Sunday, 29 May 2011

Zine News Round-Up!

Hello again!  Hope you’re all having a nice time being creative and whatnot this month. Since changing Spill the Zines’ news round-up posts from weekly to fortnightly, we’ve been finding these posts much easier to fill.  I think more and more people are finding out about this blog too, as we're getting sent plenty of news these days.  We’ve also been getting lots more requests for reviews, which is very exciting.  Please keep sending your zine-related news and stories in, no matter how small!  As long as it’s British, we’ll publish it! :)

Cath x


1. Zine Releases
2. Upcoming Events
3. Submission Calls
4. Zine Reviews
5. AOB (Any Other Business)


1. Zine Releases
 - Hayley Foster da Silva of Essex has released her first ever zine, Dancing Barefoot!  For your own copy, contact her at moonlight.phoenixATgmailDOTcom.
 - Fanzine Ynfytyn #15 and #16 were released last week.  You can buy them at Emma Jane Falconer’s etsy shop.
 - Being Editors #1, a children’s literature comp-zine, has been published this week by editor Emma Jane Falconer.  The first issue is dedicated to British author Diana Wynne Jones.  Also available at Emma’s etsy shop.
 - Comic zine SNOW TRAP by David Ziggy Greene is now for sale at for £2.
 - Rum Lad: The Stories issue, contains 13 contributions from folk telling a short story about themselves. Buy it at

2. Upcoming Events
 - Glasgow Zine Fest: 2nd June. Held at the Free Hetherington, 3 til 7pm.  RSVP on Facebook here.
 - Ladyfest Essex: 11th June. Hayley (feminist activist and author of Dancing Barefoot) is organising the first ever Ladyfest in Essex all by herself, and needs your support for this fantastic event!  There will be female-fronted music, stalls, and yummy vegan food available.  2 til 11pm at the Railway Pub, Southend, £3 entry. All proceeds will be donated to Refuge. RSVP here.
- Zine Fest! 2011: 25th June.  Held in the Women’s Library in London, which has its own extensive zine collection. More info here.
 - Birmingham Zine Festival: 9th July. 12 til 6pm.  Lots of workshops and tables (including my own table)! Come down and say hello!  RSVP here.
 - Camden Zine Fest: 8th October.  Very far in advance, but this event is still in the planning stages, so if you want to lend a hand, get in touch with the organiser Will at camdenzinefestATgmailDOTcom.  RSVP on We Make Zines here.

3. Submission Calls
 - The Swansea Feminist Network is starting up its own feminist comp-zine and is looking for submissions for its first issue!  The theme is “feminist heroes”, and the current deadline is the end of June 2011.  For more info or to submit something, contact us at swanseafeministnetworkATgmailDOTcom.

4. Zine Reviews
 - Sophie at Oh My Clumsy Heart has reviewed lots more lovely zines. Take a look and comment here.
 - Ingrid has reviewed the zines she picked up at the London Zine Symposium at her blog Mythologising Me.  She’s also giving away a zine grab bag; take a look here.

5. A.O.B.
 - The Interactive Monster Unit have published pictures of people drawing monsters at their stall at the London Zine Symposium!  There’s a photo of me there, looking awkward, haha. Go take a look to see if your monster was featured!
 - girlVIRUS UK, run by me, is hoping to arrange a meet-up over the summer and we need ideas on what to do together!  The current idea is a big gathering and sleepover at someone’s house, but we need to find someone in a fairly central location who is willing to co-host the gathering with me. To find out more, or to volunteer help, you can get in touch with me at  Make sure you join us on Facebook, and spread the virus!
 - Don’t forget the annual 24 Hour Zine Thing is coming up in July.  I’ll be participating – will you?  Book yourself a day off work in advance for a glorious day of zine-making!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Zine Reviews: May ‘11 (London Zine Symposium edition)

I picked up A LOT of zines when I went to the London Zine Symposium last month:

As I went straight back to university the following week to finish off my degree, and rant about said degree on my blog, I had no time to pick my way through this big pile of wonderful zines!  It was very frustrating.  I mean, I didn’t even have time to sleep and shower most of the time, let alone read zines.  But 3 weeks ago, I finished my degree and came home for good, to start the dreaded job search.  And so, during a particularly bad bout of procrastination, I sifted through my entire pile of LZS paraphernalia and picked most of it over the course of one glorious afternoon.  The following zine reviews are all zines that I picked up that weekend, and loved. By means of apologising for Spill the Zines’ lack of activity in the past few weeks, this is an extra-long zine review post.  Let us know in the comments what your favourite zines were from LZS!

