Monday, 6 October 2014

Goodbye (for now)

Spill the Zines has been publishing regularly - anything from monthly to weekly - for 3 and a half years.  During that time, I've had a huge amount of positive feedback from people who are grateful for STZ's good work for the zine community.

I have been running the whole thing solo, always alongside various jobs, volunteer work, and personal pursuits.  It's a lot of work for 1 person, but it's a labour of love.  I adore zines, always have, and want to share my enthusiasm and interest with the wider UK zine community.

However, as of this autumn I am now in a place where I have 2 simultaneous careers - my day job, where I work in equality & diversity in Higher Education, and my evening job as a singer/songwriter solopreneur.  I adore my work, but of course demanding engaging jobs take up enormous amounts of energy! Alongside my regular work, I'm also co-chair of the LGBT+ Staff Network, an avid runner, writer, zinester, cosplayer, dog parent, and so much more.

It's come to the point where I can no longer commit enough energy to maintain Spill the Zines.  Therefore, after a great deal of thought, I've decided to put STZ on a long-term hiatus in order to have a breather and reassess things.  I hope you will all understand my reasoning behind this.

I will still be using the Spill the Zines Twitter account frequently, and sometimes the Facebook account, to share your UK zine news.  Please do follow me on those platforms to stay in touch!

Until we meet again, happy zineing!  It's been a blast.

Cath x

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Zine Reviews: September 2014

This is a guest post by Ann-Marie.  Ann-Marie likes tea, cats, collecting junk and being creative. She blogs about her adventures over at www.lettersfromlimboo.blogspot.com  
She also has a fun facebook page where she posts regularly about zines and cats!  www.facebook.com/kittenbreathdistro



Witch's Hat
Esther McManus, London
www.esthermcmanus.co.uk


There is so much to love about this zine! It had all my favourite things in it- like crows, cats, a gnarly old witch, its set in a wild enchanted forest and of course there's Esther's magical art work too! Witch's Hat is a joyfully spooky zine that makes you curious about the strange doings of birds and beasts..and witch's too. The more you look at this zine, the more details you notice hiding amongst the foliage. Esther's work is always top notch quality stuff. Looking at it you can see its made with loads and loads of love and care and magic witchy powers. A fantastic zine that I would definitely recommend.



Recycled Air
Jenny Harkins, Edinburgh
www.etsy.com/shop/luckyscissors


This is a lovely autobiographical/art minizine by Jenny, a Scottish artist based in Edinburgh. She says it's about "breathing in on a sunday night", which has a nice poetry all of its own. The zine mixes some black and white photos that Jenny took on a bus journey to Glasgow, with bright, bold illustrations in colour. I like to think the illustrations are of things Jenny found in her bag while she was looking for something else.. The things that were tangled in her headphones.. I really like the powerful little details she selected to draw.. It's a short zine but communicates a lot in its 8 pages.


Haphephobia
Ellice Weaver, Bristol
www.elliceweaverillustration.wordpress.com

This is a funny and interesting collection of autobiographical comics. It's a revealingly personal, sweet and eccentric zine where we get to know Ellice quite well. The artwork has a nice nervous energy about it that I liked a lot and suited her misadventure stories. The zine is peppered with Ellice's random thoughts that are often hilarious. It's an offbeat dark comedy that mixes the mundane and the surreal in a charming and entertaining way.



Teagle Comics 1
Jack Teagle, Cornwall
I love Jack Teagle. This zine collects some damn fine new comics by Jack. There's a lot of fun heroic fantasy action and it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the stories. Jack's characters are eternally fighting! Fighting for a better world, and to protect the vulnerable. There are some colourful entities in this - hero's, misfits, and monsters.. It's hard to pick a favourite but Catheadarmman is pretty awesome! I have no idea where Jack will go with these stories and I can't wait till the next issue. Im completely hooked.


Super Smooth
Emma Ahlqvist, Edinburgh
This is an earlier comic of Emma's but also the first one I checked out. I was drawn to the dreamy water colour artwork. Emma is a Swedish artist who lives and works in Edinburgh. She says her comics are inspired by growing up in Sweden. This zine is about a young guy who struggles to find his way in life and decides to leave home and live in isolation. It's a cool zine and funny in an offbeat way. Emma is a talented writer as well as a great artist. The story is easy to slip into and you wont regret it if you check it out.

