and Richard Krauss (designer)

Clark Dissmeyer
917 E. 25th St. Apt #5
Kearney, NE 68847
Marc: muckmires@hotmail.com
Richard: arkay@larquepress.com

This submission for review came in without a review sheet, so I'm not sure how much it costs. Some googling led to online outlets (it's on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $7.99, so I'm going with that), which is probably where you'd need to order it as well. It's a perfect-bound book done in black & white, featuring stories that have never before been published. Most of it is pretty squarely placed in the horror/Twilight Zone genre, spooky stories, dark thoughts, death -- if you're into horror, you'll dig this collection. The construction of the comics themselves are bold and the book is clearly organized, including an introduction about Dissmeyer's work and the period of time in which he composed these works (I mean, over a span of two years, this is a lot of work!). It's a solid book with a substantial amount of material.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

BIKEQUITY: Money, Class, & Bicycling

BIKEQUITY: Money, Class, & Bicycling

Edited by Elly Blue
128 pages, 4.25 x 6.5 inches, $9.95 US (? Can/Mex, ? World), ? trades
https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/6678
Microcosm Publishing
2752 N Williams Ave.
Portland, OR 97227

This collection is the 14th issue of Taking The Lane, which is a rad series that I've always enjoyed reading; this issue has much to do with money, class, and bicycling -- why folks are on bikes, folks who go car-free, surviving a biking accident, stolen bikes -- and digs in to some fascinating ideas through the various pieces in the collection. There's fiction and a recipe and a bunch of different pieces (Blue writes about this in the introduction and explains a little about why these pieces are in this collection and why it follows more of a zine format), but most are essays.  "Ultimately," Blue states, "this zine is about ways people negotiate power, and the various wedges that the powerful can use to separate us from each other." Do Jun Lee's piece "Han-ted Riding" is particularly exquisitely composed, by turns tragic and heartwarming and empowering, but all the pieces in this collection are fascinating and worth your time to read. These collections are always so carefully assembled, with pretty amazing production values, and always leave me thinking after I'm done reading them. Highly recommended -- whether you're into biking or not.


Friday, April 20, 2018

This is Your Brain on PTSD: Trauma Recovery Using Brain Science (Oct. 2017)

This is Your Brain on PTSD: Trauma Recovery Using Brain Science (Oct. 2017)

42 pages, b&w, 5.5x8.5 inches, $5 US (? CAN/MEX, ? World), ? trades
Faith G. Harper, PhD, LPC-S, ACS, ACN
https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/8520

The first line of this zine reads: "If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (or if you suspect that it might be an accurate diagnosis, this zine is designed to help you get a handle on what that is and what to do next" and I would say that's a fully accurate description of what follows. The zine explains what PTSD is and how that's different from a trauma response as well as talks about what a trauma is (it doesn't have to be huge and dramatic, either; "any kind of life event that kicks your ass" falls into this category) including things that are sometimes left out of how we think about trauma: bullying, school and community violence, impaired caregiver, forced displacement, systems trauma, and others. There's some discussion of the brain science of trauma, what trauma can look like on an ordinary day, as well as some exercises for, as the author puts it, unfucking your brain. It's an interesting reading and well worth your time.

SMEAR Magazine #3 and #4

SMEAR Magazine (#3 -- March 2017 and #4 -- November 2017).24 pages (both), full color cardstock, 8.5 x 5.5 inches, $5 US (? CAN/MEX, ? WORLD), ? tradesavailable at: http://www.smearmagazine.com/shop/smear-issue-4-new
smearmagazine@gmail.com

Okay, these magazines are some of the highest production quality I've seen in a while; they're substantial and the design/construction elements are impeccable. They're a combination of interesting interviews, photography, short pieces, and other things (#4 has comics, #3 has an advice column), each issue has pieces cleverly organized around themes describing what they are ("one-on-ones" for the interviews, "visuals" for comics and photography, "moody musings" for a variety of other things, etc.).  They use these same tags to sort work they're posting online; this same content can be found there for the first four issues, but starting with the next issue they're moving into print only. The work inside is interesting and they often list open calls for work on their facebook page (the next issue is due out pretty soon and I'm interested to see it; you don't have to be in their geographic part of the world -- Austin, TX -- to contribute). These are pretty comprehensive as far as zines go, and they look very professional (no joke, seriously, on the production values). Highly recommended. 

