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

Sep 16, 2021

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)

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MAXIMUM ROCK’N’ROLL #416, $4.99, 8½” x 11½”, newsprint, 103 pgs.

May 23, 2018
This issue begins with a eulogy for Dead Moon’s Fred Cole. My favorite part of it—aside from author Erin Yanke’s point that “death is a part of the deal with being alive”—was the anecdote about Fred Cole working in music stores. Apparently, he had a habit of giving customers ridiculous credit when it came to buying instruments they probably couldn’t afford. The interview with comic artist Liz Prince is spiffy, too. When she’s not grinding out the good stuff for Razorcake, Liz puts out books like Be Your Backing Band. What could she do without? Dorks asking her how to get their unpracticed work published in a snap. One cannot just pick up a pencil and get a graphic novel deal with Scholastic in no time. As Prince says, “years of working on comics in obscurity” and “doing a bunch of different kinds of work” is way more important than hurrying art and chasing popularity. That’s not hating on DIY, that’s holding folks to trying it. We also hear from punks abroad: the band Kenny Kenny Oh Oh of Leipzig mention how the punk scene in Germany is behind U.S. in terms of being down with “gender and queerness” and racial diversity, while Zay of Yokkaichi, Japan say that their song, “There Is No Future in Dreaming of the Past,” is critical of punk band reunions. To them, it seems like old groups copy their past selves, which is sad. Are they saying they wouldn’t pay forty bucks to see Raygun play a bar in Wrigleyville? Maybe. Maybe not. “We just have to believe in what we can’t see,” singer Gori notes, as if to say, Move forward, sailor. Trust yourself to make good new shit, even when there’s no promise we’ll be celebrated for it. Another good’n! –Jim Joyce (Maximum Rock’n’roll, PO Box 460760, SF, CA 94146-0760, maximumrocknroll.com)
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