Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lunchmeat #7

...$7 www.Lunchmeatvhs.com As a naturally curious person, one of the great things about being into fanzines is that they come in all kinds of interesting flavors. I love that, and I especially I love it when that flavor is “weird”. Lunchmeat is weird. This is a ‘fan’zine in the truest sense, with the fans focal obsession being that of VHS tapes. Enthusiasts of the genre, nicknamed, ‘Videovores’ are responsible for most of the review content, and It’s packed full. The reviews consist of obscure VHS only movies with titles like, ‘Hunter’s Blood’ ‘SuperGrass’, ‘Disaster at Silo 7’ and more. There are provocative and funny VHS-centered graphics, interviews with cult directors (Brian Threnchard-Smith) cult character actors (Mr. Potato Head himself, THE Eddie Deezen), crossword puzzles, and horror stories full of gore, obsession, and video production. If Pixar movies with their ungodly expensive special effects, are the designer deli sandwich of sliced sweet cappicola and Havarti on a lightly seasoned focaccia of the film world, then the VHS-obsessed world of Lunchmeat represents a half-eaten loaf of pickled-pimiento bologna on Grocery Outlet wonder bread. I prefer the latter.////////////////////////

Friday, October 10, 2014

Spending time with an old friend

One of the great recordings of the 20th Century.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

KARP: a documentary film about a band called KARP

I’ve written in the past about having seen KARP live and how it had been such a musical high water mark for me. This band was so good, and they showed up at a time in the 90’s where a lot of underground music was getting pretty predictable and stale. Not KARP. They were a musical powder keg with a short fuse that knew exactly when to touch it off. Part of the beauty of what KARP brought to the table in those days was that they weren’t just a heavy as fuck band completely ruling the shows they played, they were also hilarious. Their sense of humor was so obvious in everything that they did, from their record art and press packets (See Suplex pic below that I got in the mail in 1996 and have had hanging on my wall/refrigerator ever since), to their incredibly clever on and off stage banter. They really made going to see them live a heck of a good time, much of which is captured in this wonderful documentary . It was so sweet to see everyone involved with this band speak so earnestly about them, and it’s a touching tribute to their talented drummer Scott Jernigan who died so young. If you are a fan, or if you just like documentaries about musicians, this is highly recommended. Unfortunately I think it’s out of print. I found this copy for sale online and pounced.

Friday, September 19, 2014

INSPIRATION POINT

INSPIRATION POINT By Spencer Hicks deeperaway@yahoo.com ////
Bad days come and go. How we deal with them is one of the true tests of being human. This is a story about a bad day, a rough night, and an attempt to solve it with some cigarettes and a run in the woods. There is wisdom contained within this comic, this fellow seems to have significant insight into the imperfections of the world around him and his place in it. In a world where the majority of humanity is playing bumper cars at the bottom of Maslow’s climb toward self-actualization, Spencer seems to have clawed his way toward the summit. Human relationships are always going to be difficult and full of compromise, and if we are to survive it all without loud persuasive voices in our heads telling us to do unorthodox things against our will, one must accept this one solid truth; a run in the woods is always a good idea......and, smoking in moderation never hurts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

MIRLEFT

Mirleft By Barnaby Goode///// barnabygoode@hotmail.co.uk//// www.barnabygoode.tumblr.com/ This is a photographic essay about a small town in Morocco. As presented in this zine, the landscape in this area appears barren and unforgiving. The photos of empty dirt roads, lawn-less yards, and flat concrete buildings in various states of disrepair with a smattering of people and livestock scattered about are reminiscent of some generic Mexican village in an old western movie. The people look to live simple, dedicated lives. This is the impression I got from viewing these photos and knowing nothing about this town previously. Because I’m naturally curious about everything, I looked Mirleft up online after viewing this, and it’s actually a strikingly beautiful coastal resort town surrounded by absolutely stunning beaches. That’s the beauty of this essay and perhaps art in general; the idea of perspective and how it varies so much from person to person in everything. This is one person’s perspective as documented through his camera. I’m not sure I did the essay justice by utilizing 21st century technology to investigate that perspective further. Regardless, Mirleft is a truly wonderful photographic series, that transforms this small village, which is surely a tourist destination full of all the dirty deficiencies and shortcomings of those types of places, into a place with a pulse, a living breathing community of steadfast residents eking out a living in a desert climate with an incredible beach.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dream Whip 15

