Monday, 10 March 2014

My Newfound Love Of Comic Zines

Image taken from Wikipedia (in public domain)

This is a guest post by Fliss, founder of SW London and Surrey Zine Collective - thanks so much! 

There can be a divide between perzines/text-heavy zines and illustration/comic/art zines, though they sometimes meet in the middle. I don't mind admitting that I used to have a barrier between me and comic 'zines. It's true that I will never have any love for the super-hero stuff - though I don't dismiss that trait of loving them, in other people - but now I have seriously warmed to comic style 'zines. That is, hand-drawn picture-filled 'zines, sometimes done as strips/stories, sometimes as accompaniment to personal writing, sometimes the dominant narrative.

I think the zines that first turned me around was a music zine by Sammy Boras. The topic and slant of humour helped, but her drawings/comics are just so skilful and full of personality. The first zine by Sammy Boras I bought was This is Not A Serious Music Publication, and it was really good fun. The bands did not have to be ones I know/love for me to fall in love with Sammy's work. She makes many other zines, so do check out her Etsy shop. She makes the most incredible zine badges too!

Soon after this, I met Lisa Stockley at a zine fair, and was so smitten by her perzine which also had her drawings in. The Jellygoose Chronicles zine is just so cool! It was a real breath of fresh air - dealing with serious issues like bulimia, as well as larking about and jotting down nice bits of personal trivia, and with the most detailed and careful and wonderful drawings/art. This felt like a real turning point when I became totally open to more comic style zines.

Another zine that gets my vote is by Joe Besford. His work with Earthling Brains is excellent fun. He uploads a weekly comic strip, chronicling little life incidents/thoughts/jokes, on his site. But I much prefer to have the printed collection to go through. One of my favourite strips recently from him was the one about work! It features a contamination tank and at one end is the 'work' version of Joe all tired and stressed in a work suit - and at the other end is the smiling, relaxed, comfy-clothed Joe. He also sneaks in quite as few indie references, which I always appreciate.

Comics are a good way of promoting political messages quickly or with humour. There are a lot of really good ones like this for sale at 56a Infoshop in London.

I'm sure to be overlooking a good many other great comic zines here, but I just wanted to start writing about the ones I have started to find and enjoy so far. I am looking forward to discovering a lot more comic zines in the future.

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