//// The Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) when young, has a hard time controlling the amount of venom it releases when giving a bite. Venom is life to these youthful vipers, and if they waste it on defensive strikes, they have nothing left to hunt with. The Filth reads like a young pit viper: all venom all the time. But unlike the immature Crotalus, this venom is not wasted on defensive strikes: This zine is constantly on the hunt. It took me a while to get through all three issues, not just because there is a hell of a lot of writing, but mostly because the writing is so dark, earnest, and often disturbing. You wont find a lot of puppy dogs and flowers within these pages, unless of course, the puppies are being impaled with forks. All three issues follow the same format: lots of poetry, lots of stories, lots of pictures, and some drawings. Venom.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
-When people say, “Hardcore is Dead” or “there’s no good bands now”, what they should be saying is, “I stopped paying attention” –Eric Weiss
Rumpshaker #6 was a long time in the making. The last issue came out 12 years ago. As someone who writes a music zine that occasionally takes five year breaks, I get it, sometimes life just sneaks in there without much notice and puts things on hold for a while. I got this zine in the mail a few months back and am just now reviewing it, but when I received it, I read it cover to cover that day. I love music zines, I miss music zines. I have a plastic storage bin in my garage full of old Flipside, MRR, HeartAttack, and random music fanzines that, when in need of a fix, I can go to. So when a music zine arrives in the mail, I get a bit giddy, and when that music zine just happens to be a Hardcore zine, well that’s a good day. In the months after getting Rumpshaker #6 in the mail, I have read the zine three times, not all of it, but most of it. And it’s not just because it’s a music zine covering a genre I dig, Eric, the editor asks really good questions in his interviews, and he interviews interesting people. I wasn’t a fan of the band Ceremony before reading this. I have since become a huge fan of Ceremony. I didn’t like Judge before reading this, and I still don’t, but I really like Mike Judge now. Avail? I’ve always loved Avail, and the interview with Avail frontman (now solo singer), Tim Barry was a perfect example of why. Many of the people he interviews are close to my age and I think that’s why I responded to the interviews the way I did. When Damian from Fucked Up talks about being a father and how it’s made him respond to violent news stories in a more personal and profound way, I can relate. There are so many great interviews contained within this zine. Eric, the editor, has some personal writing as well. At one point he talks about breaking his long held straight edge commitment and the awkward ordering of his first glass of whiskey. Good writing, and some unique insight into the mind of an aging hardcore kid. I liked this zine so much that I ordered a couple extra copies to give to out of town friends, and, drunkenly gave my review copy to my buddy the other night while playing Ceremony’s ‘Sick’ far too loudly for anything or anyone in my quiet Northern Idaho neighborhood. So yea, good zine, get one.
Monday, June 17, 2013
This blog has been around for four years now. A lot has changed since I started it and I just wanted to give you all a quick update on the state of things. So far it’s been a really wonderful experience. I get all kinds of great stuff in the mail and have made some awesome connections with artists from around the globe. My personal life, however, is very busy right now and I’m finding it increasingly more difficult to find time to do reviews. I’m not going to stop doing them, but just know that if you send stuff in, it might take a while for me to get to it. So many great reviews zines, blogs, and websites have disappeared over the years, and I always hate to see them go (so many great ones still around). I really believe in the importance of a healthy underground press, especially for artists, so I will keep reviewing in whatever capacity I am able. If you keep sending stuff in, I’ll keep paying the rent on the pob, and will get to it eventually. Thanks for all the supportive emails, letters, and visits.
Bad Breath Comics #5 $2 Joshjuresko.com /// This is my favorite comic going right now, and I’m not sure why, because frankly, it’s so disjointed and downright weird.
Dodo Comics #3 $3 http://blog.grantthomasonline.com /// The cover says it all, “Abstract Comics”. That’s what this is. The entire zine consists of various panels of different black and white brush strokes and lines. No writing, nothing recognizable. Minimalist, like this review.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Microcosm 636 SE 11th Ave Portland, OR 97214-2405 ---- Originally published in 2001, Wild Fermentation is exactly as the title suggests: a how-to guide to fermentation, of the wild variety. Not a very interesting subject to me personally (unless the fermentation process produces giggly water) but I totally appreciate the back-to-the-earth aesthetic and passion for healthy eating via cultural/political agitation. Inside are recipes for sauerkraut, miso, sourdough, vinegar, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, tempeh, chocolate and more. Good reading for those interested in these types of ingestibles.
