Tag Archives: Minor Leagues

Featured Zine Reviews Razorcake 110—Koreangry, 13 Poems, Behind the Zines, Gooberbutt?!, Minor Leagues

Illustration by Becky R Minjarez

, $10, 5½” x 8½”, Laserjet, 32 pgs.
The anger many of us people of color feel can either be hard to express, or a little too easy in the “shout at everyone at this bar and get kicked out of happy hour” kind of way. It can be a thin line, as many of those who do not understand this anger just see it as aggressiveness and/or whining. A way I never thought I’d see as a way of expressing these feelings is using clay figures. Using a clay figure as your personal icon is brilliant, and the emotion and power really shines through the figures. The passage and ravaging of emotions sometimes come out as physical ailments in Eunsoo’s avatar, and the representations of stress and vice comes in physical forms. It works so well in this form, and makes it a bit more accessible to some when words don’t work for them. Seeing all the perfect miniature recreations of household items and food is fascinating as well. Plus, it came with stickers of Eunsoo courting some fried chicken. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Eunsoo Jeong, instagram.com/koreangry)

13 POEMS, $5, 5 ½” x 8½”, copied
Taking a nod from Fugazi’s 13 Songs, 13 Poems is a subdued red statement on Rhine’s subversive and sweet America that weaves its way through regret-tinged Applebee’s karaoke bars and punk basements, Indiana Jones fantasy-scapes, rhythmic invocations, and meditations on skateboarding. I actually love this zine; it’s one of my favorite poetry zines I’ve read in a while, maybe because I’m a weird sad nerd drummer poet too. Maybe because it’s speaking directly about Rhine’s experiences as a New Jersey punk, and the sadness and out of step-ness and hope and dirty carpet and critical nostalgia that binds that experience together. It’s hard to not feel connected when someone is sharing so much in ways that feel familiar and honest. Fast read. Bound beautifully. 10/10 for me. –Candace Hansen (JR Rhine, jrrhinepoetry.bigcartel.com)

BEHIND THE ZINES #7, $3, 5½”x 8½”, copied, 38 pgs.
The always-engaging Billy who writes Proof I Exist, and Last Night at the Casino, and other titles has put together this zine about zines. The first piece is by Billy. It’s about zines and anti-capitalism and how he refuses to let go of the old school punk ethic of making zines and being a bit alienated from new school zinesters who now boast of how much they can sell a zine for rather than how many copies they were able to scam. He also shouts out Razorcake in that piece. Thanks, Billy. We do our part! There are articles about creating a graph to keep track of where your zines go, a story from a reluctant zinester who overcame their perfectionist tendencies to embrace zine culture, reviews of zine events, a zinester interview, and some reviews. As I write this, I’m sitting on the Amtrak, drinking alone, sad for a time when people would hang out in the lounge car drinking together instead of staying in their seats looking at their phones. I recall a time when I handed zines out to people I met. A few of them wrote me emails telling me how important my words were and I’ll never forget that. Don’t let human connection die. Quit looking at your damned phone and call somebody on it. Talk to strangers. Read zines. Sit down and order a fucking zine.  –Craven Rock (Billy, PO Box 22551, Baltimore, MD 21203, Iknowbilly@gmail.com)

BLEACHED POLAROID PROJECT, $?, 5¼” x 4”, Laserjet, 20 pgs.
This collection of bleached Polaroids is quite beautiful. Whether or not there is a story to these is up to debate. Since these are all assumed to be images from the lives of the photographers, it gives itself some meaning as snapshots from small moments they’ve lived. Bleaching the Polaroids creates this color distortion that’s interesting. The color saturation is boosted to a maximum, and most of the time creates a pastel look to them. Damn, the colors really bring my eye holes a great joy. It makes me wish I could frame these and put them on my walls, so I can look at them and vomit rainbows out of my eyes. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Desilu Muñoz and Stephanie Segura, lachambapress.tumblr.com)

A great beginner’s guide for those who wish to be respectful to those with disabilities, because, honestly, you were probably an asshole about it. This zine by Rep Tilian is great, as it’s very blunt, which is a tone that’s needed since lots of people are so condescending in how they act with disabled folx and don’t realize it. It’s like a wake-up call, and slam!—something to open up your eyes. Pick this up if you want to know if maybe you are being a douche without knowing it, and you can try to be a better person. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Rep Tilian, no address listed.)

DEEP FRIED, $1, 8½” x 11”, copied, 28 pgs.
When I imagine the pure, Platonic ideal of a digest-sized fanzine whose raison d’etre revolves around the mirth and woe of fast food, what I imagine is something fairly crappy looking, with hand-scrawled headlines, large, uninterrupted blocks of small text, and an occasional accompanying image of a BK Broiler® cut out of an advertising mailer. Startlingly, Deep Fried is actually pretty well-written, with reasonably slick graphics, proving once and for all that “value menu” and “quality” need not be mutually exclusive. Brief, fast-paced interviews (generally revolving around fast food, natch) include Mannequin Pussy and Joe Pickett of the Found Footage Film Festival; other tastefully McNugget®-sized articles include an explanation on how one used to be able to wax a ledge for skateboarding purposes with a Wendy’s soda cup, and the origin of Jell-O® Instant Pudding™. As the Descendents once said, “eating is believing.” –Rev. Nørb (2901 Yosemite Ave. S., St. Louis Park, MN 55416, videophobia222@hotmail.com)

DON’T BE A DRAG, $?, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 16 pgs.
Hell yeah! You gotta love some dope-ass queer weirdo art. This collection of some work by Anthony Hurd is a good, compact collection of aggressive, trashy artwork which combines political and sexual themes into a great gravy mash. There is great detail in each drawing from scales to skin, and its crass look is very appealing. There’s even a very unnerving drawing of human teeth with its own pair of teeth. Anything that terrifies me or makes me uneasy is a winner. It’s in-your-face and awesome. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Anthony Hurd, instagram.com/anthony.hurd)

Winter 2018, $6.50, offset, 8” x 10½”, 56 pgs.
If I’m being honest, I’ve always had a disconnect with environmental issues. This longstanding journal from one of the world’s most prominent radical environmental groups does a solid job of tying ecological matters to radical politics generally, piquing my interest. Questions addressed in this issue include how environmental issues affect refugees and how art is intrinsically related to environment. Nicely laid out, well-written, and thought-provoking, the Earth First! publication has the potential to exact change beyond simply preaching to the choir. –Art Ettinger (Daily Planet Publishing, PO Box 1112, Grants Pass, OR 97528)