/////////Dream Whip #15 $11 Microcosmpublishing.com I equate Dream Whip Zine to the musical stylings of The Pixies, Canned Heat, and early Patsy Cline on an off night in a dive bar near the desert town of Yermo California. It’s hot, dry, and not in the best of moods…but for some reason, I want it all. This is Bill’s story about making a movie about the immigration situation on the southern US border and his bike tour across the Midwest to promote it. It's full of forgotten towns, ankle biting dogs, politics, and complicated relationships. Bill Brown is one of America’s best writers. I can turn to any page in this zine and pick a quote that bites as hard as a golden eagle ripping the head off of an angry chukar on the banks of the Salmon River. Exhibit A: “The people we meet aren’t unfriendly, but they’re definitely no-nonsense….Maybe it’s because it doesn’t rain much here, and the land’s not so fertile. In a place like that you don’t waste anything, including you’re breath. All the sweetness that people around here don’t express is baked into their pies. Big-hearted, generous pies.” The entire zine is full of quotable insight like this. I’ve been reading Dream Whip for many years, and the same thing happens to me after reading every issue, I put it down, smile, and say to myself, “Never get famous Bill Brown”, but I really wish he does.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

MAXIMUM TREMOLO

Maximum Tremolo $2 ppd or trade POB 467 Amherst, NY 14226 maximumtremolo@gmail.com//// Only a mere 16 pages, this fanzine is a ripper of mammoth proportions. “Making Surf a Fucking Threat Again” is the subtitle of this zine. I wasn’t aware that surf music was ever a threat, but after reading this, I’m now a believer. Maximum Tremolo is full of ‘fuck you’ attitude without being all fuck you all the time…..there’s an obvious love of the craft and a loyalist understanding of the history of the genre that precedes the punk attitude, the ‘fuck you’ just makes it entertaining. This zine was incredibly fun to read. Every page had something in it that had me laughing out loud, and the record and live reviews had me frantically looking up and loving all kinds of new bands. Great fanzine.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Recoup

//// The Recoup #1 $? Therecoup.wordpress.com Someone delivered a hot tub time machine in zine form to my po box and it’s called, The Recoup. After reading this I felt like I was sitting in an English pub in 1968 chain smoking Pall Malls and drinking cheap gin in my vertical striped bell bottoms with an MC5 haircut asking Texas Is the Reason what a Liverpool orgy was like back in the day. Retro? Yup. Bad idea? Nope. This is a satisfyingly modern take on a bygone era; I want all music zines to look like this. Simple, minimal, modern, perfect.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

BELT OF VAPOR

Spokane's greatest band? Definitely in the running.

I AM MY OWN STEREOTYPE: THE SMALL DIARY COLLECTION

I Am My Own Stereotype: The My Small Diary Collection By Delaine www.mysmallwebpage.com////$5//// Delaine started writing this zine in 1993, my lord that seems like such a long time ago. That was the year that Nirvana did their Unplugged set for MTV. I was such a huge Nirvana fan at the time and remember watching that performance when it aired and thinking that something dark was on its way. That was also the year that fugazi’s In On The Kill Taker came out, my favorite Fugazi record (tape) that I played nearly to death while driving back and forth to work while living Anchorage. It also just happens to be the year that I started reading and writing zines myself. I Am My Own Stereotype is a very cool collection of the author/artist’s unique and ultra-random autobiographical comics. Each page consists of illustrated true events from her life. From finding brambles in her panties to running into Ron Jeremy in some random Deli this zine is definitely a worthwhile gander-fest. Autobiographical comics have always been near and dear to my heart and this one is wonderful.
/

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Grunted Warning #18

Grunted Warning #18 $2…or trade…or friendly letter// STRATU POB 35 Marrickville NSW 2204 Australia /////// Nothing to worry about if you’re a lazy bastard with a taste for the obscene, Mr. Stratu is your man. He finds it, cuts it, pastes it, and presents it to you on a shiny platter of yummy. I can’t believe it took me this long to review this zine....What the fuck? I know my life is crazy right now, but whatever, this zine kind of reviews itself….so I have no excuses. Mr. Stratu has a very sick sense of humor which he meticulously uses to peruse the newspapers with the eye of a hungry raptor, picking out headlines that satisfy his incurable disease. I love this man. Grunted Warning is the source. This zine should be on the back tank of every toilet in the English speaking world.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

BURNING BUILDING COMIX

BURNING BUILDING COMIX $19.95 jeffscomixs@gmail.com www.jeffscomics.com ///// This strange and beautiful comic book from Jeff Zwirek uses space in one of the most unique ways I’ve come across yet (see pic). His style is distinctly his own and as clean as a cue ball fresh out of the box without being minimalist or cold. This book is a series of panels, each row representing a different floor of an apartment building on fire. There is a lot going on in these rooms, and by the end of each floor you get to know the occupants pretty well. The stories range from the bizarre to the hilarious with a lot of subtle social commentary thrown in for good measure. This is a great book.

