Monday, 30 April 2012

Zine Reviews: April 2012

Drawing Moustaches in Magazines Monthly Magazine (Bi-Monthly) #7
Josie Long, England –
I bloody loved this zine, and that’s not just because Josie Long is one of my favourite comedians!  DMIMMM (B-M) (yes, the Bi-Monthly part is important) is a mish-mash of facts, flowcharts, photos, random phrases pasted in from magazines, e.g. “meet a cat with style on page 20”, hand-written rambles, comics, and rants about Tories (“David Cameron goes to gigs, stands at the front and talks loudly about how drunk he is, then shouts “bollocks!” in quiet bits”).  Some of the more substantial parts of the zine include a discussion of Josie’s love of modern poetry – she invites us to compare 2 English translations of ‘Waiting’ by Yevgeny Yevtushenko – and a page full of facts about the silverfish living in her house.  There are also some guest contributions – James Acaster provides a Power Walk Playlist, while Isy Sutster draws a comic about growing old and dull.  You can read PDFs of the first 5 issues at, or get in touch with the lady herself on Twitter to ask her to send you some!  Oh, and did I mention that this zine is free?!

Lights Go Out #11 & #16
Edited by Mr T, UK –
Lights Go Out is a long-running music fanzine featuring regular band profiles, music reviews, zine reviews, pop culture columns, interviews, and gig reviews.  At 48 pages long, it’s a substantial read, with each page crammed full of text and accompanying photos – and all for only £1!  The musicians featured in this zine are quite varied, from Reel Big Fish, to Kate Voegele, from Antillectual, to Alice Gold.  The interviews feature interesting questions, such as “what are your thoughts on downloading and sharing music?”, and “what would you say is the greatest film of all time?”.  Although Lights Go Out seems to be rooted in a punk aesthetic, I really liked the fact that they delved into other genres, with an interview with musician Kate Voegele (Mia Catalano from ‘One Tree Hill’), and the editor admitting his love for Kylie Minogue!  #16 is a colouring book, with black and white drawings of singers including Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and She-Ra.  Lots of fun (though I don’t think I’d want to ruin the zine by colouring it in)!  Lights Go Out represents my first proper foray into music fanzines, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!  

Fanzine Ynfytyn #12
Emma-Jane Falconer, Kent –
Another super-posi issue of Emma’s long-running perzine.  She opens the zine by interviewing herself, with interesting questions such as “what do you smell like?”, and “This is a perzine – where’s the angst? Why aren’t you spilling your guts?”.  The rest of the zine is made up of random lists, including small pleasures, things Emma likes to trade, and the best albums to fall asleep to.  We also read a haiku for Ernest Hemingway, and the lyrics of the Welsh song “Fanzine Ynfytyn” (“Fanzine Idiot”) that this zine is named after.  Her layouts are really neat and pretty, so it’s a lovely zine to look at too.

Fuck Shit Up #3
Emma, Sheffield –
Emma explains in the introduction that Fuck Shit Up #3 is made up of 2 merged zines– the first is a fun hand-drawn comic illustrating her adventures on a trip around Europe with friends, the second is more of a typical perzine, with typewritten articles on the best uses for garlic (popping a clove up your woowoo will cure thrush, apparently!), drinking games, a recipe for courgette cookies (which she assures us is tastier than it sounds), and how to make a DIY punchbag.  Emma also discusses her favourite things about punk, including being political, living on the cheap, and doing it yourself.  A very long section in the middle features a Lovecraft story called ‘The Outsider’, followed by a guide on how to make your own plushy Cthulhu – a bit of easy filler perhaps, but thoroughly entertaining nonetheless!  The whole zine is good and cut-n-pastey, and is filled with Emma’s drawings.   Loved it!

Drink The Sunshine #13 & #14
Tom, Cheltenham –
Drink the Sunshine is a fun and friendly perzine, packed full of handwriting, doodles, adventures, and musings on growing older.  Issue 13 is a double-sided A3 fold-out page, divided into roughly A6 sized jigsaw pieces.  Each jigsaw features a random observation, such as the frustrations of Autocorrect, how excited Americans get about British history (“He’s older than Queen Victoria’s grave!”), people making insensitive remarks about his height, the use of text speak such as “soz” and “lol” in real life, and drivers using the wrong lanes on the roundabout.  I loved this zine – the format was original, the content was funny, and I devoured it within minutes, which is always the mark of a good zine for me!  Issue 14 is subtitled “Eight Gigs I Never Went To”; the zine documents 8 gigs that Tom was due to go to and somehow never ended up attending, often with a story about why Tom liked the artist.  At the end of the zine, Tom invites us to count how many of the often-spotted things at gigs we can see, e.g. a person wearing a shirt of the band that’s playing.  I have to be honest and say that I didn’t enjoy reading this issue as much as #13, though people who are more into reading about bands and gigs might dig it.  

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