FOREVER: A COLLECTION OF LOVE LETTERS, $?, 5½” x 8½”, silkscreened cover, 32 pgs.
Alright, okay, I’m a hopeless romantic. This zine pulls selections from the “Love Letters Anonymous” archive on Tumblr, which I’d seen before, but never in a physical form. Seeing these digitally is a wholly different, arguably commodified experience, where seeing them physically adds a weight I wasn’t prepared for in picking this up. Some of the letters are apologies or unrequited, some wax poetic, where others are completely straightforward. The oldest are between a husband and wife during World War II. All of them are striking; this zine is almost overwhelming in the sheer range of emotions. This might, too, be because all of us experience love, and it’s one of the strongest, stupidest things we feel. Either way, Forever has me dabbing away a tear, and I’m glad for it. –Jimmy Cooper (Natalie Woodlock, Sodapops Shop on Etsy)

GOOBERBUTT?! #2, $?, 5½” x 4”, printed, 10 pgs.
Inspired by a love of physical media (CDs, records, books, et cetera), this mini-zine is about cassette tapes; specifically four prominent ones that changed one person’s life. Everyone can relate to discovering your first favorite bands and the styles or genre of music that really spoke to you. The tapes that did that for the writer were from bands Faith No More, Burnt Toast, Vivian’s Lunch, and Rugby Mothers. Each has a little back story and memory as to how the tape opened up a world of music, made them want to start a band, and began the journey into digging for similar bands and music. Definitely relatable for any music fan, especially those of us who still collect physically instead of digitally. –Tricia Ramos (Gooberbutt?!, gooberbuttzine@gmail.com)

GOOBERBUTT?!, $?, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 20 pgs.
Jason, the author of this zine, writes of his life in Flint, Mich., back in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Specifically, he tells of what it was like to be part of the punk scene with his band, South Bay Bessie. He also recounts tales of living in a punk house, the band’s initial gigs, and playing at a nudist resort. One of the main venues in Flint at that time was the Local 432, a club where my friends’ band played in the early ’00s. I liked the space and the audience had a good vibe, so I understood some of what he was talking about in Gooberbutt?! There was even a sweet ending to the zine about how he met his wife. The final page is a list of things Jason wished he learned while he lived in the punk house. There was some nice stuff, but then the last one was, “Jesus was way cool.” I read that and thought, “Wait, did I miss something? Because that’s a serious plot twist.” There was nothing about religion in this zine at all. So I did some digging and found that the author of the zine used to be a pastor. That put it into context, but why even mention that? Otherwise, this is a solid zine that was a good trip down memory lane for me. If you interacted with the Flint scene or are just interested in reminiscing about ’90s small town punk, then check this out. –Kurt Morris (gooberbuttzine@gmail.com)

HEADWINDS #3, £1, 5½” x 8½”, 24 pgs.
This is a great zine out of the U.K. that covers reviews of records, podcasts, live gigs, zines, and festivals, as well as featuring in-depth interviews. In this third issue there are interviews with the band Blankets from Münster, Germany, and Trophy Jump from Zagreb, Croatia, as well as one with the head of a zine and distro in Malaysia. The interviews cover the general sound and history of the bands, while also culturally coloring them in. I appreciate there are as many questions about their songs, feelings concerning football, and opinions on each country’s politics. This zine helps to paint a very full picture of people engaged in DIY in many parts of the world. The bulk of it contains well-written reviews, including one of our own Razorcake. Kinda funny when reviews get a little cyclical like that, right? The only thing I didn’t care for was the front and back cover design. Had I passed this zine in a cafe or bookshop, I’d likely overlooked it because it features a fox in a fez playing a clarinet. Far as I can tell, this is just one guy putting all this together, which is pretty impressive. Overall, I really enjoyed it and would be interested in seeing the first two issues as well. –Kayla Greet (headwindszine@gmail.com)

ICH WILL NIX ALTER WERDEN, $5, 5½” x 8½”, screen printed cover, 28 pgs.
This is a fictional story based on events from real life, so I suppose a way to categorize that would be realistic fiction. Written by Arielle Bungdorf, the story is told through a series of letters that one character is writing to her lover. It follows two teenage girls in 1979 who are involved in a relationship, though the Berlin Wall separates them. Peppered throughout are factual, historical accounts of life in Germany during the Cold War, as well as black and white photos from the time period. Anni tells her lover Micki that she no longer likes The Beatles and that punk is the new god. She dyes her hair turquoise and makes mix tapes featuring the Ramones and German punk bands for her partner trapped on the other side of the wall. Eventually, Anni reveals that she never sends these letters, as they would be intercepted by the Stasi and might just put them both in danger. I won’t spoil the ending for you, though it is heartbreaking. A well-written and beautifully laid out zine that I definitely recommend checking out. –Kayla Greet (a.charamoy@gmail.com)

Spiritually more akin to a pamphlet than a proper zine, this is, as advertised, 161 factoids represented as pertaining to avant-garde composer John Cage. Said factoids were typed up in 12-point Times New Roman and printed out, then apparently cut out and individually rubber-cemented on the page, without conceit of graphics, illustrations, or embellishments of any kind. These “facts,” if you will, range from the factual (“He pioneered a new conception of music based on the use of chance and other nonintentional methods.” “For work, he once washed walls at a Brooklyn YMCA.”) to the yeah-I’m-pretty-sure-that-wasn’t-him (“He has a cameo in every Marvel movie.” “His song ‘Born to Run’ is written as a love letter to a girl named Wendy.”) to what appear to be random lines taken from mysterious short stories (“He watched his wife chisel white chocolate into a bowl. It looked like glaciers.” “He made his way by slow movements, nudgings of growth, like his own plants and flowers.”) to straight-up tongue-in-cheek buffoonery (“He is a species of ground beetle in the subfamily Orthogoniinae.” “He is a species of flowering plant found only on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines”). As pointless as this all sounds, this unusual work holds up disturbingly well with repeated readings, and I am using it, I Ching style, as the basis of my spiritual hygiene from this point forward. –Rev. Nørb (raincloudzine@gmail.com)

MAXIMUMROCKNROLL #430, $4.99, 8½” x 11”, newsprint, 96 pgs.
Sigh. By the time you read this, Maximum has come to an end. You know how it works: columns, reviews, interviews. Really wild to recently come back to this one after years away and see a loosening of the arch-ideologies that scared me away for a while: new diversity of coverage. There was no way, during the Tim nineties, a more freeform/organic band like Come Holy Spirit would have gotten coverage. I’m sad to see it go. –Michael T. Fournier (PO Box 460760, SF, CA 94146)

MINOR LEAGUES #7, £6, 9” x 8”, printed, 114 pgs.
On the English side of the Welsh border sits a county called Shropshire. Minor Leagues is a personal work of a father’s cancer diagnosis, living in Shropshire, and the memories of living in a small village. It is beautifully written with anecdotes, drawings, and a little bit of history of the area thrown in. This thick zine is a touching, running memoir-of-sorts from one person working through their grief of their father’s death twenty years later. –Tricia Ramos (Minor leagues, smoo.bigcartel.com)

