PAPERCORE #4, $?, 8” x 11½”, printed, 40 pgs.

Subtitled as an “International DIY Punk Zine,” I was immediately interested in this publication for its black, white, and red heavy cardstock cover displaying a group of rats huddled together in some future wasteland. The interior essays and contributors write of their individual scene reports existing and playing shows in a post-COVID world. A weekend festival in the rain for one musical act in France, and a tour in Southeast Asia for one band which ends in deportation and the fear of possible imprisonment (this one was particularly stressful reading, wondering what would happen to this poor band) are the main essays. Includes a list of new bands out of Southeastern France, an ongoing independent film festival, zine reviews, and an interview with a band from Israel. –Tricia Ramos (Papercore, Giz c/o CIRA, 50 Rue consolat, 13001 Marseille, France, [email protected])

PATIENT CREATURES, $5, 14” x 20”, newsprint, 16 pgs.

Pure counterculture style straight from the horse’s mouth, Patient Creatures collects clippings from radical publications from the ’60s and ’70s. Now, I’ve followed the archivist in question on Instagram for quite some time, and it’s one of the highlights of my feed (ugh. “the highlights of my feed.” better get back to the farm before I get to thinking too hard about the bleakness of online existence), so I was happy as a clam when I got word she was doing a zine of the best of the best. Dear reader, it did not disappoint. Seeing these clippings, some brutal, some hopeful, live and in color is far more moving than seeing similar ones on my phone screen. I can see so clearly some kook like me holed up at their typewriter, at their desk, meticulously laying out image and text, hoping—like me—fifty, sixty years on, that fucking anything would change, that this would be it, that some day it would all stop in its tracks and we’d all be free. If I can just say it the right way this time… “IF NOT NOW, WHEN?” the cover of one publication asks. I’ve thought the same thing myself. “A SIGN OF THE TIMES” below a photograph of pigs fire-hosing protests. The only anachronism is the mention of a draft card… and some of that art noveau-y hand lettering characteristic of the era, may it come back into fashion someday. One clip cautions that “america is too far gone for warnings.” They’re still right. Confronting this history that is so close we could brush up against it—and in fact are—hashing out the same wars, I am at once humbled and invigorated. The back cover reads “REVOLUTION IS AN ACT OF LOVE.” Yeah. That hippie shit hits. Truth be told, a good punk and a good hippie are closer than one might imagine. Pick up a brick or a can of paint and let’s see what love really looks like… –jimmy cooper (IG: @patientcreatures, mount-analogue.com)

PHASES, $20, 5½” x 5½”, color printed, 30 pgs.

A hefty price point, but well worth it when you look at the care and design that went into this thick comic zine. Every page features four panels of full-color illustrations—soft pastel colors filling the reader with ennui and emotion. The minimalistic landscapes and scenes allow the reader time to breathe and really take in the art. A great piece of art that produced a longing in me for memories passed. –Tricia Ramos (Phases, latecombackpress.com)

PERPETUALLY TWELVE #16, $?, 5 ½” x 8”, cardstock, 36 pgs.

Issue 16 of Perpetually Twelve, the long-running zine by visual artist McHank, is “The Favorites Issue,” dedicated to the favorite things of its contributors. The favorite things vary, but they are mostly much-loved books (Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl), movies (Face/Off, Stand by Me, Blade Runner), and music (Queen II album, Slade, 10cc). But there are also shout-outs to San Diego, magic tricks, and breakfast foods, which happen to be my personal favorite. (I’ll always say yes to pancakes and waffles, grits and oatmeal, veggie sausage and tofu scramble.) All of the favorites in this zine are accompanied by illustrations—some pen and ink, others full color—that further bring to light what makes them so delightful to the contributors. –Gina Murrell (McHank, [email protected])

PUNKS AROUND #14: MENTAL HEALTH, $5 or trade, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 40 pgs.