PILTDOWNLAD #4 “The Nasty Oh-Dear”

PILTDOWNLAD #4 “The Nasty Oh-Dear” POB 86714 LA, CA 90086/// www.kellydessaint.com//// The bulk of this zine is a deeply personal story about two kids dealing with the horrors of parental abuse. Kelly, the author, has a gift for engaging dialogue that skips subtlety in favor of a direct jugular attack. He gets to the point quickly and effectively. And although the story is terribly sad, he writes with a tone that seems to say, “Yea that totally sucked, whatever…move on” and doesn’t whine at all. Also contained within, an insightful story about how he got into zines, tales from a zine convention, and zine reviews. A compelling read through and through, Piltdownlad is destined for greatness.

INTERVIEW WITH DOUG PEACOCK

I listened to this last night and found it fascinating. Doug Peacock is one of my favorite authors & defenders of wild places. http://mtpr.org/post/doug-peacock-looks-shadow-sabertooth

DITHERING DOODLES 1-5

DITHERING DOODLES 1-5 259 E 700 S Salt Lake City, UT 84111 Premiumdelux@hotmail.com ////People with the mentality of a good natured 16-year old boy who suffers from ADHD will love this zine, and although it is written by someone in their 50s? (I suck at math and didn’t figure out exactly how old the author is) it still resonates as such. The artwork is pretty awesome and raw (lots of scribbled out mistakes). This fellow likes to doodle and illustrate stories from his past, all of which are super short and do not flow together in any way whatsoever throughout all five issues. This is a massive collection of very random thoughts and drawings that are not rude, or edgy, or political….they are not controversial, and do not offend anyone. Typically this does not satisfy my tastes in art at all. That being said, I quite enjoyed reading all of these zines.

TATER TOTTER #2

TATER TOTTER #2 WWW.KATEBERUBE.ETSY.COM /// This is a zine for kids. It’s has silly stories, and silly drawings that are made to be colored by the youthful reader. I loved the ‘Zoology’ section of animals that “Might” exist, the Grizzlysaurus rex being my favorite. It’s short and cute and I will be sure to give it to my son next year after he’s honed his coloring skills a bit more.

SANDRIDER

Bands and songs like this reaffirm everything that I love about Northwest rock

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Faction of the Fox

Faction of the Fox//// Recently I got a small manila envelope in the mail with two buttons and three stickers in it…no letter, no instructions, no return address, nothing else. Two of the stickers said, “Faction of the Fox” on them. Aside from that phrase, I had nothing to go on. Should I put the stickers on my guitar? If I wore one of these buttons on my jacket would I get random dirty looks from graffiti kids with conflicting loyalties, or worse yet, laughed at by hipsters without hindsight? The whole thing kind of smelled of the “White Rabbit” scene from the Matrix. For days afterward I anxiously waited for leather-clad club kids to show up at my door and invite me to Spokane for some kind of techno-geek disco-fueled nerd orgy. Sadly, that didn’t happen. I simply ended up searching “Faction of the Fox” on the google and went to their website. The site is a series of unexplained, yet very entertaining video-collages from some very creative Chicagoans. The whole thing has a kind of Hosoi-era skate video recorded on an early to mid-80’s vhs-camcorder by someone obsessed with Cosby Show sweaters feel to it. All of these videos were entertaining, hilarious, and creative, however, there is no who, what, or why about them. Whatever this is, exists in a land far below the realms of Wikipedia and ironic hipsterism. It’s something worth checking out while not trying too hard to analyze it, and for this I am thankful.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Invasion of Heaven

The Invasion of Heaven by Michael B. Koep // // $15.00 http://www.amazon.com/The-Invasion-Heaven-Newirth-Mythology/dp/0989393518 ///// This book is the first of a three part series written by my friend Michael Koep. He wrote it, designed it, did all the artwork, and published it…totally DIY. I don’t read a lot of novels and I don’t think I’ve ever read a psychological thriller, so this was kind of a new experience for me. I can’t help but be biased, dude’s a friend after all, but I think I can at least be honest. This is a really great book. Michael is an incredibly gifted wordsmith who doesn’t shy away from his talent yet remains accessible and unpretentious. And although I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next one, it didn’t start out that way for me. This book took a while for me to sink my teeth into, 32 pages to be exact. There’s a lot going on in the beginning and without any reference points or understanding of the characters it took me a while to figure it out. Considering that this is the first of a three part series, that's a necessity. From page 33 on, however, I was hooked. The book is about a poet psychologist and a chain smoking, scotch drinking, music obsessed painter, both of whom may have access the hereafter (Heaven in this case) through their art. This is apparently a very powerful and dangerous thing. There are multiple groups at play trying to gain access and control of these two artists’ work, and they will do anything to meet those ends. Once these groups are revealed a whole lot of shootin’ and stabbin’ ensues. The book takes place primarily in Northern Idaho and Venice Italy. Michael’s descriptions of both places are not just beautiful, but also effective at bringing the reader closer to the story. I really got into this book and these characters, and like all good stories, I was sad when it was over. I need more hang time with Basil (the painter) dammit. Fortunately for me, there are two more books on the way.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