MINOR LEAGUES #7, $7?, 9” x 10”, copied, 114 pgs.
This is a continuation of the long form “Where?” which began in issue #6. In this installment, Simon continues to solidify the link between geography and family, linking his dad’s untimely demise to the Shropshire region of England. A mix of prose and drawn art throughout—it doesn’t feel quite right to say this is a comic; if anything, it’s a graphic novel. I feel redundant when I review Simon’s stuff here because it’s hard to come up with new ways to explain how consistently thoughtful and dazzling each new issue is. Seriously, if you’re not checking this one out yet, you need to be. –Michael T. Fournier (smoo.bigcartel.net)

PUNKS AROUND VOL. 3: THE STORY OF MINOT NORTH DAKOTA PUNK 1989-2000, $3, 5 ½” x 8 ½”, printed, 31 pgs.
Minot, N.D. is a small, remote Midwestern city most well known for its Air Force base. This is the first of a two-part history of the development of their punk scene. Fueled by isolation, a small group of creatives banded together to create a community focused on fostering happiness rather than fashion, lifestyle politics, and virtue signaling; all of which are far too prevalent in the scenes of any major city. “When you’re isolated, you turn inward—a perfect catalyst for the creative side of people.” Chronicling the struggles of maintaining a DIY venue space and combating alcoholism, this history details how the punks of Minot, N.D. built a largely straight edge, progressive community centered around acceptance and friendliness. –Lorien Lamarr (Microcosm Publishing, microcosm.pub)

SLINGSHOT #128, free, 11” x 14”, newsprint, 20 pgs.
There’s some comfort in checking out the new issue of this long-running anarchist paper at the same time that Maximum is going under—these cats have been at it for years, and are still going strong. Tons of well-written articles throughout: resisting climate change, Brazil’s recent swing to the right, white fragility, and— just in time for gardening season—composting and human poop. –Michael T. Fournier (PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703)

subTERRAIN #81, $7, 10” x 12”, printed, 80 pgs.
subTerrain is Canada’s premiere literary magazine, featuring the best in “outlaw literature.” This issue features Lush Triumphant Literary Award winners in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, as well as work from a few contest winners from the Vancouver International Writers Festival. The featured pieces in this issue all evoke emotions of struggle and burnout, of bleak childhood memories, and dystopian landscapes. subTerrain is always a treat to read, even if it is a bit of an emotional drain after you’re all done. –Tricia Ramos (subTerrain, PO Box 3008 Main Post Office, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3X5, Canada)


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Featured Zine Reviews Razorcake 107 – Minor Leagues, Earth First!, Real Boss Hoss, Yaawn!, Zisk


Featured Zine Reviews Razorcake 107 – Minor Leagues, Earth First!, Real Boss Hoss, Yaawn!, Zisk

Illustration by Jackie Rusted

MINOR LEAGUES #6, $?, 9” x 8”, copied, 100 pgs.
I was (and am) a huge fan of the previous issue of this one. Editor Simon Moreton has a distinct visual style which lets readers fill in gaps: his drawings imply depth and motion with their thick ink strokes and thin lines. In this issue, the first part of a larger narrative, Simon wonders whether he’ll be able to do justice to the story of losing his father to cancer. The answer is a resounding yes: Simon’s illustrations are a perfect complement to his prose, which uses breaks in chronology effectively to add even more narrative layers. One of the best zines out there right now. –Michael T. Fournier (smoo.bigcartel.com)

DANNY MARTIN’S TUCSON MURALS, $10, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 28 pgs.
From the pretty straightforward title (which, by the way, is actually A Very Incomplete Collection of Danny Martin’s Tucson Murals), this photo collage zine is page after page of local muralist Danny Martin’s murals around Tucson, Ariz. Printed in black and white, we see a wide range of Danny’s art, with commissions, western heroes, murals advertising music shows for the Rialto Theatre—it looks like Danny is one busy muralist. The screen printed cover to the zine is also a nice bonus. –Tricia Ramos (Danny Martin’s Tucson Murals, bullmooseallstar@yahoo.com)

DEAR SENTIDA, $5, 5½” x 8½”, LaserJet, 12 pgs.
Dear Sentida was short but sweet. I got to the last page and was pretty pissed that it didn’t continue, but then I thought that maybe that’s a sign that I really liked it and I wanted it to continue. It’s Bay Area artist Breena Nuñez’s personal tale in the lens of an anthropomorphic crocodile, dealing with the annoyance and awkwardness of getting asked out in public. It’s something that I can’t even fathom anymore, as the idea of asking anyone out is ridiculous and anxiety-ridden to me. The art is charming and well-made, and the zine itself is funny as hell. It’s the first I’ve seen of this artist and I want to read more of these comics, so it is very recommended. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Breena Nuñez, technicolormorena@gmail.com)

EARTH FIRST! JOURNAL, Vol. 38 No. 1, 8” x 10½”, newsprint, 64 pgs.
Again, EF Journal gives us news of environmental liberation struggles throughout the world. Some of the features in this issue get into defending wild buffalo in Yellowstone National Park, then there’s an update on what’s happening with the La ZAD in France, an occupation that turned into autonomous communal land that’s constantly defending itself from The State. There’s also a feature on anti-pipeline struggles taking place in New York. The most interesting article—and one that made me livid—was about lawsuits taken out on anti-DAPL activists and the COINTELPRO-style tactics used against them, from infiltration to trumped up gun charges. I like how EFJ gets more intersectional every issue. It’s all one fight! –Craven Rock (Earth First! Journal, PO Box 964, Lake Worth, FL 33460, collective@earthfirstjournal.org)

GUNK #1, $8, 6¾” x 6½”, LaserJet, 40 pgs.
My face has melted to a great degree. I’ve felt my body turned to slime, and it was disgusting and amazing. I thank Gunk Vol. 1 for making me feel this way. In the spirit of classic Cold War era artists like Will Eisner, C.C. Beck, or even Bob Montana, this comic zine has a nostalgic spirit that is really appealing to the eyes. It hits my every being with that nostalgia stick for a time I never grew up with. It’s strange, gross, and beautiful. The stories included have wicked turns, and put you in the shoes of some of the weirdest individuals. Sit back, relax, and get taken into a world where The Blob wasn’t a film, but a reality. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Curt Merlo, curtmerlo.com)

LIVE FAST DIE, $3, 5½” x 8½”, color, 10 pgs.
What happens when you buy GG Allin’s preserved dick from a hard-up Merle Allin? Well, this comic suggests it just might start talking, insulting you, and quoting GG’s lyrics. Next thing you know, you might be slamming dope with hookers and said micropenis. The illustrator of this comic had to grace GG with an inch or so of length in a couple of panels simply to make it stand up and talk—a dick so small it would, otherwise, stop the flow of the story. That struck me as kind of funny. –Craven Rock (veek13veek@gmail.com, veek.rocks)