I’ve been wanting to check out Punks Around for a while, especially after reading the editor’s Punk Rock Xmas Carol, so I was happy to get it. Every issue is about a specific topic and #14 is about mental health. It’s a full of contributors talking about their struggles with mental illness and alienation that comes along with it in a in a fucked-up capitalist world. It’s not just writing; there are some cool illustrations and lots of collage pieces. It was the collage I appreciated the most—rendered in full color with bits of poetry in it. I’m bummed the editor, Alex, is hanging up his project after this issue. He says he wants to quit, “before it grows stale.” If #14 suggests anything, there’s little risk of that. –Craven Rock (IG: @punksaround)

SCHLOCKTAGON #1, €5, 6” x 8”, copied, 46 pgs.

You like trash movies, B-movies, or exploitation movies? In need of some new bad movies to watch? Pick this up. This zine gives you first impression (and I definitely mean a first viewing) reviews of bad action movies from the 1970s and 1980s. It doesn’t analyze the films or give you any deep criticisms; it’s literally a stream of consciousness review of each movie. In all honesty though, the review-as-you-watch style is exhausting at times. Especially when it’s essentially, “…And then this happened, and then this, and then this,” et cetera. If you want a quick and straightforward rundown of an old action movie, this is for you. –Tricia Ramos (Schlocktagon, Dotzheimer Str. 49, 65197 Wiesbaden, Germany, [email protected])

SCUMBURBIA #2, $10, 5½” x 8½”, black and white, 44 pgs.

A comic by occasional Razorcake contributor Sam Grinberg about some high school alternative types with names like Spunk, Spike, Squeezy, and Jughandle. The “A” plot centers around an obnoxious shaved head kid (I never caught his name) who eats like a slob and makes fun of everyone around him. Slobby (We’ll call him that) has only one goal and that’s to hit up the fast food spot Wing World before the day is over. And inadvertently alienate himself from his cohorts in the process. Slobby is such a bad boy. The much more enjoyable “B” plot involves lil’ punks Spike and Spunk trying to score booze so they can gain access to the cool kids’ party happening at Jughandle’s house later. The booze comes somewhat easily but keeping it hidden at school proves to be more difficult after it’s misplaced after a bomb scare. Grinberg has a very detailed yet cartoony style with a lot of black ink. The artwork is strictly black and white with only a single page having any grey. Some of his characters have The Simpsons vibes to them. Jughandle looks like she jumped Marge, stole her pearls, and copied her hairdo. Sam Grinberg does do character designs for The Simpsons so we’ll allow it. My favorite character is the mute, wide-eyed, weird grinning Spike. It’s a funny and nice-looking comic that deserves your attention. And heck, it even comes with a free Wing World take-out menu. –Rick V. (samgrinberg.com)

SNEKZIN’ IT, $10, 5½” x 8½”, glossy/color, 28 pgs.

Full-color zine that is ostensibly full of graffiti and kids doing graffiti. It’s a subculture I know nothing about, and there is nothing—and I mean nothing—to inform the reader as to who these folks are. Also features pictures of kids walking around, kids giving each other noogies, plates of food, pillows, people holding fish, people flipping off the camera, people boxing, and people standing around in track suits and shirts. If you know who these people are, this might be kinda interesting. As an outsider, ten bucks seems way steep for what amounts to rifling through someone’s Polaroids. –Keith Rosson (YOFC)

SUBTERRAIN #86, $8, 6” x 9”, color magazine, 96 pgs.

subTerrain is published three times a year with various submissions of poetry, personal essays, fiction, and nonfiction. Each issue revolves around one theme. This issue is disobedience. From QAnon opinions of your Facebook “friends,” a personal account of protesting a pipeline with other water defenders, to protesting the displacement of your independence as we grow old and are put into nursing homes, this issue shows the quiet disobedience, the obvious and loud disobedience, and what it means to refuse to obey the laws and rules forced upon you by the powers that be. –Tricia Ramos (subTerrain, PO Box 3008, Station Terminal, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3X5, Canada)

TOXIC FLYER ZINE #50, 5½” x 8 ½”, copied, 40 pgs.

So this is just photos of punk shows. Kind of wish this was a higher resolution or something. No idea if the zine is just this all the time, but the cover does say it’s a “Photo Issue,” so my guess is there’s usually words? So they say a picture is worth a thousand words and so far I’m about sixty words in for a zine full of ’em. Live photos really make me want to see live footage. This is a weird, emotional mixed bag. –Gwen Static (Billy Whitfield, PO Box 39158, Baltimore, MD 21212, toxicflyerzine.com)