HAULING SAND, $?, 5½”, x 8½”, offset, 26 pgs.

Really nice looking art zine featuring the work of Victor Devlin, mostly abstract-ish ink images and meditative line drawings of foliage. A note on the inside cover says that everything here came from a couple years’ worth of sketchbook pages and commissions. The textured cover looks awesome in blue and fluorescent pink. I appreciate the care that clearly went into putting this together, but that’s pretty much all I know—the website listed on the cover appears to be dead, so I guess this will always be an enigma. –Indiana Laub (No address listed.)

HOT SHOT, THE, $?, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 58 pgs.

The Hot Shot is a short story about two runaways, their life on the streets, loneliness, friendship, and the sickness that comes with methamphetamine. Taken directly from the author’s life, this personal and heartbreaking story is well written, describing perfectly their world of homelessness and the struggle to make it on your own. Highlighted is the reality of needing kindness, generosity, and patience from strangers and those we know. Human connection is desperately shown as a necessity—and really a saving grace—when living with drug use and the trauma that comes with it. A heartbreaking first chapter from a larger collection of short stories. –Tricia Ramos (The Hot Shot, 1020 NW 9th Ave. #1112, Portland, OR 97209)

JENNY MAE ‘N JERRY WICK, $15, 7” x 10½”, copied, 28 pgs.

Personal biography stories about how the writer relates to the two musical artists in question. I’m not terribly familiar with Jenny Mae, but I know Jerry Wick as the songwriter for Gaunt, a pretty underrated punk band, if I do say. The music included is some demo-worthy stuff, but nothing to really be blown away by. I’d argue it’s for completists only. The comic is decently put together, as most of the Nix comics tend to be. The sentiment is pleasant enough, but nothing you’ll lose your mind over. –Gwen Static (Nix Comics, nixcomics.com)

#MCKAYSTORYADAY 2016, $?, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 12 pgs.

Founding Slapshot drummer Mark McKay has taken to Instagram to write. It’s always nice to come across one of his pieces in the middle of all the show and cat photos in my feed. Here, Mark collects the best of this 2016 Instagram writing into a zine. He shifts from prose to poems throughout, making his work more effective. Both in his feed and in this zine, McKay defies expectations. –Michael T. Fournier (wrkrls.com)

MIDLIFE CRISIS ERA HC, ?, 8½” x 11”, offset, 36 pgs.

I was balls-out nutty for hardcore starting in 1981. By 1984, my interest was waning; by 1986, it was completely extinguished. Yet, despite almost thirty-five straight years of neglect, I still feel hardcore is kind of my baby. Granted, it’s a baby that I abandoned when it was in kindergarten, but I still feel it’s got a speck of my DNA rattling around in there somewhere and I still like to see what it’s up to every now and again. Daragh from Midlife Crisis Era HC, however—an Ontario schoolteacher in his late forties—is a disciple who never strayed from the flock, and remains, in his own words, “a proud lifelong fan of what is ultimately a fairly mediocre genre of music.” His cerebral, impeccably-thought-out approach to interviewing hardcore bands reads like it was written by Mike Faloon in spiked wristbands, occasionally leading to unintentionally amusing exchanges such as this: (DARAGH) “With the lyrics on the 7”, like ‘What Is This Hell?’, at first glance you look at the translation of that lyric and it could almost be standard D-beat fare with images of children’s bodies on the beaches and what not, but singing them in Arabic and the artwork and everything it adds this other layer and this other context to things… do you think that punk lyrics risk trivializing these sorts of situations around the world?” (BAND) “Yes, for sure.” This issue features lengthy interviews with Haram (a New York hardcore band who sing in Arabic), Forward (from Japan), and France’s Gasmask Terror, complete with footnotes. I don’t know that I’m more into this music now than I was yesterday, but this zine is rad as hell. –Rev. Nørb (midlifecrisiserahc@gmail.com)

MINOR LEAGUES #2, £2, 4¼”, x 5¾”, copied, 40 pgs.

