Monday, 28 October 2013

Zine Reviews: October '13

Joining the Dots: A Queer Fat Positive Perzine about PCOS
Edited by Holly Casio, England – supercasio @
My favourite kind of compzine is one that delves into a specific topic, drawing upon facts and myths as well as the writers’ personal experiences.  Joining the Dots is such a zine; dealing with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a common ailment that affects 10% of people with ovaries.  We read all about Holly’s symptoms and her years of struggle to get a diagnosis, where she airs her frustrations and offers advice to fellow sufferers.  All contributors look at PCOS from a queer fat perspective, writing at length about the infuriating tendency in the NHS to recommend weight loss or pregnancy as a means of treatment, prescribing weight-loss drugs instead of treating the PCOS, or worse, to insist that if sufferers aren’t looking to start a family then there is no problem!  I found these sections made me so angry; I can only imagine how frustrating this must’ve been for the writers!  Most content is written by Holly, with some stories from other PCOS sufferers on their experiences with the syndrome.  As well as myth-busting, there is also plenty of good advice here for people who think they may have PCOS, including symptoms and signs to look out for, questions to ask your doctor, medication advice, and some lifestyle changes that may help.  Joining the Dots is such an informative and useful zine, and it’s one of my favourite zines I’ve read since the summer.  Highly recommended!

Team Girl Comic! #5
Edited by Gill Hatcher, Scotland –
I picked up this zine in a zine grab bag, and I’m so delighted that it fell into my hands!  Team Girl Comic is an “all-female comix anthology” featuring a number of short comics by different female artists.  The comics vary stylistically from the highly professional looking to raw/rough hand drawn strips, and each has its own distinctive style and mood.  Some of the topics covered in this zine include heartbreak, job loss, racism, romance and alienation.  If you’re a comic fan and haven’t checked out this zine yet, you need to do so asap!

Oh Venus! #1
Edited by Kerry, Gemma and Mica, UK – oh_venus @
A new feminist compzine, Oh Venus #1 focuses on a loose theme of female sexuality and sexual awakening.  The contributors express this theme through many different mediums inside these pages, including illustration, mixed media, poetry, and articles on menstruation and ‘inner demons’.  This feminist compzine reminds me a lot of Girls Get Busy, with its scruffy DIY feel and diverse content – fans of that zine series should adore this one too.

Athemaura #6
Written by Fliss, London – great issue of Athemaura!  This is sort of a zine about zines; inside, Fliss writes about organising her first zine event at the Stuart Hall library, her history of writing zines, setting up her zine collective ‘SW Zines’, community in the zine scene, and going through the process of cataloguing all the zines in her personal collection.  There are also a few off-topic articles on libraries and charity shops, which fit in nicely with the overarching DIY theme.  Anyone interested in the wider zine scene should find these Athemaura #6 a fascinating glimpse into everything that’s great about zines and the people involved with them!

Shrimp #1
Written by Laura, Midlands – shrimpzine @
Although very short, this “feminist punk craft” zine is a nice peek into the creator Laura’s brain, with writings on punk and academia, why she is a feminist, things she secretly likes, and doodles of her favourite things.  There’s also an interesting guide on making string art, which is something I had never heard of before but seems like such a neat idea!  Grab hold of a copy at Marching Stars distro, or by contacting Laura directly.

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