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.  Get in touch with the authors Ingrid or Hannah for your copy!

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!


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Zine Reviews: November '13

The Jellygoose Chronicles, issue #1 (Lisa Stockley, Swanage)

I'm so thankful I happened upon this new perzine at Autumn Zine Fest in Kingston recently. You know when you discover a new zine and you want to tell all the world how ace it is, and end up buying extra copies as presents for friends because it's just that ace? Well, that's how Jellygoose is. It's the creation of artist Lisa Stockley, and her sense of exuberance and fun comes through via lots of whimsical thoughts and drawings. She also includes some serious topics, delivered with humour and personal thoughts. So everything from depression to vegan diet to female sizing in clothes to gendered clothing gets mixed in with more playful stuff (funny cartoons about her life, mentions of Pete Doherty, random thoughts from dogs, Lush products, an ace article about cider vinegar, and so much more) . I just love the way she crams so much in, and you have to go back and read a second or third time around as there are still little bits you might've missed. You can tell she had a lot of fun making it. I don't often go for illustrated zines, but Lisa is one of the zines-makers who is changing my mind. Her art and style is full of so much detail, quite a sense of glee, and is really amazing. I cannot wait for issue two. I love this zine!



Herbs for Mental Well-Being

I picked this zine up at Bradford Baked Zines pop-up zine shop, in the summer. It's a neat mini zine, hand-drawn, and hand-written about natural antidotes. Even though I have a bunch of zines on the topic of herbs, this zine still shed more light and proved invaluable. I found it particularly interesting to read and learn about adaptogens, which are herbs that 'increase the body's resistence to anxiety, stress, fatigue, and trauma'. There is also a recipe for medicinal tea. The idea of food as medicine and any zines about it are great.



Ice Cream For Quo, issue #17 (Stephen Fall, London)

I was so glad when this zine came through my letterbox, as I always am. There aren't many general music zines readily, regularly available in print in the UK that I know of, so I welcome my fix of ICFQ. There are lots of the usual staples this issue, such as Concerts I Have Been To, where people trawl their gig tickets and memories of gigs over the years with many an interesting tale. I love that this can mean discussing Jessie J, Cud, and Dexys on the same page! Room for Ted Chippington too! The regular feature Everything I Know about Pop Music Comes from Radio 4 includes the usual mingle of amusingly related capers. There are articles on LegoLand, unexpected good reads, items on theatre and cinema, and zany overheard bits of conversation across London. It's a nice mix that could only exist outside of the confines of corporate media, and it's all good fun. There is also a wonderful interview with Sarah Nixey, which you don't readily get elsewhere. Back issues are available on the Ice Cream For Quo website - there is so much good stuff involved in each issue, I couldn't recommend this long-running zine more.




This is a guest post by Fliss, founder of SW London and Surrey Zine Collective - thanks so much!  These reviews have been posted a fortnight late due to life stuff getting in the way; forgive me!


Monday, 28 October 2013

Zine Reviews: October '13

Joining the Dots: A Queer Fat Positive Perzine about PCOS
Edited by Holly Casio, England – supercasio @ hotmail.com
My favourite kind of compzine is one that delves into a specific topic, drawing upon facts and myths as well as the writers’ personal experiences.  Joining the Dots is such a zine; dealing with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a common ailment that affects 10% of people with ovaries.  We read all about Holly’s symptoms and her years of struggle to get a diagnosis, where she airs her frustrations and offers advice to fellow sufferers.  All contributors look at PCOS from a queer fat perspective, writing at length about the infuriating tendency in the NHS to recommend weight loss or pregnancy as a means of treatment, prescribing weight-loss drugs instead of treating the PCOS, or worse, to insist that if sufferers aren’t looking to start a family then there is no problem!  I found these sections made me so angry; I can only imagine how frustrating this must’ve been for the writers!  Most content is written by Holly, with some stories from other PCOS sufferers on their experiences with the syndrome.  As well as myth-busting, there is also plenty of good advice here for people who think they may have PCOS, including symptoms and signs to look out for, questions to ask your doctor, medication advice, and some lifestyle changes that may help.  Joining the Dots is such an informative and useful zine, and it’s one of my favourite zines I’ve read since the summer.  Highly recommended!

Team Girl Comic! #5
Edited by Gill Hatcher, Scotland – www.teamgirlcomic.com
I picked up this zine in a zine grab bag, and I’m so delighted that it fell into my hands!  Team Girl Comic is an “all-female comix anthology” featuring a number of short comics by different female artists.  The comics vary stylistically from the highly professional looking to raw/rough hand drawn strips, and each has its own distinctive style and mood.  Some of the topics covered in this zine include heartbreak, job loss, racism, romance and alienation.  If you’re a comic fan and haven’t checked out this zine yet, you need to do so asap!

