SUBTERRAIN #83, $7, 6” x 9”, color print, perfect-bound, 96 pgs.

SubTerrain is a sweet lil’ Canadian literary magazine that aims to provide provocative fiction, poetry, and commentary to its “polite nation.” A lot of the criticism and fiction wasn’t particularly provocative to me personally, but I can see its diversion from the general literary status quo and the aim to provide a publishing voice to a more diverse body than might usually get one. Some of the poems reproduced within pointed me in the direction of poets I’d not gotten the chance to engage with (shout out to Billy-Ray Belcourt—sorry I didn’t pick you up before now!), so thanks, SubTerrain! Also, this is in classy full-color, and is really quite compelling to page through and look at. If you need a small-press lit fix, this is a solid place to start. –jimmy cooper (subterrain.ca)

TRASHY DREAMS #1, 8½” x 5½”, copied, 24 pgs.

An art zine with some wonderful twisted horror/dark fantasy influence. It never quite hits the highs that the first two page comic about a demonic “dog” hit, but the art remains wonderful throughout. Clean, thick lines of Dorkin-esque proportions. A hodge podge collection of sticker scans, posters, and doodles. I’d love to see a longer form comic from this guy. –Gwen Static ([email protected])

TRUST #198, €3.5, 8½” x 11”, printed, 60 pgs.

Heilige Scheiße! Eine weitere Ausgabe dieses langjährigen und äußerst wichtigen deutschen Punk-Magazins mit allen Interviews, Rezensionen und Szene-Gesprächen, die ihr erwarten dürft. Diese Ausgabe enthält unter anderem Interviews mit F.O.D., Primetime Failure und Super Unison. Wenn ihr noch nicht an Bord seid, unterstützt Printmedien und steigt endlich in den verdammten Van! –Michael T. Fournier (Postfach 11 07 62, 28087 Bremen, Germany)

UNVERIFIABLE COMICS #4, $2, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 16 pgs.

I was stoked to see another issue of Unverifiable Comics! I loved the last issue for its wacko commentary on the shitshow that is our world: the political climate, surveillance state, the double-edged sword of internet culture… This issue was lots of fun, as the last. In a time where you can see dozens of webcomics a day with a near-identical look and near-identical content, a distinct, individual style is refreshing. However, in this issue, it became a little less clear whose side, exactly, the author was on. A few of these comics could read as either indictments or reproductions of the rhetoric they’re engaging with, and that rhetoric is not that which I would like to take lightly. Either way, there’s some great content here, and I’m glad independent comics that are truly independent still exist. –jimmy cooper (PO Box 345, Putney, VT 05346)

VINYLDYKE #2, 8½” x 5½”, copied, 44pgs.

I wish I still had this enthusiasm for rock and roll music. Evelyn has a wide-eyed wonder that’s easy to lose as you spend your life wearing down the sharp ends of your neurons. I’ve heard so many albums in the last ten years; do I even remember how to sing along to a song that hits me in the soul? Vinyldyke, you’ve reminded me of what’s like to not be jaded. I want that again. I got to the end of the issue and #3 promises to be about Evelyn’s favorite songs, which sounds like a total banger. –Gwen Static ([email protected])

WONDER OF IT ALL #1: THE SPIRITUAL SHIT, $3 ppd. or trade, 6” x 8½”, newsprint, color, screenprinted cover, 12 pgs.

This zine has its creator lamenting “the gentrification of spirituality.” He says, “This stuff has middle class written all over it in a way that a purple skull-shaped bong doesn’t,” referring to the sterile shops selling CBD that are replacing tacky head shops of yore. He also has a list of ways to relax and a write-up of obscure nineties sludge metal band, Nightstick. It’s a nice, kooky read. I hope to read more wonders. –Craven Rock (Angus, 21a Buckingham Rd, London, E15 1SW, UK, [email protected])

ASYMMETRICAL ANTI-MEDIA #8, $1 ppd., 5½” x 8½”, copied, 8 pgs.

Subtitled “The Review Zine with Lunatic Fringe Tendencies,” this swift read basically does what Factsheet Five used to do about thirty years ago—reviews other zines and publications (plus a smattering of musical items and mail art thingies)—except it’s about one-eighth FF’s size. Preserving the independent postal culture of the pre-internet era is a noble impulse, but it’s also one that strikes me as a bit of an antiquarian windmill tilt at this point. “The point of this publication is to empower the postal network.” Best of luck with that. –Rev. Nørb (Jason Rodgers, PO Box 10894, Albany NY 12201)

BORN RIGHT: SURGERY, BODY IMAGE, AND OWNING IT, $9 ppd., black and white w/glossy cover, 24 pgs.

The surgical autobiography of Minneapolis writer and zinester Emma Johnson, whose zines I’ve dug every time I’ve seen them, chronologizes her surgeries from six years old to her most recent just this year, and the related stigma, trauma, and issues of self-image. The medical establishment is not kind—often least so to those who need the most care—and particularly when it comes to the “normal.” Johnson calls for “a different language of beauty,” in contrast to those who, to reassure, would tell her that they “couldn’t even tell” when she is entirely aware that her face looks different than most. In this language of beauty, maybe we’d all have a little more autonomy over our bodies and appearances. Though I cannot relate to the particular intensity of her medical experience, I saw my own transitional desires reflected in her desire to see herself in a different way than she appeared to the world, and the trepidation that goes into making that happen. –jimmy cooper (Emma Johnson, freaktension.com)

BROKEN PENCIL #85, $7.95, 8½” x 11”, printed, 72 pgs.

Long-standing “magazine of zine culture and the independent arts” that has somehow evaded my radar screen until now. I’m sorry I missed out. There are tons of reviews and shorter pieces, but unlike many other zine zines, Broken Pencil takes time to dig deeper, with great features on Hong Kong zinesters standing strong in the midst of the country’s ongoing political turmoil, and public murals as balm and pushback against the opioid crisis. Impressive and recommended. –Michael T. Fournier (PO Box #177, Sanborn, NY 14132)

DEEP FRIED ZINE MPLS #17, $1, 8½” x 11”, copied, 20 pgs.

This is a unique zine with a focus on fast food—both worldwide but also in Minneapolis. It’s a mish-mash of short articles, photos, and art. One piece covers the sale of a paper plate from a pizza joint used by Kurt Cobain to write a Nirvana set list. Another recalls when Willie Nelson was in a Taco Bell commercial. There are also interviews with artist Jason Steady and the band Lazear. Both interviews relate back to fast food, though. The zine is a quick, weird read. If you’re really into odd fast food stories, then this is the zine for you. For a buck, you can’t beat it. –Kurt Morris (2901 Yosemite Ave. S., St. Louis Park, MN 55416)