Sunday, 30 June 2013

Zine Reviews: June 2013

Your Pretty Face is Going Straight To Hell #17
Tukru, Kent – www.vampiresushi.co.uk

Created in 24 hours for 24 Hour Zine Thing, issue #17 of Tukru’s feminist perzine feels even more personal and quirky than others.  Tukru’s writing is often very stream-of-consciousness, breezing from one topic to another, and in this issue particularly so.  It feels like a peek into Tukru’s diary, complete with scribbled-out words, glued-in pictures, and drawings.  We read about the process of creating the 24-hour zine – trying to plan what she was going to write about, her plans in between zine-making, being stuck on what to write to fill spare pages, and procrastination.  There’s also a long piece on being a writer, her half-finished novel, and recent writing projects.  She closes the zine with a very short piece of fiction.  Another awesome issue of Your Pretty Face…, highly recommended for perzine lovers and/or anyone thinking of writing their own 24-hour zine!

Shape and Situate #4: Posters of Inspirational European Women
Edited by Melanie Maddison, Leeds – http://remember-who-u-are.blogspot.com
As I’ve mentioned before, Shape and Situate is one of my favourite UK publications, and I’m always excited when a new issue is released.  Each issue profiles a number of female European artists, activists, thinkers and political figures; #4 features, among many others, political activists Pussy Riot, athlete Kathleen Thomas (the first person to swim across the Bristol channel), painter Sadie Lee, and writer/historical figure Anne Frank.  With a striking cover and filled with handmade artwork, it’s a visual treat.  Shape and Situate is exactly the kind of zine I wish was for sale on shelves in newsagents, instead of the vacuous glossies on offer!

Tragic Boffin #4 and #5
Donna, Edinburgh – tragicboffin @ gmail.com
A consistently engaging perzine, Tragic Boffin remains one of my favourite regular British perzines!  #4 is a 24-hour zine, and apart from the odd scribbled-out word you’d never tell it was written and assembled in only 24 hours, as the content is just as thoughtful and well-assembled as in previous issues.  The zine opens with a piece about Donna’s changing relationship with make-up, and its relation to her mental health and feminist politics, ultimately coming to the conclusion that no one needs make up, but should be free to choose it.  We also read a number of 1-2 page articles on various topics including working to deadlines, OCD, avoiding creative burn-out, and fear of flying.  #5 is much more dense than #4, with longer articles interspersed with single pages of artwork.  Inside, we read about Donna’s least-favourite past jobs, feeling like she’s getting old, the joy of finding lost treasures in car boot sales, the pros and cons of using a Kindle, and thoughts about dieting.  Cute, neat layouts with lots of kawaii throughout, Donna’s zines are such lovely things to read.

Young Explorer #3
Edited by Liz and Steve, England - www.youngexplorerzine.blogspot.co.uk
Young Explorer is a compzine with an overarching theme for each issue.  #3 is themed ‘food’, and features an awesome colour cover with different types of cheeses illustrated!  Om.  Some of the articles that made the (pork) chop include a piece on regional foods, complete with an annotated food map of Britain, ultimate ice-creams, and a comic about using oranges for self-defence.  Quite a short read, but varied, interesting, and witty.  I found myself reaching the end of the zine and longing for more!

Mythologising Me #3
Ingrid, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne - mythologisingme @ gmail.com 
This is one of my favourite issues of Mythologising Me, especially in terms of the visuals – with a beautiful teal front cover and messy typewritten/cut and paste layouts, I love the way this zine looks!  This issue explores Ingrid’s feelings of disconnectedness and insecurities - longer pieces exploring her future and her identity are interspersed with short handwritten sentences including “when am I going to do that magnificent thing I always planned I would achieve (whatever it was going to be)?”.  Arguably one of Ingrid’s most personal zines, I found a lot to relate to in here.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Zine News Round-Up: 23.06.13



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

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1. Zine Releases
- Girls Get Busy #18 is out now, and available to read online for free! Details can be found at the GGB tumblr.
- Issue #5 of the perzine Opinionated Nobody was published this month.  To buy or trade a copy, contact the author Rebecca.
- Emma Jane Falconer has published 2 issues of Fanzine Ynfytyn this week. Details on how to buy or trade a copy can be found at Emma’s blog.
- The latest issue of SMOO Comics is available to buy or trade! Details here: http://smoo.tumblr.com/subscriptions
- - Let us know if we’ve missed anything - spillthezinesukATgmail.com!