Losers & Weepers #3
Bird Cage Bottom Books
324-A West 71st St
New York, NY 10023
Raised is my glass as another issue of Losers & Weepers has graced my po box. The idea of creating a back story for something found - be it letter, cardboard scrap, or post it note - and then illustrating it, is one of the greatest gifts an artist can give to the world. This issue/episode of L&W is one of those gifts. There are four found items illustrated in this comic, all of which are great. Mr. Yost has a hilarious and somewhat sick sense of humor, all of which comes across splendidly in this zine. Of the four things illustrated, however, there is one that really stands alone. I won’t ruin the surprise here, but let me just say that I have never seen a more prominent example of lack of segue in a jailhouse letter than this. The artist’s interpretation of which, had me laughing loud enough to wake my entire family while reading it late into the wee hours….so funny.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Digestate: A Food & Eating Themed Anthology $19.95 Birdcage Bottom Books 324-A West 71st St New York, NY 10023 Birdcagebottombooks.com///
Ci Vediamo By Hazel Newlevant $6 Newlevant.com///
Nat-rrain, $? Nat.email@example.com/// This is a strange assortment of unrelated drawings, comic strips, and some writing. There is a definite (and unapologetic) Crumb influence here. Lots of muscular-voluptuous women interacting with much less physically endowed male characters. I really liked the illustrated historical comic about the Chesapeake Indians. There were some really great drawings contained within; liberal use of contrast and weird enough to keep me interested.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Saturday, December 29, 2012
cloudfather.tumbler.com, cloudfather.net, / Let me start by saying that I love art zines and Cloudfather is an art zine, so…it's already got a leg up in Randy’s review land (good name for a theme park). Initially, when I opened this zine up and thumbed through it I got a definite Neckface vibe. And although it is similar in style to Neckface, Cloudfather definitely has its own thing going. For me Kyle’s art has a graffiti-skate-gang tattoo-Hindu feel that’s very appealing. I loved the picture of the person standing in what appears to be Joshua Tree National Park with a Cloudfather mask on, I was both jealous and inspired. This zine made me curious to check out more of his work. Good stuff. Kyle also sent this mini zine along which has a bit more of his art in it:
The Offly Dark Vol. 1, Real American Gothic, no price listed, firstname.lastname@example.org. / The first thing that got my attention in this zine is the art. There are some unique and very cool drawings inside this zine. Sometimes the drawings are intertwined within the poems, sometimes they stand alone. I love this dude’s style. The zine has a rough quality that I really appreciate. It consists simply of photo copies of what appears to be the author’s hand written poetry journals, and sketchbooks. The mistakes are scribbled out, or poorly erased with smudge marks included. And although this may sound careless or even sloppy, it actually creates a sense of warmth to the zine that I think wouldn’t otherwise exist. The poetry is pretty dark with interesting titles such as, “My Grandson The Cactus”. My one complaint is that some of the copied pages are blurry and too small to read.
Grunted Warnings #14 $2 or Trade, Stratu, POB 35, Marrickville NSW 2204, AUSTRALIA. / This is a bizarre assortment of newspaper clippings from around the world assembled by Stuart Stratu of BlackGuard fame. The titles of newspaper articles alone are why newspapers must never die. Grunted Warnings illustrates this in a profoundly entertaining way, titles such as, “Fatal fury at bearded lady” or, “Piranhas snack on tourists”. If you are looking for an interesting conversation starter at your next cocktail party, leave this zine out on your coffee table. The cover alone should set things in motion right off.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Looks like I'm significantly behind on my yearly review average and 2012 is quickly coming to a close. It probably has a lot to do with the po box debacle that happened this spring/summer, or having started a new job, or having a toddler running around the house. Whatever the reason(s), I have about twenty zines sitting on my desk waiting for a review. I'm going to try and get to all of them in the month of December. We shall see.....this may be a very busy month.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Blackguard PO Box 35 Marrickville NSW 2204 Australia $5 or TRADE email@example.com Thank the highest peaks of Valhalla or lowest pools of Hades for Blackguard. This zine, “The Fear Issue” fears nothing. Reading this zine in 2012 I was reminded of the first time that I thumbed through a copy of ‘Heavy Metal’ back in 1984. What a great feeling that was; being all of 12 years old and not quite knowing how to draw any conclusions about a comic book full of comics without superheroes, and whose characters were often having sex with one another. It wasn’t a red pill moment, but it was definitely headed in that direction. Blackguard, like Heavy Metal, has the aesthetics of walking into a seedy underground comic/adult bookstore in a very bad part of town on a Blade Runner kind of night. The man behind the zine is Stuart Stratu. He sent a great hand written letter along with his zines for review, which I really appreciated, and which also harkened back to a time gone by. The theme is fear and a wide variety of artists contribute to this cause, digging deep and letting loose with a barrage of often disturbing, yet sometimes hilarious, comics, stories, and drawings. There are also reviews, and a great letters section. Blackguard has it all.
