Friday, 1 April 2011

Zine Reviews: April '11

Peach, Plum, Pear #1
Jenny Hughes,
Lincs-Notts/Glasgow - jenneh.hughesATgmailDOTcom
Awww, Jenny.  She sent me Peach, Plum, Pear #1 AND #2 completely unsolicited, along with a lovely letter (and considering both are half-sized and 38 pages long, that was a very kind gesture!).  I figured the least I could do was to review one here.  Sadly, this zine has been made in what you might call the old-fashioned way - single-sided printing glued together.   This gave me the impression that the zine was much longer than it turned out to be, and made it unnecessarily costly for Jenny to post due to the weight... but that's a small complaint, because the actual content was really interesting.  It feels strange to say that I enjoyed reading this zine, as Jenny writes about harrowing topics of attempted suicide, self-harm, medication, and feeling that her days are consistently dull and monotonous.  Of course, it was very sad and thought-provoking to read about Jenny’s difficulties with depression, but due to her good-natured take on her experiences and her sense of optimism, it was surprisingly uplifting.  Everything is very well-written, and you really get a clear understanding of how Jenny feels and the difficulties she has encountered in her life. 
She also tries to lighten the general mood of the zine with some less-than-serious content, including a list of 80s goth music she enjoys listening to and reasons to get out of the bed in the morning, as well as pretty artistic layouts and drawings throughout.  Half-handwritten (such beautiful handwriting!) and half typewritten, this zine is just as lovely to look at as it is to read.  Highly recommended.

Sugar paper #3: 20 Things to Make and Do
Various – sugarpaperzineAThotmailDOTcom
A comp-zine from the UK, Sugar Paper is a fantastic half-sized zine published twice a year.  Issue 3 lists 20 fun creative activities to try, including various recipes, how to make a skirt, quizzes ("how twee are you?"), mazes, dinosaur origami, knitting a snake scarf, how to make a thermo trope, 3D pictures, starting a craft club, how to make a crochet pin cushion, how to get off the internet, and lots more!  There's also a kit included with instructions on how to make friendship bracelets - I haven't tried doing it yet, I'm scared that I'll be terrible at it!  This was a very fun zine, with lots of nice drawings, diagrams, and pretty layouts.  Highly recommended for those of you looking for some new ways to be crafty!

Tempest in a Tea Cup #4
Louise, Lincoln – thiswaltzAThotmail.co.uk
Yay, another Tempest in a Tea Cup!  This issue is a little more cheery than previous issues, with Louise writing about grrrlVIRUS, her favourite music, zine fests, attending Reclaim the Night, and her current obsessions.  There are also some darker pieces, including dropping out of university, and losing her job.  Louise states that so far, 2011 has been pretty crappy, but she hopes it will get better soon.  There’s a general theme of feminism running through the zine, which is reflected in Louise’s writing and her choice of visuals used.  The only thing I’d suggest Louise could do to improve Tempest in a Tea Cup is to write a few long pieces rather than lots of long pieces, as 2-3 pages per piece is never enough – I always find myself longing to read more!  Other than that, this is a very nice zine that’s always refreshingly honest and frank.  The layouts are lovely as ever, with lots of fun images that Louise found on tumblr scattered throughout.

Change the World in 7 Days
Pippa, Sheffield – incurable.hippieATgmailDOTcom

I really enjoyed reading this short and sweet zine.  Inside, Pippa lists one positive thing we should do for every day of the week that can change the world, including subvertising, planting a tree, ditching the car, buy local food, and reuse our stuff.  Each task comes with a few different ideas on how to carry it out, and some reasons why doing it can change the world.  With pretty, floral layouts throughout, this is a cracking little zine that left me feeling very inspired to be more green!

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The next zine news round-up will be posted a week Sunday.  If you have anything you'd like included, please get in touch at spillthezinesukATgmailDOTcom! :)

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