SWIMMING (People Make Plans #3.5 / August 2017)

SWIMMING  (People Make Plans #3.5 / August 2017)


32 pages, zine is 4 x 4 inches but full color cover is 8.5 x 4.5 inches, $2 US ($3 CAN/MEX / $3 world), maybe trades

Nicolle Jennelle
POB 791802
New Orleans, LA 70179
peoplemakeplans@gmail.com
pmpzine.wordpress.com

Described as a mini-zine memoir about the 8/5/2017 flash floor in New Orleans with themes of friendship, love, grieving, cats, PTSD, and flooding, this zine has a hand-rolled ink cover (blue) with fingerpainted gold smears; the zine itself is printed on ivory colored paper. Of all the zines I got in this review batch, this is the one I looked at first because the construction is different from anything I've seen before; it's basically this tiny little zine tucked inside an art print, which is cool. The zine itself is well-written; I won't give away what happens (you should get it & read it & find out for yourself!) but I will tell you I couldn't put it down. It's a fast read and an important one; the writing is vivid and you'll be compelled to read through start-to-finish. Interesting, innovative design; this one is worth getting and reading; it's also lovely to look at as a design object. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

SUBMERGING (#2 -- 2017)

SUBMERGING (#2 -- 2017)



Brett Essler
submergingwriters@gmail.com
submergingzine.wordpress.com
24 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, B&W (full color cover, cardstock), $3 US / $? Can/Mex $? world, trades maybe
Submerging is a zine/chapbook featuring personal essays, fiction, and photography; available from Quimby's, Atomic Books, Razorcake, and on Etsy. It is really gorgeous; there's glossy cardstock paper that feels good in your hands, and the writing's surprisingly compelling. It's about corporeality, about bodies and medicine, about getting older. Clean, clear, crisp layout; everything in the right place. One of the essays is about surviving an unexpected heart attack; another about delicate bodies growing older with all the attending aches and pains. Four different writers make up this issue; there's photography and interesting visual elements, and for $3 it seems like a steal for the quality of not just the writing (which is quite good) but also the object itself (I haven't seen a lot of slick, glossy paper zines lately, so this is an interesting change). For $3, it's worth getting; check it out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

ASK A CAT DIGEST #5 (Feb. 2018)

ASK A CAT DIGEST #5 (Feb 2018 )


8 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 $2 US (? CAN/MEX / ? world), yes trades
Charles Brubaker
247 Redbud Cir.
Martin, TN 38237

Fifth mini-collection of the "Ask a Cat" comic strip. Questions range from how cats celebrate New Year's (I was surprised...) birthdays, raccoons (basically bootleg cats?), and more. Basically, the "Ask A Cat" comic strip series is, unsurprisingly, a cartoon cat answering letters sent in by readers. 
 You can get it on the fun by emailing cbrubaker@gmail.com with your Ask A Cat questions as well. It's a quick read but it's fun; it's a collection of various comic strips on various questions that readers have sent in to Cat. It's obviously also part of a longer series, but if you're into comics and gag strips (it very much follows a traditional introduction /set-up / punchline format) you'll dig it.

NICKNAME #1 (Oct. 2017) and #2 (Jan. 2018)

NICKNAME #1 (Oct. 2017) and #2 (Jan. 2018)

20 pages (#1) and 24 pages (#2), both 5 x 7 inches , $4 ppd in USA (? Can/Mex, ? World),  trades maybe 

Hurley Winkler
3948 3rd St. S #183
Jax Beach, FL 32250
trades? better write and ask first
nicknamezine@gmail.com
nicknamezine.com

Described as "a conversational/confessional/collaborative zine by two friends" NICKNAME is by Hurley Winkler and Aysha Miskin; it's a 5x7 zine with clear layout and crisp images; it's a combination of cut & paste & xerox and original drawings, notes written on guest checks (both of these folks have exquisite handwriting, btw), and one really weird drawing of sea waves with the c-word written all over them. Both issues are a weird mishmash of images and words, but they're neat to look at. I'm interested to see how they develop; they don't read like a conversation, but who knows where they'll go in further issues. They're worth checking out, and I'm not sorry that I read them; they aren't linear storytelling but the composition is compelling -- if you're into cut & paste, these are worth your time. (Email and see if they're up for a trade!)

