Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cloudfather #3

Cloudfather #3 , no price listed,,, / 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, / 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


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 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 $2.50.. Part two of the zombie apocalypse (read my first review here 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

Got a bit behind on my reviews, hitting the stack tonight, more to come soon....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cop Dad #1

Cop Dad #1 “pay what you want” 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

Avow #24 $3 Microcosm 222 S. Rogers St. Bloomington, IN 47404
This issue of Avow is a bit of a time capsule for me. Keith writes about bands, people, zines, and topics that mostly happened when I was in my twenties. I’m 40 now. Reading about Karl Alvarez defending Brett Gurewitz in the pages of Tatterfrock zine is like breaking the shovel out and digging that time capsule up. I’m quite certain that there is not one other person in the greater Coeur d’Alene area that I associate with that knows who in the hell those people are or what in the hell a Tatterfrock is (well, maybe one). This is exactly what still draws me to zines today; the fact that not too many people know what they are, even fewer know much about their history, and even fewer still have read any, if at all. For people like me who are tapped into this underworld, and know some of its history, reading about old controversies in a new issue of a long running zine, along with debates about what is and is not punk and/or hardcore, well that just makes me happy. This issue is aesthetically beautiful to look at. Keith has a wonderful design style and is an incredible artist. Avow 24 is mostly record reviews done in a unique way; he reviews old records that meant a lot to him, sometimes for their politics, or the artwork, or the memories of loved ones that they conjured up, and sometimes simply for the sounds coming from the speakers. The writing is great. Also included are some comics about seeking meaningful employment, and an interview with Joe Lachut of ‘Seven Inches to Freedom’ zine that had me disagreeing loudly, to nobody. I love it when an interview does that.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Manifesto #1

Manifesto #1 $2ppd
Manifesto #1 is a collection of observations, philosophical swordplay, and stories centered on that most sacred subject of art. The stories are short, unconnected, and written by different authors, but for some reason they seem to flow seamlessly together to create a single entity. Often when I read a zine written by various contributors, each story starts and stops abruptly and without much notice. Sometimes this is fun, more often than not, however, it feels awkward. Not the case with Manifesto. I think that because the focus of each story is that of art, and not the authors, the overall tone of the zine remains the same. This is a nice effect, and this is an excellent first issue.

Somnambulist #19

Somnambulist #19 POB 14871 Portland, OR 97293 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

on line

Got back from three weeks in the field. Stack of zines in the box. Reviews to come.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

pobox blues no more

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

sound recording cartridge of the week

found this in a box of random tapes at a garage sale. I don't think the tape matches the cover, but both are awesome.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Railroad Semantics #1

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

We Never Learn: the Gunk Punk Undergut 1988-2001

We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001 By Eric Davidson I love the New Bomb Turks. They are icons of 90's punk, and one of the great rocknroll bands of all time. And, although this book is authored by their incredibly charismatic singer, Eric Davidson, this is not a book about them. This is, however, a book about the Dwarves, the Cramps, Cheater Slicks, Devil Dogs, Estrus Records, Crypt Records, The Gories, the Mummies, The Stooges, Teengenerate, Pagans, Motards, Subpop, Ramones, and a ton of other bands, record labels, and artists that were tearing it up in small clubs across the globe throughout the 1990's. Bands that fall under the author’s personal label of “Gunk Punk”. This is an excellent collection of interviews and anecdotes from the people who were involved in a musical phenomenon that was often overshadowed by the very tall shadow of grunge, and unfortunately, the very VERY embarrassingly bad stench that was nu-metal (umlauts purposely left off, out of respect for the umlaut). I loved every second of this book. 90’s punk is my second favorite era of rocknroll. It's an era that I was immersed within, and Mr. Davidson captures its chaotic beauty in a painstakingly thorough and very entertaining way. The idea of Letting the people who were there tell their stories, with just a smattering of personal recollection and interjection, is brilliantly simple and makes for a compelling read. My only complaint about this book is that the Fireballs of Freedom, a band so good live that they should have been added to the list of deadly sins, are only mentioned once, and in passing. A small oversight for such a worthy read.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New address

Finally got the POB situation figured out. Again, sorry if your stuff got sent back to you, and if it did send it to the new address and I will be happy to give it a read and a review. Randy Spaghetti POB 121 Hayden, ID 83835
pic: Niccolls bldg

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Green Woman Magazine

Green Woman Magazine Winter/Spring 2012 POB 6587 Colorado Springs, CO 80934-6587 $12.50 two issue subs Another great issue of Green Woman Magazine. The name of this magazine might put some people off in the sense that they may think that the publication is solely written by and for women (I was kind of under this impression when it first showed up in my mailbox). This is not the case, and in fact, doesn’t feel like it’s written in any kind of gender specific way at all. I think the title is more of a statement about the two women who edit it, and not the content per se. At least that’s my take on it. Anyway, this issue is packed full of great earth-friendly articles on a wide variety of subjects ranging from Canning, community gardens, honey, raising turkeys, climate change (the basics of), beetles, bees, an interview with musician and garden-freak Christa Decicco, a fascinating article about George Washington Carver that was a truly inspiring look into the virtues of curiosity and hard work. I loved Dan Murphy’s column about slowing down un-plugging and attempting to live a more simple rock life (Melvins unplugged would be amazing). There’s even a page of Wilson Bentley snowflake photos! (I love Bentley snowflake photos) Green Woman magazine is new and full of momentum. It’s a great resource for connecting to all kinds of folks involved in sustainability on all fronts. A fine magazine worthy of your support.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mail box issues

Talked to the post office today and I may have a new PO Box number (when I paid for my renewal online it didn't register at the post office and they closed my mail box) So, if you sent stuff in for review and it was sent back to you, that's why. Sorry about that. I will try to get my old box number back, but might have a new one soon. blaaa. pic: Victoria BC

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Life has been keeping me extremely busy as of late, reviews to come soon.

Delta Colorado 2011

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Piltdownlad#2 Women Got Me Drinking

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

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

Christian New Age Quarterly
One year $12.50
POB 276
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 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

Narcolepsy Press Review #7
$3, or stamps, or a decent letter
POB 17131
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.

Somnambulist #17

Somnambulist #17
$15 for four issues
pob 14871
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.