MAXIMUM ROCK’N’ROLL #423, $4.99, 8 ½” x 11”, newsprint, 104 pgs.
This issue of Maximum Rock’n’roll features the Break Free Fest and is promoted as “By Punks of Color for Punks of Color,” which is something I can fully get behind. The fest is in its second year and is held in Philadelphia, Pa., and showcased a myriad of bands from all walks of marginalized lives and identities. In a nutshell, it was a celebration of punk bands of color united by music to let loose, have fun, talk shit on our oppressors, and ultimately raise some funds to donate to worthy causes such as the Trans Lifeline, United We Dream, and The People’s Paper Co-op. Judging from the cover’s photograph, the shows looked like a lot of fun and boasted a largely black audience: fuck yeah! I haven’t flipped through an issue of MRR in quite some time, but a lot of my old favorites (Al Quint, Felix Von Havoc) are still representing. And while a lot of the other columnists are new to me, their writings are full of perspective from varying degrees, such as sex work (Erin Gerety) and radical teachers in the education field (John No). You say you want fucking punk bands? Featured are Olympia noise fuckers Physique, Portland political punks Abolitionist, and Parisians PMS in a farewell interview of sorts. All this plus the usual record, zine, movie, book, and demo reviews. Even though I’m not as much as a regular reader as I was in my early twenties, I find comfort in knowing that the world’s longest running punk fanzine still has something for everyone and doesn’t seem to be in danger of disappearing anytime soon. –Juan Espinosa (Maximum Rock’n’roll, PO Box 460760, SF, CA 94146)

REAL BOSS HOSS #3, $5, 8½” x 11”, 28 pgs.
Keeping well within the parameters of “Chicano Time,” Jorge unleashes the third issue of this zine some sixteen years after the second. Not much has changed stylistically—emphasis is largely on the garage end of the punk spectrum, with Courier fonts in abundance and snatches of intelligence-tinged obnoxiousness within its Xeroxed pages. This time ’round we get interviews with Trent from the Mummies (which is worth the price of admission alone) and comedian April Richardson, plus a “diary” of the 2017 installment of the Ponderosa Stomp, a tribute to George A. Romero, a “Guide to African Rock ‘n’ Roll,” comics, and assorted reviews. It remains one of my fave local zines, and here’s hoping Jorge can get the next installment out before we’re both in an old folks home. –Jimmy Alvarado (Real Boss Hoss, PO Box 50236, LA, CA 90050)

SHORT, FAST & LOUD #30, $10, 7” x 7”, copied, 54 pgs.
Athena Kautsch and Jeff Robinson have published Short, Fast & Loud since the late ’90s. Their dedication to all forms of ear-piercing music is honestly admirable. The latest issue boasts interviews with recently reformed SoCal powerviolence band Gasp, Italian hardcore legends Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, and Brazilian noise outfit Industrial Holocaust. Also included are record reviews and columns, including some background on Kautsch and Melissa Elbirt’s upcoming documentary The West Coast Power Violence Project. Short, Fast & Loud is lovingly assembled for all you deviant noise junkies out there! The additional Violation Wound and Deathgrave split 7” is the cherry on top. –Sean Arenas (Short, Fast & Loud!, sixweeksrecords@comcast.net)

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING #76, two stamps, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 48 pgs.
This is the thirtieth anniversary issue of Something for Nothing, and in it we get columns from long-running contributors updating us on what they’ve been up to since last writing. Each copy of this anniversary issue also features one-of-a-kind hand-colored covers (with crayons). Reviews included feature new Dead Milkmen releases, Citizen Fish, Violent Femmes, and my personal favorite, the beverage review column. I don’t know why non-alcoholic beverage reviews are so appealing to me, but I always look forward to them with Something for Nothing issues. –Tricia Ramos (Something For Nothing, PO Box 226, Massillon, OH 44648)

TEAR THE PETALS OFF OF YOU, $?, 4½” x 5½”, copied, 54 pgs.
A zine about abuse and the emotional wear and tear it continues to do on one survivor. When a popular band has a member outed as an abuser, a zinester’s world is turned upside down as their own personal love and devotion to the band changes in an instant and connects their own trauma directly to their own ex. A cathartic and openly honest zine, the emotion is so visceral one can’t help but feel it all deeply. A reminder that trauma not only lives in our memories—it can be brought back from the most unexpected places. –Tricia Ramos (Tear The Petals Off Of You, crapandemic.storenvy.com)

YAAWN COMIC #2, $5, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 12 pgs.
YAAWN is a band. YAAWN is also a comic zine about the band. All I know is this comic is two stories on the adventures of the band. Damn, man. I need all bands to make zine-comics about their adventures on the road, because it has the power to connect them with their audience. Shit, I’m listening to their fucking Bandcamp as I write this, so it’s already a good marketing tool. The first story is super short and gets its point across, but the second story is the best. The punch line at the end about “not being ska enough” is my favorite part of the whole thing. It’s funny, and the drawings are like a sloppy Adventure Time, if it had a bunch of tired punks. Check it out. –Iggy Nicklbottum (YAAWN, artsncrassdistro.com)

ZISK #29, $3, 7” x 11”, copied, 36 pgs.
Given that it covers a game which manifests change at a pace somewhere between somnambulant and glacial, the self-proclaimed “Baseball Magazine for People Who Hate Baseball Magazines” enters its twentieth season looking little different than it did in 1999. Size, shape, page count, office copier aesthetic—it’s all practically the same as it was nineteen years ago. What is far less predictable about Zisk is the content in any given issue: Other than having a starting point of “having something to do with baseball,” there is virtually no telling what any given issue might contain. If you’re imagining a run of who-can-yell-the-loudest diatribes about whether the Dodgers should have started Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLDS, you’re imagining incorrectly. Topics covered in the current issue, for example, include the music in baseball stadiums, Houston’s post-flood World Series celebration, my investigative report into why the 1965 Fritz Ackley baseball card is worth two hundred bucks if the guy only won one game in his career, Todd Taylor’s typically meticulous history of the Houston Astrodome and the turf therein—which then spins off into a separate four-page rant about the history of grass (I’m not kidding)—poetry, and more. I might be biased, but it’s fascinating to observe what a dozen different contributors come up with when they’re asked, broadly, to “write something about baseball.” As a result, Zisk can be read and enjoyed by just about anyone who doesn’t manifest a legitimate hatred of the sport, and, like baseball itself, you can jump in anytime without feeling that missing the last twenty years has left you insurmountably disadvantaged. –Rev. Nørb (PO Box 469, Patterson NY 12563, ziskmagazine@aol.com)


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Featured zine reviews from Razorcake issue 103: Post-Depression Blues, Celibate Slut, Cul-De-Sac, Matchbook, Minor Leagues, Organ Grinder