Cath x


Virgin #2
Anonymous, England - virginzineATgmailDOTcom

The first issue of Virgin, published in summer 2009, was written by one anonymous girl about her own experiences of being a virgin.  This issue, finally published last month, is “the submissions issue”, made up of other people’s stories instead of the author/editor’s own.  The submissions cover topics of disability, fear of intimacy, virginity as a burden rather than a blessing, asexuality, lesbianism, sexual abuse, self-worth and virginity as an exclusive heterosexual concept.  As well as these submissions, the author/editor writes about the overwhelmingly positive feedback she got about the first issue, and the way the issues of asexuality and choice were misinterpreted in her original issue.  The zine is half-sized, with clean layouts.  For a mere 75p, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this zine, as it’s a really thought-provoking read.  Available to buy from Marching Stars distro.

I’m Drawing a Blank #1
Tukru, Kent - tukrulovesyouATgmailDOTcom
Massive love for this zine.  Tukru’s drawings have featured briefly in her previous zines, but I’m Drawing a Blank is her first solo comic zine, filled with lots of hand drawings and Tukru’s beautiful handwriting.  As well as some self-portraits and accompanying text explaining the picture (e.g. kick-ass Tukru holding a rifle, informing us that she is the same height as Rambo), there are also drawings of Emma Jane Falconer, Amber Forrester, Buffy, Eric Northman, Kurt Cobain, and her partner Carl.  The writing has a very similar feel to the writing of Your Pretty Face…, very stream-of-consciousness.  Get your hands on a copy, it’s Tukru so you know it’ll be really great. And only £1! Brilliant!

Angry Violist #2
Cambridge – angry.violistATyahooDOTcom
This is described as a zine for “alternative string players who are angry at being forced to play classical music”.  Inside, we read about the author’s viola, the difference between a viola and a violin, being regarded as a failed violin player or being mistaken for a violinist, strange musical phenomena such as the “devil’s interval” and the “brown note” (google ‘em), and inspirational string players.  Angry Violist is one of the more esoteric zines I’ve read – if you’re not really into music, particularly classical music, I think you’d find this zine kinda dull.  Or you might enjoy reading something totally different and learn new things, it depends.  Having studied music at A level, and being a bit of a music geek, I really enjoyed the zine.  It’s written with good humour, and remains intelligent without slipping into territory that’s too academic or dense.  So if you’re a music-y type, I highly recommend this zine. The main criticism I have for this zine is the fact that it is very difficult to read in certain places due to the poor photocopy quality and small font size.  Some of the fonts themselves are  quite difficult to read too (a quick note: sans-serif fonts photocopy the best, so I recommend them to zinesters over serif fonts!). Other than that, great!

No Comment: The Defendant’s Guide to Arrest
London –
This is being included for its sheer usefulness.  It’s a free zine on how to deal with getting arrested – what happens when you get arrested, contacting a solicitor, being interviewed, police tactics to force out a confession, and what to do if a friend or relative is arrested.  Very useful; I’m glad I picked it up.  I mean, I hope I don’t get arrested anytime soon, but you never know.  Download your free copy here.

Fanzine Ynfytyn #8
Emma, Kent - emmajanefalconerATgmailDOTcom
I met Emma for the first time at LZS and bought a few zines from her, as I hadn’t read Fanzine Ynfytyn before.  This was my favourite of the bunch – a quarter-sized, horizontal zine printed on purple paper, with pretty floral layouts.  At only 20 pages long, it’s a quick read, most of which is taken up by an article about songs that remind Emma of certain times of her life.  These include 36 Degrees by Placebo, which reminds her of being in a girls’ grammar school at 13, and Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode reminding her of her 22nd birthday.  There’s also a short article on why she likes aquariums, and hates seagulls.  Very sweet.