Elderflower 1
Sarah, Staffordshire
This is a sweet and lovely perzine in which Sarah introduces herself to her readers. She's a happy sad misfit who is learning to look after herself and to cope with her problems. She writes about her mental and physical health, useless doctors and lots of little things that make her happy, as well as things that make her feel bad. It's very much like reading a letter from a new (and very cool!) penpal. Sarah is a sensitive, magical, creative person who is full of love and sadness. I enjoyed this zine a lot and you will too, so check it out!


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

July is International Zine Month 2014!


The month of July is dedicated to a celebration of zines and independent publishing with people all over the world. This is not a spectator sport - you must get involved!  When posting online about International Zine Month use the hashtag #IZM2014.  Here are 31 suggested activities for each day of IZM 2014:

Get Ready!

-Sign in to WeMakeZines.ning.com & write about IZM

-Sign up for the 24 hour zine challenge (24hourzines.com)

-Use #IZM2014 when writing online about International Zine Month


GO!

1 – Make a Top 10 list of reasons why your love zines!

2 – Re-read your favorite zines – Let’s remember why we fell in love with zines in the first place!

3 – Zine Distro Appreciation Day! Order from a zine distro.

4 – Read a zine from a country other than your own: There are so many fantastic zines from around the world!

5 – Teach yourself a new zine skill: learn how to book bind, make a 1 page zine, photocopier art, etc.

6 – Check out ZineWiki.org and add your zine or update existing entries.

7 – Make some envelopes or postcards for postal week

8 – Make a flyer for your zine to send with trades or orders and see if other people will trade for stacks of them so you can all promote each other.

9 – Write a letter to a zine maker that you don’t know

10 – Send a care package to a zine friend

11 – Make some mail art!

12 – Send your zine out to be reviewed

13 – Zine Trade Day! Ask someone if they would like to trade zines with you.

14 – ValenZINE’s Day! Write to ZineCrush.com (or write to your zine crush!)

15 – Leave a zine in public for someone else to find: leave your zine at a bus stop, bathroom, waiting room, or anywhere else someone will find it!

16 – Send your zine to a distro for consideration

17 – Review a zine online or write a review to share

18 – Order from a different zine distro than usual

19 – Zine Shop appreciation day! Try to find a local shop that sells zine or see if you can get a local store to stock zines!

20 – Free Zine Day! Give your zine away to someone.

21 – International Zine Library Day! Visit your local zine library!

22 – Send your zine to a zine library

23 – Make a 1 page zine. Here are some instructions.

24 – Organize your zine collection

25 – Teach a friend or family member about zines

26- Submit something to a compilation zine

27 – Organize a zine event!  any size! big or small!

28 – Cook with a recipe from a zine or cook zine!

29- Post a photo of you with your zine or zine collection.

30 – Read some zines!  Lay in bed & read zines all day if you can

31 – HallowZINE: Remember zines and zinesters that are no longer with us. Light a candle at the virtual HallowZine shrine.



EXTRA CREDIT

-Read a zine everyday

-Attend a zine event

-do a 24 hour zine: sign up at 24hourzines.com

-post your progress on your blog or on We Make Zines

-Drawa comic a day then release a comic zine

-Write about your progress daily online

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Reblogged from Alex Wrekk's zinetastic blog Stolen Sharpie Revolution!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Zine Reviews, June '14

photo via Stephanie Male

Seymour #1
Written by Kimberley, England – kbooth230AThotmail.com
This new perzine lies in the centre of a venn diagram of things I love reading about – mental health, personal collections, and Ghost World!  The zine is named after a character in Ghost World who obsessively collects old stuff and cannot connect with others around him.  Kimberley writes about her OCD and how she swings between collecting and living minimally.  There’s also some smart discussion of the relationship between collections/hoarding and class – i.e. that wealthy people will cultivate collections purely to show that they have money, or conversely will keep a decluttered house so as not to ruin their pristine show homes, whereas less wealthy people can’t afford this luxury, and must stock up on special offers and fun things while they can afford to.  She also discusses her own anxieties surrounding her financial situation and how this relates to her relationship with collecting.  This zine is short, smart, and gave me a lot to think about.  Highly recommended!