This is a pleasant little zine of drawings, photographs, and a few vignettes about nothing much at all. Sort of a window into some slice-of-life spring moments in an English town somewhere. Quick read (more of a flip-through, really), but it’s sweet. –Indiana Laub (Little Leagues, smoo-comics.com, minorleagues.zine@gmail.com)

MINOR LEAGUES #8, $8?, 9½” x 8½”, copied, 96 pgs.

In the intro to this third installment of the long-form story Where?, Simon Moreton mentions that this issue is way different because it doesn’t use any words. This isn’t quite true—throughout, images of text messages, book pages, and captions are mixed in with Simon’s drawings. What Simon is saying, I think, is that he’s consciously stepped away from the sparse dialogue found in the previous two issues. Already, Minor Leagues was one of the best zines out there, especially since this long-form story reflecting on the ways that family are tied to geography started. With this issue, Simon has pushed himself even further out there than before. His style of drawing has always glanced rather than stared at its subjects, and here the ephemera introduced through the texts and pages results in an even more feverish dreamscape than before. It’s great to see Moreton challenge himself not to repeat previous tricks—even more great because his risks pay off. Seriously, get on board if you’re not already: Minor Leagues is consistently innovative and rewarding. –Michael T. Fournier (smoo.bigcartel.com)

MINOR LEAGUES #8, £6, 8¼” x 9”, 100 pgs.

This issue encompasses part three of an ongoing four-part story called Where?. Having not read parts one or two, I was a little worried I wouldn’t have any idea what I was looking at, but author Simon Moreton helpfully pointed out in the intro that may very well be the case, even if one had read the other issues, because this one takes on a different format consisting nearly completely of illustrations. There are some photocopied book entries, mostly about the English hamlets, and some text message excerpts, but after a few pages I was able to take off running. This is a memory piece of what I presume are bits of the author’s childhood growing up in the English countryside. The drawings are interspersed with some photos and text-based scans every so often, but this is essentially an idyllic, mood-based comic done in a style somewhere between expressionism and cubism with bits of mixed media hinting at a type of narrative collage. This is a breezy read, given its length, and if there’s any real criticism on my part, it’s that some of the original illustrations seem like they might be well served by better reproductions in color, as they really are quite well done in their minimalist style. –Adrian Salas (Simon Moreton, smoo.bigcartel.com, minor.leagues.zine@gmail.com)

PASAZER #34/35, $20, 8¼” x 11½”, offset, 244 pgs.

You could say this is the MRR of Poland, as it’s packed with information on the latest bands, from past to present, and though focused on happenings and bands within Poland, they also cover what’s happening in the rest of the world. This issue features interviews with El Banda, Cela Nr 3, Abortti 13, MDC, Fate, and more. There are also articles and reviews. If you can read Polish, then punk rock heaven can be found here between the glossy full-color cover and perfect bound spine. The rest of us will have to enroll and learn the language, and enjoy the photos while we do. Comes with a CD comp too! –Matt Average (PO Box 42, 39-201 Debica 3, Poland, pazaser@pasazer.pl)

POSITIVE CREED #35, $?, 8¼” x 11½”, 24 pgs.

For a fairly old school photocopy punk music zine from England, I quite enjoyed this read, even if nothing revolutionary was happening. I guess perhaps being a fan or interested in a lot of the music covered in the issue goes a long way. There are interviews with Interrobang? (ex-Chumbawamba, which, the interview makes clear, carries a surprisingly large bit of pull with concertgoers), photographer Mark Richards, and band In Evil Hour. The interview I found most enlightening was with Steve Lake of Zounds, who I own a CD by, but honestly still didn’t know much about the band, despite their very interesting cover art and anarcho punk scene associations. The real meat and potatoes of the issue to me, though, were the retrospective review of Motörhead’s Orgasmatron and the tribute of remembrances about Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks. The contextualizing of the Motörhead album makes me want to give it a concentrated listen someday, and as someone who had seen the Buzzcocks every chance I got, I just really love the band and Pete Shelley’s contributions to the world. –Adrian Salas (Rob, positivecreed@gmail.com)