Sunday, 31 March 2013

Zine Reviews: March '13

Social Notworking
Sofia Niazi, England –
A cute little comic zine about the phenomenon of  Social Network Syndrome (SNS), written by imaginary scientist Dr Gustav von Schneider.  In this study, he details the development of SNS, the symptoms (compulsive behaviour, unfounded anxiety, and loss of concentration), experiments, psychotherapy notes, and the 4 distinctive types of SNS sufferers.  Presented as a scientific study, complete with observations and conclusions, this zine is so original and entertaining!

Opinionated Nobody #2
Inside this lovely little perzine, Rebecca writes introspective stories which reveal a great deal about her personal life, including going on a “fat swimming trip” organised by the Yorkshire Rad Fat Collective, her fascination with the Christian Patriarchy Movement, her favourite bed, meeting up with some zinesters at last year’s Little Zine Party, thoughts on religion after studying theology at university, and her love of to-do lists.  Rebecca’s style of writing is nice and easy to read, and I love how it feels you get to know Rebecca well when reading her zines.  I like the layouts too – clean and neat, with handwriting and computer-printed text.  Email or write to Rebecca to grab a copy.

Athemaura #3
Anon, Surrey – 
A half-sized, horizontal zine with a cool tracing paper cover and messy cut-and-pastey layouts, Athemaura #3 is more personal than previous issues, focusing on details from the author's life.  Inside, we read a long piece about her struggles working with difficult colleagues in her beloved library, which escalated to the point where she had to resign.  She then goes on to discuss the positive things that she has done since, including volunteering with a wildlife project, growing vegetables, and cat-sitting.  We also read about the death of her beautiful dog Jazz (along with a photo – what a cutie!), and some thoughts on bullying in adulthood, and how we should speak out when we witness people being shitty to others.  Though she writes about some upsetting and frustrating experiences (I felt sooo angry when reading about her awful colleagues at the library!), she seems to take a positive approach to it all, encouraging the reader to learn from horrible incidents in their lives, and to be aware of what’s going on around them and help others in need. 

Paper and Ink Vol. 1: Broken Hearts and Broken Bottles
Edited by Martin Appleby, England –
Paper and Ink is a collaborative literary zine featuring short stories and poetry by a selection of writers.  The theme is heartbreak, and the featured pieces are all good quality and lovely to read.  The layouts are clean and functional – black text printed on white background, with lots of blank space on each page, and a different font used for each contributor, which I thought was a nice touch.  It’s quite short at 14 pages, so I managed to devour it very quickly! One of the better lit zines I've read for a long time.

Buy Her Candy #3
Buy Her Candy is a consistently good queer/feminist perzine, and no issue ever disappoints!  This issue features short pithy pieces on letter-writing, growing up and feeling as if she’ll never be a ‘proper’ adult (me too!), and queer identity.  There’s also a very sweet story about missing post involving an elderly lady assuming Bettie and Ingrid are children writing to each other!  Bettie includes some short reviews of zines she has enjoyed recently at the back of the zine.  The layouts are really cool – cut and paste, with lots of stickers and simple striking imagery.  Highly recommended!

Want us to review your zine? Details here.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Review: Sheffield Zine Fest 2013

photo of Sugar Paper's stall by Emma Jane Falconer - thanks!

This is a guest post by Caitlin Gwynn.  Caitlin is a feminist zinester, co-founder of the Swansea Feminist Network, and amateur music journalist.  You can find her on Twitter at @WonderCaitlin

Last Saturday saw two fabulous zinesters, Bettie (of Buy Her Candy and Anatomical Heart) and Chella Quint (of Adventures In Menstruating) pair up to organise Sheffield Zine Fest. After a previous successful zine fest in the city back in 2011, the pair joined forces to organise their own event celebrating DIY zine culture.