Different Times: Drag, Life, Rock n Roll
Written by Simon/Mona, London – compleineATyahoo.com
Different Times documents the author’s time in an all-drag punk band called Six Inch Killaz, where he played fuzz and feedback guitar under his drag name Mona (taken from a Bo Diddly record).  Simon also discusses the broader context of where the band was situated – the drag scene in the 90s, the crossover of underground drag culture into the mainstream, the wider drag and queer scenes, DIY and zine cultures, sex work, the ups and downs of being in a band, and the complexities of their relationships.  It’s very detailed and emotionally honest, littered with Simon’s emotive illustrations of people, posters, and zines, which adds a really personal touch to this memoir-esque zine.   Different Times was such an interesting read; if you’re interested in the intersection of punk music and queer/trans issues then I can’t recommend this zine enough.

Ten by 10 #2
Edited by Christina, England – http://10x10fanzine.tumblr.com
This is an interesting concept for a zine series - every edition revolves around one single theme explored through ten interviews to ten people, each consisting of ten questions!  This issue is subtitled “Young Creative Professionals”, and features ten young artists discussing their education, early career paths, their inspirations and their aspirations.  Ten by 10 toes the line between zine and magazine – while the distribution size would class it as a zine, and the concept is quite ziney, the interior has a clean slick design that would not feel out of place on a newsstand.  You can download the free digital version online at the link above, or purchase a print copy.

Shelf Life #1
Written by Stephanie, Somerset – http://stephaniemale.wordpress.com
This short half-sized perzine (pictured above) is Stephanie’s first, and was conceived after she read Alex Wrekk’s amazing zine manual Stolen Sharpie Revolution!  I always love reading about people’s “aha!” moments when they realise that they too can make their own zine!  We also read a long piece expanding on the zine series title, where she writes about feeling as though she lives her life on a shelf, gathering dust.  The content is largely your typical perzine fare (which is no criticism, as I love perzines) – there are some musings on identity, regrets and insecurities, a piece on her experiences with roller derby, all rounded off with a page of favourite things.  The layouts are really cool too, cut and paste sentences and words laid out over dark patterned backgrounds.  A lovely quick read.

Bi Community News #123
Edited by Jen, Manchester - www.bicommunitynews.co.uk
I have nothing but good things to say about BCN.  It’s the UK’s biggest-selling bisexual (maga)zine with lots of great resources on offer including local group listings, news, upcoming events, national bi organisations, and publications of interest.  Alongside the regulars we read some longer articles and opinion pieces; this issue features writings on the experiences of bisexual women, stereotypes and stigmas attached to bisexuality, gender and sexuality in Doctor Who (as a queer Whovian, I bloody loved this article!), Tom Daley’s coming out video, and addressing biphobia in UK schools.  Seriously, if you’re a bisexual zinester, get on this and buy yourself a subscription (they are so cheap for what you get!).  Also, Jen is always looking for contributors, so do consider submitting something for publication (editorATbicommunitynews.co.uk).

Sam Russo’s Euro Tour Diary May 2013
Edited by Rob, UK - http://samrusso.tumblr.com/
This half-sized music/perzine is a 38-page, 11-part tour diary written by singer-songwriter Sam Russo on his European tour in May 2013.  Each section focuses on a city he visited, including Geneva, Salzburg, Vienna, Berlin, and Hamburg, where he writes about the gig itself, as well as the journey, the sights of the city, and various funny/interesting/noteworthy interactions and occurrences.  It’s a clean layout of black text on white plain background, featuring photos from the tour.  Check out Sam’s music and more at the link above.


p.s. want more zine reviews?  Check out my previous review posts here! 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Zine News Round-Up, 16.03.14




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1.            New Releases
2.            Upcoming Events
3.            Submission Calls
4.            A.O.B.
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1.New Releases

Poor Lass, a zine about working-class women, released its 3rd issue this month!  Details here: https://www.facebook.com/PoorLassZine  

Split perzine ‘Mythologising Me #8 / Not Lonely #8’ was published this weekend. Buy your copy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/mythologisingme!

Issue #123 of Bi Community News, the UK’s biggest-selling bisexual zine, is available to buy now at http://bicommunitynews.co.uk/.  They also offer great subscription rates!

I published a full colour zine titled ‘Ways in which I am like my dog’, which is available to buy from my website for 50p! www.catherineelms.co.uk

New UK perzine Shelf Life is out now, featuring pieces on anxiety, obsessions, roller derby and university.  Buy a copy at http://etsy.com/uk/listing/177435234/shelf-life-1-zine.

Literary zine Hand Job #4 is out now!  Check it out at http://handjobzine.wordpress.com.

UK perzine Opinionated Nobody #7 is out now, which is all about the author turning 30.  Contact Rebs at clumsykisses @ gmail.com to buy or trade a copy.