THE SODA KILLERS#2

THE SODA KILLERS#2 $5 or Trade bnb@hotdogdayz.com/// This zine took a while to get to me due to the mailbox debacle of last spring. It kept getting sent back to the authors and they kept sending it back to me…keeping it in the various envelopes. I think it was wrapped in four returned envelopes when it finally got to me. Persistent Minnesotans. Good thing too, because I love this zine. This issue follows the same pattern of stories, pics, collage, and tons of recorded and live reviews. I really like reading these reviews, they are personal and you can tell that the person writing them knows a lot about the music being covered. The live reviews were it for me, Motley Crue, Poison, Anthrax, the Dwarves, Iceage, Midwest Hellfest. The writing takes you into the event, and walks you through all the hilarious and cool stuff happening off stage, as well as on stage. I like that.///
Previous review here: http://sddzine.blogspot.com/2012/01/soda-killers-1.html

Junk Zine #7

Junk Zine #7 $3 or Trade POB 950 Spokane, WA 99210//// This consists mostly of letters from readers and the author, James’s responses. That might sound boring to someone who doesn’t have any context for the wide variety of subject matter covered, but I found it fascinating. For some reason a lot of the people writing in are in prison. James has a very no-nonsense writing style that I dig and responds to every letter. For example, in responding to a person who refers to himself as a, “left-libertarian market socialist anarcho-communist agorist-mutualist in the Tuckerite-Richardian strain with a communist-anarchist tendency”, James writes, “You seem to be enamored of outré eclecticism for its own sake – you’re macho flashing all over the place” and later goes on to critique left-libertarian publications as, “little more than egotists, jockeying for ideological alpha male positions amongst themselves”. And that is why I found this zine so fascinating.

Xrisville #5

Xrisville #5 free xerisville@yahoo.ca/// Reading and reviewing Xrisville after just having read and reviewed The Filth is an experiment in what learned folks would call literary dichotomy. The Filth is raw, angry and in your face, while Xrisville is a very lighthearted and clever take on modern Canadian life. The author has a knack for graphic design and uses it to make funny fake advertisements and article statements that are present throughout the magazine. A lot of this issue is focused on the 2012 Mayan end of the world prophecy and his humorous take on that. This magazine is dripping with sarcasm like a rabid bull mastiff but most of the humor is
good natured and just plain silly (Canadians). Reads like a one person zine version of MAD Magazine, or CRACKED.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Filth issues 6-8

The Filth: #6, #7, #8 5 Mira Court Baltimore, Maryland 21220 thefilthsubmissions@gmail.com
//// 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.
..Forgot to mention issue 8 comes with a great cd from DJ Sir Morbit, issue six comes with one from The Dutch Bastard. Both are dope.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rumpshaker #6



RUMPSHAKER #6
$10
-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

2013 state of the blaag address

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

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.
It’s not weird in a shocking or surrealist way, but more of a, “What the hell is the point of this story?” way, and for some reason, I love it. I really like his artistic style, so that kind of explains why I like the comic as a whole, but that’s not it. What I think really appeals to me is that there is also a kind of subversive feeling to this comic in that the stories don’t flow together in any traditional sense, but all of them have the same spook-house-in-the-daytime kind of feel to them; it seems like you are walking into something dangerous, but you know that just beyond the thin metal walls, it’s light outside and your mom is waiting for you with some cotton candy.

Unsinkable: How to Build Plywood Pontoons & Longtail Boat Motors Out of Scrap

By Robnoxious $8 Microcosm 636 SE 11th Portland, OR 97214 /// The first part of this book is a how to guide on building motors & pontoon boats. It details all the materials gathered and purchased and has illustrations and pictures to walk you through it all. They built the boat for less than $100, getting most of the materials for free from scrap piles, which was pretty impressive. That’s only the first 15 pages of the book. The next 49 pages consist of the story of their three month long, 843-mile adventure down the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. It’s comprised of Robnoxious’s first person accounts as well as entries from the vessel’s log book. It has great pictures throughout that really enhance the story, and the story is a good one. A good read for anyone who likes adventure/travel stories, a great resource for those thinking of building a boat, but don’t have a lot of money.

