Thursday, 18 August 2011

Zine Reviews: Aug '11 (Women's Library Zine Fest edition)

by Caitlin Beth Gwynn

The following reviews are all of zines that I picked up at Zine Fest @ The Women's Library last month. Some of them new, some of them old, but all of them display the great variety of the zine world.

* Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell #15
The 15th issue of Finnish / Kent based zinester, Tukru, was released just in time for London Zine Fest.  The theme of the issue is transition, as Tukru’s main focus is of changes in her personal life, such as her decision to drop out of roller derby, her birthday, and her partner Carl getting a new job. Personally, as interesting as I found the topics Tukru discussed, I did want to hear more about her and Emma Jane Falconer (of Fanzine Ynfytyn) ‘s grrrl club night, Typical Grrrls. However, I did love the account of London SlutWalk, which did make up for me not being there, and Tukru raises some very interesting points of the event. Another slight qualm of mine would be that sometimes the layout did make the content slightly difficult to read, but as usual, it’s another great and interesting issue, worth it for the roast vegetable lasagne recipe by itself!

* I Love Women
This tiny zine is part of the Bradford Zine Collective, whose stall I nearly bought everything from at Zine Fest! It’s written by Jen Claptrap and features personal stories about her friends and what they do that’s totally awesome. It’s a very short read, but an amazing zine in that it shows all of us that by doing the tiniest of things, we can be totally fantastic women.

* Hunkerdown #1
Without a doubt, this was my find of the day. It’s a tiny bright green zine that offers several invaluable moneysaving tips. It also looks at the ethics involved with budgeting too, for example, a discussion on whether you have to be rich in order to craft. Despite being absolutely packed with information, it’s an easy read and inspiring too, full of advice that is actually immensely useful, such as advice for vegetarians and vegans on what to eat to keep up their vitamin intake.

* Pamflet #XI
Some of you may be following the Pamflet girls on Twitter – if not, why not?! This was my first issue of Pamflet, and I’m regretting coming to it so late, as the introduction states that this issue may be the last printed one of Pamflet. It’s the perfect antidote to women’s magazines – funny and intelligent, with a huge dollop of sarcasm. The tongue in cheek critique of fashion, such as citing Tank Girl as a fashion inspiration, is hugely entertaining to read. Pamflet XI is chock full of articles, all of them offering very different food for thought, but always remaining incredibly interesting and entertaining.

* Braditude
Another zine from the Bradford Zine Collective to wrap things up. Braditude was created at a Bradford reading group, with all the members pitching in ideas. Like with Pamflet, the zine is a take on typical women’s magazines, but also mocks them mercilessly. The layout of the zine is unapologetically DIY with loads of hand-written content, and also is an amazing zine in that it has a cut out and keep merkin! As with Pamflet too, the zine is funny and entertaining, and the pop culture emphasises the more serious message about the damaging nature of the world of women’s magazines. 


  1. Hunkerdown sounds great, any idea where to buy it from?

  2. You can get in touch with the author Will at :)