D&D Virgin #2 is out now – buy a copy at www.marchingstars.co.uk.

MH perzine Unblissfully #2 was published last month – buy a copy at the author’s etsy store.

Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell #19 was published this weekend!  Details on buying/trading can be found here: http://tukru.vampiresushi.co.uk/blog/?p=514

Burnout (a minizine about burnout and self-care) is available for only 50p from Cool Schmool: http://coolschmool.bigcartel.com/product/burnout 

Athemaura #12 was also published this weekend, in time for Yorkshire Zine Weekender (you've all been such busy bees!) - lots of info here: http://athemaura.weebly.com/1/post/2014/03/new-issue-of-athemaura.html 


2.Upcoming Events

'Dare to be free': a women's history zine making workshop: 29th March 2014, 13.30-16.30 at The National Archives in Kew.  A collaborative zine will be made during the course of the workshop!  Info here: http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/events/dare-to-be-free.htm

Alternative Press Fair: 10 May 2014, Bishopsgate Institute, London.  To take part as an exhibitor please apply for a table here: www.alternativepress.org.uk.   Spaces are limited and deadline is 5pm on 19th March.

Dublin Zine Fair: August 2014, date TBC.  The organisers are offering FREE tables for international zinesters, so email asap to register your interest!  Sarahbracken @ hotmail.com.


3.Submission Calls

‘Stories from Space Camp’ is looking for submissions for their second issue, on the theme of “bodies”.  Submissions from people who feel alienated from mainstream sci fi & fantasy media are particularly welcome. Check out the Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/StoriesFromSpaceCamp.

‘Sonorus: Feminist Perspectives on Harry Potter’ is looking for submissions for its second issue – deadline now extended to 29 March!  Lots of details on the website: http://sonoruszine.wordpress.com

Hand Job Literary Zine are looking for submissions for their next issue!  Email the editors at handjobzine @ gmail.com for more info, or visit www.handjobzine.wordpress.com.


4.A.O.B.


Did we miss anything?  Let us know – spillthezinesuk @ gmail.com .

Monday, 10 March 2014

My Newfound Love Of Comic Zines

Image taken from Wikipedia (in public domain)

This is a guest post by Fliss, founder of SW London and Surrey Zine Collective - thanks so much! 

There can be a divide between perzines/text-heavy zines and illustration/comic/art zines, though they sometimes meet in the middle. I don't mind admitting that I used to have a barrier between me and comic 'zines. It's true that I will never have any love for the super-hero stuff - though I don't dismiss that trait of loving them, in other people - but now I have seriously warmed to comic style 'zines. That is, hand-drawn picture-filled 'zines, sometimes done as strips/stories, sometimes as accompaniment to personal writing, sometimes the dominant narrative.

I think the zines that first turned me around was a music zine by Sammy Boras. The topic and slant of humour helped, but her drawings/comics are just so skilful and full of personality. The first zine by Sammy Boras I bought was This is Not A Serious Music Publication, and it was really good fun. The bands did not have to be ones I know/love for me to fall in love with Sammy's work. She makes many other zines, so do check out her Etsy shop. She makes the most incredible zine badges too!

Soon after this, I met Lisa Stockley at a zine fair, and was so smitten by her perzine which also had her drawings in. The Jellygoose Chronicles zine is just so cool! It was a real breath of fresh air - dealing with serious issues like bulimia, as well as larking about and jotting down nice bits of personal trivia, and with the most detailed and careful and wonderful drawings/art. This felt like a real turning point when I became totally open to more comic style zines.

Another zine that gets my vote is by Joe Besford. His work with Earthling Brains is excellent fun. He uploads a weekly comic strip, chronicling little life incidents/thoughts/jokes, on his site. But I much prefer to have the printed collection to go through. One of my favourite strips recently from him was the one about work! It features a contamination tank and at one end is the 'work' version of Joe all tired and stressed in a work suit - and at the other end is the smiling, relaxed, comfy-clothed Joe. He also sneaks in quite as few indie references, which I always appreciate.

Comics are a good way of promoting political messages quickly or with humour. There are a lot of really good ones like this for sale at 56a Infoshop in London.


