Featured Zine Reviews from Razorcake issue 102: San Antonio Bound Death Sentence, Deep Fried, Geneva13, Slingshot, Super Cool and Stuff
SAN ANTONIO BOUND DEATH SENTENCE #1
$3, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 44 pgs.
This zine is an exercise in procrastination in the best possible way—the author admits that at least one of the articles has been rewritten over and over, continually updated as the current political climate descended further and further into chaos. In the last pages, it’s revealed that this entire zine was nine years in the making, and the author nobly attempts to recreate some of the original articles from memory. In terms of content, it’s a grab-bag of topics: politics, skating, hometown ruminations, record and book reviews, a friend’s oral history of the time he went to a G.G. Allin show twenty-six years ago (a weirdly compelling read)… This zine offers both engaging accounts of skateboarding disasters and thoughtful analysis of Asian American history and identity. If that’s not enough to sell you on this, let me add that there is no shortage of meticulous footnotes—and endnotes! Multiple sections of endnotes in this document! For all of Kris’s endearingly self-deprecating style, this zine is smart and funny as hell. –Indiana Laub (San Antonio Bound Death Sentence, [email protected])
DEEP FRIED #13
$1, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 24 pgs.
Those fried, greasy, fast food-loving zinesters are back at it again with this new Halloween-themed issue! A favorite holiday to many, this issue features a lot of McDonalds spooky Happy Meal toys, the infamous Halloween buckets (also from french fry giant McDonald’s), and scary fast food tips. Apparently Arby’s will put bacon on your sandwich free of charge if you say, “trick or meat” on Halloween? Pretty gross, but I guess it saves you some cash on your greasy treat. This issue also features interviews with bands Trash Catties and No Men. Not fast food-related, but there’s a pretty funny review of Zima, if you’re looking to take a trip down memory lane of one of the grosser beers from back in the day. –Tricia Ramos (Deep Fried, 2901 Yosemite Ave. S. St., Louis Park, MN 55416, [email protected])
$?, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 60 pgs.
Geneva13 is a local zine of Geneva, New York. All pieces inside the publication are written by locals or interviews with locals. The theme of this issue is “transitions,” which captures the flux of the city; the changes that are occurring to it and the residents. There’s an essay written by a man experiencing his own emotional transitions, and a small history of three events that shaped Geneva and brought about big transitions. A school loses three teachers to retirement, and a newly elected official is the first African American to sit at Geneva’s City Council. A good zine if you’re interested in local pieces. –Tricia Ramos (Geneva13, PO Box 13, Geneva, NY 14456, [email protected])
JAPAN JAUNT Vol. II, No. 1
$?, 8½” x 11”, 8 pgs.
This travel zine by Steve DeRose is a handy Cliff’s Notes on the minutiae of planning a fairly thrifty trip to Japan, specifically Tokyo and Yokohama. DeRose covers lot of basics such as recommending atlases, hostels, and a walk through on currency exchange recommendations. A section on figuring out the multiple train pass systems in Japan gets particularly detailed, but it sounds like it’s the type of system that doesn’t really make much sense until you get to work your way through it firsthand. There is also an interesting, but rather sparse, section on ramen. DeRose admits to not being the most knowledgeable about ramen culture, but it does feel like even here in Los Angeles it is becoming possible to develop at least a little expertise in the subject stateside with the expansion of Japanese-style ramen rapidly taking place (AKA the ramen in insanely rich broths, not the five for a dollar packages in every supermarket). I do have to say I was kind of surprised by the unexpected and lengthy guide about Japanese adult video buying strategies capping off the zine, but I guess everyone has their areas of expertise. –Adrian Salas (Steve DeRose, 4821 W. Fletcher St., Chicago, IL, 60641, [email protected])
MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL #414
$4.99, 8½” x 11”, newsprint, 104 pgs.
This well-known maximum fun punk rock mag from the Bay Area hits their November issue with a big piece about the history of Alabama punk (part one of a series), and interviews with bands Padkarosda, Period Bomb, Unsanitary Napkin, Bad Example, Damad, Midnite Snaxxx (a personal favorite), and many more. Another rad issue, guys. –Tricia Ramos (Maximum Rocknroll, PO Box 460760, SF, CA 94146, [email protected])
RESTLESS LEGS #13
$6 ppd., 8½” x 5½”, matte color, 30 pgs.