Featured zine reviews from Razorcake issue 103

Featured zine reviews from Razorcake issue 103: Post-Depression Blues, Celibate Slut, Cul-De-Sac, Matchbook, Minor Leagues, Organ Grinder

Illustration by Becky Minjarez | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr

POST-DEPRESSION BLUES, $7, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 20 pgs.
Delving into the life of punk kids in their day-to-day, or just being so immersed into their world is what I want in every punk zine I encounter. This Allan Cito perzine is a perfect example of what a punk zine should be: immersive, dirty, energetic, personal. It also has what every punk zine has in common: mentioning punk as much as possible. This zine is a collection of essays, short stories, and poems of Alan’s personal journey in queer punk love, depression, and self-acceptance, especially in realizing that you’re ugly and proud. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Allan Cito, darcycrashdistro.tumblr.com)

CELIBATE SLUT VOL. 2, $3, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 20 pgs.
Sometimes the motions of grief and pain are hard to swallow, and when we release them, they turn to poetry and art. Celibate Slut, part two, reminds me of how someone who shares their most intimate stories publicly can help someone else find solace, or help with the feeling of loneliness. I may not know exactly what Sabrina is personally going through in her grief at the death of her best friend at a young age, but it affected me while reading her words and I may have ruined some pages with some tears while reading it. If you can be affected in such a way by other’s emotions printed to paper, then it is important. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Sabrina Dropkick, IG: @sabrinadropkick)

CUL-DE-SAC #7, $3, 8½”x 11”, copied, 44 pgs.
This zine is the result of the collective efforts of Liz Mason and Julie Halpern, lifelong friends who released the last issue in… the late ‘90s?? Yes, Cul-de-sac apparently began as an outlet for two teen or twenty-something punk kids’ pop culture obsessions, including, as we are reminded more than once throughout this new issue, Grease 2. It has endured the ravages of the decades and been resurrected to become—well, pretty much the same thing, but now for two punk adults in their forties. This first issue of the twenty-first century is designated “The Adult Geek Issue” and features articles like “Product Review: My Signed David Tennant Postcard” and a two-part essay called “My Dungeons and Dragons Group Broke Up.” Not to say that this is just a wacky zine about nerd culture. Both Mason and Halpern are adept at balancing sarcastic and self-aware humor with real, raw-nerved openness, and the odes to Carrie Fisher and Ancient Aliens take their places alongside essays about personal tragedy and the angst of feeling like an outsider within outsider subcultures. This is a strong comeback decades in the making, and I would absolutely want to hang out with both of these people. –Indiana Laub (Cul-de-sac, PO Box 477553, Chicago, IL 60647)

I EAT YOUR ASS, $3, 5½” x 8½”, 16 pgs.
Artist Veek’s zine is a mix of Kardashian-influenced societal ass fixation, meets going to the club, meets aliens. The title of the zine makes you think what you get is what you see—and you do—but with a twist. A little bit of seduction, a whole lot of alien abduction. This zine had me laughing so much, because the language and imagery are so good. I describe the artistry as that of a K-8 school D.A.R.E. calendar contest winner, which is a compliment. My friends told me this was a vague reference, and they think only my school district did this, but if you saw the images you would get it, and it rules. The characters have enlarged eyes and other features, and it looks to be drawn in a mix of different markers and colored pencil, which really enhances the storyline. –Cynthia Pinedo (Veek, etsy.com/shop/TheVeekBoutique, @veek1313)

LIST FOR LIFE #2, $2, 4” x 6”, copied, 16 pgs.
I remember picking this zine up when I went to my first zine fest. I flipped through it, read some of the numerous lists inside, and I was immediately flushed with a feeling that is kind of like joy, but much brighter, like my heart grew a couple of sizes that day. There are few zines like this which personally make someone happy in a way that no other zine can, and may mean nothing of this sort to others. What brings such joy from this zine is the positivity and optimism that exudes from this zine. List by list, you get a sense of who this zinester is. You sometimes feel like these lists, which range from silly, to cute, to serious, are really just like the essays you’d read in other zines. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Grace B., IG: @sundayschoolkid)

MATCHBOOK #4, $6, 1”x1”, 29 pgs.
The fourth in a series of zines housed inside a vintage matchbook. I’m going to get that out of the way because it’s the first thing you notice, but this collection has a lot more merit than a gimmick. The first thing to note is the quality of writing is excellent, though hampered a little bit by the format, as there are obvious accommodations to be made when accounting for the size. There are several submissions of poetry and flash prose offset with striking letterpress illustrations. The visual concept lends itself to the idea that depth can be found hiding in innocuous settings, that life is made up of secrets we keep, and the subject matter of the pieces play with that idea without getting boxed in by a central theme. There is an emphasis on colloquialism in several pieces—very personal language that’s held close to the heart—evidenced in Patton Halliday Quinn’s “Transient,” where he says, “I chomped on fish heads round a crawdad cooler…” It puts you in the narrator’s head—not their audience—and that is where most of these pieces succeed. The subject matter is personal, from lamenting dead friends to ignoring your own impending mental breakdown, to confronting the voice in your head that calls you a fraud; these are quick flashes of reality you leave hidden in plain sight. –Ian Wise (Small Fires Press, smallfirespress.com)

MAXIMUM ROCK’N’ROLL #415, $4.99, 8½” x 11”, newsprint, 103 pgs.
Maximum Rock’n’roll’s 415th(!) issue contains several articles, including an interview with No To Rape Culture PDX, a rad group in Portland that works in the punk and hardcore communities to demolish rape culture. There’s an interview with Stresshold, a band/project from Russia who firmly believes that “there is no place for homophobia, sexism, racism and other kinds of discrimination,” and makes sure to announce it to their audience before each of their shows, which I think is really cool. Stresshold is a band that doesn’t have any social media accounts aside from their Bandcamp, and sounds like if G.L.O.S.S. after a day at the beach, so y’all should check them out. The cover story is an interview with Cat Brooks, a co-founder of the Anti-Police Terror Project, a group who works to end violence and state-sanctioned murder against black, brown, and poor people, and to create a sustainable support system community for them. Another one of my favorite things about this issue was the horoscopes by Crystal Mistress. Crystal Mistress calls out every sign in their horoscope, except for Scorpio. I’m pretty sure this person is a Scorpio, because of how much they applaud them, and also because of the snark dished out to everyone else. I thought it was interesting that demos and records are separate, but it does make it easier to look up reviews if you are looking for a certain one. –Cynthia Pinedo (Maximum Rock’n’roll, PO Box 460760, SF, CA, 94146, maximumrocknroll.com)

