LOAFING THE DONKEY #79, $4, 7” x 8½”, copied, 35 pgs.

The long-awaited new issue of Loafing the Donkey, Peter Mantis’s long-running zine dedicated to “trash American culture,” is finally here. After at least a four-year gap between this issue and the last, Mantis is back with a vengeance and has lots to catch his dedicated readers up on, including pets still kickin’ it (hi, Zontar!) and recently passed (R.I.P. Rita), thoughts on the pandemic and the new occupants of the White House, and praise for Motor City music. There are also in-depth write-ups on mail art, nonprofit radio, and Ann Arbor artist Jim Shaw. Guest writer Claire Moore-Avalon provides a review of Memphis-based outsider artist Nick Canterucci’s exhibit *Asterisk. And there is Mantis’s film review of Le Mans (1971), starring Steve McQueen. Definitely don’t sleep on this latest issue of Loafing the Donkey, now thirty-four years in print! –Gina Murrell (2264 Elzey Ave., Memphis, TN 38104-2455)

MATCH, THE, #122, Free, 7” x 9½”, printed, 52 pgs.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read such an uneducated, inane publication. While The Match claims to be about anarchism, it’s not any type of anarchism I’m familiar with (and I consider myself a “fellow traveler” for almost twenty years). This publication (which is amazingly typeset and printed in this day and age of computers) features articles and editorials on events from the spring of 2021, which primarily means things regarding the pandemic. Surprisingly, the writers of The Match write that COVID isn’t really that bad, but rather a plot for the government to take further control of our lives. I will be sure and let the millions of people worldwide who died of COVID know that. (I’m sure the writers of the publication will say that’s the government exaggerating the numbers.) Lots of accusations and statements are thrown around with very little (if any) facts to back them up. There’s no mention of supporting other individuals as part of mutual aid or as a society. Instead, this publication seems to twist anarchism into some selfish version of libertarianism where kindness, love, and respect are thrown out the window. Instead, paranoia and selfishness tend to be the ideas here. So, if that’s not enough of a reason not to pick this up, I’ll add in a few more. In this issue I learned: you shouldn’t have to use someone’s preferred pronouns when addressing them, Asians are referred to as Orientals (and Beijing is still referred to as Peking), COVID can transform our DNA, the phrase “PowerPoint slide deck” doesn’t make any sense, COVID contact-tracers and Dr. Anthony Fauci are the same as the cops, and so on. Oh, and because social media companies (which are privately owned) bar people from spreading disinformation about COVID, we might as well be living in the old Soviet Union. Fuck this selfish, fearful, alt-right version of anarchism (if you can even call it that). –Kurt Morris (PO Box 3012, Tucson, AZ 85702)

MINOR LEAGUES #11, £4, 6” x 9”, copied, 68 pgs.

An issue of Simon’s fanzine was the first piece of mail I received at my new house a few years back. After that, new releases arrived like clockwork, until recently, when Simon wrapped his multi-issue Where?, an arc about identity, loss, death, and geography (which has been published as a book I haven’t gotten ahold of yet). I think I started to take Simon’s stuff, always dazzling, for granted because it arrived with such regularity. After a pandemic-induced break, Simon is back with another fantastic issue, further cementing Minor Leagues’ must-read status. This one feels a little more prose-heavy than previous issues, with vignettes and ruminations on the pandemic juxtaposed with Simon’s impressionistic cartooning and found images to produce unexpected connections. Minor Leagues is always inviting and fantastic despite (or perhaps because of) its deep individuality—no other zine does what this one does. Its specific vernacular sets it apart from the rest, not like “fuck you if you don’t get my thing” mold, but instead in a “this is what I do and cheers if it’s for you” mold. –Michael T. Fournier (smoo.bigcartel.com)

MOST UNWANTED ZINE, $5, 5½” x 8½”, risograph cover, black and white copied interiors, 26 pgs.

Honestly, bravo. Liz Mason polled many a zine reader (and makers) to ask, “What is the number one thing you don’t want in a zine?” And this is the result. No poetry, no self-indulgent drama or woes, no scene report, no music reviews. At first when I started reading it, I felt like I was being pranked. The content is a mishmash with no particular rhyme or reason, purposely contradictory, and complete with satire. It felt like it was written by Lewis Carroll (or at the very least, the caterpillar). At first I was mad, but once I realized it was intentionally made to be “The Most Unwanted Zine,” I got it. Also, I genuinely liked the five pages of just thirty photos of fire escapes. –Tricia Ramos (PO Box 477553, Chicago, IL 60647, Etsy.com/shop/lizmasonzines)

NEW WAVE CHICKEN #9, $4, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 34 pgs.

The editor of this long-running Hawaiian fanzine has had health scares in the past few years, which led him to reconnect with friends. In this art-themed issue, he interviews and celebrates his crew, discussing their impetuses and creative processes. Interviews with Hudley Flipside, art director Al Garr, and the anonymous art director of John Zorn’s Tzadik Records are among the engaging conversations in this issue. –Michael T. Fournier (PO Box 880081, Pukalani, HI 96788)

PROOF I EXIST #35, $2, 4” x 5 ¼”, copied, 62 pgs.

