ADVENTURES OF PUNK BIRD #2, #3, 4½” x 5½”, 20 pgs.

The whacky hi-jinks of an alcoholic gutter punk bird. As an art piece, it feels cramped. The panels and dialogue hardly have room to breathe. Several panels are stuffed with dialogue to the detriment of the panel composition. The humor is basic, but it doesn’t make bad bathroom reading. The main character has a good design, but I’m not sure there’s really anything of substance in the story itself. Not a complete waste of time, but flawed. –Gwen Static (punkbird352@gmail.com)

ANALOG COMPANION Vol. 4, Issue 3, free, 5½” x 8½”, printed, 30pgs.

Visually, this is one of the nicest zines I’ve seen in a while. The print quality, the paper stock, and the overall layout combine with the content (black and white photos and text), to make something that’s as fun to look at as it is to read. The visual style varies throughout, ranging from the cut-n-paste look of zines of the past, to more skate/snow magazine style looks. It’s appropriate for the content of the zine, with both snowboarding and hardcore punk content on offer. This issue features interviews with Vantage Point and Pummel, as well as photos and reviews of a couple local shows, album reviews, an article on skateboard lifestyle company Heartthrobs, and two articles on snowboarding from two very different spots (Stowe, Vt. and Trondheim, Norway). I thought the interviews were good, but would have liked to see more questions, and perhaps some introductory backgrounds about each band. I loved the quasi-philosophical slant to the article “Resort Resuscitation,” about riding at Stowe, trying to find something new to appreciate even in familiar territory. Definitely a vibe I can relate to as a cyclist. This was my first introduction to Analog Companion, and I’m looking forward to future issues. –Paul J. Comeau (analogcompanion.com)

DEAD IN SAN DIEGO: BETTY BRODERICK, $13, 5½” x 7”, Laserjet, 16 pgs.

There are so many forgotten murder trials that were such impactful moments in the lives of many of us Southern Californians. The ones we do remember involve annoying serial killers like Richard Ramirez, who was that annoying kid who thought he was hard because he listened to Slayer. Unless you were a little older in the ’80s (or alive), you won’t remember Betty Broderick’s murder trial on TV, especially in San Diego. This offshoot of Dead in Hollywood gives a great recount of the moments of Betty Broderick and her train of thought before and after she killed her ex-husband and his wife. A hero to many a pissed wife, and a maniac to most, it’s nonetheless interesting to read about the incident. Jump into this intense zine now… or else! –Iggy Nicklbottum (Castroburger, instagram.com/deadinhollywoodzine)

DITHERING DOODLES #88, #97, #99, #101, free or trade, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 12 pgs.

Hello there again, Dithering Doodles. Have you really made one hundred of these guys? Impressive. I’ve certainly never done anything nearly as impressive. These still read like a mix of verbal diarrhea and sketch books that a middle schooler made. I’m wondering where you find the time. I do want to congratulate you because your drawings are legitimately getting better. Your style has become more your own and you know what you want. You’ll never impress me, the soulless critic, but there is life in these pages—life crammed and suffocating with details of the infuriating world around you. Good job. –Gwen Static (259 East 700 South, SLC, UT 84111)

DOING LINES, 3½” x 4½”, copied, 6 pgs.

Okay, this is weird. I had an incredibly similar premise for a zine that I half got off the ground years and years ago. Several pages of one-line stories, in an attempt to tell a story with as few of words as possible, much like Faulkner’s famous six-word story exercise. If I’m being honest though, few of these entries count as stories. Consider the classic “Baby shoes, for sale. Never worn.” The story has three acts. The first: “Baby shoes,” we know there is a baby, we have established the normality. The second act complication, “for sale.” The climax, “never worn.” Each phrase holds so much purpose. But most of the lines in this zine are thoughts, musings, half-stories. Not enough to really sink your teeth into. –Gwen Static (Don Leach, no address listed)

GAD! #21, $?, 8½” x11”, copied, 22 pgs.