I'm sure to be overlooking a good many other great comic zines here, but I just wanted to start writing about the ones I have started to find and enjoy so far. I am looking forward to discovering a lot more comic zines in the future.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Zine Reviews, February '14

Stories From Space Camp #1
Edited by Will, London – storiesfromspacecamp.tumblr.com
Subtitled “reclaiming speculative fiction for the rest of us”, this science-fiction and fantasy quarterly zine is for people who sometimes feel unwelcome in mainstream sci-fi and fantasy culture.  3 long pieces of sci-fi flash fiction take up a large proportion of the zine, and while I’m not usually a fan of flash fiction, I actually really enjoyed reading them.  The editor writes an interesting piece about how NASA would never allow sick or disabled people into their space programmes, but that this isn’t an issue in science fiction – Will writes, “The fiction part of science fiction makes me welcome”.  There’s a funny piece titled “Dear Robots”, issuing robots pointers on how to assimilate into human culture, and following this a review of a nuclear bunker leaflet from the 1980s.  My personal favourite part of this zine is an amazing article about the sexist depiction of female companions in Steven Moffat’s ‘Doctor Who’ - as a feminist Whovian, I found myself punching the air while reading this!  I adore the concept of this zine, and the content was so well-written and smart. (I hope to eventually get my butt into gear and submit something myself).  Get your hands on your own copy at their tumblr.  Also, if you are into tumblr, I highly recommend following them, as they reblog some awesome and right-on stuff.

One of My Kind #2
Edited by Sofia, Rose, Heiba and Sabba, London – www.oomk.net
One Of My Kind is a visual feminist compzine, the content of which “pivots upon the imaginations, creativity and spirituality of women”.  This issue focuses on the role of print in art and activism, and features artists and artwork that explore issues including race, body image, sexualisation, spirituality, poverty, DIY activism, entrepreneurship, and more.  Also included are pieces of original artwork contributed by female artists, which include illustrations, lino prints, posters, textiles, and photography (digital and Polaroid).  Visually, the zine is difficult to describe – with its clean magazine-style layouts, colour photos, length (112 pages!) and professional binding, it feels more like a book to read, although the nature of the content is very ziney.  I thoroughly enjoyed OOMK; there’s plenty of varied content, and it focuses on some really important issues.  You can read a free online preview here, or purchase a copy at one of these stockists.

Elderflower #1
Sarah, Coventry – sleepysarah@icloud.com
A warm, cozy little zine created by the author of zine series ‘Elderflower Tea’, this new zine series represents a more honest look at the author’s life, rather than “hiding behind a rose tinted version”.  I loved this line from the opening page, which I felt was a really nice summation of her writing in this issue: “I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be”.  Sarah writes about some recent difficulties in her life, including a mental health relapse, developing chronic pain and fatigue, and heartache.  She then discusses the ways she is trying to heal and care for herself.  The layouts are beautiful – stickers and dainty backgrounds and typewritten text.  Email Sarah to buy or trade a copy. 

The Monkey Wrench Manual vol. 1
Spike, London – http://www.waldenpress.co.uk/

One of the more inventive zines I’ve read for a long time, The Monkey Wrench Manual is a survival guide for people who find themselves “alive at the peak of industrialised civilization”.  It’s a satirical look at modern capitalist culture, with guides on sabotaging industrial machinery which are “destroying your natural habitat”, a stink bomb recipe, instructions on how to vandalise a self-service checkout, and thoughts on how parts of our body are reduced to ways in which they are “economically exploitable”.  There’s also a very inventive poem about the decline of civilization created with brand name - “THE SUN in the SKY has a new ORANGE glow, that fails to make APPLE or BLACKBERRY grow”!  Also included near the end are post-apocalypse survival tips, including how to survive without electricity and how to clean your water supply.  The visual style is so so cool – it’s all printed in a broadsheet folded-newspaper style, folded down to slightly bigger than ¼ sized, entirely letterpressed in red and black ink (I instagrammed some pictures from the interior pages if you're interested to see more).  It folds out really nicely too, with each unfolding revealing new content (i.e. you don’t have to unfold the whole thing and then read it like a broadsheet from cover to cover).  The zine is free when you order something from the store above, so get your buns over there.


Playerist #3
Edited by Martin, UK - Facebook.com/playerist
Playerist is a literary (maga)zine featuring poetry, prose, and artwork that “supports the best practice of established and emergent artists and writers from the UK and world-wide”.  On their Facebook page, the editor writes that this issue is on the broad theme of “comedy”, though as enjoyable as the content was, I wouldn't describe any of it as funny exactly (except perhaps the ‘Pasta Phelps’ sauce illustration, which was very good!).  The zine itself is very stark – black typewriter-like font laid on white background, printed in a neat and uniform way.  Each piece is presented on its own with no title or author name (these are all listed at the front), and all contributor biographies are available to read on the facebook page instead.  I would have preferred to have been able to read the contributor biographies in the zine itself - perhaps people enjoy that kind of multimedia approach, but it’s not for me; I like zines to be little self-contained universes that you can get lost in, with more info about the people behind the words.  Unfortunately, Playerist didn’t contain enough content for me to really get my teeth into. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Zine Reviews: Queer Zine Fest London Edition!