Rad Dad dispatches from the frontiers of fatherhood Microcosm 636 SE 11th Ave Portland, OR 97214-2405 $15
Monkey Squad One #8 firstname.lastname@example.org $2.50.. Part two of the zombie apocalypse (read my first review here http://sddzine.blogspot.com/2011/11/monkey-squad-one-7.html). My favorite parts of this comic are all the hilarious drawings of the zombie carnage. You can tell that Doug, the artist, had a really great time with this. MS1 is an elaborate and fun comic that really showcases the artist’s talent, attention to detail, and obvious love of craft. My only question: how the hell are they going to get out of this mess?
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
www.copdad.com I have been getting some really great zines in the mail lately and Cop Dad is no exception. In fact, this is one of the best zines I’ve read all year. Cop Dad is a strange name for what’s inside this thing. It’s a collection of stories, pictures, and art. inside: an internet hookup with a tragic twist, motorcycle travel (through some of my favorite places), the Castro District’s present & past, hardcore interior decorating, teenage swashbuckling, and an interview with an eclectic do-gooder. That’s what’s inside. No cops, no dads. Just great writing. This zine/literary journal is destined to stay in my mind for a very long time. Simply fantastic reading.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Avow #24 $3 Microcosm 222 S. Rogers St. Bloomington, IN 47404
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Manifesto #1 $2ppd www.edtillman.net
Somnambulist #19 POB 14871 Portland, OR 97293 email@example.com This issue of Somnambulist is composed mostly of a story about the author, Martha, going on what was supposed to be a relaxed walking trip with her boyfriend through Oregon wine country. The story is a lesson in making sure that you are properly prepared before venturing out into the unknown. There are also some poetry contributions in this issue. The poem ‘Burnt Sienna’ by A.M O’Malley is an excellent summary of one person’s youthful wanderlust that reminded me of the old zine Gogglebox. Somnambulist, is a perzine with a big personality, and Martha Grover is a prolific writer that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Just when I thought it was all behind me, I started getting emails from people who had sent their books & zines for review telling me that their stuff was getting sent back to them. The problem should now be solved (I will be sending some test post cards later today to confirm). Thanks to everyone that took the time to send me an email about it and try to help get this thing solved (big props to Ed T!).
