Yeah, it’s been a while… again. Sorry!
When I was going to downtown Berkeley between five and seven days a week I used to stop in at Pegasus every few days and grab a zine. Occasionally I would trade them with other weirdos and on occasion have been known to make little mini pamphlet zines.
“Wait!” you demand “A what?” or if you are a bit hip “They still make those? What is this 1994?”
Yes, they do, and no it is no longer 1994, you can put down the Prodigy CD and put on some sensible pants.
A Zine, in short, is a little home-made magazine. It’s a little cheap (usually) slice of someones life and worldview and I love them. If you really want to go deep down that rabbit hole I recommend This Book and This One Too. Also go Here and Here, I’ll wait, I have a couple of things I need to get done anyway.
So I have been missing my constant fix of little chunks of peoples worlds. There are things to recommend about Bloomington Indiana, but the independent book stores are pretty thin on the ground. I could buy lots of them on Etsy, but it’s not the same as walking in and grabbing the first few zines that catch my eye with no idea what might actually be in them.
You give them money every month, they grab a handful of zines and send them to you. It sounded up my alley so I plopped down my dollars and waited.
With Blinding speed my package arrived. Inside were a postcard, two stickers, and six zines. I got the “Super Mondo Size” subscription so with shipping it’s about $22 a month, And I do not feel like I overpaid.
The postcard is pleasantly macabre in a surreal sort of way, and reminds me that I should start sending postcards to people.
The first sticker is of cats in clothes… which cats HATE! It has a puzzle piece on the back of the same image like my Star Wars collectible cards had in the late 70s.
I have no idea what is going on here… It has a sort of David Bowie filtered through a Love and Rockets fever dream sort of thing going on.
The first Zine I opened was Flash by Amara Leipzig. It’s a comic zine about a guy who wants to be hit by lightning. It’s clean and expressive art and the zine is very well put together with the title on translucent paper over the cover image.
Tasteful Insect Nudes by Mullet Turtle Comics is a tiny little book with pictures of bugs and their somewhat playmate-like bios.
It wasn’t immediately obvious what this zine was called… or which way was up or which side was the front. I thought it was called “For Rectal use Only” at first because there is a sticker on it bearing that warning… but it turns out it is issue 3 of KJC by Kevin Uehlein and D.W. It is a screaming mix of psychedelic art and comics. It is a mix of black and white, color, and a couple transparent pages and makes no immediate sense nor does it need to.
Field Notes on the American Sasquatch is about 22 pages of what looks like hand typed text with a few illustrations about the life of the American Sasquatch. I am going to try to get this into the hands of Aaron Akagi who obviously needs it… It is plain black and white copy-paper either made on a dirty library copy machine or skillfully made to look like it was.
The picture can’t quite show you the title of this zine because it is in braille on a black cover. The title is actually Soliloquy by Bast Armannsson and it is a zine about communication. It includes a Braille card as well as information about Braille, Tap Code, Morse Code, American Sign Language, and Binary. This is an absolute gem packed with interesting and potentially useful information and extremely well designed and executed. It would be my absolute favorite of the bunch if it were not for the next (and last) zine…
Imaginary Homework by Theo Ellsworth. This zine is a series of surreal homework assignments illustrated in a sort of cartoony techno-mayan sort of way. This zine is so far up my alley that I am afraid it might be about to mug me. I’m super into it.
So all in all I am hugely satisfied with this experience and will continue my subscription with Zine-O-Matic (who have not paid me anything or given me free stuffs for this enthusiastic endorsement… though I am not adverse…)
I’ll keep reviewing my treasures as they come in, and maybe soon I’ll make a few more of my own.