MINIMUM ROCK + ROLL #6, $2, 4¼” x 5½”, copied, 8 pgs.
Another issue from the best-named zine in DIY. (Apparently, it can also be abbreviated as mRR—I love it.) True to that name, this is a minimalist little tidbit of a zine, each word cleanly and painstakingly handwritten in felt tip pen. An interview with Jac Walsh of the band Dump Him takes up almost half the zine (which sounds like a lot, but it’s just three questions in as many pages). Jac shares some brief thoughts about the power of queer punk community and the allure of hardcore Blogspots. The remaining pages consist of quick record reviews that skew toward the fuzzier, ‘90s-influenced indie punk side of things. The reviews are weirdly compelling for blurbs averaging about three sentences; I’m sold on a couple of these bands just based on Josh’s enthusiasm. This whole thing is a five-minute read, just a pleasant blip in my day. What’s not to like? –Indiana Laub (Minimum Rock + Roll, 1963 SE 11th Ave., Olympia, WA 98501)

MINOR LEAGUES #4, 3 £, 6” x 8½”, copied, 80 pgs.
It’s not often a zine with liner notes comes across my desk, but the fourth issue of Minor Leagues spares no expense. This is a gorgeous issue, with photos, prose, and cartoons so wispy that they gesture rather than point, providing the barest skeleton onto which readers are welcome to graft their own experiences or emotions. Lots of narrative here, relating experiences of youth, but lots of impressions, too: really poetic in presentation even if there’s no poetry to be found therein. If you like, reread it with the aforementioned notes, which pinpoint the happenings and make for an entirely different second pass. A complete joy, and one I look forward to seeing more of.  –Michael T. Fournier (smoo.bigcartel.com)

MISHAP #37, $1 or trade, 5½”ish x 8½”ish, copied, A5, 24 pgs.
Ryan Mishap’s been doing this zine for years; thirty-seven issues is nothing to sneeze at. What we’ve got here is a collection of ruminations on: bird-watching, nature, masculinity, our nation’s descent into authoritarianism. It’s scattershot with images here and there, cleanly laid-out, and nicely written. While Ryan successfully eschews most of social media, I’m pretty enmeshed in it, and so it’s a little disorienting to read his takes on “old” events like Trump’s “fire and fury” comments, or last spring’s MAX killings here in Portland. Still, Ryan’s thoughtfulness and care shine through, and his commitment to zines and zine culture should be lauded. –Keith Rosson (Ryan, PO Box 5841, Eugene, OR 97405)

ORGAN GRINDER #6, $5, 8½” x 11”, glossy magazine, 26 pgs.
Do you miss the days of being a kid going through a Highlights Magazine (or maybe Cricket Magazine) and doing each and every crossword, puzzle, word seek, and mystery picture? Don’t worry, Organ Grinder has your adult disorganized mind covered. Filled with goofy and inappropriate humor, the activities contained within this glossy full-color magazine will keep you distracted (hopefully) from all the bull for a short period of time. I tried going through all the activities, but there’s actually so much crammed on every page that I think it’s better as a coffee table magazine that your friends can doodle on or you can look at leisurely. Most jokes contained are political or poke fun at celebrities, popular music, or parody movies. If you actually do finish all the activities, you can go on their website for even more. –Tricia Ramos (Organ Grinder, organgrindermagazine.com)

SHADOW PEOPLE, THE, $10, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 16 pgs.
Augmented reality is not often used, but is super dope, and using it for a zine is quite unique. This cute comic makes something that could be turned into a horror short into something adorable. It’s the story of shadows that follow you everywhere, but with a sweet twist. Using your phone, you can make the pages come alive as the shadow people only appear when you use it, and the comic may be a little confusing without it. I wish there were more comics that used augmented reality, since this was such a fun read, and seeing those shadows pop out of the page was immensely entertaining. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Nathaniel Osollo, eyedraugh.com)

TARANTULA VANIA, $?, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 30 pgs.
Super juvenile and trite, and for these reasons I both think it’s charming and hideously droll, Tarantula Vania is a tale of classic Dracula with a heavy dose of ‘80s kitsch horror. Crude in storyline, dialogue, as well as crayola and magic marker drawings, it unfolds in a relatively obvious way. It’s charming and endearing, like reading an emo teen goth’s angst-ridden notebook. –Camylle Reynolds (IG:@veek1313, FB: @veek1313, Twitter: @fight_that)

THIS GOTH BITCH #2, $4, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 20 pgs.
This Goth Bitch knows what’s up in the world of goth, and these handy zines will help you be the best one you can be. This Goth Bitch is reminiscent of old gossip magazines you used to get as a teen at 7-Eleven or Circle K, whichever you lived next to. Chock full of great illustrations, hair guides, obscure goth music recommendations, anime, and horror-scopes, this zine is a great fun read for any goth, or goth fan. Highly recommended, especially for those sexy horror centerfolds. This issue is Jason Vorhees in all his buff glory. –Iggy Nicklbottum (Michael Vincent Garcia, etsy.com/shop/michaelvincentgarcia)

WORM THAT ATE COSTA MESA, THE, free, copied, 5½” x 8½”, 49 pgs.
A goofy, handwritten short story about an occurrence, a happenstance, if you will, where a lowly earthworm struggling for life on the sidewalk gets drenched with a drunk punk’s malt liquor piss and then dusted with PCP a cop skimmed from a bust. For those who don’t know, this chemical combination makes harmless worms sprout eyes all over their bodies and grow into Godzilla-sized monsters. This one takes out Costa Mesa. On the envelope this came in, I got a collage and a bit of creative writing on love, showing talent for a little more than genre fiction. Sean is a prisoner, so support him and get his zine. It’s listed as free, but send a letter, some stamps, or your own zine to this imaginative, creative soul. –Craven Rock (Mr. Sean Dunne, AN4246 4-130, PO Box 901, Avenal, CA 93204)


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Featured Zine Reviews Razorcake #99: Gratitude, Fluke, Minor Leagues, No Exposure, Rum Lad, Trust

Gratitude Zine review Jackie Rusted

GRATITUDE #2, $6, 11” x 8½”, offset, 32 pgs.
Here’s a testament to the power of a good zine: if it’s written well enough, I really don’t care what it’s about, I’ll still be enrapt by it. Gratitude is all about straight edge and hardcore—two things I give a marginal shit about at most—and it’s absolutely one of the best things I’ve read in forever. Seriously, this zine is awesome. McGuire and the friends he enlists to write for him are all hilarious and super knowledgeable about the dumb minutiae of hardcore, and they joyously revel in all of it. The fun is contagious, man. He reviews the top five brick walls in hardcore, sends his friends mystery tapes and has them write lengthy reviews of the songs, does antagonistic/absurd interviews with various bands and pens lengthy, stupidly detailed record reviews and bullet-pointed essays about the different mixes of Youth Of Today records. The writing is stellar and funny and inviting to everyone, even if you don’t entirely get one hundred percent of the references. Seriously, this thing is straight up magic. Favorite thing I got this issue. Heartily recommended. –Keith Rosson (Gratitude c/o AJ McGuire, 10 Cypress Park, Melrose, MA 02176)