COPY THIS #44 (Oct 2017)

COPY THIS #44 (Oct 2017)

44 pages, 4 x 5.5 inches, cost?, trades ?

D. Blake Wertz
12339 Chesley Drive
Charlotte, NC 28277
bwertz@vnet.net

COPY THIS is an info/news zine assembled by and for mini-comics fans; this issue came with a similarly-sized minicomic called COPY by Brad W. Foster, who is the subject of the in-depth interview which makes up this issue. It's a comprehensive interview and makes for interesting reading. There are three pages at the back of the issue with updates from other zinemakers, and the issue is meticulously laid out with clean and crisp design. Heads up, though: it's a smaller-sized zine and that means smaller-sized print; it isn't unclear, but you might need to be pretty close to the paper to be able to read it depending on your eyesight. There's apparently (?) an upcoming issue that is the annual ALL ART issue, which sounds rad; I'm not yet sure if it's in print since I don't know how often issues are published (monthly, maybe?). If you're interested in illustration, or you enjoy reading interviews, check it out!

Monday, April 16, 2018

THE ZINE COLLECTOR - Column by Carrie Mercer (forthcoming XD #43)



THE ZINE COLLECTOR

A New Zine Podcast by Jaime Nyx


Jaime Nyx may already be known to some of you from her zine review blog, Sea Green Zines (seagreenzines.com), which she has been writing since 2011, an eon in zine years. She also writes the zine “Don’t Call Me Cupcake.” At the beginning of this year, she started a podcast/videocast called The Zine Collector, and has posted seven episodes to date. It’s obvious from the start that Nyx has put research and thought into each episode. The sound quality is fantastic, Nyx comes across as friendly and welcoming, and there’s even nice intro music. Overall, it’s a real pleasure to listen to.

Nyx spends the first couple episodes introducing herself and zines—yes, that basic question of what a zine is, which I’m sure you reading this already know, and yet, she finds definitions from several different sources that might make you think a litter harder about it. Nyx has a great love for zines, and that is the most appealing part of listening to her podcast. She appreciates the “generous community” of zinesters, and emphasizes the zine ethos of not being competitive, but cooperative—that we are all (for the most part) supporting each other. In this spirit, she then talks about several other zine podcasts that she listens or listened to and gets inspiration from. Her thorough show notes are a treasure trove to investigate further zine resources, with links to other podcasts, zine distros, and individual zinesters. Her segment “sharing is caring” highlights zine communities, like WeMakeZines.com, where listeners can get more involved and connected in the zine community.

Creating conversations in the zine community is very important to Nyx. When I asked her about it, she said her main motivation in starting the podcast was “extending what I was already doing in regards to connections/conversations and bringing that to new platforms.” Now that it’s up and running and she’s getting feedback, she wants to focus on “making people feel welcome.” She wants more people to feel like they have permission to make zines. Nyx struggles with anxiety issues and says she is “made of marshmallow fluff,” which I think somehow makes her the perfect fairy godmother for zinesters. She will always cheer you on, and remind you that “there are no gatekeepers in the zineverse, nor should there ever be.”

In later episodes, Nyx discusses specific issues in more depth, like zine pricing, consent and copyright in perzines, and to risograph or not to risograph. Episode five is a long interview with zinester Sober Bob, in which they discuss the disturbing trend of young people merchandising everything they do, believing that something is not worth doing unless it is financially viable. Episode six is like a meditation for zinesters, in which Nyx gives zinesters 5 tips, including remembering to breathe, have fun, and not get overwhelmed. I’ll be listening to that one repeatedly.

I highly recommend this podcast for its positivity and supportiveness of the zine community as a whole. Nyx responds to feedback and listens to what zinesters are interested in discussing. The easiest place to find her is on You Tube, but she’s also on Pippa, Spotify, Pocketcasts, and Castbox.