2. Upcoming Events
- Bristol Comic and Zine Fair: Saturday 05 October @ The Station, Bristol. Details and stall application forms can be found at http://bristolcomicandzinefair.wordpress.com/.
- Queer Zine Fest London, December 2013: date and venue TBC! Keep up to date at https://www.facebook.com/events/160624710775600/?ref=ts&fref=ts


3. Submission Calls
- Pandora Press, a feminist compzine from Swansea, are looking for submissions for their 6th issue! The theme is body.  More info at http://swanseafeministnetwork.wordpress.com.
- Hand Job Zine is a new literary zine, looking for writing in whatever format on British subject matter.   Details at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hand-Job/404655936308222?ref=stream
- Sonorus: Feminist Perspectives on Harry Potter are looking for submissions for their first issue! Details at http://sonoruszine.wordpress.com/
- A new literary zine based in Swansea is looking for flash fiction submissions! For more details, contact the editor Kat via her blog.
- OH VENUS! are looking for contributors for their feminist zine on the theme of HEROES. Art, comment, fiction, reviews and so on all wanted. Please email images to oh_venus@live.com before June 16.
- A zine on the intersection of queer and working class identities is currently looking for submissions! Deadline is in September. Details at https://www.facebook.com/events/354699081318568/?fref=ts.



4. AOB
- Next month is International Zine Month! Alex Wrekk, founder of IZM, has posted a list of tasks to do for every day of July to celebrate (see above)! Text version here: http://www.stolensharpierevolution.org/31-activities-for-international-zine-month-july-2013/ Here at Spill the Zines, I will take part in every activity, and blog about it at the end of each week!
J

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The beautiful image above was hand-drawn by Andrea Joseph - thank you!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Zine News Round-Up: 11.06.13


Posting this 2 days late because I’m rubbish. Enjoy!

(Btw did you see that we were featured in The Screever zine last week?)

Cath x

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

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1. Zine Releases
- Mixed media “acid trip” zine Soul Vibe #1 is out now! Grab hold of a copy by getting in touch with the author: brandon.tango @ live.co.uk.
- Lights Go Out #21 is out now! www.lightsgoout.co.uk
- Found is a photography project by Rhys Atkinson exploring the nature of discarded and found slide photographs.  More info at http://www.backtoprint.co.uk/product/back-to-print-issue-1
- Feminist campaign group Armpits 4 August have released their first zine! Check it out here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Armpits4August
- Crafting zine Sugar Paper has just released its 10th issue! More info at http://sugarpapergang.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/sugar-paper-11.html
- Athemaura #10 is out now! Details on buying/trading a copy can be found at http://athemaura.weebly.com/1/post/2013/05/athemaura-10-new-issue-ready.html

2. Upcoming Events
- Queer Zine Fest London 2013: date and venue TBC! Keep up to date at https://www.facebook.com/events/160624710775600/?ref=ts&fref=ts
- Let us know if we’ve missed anything - spillthezinesukATgmail.com!

3. Submission Calls
- If you have any art that you want to put out into the world please feel free to submit them to Brown Paper Bundles! Get in touch at thechickencoop @ live.co.uk.
- Pandora Press, a feminist compzine from Swansea, are looking for submissions for their 6th issue! The theme is body.  More info at http://swanseafeministnetwork.wordpress.com.
Hand Job Zine is a new literary zine, looking for writing in whatever format on British subject matter.   Details at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hand-Job/404655936308222?ref=stream
Sonorus: Feminist Perspectives on Harry Potter are looking for submissions for their first issue! Details at http://sonoruszine.wordpress.com/
OH VENUS! are looking for contributors for their feminist zine on the theme of HEROES. Art, comment, fiction, reviews and so on all wanted. Please email images to oh_venus@live.com before June 16.
- A zine on the intersection of queer and working class identities is currently looking for submissions! Deadline is in September. Details at https://www.facebook.com/events/354699081318568/?fref=ts.



5. AOB
- Check out a great review of last weekend’s Alternative Press Fair: http://shadowplayfanzine.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/review-alternative-press-spring-zine.html and some photos: http://pinterest.com/mikedraws/alternative-press-fair-spring-2013/
- July 2013 is International Zine Month! Alex Wrekk, founder of IZM, has posted a list of tasks to do for every day of July to celebrate (see above)! Text version here: http://www.stolensharpierevolution.org/31-activities-for-international-zine-month-july-2013/

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Review: Clapton Zine Fair 2013




As my friend Vicky put it on the morning of the Clapton Zine Fair: today we're going to the dentist, and we're not afraid! For Board of Fun and Stars & Flowers had taken over a former dental practice premises for the purpose of a weekend of zines, live music, poetry, and socialising. The little building still has its bright yellow DENTIST sign on the shopfront, and I like that it has been kept. The man behind it all (Phil) has bought the shop with the aim of doing the place up and putting on gigs and artist events. So at the moment, the place is a little ramshackle - but I like that too. In a world where so many bars, cafes, and shops are so perfectly shiny and glassy and new, this place is refreshing - besides, there is so much potential, and today my thought was: with such a fantastically bright array of zines and handcrafted loveliness on show, who really thinks about it today?
 