Tabling at the event were our very own editor, Cath Elms, renowned zine distros Vampire Sushi and Marching Stars, as well as other names previously featured on this blog, such as Sugar Paper and Fanzine Ynfytyn. As well as old and established names, there was much on offer to discover, such as the lovingly put together Young Explorer zine written by Steve and Liz ( and the brilliant Kirsty Fife, writer of Make It Work and Hard Femme zines (she can be found at Whilst it goes without saying that the majority of the tablers were primarily zine makers, several tables dedicated themselves to selling other crafty wares. For example, the delightful table from Emily & Anne ( that had zoetropes and flipbooks for sale as well as zines, and Lolly ( who kindly brought along vegan cakes for hungry zinesters. A communal table was also available for those who wanted to leave their zines for members of the public to pick up for free.  

Along with the actual zines themselves, the organisers offered a wide range of workshops taking place throughout the day: everything from body positivity to working on a collaboration zine with Hollaback Sheffield to getting some inspiration for creating zines from Emma Jane Falconer (Emma’s own round-up of the event can be found on her blog).  Cath Elms put on a workshop discussing zines and feminism, and brought along enough materials for attendees to create their very own works of art, which they did with sheer enthusiasm. Looking at the different mini zines that each attendee created was a wonderful testament to what can be done in the zine format, as every zine created was entirely different to the next.

Looking at the actual venue itself, the Electric Works had the strong advantage of being very central to Sheffield town centre, and central to the bus / train station, handy for anyone coming from further afield. Also, more importantly, it has a helter skelter, and has the amazing honour of being Britain’s first indoor office helter skelter.

Our only complaint about the day is that four hours went surprisingly quickly! Kudos to Bettie and Chella for organising a wonderful event that celebrated the best and brightest in self-publication and supporting the clearly flourishing creative zine scene in the UK (and further afield, of course!). There was an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere at the event, and supplied a safe and positive space where all attendees were free to enjoy and support the creativity of others. We look forward to 2014 already!  


If you liked Caitlin's review, check out these other reviews of the event:

Forbidden Planet (yes, that Forbidden Planet!):

Emma Jane Falconer:

Rebecca McCormick:

Cath (STZ editor):

Jenna Lee Alldread:

Richard Bolam:

Monday, 18 March 2013

Zine News Round-Up: 18.03.13

photo by Ten Minute Reviews - thanks!

Had to post our news round-up a day late due to how tired we were this weekend after Sheffield Zine Fest (a review of the event will be published on Sunday)!  Enjoy!



1. Zine Releases
2. Upcoming Events
3. Submission Calls
4. Distro news
4. AOB


1. Zine Releases
- ‘Buy Her Candy’ #5, a queer feminist perzine, was released this weekend!  Contact Bettie for a copy. Details here.
- ‘Pandora Press #6: The Media Issue’, is out now.  Details on how to buy a copy can be found at the Swansea Feminist Network blog.
- ‘Paper and Ink: A Literary Zine’ was released this week.  More info at  
- Issue 6 of ‘The Strange New Times Zine’ is out now! More info about the zine can be found at  

2. Upcoming Events
 - DIY Cultures 2013: Sunday 7 April, 12 til 7pm.  A festival of zines, comics, artist-run spaces, talks, films, art and workshops.  
 - Any upcoming UK zine events?  Let us know –!

3. Submission Calls
 - ‘Narwool’ is a new zine by and for crafty people, featuring tutorials, how-to’s, artwork, and more.  To submit, contact the editor Kim at
- Twigs and Apples, a zine collective based in Preston, are looking for submissions for their latest comp zine.  Welcome topics include “art, illustration, photography, writing, reviews, music, film, veganism, recipes, anarchism, environmentalism, sports, gardening, bike-riding, philosophy, travel, DIY & craft”.  More info at  
 - Kat W is looking for reviews, essays, quotes and artwork for her Stephen King fanzine, titled ‘Death Is When The Monsters Get You’.  For more info, email
- Annabell is creating a zine called ‘fōbēə’, focusing on strange and obscure phobias. Illustration, articles, and stories all welcome, and even if you don't fancy submitting but have an obscure phobia you’d like to share, that would be helpful too. More info, email

4. Distro News
- There’s a new distro in town! Girls Get Busy zine distro stocks feminist/female-authored zines.  Take a look at their developing catalogue and buy some cool zines at

5. AOB
- Check out this cool short film about Sheffield Zine Fest!