Billy McCall is a zine veteran who’s produced quality material for over a decade. He’s has a zine series, Last Night at the Casino, about working in a casino as a dealer and covered all sorts of other stuff. All of it’s been a pleasure to read over the years. His most regular title is Proof I Exist and this time he makes a departure from the usual perzine subject matter to make a collage about the pandemic. Taking headlines, advertisements, and social media tweets and using one per page with a date, he shows the stages of the virus’s spread and its impact on our lives and culture. Seeing it all unfold gives a disturbing look at it all in hindsight, making for a compelling piece of art. It’s no less disturbing reading a headline like “Lysol Maker, Officials Reject Trump’s Disinfectant Idea” than it was on April 24, 2020. Reading “Customers Shot 2 McDonald’s Employees After Being Asked to Leave Due to Coronavirus Restrictions” above the date of May 6, 2020 is even more stressful, because in the onslaught of tragic news, I either forgot this story or overlooked it, taking in other horrors. It’s a serious, relevant piece of art. You have to admire Billy for having the foresight to collect all this stuff while some of us were getting shitfaced alone, staring at the wall, vigorously masturbating, and scrubbing the grout from the bathroom tiles with our roommate’s toothbrush. –Craven Rock ([email protected])

PUNXELATED #3, 10€, 8½” x 11½”, glossy, color, 64 pgs.

It’s been years since Marc Gärtner put out his last issue of Punxelated. However, the pandemic gave him the opportunity to scrape together some great color photographs for this issue. Marc is a German-based photographer and this issue has photos of punk bands including Bad Cop/Bad Cop, The Lillingtons, War On Women, and a number of other bands I wasn’t familiar with, most likely because they’re from Europe and I’m in the States. That said, Marc has come to The Fest in Gainesville a number of times and many of the shots are from that event. He does a great job capturing performances from a number of angles. Many of the shots are right up front and depict lots of emotion and action, including literal blood and sweat (but no tears that I could see). In one shot of a musician screaming, I could see his uvula. There is also some writing by Marc about trips to Belgium and about the band Iron Chic. This is a little pricey, but if you want to see talented, high-quality action photos of some great punk bands, this is worth getting. –Kurt Morris (punxelated.com)

RAZORBLADES AND ASPIRIN #12, $10, 8½” x 11”, full color glossy, 80 pgs.

Staring out from the cover of this issue of Razorblades and Aspirin is a familiar image of a big-eyed Darby Crash. Documenting punk and hardcore through various photographers, new and old, showcasing the movement and energy and raw emotion of being at a show, Razorblades and Aspirin is a photozine I always look forward to receiving. Featured in this issue is a photography legend in music, Edward Colver. If you’ve never heard of him, but are a fan of punk and hardcore from the 1980s, you’ve definitely seen his photos. Classic images of Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Ice Cube, and more, his images document such an important time in music. Other featured photographers in this issue are Becky DiGiglio, Joseph Carey, Kirsten Thoen, Adam Lowe, and Anthony Mehlhaff. –Tricia Ramos (razorbladesandaspirin.bigcartel.com)

REGLAR WIGLAR #27, $8, 6½” x 10”, full color, 32 pgs.

Making its debut in the standard comic book format is Reglar Wiglar #27, which its creator Chris Auman has been putting out since 1993. Reminding us that “There is No U in Reglar Wiglar,” Auman has in this full-color debut brought readers a hilarious (self) bio penned by the fictitious Robert Studwood Hues, Famous Art Critic; robot stories and fables; profile of forgotten Matty Lou’s Home-Cooked Chicken Dinner 1975-1976; today’s life lesson (“Working with a Hangover”); and bold comics on “Old Hardcore Dudes” and “Casetty Pays a Visit,” the latter of which features an anthropomorphic cassette tape walking into a bar called The Easy Speaker and engaging in sometimes heated conversations with vinyl records, iPods, and CDs, also anthropomorphized and drinking beer and shooting pool. Reglar Wiglar #27 is anything but regular. –Gina Murrell (RoosterCow Media, roostercow.com)

ROADSHOW, $6, 5½” x 8½”, 35 pgs.

A wild-ass comic that starts with a goofy-looking birdman racing a car through the desert with a live shark adorned on the roof. On the eighth page, the bird driver is kicked into oblivion by a giant rock monster that uses the car and shark as footwear. During a fight with a mega mutant, the rock monster loses his head and it’s replaced with the shark. The shark-headed rock monster then roams the desert, meets lizards and hungry corpses, and it goes from there. James the Stanton is known for his colorful comics full of bizarre monsters and weirdos. This comic is by far his weirdest and thickest (as in content). It’s a nonsensical, trippy ride you should jump on. –Rick V. (gnartoon.storenvy.com)