The day started with me getting myself dramatically lost alongside a huge A-road going into Essex, and I feared being hideously late, but all worked out in the end thanks to my friend Vicky-Anne Smith playing Challenge Anneka with me. The Dentist is tucked away on a street alive with markets stalls, independent little shops galore, and so much community. It felt really nice to finally arrive on Chatsworth Road and take it all in - a sunny day too!
 
It was thanks to organisers Yo Sushi and Zoe Taylor that we were here. Yo is a long-standing musician (acoustic/alt-country singer-songwriter), and visual artist, and he had performed the evening before to makr the launch of his and Matt Riviere's new music releases, plus to launch the zine weekend. Zoe had found one of my perzines in Housmans radical book shop in King's Cross (go there and marvel at zines and comics, or help fill the place with even more political zines/comics, if you make them!), and had sent me an invite to have a zine stall, which was really nice.



 
The Dentist is a very snug shop, but an amazing amount of zine and artists' delights fitted in - with beautiful art prints, pen sketches, and colourful collages pinned to walls, high and low, DIY t-shirts hanging in windows from hangers, and zines of all stripes atop little square tables or on lowdown platforms, all sorts of home-printed tapes and CDs, badges, cards, and assorted visual goods, and everyone's positive presence filling the place. We were in our own zine and art haven for an afternoon.
 
I had a browse and took photos of the various stalls. I will do my best to recount the stalls. With a very tightly packed table of very brightly coloured zines and cards, was Mark Pawson. Best card for me here was one that had an image of bottles of booze and the legend: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL OFF-LICENSE. Too true! Here, I was happy to stumble across a zine about punk history and psychogeography around Dalston (with an intro by no less than Mr Iain Sinclair) called Splitting the Atom, as well as the zine Good Fuzzy Sounds. I had read this zine at the Stuart Hall zine library, so was glad to be able to buy my own copy. I have reviewed this zine separately, as it is an ace music zine about guitar pedals.
 
Pete from Dead Trees and Dye was behind a stall, but not with his usual perziney wares - this time it was with his Limner art critique magazine project.
 
With gorgeously collaged art prints on sale, was Rosanna Thompson. We had a good chat about feminism, and in particular about a theme in one of my zines which is assumptions in society (basically woman = babymaker, and also how renting = to be scorned whilst mortgages are some sort of ubiquitous all-conquering ambition).
 
OOMK (One of My Kind) Zine were tabling next to us with artist Amy Lambert. If you haven't yet seen it, OOMK is a visual art zine with feminist contributors from diverse ethnic backgrounds. It's really professional, with colour photography and in depth writing, and interesting themes each issue. Sofia, who runs OOMK, also had her brilliant colour comic Talk to the Scarf on sale, which satirises the assumptions people make about religious scarves/scarf wearers (my favourites were: the little toy you can attach to your scarf as an accessory, and hiding a pair of headphones underneath during lectures! It's a neat way of helping stamp out prejudice).
 
Yo had ink prints pinned about the place, and his drawing zine on sale. I like his style, and it's cute seeing Zoe featuring in his art/as a muse. He also played excellent DJ throughout the day. I appreciated the diverse selection! Ace music I recall being played: Pavement, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Flying Lizards ('Money, that's what I want', classic 80s pop).
 
I was also really pleased that an Argentinian creative writer, Maria, from our zine collective came along, and had made her first poetry zine that very morning, bound it with pretty ribbon, especially for this event!
 
I must recount my thoroughly brilliant zine moment (possibly my best ever zine moment), wherein somebody's elderly godmother, dressed in lavish jewellery and cape, and very well-spoken, was standing next to a green-and-spiky-haired punk dude, and they were both looking at my zines! I think such a vision sums up the beauty and breadth of zines, really. I had a lovely chat with the godmother, and she bought two of my perzines, and gave me some sweet, encouraging words.
 
There was a guy who asked me if I made money from selling other people's work on our table. When I told him I give everyone's earnings to them direct, he was flabbergasted, couldn't get his head round how or why anyone could do that. He was disappointed in my lack of enterprisement, and couldn't understand why I would sell zines purely for the love of zines! Oh well! Just to round up, if you're interested, I had on sale that day: A Night's Journey by my friend Vicky-Ann Smith, and the zines Angry Violist, A Short Fanzine About Rocking, Feeling Alone? (by Human Bean zines), poetry from the aforementioned Argentinian, Maria, and some free zines that I'd printed up from the one that Cath gave me from Swansea Feminist Network, as well as selling a selection of my own from over the years.
 
At the end of the day, out came the homemade cake - by the trayful! Top marks to the baker for her hard work and excellent range of cakes, including chocolate with real raspberries, white cake with almonds, and bright blue iced cake too. We had earned our cake and beer. A truly excellent afternoon, in a great little shop. The Dentist are holding regular gigs, so head over some time!
 


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This review was written by the lovely Fliss - thanks!  All photographs are the author's own.