Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Zine Reviews: December '13

Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight to Hell #19
Written by Tukru, Kent – www.vampiresushi.co.uk
The 19th issue of Tukru’s long-running perzine focuses on her new venture, an all-female punk band called Sean Bean Death Scene (best band name ever?)!  It’s a passionate and buoyant zine, focusing on how excited Tukru really is “to be finally really doing this rock n roll thing”; we read detailed and enthusiastic accounts of the formation of the band, rehearsals, and the first few gigs, as well as future plans for the band.  The interior is laid out in Tukru’s signature cute cut and paste designs, with lots of music related imagery and gig posters.  The cover is full cover, featuring a little photo of the band together.  Such a good zine!

Pissy Paws #1
Written by Neil, Yorkshire – honestrabbitAThotmail.com
This is the first perzine written by Neil, author of long-running horror fanzine Necronomicon.  It’s a densely-packed text heavy zine that focuses on details of his life and formative past experiences, and you leave feeling like you know the author pretty well.  Some of the topics Neil discusses include his lifelong love for zines, his favourite and least favourite pets from over the years, his scars, noisy neighbours, playing cruel games, voluntary work and having to deal with horrible bosses (you wouldn’t think you’d find horrible people in the charity sector!), playing cruel games, and his love of “pissing and shitting yourself stories”.  Neil writes in such a lively and entertaining way, it’s a great read and I hope there’s a second issue soon!

Mythologising Me: Seven is for Kitty Heaven
Ingrid, Oxford – mythologisingme.tumblr.com
The 7th issue of Ingrid’s perzine is all about how 2013 was the hardest year of her life; her difficult experiences, the things she accomplished, and her hopes for the future.  The zine largely centres around her moving away from home to study a masters, and the difficulties of finding a relevant job after graduation.  While Ingrid writes about many things she struggled with (money, overwhelm, loss), we also read about the positive things that she experienced, including visiting Norway, running 5k for charity, and volunteering at a music festival.  The zine is subtitled “seven is for kitty heaven” in memory of Ingrid’s beloved cat Munchie, who sadly passed away a week before she finished the zine. L  This is definitely my favourite issue of Mythologising Me, so if you’re new to the zine series this is a good place to start.

Unblissfully #1
Lisa, Petersfield –
This is the latest zine by Lisa, the lady behind ‘Japanese Whispers’ and discontinued zine series ‘Sometimes I’m Dreaming’.  Inside, we read about her past love for roller derby, her love of autumn, tarot card readings, and interpersonal growth.  Lisa’s zines have a gentle thoughtful feel, with soft clean layouts featuring floral themes, butterflies, stamped lettering and her gorgeous handwriting (seriously, Lisa’s handwriting might be the most beautiful handwriting ever). 

New To Feminism? Try These...
Kat, Swansea - @polygluttony
A free little minizine packed full of feminist book recommendations for beginners, although the suggestions are also good for seasoned feminists (I’ve only read 2 of the books listed!).  Contact the creator Kat via Twitter to request a copy.

How To Make Zines and Why
Tiitu – available at http://princesapiratadistro.wordpress.com
The title pretty much says it all with this one – it’s a detailed guide on how to put together zines of different sizes, with tips on photocopying, assembly, and colours, and a few reasons as to why you should make your own zine.  It’s only 50p and it’s in copyleft (i.e. you can copy and distribute it yourself, as long as you sell it at a reasonable price) so buy one, copy a few, and spread the word!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Zine Reviews: November '13

The Jellygoose Chronicles, issue #1 (Lisa Stockley, Swanage)

I'm so thankful I happened upon this new perzine at Autumn Zine Fest in Kingston recently. You know when you discover a new zine and you want to tell all the world how ace it is, and end up buying extra copies as presents for friends because it's just that ace? Well, that's how Jellygoose is. It's the creation of artist Lisa Stockley, and her sense of exuberance and fun comes through via lots of whimsical thoughts and drawings. She also includes some serious topics, delivered with humour and personal thoughts. So everything from depression to vegan diet to female sizing in clothes to gendered clothing gets mixed in with more playful stuff (funny cartoons about her life, mentions of Pete Doherty, random thoughts from dogs, Lush products, an ace article about cider vinegar, and so much more) . I just love the way she crams so much in, and you have to go back and read a second or third time around as there are still little bits you might've missed. You can tell she had a lot of fun making it. I don't often go for illustrated zines, but Lisa is one of the zines-makers who is changing my mind. Her art and style is full of so much detail, quite a sense of glee, and is really amazing. I cannot wait for issue two. I love this zine!

Herbs for Mental Well-Being

I picked this zine up at Bradford Baked Zines pop-up zine shop, in the summer. It's a neat mini zine, hand-drawn, and hand-written about natural antidotes. Even though I have a bunch of zines on the topic of herbs, this zine still shed more light and proved invaluable. I found it particularly interesting to read and learn about adaptogens, which are herbs that 'increase the body's resistence to anxiety, stress, fatigue, and trauma'. There is also a recipe for medicinal tea. The idea of food as medicine and any zines about it are great.

Ice Cream For Quo, issue #17 (Stephen Fall, London)

I was so glad when this zine came through my letterbox, as I always am. There aren't many general music zines readily, regularly available in print in the UK that I know of, so I welcome my fix of ICFQ. There are lots of the usual staples this issue, such as Concerts I Have Been To, where people trawl their gig tickets and memories of gigs over the years with many an interesting tale. I love that this can mean discussing Jessie J, Cud, and Dexys on the same page! Room for Ted Chippington too! The regular feature Everything I Know about Pop Music Comes from Radio 4 includes the usual mingle of amusingly related capers. There are articles on LegoLand, unexpected good reads, items on theatre and cinema, and zany overheard bits of conversation across London. It's a nice mix that could only exist outside of the confines of corporate media, and it's all good fun. There is also a wonderful interview with Sarah Nixey, which you don't readily get elsewhere. Back issues are available on the Ice Cream For Quo website - there is so much good stuff involved in each issue, I couldn't recommend this long-running zine more.

This is a guest post by Fliss, founder of SW London and Surrey Zine Collective - thanks so much!  These reviews have been posted a fortnight late due to life stuff getting in the way; forgive me!