Scratch that Itch #3
Kathleen, Leeds – iloveavocadoAThotmailDOTcom
I loved this zine – it’s subtitled “No poetry, angst, or trainhopping stories” so you know it’s proudly different from most perzines.  After a brief update of her life in the opening pages, Kathleen jumps straight into the story of her hectic life as a newly-qualified paramedic.  This includes the exhausting 13-hour shifts, and dealing with death in work.  There ‘s also an AMAZING rewriting of Jesus’ crucifixion story, which involves a wise-cracking troll called Smartie and 2 Unlimited’s 1994 hit “No Limit”!  Written by her nine-year-old self, it’s very sweet, and includes her original drawings of Jesus and Smartie being crucified!  Although the young Kathleen meant no harm by this story, it’s not for the easily offended!  I really love the way this zine looks too, with various mementos, maps and playing cards dotted throughout.  Alongside her writing, Kathleen includes some great hand-drawn artwork, and a pull-out poster of undercover policeman Mark Kennedy.  My fave page, however, was a hand-drawn and –written piece called “I fought the chore!”, all about getting through the shitty jobs of cleaning and cooking!  I really loved this zine, and devoured it in minutes – it’s honest, down-to-earth, and light-hearted, with cool cut-and-paste layouts and great stories.

Out of the City and Into the Trees #1
Natalie, Edinburgh - out-of-the-city-and-into-the-treesATriseupDOTnet
This is why going to zine fests is such a great experience – I would’ve never heard of this zine otherwise.  It’s a half-sized perzine, featuring journal entries about a young activist’s decision to move out of her parents’ house at 16 to live in a treehouse on a protest site.  The entries track the author’s adventures with protesting and getting into trouble with the law,  forming new friendships, and finally feeling like an animal instead of a machine.  Also includes some lovely poetry written among the trees.  The poetry pages are laid out in a really cool way, but the rest of the zine is plain black text on white paper.  This was probably my favourite zine of the whole bunch – I found Natalie’s stories really inspiring and excitng.  Plus it’s only £1, which is a fantastic price for the amount of goodness you get inside.  Available from Scale Trees distro.

Other things I picked up that were enjoyable:
Gorilla Film Magazine – a free half-sized zine I picked up in Rough Trade, all about filmmaking.  Very entertaining.
The Stool Pigeon – a free bi-monthly newspaper featuring lots of written pieces and cartoons.
The Secret Anarchist History of Newcastle – an entertaining and informative zine on anarchism in Newcastle.
Pistachio Magazine –a tongue-in-cheek “pastiche to what ‘lad-culture’ is all about”. Articles available online here.
Profiting from Occupation: UK and International Companies Complicit in Israeli War Crimes against Palestinians – distributed by Corporate Watch. Scary stuff.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

News Round-Up!

Hello all!
It's my turn to do an update, and I'm not as organised as Cath so please bear with me... I'll get the ball rolling with a few pieces of news - enjoy :)
Hannah x

P.S. Please keep sending us your zine-related news to so that we can spread the word of your creativity and fun events!


1. Zine Releases
2. Upcoming Events
3. Zine Reviews
4. AOB (Any Other Business)


1. Zine Releases
* Issue #4 of Angry Violist has been published, all about experimental and alternative string playing. This issue includes a Krautrock Krautmap and an interview with The Raincoats violinist Vicki Aspinall. Find out more at

2. Upcoming Events
Nottingham Zine Fair: 28th May
* Alternative Press Fair (London): 28th - 29th May
Ladyfest Essex: 11th June
* Zine Fest @ The Women’s Library (London): 25th June
Birmingham Zine Festival: 9th July

3. Zine Reviews
* I updated my zine blog with reviews last week and early today; you can read the posts here and here.
* It's a couple of months ago now, but Fliss posted some zine reviews at her blog in March and I feel they deserve a mention. Please go here to read them.
* Sophie has written a new zine review post over at her blog, Oh My Clumsy Heart, here.

4. AOB
Camden Zinefest now has its very own website! Will also have a confirmed date and location, so all that's needed now is volunteers. A couple of generous people have stepped forward already and offered their time on the day, but any others who are willing to step forward will be very, very much appreciated, especially if they're willing to help with planning things in advance. For more info, check out the website or get in touch with Will.


(post originally written by Hannah, edited by Cath)