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.  

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Zine News Round-Up: 22.04.12

image by 

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


1. Zine Releases
- Buy Her Candy #2 is now for sale!  Buy a copy at Bettie’s etsy store.
- Photozine maker Jon Eland (aka Strawbleu) has been busy publishing again - his latest edition is a photozine dedicated to looking up! More:
- ‘Drink The Sunshine’ #14: 8 Gigs I Never Went To, is out now! To buy or trade a copy, email Tom at
'Hella Random' by E. Lin and 'Zine Arcade 4' are out now and can be bought from
- ‘Heroes/Tributes’ is a 28 page zine published by the Loosely Bound zine collective containing contributions reflecting on the author’s personal inspirations.  More info:
- New Escapologist, a full-sized zine “for white-collar functionaries with escape on the brain”, is out now. Visit to buy individual issues, or the entire back catalogue at a discounted rate.

2. Upcoming Events
- USURP Zine Fair: Saturday 28th April at USURP Gallery in Harrow.  More information can be found at
- Medway Zines Zine Reading + Workshop: Saturday 12th May at CoFORWARD.  There is only limited space in the venue, so book early to avoid disappointment!  More info at
- Victoria Baths Fanzine Convention: Saturday 19th May at Victoria Baths, Manchester.  More info can be found here.
- Leeds Zine Fair: Sunday 4th November.  If you'd like to get involved in organising the zine fair, or hold a stall at the zine fair then get in touch at

3. Submission Calls
- Are there things that you feel you cannot say to your doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, or counsellor?  Get it off your chest by submitting a short (500 word max) account to Mind Over Matter zine at
- The Anarchist Blog zine library is looking for the zines, bulletins, books, essays or any other printed form. If you're interested in sending donations to their library, email

4. Distro News

5. AOB
- Did you hear about the ridiculous rise in postage prices in the UK?! *sob*
- Salford Zine Library needs a new home!  Check out this awesome video about zines and the proposed plans for the zine library:

Sunday, 1 April 2012

What do you like reading in a zine? An online survey

image by Derek Neuland (

Last month, from the Spill the Zines twitter account and Facebook page, I asked for people’s favourite things to read in a zine. This was a great way to crowdsource some ideas on what to include in your own zine if you’re stuck for inspiration, and to share some of our mutual likes and dislikes in the zine world, so I am reproducing the answers here.  Please add your own favourite things in the comments!


Rachel (@bransonatron): I love mood-board style collages, poetry and non-fiction pieces! Oh, and attention to detail with decorations, like borders :)

Sarah-Beth (@kittenesque): I like reading about things other people are passionate about, anything that challenges my own views, lists, things about self improvement, cut and paste or hand drawn layouts, reviews of books/music that make you want to immediately check it out.

Sammstein M: doodles!

Louise: Messy cut and paste layouts, handwriting, textured surfaces, layers – something a little different from the usual typed-text-laid-on-dainty-patterns look!

Lucy (@yes_lucy): I like reading reviews or personal reflections on stuff, as long as they're thoughtful and not a rant.

Ingrid: I love self improvement topics, inspirational ways of living against the grain.

Tim M: I like reading something that tells me what's going on in a person's mind, that gives me the impression s/he has some original thoughts and is not hidebound by rigid ideology and that combines humour (not necessarily laugh-out-loud, but some sign of perspective and perception of how beautifully absurd life can be) and seriousness.

Sarah (@wordgeeksarah): funny/unusual perspectives on the world. Anecdotes (rather than entire lifestories), doodles and collagey layouts! sounds a bit callous, by I'd rather read about one isolated event than a general "my life sucks/is awesome" overview!

Lisa: Personal stories, introspection, lists, hopes & dreams, general musings, anything the writer feels very passionate about...

Caitlin (@wondercaitlin): I like stuff that explores the relationship between politics and the personal, and I love authors getting nerdy about the subjects they're passionate about.  Also, lists, great reviews, positive stories, inspirational tutorials, anything to make you get up and go!

Rebecca: life stories, layouts with pretty patterns.

Lizzy (@msdistro): Musings/opinions on life, be they political, reflective, etc. I also like plans, looking forward.

Sarah: cut&paste layouts, personal photos, lots of patterns, textures, stories about life, lists, adventures.

Tracey G: Doodles – especially of maps.

Tasha (@howdoyoutakeit): aesthetically I'm a lover of cut and paste & black and white textured layers and prefer layouts that have been well thought out... the content doesn’t necessarily need to be grammatically accurate but when well written, regardless of topic, passionately… if it was worth the time of day for that person to want to sit down and write it - that's what really does it for me.

Emma: Personal stories/experiences, lists, feminism, collages, interesting layouts (though anything, really, as long as it's honest and well-written).

Thomas B: a tinier zine inside it.