Oh Venus! #1
Edited by Kerry, Gemma and Mica, UK – oh_venus @ live.com
A new feminist compzine, Oh Venus #1 focuses on a loose theme of female sexuality and sexual awakening.  The contributors express this theme through many different mediums inside these pages, including illustration, mixed media, poetry, and articles on menstruation and ‘inner demons’.  This feminist compzine reminds me a lot of Girls Get Busy, with its scruffy DIY feel and diverse content – fans of that zine series should adore this one too.

Athemaura #6
Written by Fliss, London – http://etsy.com/people/starswirlAnother great issue of Athemaura!  This is sort of a zine about zines; inside, Fliss writes about organising her first zine event at the Stuart Hall library, her history of writing zines, setting up her zine collective ‘SW Zines’, community in the zine scene, and going through the process of cataloguing all the zines in her personal collection.  There are also a few off-topic articles on libraries and charity shops, which fit in nicely with the overarching DIY theme.  Anyone interested in the wider zine scene should find these Athemaura #6 a fascinating glimpse into everything that’s great about zines and the people involved with them!

Shrimp #1
Written by Laura, Midlands – shrimpzine @ gmail.com
Although very short, this “feminist punk craft” zine is a nice peek into the creator Laura’s brain, with writings on punk and academia, why she is a feminist, things she secretly likes, and doodles of her favourite things.  There’s also an interesting guide on making string art, which is something I had never heard of before but seems like such a neat idea!  Grab hold of a copy at Marching Stars distro, or by contacting Laura directly.




Sunday, 13 October 2013

Zine News Round-Up: 13.10.13


image hand-drawn by the amazing Andrea Joseph - thanks!

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

The first issue of Sonorus: Feminist Perspectives on Harry Potter is available to buy now!  Details can be found at http://sonoruszine.wordpress.com.

Mental health perzine Milk and Apples #3 was released this week – check it out at the author’s etsy store:

A new perzine titled ‘Unblissfully #1’ is now available to buy and trade!  Get your copy here.

Your Pretty Face is Going Straight to Hell #19 is out now!  Buy your copy at Vampire Sushi distro.

‘How to Make Zines and Why’, a practical guide to making zines, was released last weekend at BCZF, and is now available to buy at Princesa Pirata distro.

Art zine ‘Trees!’ has been released this month, and is available as a digital or print version for free.  The zine can be downloaded here, and read online here.

2.Upcoming Events

Autumn Zine Fest: 20 October at The Fighting Cocks, Kingston, London. https://www.facebook.com/londonzinefest?fref=ts

Undersea Zines DIY & Cultures Fair: 27 October at Deptford Church Street, London, 11am – 5pm.  There are still tables available – loads of details can be found at http://poemsunderwater.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/undersea-zines-call-for-submissions/

Print Matters: A Fanzine and Self-Publishing Workshop: 25 October at Studio 74, London, 10am.  https://www.facebook.com/events/416975098421100/

BOON MAGAZINE & U-BEND PRESENTS BOON MAGAZINE ISSUE #3 ZINE FAIR: 15 November in Brighton.  The organisers are currently looking for people to submit their zines for sale at the event - for more info email steve @ boon-magazine.co.uk

London Queer Zine Fest: 01 December at Space Station 65, London. https://www.facebook.com/events/160624710775600/?ref=ts&fref=ts

SW Zines Presents A Christmas Zine Social: 07 December at Housmans Radical Book Shop, Kings Cross, 7pm.  http://swzinecollective.weebly.com/events.html

3.Submission Calls

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

‘Stories from Space Camp’ is an alternative sci fi and fantasy quarterly looking for submissions for their first issue.  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.

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

A new zine dealing with death & loss is looking for submissions. We'd like to put a workbook-type zine together, with strategies for & articles on grieving and dealing with death. Get in touch at ipsumATriseupDOTnet.

DUPE is calling for submissions for its third publication: “THE DARK ISSUE" due for release in Winter 2013.We are looking for original and creative material in the form of photography, illustration, collage, writing, poetry, reviews, interviews etc. The work must respond to the theme but it can be interpreted as literally or abstractly as you like.  More details at http://wearedupe.tumblr.com/post/55868960304/call-for-submissions-issue-3-the-dark-issue

4. Distro News

There’s a new distro in town!  Sister Ectoplasma Distro is based in London and specialises in “queer, feminist, perzine, arty” zines.  Check out their catalogue at http://www.sisterectoplasma.co.uk/.

Vampire Sushi zine distro has had a complete website redesign!  Check it out and order some cool zines: www.vampiresushi.co.uk 

Princesa Pirata is now selling their lovely 2014 calendars, plus new zines, on the distro website: http://princesapiratadistro.wordpress.com


5.A.O.B.
 Did we miss anything?  Let us know – spillthezinesuk @ gmail.com .