In December, Spill the Zines tabled at Queer Zine Fest London, and had an amazing time!



Here is my haul of zines bought and traded on the day:





And here are some reviews of my fave UK zines I picked up on the day!



Pits Against Patriarchy #1
Edited by ‘Armpits for August’  - www.armpitsforaugust.org
This lovely DIY compzine is created by the people behind Armpits 4 August; if you haven’t already heard of it, A4A is a month-long charity campaign which encourages women to grow their armpit hair to raise money for PCOS charity Verity.  The zine features people who’ve taken part in Armpits 4 August, where they discuss their feelings on their own body hair, and the cultural beauty ideal of the hairless woman and how this has affected their relationships with their bodies.  All the articles follow the same structure - "I thought my hair was gross, I tried growing it out, now I love it" and focuses more on personal stories rather than critical analysis/critique.  The tone is positive and light-hearted, with a mixture of long pieces, short pieces, Q&As and artwork.  It was also good to see some trans and genderqueer voices featured in the zine, though I would've liked some more!  Not only that, but all proceeds are donated to Verity – what better reasons do you need to buy a copy?

Milk & Apples #3
By Human Bean Zines, Surrey – etsy.com/shop/humanbeanzines
Milk and Apples is a perzine that documents the author’s chaotic life with a mental health condition.  In the third issue, they write about having visits from the Home Treatment Team and the stress of attempting to discuss personal problems with strangers in your home, anger at hearing people talk shit about “scroungers” and people who claim disability benefits being too lazy to work or “pretending to be ill”, moving house every few months due to anxiety, paranoia, and leaving university, and how they cope with stress.  The layouts seemed more complex and interesting in this issue – lots of stamped letters, cut and pasted sentences, and collaged backgrounds.  Can’t recommend this zine series enough!

Weird At WorkAnon, London – librariesforsociety at gmail dot com 
This zine features 3 pages of vented frustrations about the author’s job on topics such as inane conversation, alienation, and feeling untidy next to the perfectly preened co-workers.  There’s also a little folded sheet inside listing her “panic travel kit” essentials.  It’s a small hodge-podge zine, but it packs a punch, and I could relate to her frustrations!  Get in touch at the email address above for a copy of this zine.

Bad Poetry For Pro-Lifers
By Charlotte, London – charlottecooper.net
This densely-packed minizine opens with an explanation for the creation of the zine – a few weeks previously, anti-choice activists 40 Days for Life protested an abortion clinic on the street where the author lives, intimidating and harassing the people accessing the clinic services.  Frustrated at her inability to “undermine the protester’s bulletproof piety”, she decided to channel her frustrations into a zine of bad poetry.  The poems are very funny, gently poking fun at standard pro-life arguments.  A quick fun read!

Adventures in Menstruating: Poetry/Comic Special (June 2013)
Edited by Chella Quint, Sheffield –
www.chartyourcycle.wordpress.com
This split special issue of Adventures in Menstruating is divided into 2 halves – one consists entirely of comics on topics including the feminine hygiene industry, unexpectedly early periods, and ways to brighten up your period, the other half features menses-themed poetry including ‘To The Leaking Girl’, ‘Song of the Mooncup’ and ‘The Ballad of “Bloody Beauty” Barbie’.  Very funny and period-positive!

Weak & Lovely
Anon, UK – weakandlovelyAThotmail.com
This half-sized compzine is about feminists with eating disorders, and feminist perspectives on eating disorders.  It’s such a good read, and incredibly well-paced – between the longer thoughtful pieces on their own experiences with ED, the author disperses artwork and comics; these explore feelings of anger, guilt, self-hate, pain, alienation, inadequacy, as well as larger critiques of our misogynistic culture which values thinness above all else.  The zine ends with a cathartic scene where the author, infuriated by subliminal sexist messaging, murders the anthropomorphised couple Patriarchy and Capitalism!  The writers take great care in unpacking the idea that “proper” feminists and political activists would never develop an eating disorder, and exploring the pervasiveness of the super-skinny beauty ideal that so many western women are hammered with on a daily basis.  I also adore the beauty magazine parody cover!