High-quality photography zine featuring mostly smiling portraits of the photographer’s cool-looking friends. Seriously, the print quality is so good in this thing that it feels like I could be flipping through an Urban Outfitters lifestyle catalogue or something, but for Tru Punx with patched-up jorts and fading stick-and-pokes. (Actually, that may still be applicable to Urban Outfitters catalogues, but this is definitely punker.) This was made during the author/photographer’s gradual transition from Portland to the Midwest, so there’s a current of fragile nostalgia that runs through the notes and captions accompanying the photos. For better or worse, this is probably the kind of zine that helps launch wide-eyed punk teens from the suburbs into their own romantic trainhopping, dumpstering, rattail-growing trajectories. –Indiana Laub (Restless Legs, 2616 15th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55407)
$2, tabloid, newsprint, 16 pgs.
Long-running anarchist paper from out of Berkeley. I have been reading this for about twenty-four years now, and it still looks the same, only now they have splashes of color in the layout. I’ve always appreciated how accessible Slingshot is. It never talks down to the reader, and you don’t need a doctorate in history or political science to get what they’re talking about. By the people and for the people, as it should be. This issue has pieces on the ANTIFA, an interesting piece on intoxication culture (which I will re-read after writing this review), climate change, and more. Worthy of your time and support. Send some extra cash for a bulk order to pass around to your friends and strangers on the street. –Matt Average (Slingshot, PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703, [email protected])
SOUTH BELOIT JOURNAL
$6, 6½” x 8”, 36 pgs.
Fans of John Porcellino’s long-running comics zine, King Cat, will enjoy this offshoot that Uncivilized Books put out this year. It’s a comics journal that covers Porcellino’s winter and spring of 2010-2011, a time when Porcellino had just gotten out of his second marriage and had very little loot. As it was, he found himself with a lack of joy but an abundance of 2” x 6” pieces of scrap paper from a recent project. So he used them to keep a visual diary with more or less daily entries. Nothing wild happens, but if you’ve ever been really fucking depressed you know there’s some solace to reading about how someone else has dealt with it, and the South Beloit Journal has that reassuring quality. And It ain’t all tears. Yes, there are lots of edifying and grim “I spent the day in bed” entries, but there’s some warm stuff, too. Porcellino is great at reminding his readers about the simple pleasure that can come from taking a winter walk, getting rad books from the library, or catching up with old friends on the phone. I’ve never read any of his work without feeling a bit more grateful afterward. –Jim Joyce (king-cat.net)
SUPER COOL AND STUFF #6
5½” x 8½”, copied, 24 pgs.
In Ricky Vigil’s comic zine, he leaves his home in Denver mostly to see Jawbreaker at Chicago’s Riot Fest, and issue six makes for a diary of that weekend. My favorite entries included the page devoted to wrestling shirts spotted at the festival, jokes about how Hot Water Music was “easy to romanticize” when they weren’t “around to make boring new albums,” and how he met a punk pig, which is no euphemism—Ricky comes face to snout with a real oinker, a pig-alama-ding dong. It’s probably the same hog we Chicagoans see dragged around by this attention-starved, grown-ass man who brings his pig everywhere: to the fried chicken bar, to our beloved hipster intersections, and now festivals, too, I guess. Poor punk pig. Or, lucky punk pig! Who can say? The zine ends with a section wherein Ricky, who suffers from baby bladder (like so many of us beer lovers), spends a good amount of Jawbreaker’s set in a Port-a-John. And in this way we learn that the old adage is true: it really is all about the journey. I haven’t gone to a festival in a while. Probably because I’m psychologically unfit to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of strangers. But reading about Riot Fest in comic form felt just right. If Ricky had a semi-regular comic column about this or that punk fest, I’d read it for sure. –Jim Joyce (rickyvigil.tumblr.com)
€3, 8”x 11½”, 66 pgs.
I’m at a loss of what to say about Trust #185: it’s still a beautiful, crisp punk zine with distinctly gorgeous black and white photography, experimental fonts, and ninety-nine percent of its writing is in German. The English portion? That went to two zine reviews, one of which was a glowing report on Razorcake #98. Thanks, Trust! They even put out the word for Razorcake’s fundraising needs. Other notes? This issue also features reports on Nuclear Cult, Richtiger Punk, a special on Phoenix Punk, L7, and Hell & Back. If you can read German, then I’m sure you’d love this zine. I’ll mail you my copy. –Jim Joyce (trust-zine.de)
YOU SHOULD HEAR THIS
5½” x 8½”, copied, 4 pgs.
Ricky Vigil of Super Cool and Stuff zine writes a one-off shorty comic about AFI’s All Hallows EP—it makes for a fun mini-celebration of that release. Fun facts from inside? AFI’s cover of “Halloween” is among the finest of Misfits covers, Offspring did an unnecessary cover of “Total Immortal” for a Jim Carrey movie, and “AFI Live on Robbs [sic] Metalwork 2000” will find you a gnarly old AFI performance from the era before Davey Havok dressed in white. If You Should Hear This is a series, I’d definitely read more issues. –Jim Joyce (rickyvigil.tumblr.com)
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