I don’t know much about Alabama. I know it’s in a part of the South even other Southerners look down on, and that’s about it. GAD! attempts to shed a little light on the Alabama underground through show and album reviews, live photos, and other arts by folks involved in the scene. It looks to bring together a variety of people’s voices, and it’s nice to see folks supporting each other and giving each other a platform locally. There’s even a directory of “Alabama Underground Music” in the back, listed with the type of music and city, which is a godsend to anyone just entering a scene—lord knows I could have used something like this moving to the city for the first time. Twenty-one issues is a commitment to a scene that’s rare, and I commend GAD! for keeping it up. –jimmy cooper (PO Box 1308 Gadsden, AL 35902, gadpunkzine.com)

GAD!, #15, #16, #17, 8” x 10½”, copied, 28 pgs.

Sloppy, unprofessional, cool as fuck. This is the kind of thing I dreamed about doing when I was in high school. GAD! is an Alabama scene-focused punk zine that features reviews, interviews, and a loose collection of artistic pieces. We don’t agree on what’s cool music, or how much one should praise the Misfits in thirty pages, but it’s so freaking cool to see a scene highlighted this way. This thing reeks of passion. Keep it up! –Gwen Static (PO Box 1308, Gadsen, AL 35902, gadpunkzine.com)

HEAVENCENT #1, #2, 5½” x 8½”, color copy, 28 pgs.

A manga/MS Paint hybrid comic about an anime girl becoming a revolutionary terrorist. It’s unreadable. I do mean in the physical sense; I found the comic to be unreadable. Several pages had incomprehensible speech bubbles, text that printed so poorly it seemed smeared, and colors that made things ugly and crowded. On top of that, the story and humor are, at the same time, cliché and nonsensical. Can’t recommend. The interests in this zine and its aesthetic are almost entirely at odds with what I find pleasant in life. –Gwen Static (@palaces_of_gold)

LOVE AND RAGE AND NETWORK OF ANARCHIST COLLECTIVES: ON FEDERATIONS AND NETWORKS, $3, 5½” x 8½”, 27 pgs.

Iwasa works to catalog mostly ’90s anarchism and this is a nice little slice of that. Knowing our history is important, and the ’90s were a midway point where things were just starting to be cataloged digitally but not quite, and not well—many websites and forums that may have been important are now defunct or unreachable, and zines weren’t necessarily posted online in the way many are now, so a lot fell through the cracks. I’m sure in the next years or decades, more efforts will be made to historicize those movements, but for now, we’ve got zines like this and Google. I appreciate the representation of the “network of anarchist collectives” in the title, including the kind of valuable back-and-forth dialogues between people from a few different infoshops that prevents the historicization of only one perspective so common to any type of history. The scene was and is varied and diverse, and I’m glad to see it start to be preserved. –jimmy cooper (Little Black Cart, c/o A. Iwasa, PO Box 3920 Berkeley, CA 94703, acardweater@tutanova.com)

RAZORBLADES & ASPIRIN #6, $10 U.S./$15 world, 8½” x 11”, glossy color, 36 pgs.

This is an incredibly well-designed, intense music fanzine. There are lots of glossy color photos of bands showing a range of emotions in their live performance. The cover with Iron Reagan hits the reader with the vocalist screaming and looking half-crazed. Open the cover and there’s the singer from Night Birds with the microphone cable stuck between his teeth and yanking hard on the mic. One after another the photos strike with intensity and crazed faces. Band members look like they’re about to explode—the music has been captured in photographic form. There are a few dozen photos in this zine and not a bad one in the lot. In addition, there are album reviews and interviews with Lupus and Byllepest. Ten bucks seems a bit steep, especially since it’s predominantly photographs, but this is one of the finer quality zines I’ve ever seen, so it makes it almost worth it. –Kurt Morris (PO Box 23173, Richmond, VA 23223)