Ffwff #1
Edited by Heledd, Bangor - daldydinAThotmail.co.uk
This zine is AMAZING!  It’s a welsh language anarchafeminist zine (‘ffwff’ is welsh for ‘foof’, in case you hadn’t already guessed!), and features drawings, interviews, poetry and a long piece on anarchafeminism, including a profile of prominent figure Emma Goldman.  The layout is cut-and-paste, messy and typewritten (which as you all know I adore), plus it’s completely free!  If you’re a welsh-speaking feminist, you need this zine in your life!

Hard Femme #2
Edited by Kirsty, England – http://kirstywinters.etsy.com
The second issue of Kirsty’s perzine has a broader scope than #1, focusing not only on her relationship to femme identity but also issues of class, embodiment, and sexuality.  It mostly features artwork and articles by Kirsty herself, with pieces including her hard femme heroes, not having a “home town”, tattoos, exercise, poverty, and self-care.   There are also a few contributed pieces by other hard femme writers, who deal with issues including non-traditional femininity, internalised femmephobia, hard femme cycling, and gender identity.  The message of the zine is positive and strong, ending on an inspiring note to the reader about never giving up.  I love Kirsty's work so much, and this zine is probably my favourite find from QZFL!


Shape of My Heart #1
Vicky-Ann Smith, London – www.vickyannsmith.com
A beautiful mental health perzine written by the author of ‘Gravity’, an eating disorder recovery zine that was reviewed here.  Vicky talks about her history of anxiety and depression, her symptoms and coping methods, her relationship with work as a goal to keep moving for, the healing power of nature, and creating a new sense of self after recovery.  It’s very honest, with lots of personal touches including handwriting, simple collages, and personal photographs. She is very passionate about ending the stigma surrounding mental health and sexual assault, and I think zines like this are an incredibly useful tool towards that end. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Zine News Round-Up, 12.01.14

via @fanzines

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1.         New Releases
2.         Upcoming Events
3.         Submission Calls
4.         A.O.B.
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1.New Releases

Sci-fi and fantasy quarterly zine ‘Stories From Space Camp’ published its first issue this month. This issue’s theme is “assimilation and liberation”.  To buy a copy, get in touch with the editor at http://storiesfromspacecamp.tumblr.com/post/72497962890/stories-from-space-camp-is-a-zine-featuring

Long-running review blog ‘The Girls Are’ published its first paper issue in December!  It’s dedicated to women in music, and features articles, reviews, artwork and more.  Buy a copy at their store: http://www.thegirlsare.com/store/

Litzine ‘Handjob’ has published its second issue this winter – to buy copies, visit handjobzine.bigcartel.com

The  new winter issue of compzine ‘What’s the time, Mrs Woolf’ is out now! Previews and further information at http://whatsthetimemrswoolf.tumblr.com/post/69871784557.

Issue #2 of feminist perzine ‘Sympathy for the Strawberry’ is available to buy or trade now – to get your hands on a copy, get in touch with the author Caitlin.

Split perzine ‘Hedgehog in the Fog #6 / Not Lonely #7’ was published last week.  Get in touch with the authors Emma or Hannah for your copy!

‘Adventures in Menstruating Comic/Poetry Special #1’ was published in time for last month’s Queer Zine Fest London, and can be purchased at Marching Stars distro.

Issue #122 of Bi Community News, the UK’s biggest-selling bisexual zine, is available to buy now at http://bicommunitynews.co.uk/back-issues/.  They also offer great subscription rates!


2.Upcoming Events

Salford Zine Library Classification Party: Saturday 18 January, 2pm @ Salford Zine Library, Manchester.  Details and RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1444558759091248/

Margate Zine Fair: Saturday 1st – Sunday 2nd February.  Including workshops and live music.  Details here: http://wolfzines.tumblr.com/margatezinefair

Yorkshire Zine Weekender: Saturday 15th – Sunday 16th March, Sheffield and Leeds.  Sheffield Zine Fest will take place on Saturday 15th at Electric Works, then Leeds Zine Fair will be on Sunday 16th.  Check out this page for more information on the event, and how to apply for a table or workshop: http://sheffieldzinefest.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/sheffield-zine-fest-and-yorkshire-zine-weekender-2014/


3.Submission Calls

Poor Lass, a zine about working-class women, is looking for submissions for its 4th issue!  The theme is ‘relationships’. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/PoorLassZine

‘Stories from Space Camp’ is looking for submissions for their second issue, on the theme of “bodies”.  Submissions from people who feel alienated from mainstream sci fi & fantasy media are particularly welcome. Check out the Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/StoriesFromSpaceCamp.