Monday, 30 September 2013

Zine Reviews: September '13

Oddments #4 and #5
Written by Marceline Smith, Scotland – www.pushpinzines.co.uk
‘Oddments’ is a cute perzine written by Marceline, ownder of UK travel and kawaii distro Pushpin Publishing.  Each issue is themed around a certain thing that Marceline loves - #4 is all about books, and #5 food.  In #4, we read about her favourite old book shops, online distros and book shops she loves, her best secondhand book finds, and independent publications to love.  The centre of the zine features a pull-out mini magazine titled “A Day in the Life: What I Got Up to on Friday 20 April”, which includes details and doodles about what Marceline wore, ate, and did (I love hearing about the details of people’s day-to-day lives!).  In #5, we read about Marceline’s favourite and least-favourite “weird sweets” (including Orangina Haribo, which sound amazing!), favourite things to eat and drink in Japan, favourite food websites, and recent foody reading.  The layouts are clean and plain, entirely black type on white background, with some cute kawaii-style drawings and good use of fonts throughout.  This zine series is always a lovely cheery read!

The Best Friend I Never Met: Notes from an 8-year correspondence
Written by Emma, Exeter – softskeletons.etsy.com
This zine consists of short extracts from 8 years’ worth of emails, letters, phone calls and stories from Emma’s unnamed long-distance best friend.   The content is contemplative and prosaic, touching upon themes of loneliness, friendship, love, distance, heartache, hurt and memories.  Emma’s best friend writes in a beautiful way; I feel this zine will be kept close to hand whenever I want to drift off somewhere for inspiration.  You can find more of Emma’s work at her etsy shop Soft Skeletons.



Animated Review #1
UK – www.animatedreview.com
This 24-page art zine was created to complement www.animatedreview.com, a blog of “inspirational animation” where they feature artwork by selected animators, illustrators and artists.  The zine includes work by their favourite artists featured online, and in their inaugural issue, the editors asked the artists to reinterpret, in their own style, their favourite cartoon character.  The format is very structured, to the point of looking rather professional – each double-page spread features an illustration on one side, and an artist bio on the other.  This format appeals to my systematic mind, and it’s a good way of contextualising the artwork, but it’s not very ‘ziney’ so may not appeal to everyone.  Some of the cartoon characters featured include SuperTed, Sharky and George, He-Man and Jessica Rabbit.  The cover looks like an old school workbook, which I liked, plus this zine was sent to me in a cello bag - I love little touches like that.  Read/see more here: http://bit.ly/137uCnQ

Gravity: Learning to Balance Through Recovery
Written by Vicky Ann Smith, London -
http://www.etsy.com/shop/shapeofourhearts
This thoughtful mental health perzine deals with one woman’s recovery from an eating disorder, self-harm and sexual assault.  Vicky writes about her journey through life living with these issues, her feelings of guilt and low self-worth, recovery, therapy, and her coping mechanisms.  The zine ends with words of encouragement to anyone who is struggling – “we all have our own pace and never be ashamed to cry” and a list of resources.  With the handwritten passages and worksheets from her therapy, this zine feels incredibly intimate.  Vicky also uses a lot of cutesy stickers and images throughout the text which also conveys a sense of vulnerability.  I loved reading this zine – it’s an important topic to talk about, and Vicky writes about her recovery with honesty and wisdom.  ‘Gravity’ can be purchased for £2, and 50% of all sales are donated to ‘Running Without ED’, a charity group raising funds for eating disorder treatments. 

Necronomicon #26
Edited by Neil, Yorkshire
I adore this zine!  Lifelong horror fan Neil writes all about recent horror films and programmes he’s watched; this includes well-known titles such as Walking Dead, Silent Hill and Hannibal Rising, to low-budget British horror.  The zine is mostly made up of Neil’s own reviews, but includes some guest reviews from friends too.  Bonus points from me for the article on his love of Monster High (which, if you haven’t heard of it, is a tween TV show and toy range; the characters are sort of like Bratz, but they’re the daughters of famous monsters, with names such as “Draculaura” and “Frankie Stein”)!  Neil’s enthusiasm for the subject jumps off the page with every paragraph, and it’s totally infectious – his reviews are such fun to read, as he writes about what made him laugh, what frightened him, and what was going on in his life when he watched the film.  It’s also really good value for money at £1.  Fan of horror? You need this zine in your life!

Phaff & Potter #5 and #6
Edited by Rod and Tristrum, Bedfordshire – phaffandpotter.wordpress.com

Phaff and Potter is a bi-monthly irreverent music fanzine, which features single, album and live reviews, but lots of other silly content including bad jokes, fake local music news, local legends, and light-hearted ribbing of pub culture.  Issue 4 features an interview with Jerry Only, founding member of the Misfits, and a funny story titled “The legend of Barry Scott”; issue 5 is the “pub special”, and features a list of their favourite pubs, favourite local ales, and a description of their ideal pub.  I love the scruffy mix-and-match layouts, and the unusual variety of the content – unlike some music fanzines, P&P feels very lovingly made and doesn’t ever take itself seriously!