Dodo Comics #3

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

The Stack

Here is the stack of zines sitting on my desk for review. I've read 90% of them. Reviews to come...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Jeff Hanneman changed my life

......... Slayer is my Elvis.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wild fermentation: A Do-It-Yourself Guide To Cultural Manipulation

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



Losers & Weepers #3
$5
Bird Cage Bottom Books
324-A West 71st St
New York, NY 10023
theholyYost.blogspot.com
--------------------------
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

Teengenerate Tonight!

Is this the greatest Teengenerate song? The answer is yes.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

DIGESTATE: A Food & Eating Themed Anthology

Digestate: A Food & Eating Themed Anthology $19.95 Birdcage Bottom Books 324-A West 71st St New York, NY 10023 Birdcagebottombooks.com///
Like the title says, this is a food and eating themed comics anthology. Food is a popular topic these days, pop culture is dripping with it. Food shows rule the land of television, and chefs have replaced musicians as the hippest amongst us. It seems only natural that the underground comics world should have something to say about it all. The editor, J.T. Yost, states in the beginning that he has been a vegan since 1992, and although not every artist in this comic is vegetarian/vegan, the topic is at the forefront of this book. Digestate is an ambitious project which, from my perspective, really turned out great. There are some fantastic artists in here, and some really great stories. Standout artist for me include but aren’t limited to (there are so many) Cha, Josh Bayer, Noah Van Sciver, Al Ortiz, K. Thor Jensen, Victor Kerlow, Nichole J. Georges, and J.T. Yost, whose “Slaughterhouse Stories” was really hard to read and look at, but I felt it important to do so. The story is an illustrated testimonial from a long time meat packing employee who worked for years on the kill floor in a variety of positions. I’ve known about the horrors of mass meat production for years, you can’t be involved in the zine world and not know this stuff, J.T.’s rendition of this guy’s stories, however, was a pretty goddamn effective and needed reminder of why it is so important to do some basic research on where your food comes from. Bacon worshipers (of whom I know many) should read this, and hopefully make wiser choices when buying it. This book is not all one big bummer though, there’s a lot of humor, and pure weirdness scattered throughout as well. Digestate is an incredibly entertaining and thought provoking read start to finish.

Ci Vediamo

Ci Vediamo By Hazel Newlevant $6 Newlevant.com///
This is a beautifully done comic about meetings that should have been, but did not (at least that’s how I’m interpreting it). It has a unique format, combining vellum and paper in a very clever way. It’s short and aesthetically pleasing to hold and view. Very nice.

Nat-rrain

Nat-rrain, $? Nat.rain@gmail.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

feeling kind of ZEKE

11:45 on is pure gold....Donny Paycheck is in top form.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cloudfather #3

Cloudfather #3 , no price listed, 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

The Offly Dark Vol. 1, Real American Gothic, no price listed, lurkmaple@gmail.com. / 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

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

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 #4: the Fear Issue

Blackguard PO Box 35 Marrickville NSW 2204 Australia $5 or TRADE sstratu@gmail.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

Rad Dad dispatches from the frontiers of fatherhood Microcosm 636 SE 11th Ave Portland, OR 97214-2405 $15
This is a great collection of writings from fathers, and interviews with fathers whose perspectives are often at odds with, or in direct opposition to the traditional cultural, political, and spiritual values of early 21st century North America. These are stories from dads who are trying to raise their children to the best of their abilities in a world whose ‘Road less traveled’ has long been paved over and replaced with an Ikea warehouse. The challenges that any parent faces on a daily basis are always difficult, throw the 21st century into the mix with all of its technological temptations and dangers (video games, porn, gore, online predators etc.) and a very precariously balanced global political and environmental situation, all the while trying to navigate it with an outlook that is already at odds with contemporary way of doing things, and you begin to see what the fathers in this book are dealing with. This collection of stories from Rad Dad, is kind of like sitting in on a group therapy session for fathers that fall into that category, with all the failures, missteps, and wrong turns included. But there is also a lot of joy included within these pages. While reading it I got a feeling that tackling these challenges brings with it a profound sense of accomplishment and something that none of the authors would trade a second of. This isn’t a handbook on how to raise your children as political radicals, it’s merely a unique (and often entertaining) look into some alternative perspectives on parenting.

Monkey Squad One #8

Monkey Squad One #8 monkeysquadmailbox@gmail.com $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?