Zine Reviews

AMERICAN INDIAN READY TO WEAR CATALOG, THE, $5, 5½” x 8½”, cardstock, 12 pgs.

In this satirical catalog, the writer/illustrator team of Joey Clift and Janet Myer, both members of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, presents readers with a handful of exciting ways to accessorize and appropriate their way to chic Native “authenticity.” Trendy looks include “The Disney’s Pocahontas” (“Animal Friends—$500: If all of your friends aren’t literal animals, are you really an Indian?”), “The Land O’ Lakes Butter Maiden” (“Joy Derived from Giving Your Food to White People—Priceless”), and more. Clift and Myer take on racist depictions of Native people with biting wit, sparing no one from sports mogul Daniel Snyder (guess which team) to teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner. They’re also mother and son, which is awesome. This would make an enlightening gift to that special feather-bedecked festivalgoer or smudge-happy holistic punk in all our lives. –Indiana Laub (Red Cat Press, redcatpress.com)

ASYMMETRICAL ANTI-MEDIA #2, SASE or trade, 5 ½” x 8 ½”, copied, 8 pgs.

Asymmetrical Anti-Media is a review zine that manages to make the format interesting and engaging with how the editor injects his personality into the reviews of other zines out there, with what he likes, why he feels the way he does about a particular facet, or what he dislikes and why. Sort of like a micro version of the Mike Gunderloy-era of Factsheet Five. His enthusiasm comes across well. I hope to see more issues in the future and that it grows in size. –Matt Average (Jason Rogers, PO Box 10894, Albany, NY 12201)

BIFF BOFF BAM SOCK #5, $4, 5 ½” x 8½”, copied, 20 pgs.

I saw a meme the other week about how schools teach us all this stuff about Christopher Columbus as well as how to solve complex math problems but they don’t teach us how to manage our personal finances. (Or a lot of skills we need to use on a daily basis.) Thankfully, Anna has written a wonderful short zine about how to manage your money. It includes info on savings, retirement, IRAs, credit scores, and making a budget. Some of that may not seem real exciting, but it’s done in a very simple, straightforward manner, and there are nice, crisp graphics, too. I appreciated the list of resources. Anyone who is looking to get a grasp on how to manage their money will likely find this issue of Biff Boff Bam Sock to be helpful. –Kurt Morris (annajobeck.com)

BIFF BOFF BAM SOCK #8, $6, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 28 pgs.

The fact that this zine is subtitled “For Your Health” made me want to watch a bunch of Dr. Steve Brule videos, but I refrained and instead dove in to the twenty-eight pages that hope to aid the reader in making sense of the American health insurance system. Considering how complex the system is, Anna did a great job at distilling the basics and explaining frequently used terms like deductible, co-pay, premium, COBRA, and more. The last section gives her opinions on the health insurance industry and she has some skin in the game since her husband had cancer. So I appreciated getting her two cents on the issue. As someone who has navigated the insurance system a lot over the past twenty years (thanks, mental illness!) and who is the son of an insurance agent, I commend Anna on doing a solid job. She has her shit down and even taught me a few things, not to mention she includes great resources for the reader to learn more. Recommended. –Kurt Morris (annajobeck.com)

BIFF BOFF BAM SOCK #9, $6, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 24 pgs.

Do you not have a clue how voting and government works? Do you want to know who your elected officials are? Perhaps you want to know how to get registered to vote? Anna’s latest issue of Biff Boff Bam Sock is comprised of everything you could want to know about how voting works and getting to know who represents you. I’ll be honest: voting can seem like a waste of time, but as we have seen in the U.S. in 2016 and 2018, every vote counts and can greatly change how things work at the local, state, and federal levels. With detailed, yet accessible information as well as a plethora of resources, this is a great zine to get if you are looking to get engaged with politics at any level. And nowadays you don’t have an excuse not to. –Kurt Morris (annajobeck.com)

BIG TAKEOVER, THE, #83, $5.99, 8 ½” x 11, printed, 152 pgs.

Another issue of Jack Rabid’s consistently excellent, sprawling, long-running zine. Interviews this time include D.O.A. and Tony Molina. You can expect scads of columns, reviews, and opinions throughout, written by passionate, smart, opinionated music fans. Always a great read and worthy of your support. –Michael T. Fournier (356 4th Street, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn NY 11215)

CLOCK TOWER NINE #14, $3, 5½” x 8½”, risograph cover, copied interiors, 36 pgs.

This multi-contributor zine opens with a personal story from the head collaborator. Titled “The Last Record I Would Ever Sell,” it tells one person’s introduction to the world of vinyl, record stores, and punk rock. It makes up the first half of the zine. The second half is filled with essays about personal 8-track collections, video games, and religion (and one person’s choice to not participate). A fun, quick read. –Tricia Ramos (Clock Tower Nine, antiquatedfuture.com)

DEEP FRIED MINNEAPOLIS #15, $1, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 20 pgs.

Sometimes I almost feel like I’m being pandered to when I find a zine or book or whatever that has so many things I love in it. Deep Fried MPLS is a publication I’d heard of but never read. And what better time to start than now? Especially when the cover is Robocop, one of the best movies of all time. Now, you may be asking why the bot of the Detroit PD is on the cover holding a drumstick (the chicken kind, not percussion kind). Not only does this issue educate us on the time Robocop was in a Korean fried chicken commercial, but it also has an interview with the punk band Murph who is named after the cop who gets cyborged. As an aside, I love that the zine recommends Murph’s music for “people who have always wanted to go to a GWAR show.” This zine stays very on brand and only asks them questions about junk food. Some of the other features in this issue include letters from inmates about the menu at San Quentin, an interview with Nick Murray of Fancy Lad Skateboards, and this amazing tale of the anonymous punk who unknowingly decorated Grant Hart’s memorial cake. There’s a lot of super fun stuff in here that is awesome for fans of punk and/or junk food. I imagine there’s a sizable cross over. –Kayla Greet (2901 Yosemite Ave. S, St. Louis Park, MN 55416, videophobia222@hotmail.com)

FLUKE #16, $4 ppd., 5½” x 8½”, printed, 32 pgs.

Matthew Thompson’s long-running zine turns its keen eye on Arizona artist Nxoeed. His distinct style is showcased in works of art hidden all over his home state—a map is included so readers can get in on the fun. Nxoeed discusses process, his do-it-yourself ethos, and Phoenix’s best copy machines. This one feels a lot like one of those issues of Cometbus in which Aaron shone a spotlight on talented friends—which is to say that this issue of Fluke, like usual, is essential. –Michael T. Fournier (PO Box 1547, Phoenix AZ 85001, or bit.ly/fluke16)

FLUKE #16, $4 ppd., 5½” x 8½”, printed, 32 pgs.

This issue is focused solely on the art of Phoenix-based artist Nxoeed. His style is a mix of horror, sci fi, and music flyer art—sometimes collage, sometimes comic panel, and at other times standalone pieces with various words layered in the background. There’s also a pretty interesting interview with him. It gives you an idea of where he’s coming from and how he works, which is pretty inspiring. It also covers art hunts that run throughout the entire state of Arizona (where he has hidden paintings), his sticker drops, and flyering his art around town. Not to be constrained by the gallery system, as art is for the people. –Matt Average (PO Box 1547, Phoenix, AZ 85001, matthew@flukefanzine.com)