CAKE & COMIX #2: SHORT STORIES, ?$, 4¼” x 5½”, 12 pgs.
I thought I hated poetry and then I read this. It’s a collection of vignettes and flickers of the past. Arranged from beauty to pain, contrasting and amazement with damage and hurt, this zine gives the reader snapshots of a life experienced. It’s as if I were flipping through Polaroids taken fleetingly in the moment, yet instead of reading the thousand words weighted in a photograph, I get a peek into the emotional state of the documentarian. Each passage, regardless of length, took me to a moment in time and shared the feelings and observations of the writer without a need for context or backstory. Were this two-dimensional graphic art, this zine would serve as an illustrator’s sketch book, yet the thoughts are expertly fleshed out. The author plays with their words like a child with its food and manages to turn the mundane into something appetizing. I find this work endlessly impressive, masterful, and brilliant. Creative writing at its best wonder. No piece is longer than a few hundred words, but it leaves me satiated each time. It feels like pillow talk with a partner you’re in love with who answers emotionally and honestly to the question, “What are you thinking?” Definitely worth seeking out. –Kayla Greet (Cake & Comics, mmmmatranga@gmail.com)

FLUKE #14, $6, 8 ½” x 11”, copied, 46 pgs.
Part two of the look back at Little Rock, Ark., punk history from the 1980s into the early 1990s. This issue is made up of show flyers, printed full page, featuring local and touring bands that played one location, 7th and Chester, which changed names over the years. Some of the bands that appear on the flyers are Fugazi, All, Holy Rollers, Flaming Lips, Green Day, Chino Horde, Trusty, and Econochrist. The intro includes a newspaper clipping of the audience at a Black Flag show (apparently, the famous “Peach” from the Rollins spoken word Big Ugly Mouth set in the photo). I’m always interested in the histories of local scenes, especially the scenes that were not as high profile as California or New York. I’m hoping Matt will uncover more Little Rock punk history in issues to come. I’m pretty sure there were bands happening prior to the era he covers. (Russell Love from NOTA was from there and Econochrist were from there before moving to the East Bay at the end of the 1980s, so there has to be more). –Matt Average (PO Box 1547, Phoenix, AZ 85001)

FUCK TRUMP CLUB #3, 11” x 14”, $6 for monthly newsletters, one sheet, copied, 2 pgs.
A newsletter dedicated to sticking it to the fascist Cheeto and his covfefe (Hah, just trying to be the first to say it in a zine!). The brevity of it won’t get you a lot of in-depth critique, but I think the point is to remind you to stay vigilant and to keep fighting. Six bucks gets you in the Fuck Trump Club and you’ll get one of these every month. Well worth it if you ask me. One thing: I hope they keep pictures of his horrible, smug face to a minimum (there was only one behind a “no” sign in a corner of this issue). We all have to see it too much as it is—we don’t need it in our mailbox. I’ll take the cute butt with “Fuck Trump” written on it, any day, misguided as it may seem. With that, I’m off to join the club. –Craven Rock (Fuck Trump Club, PO Box 30272, Albuquerque, NM 87190)

GOODBYE (OR THE STATE OF NATURE), $6, 4” x 5½”, 88 pgs.
A short eighty-eight panel thought comic that waxes philosophical on the human condition. I can’t draw any conclusion over the questions being asked but maybe it’s about anarchy? This reading is supported only by the giant pile of bodies making out and forming an A with a circle around it featured on the last page. The comic is well drawn and humorous, reminding me a bit of modern alt comic darlings Jesse Moynihan and Michael DeForge. Narratively, it’s structured as a series of short vignettes of people making changes to themselves. The comic captures the struggle for growth in a parade of comedy sketches at the rate of one panel a page. Recommended if you see a copy at your local zine fest. –Bryan Static (Ben Passmore c/o Silver Sprocket, 1057 Valencia St., SF, CA 94110, silversprocket.net)

GUERRILLA ARTFARE #1, 8 ½” x 11”, offset, full color, 51 pgs.
This is the first issue of Guerrilla Artfare, a slick Salt Lake City zine whose mission is “unite your spark with the entirety of our community and nothing will be able to silence our desires, dreams and passions.” I love the gorilla on the cover. The spare color scheme reminds me of screen-printed show posters. In a longer article, they present theories on outer space, ranging from the more sound to total wackjob ones that suggest there is no outer space because the world is flat. (Please note, they take no position on any theory). There’s an article on the health benefits of marijuana, one on the Dakota Access Pipeline, one about one about slimeball Sheriff Arpaio, who has a literal concentration camp for immigrants in Arizona. You also get an article about evidence of giants or Nephilim found in a cave. There’s a super fringe conspiracy theory on chemtrails and nanobots. You also get some agitprop art, a crossword puzzle, and some poetry. With all of its unapologetic weirdness, GA is also trying to be a free community zine, not unlike an alternative weekly, so it also reviews small coffee shops to large concert halls and has event listings. I found this part charmingly confused, from the way they encourage the reader to “get up and go DO! Experience something beyond your Boob Tube” when it comes to arty stuff. However, in the sporting events listing they couldn’t help but to toss in “give them bread and circuses.” My only critique is that the articles just seem to start, without any standout title or thesis. That was jarring. Otherwise, it felt like spending a few days in SLC with a fun, ziney, weirdo showing you around. Stay cool, guerrillas! –Craven Rock (guerrillaartfare.com)

LATE BIRTHDAY PRESENT, THE, $3, 5½” x 8½”, 55 pgs.
I can’t tell if this is fiction or a real story with some elephant-sized embellishments, but in a basic sense, Sean’s zine is about a dude named Sean dealing with the loss of his best friend who died of an overdose—and perhaps the bigger picture is about trying to live with and love people who suffer from addiction— which seems like an undervalued conversation that I wish more writers engaged with. The title refers to one of Sean’s buddies, this guy Jessie, and Jessie’s young friend and birthday boy, Mike. It turns out Jessie missed Mike’s big day, but his late present, enacted by Sean, is to take Mike to the circus. They want to see the elephants on their last performance. Sean’s zine makes for a good read—a bit zany like Richard Brautigan with his crazy similes and absurd topics of conversation (there’s a recurring gag with a Tommy Bahama shirt), but the narrator is never too far from laying on the heavy stuff and reminding the reader that all this craziness—heavy boozing and rambling around in his truck high as a kite—has been a way of grappling with one friend’s death and another’s slide into serious addiction. What else can I tell you? Well, they steal an elephant. Bonus point for all the Crimpshrine references. –Jim Joyce (Sean Dunne, AN4246, PO Box 905, Avenal, CA 93204)