‘Sonorus: Feminist Perspectives on Harry Potter’ is looking for submissions for its second issue!  Lots of details on the website: http://sonoruszine.wordpress.com

Litzine ‘Hand Job’ is looking for written work to publish in its third issue.   For more details, or to get hold of issues 1 and 2, email handjobzine @ gmail.com.

‘Hard Femme’ #3 is looking for submissions!  Hard femme is about “being tough, poor, awkward, queer and non-traditionally femme in any way”.  Lots of details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/474013216041761/


4.A.O.B.

Check out this interesting new website dedicated to all things zines – Secrets of the Photocopier: mapping English-speaking zine culture.

 Did we miss anything?  Let us know – spillthezinesuk @ gmail.com .



Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Zine Reviews: December '13

Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight to Hell #19
Written by Tukru, Kent – www.vampiresushi.co.uk
The 19th issue of Tukru’s long-running perzine focuses on her new venture, an all-female punk band called Sean Bean Death Scene (best band name ever?)!  It’s a passionate and buoyant zine, focusing on how excited Tukru really is “to be finally really doing this rock n roll thing”; we read detailed and enthusiastic accounts of the formation of the band, rehearsals, and the first few gigs, as well as future plans for the band.  The interior is laid out in Tukru’s signature cute cut and paste designs, with lots of music related imagery and gig posters.  The cover is full cover, featuring a little photo of the band together.  Such a good zine!

Pissy Paws #1
Written by Neil, Yorkshire – honestrabbitAThotmail.com
This is the first perzine written by Neil, author of long-running horror fanzine Necronomicon.  It’s a densely-packed text heavy zine that focuses on details of his life and formative past experiences, and you leave feeling like you know the author pretty well.  Some of the topics Neil discusses include his lifelong love for zines, his favourite and least favourite pets from over the years, his scars, noisy neighbours, playing cruel games, voluntary work and having to deal with horrible bosses (you wouldn’t think you’d find horrible people in the charity sector!), playing cruel games, and his love of “pissing and shitting yourself stories”.  Neil writes in such a lively and entertaining way, it’s a great read and I hope there’s a second issue soon!

Mythologising Me: Seven is for Kitty Heaven
Ingrid, Oxford – mythologisingme.tumblr.com
The 7th issue of Ingrid’s perzine is all about how 2013 was the hardest year of her life; her difficult experiences, the things she accomplished, and her hopes for the future.  The zine largely centres around her moving away from home to study a masters, and the difficulties of finding a relevant job after graduation.  While Ingrid writes about many things she struggled with (money, overwhelm, loss), we also read about the positive things that she experienced, including visiting Norway, running 5k for charity, and volunteering at a music festival.  The zine is subtitled “seven is for kitty heaven” in memory of Ingrid’s beloved cat Munchie, who sadly passed away a week before she finished the zine. L  This is definitely my favourite issue of Mythologising Me, so if you’re new to the zine series this is a good place to start.

Unblissfully #1
Lisa, Petersfield –
http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/unblissfully
This is the latest zine by Lisa, the lady behind ‘Japanese Whispers’ and discontinued zine series ‘Sometimes I’m Dreaming’.  Inside, we read about her past love for roller derby, her love of autumn, tarot card readings, and interpersonal growth.  Lisa’s zines have a gentle thoughtful feel, with soft clean layouts featuring floral themes, butterflies, stamped lettering and her gorgeous handwriting (seriously, Lisa’s handwriting might be the most beautiful handwriting ever). 

New To Feminism? Try These...
Kat, Swansea - @polygluttony
A free little minizine packed full of feminist book recommendations for beginners, although the suggestions are also good for seasoned feminists (I’ve only read 2 of the books listed!).  Contact the creator Kat via Twitter to request a copy.

How To Make Zines and Why
Tiitu – available at http://princesapiratadistro.wordpress.com
The title pretty much says it all with this one – it’s a detailed guide on how to put together zines of different sizes, with tips on photocopying, assembly, and colours, and a few reasons as to why you should make your own zine.  It’s only 50p and it’s in copyleft (i.e. you can copy and distribute it yourself, as long as you sell it at a reasonable price) so buy one, copy a few, and spread the word!