Zine Reviews

ADRIFT, 5½” x 8½”, copied, full color cover, 16 pgs.

Earth is uninhabitable or else destroyed completely; it’s not totally clear in Adrift. A survivor, perhaps the only one, floats through space in a capsule and this collection of poetry is of her isolation. She reflects on her time on earth and her current state of loneliness and exile. Patti Jean Pangborn has the nuance and quiet dignity to bring you into the mind of this sequestered, reluctant astronaut. With a lesser writer this would come across as trite or forced, but Pangborn pulls it off to create an introspective and inward study of the human condition. –Craven Rock (spacecowboybooks.com)

ASYMMETRICAL ANTI-MEDIA, Issue 1, $1, stamps or trade, 5½” x 8½”, 6 pgs.

A short, photocopied zine review zine that focuses more on the esoteric and the fringe. Most of the zines that are reviewed seem to reflect the sentiment of its author, old school zinemaker Jason Rodgers, who has no love lost for the internet and the information age. It’s a great resource if you want to order some zines. –Craven Rock (Jason Rodgers, PO Box 10894, Albany, NY 12201)

BIG TAKEOVER, THE, #82, $5.99, 8½” x 11”, printed, 144 pgs.

You must know the Big Takeover, right? Since 1980, editor Jack Rabid has lived up to his name, obsessively interviewing and reviewing bands from the punk and indie scenes. This time around, bands like Yo La Tengo, No Age, and X (wuddup, Berlyant!) are interviewed. Tons of reviews, too. Each new issue reminds me of the days when Big Takeover was one of a dozen zines I’d pick up on a trip to Newbury Comics. Now, that number has dwindled drastically because there aren’t as many stores, or zines—but the Big Takeover survives. At six bucks for 144 pages, it’s a steal, whether you’re a longtimer or first timer. Worth seeking out. –Michael T. Fournier (shop.bigtakeover.com)

CAMPAIGN TO PLAY FOR KEEPS FLYERS, 1 stamp?, 8½” x 11, copied, 1 pg.

Jason put together these mail art/collage flyers on healing, assimilation, and May Day. Suitable for trade or for wheatpasting over the window of your nearest big box store. –Michael T. Fournier (PO Box 10894, Albany, NY 12201)

CIAO CIAO PAGES #1, free, 4¼” x 5½”, copied, 16 pgs.

The Giallo subgenre, the love child of horror and mystery, is only really known by hardcore horror fans. Ciao Ciao focuses on this genre as an extension of their podcast. Its first issue deals with one famous actress in the genre, Edwige Fenech, who became an Italian sex symbol. This zine is, in essence, a fanzine/review zine, but it’s a great primer to those who want to learn more about one of the genre’s best and sexiest actors. It gives you the seven best films to start with, to get yourself into the Fenech bandwagon. The tone of the zine is very much in the eyes of a huge fanboy whose infatuation with Edwige Fenech is really endearing, happy, and wide-eyed. It’s gotten me interested in some of these gory sex romps, and I’m taking this list with me to find these films. The scale in which the movies are rated is pretty great, too, taking into account how good the film is and how fashionable Edwige Fenech is. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Creep, giallociaociao.com)

DEAD IN HOLLYWOOD #3, $3, 5” x 5½”, LaserJet, 24 pgs.

The Menendez Brothers are the subject of this extremely well-made and thick zine. Inside is what looks like a website made in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, with information about the case in great, but brief, detail. The design is amazing, and at times funny. One section plasters “Power Bottom” on the face of Jose Menendez, and there’s a section that creates a poster of the Menendez Brothers calling them “Scum Fuck Flower Boys.” I love some humor in the face of gory death. If you’re a lazy ass true crime fan, this may be a series you’d love to read. It has great detailed information (with sources!) in just twenty-four pages. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Castroburger, deadinhollywood.com)

DEEP FRIED ZINE MPLS #14, $1, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 20 pgs.

“The Mall Issue” indeed—Deep Fried #14 boasts blurbs and features on such pillars of mall culture as boycottable fast food chains, mall cops, mall punk hairstyles, and Kevin Smith’s Mallrats. There are cheeky reviews of various Minnesota malls and an activity page with a maze that leads to Hot Topic. Seamlessly interwoven with the general mall content are brief mall-centric interviews with the bands Dreamdecay, Mommy Long Legs, Wimps, and Sass. In keeping with Deep Fried’s greasy fast food theme, Sass is asked to rank the staples of the food court (Orange Julius comes out on top). Perfectly irreverent reading material for when you’ve got nothing to do but ride the escalators up and down all afternoon. –Indiana Laub (No address listed)

ESCUELA MIXTECA, $?, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 22 pgs.

In this photo zine, a photographer is invited to visit and document a school in Tijuana, Mexico in 2009 by a non-profit organization in San Diego. The school specializes in teaching children their indigenous Mixteca language by their parents. In keeping their indigenous languages alive, the locals in Tijuana organized and formed Escuela Mixteca. This photo zine shows candid black and white photos of the children eating lunch, playing, and socializing. –Tricia Ramos (Escuela Mixteca, beesone71@gmail.com)

FIXER ERASER #5, $3, 5 ½” x 8½”, copied, 22 pgs.

¬Jonas’s latest issue of Fixer Eraser comes just a few months after his last. It’s got the same general layout—black pages (oh the toner!) with blocks of white filled with black typewriter print. What it lacks in design it makes up for in fictional tales of messages in a bottle, echo chambers, friendship speed dating, and ghosts in hospitals. Jonas’s writing is exploratory of a great range of emotions, primarily on loss and reflection. While the tales are fictional, there’s a large amount of personal experience included (I know this from having interviewed Jonas about mental health). Some of these pieces could easily be developed into longer stories and with that is my only complaint: I wish the zine had been a bit longer. As it stands, they’re brief glimpses of things that need more detail and description, but they’re a good start and certainly worth reading. –Kurt Morris (Jonas, PO Box 633, Chicago, IL 60690)

FLUKE #4, $6, 5½” x 8½”, offset, 52 pgs.

Fluke is one of those zines that I wish was a hundred pages or more each issue. It really is one of the best out there. This issue is the “Lust for Life” issue, which as stated on the last page, is “about getting older yet still following one’s passion.” This issue has excellent interviews with Ian MacKaye, Gary Floyd, Mike Watt, and photographer Adam Smith, who has gone as far as living in his car to follow his passion through and get the photos. There’s also a story from Linda Kite about her time with D. Boon, Steve Hart of New Wave Chicken zine has a story about Tex the Magical Rooster, and more. Buy this for yourself and see. –Matt Average (PO Box 1547, Phoenix, AZ 85001)