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Railroad Semantics #1 by Aaron Dactyl Microcosm 636 SE 11th ave Portland, OR 97214 . Railroad Semantics No. 1 is a collection of train hopping stories, pictures, newspaper clippings, and letters put together in a somewhat collage-like fashion, and like a collage, it often sparks curiosity in the viewer (reader) and then abruptly changes directions. The descriptions of life on the rail with all the sunsets, contemplative solitude, and vast landscapes are excellent and are the soul of this book. I couldn’t help wanting to know more, however, about the author, and the people he encountered along the way. I loved the pictures of the various travels and all the correspondence written on the walls of the boxcars - unfettered and uncensored- and I really enjoyed the writing. Railroad Semantics is a unique snapshot of a world that most of us will never experience on our own, and a one that I look forward to reading more about in the future.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Women Got Me Drinking: A French Quarter Love Story
548 s. spring st #804
Los Angeles, CA 90013
WGMD is a story about a quest for love that takes place in New Orleans. The author’s literary heroes, Bukowski, Miller, Hemingway, are very much apparent in tone and subject matter in the writing. The dialogue reads as if it happened 50 years ago, but for the modern references (gutter punks etc.) I would have assumed that it did. This is a refreshing affect. I enjoyed this story, and look forward to reading more of his stuff.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Bad Breath Comics #4
What a bizarre comic. From start to finish BBC #4 is as eclectic and disjointed as it gets, and this is a good thing. As far as I can tell there is no real meaning or purpose behind these strange, unrelated stories, and that too is a good thing. It has the look and feel of a cheap 1950’s pulp magazine with only a smattering of present day references. Minimalist, off-beat, self-deprecating, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Christian New Age Quarterly
One year $12.50
Clifton, NJ 07015
Considering the current political climate as it pertains to Christianity, or at least the right wing headline-grabbing version of said religion, when a new issue of anything with the word ‘Christian’ shows up in my mailbox, I get nervous and kind of nauseous. Fortunately, I grew up in a very progressive church full of folk singing hippie thespians who constantly fought for civil rights, against racism, homophobia, and injustice, and who took the whole “love thy neighbor” tenet seriously. I like those Christians and self identify as one of their clan in spirit (replacing the folk with metal, and church going with hiking). The Christian New Age Quarterly appears to be of this ilk, and I like it. The article entitled, “Consciousness –Now or Forever? The Law of the Conservation of Consciousness” is a fascinating exploration of energy, dark matter, thermodynamics, and consciousness. The article was so good in fact, that I read it thrice. CNAQ seems to be full of good, diverse reading on matters pertaining to the spirit, even for agnostic slayer fanatics like myself.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The Soda Killers #1
The bulk of TSK is composed of really well written record reviews by N. G. O’Brien which I spent a lot of time wading through and exploring. I read them all and during the process, discovered a few things about myself. For instance, I learned that I really don’t like the band Ice Age, but that I really really like the band Power (neither of which had I heard before reading these reviews ). The reviews are in-depth and entertaining, and made me want to check out a lot of stuff that I had not previously heard. This zine is put together by the same people that do Hot Dog Dayz zine and like HDD it is heavy on the collage which is heavy with pop culture icons, graffiti, and road kill. There is also a piece entitled, “I’m so uncool” where two people talk about things that they are either supposed to like or supposed to hate but do the opposite which I always think is interesting. Even the underground can have a herd mentality, and it’s interesting to me when people break away from the accepted norms of any culture. That being said, not liking Motorhead is unacceptable in any culture. Topping the issue off is a story about spending some time immersed within the underbelly of high school basketball, some more road kill, and a piece about being an asshole to fend of boredom. The Soda Killers is a lot like the collages contained within, an interesting and eclectic mix of seemingly unrelated stuff that comes together in weird ways and works.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Narcolepsy Press Review #7
$3, or stamps, or a decent letter
Anaheim, CA 92817-7131
NPR is a good old fashioned cut-n-paste review zine. This is a review zine, but feels like a personal zine. Randy Robbins, the man behind NPR, does all the writing and doesn’t hold back on his opinions, both pro and con. Like past issues, the letters section reads like an open forum for a variety of subjects, as it should be. Lots of letters from prisoners, and other zine people chime in, and what really sets this letters section apart, is that even in this modern techo-immersed rapid fire world, the discussions contain within feel oddly vibrant and in the present. I’m not quite sure how he pulls this off, but he does. Randy reviews books, tv-shows, and zines. It also has a great advertisement section in the back that reminded me of a mini-MRR without the music.
$15 for four issues
Portland, OR 97293
This issue of Somnambulist is a collaborative affair with writers Jordan Karnes, Joe Wong, and editor Martha Grover. Jordan starts this issue off with a story about a love triangle involving John Lennon, her boyfriend named John, and someone else named John whose identity I won’t reveal here. Funny stuff that many of us with similar obsessions (Helen Mirren for me….and Vigo Mortensen circa Lord of the Rings..if we're being honest) can relate to. There’s also a piece by Joe Wong about what he eats for breakfast in China that I found incredibly fascinating (Cigarettes, international news, and Nescafe before getting out of bed….Like looking in a mirror). The highlight of this zine, however, is Martha’s writing. I’m a fan. She has a great way of interpreting modern life that I really enjoy, and her drawings are raw, to the point, and effective. Definitely one of my favorite zines right now.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Oh man, I have been working on this thing non-stop for a week to meet the 2011 RoP deadline. I am happy to report that I got this bugger in the can at 3:10pm Pacific time. I love and welcome trades. POB 3331 Hayden, ID 83835
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The Aardvark #3
College Park, MD 20740
The Aardvark maintains itself as a tribute to, and advocate for the written word, as long as those written words exists on actual paper. It is as staunchly pro-analog as it is anti-digital. This zine is almost entirely composed of reviews of books and zines, which might sound kind of boring to some people, but for me is pure gold; if it wasn’t for review zines I wouldn’t have been introduced to half the music, art, and literature that I have over the years, and so I feel indebted to those wonderful people who have taken the time to highlight all that great and weird stuff over the years. The reviews in the Aardvark are far from typical and are instead packed full of critical analysis and philosophical meandering that really bring the works covered to life. My favorite part is entitled, “New Looks at Old Books” wherein he reviews old books that he has found over the years and gives them some modern attention. The books covered are centered on living a simple life in the relatively modern world (if looked at from the standpoint of a evolutionary biologist, 1954 isn’t that long ago right?). This is a great zine that truly honors the sacred art of screen-free reading.