MINOR LEAGUES #3, $5, 7” x 9”, 62 pgs.
Simon Moreton’s latest comic zine from Bristol, England deals with the death of his father, which, as far as a stranger’s loss goes, is meaningfully rendered with a lot of textless panels: illustrations of the author going through his day, sort of bewildered and silenced by grief. You walk through the world, but you can’t say you’re as in it as the people around you. Moreton’s slow pacing and spare illustrations are beautiful. I keep looking at them and wondering, how did he make that picture of a cityscape with so few lines? How’d I know that’s a picture of him in bed when there are so few details? The content is pretty heavy, but that’s life, and I’d gladly read Minor Leagues regardless of topic. Check it out if you’re at all into good perzines and autobiographical comics. –Jim Joyce (smoo-comics.com)

MISHAP #36, $2 or trade, 5 ½” x 14”, copied, 34 pgs.
The latest issue of Mishap has Ryan reflecting on the incredible series of events that came with Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. While this is a personal zine, it’s also political. The two mesh very well. I never felt as though I was being preached to or that Ryan was being heavy-handed in his writing. Sure, he’s liberal, but it’s stated in such a way as to express his thoughts and feelings rather than trying to convert anyone. In addition to his thoughts on the election, Ryan also has a great list of recommended books from 2016, his experiences with his sexuality, and a look at what men can do to stop rape culture. Sometimes I get zines to review that seem so short or without depth that I wonder, “Why did this even get made?” Mishap, however, has just the right amount of content that is also engaging and inviting. If you’re looking for a political punk perzine, here it is. –Kurt Morris (Mishap, PO Box 5841, Eugene, OR 97405)

NO EXPOSURE #3, $3, 5½” x 8½”, 50 pgs.
Aside from the cover (on which a dude drinks beer from a sneaker) this zine from Perth, Australia, was written entirely by typewriter with neat borders and tiny text boxes. Nearly every page features intimate photos shot on the writer’s Olympus OM-1, a camera “that a guy at work gave [him] for free.” He reviews twenty-nine albums and a book, interviews Daniel Lupton, the head of Sorry State Records (among other things, Lupton makes a good argument for not reprinting classic records), talks with power crusters Territory, and assembles a great guide to Tokyo’s record stores. I can’t believe one guy’s doing all this, but he is. At one point, the author laments that Perth has “a load of art student/‘per’-zines” and not enough “music-centric punk ‘zines,” but holy shit, if Perth has only one music zine as beautiful and content-thick as No Exposure, that’s still pretty good. Only $3. Recommended. –Jim Joyce (No Exposure, PO Box 284, Maylands, WA 6931, Australia)

OUR FUTURE, VOL 1 NO 1, $?, 8½” x 5½”, newsprint, 23 pgs.
This zine’s stated purpose is to dive deep into obscure music topics. Here, the focus is on Extreme Noise Terror and their collaboration with British dance band KLF. I admit to being initially reluctant about this one because of the subject matter, but editor Rodney Shades conducts an excellent interview with ENT’s Mark Bailey, illuminating the unlikely match of electronic dance with grindcore. A fine debut, and one that promises continued excellence. –Michael T. Fournier (thisclose86@gmail.com)

PROOF I EXIST #26, $3, 4¼” x 5½”, copied, 90 pgs.
Editor Billy chronicles a tour by his band Rudest Priest. Tour diary zines have been done to death; this one transcends the traps of the genre. Billy does a nice job blending bios of his band members with reflections on shows, travel, gender neutral pronouns, musical ability, and Steinbeck. Warm and inviting throughout—this one’s a winner. –Michael T. Fournier (No address listed)

RUM LAD #10, £2, 5¾” x 8”, A5, 16 pgs.
Wow, this is filled to the brim for a sixteen-page diary comic. (I remember Steve Larder’s art from the cover for one of the issues of As You Were.) It’s gorgeous when he draws big, detailed pictures and charming when he draws simple doodles. Personally, I would kill for a longer work in either style. Here we get them mish-mashed together on every page, the doodles providing the jokes with the intricate pieces setting the scene. The narrative is a tour diary about the bands touring the U.K. and listening to Slayer. It’s easy to use Snakepit as a reference point, but this one has a different sense of flow in its scope. Days become paragraphs and pages and linear time doesn’t mean as much. It’s a good read, even if you just want to look at the drawings. –Bryan Static (Steve Larder, etsy.com/uk/shop/rumladzinesandart)

SCARPA FLOW: A TRAVEL ZINE #1, $?, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 6 pgs.
Burnt out from working their ass off all the time with not much of a paycheck to show for it, the author of Scarpa Flow made a decision in 2008 to quit their job and get on a train to see the country. The plan was to ride the Amtrak and see four cities in four weeks, to see four different friends. This first issue documents the very beginning of the trip riding through Washington to Illinois, finally landing in Cincinnati, Ohio. On the train, they meet drunken creeps trying to lure them to their compartments, married couples, a professor, and some partiers. Riding the train allows for lots of time getting to know people and their stories. This first issue came out a long time ago, so I’m really hoping we’ll see the rest of the four-week trip documented in zine form soon! –Tricia Ramos (Scarpa Flow: A Travel Zine, kayluh@gmail.com)

SWINGKID FANZINE, THE #5, Free printable PDF, 5½” x 8½”, full color glossy, 80 pgs.
The Swingkid Fanzine is one cool read! It’s a glossy, content-packed zine covering mostly music. If you ever were looking for punk, metal, or alternative bands across the globe, this is a good resource to turn to. The author manages to interview bands from locations such as Suriname, Kuwait, Hungary, Mexico, Morocco—honestly too many to count. There’s also a mix CD included of bands that are in the issue! On top of the interviews, there’s a really powerful multi-person interview with refugees who have come to Germany (which I believe is the author’s location?), their reasons why they left their own country, and why specifically did they want to come to Germany. There’s also a DIY-themed crossword and stickers included in the issue. If you’re interested, the zinester offers a free PDF if you email them! –Tricia Ramos (The Swingkid Fanzine, kamillentee.waldesruh@web.de)

TRUST #182, €3, 8” x 11½”, 66 pgs.
Well, ninety-five percent of this big ol’ “punk/hardcore/underground” zine is in German, but I still drooled over the layout. If the Australian music zine No Exposure has an intricate, brittle, and almost claustrophobic tightness to it, then Trust feels like a livestream of some across town party. The photos bleed off the page and crackle with light streams. Other cool aesthetic choices, like their page titles—oddly one of the only times English features in the whole zine—are printed in some variation of Helvetica that seems to have all its bones broken. This issue has interviews with Gunner Records, Cold Kids, and Al Quint. The review section gives Razorcake a few nice words, too. In the words of Bobby Hill, “I like Jeff Gordon [Trust], he’s handsome!” –Jim Joyce (trust-zine.de)

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