ps: sorry about the picture of the cover, sadly it fell victim to an unfortunate water accident in my bathroom.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I found this gem in a box of old video tapes while cleaning out the garage this week. This is some of the raw footage of the great Portland pop punk band The Automatics that I shot back in 1996 at my house. They were supposed to play the Missoula rock club, Jay’s Upstairs, but unfortunately Jay’s was overbooked. I asked them to play at my house. This is quintessential mid-90’s punk which represents such a profound place and time for me. During their set, people would wander in and out of my house, grab beers from the fridge, and then go back outside and listen to the music. I stayed inside, drank beers, and cheered like a Scandinavian metalhead. Jesse Kimball’s bass amp blew out early in the performance so he just set his guitar aside and grabbed the mic for the rest of the 20-plus song set. I recently saw Jesse on an episode of ‘Diners, Drive-ins & Dives’ Chefing at The Memphis Taproom in his home town of Philadelphia. It was great to see how well he is doing. He was also the man behind the Portland drink punk mag, Beer Can Fanzine.
sound & video quality: shit
sound & video quality: shit
Friday, November 18, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Green Woman: a Literary Garden
two issue subscription $12.50
Colorado Springs, CO 80934-6587
The world is in rough shape right now. Green Woman Magazine seeks to help this battered old world out a bit. The primary focus of this magazine is gardening, and how to live a more earth-conscious lifestyle. As a fan of people who are trying to do this, I really like this stuff, but am not very good at it myself. Every time I try to grow an herb garden in my back yard, either the deer eat it or it dries out because I forget to water it. I’m not willing to subject vegetables to this. I’m also one of those who thinks that Michael Ruppert is mostly right, and because of this I’ve been fascinated with seed storage and procurement for a while now, there is a great article on that very subject in here that I really dug. I also really enjoyed the articles entitled ‘Organicize Me’ where a dude goes one month eating and drinking nothing but organic products(prices included) , and a personal account of life in the medicinal medical marijuana world (‘Hello, Doobie Tuesday’) that helped this confusingly great idea come to life for me. This is a excellent first issue with a hell of a lot of soul that today, is more important than ever. Order it, read it, live it.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Martha Stewart’s Prison Reader of Blather & Malarkey #1
Tulsa, OK 74159
MSPROBM is Tarnation Collins first attempt at making a zine. He’s married, has three small children, lives in Tulsa Oklahoma, and is often overcome with a profound sense of loneliness, all of which he writes about in a very approachable way in this issue. This is a nice first issue that felt like it was written by someone who needed a creative outlet that probably wasn’t being satisfied from blogs and other sources. I’ve always felt that the simple, physical act of putting a zine together can be profoundly cathartic, MSPROBM felt like it could have been just that for the author. This is a perzine full of perzine stuff: poetry, original stories, opinion pieces, games, and even a parable. I liked this zine a lot and hope Tarnation keeps it going.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
one 1st class stamp
Upheaval used to be a full sized zine that covered hardcore, crust, punk from around the world. Due to personal & financial issues that the author, Craig talks about in this issue, he has decided to scale back a bit. This issue is simply one page, but still covers hardcore, punk, and crust from around the world. I checked out all of the bands mentioned in this issue and found a couple that I really dig. One stamp is the price, and if you’re into this type of music, it’s definitely worth it.